The Last Song Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner Wrote Together Was Their Only No. 1 Hit
Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner made up one of country’s most beloved duos. Though many of their songs are considered fan-favorites, they only ever had one official No. 1 hit. And it happened to be the last song they ever wrote together.
‘Please Don’t Stop Loving Me’
“‘Please Don’t Stop Loving Me’ is one that Porter and I wrote together, and it’s a very commercial song,” Parton wrote in her 2020 book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics.
The song was released on the Porter ‘n’ Dolly LP in 1974 just after Parton had quit The Porter Wagoner Show.
“All of the things that he and I wrote together were bits and pieces of what our relationship had been —the good, the bad, the indifferent, and the different,” she wrote. “That one happened to be the very last thing we did together, and it was the one that went to No. 1. That’s kind of ironic, ain’t it?”
How Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner wrote songs together
Parton and Porter had a tense relationship. That dynamic spilled over into their songwriting.
“Porter and I used to write together,” the “Jolene” singer wrote. “Sometimes it was easy, sometimes not. We were both very bullheaded. Maybe we were too much alike, or maybe we were too different, I never quite figured that one out.”
Even before she joined The Porter Wagoner Show, Parton had plenty experience songwriting. But Wagoner… not so much.
“When I met him, Porter was not known as a writer,” she wrote. “I kind of helped him get into that. I was writing so much and getting a lot of attention, so I started helping him with his writing.”
Dolly Parton didn’t always get credit on the songs she helped Porter Wagoner write
Wagoner took to songwriting well, but he had plenty of help from the “9 to 5” singer. Even still, she didn’t always get credit.
“Porter had a great ear for music, and he did write some great songs,” wrote Parton. “I helped with a lot of them that don’t have my name on them. But I was happy to do it, because he had done so many things for me. When we wrote together, sometimes it was fun and sometimes it would be based on whether or not we were fighting.” (They fought frequently.)
Since then, Parton’s made a point to only write with people she enjoys collaborating with.
“We had our ups and downs, like all writers do,” she wrote. “I usually don’t write with other people if it’s not fun. In fact, I haven’t co-written with many people at all.”