Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton: Just Between You and Me

Porter Wagner and Dolly Parton...a love story.  Just Between You and Me was Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton's first duet album, released in early 1968, shortly after Parton joined Wagoner's band and became a regular on his weekly television show (and signed with RCA Records). She ended up leaving the popular TV show via acrimonious split with the host.  The album's single was a cover of Tom Paxton's "The Last Thing on My Mind," and the album and the single reached the top ten on the country albums and singles charts, respectively.  The title song, written by Jack Clement, had been a top-ten hit for Charley Pride earlier in 1967.  Parton originally wrote "Put it Off Until Tomorrow" for artist Bill Phillips. (She sang un-credited harmony vocals on his top-ten 1966 recording of the song.) Parton also sang the song solo on her 1967 debut album, Hello, I'm Dolly.  Regarding the day Porter  Wagoner died, Parton said she had "a premonition" that told her to go to his beside, where she sang to him during his final hours.  With his passing, a chapter in country music closed. And Parton, too, has said that a part of her died with Wagoner that October 2007, day.  Nevertheless, her biggest country hit remains an enduring tribute to the much-loved singer who was known for his Nudie suits and country-gospel sound.  Wagoner's role as a source of inspiration for Parton is now documented not only via Doralee, but famously so in a country song she wrote in 1973 - I Will Always Love You.  Released in '74, the single was written as a bitterweet farewell to sidekick Wagoner.  Parton recorded it three times, and three times it's been a country-radio hit.  Aside from being named the No. 1 song on Country Music Television's 100 Greatest Country Love Songs in 2004, the track was recorded in 1992 by pop artist Whitney Houston, whose version became one of the best-selling singles of all time and the best-selling single ever by a female artist.

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