Dolly Parton Says Priscilla Presley Musical 'May Still Be in the Works'

Dolly Parton's legacy has expanded to a number of new avenues this year, and the country music icon may explore one more sometime in the future. During a recent interview with Sounds Like Nashville, Parton revealed that she had been approached to work on music for a musical telling the life story of Priscilla Presley, and while the singer didn't have any details to share about the project, she did note that it's not totally off the table.

"We were thinking about writing a musical about her story," she said. "I think that may still be in the works somewhere, but she had been interested in maybe me writing the music for it, so I had gone to meet her." Parton also reflected on the fact that she famously turned down Elvis Presley when he wanted to record her song "I Will Always Love You" because his manager wanted Parton to relinquish her publishing, a decision that ultimately made her millions of dollars.

"In that process of us talking I said, 'One of my greatest disappointments is that I didn't get to hear Elvis sing 'I Will Always Love You,' but I couldn't give up my publishing,'" she recalled of her conversation with Priscilla. "She said, 'Oh, he loved that song. When we divorced, when we were coming down the steps from the courthouse, he was singing 'I Will Always Love You.' That made me chill all over, that was so sweet. I was so happy she told me that."

Parton originally recorded "I Will Always Love You" in 1973 and reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart twice before Whitney Houston recorded a version that was used on the soundtrack for 1992's The Bodyguard and went on to become one of the best-selling singles of all time.

"That's just the gift that keeps on giving, that song," Parton said. "Elvis almost recorded it. I kept hold of my publishing and I cried my eyes out because Elvis didn't get to do it. It was his manager that said he had to publish it if he did it and I wouldn't let him have publishing. That one has so many stories and so many heart wrenching things, and so many memories. I have to say that revisiting that was more moving to me."


The 74-year-old looked back on "I Will Always Love You" and a number of her other songs for her new book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, which includes the stories behind some of her biggest hits as well as photos, memorabilia and more. You can buy Songteller on Amazon here. editors choose the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.