There are moments in country music that can simply take your breath away by their sheer power. That’s exactly how it felt as thousands played witness to an intimate moment between Kenny Rogers and longtime friend and collaborator Dolly Parton at the “All in for the Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration” that took place on in Nashville on Oct. 25.
It started innocently enough, with a joke.
“I’m not your first … you had a lot of girls before me,” Dolly kidded Kenny when they began to talk about the many duet partners that Kenny has had throughout his career, including everyone from Dottie West to Sheena Easton to Kim Carnes. “And you weren’t my first either,” she added.
But then the power of the moment seemed to take hold of the two country music legends.
“I just think you are great,” Dolly continued. “You’ve just been one of those people that has kind of been embedded in my heart. There is a place deep in my country heart that goes beyond understanding and goes beyond the jokes and beyond everything else. I know I am artificial out here, but I like to think that my heart is real. I have a spot for you that’s never, ever going to be touched by anyone else, and I’m going to hold you there.”
From there, Dolly sang her classic hit “I Will Always Love You,” building in moments just to share a sweet glance, smile, hug or kiss on the cheek with Kenny. And as she sang, country music history was being made. If that doesn’t give you goose bumps, nothing will.