This Dolly Parton classic just might be the greatest song of all time YouTube

Depending on what generation you are from, you either know the “I Will Always Love You” version by Dolly Parton or the version of the song from Whitney Houston. Either way, the performance is breathtaking.

Written in 1973 by Dolly herself, it was intended as a parting gift to Porter Wagoner, her singing partner and mentor for years as Dolly decided to part ways and go off and pursue a solo career.

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Amazingly, Dolly charted with the song three times, going to No. 1 in June of 1974 and again in 1982, which made her the first artist to ever hit No. 1 twice with the same song. She re-recorded it again in 1995 as a duet with Vince Gill, with that version peaking at No. 15.

Whitney Houston released her version in 1992 and sat atop the charts for an astounding 14 weeks, making it her longest run at the top spot.

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Even Elvis wanted to record the song in the mid-’70s. Yet, Dolly balked when Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker required she sign over half of the publishing rights. Because of the subsequent success she and Whitney Houston had with the song, her refusing Elvis’ demands undoubtedly helped make her millions of dollars in royalties over the years.

Based in Chicago but often in Nashville, Ken Churilla is a contributor for Rare Country. Follow him @KenChurilla and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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