Dolly Parton revealed a singer who broke her heart and made her cry all night long.
In an interview on Wednesday (Oct. 6) with W Magazine, the legendary country artist revealed why the ‘King Of Rock And Roll,’ Elvis Presley, didn’t end up recording Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” which went on to be recorded by Whitney Houston and became a massive hit and iconic song.
The song, recorded as a goodbye song to Porter Wagoner in 1973, was nearly recorded by Presley, however, Parton turned Presley’s team down after they requested to own half of her publishing rights for the track.
“Elvis loved the song, ‘I Will Always Love You,’ and they said Elvis is gonna do your song,” Parton explained. “They said, he invited you down to the studio if you’d want to come. I said ‘well of course,’ I was so excited to think that Elvis Presley is going to sing ‘I Will Always Love You.’ I was ready to go and Colonel Tom Parker, his manager, called the night before and said ‘well you do know that we don’t record anything with Elvis unless we get half the publishing. And that had already been a hit for me, I had a No. 1 record, and it was my most important copyright at that time.”
“I said, ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t give you the publishing on that.’ I wanted to hear Elvis sing it, and it broke my heart — I cried all night,” Parton told the publication. “But I had to keep that copyright in my pocket. You have to take care of your business!”
Watch the full-length interview between W and Parton below.
While Presley never did record the song, it still was a favorite of his and his wife Priscilla Presley told Parton that the late “Jailhouse Rock” singer sung the song to her outside the courthouse after their divorce in 1973.
“Priscilla, his wife, told me that when they divorced, when they were coming out of the courthouse, Elvis sang my song to her,” Parton said. “That touched me so deeply. Oh, I would’ve loved to have heard him sing it. But I had to keep that copyright in my pocket, and I’m glad I did after Whitney did it.”
“Everybody’s going to use you if they can,” the “9 to 5” singer added. “These are my songs… they’re like my children. And I expect them to support me when I’m old!”
The song, which made waves for Parton, as it went No. 1 before Houston went on to record her version of the timeless tune. Houston’s rendition of the popular track, which appeared in the 1992 film, Bodyguard, had gone on to become one of the best-selling singles to ever be recorded by a woman in music history.
Parton also shared a moment she will never forget during the interview, “They also played the song at Whitney Houston’s funeral. After that, I thought, I bet they’ll play the same song when I go.”