Dolly Parton on the Time She Turned Down Elvis Presley
"It’s my song, my publishing rights. It broke my heart but I had to turn him down."
In a revealing new cover story with the UK's magazine Event, Dolly Parton shares a little-known story about the time she had to step in when Elvis Presley tried to record one of the most famous songs she ever wrote, "I Will Always Love You."
"His manager Colonel Parker called me up the day before he was due to record the song and said, 'Now you know Elvis has to have the publishing rights or at least half the publishing rights of any song he records,'" as The Metro recaps of the interview.
"I was desperate for Elvis to sing my song and I’d told everyone he was going to sing it, but I couldn’t let that happen. It’s my song, my publishing rights. It broke my heart but I had to turn him down," the Smoky Mountain Songbird explained of the fate of her 1973 tune.
WATCH: 18 Things You May Not Know About Dolly Parton
Years later, in 1992, the single became a chart-topping sensation when Whitney Houston recorded her take on the now-classic song. Houston's cover of the song secured millions in royalties for Parton, who joked to Event, "People say it’s Whitney’s song, and that’s all right as long as they send the [checks] to me." We sure wonder what Elvis would think of what came of the sweet love song.
Eager for more Dolly? Check out our favorite quotes by The Queen of Country on faith and family here.