Kenny Rogers died peacefully in hospice care at his Atlanta home at age 81 on March 21, leaving the world with iconic music. “The Gambler” did not only have legendary solo music but many duets with fellow country singer Dolly Parton.
Their decades-long friendship started with “Islands in the Stream,”which was released in 1983 and was a No. 1 crossover hit. They also recorded a Christmas album, 1984’s “Once Upon A Christmas,” which included several duets and was released at the same time of their CBS special, “Kenny & Dolly: A Christmas to Remember.” Their last duet was 2013’s “You Can’t Make Old Friends.”
“Everybody always thought we were having an affair,” Rogers said in a 2013 interview. “We just flirted with each other for 30 years, you know. But it keeps the tension.”
“Kenny’s friendship means more to me than our hit records. Actually, we’re kind of like soul mates,” Parton said in 2017. “He’s from Texas and I’m from Tennessee. There’s an old famous country song, ‘T for Texas, T for Tennessee.’ We always sing that to each other. I love his singing. I love his voice. I never tire of hearing him sing. And I think our voices blend great, so I’m really proud of the musical part of that as well.”
Take a listen to some of Parton and Rogers’ duets below.
“Islands in the Stream” (1983)
“A Christmas to Remember” (1984)
“Christmas Without You” (1984)
“The Greatest Gift of All” (1984)
“Once Upon a Christmas” (1984)
“I Believe in Santa Claus” (1984)
“Real Love” (1985)
“Love is Strange” (1990)
“You Can’t Make Old Friends” (2013)
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.