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March 5

“Islands in the Stream”: A Duet by Kenny and Dolly

The song that knocked Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” out the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 is “Islands in the Stream”. This was the song that Country and Pop Music fans loved. In December 1983, the Recording Industry Association of America certified it Platinum. This honor was for selling over 2 million physical copies in the US. In the US in 2013, they sold almost 600,000 digital copies. Surprisingly, “Islands in the Stream” has racked up almost 300, 000 downloads and 5 million streams in the UK as of 2017. While the song was at the very top of the country charts, another of Rogers’ singles “Scarlet Fever” reached number 5. Launched in 1983, “Islands in the Stream” was the first single from Rogers’ album Eyes That See in the Dark.

Originally, the Bee Gees penned the song for Marvin Gaye. However, they handed it to Kenny Rogers. Kenny explained that he sang it in rehearsals for four days and was not having much fun singing it. But when he run into Dolly Parton, he asked her to sing with him and the rest was history.

Kenny loves working with Dolly and gives lots of credits for his success. From then on, Kenny had loved singing it. He said that it was just a happy song and that he would still do it live. He added that singing both parts and trying to sound like Dolly made him love the song more.

Dolly had also had success with the song, both in the US and UK. It is only 1 of her 2 songs that reached the UK Top 40 hit features and notably her biggest downloads.

Sung in C major moderate 4/4 time, with Rogers and Parton alternating lead vocals. Their version features a key change from C major to A-flat major.

Many artists have made their own version of the song. One of the most recent covers was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Miley Cyrus and Jimmy Fallon performed “Islands in the Stream”. To completely have a feel of the song, Cyrus and Fallon even wore their costumes during the performance.

 


Tags

bee gees, Dolly Parton, islands in the stream, kenny rogers


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