Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers have been the best of friends for 30 years, working together on some of country’s most iconic duets along the way. In Kenny & Dolly: An Intimate Conversation, premiering Monday, December 9 at 9/8c on Great American Country, the pair candidly interview each other.
“I have a fantasy,” Kenny says to Dolly. “I want to come see you when you’re in sweat pants and tennis shoes.” Dolly, however, makes it a point to never been seen without her signature hair, makeup and rhinestone-covered outfits. “Maybe in another life,” she responds.
The humorous exchange is one of many in the special. In a relaxed setting, the pair chat about their friendship, chemistry and the fact that while they aren’t getting any younger, only one admits to getting older. The special also includes archival photos and videos from throughout their friendship and careers.
“To bring viewers a truly unique and remarkable chat between these amazing artists is incredible in and of itself,” Suzanne Gordon, vice president of programming for Great American Country, said. “What makes this even more personal is that it isn’t moderated. You have these performers who transcend genre and category, who are larger-than-life figures in American pop culture, just sitting together and having a conversation. It’s really special. And it’s perfect for Great American Country.”
Kenny and Dolly first worked together 30 years ago while recording “Islands in the Stream.” The song topped both the country and pop charts and their professional relationship grew to include touring and a second No. 1 hit, “Real Love.” “There was just something about our chemistry,” Dolly said. “People really sensed it.”
Their new duet, “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” seems to have been written just for them. “When I heard the demo I cried because I thought so much about us and so much of many of my other dear friends,” Dolly said. “For me it’s not important for this to be a hit song but it’s important historically to have it on tape,” Kenny added.
Often asked what the secret is to their long friendship, Dolly sums it up: “It’s like with my husband; we’re not together that much so it works.”