Dolly Parton Opens Up on Kenny Rogers, ‘Hitting Each Other’s Funny Bones’ and ‘Our Honesty’

by Suzanne Halliburton
Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Country legend Dolly Parton talked Monday about the late, great Kenny Rogers as if he was a long-lost lover, not merely a duet partner.

Parton called it their “sparkle” as she talked about Rogers with Zane Lowe, the host of “At Home With Apple Music.”

When she first was asked about Rogers, who died in March, Parton said their relationship was as if they were “best friends.” Or maybe brother and sister. But the longer she talked about Rogers, he appeared more as a soul mate.

“I think we meant so much to all of you because we meant so much to each other,” Parton said. “Kenny was like a soul mate of mine. He’s from Texas, I’m from Tennessee. There’s a famous old song “T is for Texas, T is for Tennessee.”

“We were like brother and sister in a way,” she continued. “We were really like best friends. Something about me and Kenny, I’m sure you have people in your life … ‘Hey, it’s me, you can say that to somebody else, but that ain’t getting it with me.’

“We loved each other to death,” she said. “We were so funny together, we both had a crazy sense of humor. … We’d just hit each other’s funny bones. He touched me in a way that made me laugh like other people didn’t. And I was the same way with him.”

Parton And Rogers Made Beautiful Music Together

When it comes to duets, where do you start with Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton? It’s like choosing your favorite flavor of ice cream. You love it all. “Islands In The Stream” was their first significant duet. The song soared to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983.

In 1984, the two combined for a Christmas classic “The Greatest Gift of All.” There was the TV special “Kenny & Dolly: A Christmas to Remember.”

Another duet to remember _”You Can’t Make Old Friends.” It was the last song the two performed together. That was back in 2017.

Dolly Parton Says She and Kenny Rogers Could’ve Been Lovers

Back in 2017, Parton and Rogers talked of the romantic tension between the two. They were on the Today Show. That’s when Rogers said “I’m a believer that tension is better if you keep it than if you satisfy it. And then secondly, she said no to me.”

Parton laughed and said she wasn’t Rogers’ type.

Three years later, she’s still talking about how she’ll never grow tired of listening to Rogers’ voice. It always will live on.

See, I always loved his voice, anyway,” Parton said. “When we were working on the road together, touring some, I’d watch the show every night from the wings. And I never got tired of hearing his voice.

“Course, our voices would come together in duets I thought it was really good. His thick voice and my smaller voice.  There was something that complimented it.

“Plus, I think our emotions and our personal magic kind of wove itself into it, too. People felt the love and passion we had for each other.

“We were never lovers. But we were very passionate with each other. We loved each other to death, we could’ve been (lovers), if our life had been different. We were that strong with our love and passion for each other. But it was more about our music and the fact that we couldn’t do it made it more special. “

Here’s the interview.

And, if you’d like to give in to the Dolly and Kenny nostalgia, check out there greatest hit.