If you’ve never heard Dolly Parton‘s song “I Will Always Love You,” then chances are good you’ve been living under a rock! Okay, maybe that’s not true, but the song truly is iconic in American music.
Dolly originally released her recording of the song on June 6th, 1974. She had written it as a farewell to her longtime professional partner, Porter Wagoner. She performed it on the Porter Wagoner Show as a way to thank Wagoner for his partnership over the years, and she hoped it would help her to exit the show gracefully and on good terms with Wagoner.
The song didn’t smooth over all of Wagoner’s sorrows at losing Parton, but it did become a huge success on the country charts. It reached the top ten on the country charts in both the U.S. and Canada, but for this tune, that success was only the beginning.
In 1992, the legendary Whitney Houston released her own version of “I Will Always Love You,” and the song’s place in history was cemented as Houston’s recording shattered world records left and right. Just three months after its release, it was certified four times Platinum in the United States. This made Whitney Houston the first female artist in history to reach that milestone with a single.
Although the original Dolly Parton recording of “I Will Always Love You” holds a special place in the heart of country music fans, there’s no denying that Whitney Houston’s version is also incredible. It took Dolly’s heartfelt song to a brand new audience of listeners– one that spanned the entire world and multiple generations.
Listen to Dolly Parton’s version of “I Will Always Love You,” released on this day in 1974, below!