HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry Throwback: Dolly Parton and Vince Gill Crush ‘I Will Always Love You’ Duet

Country Throwback: Dolly Parton and Vince Gill Crush ‘I Will Always Love You’ Duet

by Katie Maloney
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Country music icons, Dolly Parton and Vince Gill, joined forces to perform at the 1995 Country Music Awards.

By the time she took the stage for the 1995 CMA’s Dolly already had a few decades of hit songs. Vince Gill had landed his first three number one hits. His hits included “I Still Believe in You,” “One More Last Chance,” and “Tryin’ to Get Over You.” With all those hit songs combined, the two were a perfect match for a duet.

So, the two teamed up for an emotionally infused performance of “I Will Always Love You.” The song was such a hit, they recorded it together later that year. A year later, they were nominated for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals at the Grammy Awards.

Elvis Asked Dolly Parton If He Could Record Her Song And She Turned Him Down

During an interview with Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton talked about the time Elvis almost recorded her song. He wanted to record a version of “I Will Always Love You.” And it wasn’t until the night before Elvis was scheduled to record the song that the plans fell through. And it wasn’t Elvis’s fault. During the interview, Dolly shared that Elvis’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, called her with a new demand. Parker was notorious in the industry for being a bit sordid.

“It didn’t have anything to do with Elvis, I loved Elvis. It was Colonel Tom Parker who was his manager. Who was brilliant, you can’t take that away from him. He did alright by him,” said Dolly.

However, Parker revealed to Dolly that Elvis wouldn’t record the song unless he received 50 percent of the royalties. Dolly Parton knew that was not a fair deal and had to turn him down.

“The night before the session Tom called me. He said ‘You know we don’t record anything with Elvis unless we have the publishing. Or at least half the publishing.’ And I said ‘Well that’s a new light on things. Because I can’t give you half the publishing. I’m going to leave that to my family,’” said Dolly. “I said ‘I can’t do that.’ And he said ‘Well then we can’t do it,’” said Dolly.

Although she was completely disappointed by the turn of events, Dolly said that it was a good lesson in standing her ground within the music industry – even when it means turning down a legend like Elvis. Just when we thought Dolly Parton couldn’t get any cooler, she tells shares this story!