On This Date: Dolly Parton Recorded “I Will Always Love You” In Nashville In 1973

Dolly Parton country music

Most people might assume that “I Will Always Love You” was written and performed by Whitney Houston, but if you were a real country music fan, you would know that it was an original by none other than Dolly Parton.

Dolly crafted and recorded the song in 1973 as a farewell to Porter Wagoner, her longtime business partner and mentor. The song allowed Parton to express her gratefulness towards Wagoner, while also saying goodbye as she entered into her solo career after working with Porter for seven years.

“I Will Always Love You” was eventually released in 1974 as a part of Parton’s thirteenth studio album Jolene, also acting as the album’s second single. Talk about a all-time album, with the one project producing both “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You,” arguably two of the most recognizable songs to ever be recorded. And what’s more, Dolly wrote them both on the same day… what did you do today?

Fans and critics alike loved “I Will Always Love You,” making it one of Parton’s more commercially successful songs. The tune reached the number one spot on Billboard Hot Country Songs two separate times. Once upon its initial release in June of 1974, and another time when it was re-recorded for the movie soundtrack for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas in 1982.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t again mention the version of the song performed by Whitney Houston. Besides “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” “I Will Always Love You” is one of Houston’s most recognizable songs thanks to the soul-ballad cover that she performed for the 1992 film The Bodyguard.

When it was released, the song peaked at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for a record breaking 14 straight weeks. The success of the Houston’s version wasn’t withheld to just the United States either. “I Will Always Love You” went viral (before going viral was a thing), topping the chart in almost every country in the world.

And if not for Dolly Parton bringing the song to life in 1973, who knows if Houston and The Bodyguard would have as much success as it did. Parton wrote the song as a sort of mutual break up song, telling the story of a man and a woman going separate ways with honor and respect for one another.

The lyrics state:

“If I should stayWell I would only be in your wayAnd so I’ll go, and yet I knowI’ll think of you each step of the way
And I will always love youI will always love you
Bitter-sweet memoriesThat’s all I’m taking with meGood-bye, please don’t cry‘Cause we both know that I’m notWhat you need”

Give Parton’s all time classic song a listen below:

And if you can’t help but hear Whitney Houston’s angel-like vocals when you think about this song, we’ll make an exception as a country music site and allow the video of the Houston’s legendary version as well:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock