Dolly Parton Reveals When She 'First Became Aware of Kenny [Rogers]': Inside Their Friendship

Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers recorded a couple of hit duets together, notably “Islands in the Stream, “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” and “Real Love.” When singing together, they have a way of spreading the love they shared for each other to all those listening at home. Though many remember the pair for their heartwarming harmonies and merry melodies, their friendship extended far beyond their musical collaborations. Rogers died in March 2020, and Parton took the time to celebrate their decade-spanning friendship on social media. 

During an interview with PopCulture, Parton revealed when she first became aware of Kenny Rogers. Parton was initially drawn in by the man’s witty lyrics and soothing voice. 

Parton talks about ‘Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In’

Parton told PopCulture that she first discovered Rogers when he was “with a group called First Edition.” She said: 

I first became aware of Kenny when he was with a group called First Edition…I heard a song called “I Just Dropped In to See What Condition My Condition Was In.” I thought that was very clever, but I loved the sound of his voice and I kind of followed around to see who he was and got more involved in his music…

Written during the counterculture era by Mickey Newbury, the 1968 chart-topper was reportedly written to reflect the LSD experience — a warning about the dangers surrounding the drug. Though the tune clashed with Rogers’ later works, it helped put the artist on the map. 

Inside Parton and Rogers’ long friendship 

When Rogers died, Parton shared a video to mourn his death and celebrate the time they spent together. She said: 

I know that we all know Kenny’s in a better place than we are today, but I’m sure he’s going to be talking to God sometime today, if he ain’t already, and he’s gonna be asking Him to spread some light onto this darkness going on here…I loved Kenny with all my heart, and my heart’s broken.

Parton went on to note that, sometimes, you don’t realize how much someone matters to you until they’re gone. She shared in a caption:

You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone…I’ve had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend. So you be safe with God and just know that I will always love you, dolly. 

Parton and Rogers were friends from a very young age — when both were still climbing the ladder in the music industry, and their collaborations will forever be remembered. 

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