Dolly Parton Recalls How Porter Wagoner Cried the First Time He Heard “I Will Always Love You”

While growing up in a one-bedroom cabin, Dolly Parton dreamed of stardom as she wanted nothing more than to share her love for music on the stage. With a great deal of grit and determination, Dolly eventually gained her stardom thanks to hit songs like “9 to 5”, “Jolene”, and “Here You Come Again.” Jumping forward a few decades, the singer sold over 100 million albums, starred in numerous films, and even owns The Dollywood Company. Recently, Dolly discussed one of her favorite songs, “I Will Always Love You”, and how it made Porter Wagoner cry. 

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When first stepping foot in the music industry, Dolly found a home on the Porter Wagoner Show. Wanting more out of her career, the singer decided to leave in the 1970s. But Porter wasn’t a fan of the show losing one of its biggest stars as he filed a $3 million lawsuit against her in 1979. The two parties eventually settled out of court thanks to the song “I Will Always Love You.” She told CBS Mornings, “He started crying. And he said, ‘That’s the best song you ever wrote, and if you let me produce it, you can go.’”  

[RELATED: The Taboo Subject Explored in “Down from Dover” by Dolly Parton]

Dolly Parton Wanted More Than The ‘Porter Wagoner Show’

Diving deeper into her career, the singer discussed how she wanted better management in the 2003 movie Dolly Parton: Platinum Blonde. She said, “I wanted to have big time management. I wanted to get in movies by that time. I wanted to do everything that a body could do as an entertainer.” Dolly added, ” I wanted to be worldwide. I thought, well, if I’m gonna be a star, why not be a big star?”

While making decent money at the time, Dolly hoped to expand her career, but according to the star, “Porter had tried to convince me, and had told me over and over, ‘They’re gonna drop you as soon as you leave the show, they’re not gonna want you at RCA.’”

Although claiming they would drop her, Dolly decided to visit RCA and found out herself. “Before I had left Porter’s show, I flew up to New York from Nashville on my own, made appointments with some of the main people at RCA. I said, ‘Well, I’m here to say that I’m going out on my own. I’m going to be leaving the ‘Porter Wagner Show.’ I’m going to make a big change here.” She continued, “I’m gonna get some pop producers, I’m want to try to bridge the gap from country.’ They were very excited, they got totally behind me.”

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