This song came to the attention of Dolly Parton after Donna Summer sang it on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
. Summer was supposed to sing "MacArthur Park
," which was her current hit, but that song required a complex arrangement that was beyond the scope of the Tonight Show
band. So Summer instead sang "Starting Over Again
," using her showcase to perform a song she wasn't planning to record. She told Sudano that if she sang it on the show, maybe his parents would get back together. Unfortunately, the Lifetime movie ending was not to be and they stayed divorced. But the next day, Dolly Parton's people called to ask about the song. Nobody had recorded it yet, so Parton became the first.