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Nov 13, 2019

It takes an extremely strong song to top the charts three separate times in three separate decades, but "I Will Always Love You" is just such a song.

Written and recorded (twice) by Dolly Parton and then re-recorded in show-stopping fashion by Whitney Houston, the ballad has morphed from a fond farewell to a former mentor, to a theatrical goodbye to a lover, to a soaring ode to the very notions of love and loss. We follow that journey from the beginning, with all the vocal tricks, dramatic line-readings, and epic key changes that were added along the way.

Band/Artist: Dolly Parton & Whitney Houston

Albums: Jolene (1974), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), and The Bodyguard soundtrack (1992)

Composed by: Dolly Parton

Listen/Buy (Jolene): Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify

Listen/Buy (TBLWIT): Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify

Listen/Buy (The Bodyguard): Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify

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ALSO DISCUSSED/FEATURED:

  • The sensational new WNYC podcast Dolly Parton's America
  • "The Last Thing On My Mind" by Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner
  • "Applejack" by Dolly Parton from New Harvest...First Gathering, 1977
  • "Let It Go" from Frozen performed by Idina Menzel

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OUTRO SOLOIST: Dan Nervo

Mr. Dan Nervo has the tiller for this episode's outro solo. Dan plays guitar all around the San Francisco Bay Area in bands like Neon Velvet, and also teaches private guitar lessons. Hit him up if you want to get really good at guitar: https://www.facebook.com/DanNervoGuitarLessons/

ONE 'GRAM AT A TIME

If you're interested in occasional music and Portland-related photos and videos, follow Kirk on Instagram @kirk_hamilton. https://www.instagram.com/kirk_hamilton/

NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST

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STRONG PLAYLISTS

You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music.

SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON!

The biggest of thank-yous to all of Strong Songs's Patreon patrons. If you want to support Kirk making the show, do so here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs

NOVEMBER 2019 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS (Thank you!!)

andrew walters
CALEB ROTACH
Chad Barnard
Dan Apczynski
Dave Florey
Glenn
Jared Norris
Mark Schechter
Merlin Mann
Ryan Torvik

NOVEMBER 2019 HALF-NOTE PATRONS

Alex Singer
Alexander Polson
Amanda Furlotti
Andre Bremer
Andrew Baker
Andrew Lee
Arjun Sharma
Bill Thornton
Brett Douville
Brian Amoebas
Brooke Wilford
Chas Lednicky
Chris Brown
Cyrus N. White
David Stroud
Earl Lozada
Eero Wahlstedt
Elliot Jay O'Neill
Emily Williams
FlSHBONES
Forrest Chang
Jaehoon Jeong
James Johnson
Jasmine Fellows
Jeffrey Olson
Jennifer Bush
John and Sharon Stenglein
Jon O'Keefe
joujou
Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua
Jules Bailey
Justin Liew
Justin McElroy
Kate Albury
Kevin Morrell
Kevin Pennyfeather
Kingy
Matt Gaskell
Max Schechter
Melanie Stivers
Michael Blackwell
Miriam Juskowicz
Molly
Mueller
Nate from Kalamazoo
Nicholas Schechter
Richard Toller
samuel gardner
Shane DeLeon
Shaun Wiese
SP
Tanner Morton
Tim
Tom Clewer
Tom Lauer