Remember Dolly Parton’s Version of Kenny Rogers’ ‘Sweet Music Man’?
Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers were friends for decades, and they were also frequent collaborators, but did you know that she also recorded her own solo version of one of his most iconic songs? Parton covered Rogers' "Sweet Music Man" on one of her best-known albums.
Rogers wrote the song after taking inspiration from a conversation he had with Jessi Colter in which she shared the troubles she was having in her marriage to Waylon Jennings. He released it as the first single from his Daytime Friends album in 1977. It's since become one of the songs most closely associated with the country legend.
Parton recorded her own version of "Sweet Music Man" for her Here You Come Again album, which was also released in 1977. Parton never released her version as a single, though, instead scoring hits from the project with the title song, "Two Doors Down" and "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right."
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Parton stayed fairly close to Rogers' arrangement for her recording of "Sweet Music Man," adding in some pop-influenced keyboard parts to lighten the darker tone of Rogers' original and changing the line, "You're a hell of a singer" to "You're a heck of a singer." She also altered the key to suit her voice, imbuing the track with a sweeter feel.
Parton would go on to perform the song with Alison Krauss at a 2010 concert saluting Roger's 50 years in the entertainment business.
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Rogers died at his home on Friday night (March 20) at the age of 81, surrounded by his loved ones, according to a statement attributing his death to natural causes.
"You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone," Parton reflected in a Facebook post on Saturday morning (March 21). "I’ve had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend. So you be safe with God and just know that I will always love you."
"I loved Kenny with all my heart," Parton added in an emotional video she shared alongside her statement. "My heart's broken, and a big ol' chunk of it has gone with him today."
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