Dolly Parton Wants to Cover Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page

"If I'm going to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I'm going to by God earn it!"

Photo (left): Sharon Steele

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Oct 28, 2022

Dolly Parton ended up changing her tune when it came to her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction earlier this year, and with a forthcoming rock album on deck, she now hopes to unite a pair of genre figureheads from Led Zeppelin for the effort.

In a new interview with Pollstar, Parton shared how a rock record is something she's always wanted to make, explaining, "My husband is a big hard rock 'n' roll fan, and for years I thought, 'One of these days I'd like to do an album mainly just for him, just to kind of do it.' When I got nominated [for the Hall of Fame], I thought, 'Why not just go ahead and do it while the iron's hot?'"

For the uninitiated, it's important to note that Parton is no stranger to the rocking world, having previously covered the likes of R.E.M., Collective Soul, Billy Joel and Blackfoot — all selections she says were recommended by husband Carl Dean.

However, one cover that reportedly ruffled Dean's rock sensibilities was Parton's take on Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," which appeared on her 39th solo album, 2002's Halos & Horns.

Parton now shares that for the forthcoming rock album, she's hoping to get Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Jimmy Page involved in a new recording that rocks a little harder than her last.

"I'm going to redo that really on the money," she said. "I did it kind of bluegrass-style when I did it [in 2002]; but when I do the rock album, I'm going to actually re-record it — and do it more true to the regular record. I'm trying to see if Robert Plant might sing on it. Maybe Jimmy Page might do the pick-up part on it."

Parton plans on "dragging in some of the great classic people, girls and boys, to sing on some of the songs," though the country icon admits she's "not far enough along to discuss who and what."

"I'm gathering all that stuff and notifying a few people. When I get levelled out from finishing the movie [Run, Rose, Run], hopefully I'm going to have a real good album. I'm looking forward to it."

It's not like Plant has made himself out to be incredibly busy lately, turning down Game of Thrones cameos and characterizing himself as the guy on the cover of Led Zeppelin IV.

Page and Plant last performed together in 2007, when the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited at a 2007 tribute concert in honour of longtime Atlantic Records exec Ahmet Ertegun. Here's hoping Parton can work her musical magic once again.

"I have to honestly say, I'm very grateful and honoured, but I'm also the kind of person — I had to do a rock album, because if I'm going to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I'm going to by God earn it!" Parton told Pollstar. "That's my attitude toward it. There's no way I'm not going to do an album, so people can see that I could and can do it."

Latest Coverage