Dolly Parton Reveals Her Husband Told Her To Not Record “Stairway To Heaven”

Dolly Parton country music
Vijat Mohindra

Carl Dean might have been in the dog house for this one…

Dolly Parton is America’s treasured gem and can do no wrong in the eyes of many… except her husband. In a recent interview, she revealed that her husband sometimes gives her some pushback on her creative ideas, including a cover set to be featured on her upcoming album Rock Star. Her husband Carl Dean is actually the inspiration behind the album, as Dolly referred to him as a “rock and roll freak.”

While promoting the 30-track album on Absolute Radio, Parton revealed her husband of 57 years was less than thrilled to see Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” on the tracklist.

While some might argue that the song is one of the greatest rock songs in history, Carl Dean was concerned that Parton’s cover might compromise the integrity of the track, even sharing distaste for her 2002 version, which posed a bluegrass twang on the song.

“I did a version of “Stairway to Heaven” some years back as a bluegrass kind of thing, and he didn’t think I should have done it. He said, are you sure that’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ or stairwell to hell?'”

Parton said that he thought her 2002 version was just “okay.”

“He said, ‘I don’t think you should do that,’ and I said, ‘Why?’ and he said, ‘Because it’s a legend. It’s a classic.'”

While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I personally love her bluegrass take on the iconic track. It still keeps the essence of the track but gives a lighter feel.

What was more shocking from the interview was hearing that Carl Dean does not fancy country music at all.

“Country music was his least favorite.” 

Thankfully, as a front-row listener of her forthcoming album, he did give his stamp of approval for the soon-to-be-released rock version of “Stairway To Heaven.” Dolly said that he liked that it stayed true to the song’s roots, keeping its integrity.

“But this version he did like.” 

Talk about some open and honest conversations in their marriage… probably why they’ve made it 57 years together.

Check out the full interview here.

The album will be out everywhere on November 17th. You can check out the full tracklist below.

Rock Star tracklist:

1. Rock Star (special guest Richie Sambora)
2. World on Fire
3. Every Breath You Take (feat. Sting)
4. Open Arms (feat. Steve Perry)
5. Magic Man (feat. Ann Wilson with special guest Howard Leese)
6. Long As I Can See The Light (feat. John Fogerty)
7. Either Or (feat. Kid Rock)
8. I Want You Back (feat. Steven Tyler with special guest Warren Haynes)
9. What Has Rock And Roll Ever Done For You (feat. Stevie Nicks with special guest Waddy Wachtel)
10. Purple Rain
11. Baby, I Love Your Way (feat. Peter Frampton)
12. I Hate Myself For Loving You (feat. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts)
13. Night Moves (feat. Chris Stapleton)
14. Wrecking Ball (feat. Miley Cyrus)
15. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (feat. P!nk & Brandi Carlile)
16. Keep On Loving You (feat. Kevin Cronin)
17. Heart Of Glass (feat. Debbie Harry)
18. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (feat. Elton John)
19. Tried To Rock And Roll Me (feat. Melissa Etheridge)
20. Stairway To Heaven (feat. Lizzo & Sasha Flute)
21. We Are The Champions
22. Bygones (feat. Rob Halford with special guests Nikki Sixx & John 5)
23. My Blue Tears (feat. Simon Le Bon)
24. What’s Up? (feat. Linda Perry)
25. You’re No Good (feat. Emmylou Harris & Sheryl Crow)
26. Heartbreaker (feat. Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo)
27. Bittersweet (feat. Michael McDonald)
28. I Dreamed About Elvis (feat. Ronnie McDowell with special guest The Jordanaires)
29. Let It Be (feat. Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr with special guests Peter Frampton & Mick Fleetwood)
30. Free Bird (feat. Ronnie Van Zant with special guests Gary Rossington, Artimus Pyle and The Artimus Pyle Band)

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock