The Truth About Kenny Rogers’ Relationship With Dolly Parton

It seems impossible to think that there was a world pre-Parton and Rogers, but there was. According to The Atlantic, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers first met way back in the 1970s. At the time, she already had her own television show. It was — perhaps predictably — simply called “Dolly,” and Rogers was asked to do a guest appearance. Was it magic at first sight? Nope: “I was just another guest in the mix of her very busy schedule.”

Fast forward to 1983, and the Bee Gees. Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb had written a song called “Islands in the Stream,” and they needed someone to sing it. That person was initially Kenny Rogers, but when they started collaborating on it, they worked on it, and worked on it, and worked on it some more — without hitting that “wow!” moment — for so long that Rogers started to hate it. It was at that moment that Barry Gibb realized just what the song was missing, and she just happened to be a stone’s throw away from their Los Angeles recording studio. They called her, she was there in less than an hour, and the rest is, as they say, history.

Rogers would later write in his memoir: “I’ve lived through earthquakes in California, twisters in Kansas, and hurricanes in Georgia, but nothing prepared me for working with Dolly.”

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