Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lessons from Backwoods Barbie & the Gambler

Friday's Oprah guest was the one and only Dolly Parton. She was funny and charming and just so Dolly.

She told an amazing story about the time Elvis wanted to record "I Will Always Love You." She was over-the-moon excited, until Colonel Parker told her that Elvis wouldn't record the song unless Dolly gave them half her publishing. It had already been a hit for her, and she had decided to hold onto that song and leave it to her family.

Imagine what an amazing recording Elvis would have done of that song! We would still be downloading it today, debating its status as a 'classic.' Dolly admitted to crying for days after losing the cut, but her "no" meant that she got to keep her song. Years later, when Whitney Houston recreated "I Will Always Love You," Dolly got to celebrate full ownership of this awesome song.

Sometimes a "No" leads to a bigger "Yes."

As Dolly was singing, she brought out her friend, Kenny Rogers, for a surprise duet. When Oprah asked the secret to their great creative relationship, Kenny said something that all artists should take note of.

He said that every performer has 3 versions of themselves. There's the person the audience sees, there's the person we portray ourselves as, and there's the real us.

He said that if you really want success in the music industry, those 3 people need to be very similar. The closer those 3 people match up, the better it all seems to work.

I guess it all goes back to that word we love to throw around so much: Authentic.

Something to think about on a Friday afternoon...

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