Dolly Parton Has Recounted The First Time She Ever Listened To Whitney Houston’s Cover Version Of Her Iconic Hit

Dolly Parton Has Recounted The First Time She Ever Listened To Whitney Houston’s Cover Version Of Her Iconic Hit

The song was originally released in 1974 by Parton, who wrote it as a farewell to her former duet partner and mentor of seven years, Porter Wagoner, following Parton’s decision to leave his series The Porter Wagoner Show and pursue a solo career.

Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” has topped the charts twice, once upon its original release and then again when she re-recorded it for her 1982 movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The ballad became popular again when Whitney Houston recorded a version for the film The Bodyguard in 1992.

Speaking about when she first heard Houston’s version, Parton told The Graham Norton Show: “They asked me if they could use it and I forgot about it until I was driving home and I heard this voice come on the radio. It kind of rang a bell, but it didn’t hit because she was kind of talking it, and all of a sudden it went into the ‘I will always love you’ bit and I had to pull over to listen to it.”

She continued: “It was one of the most overwhelming feelings I have ever had to hear it done so well, so beautifully, and so big. She took it and made it so much more that what it would ever have been. It was such a joy as a songwriter. I don’t think I will have a bigger thrill, ever.”

Parton appeared on the show remotely from Nashville to promote her new book Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics.

The Graham Norton Show returns on Friday 2 October at 10.45pm on BBC One.

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