Music Series: I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton (& cover by Whitney Houston)
Trying to do some music imagine requests this weekend. My mind just hasn’t been functioning well this week, so please forgive me for being quiet. Thank you to this Anon and all of the rest who have placed Music Series requests, and waited so patiently for me to consider them. Although I still can’t fulfill every single one of them, my goal is to get through my current queue, so I hope you enjoy what I bring to the table.
This is “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton. I’ve include a link for the Whitney Houston version too because it is beautiful. I remember watching an interview with Dolly a few months ago on a show that I like that interviews songwriters, and what she had to say about this song was quite interesting. You can find the song on Spotify at this LINK. xo
You have no idea how excited I am about this request!
My sweet daddy, God rest his soul, miss him every day, was a huge classic country music fan. (My mama, whom I also miss dearly, was all about christian music, so Jesus and Ford pickups were sung about often in our home.) My favorite memory of an early Saturday morning when I was a kid, was hearing my daddy’s radio blasting from his workshop, hearing him hum and sing along loudly to the songs while he “tinkered around”. We had a huge 2 ½ story home, and I could hear him all the way upstairs through my bedroom windows. So an old song like this makes me smile and tear a bit.
And when I saw it was this song in particular, I loved it even more, because one of my favorite musical groups recently collaborated with Dolly Parton and even won a grammy with this song! (Love me some Pentatonix, and they are AMAZING live!)
Why do you think Hello Dolly FAILED so hard? Like, it is one of my favorite musicals of all time, unironically.... I'm being serious!! I actually had no idea it caused The Great Musical Movie Collapse of the 20th Century. But why is it so hated?
Well, I wasn’t being completely fair to Hello, Dolly! - it was Hello, Dolly! … among a series of other things. The biggest problem being The Sound of Music and to a lesser extent, Mary Poppins.
I’ll try to keep this concise.
Movies were not promoted in the early 1960′s the way they are today. Back then they had this thing called a Roadshow, which took the film on the road before wide release and made the movies a prestige event akin to a Broadway show. Obviously, not ALL movies got this treatment, and this treatment was hugely expensive. At a point in time it wasn’t a huge gamble, because the studios owned all of the theaters, but in the 1950′s anti-trust laws changed all that, so by the early 1960′s, it was officially an investment.
See, the big 1950′s style Rodgers and Hammerstein style musicals were also on the way out - it was a weird time for film and culture in general. You had films like Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate and In The Heat of the Night revolutionizing what audiences wanted to see, and that *type* of musical was a symbol of the old guard.
Then came The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, a movie which *did* get the roadshow treatment, despite Disney being at the time one of the smaller studios (and smallEST distributors) not owning any theaters and never having done a roadshow before. Both of these films were massive successes, so massive that suddenly it looked like that wisdom that the old guard musical was on its way out didn’t seem so wise, and the musical got revived in a big way and flooded the market.
Thing is, The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins were probably the exceptions and not the rule, in no small part due to the huge popularity of their stars (Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, and Christopher Plummer) - the popularity of that style of musical WAS on its way out, and the roadshow was destined more to bankrupt studios than promote movies (which is why roadshows are now firmly a thing of the past).
The result was the second half of the decade seeing a serious of financial disasters that were years in the making and hugely expensive, including but not limited to Hello, Dolly!, Doctor Doolittle, and Camelot. Hello, Dolly! gets perhaps more than its fair share of credit for the demise of the big Hollywood musical because it came towards the end of that Sound of Music-fueled trend, but it had its share of problems as well. Streisand, like Andrews before her, was hugely popular and bankable, but she was wildly miscast as Dolly Levi (she was only 25 at the time playing a post-menopausal widow), and her chemistry with a curmudgeonly old Walter Matthau was awkwardly nonexistent. But Hello, Dolly! gets the blame because it was the last gasp, and that was the end of that.
i’m so sorry i’ve been so inactive! i’m getting my vfd tattoo relatively soon, and before i do, i have decided to reread the series for the 5729274 time. i hope all my volunteers are doing great, love you guys!
here’s a bad beginning quote for you guys <3
“The way sadness works is one of the strange riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain, but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire. You might find it difficult to see anything but your own sadness, the way smoke can cover a landscape so that all anyone can see is black. You may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down”