You Can't Make Old Friends

Album: You Can't Make Old Friends (2013)
  • songfacts ®
  • This collaboration between Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton was recorded for the title track of Rogers' album, You Can't Make Old Friends. The two Country legends have recorded several duets together, most notably "Islands in the Stream," which topped both the Pop and Country charts in 1983.
  • The song was written by Ryan Hanna King, Caitlyn Smith and Don Schlitz (the latter wrote Rogers' #1 country hit, "The Gambler"). Rogers said it was an ideal tune for the pair to celebrate their long-standing friendship. "I can't think of a more perfect song for the two of us to sing together," Rogers said. "Out of everyone in the business, Dolly is my best friend, so naturally it has special meaning for the both of us. It was so good to be back in the studio with her. I'm thrilled to have our relationship documented this way."

    "There is just something about our chemistry with each other, our friendship, that people really sense what we really feel," Parton added. "To do a song that fits so many people, and certainly us, was an honor. It's been a wonderful journey, and I'm so glad I've been able to walk this road with Kenny."
  • Rogers told Billboard magazine that the song is one of the most emotional the pair have cut together. "It's very poignantly sad," he said, "I think. I love the song, but it deals very close to reality. Dolly told me 'I want you to know I can't sing at your funeral.' I told her 'So, you're assuming that I'm going to go first.' The more we did that song together, it just said some wonderful things like 'Who's gonna finish the stories I start the way you used to do?' With old friends, you know each other well enough to do that – to finish a story."
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