The country legend reflects on their popular duet “Islands in the Stream,” saying, “I would always brighten up when that particular song came due in the repertoire.”
Even though it has been over three years since Kenny Rogers passed away, his close friend and musical collaborator Dolly Parton continues to miss him.
Parton, 77, expresses to PEOPLE in a new interview how much she misses her close buddy, who passed away in March 2020 at the age of 81 from natural causes. “In the last several years, I’ve lost a lot of amazing folks. But during all the years that Kenny and I performed together on stage, he was a very, very important and precious person to me.”
“Islands in the Stream,” the powerful duet that earned the duo a No. 1 success on the pop charts in 1983, is one of the tunes that Parton cites as one of her favourite memories of singing with Rogers.
She asks with a grin about “Islands in the Stream,” written by Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, “You know how sometimes you grow weary of singing something because it just becomes routine.” “But every time the song was scheduled to be played, I would start to smile. Everyone in the crowd liked singing it, and it just always made them feel happy. The voice of Kenny never grew old on me.”
“You Can’t Create Old Friends,” a touching song about the ongoing relationship between the two country music superstars, was written by Ryan Hanna King, Don Schlitz, and Caitlyn Smith, and it was recorded by Parton and Rogers in 2013.
Parton comments on the fact that Rogers officially retired in 2018 due to health issues, saying, “[We recorded the song] just in time too, honestly.” And I can scarcely sing it anymore.
The song’s message has never, in Parton’s opinion, rang more true than it does right now.
Parton says in an interview promoting her new brand of box mix that while you may meet new friends that seem like old friends, there is simply something special about those who have spent years together. Treatments from Duncan Hines. “You both learn more about one another’s past and current lives. Kenny and I were close friends. We are very similar. In a way, we resemble a brother and sister.”
She takes a long, deep breath.
She whispers, “He’s up there singing.” It is something I am aware of.