Dolly Parton, Dionne Warwick Go Deeper On ‘Peace Like A River’

Dolly Parton via YouTube
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Tresa Patterson

Naturally, Dolly Parton never meets a stranger. Regardless of whether the entertainment marvel and philanthropic force for good is in a corporate boardroom or on a familiar stage, Dolly Parton makes time to get to know the people behind and in front of the stage. With ease, the Tennessee treasure handles the adoration with hospitality to all, grown from her childhood roots in the Smoky Mountains. In turn, she asks her own warm questions, assuring that everyone in her sphere feels heard and seen. At 77, the 9 To 5 artist maintains a schedule far beyond office hours.

Country Music Alley captured all the excitement ahead of the release of Peace Like A River from first-time duet partners, Dionne Warwick and Dolly Parton.  Now, the affirming anthem is out for all to hear, as fans buzz with praise. As confirmed by Billboard, People per MSN, and Yahoo News,  the two legendary artists felt the presence of a higher power and a personal kinship straight from the start. Apparently, the result is divine beyond hitting perfect notes.

A business lunch brings delight to Dolly Parton and Dionne Warwick

Innately, Dolly Parton inherited a strong sense of indwelling faith from her mother, Avie Lee. Her reliance on the Bible was born of her father’s preaching and buttressed by her dreams and premonitions. Likewise, Dionne Warwick’s familial connection to gospel great Cissy Houston and her daughter, Whitney, lends its own kind of spirituality and credibility to Peace Like A River.

At first, however, Dionne describes that she and Dolly Parton had more intentions to talk hard business than heavenly matters.

“We were there to take care of our business,” the Walk On By singer insists. Warwick especially values that Dolly Parton is “very, very grounded,” and also “very business, which I happen to be about as well.”

Amidst the conversation, though, the incredible senior talents “found time to not only smile, but outright laugh,” Dionne recalls. For her part, Dolly Parton relates that the collaboration with Warwick is “one of the highlights of my career.” Clearly, this heavenward-reaching plea, set in song, has purpose in this hurting world, and in the hearts of the duet partners.

“She feels the world needs it,” Dionne Warwick speaks of Dolly Parton’s conviction regarding Peace Like A River. She added, “so do I.”  The backup singer turned superstar gushes over Parton’s “beautiful words to sing” and her honor in being chosen as the complementary voice on the track.

Not by coincidence, Dionne Warwick’s son and manager, Damon Elliott, produces Peace Like A River. He takes the same role for Warwick’s upcoming gospel collection, Songs of Inspiration. Naturally, the man behind the studio soundboard has his own thoughts about Dolly Parton.

What Damon Elliott thinks about Dolly

Surprisingly, Damon Elliott had to prove his worth as a producer to his famous mother. “I had to make sure he knew what he was doing,” Dionne Warwick confesses. She continued, “Had [my son] not honed his craft, he wouldn’t be working with me.”

Even so, Elliott felt the impact of Peace Like A River instantly upon listening to a rough demo from Dolly Parton’s longtime manager, Danny Nozell. Elliott has production credits with everyone from Beyoncé to Billy Ray Cyrus, Wynonna, and stellar songwriter, Diane Warren. Even considering that heady roster, though, Damon Elliott felt a definite, divine force from the first notes of the faithful ballad.

“I hadn’t heard Dolly record a song like this– in my mind—since I Will Always Love You,” Elliott assesses. The producer points to the “honest, straightforward power of the lyrics, delivered without all the country expectations.”

Wisely, Damon pitched that the song was perfect for a duet. The rest is history, and the song is reaping heavenly praises, too.

More and more music from Dolly

At 77 and 82, Dolly Parton and Dionne Warwick serve as marvelous role models for growing better and more creative with every year of life. Dolly is prepping for the release of her Rock Star album in the fall, backed by some of the best artists across genres. (We’re with Dolly on holding out for Mick Jagger.)

Prior to her passing, Olivia Newton-John sang with Dolly on a touching rendition of Jolene for a legacy album.

Speaking of a bevy of beautiful ladies with heavenly voices, Damon Elliott produces Dolly Parton, Belinda Carlisle, Debbie Harry, Cyndi Lauper, and Gloria Estefan in the playful offering, Gonna Be You, from the 80 For Brady soundtrack.

In the meantime, Dolly Parton, Dionne Warwick, and the rest of us take comfort from Dolly’s words to countless hearts, and reviews like the one from SCS on YouTube. “It’s not just a song, it’s [the] soul of Dolly and Dionne Warwick. Long live legends and stay down to earth.”

No one worries about Dolly Parton on that one…

Have you heard Peace Like A River? Leave your thoughts in the comments and keep up with Dolly Parton on Country Music Alley.

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