In honor of the 50th anniversary of Dolly Parton’s iconic song, “I Will Always Love You,” Dollywood is kicking off the 2023 season with a themed celebration. From March 11 through April 8, guests will enjoy several musical guests at the DP Celebrity Theater.
I Will Always Love You Celebration
During the I Will Always Love You Celebration, each Saturday, guests at Dollywood will see a Celebrity Concert Series with performances by Natalie Grant; Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder; Jo Dee Messina; Larry, Steve & Rudy: The Gatlin Brothers; and Lauren Alaina. These concerts each week are included with admission to the park.
Each day, there will be a “Showstreet Songwriting Showcase,” where guests will hear from the people behind the songs. These will include songwriters, some of which are scheduled to perform during the festival. Among others, the showcase includes Dana Black, who wrote “Check Yes or No” and “Write this Down” for George Strait; Billy Montana, who wrote “Suds in the Bucket” for Sara Evans; and Steve Dean, who wrote “Walk On” for Reba McEntire.
Signature Dolly Parton
In true Dolly Parton fashion, Showstreet will be decorated with pink sequins glittering above the walkways, so there will be plenty of glamorous photo opportunities. There will be signature food and drinks at certain dining locations. Guests can buy limited-time “I Will Always Love You” 50th anniversary merchandise which includes clothing, hand-made items, and more.
About The Song “I Will Always Love You”
The song “I Will Always Love You” hit number 1 for Dolly Parton two different times: once when it was released in 1974 and again in 1982 when it was part of the soundtrack for the hit film, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. It was originally written as a form of a resignation letter from The Porter Wagoner Show when Parton started to pursue a solo career. Wagoner didn’t want Dolly to leave the show, so she showed her appreciation for all he had done for her in the song. As the story is told, the song convinced him to let her leave the show, but he had to produce her record. It was recorded in June 1973 and was officially released on her album Jolene in 1974.
The song has been sung by countless performers over the last 50 years. One of the most notable was Whitney Houston when it was covered for the 1992 film The Bodyguard. Houston won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1994 for the song, which also gained a Diamond certification.
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