Beyond songwriting, country music icon Dolly Parton is best known for her sweetness and positivity. The 74-year-old living legend is a famous philanthropist who often donates to good causes. It’s hard to imagine that Parton would ever have an unpleasant word for someone.
But in Parton’s recently released new memoir, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in the Lyrics (which she wrote with Ron K. Oerman), she explains that her relationship with her longtime songwriting partner, Porter Wagoner, was certainly not always sweet and easy. In fact, Parton and Wagner often fuck when they write together – especially when it comes to business matters.
Parton and Wagoner had professional train connections
Parton and Wagoner began working together in 1967, when she began appearing on The Porter Wagoner Show regularly. Soon they started writing together and the songwriting couple released several duet albums.
In her new memoir, Parton explains that she has actually taken the lead in many of the duo’s songwriting efforts, despite being newer in the business. Wagoner was not well known as a songwriter when they started working as a couple.
“Somehow I helped him get into this,” Parton explains, adding that she helped him with many songs for which she did not receive official credit.
But while Wagoner and Parton had professional chemistry, their relationship was often fulfilled.
“Sometimes it was easy, sometimes it wasn’t,” Parton wrote Song plate. “We both had a lot of heads.” She explains that she could never know if they were “too similar” or “too different” to understand each other.
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The duo began to clash more and more over the years
About her professional relationship with Wagoner, Parton wrote in her memoirs: “When we wrote together, it was sometimes fun, and sometimes it was based on whether we fought or not.” Although she will always be grateful to him and find “a lot of joy” in their work together, but over the years there have been many ups and downs.
The last song they wrote together was “Please Don’t Stop Loving Me,” in 1974 – their only duet to reach No. 1, ironically – and they fought more often at the time. than they understood each other.
Maybe the problem was that their cooperative relationship had just started. Parton had originally planned to write with Wagoner for five years, but by then it was about seven.
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Parton says Wagoner can be “aggressive”
According to Parton, Wagoner sometimes had a fickle temperament. He suspected that his domineering demeanor was somewhat gender-related, but he wasn’t going to back down.
“He had a bad temper, and when he caught fire, he caught fire,” Parton wrote Dolly Parton, Songteller. “But when he was in a good mood, he was happy.”
She adds that sometimes Wagoner even scared her when his temper flared.
“Porter was very aggressive in his temperament and tried to scare me,” said the 74-year-old. “I think he’s done it many times.”
Still, Parton explains, she didn’t want to be pressured “just because she was a girl.” And with her father and six brothers at home, she was “used to men.”
“I didn’t bend like some women, so I would just fight back,” Parton said.
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The country’s icon wrote “I will always love you” in honor of the end of her professional relationship with Wagoner
Over time, Wagoner wanted more control over Parton’s musical career. In her new memoirs, she claims that his professional jealousy has begun to affect their working relationships.
In the end, Parton decided it was finally time to spread her wings and pursue a full solo career on her own.
Naturally, the country singer gave up her partnership with Wagoner in the best way she knew how: with a song. She wrote the 1974 hit “I Will Always Love You” – now in the Grammy Hall of Fame – in an attempt to break free of control of Wagoner’s attempts.
Every text of this song, Parton explains, “comes straight from the bottom of [her] heart. “
“He was trying to control something that could not be controlled,” she writes of Wagoner, “and that made him unhappy and me unhappy.”
Wagoner himself produced the song – even telling Parton that it was “the best song she’s ever written” – and the couple continued to work together from time to time until they broke up forever in 1975.