My title today might suggest a heretofore unreported menage a trois, but what I'm really referring to is the song "I Will Always Love You," which ties these three unlikely people together.
This dramatic and popular song has been in the news quite a bit lately because it was arguably Whitney Houston's greatest hit.
Though the lyrics indicate that the breakup referred to is a romantic one, the song, written by Dolly Parton back in 1973, grew out of her business split with country singer Porter Wagoner who had given Dolly her start. When she was promoting her movie, "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," Dolly told the LA Times that during the seven years she was part of his show, Porter was pretty much a male chauvinist pig, not that he was harassing her, but that he was strong willed and the absolute boss of the show and wouldn't tolerate any intervention on her part.
Later after they had reconciled, Porter said this:
"Dolly had reached the point where she was ready to go out on her own," he says. "That was something we both had worked toward. But then, the lawyers got involved — and whenever that happens, they stir things up....
"We had it in writing that once she left, it was time for me to be paid for some of the things I'd done for her," he says.
Five years after Dolly left, Porter sued her. He claimed payments had not been made. Dolly later said she thought the payments had been made. The two settled out of court the following year. Time helped heal the wounds, and today they speak kindly about each other."
An album was released in 1980 which was part of their settlement. "Porter and Dolly" was the title and it included mostly unreleased tracks that the two performers had cut during the time she worked with Porter. That's the cover below. "I Will Always Love You" is not on this album.
Whitney Houston's cover came out in 1994 and spent 14 weeks at #1 and garnered her the record of the year and best female pop vocal performance award.
If you're interested in learning several other things about this song that you might not know, check out this site. To whet your appetite, Saddam Hussein is involved in one of them.
Here's Dolly's version.