Old Flames (Can't Hold a Candle to You)

Album: Dolly, Dolly, Dolly (1980)
  • This country chart-topper was co-written by American country singer-songwriter Hugh Moffatt, whose résumé includes songs recorded by Ronnie Milsap, Alabama and Johnny Cash. The other co-writer was former punk-rock singer Pebe Sebert, who later became a country songwriter. She later became better known as the mom of "TiK ToK" singer Kesha. Mother and daughter co-wrote three tracks from Kesha's 2010 album, Animal: "Your Love Is My Drug," "Stephen" and the title track.
  • Dolly Parton's version is actually a cover: the song was originally a #14 Country hit for Joe Sun in 1978. Dolly then took the tune to the top of the country charts in 1980.
  • In this song, Parton shares a glance with an ex, but instead of lighting that fire again, she lets it pass, since previous lovers can't compare to her current man.
  • Kesha, whose mom co-wrote it, considers this song "part of the family." She recorded for her 2012 EP Deconstructed, and in 2017 did it for her album Rainbow as a duet with Dolly Parton. "I have always looked up to Dolly," she said in an interview with NPR. "I always wanted to get a tattoo: 'What would Dolly do?' Because I always think about that whenever I'm in a situation or when I'm in an interview. She's just been such a positive compass for me in my career as a woman. The fact that I actually got to sing 'Old Flames' with her on this album is a really, really, really big deal for me."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Tim and his brother Richard are the Furs' foundation; Tim explains how they write and tells the story of "Pretty In Pink."

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New WordsSong Writing

Do you remember the first time you heard "email" in a song? How about "hater" or "Facebook"? Here are the songs where they first showed up.

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.

The End Of The Rock EraSong Writing

There are no more rock stars - the last one died in 1994.

Top American Idol Moments: Songs And ScandalsSong Writing

Surprise exits, a catfight and some very memorable performances make our list of the most memorable Idol moments.

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."