After seven fruitful years, Dolly decided it was time to strike out on her own. She mentioned her desire to Porter. He was not supportive of this decision, telling her that no one would pay to listen to her voice singing solo.
Determined, Dolly sat down and wrote a song trying to explain her feelings to him. When she finished singing it to him, he was in tears.
If I should stay
I would only be in your way
So, I’ll go but I know
I’ll think of you every step of the way
And I will always love you
I will always love you
That’s all I’m taking with me
So good-bye. Please don’t cry
We both know I’m not what you need
I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you’ve dreamed of
And I wish you joy and happiness
But above all this, I wish you love.
On the country charts, Dolly had a number 1 hit with I Will Always Love You not just once, but twice. But most people associate this song with Whitney Houston. However, before Whitney got the song, Elvis tried to record it.
Yup, Elvis. How is it that we don’t have a recording of Elvis singing this lovely song? Well, in order for a song to be recorded by the King, a songwriter had to take far less in payment than they might get from another performer, essentially paying to have their song recorded by Elvis. On top of that, Elvis would then get a hefty percent of the royalties if anyone else ever re-recorded the song. Dolly wasn’t willing to give up that control and income from her song.
There is a rumor that Dolly and Whitney feuded over the song. That does not appear to have been true. Dolly remained grateful for the recognition and income that Whitney gave her song, and Whitney was grateful for the song.
Whitney actually was not the one to find the song. She was working on The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. She needed a song to sing at the end of the movie. She was originally going to sing What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, but when they realized that it had been featured in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, the search was on for another song. Costner was familiar with Parton’s recording, and brought the song to Houston’s attention. The rest is history.
While I love Houston’s version, I first heard the song when Dolly sang it. And it is her voice that I still hear first when I think of the song.
What is your favorite version of I Will Always Love You? Let me know in the comments below. I will be posting different versions of the song this week on my Minnich Music FaceBook page this week, so be sure to check them out.
Until next time!