“I can’t explain it but flirting is more electric than passion, it’s the anticipation,” Rogers said. “She does it better than anybody I’ve ever seen, and it’s just fun. It’s fun to be in the room with her.”
Rogers asked songwriter Don Schlitz, who wrote “The Gambler,” to come up with a song he could sing with Parton that defined their relationship, and “Old Friends” was the result. There was no such premeditated planning for “Islands in the Stream.” The song, written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, would eventually become a No. 1 hit on both the pop and country charts.
The release this week of the new album kicks off an eventful month for the 75-year-old Rogers. He’ll be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Oct. 27.
“I’m in a wonderful place in my life,” Rogers said. “I’ve been married 16 years, been together for 21. I have two boys that are 9 years old that are just wonderful, and I’m still allowed to chase my dream a bit. What more do you need?”