Dolly Parton on Getting Skynyrd, But Not Zeppelin on Her Rock Album
Dolly Parton will finally release her rock album, Rockstar, this Friday (Nov. 17). The album features a lengthy and eclectic mix of rockers on the album, some of whom are no longer with us.
Among the guests on Rockstar are the late singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Parton’s album features a cover of the Skynyrd classic “Free Bird.” On that cover is Van Zant’s vocal track. Parton told Classic Rock that she received permission from Van Zant’s widow to use his vocals on the cover.
Parton said, “She wouldn’t allow Lynyrd Skynyrd to do it, but she said: ‘I’ll do it for Dolly!’ … We had already recorded it, but his phrasing was so simple that they just dropped his vocal in.”
As for Rossington, he recorded his guitar track just before he died in March at age 71.
Unfortunately, Parton wasn’t able to get Robert Plant and Jimmy Page together for her cover of “Stairway to Heaven.” She told Consequence that she tried to get Plant and Page to come on board for the album, but to no avail. However, Parton had quite the consolation prize saying, “I got Ringo [Starr] and Paul [McCartney], so I’m proud about that.” (Starr and McCartney appear on Parton’s cover of “Let It Be.”)
The album features a staggering 30 tracks, with nine original songs and 21 covers of some of rock’s most iconic hits. Among the cover songs are The Rolling Stones’s “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” Prince’s “Purple Rain” and more.
In a statement on the album, Parton said, in part, “I am very honored and privileged to have worked with some of the greatest iconic singers and musicians of all time and to be able to sing all the iconic songs throughout the album was a joy beyond measure.”