Dolly Parton was one of several artists who joined Bee Gees member Barry Gibb on his new album, Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1, which was released earlier this month. The two collaborated on the Bee Gees' song "Words," and a new behind-the-scenes clip gives fans a look at making the new version of the track, starting with the pair harmonizing in the iconic RCA Studio B.
Greenfields celebrates the songwriting at the heart of the Bee Gees' music while giving Gibb the chance to work with artists he admires, and Parton told him that being featured was "a really big honor." "You are responsible for some of history for me," she said, referencing Gibb's hand in writing and producing her and Kenny Rogers' iconic duet "Islands in the Stream." Parton described "Words" as one of her "favorite Bee Gees songs ever" and told Gibb that she "couldn't get here fast enough" after he called her and asked her to join him on the remake.
"Words" was released in 1968 as a single and was written by Gibb with his late brothers, Robin and Maurice. "I've heard it for 40 years, but I never thought I was gonna ever sing it," Parton joked. Gibb reflected the camera, "I'm singing with Dolly Parton. I'm standing in the same spot she stood when she sang 'I Will Always Love You.' And 'Jolene'... that'll make the hairs stand on your neck."
Along with Parton, other artists featured on Greenfields include Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Jay Buchanan, Jason Isbell, Little Big Town, Sheryl Crow, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, and David Rawlings, Tommy Emmanuel, Olivia Newton-John, and Brandi Carlile. Dave Cobb produced the album, which was recorded in Nashville.
The Bee Gees may have been primarily known for their pop and disco hits. Still, Gibb described himself as a "country music freak" in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, crediting his son, musician Steve Gibb, for introducing him to new voices in the genre. "I just felt that country music was really what was inside me," he said. "[Steven] played me a Chris Stapleton track, and it just destroyed me. I thought, 'This is where I belong… This is a new era, and I'm no longer that other person. I can now follow what I love the most, which is real songs, country songs, bluegrass songs — I just love 'em. It's time to do what I love and not what everyone asks me to do.'"
Gibb added that working with Parton on "Words" "just gave me chills." "It was a thrill to be there," he recalled. "The pure joy of working with her again after 25 years, it was like, yesterday — she was no different. She's the most down to earth, sweet person I think I've ever met with the kind of success she's had. She does not take it for granted."