Along with the rest of the Share Your Love
album, the song was produced by Lionel Richie - they had previously teamed on Rogers' hit "Lady
." Richie is the one who decided "Through The Years" was a good fit for Rogers.
"Kenny was actually the third or fourth person that was approached with that song," co-writer Steve Dorff said in a Songfacts interview. "Barry Manilow and Mac Davis passed on it. Glen Campbell passed on it. Those were the notable ones. Lionel Richie had heard the song and loved it and played it for his people and that's how it happened. I got a phone call from Gene Page, that great arranger, who called me and said, 'Congratulations! We just cut your song with Kenny Rogers, and it sounds amazing.'"