Two living legends are reuniting after 30 years.
For his latest album, country music singer Kenny Rogers has called on long-time friend Dolly Parton. The last time the two teamed up was in 1983 for their mega hit “Islands in the Stream”, which topped both the US pop and country singles charts. Rogers, who is 75, says he has always relied on his duet partners to improve his voice:
“I was expecting her to sing well, as she always does. I even told her, ‘Dolly, that’s awesome.’ And when you do duets, it’s a trick. What happens is you go in and you get the other person to sing and if they are better than you are, you go back and fix yours. So that’s what I did,” said Rogers.
Rogers asked his long-time songwriting partner Don Schlitz to write a duet that reflected their friendship. Schlitz’ first hit as a songwriter was Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” in 1978, which became one of Rogers’ signature songs. He went on to write numerous country hits.
“He took our lives and if you listen to things in there, like, ‘What am I going to do when you’re gone? Who’s going to finish the stories I start? The way you used to do?’ Dolly and I didn’t get teared up, but we really reflected a great deal on our relationship and the times we had together. I told her, ‘I don’t care if it is a hit song. I just like having our friendship recorded, documented.’”
Kenny Rogers’ new duet with Dolly Parton “You Can’t Make Old Friends” is out now. He is is currently on tour in the US.