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Dolly Parton 'Cried All Night' Over Elvis Hiccup

He was supposed to sing her 1974 song 'I Will Always Love You'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2020 9:30 AM CST

(Newser) – Had history taken a different turn, Whitney Houston might not be the singer best known for belting out Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You." Parton explains that the plan was to have Elvis Presley sing her 1974 song, which was a No. 1 hit and "the most important copyright I had in my publishing company,” she said, per Showbiz CheatSheet. But the day before the session she got a call from Presley's manager, who wanted to make sure she knew that they would have to "have the publishing, or at least half the publishing. She didn't know that, and wasn't OK with it. "I’m gonna leave that to my family," she says. So the deal fell through—and she didn't just brush off the disappointment.

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"I cried all night long," she tells the Big Issue's Letter to My Younger Self. "It wasn't Elvis, I loved Elvis," Parton continues. "And I'm sure he was as disappointed as I was because he had it all worked up and ready to go. I know he loved the song." She says that to this day she dreams about him singing the song, and that if she could pick anyone from history to have a "last conversation" with, it would probably be the King, so that she could "clear up" the matter with him. Parton adds he did sing it at least once though, per NME. "Priscilla [Presley] told me later that he sang that song to her when they were coming down the steps of the courthouse after they divorced. That really touched me." (Read more Dolly Parton stories.)

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