“God knows I ain't no Elvis. There never will be another one, but I thought this might be fun.”
Advertisement
Dolly Parton Performs At The Dominion Theatre in London
Credit: Pete Still/Getty Images

Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley never managed to share a real-life stage, but, thanks to the Internet, we have the next-best thing. 

This week we became aware of a vintage Dolly moment that has since become one of our all-time favorites: her dead-on impersonation of The King. 

The incredible performance was featured in Dolly Parton: Live From London, an HBO special filmed at London's Dominion Theatre in 1983—six years after Elvis' untimely death.  

In a clip shared on Youtube (below), Dolly tells the crowd how she came to hone her Elvis impression as a young girl. 

"I'd get up on the hill above the barnyard and I'd pretend like I was Elvis," she said. "I thought about Elvis, had he been a woman, especially one like me. I'd have been on television, they'd have shot me from the neck up back then, right?"

After the laughter subsided, Dolly continued. 

"Well anyhow, this is sorta how I used to entertain them chickens and hogs and stuff," she said. "This is sorta how it looked. God knows I ain't no Elvis. There never will be another one, but I thought this might be fun. And he might be watching us. He might get a kick out of it." 

"This is how I pictured Elvis if he was a girl." Dolly said matter-of-factly.  

The country legend then seamlessly fits into character, hilariously curling her lip, stretching out her hips, warming up her shoulders, and getting her legs working before diving into "All Shook Up." 

In a 2021 cover story for W Magazine, Dolly shared the painful story of how she made the difficult decision to turn Elvis down in 1973. 

Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis' manager, reportedly asked for half of Dolly's publishing rights for "I Will Always Love You" in exchange for the late singer to record the song.

"I said, 'I'm sorry, but I can't give you the publishing.' I wanted to hear Elvis sing it, and it broke my heart—I cried all night," she recalled. "But I had to keep that copyright in my pocket. You have to take care of your business!"

Sadly, Elvis died suddenly at his Graceland estate in 1977. The King of Rock & Roll was just 42.

In a 1978 interview with Playboy, Parton was asked if she thought there would ever be another figure like Elvis.

"I don't think it will be soon," she said. "I don't think it will be anythin' you and me will ever see."