After more than 50 years in show business, Dolly Parton, who has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, still shows no sign of stopping. Throughout her incredible career, the 77-year-old has known some big names, but did you know that she once turned down Elvis Presley himself? The Country star may have ended up in tears, but putting up with her ended up benefiting her greatly years later. It’s not often that a singer calls and tells you that Elvis Presley not only wants to meet you, but he also wants to cover a song he wrote. And that’s exactly what happened to a young Dolly in the early 1970s with her hit song I Will Always Love You.
Speaking about Living and Learning with Reba McEntire, the singer said: “I was so excited, I told everyone. they had called me [to tell me] that Elvis was recording it, and [asked] if you wanted to come to the studio. Elvis wanted to meet me and all that.”
However, that night before the séance, The King’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, called her. He told Dolly, “You know, we don’t record anything with Elvis unless we have the release, or at least half of the release.” She responded: “Well that sheds a new light on this because I can’t give you half the post. I will leave that to my family. I can not do this. So the die-hard colonel told him that Elvis couldn’t cover the track because those were the terms.
Dolly admitted: “I cried all night. Oh, I just pictured Elvis singing it. And I know Elvis loved it. And I know it wasn’t him, but it’s true. I said no.” However, in the end, facing the Colonel turned out to be an expert move on her part.
In 1992, Whitney Houston recorded I Always Love You and made the Country star’s two-time No. 1 her own. The Bodyguard singer’s cover version spent an unprecedented 14 weeks at number 1 and is the sixth best-selling single of all time with 20 million sales. In fact, Houston surpasses Elvis for seventh place with It’s Now or Never. Dolly has since joked that the royalties from her famous cover gave her enough money to buy Graceland.
Even though things worked out for her, Dolly always wished she could have made things right with Elvis, who died in 1977, and ended up having a dream where this happened. The 77-year-old turned this into a song called I Dreamed About Elvis Last Night. She has only performed the song live in concert with a King tribute artist, but she plans to record it one day.
What’s particularly sweet is that Priscilla Presley once told Dolly that the late star sang the song to her on the courthouse steps after they divorced in 1973. Unsurprisingly, this fact really touched Dolly.
Following the news of Lisa Marie’s sudden death at 54 just a week ago, the Country star shared a moving tribute on her Instagram.
READ MORE: Dolly Parton: How she reflected on the ‘extraordinary Elvis’ after his death
Dolly wrote: “Priscilla, I know how sad you must be. May God comfort you this time. Elvis, I know how happy you must be to finally have her home and back with you. Lisa Marie, may you rest in peace. We all love all of you. Dolly.”
This Sunday, Lisa Marie will be buried at Graceland alongside her son Benjamin, who died at the age of 27 in 2020. Their final resting place is in the Meditation Garden, where Elvis’s grave is located along with other family members. Presley.
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