Presley had apparently loved the song and expressed interest in recording a cover, but Parton revealed in a new interview with BBC Radio 2 why it never materialised.
Parton explained that her decision wasn’t because of Presley, but rather because of a conflict with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
“‘I wouldn’t let Colonel Tom Parker [have the rights to the song],” she clarified. “Elvis loved it. I talked to Priscilla not very long ago – she said, ‘Elvis sang it to me when we were on the courthouse steps after we got divorced’.
“‘He loved the song and wanted to do it. Had it worked up. They’d already called me to come down to the studio and to hear part of the song.
Dolly Parton reveals why Elvis never recorded a cover of “I Will Always Love You” 👀 Listen to When Sally Met Dolly on BBC Sounds, just search for Claudia Winkleman’s show. 🎧 #dollyparton #elvis #dolly #elvispresley #sallytraffic #bbcradio2 #radio #interview
However, the night before, Parker called Parton and said he wouldn’t do anything with Presley unless he had the publishing rights, and when Parton refused to give up the copyright for the song, he said he couldn’t agree to her terms.
‘I Will Always Love You’ reached new levels of popularity when Whitney Houston recorded her own version in 1992 for the film The Bodyguard.
Parton is currently gearing up to release her 49th solo album ‘Rockstar’, which will be released in November and will feature nine original songs and 21 covers of rock classics including Prince‘s ‘Purple Rain’, The Rolling Stones‘ ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ and many more.