Dolly Parton has accomplished many wonderful things over her lengthy career. In addition to creating and singing innumerable iconic songs, she has donated over 100 million books to children in need, supported research that resulted to the COVID vaccine, and established her own popular amusement park.
Now, as she returns to the studio for her upcoming record, Parton will attempt to accomplish the impossible: reuniting Led Zeppelin.
Parton says she wants to reunite Robert Plant and Jimmy Page to perform “Stairway to Heaven” with her on her new album, and if anyone can pull it off, it’s Dolly Parton.
Dolly Parton: Rock and Roll Album
The “9 to 5” vocalist, well known for her distinctive country pop songs, is presently working on a rock and roll album.
The genre-shifting endeavor was initially revealed when Dolly was nominated for membership into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Some questioned whether Parton, despite her abilities, was appropriate for the hall celebrating rock music — and she agreed.
Parton denied the nomination because she did not want to take votes away from someone more deserving, and while she was “extremely flattered and grateful to be nominated,” she did not feel she had “earned that right.”
However, she hinted at a potential plunge into rock and roll music that may make her “worthy” in the future: “This has inspired me to put out a hopefully great rock ‘n’roll album at some point in the future, which I have always wanted to do!”. Parton wrote.
Despite her humble protests, Parton remained on the list, was voted in by fans, and will be inducted next year. And, still driven to establish her true worth as a “rock and roll” performer, Parton has began to realize her ambition of recording a rock album.
“I had always wanted to do it,” she explained in an interview with Pollstar. “My husband is a big hard rock ‘n’ roll fan, and for years I thought, ‘One of these days, I’d like to do an album primarily for him, just to kind of do it.'” When I was nominated, I thought, ‘Why not take advantage of the situation while it is still favorable? Maybe some of the greats, the titans of rock ‘n’ roll, can sing along with me.”
Parton has a very big ambition for this new album: reuniting Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to re-record their most famous song, “Stairway to Heaven.”
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are best recognized for their roles as lead vocalists and guitarists in the renowned rock band Led Zeppelin, one of the most successful, influential, and revered bands in rock & roll history.
While fans have been begging for more Zeppelin for decades, the band has been formally disbanded since 1980, with the death of drummer John Bonham being cited as the primary cause.
The band’s remaining members have only performed together once, during a sold-out 2007 benefit event in honor of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. The concert was well-received, and the bandmates showed interest in a complete reunion; however, Plant declined, and discussions about a Zeppelin reunion have stagnated.
“We’re 41 years into it now,” Plant told Mojo News in 2021. “The conversation doesn’t really go on now, because that spaceship has [departed].”
But if anybody can alter their minds and bring the members of Led Zeppelin back in the studio, it’s Dolly Parton, who wants Plant and Page to appear on her new album, supporting her own rendition of “Stairway to Heaven.”
“I’m trying to see if Robert Plant will sing on it.” “Maybe Jimmy Page will do the pick-up part,” Parton suggested.
Page and Plant haven’t performed together since 2007. It’s unclear how serious Parton’s proposal is, how it would be implemented, or whether she intends to incorporate the band’s other live members as well.
But it appears like Parton is totally committed to taking on “Stairway to Heaven,” a rock classic with which she already has some experience.
She covered the song on her album Halo and Horns, reimagining it as a country ballad with bluegrass guitar:
But with her new album, she intends to restore the song to its hard rock and roll roots, with a fresh version that is true to the original.
“When I do the rock album, I’m going to actually re-record it – and do it more true to the regular record,” Parton said in an interview with Pollstar.
In addition to Page and Plant, Parton hopes to have more guest performers on her album: “I’m looking forward to bringing in some of the great classic people, girls and boys, to sing on some of the tunes. I’m not far enough along to say who or what, but I’m planning to make an album.”
We’d love to hear a collaboration between Dolly Parton and Led Zeppelin; it sounds like many music fans’ fantasy come true. We’re hoping Dolly can get the band into the recording studio!
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