Dolly’s big break came when she was featured on Porter Wagner’s popular TV show. He made her promise to stay with him for five years. She stayed for seven and wrote I Will Always Love You to break the news to him that she was going off on her own. He asked her to let him produce the song, which she agreed to, then later sued her for $1,000,000. It was a real life A Star is Born situation. Although their relationship suffered due the lawsuit, as years passed and Wagner’s fortunes declined while Dolly’s soared, she often looked for ways to provide him with an income stream. They had fully reconciled by the time of his death.
Dolly and Kenny Rogers had a musical partnership that spanned three decades, produced a number of hits, and gained them a reputation as America’s Sweethearts, even though they were never linked romantically.
Dolly also teamed up with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt to make a powerhouse trio rivalling The Highwaymen (Willy Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson). Hey, why didn’t they ask Bonnie Raitt to join them?
It happens to the best of us, but watch Linda and Emmylou age while Dolly stays the same.
More recently, Dolly partnered up musically with Barry Gibb of the BeeGees. Here they are at a work session recording this Bee Gees classic, Words.
Through it all Dolly has been married to this successful, but low-profile, man, Carl Thomas Dean. Their marriage has lasted more than 57 years. They have no children