Ronnie Milsap searches for Dolly Parton in the "Smoky Mountain Rain"

Riser House RecordsCountry Music Hall of Famer Ronnie Milsap re-imagines some of his biggest hits on his new album The Duets, with the help of other big names like George StraitLuke BryanJason AldeanLittle Big Town, and more.

But one of his number ones from 1980 gets what might be the biggest reinvention of all. For “Smoky Mountain Rain,” Milsap enlisted the original Smoky Mountain girl herself, Dolly Parton, and encouraged her to alter its perspective.

In the classic version, it’s simply a man telling his story. On the new track, Dolly takes on the role of the romantic partner who’s reacting to what he’s saying.

“She has a studio,” Ronnie tells Entertainment Weekly, “and she sent a version of [the song] and I said, ‘Why don’t you call her back and tell Dolly to take liberty to rewrite it to where she is the girl that I’m looking for in the Smoky Mountain rain,’ and she did it.”

“She’s a great songwriter,” he adds, “so she knew how to twist it that way.”

You can hear Ronnie and Dolly’s new take on “Smoky Mountain Rain,” when The Duets comes out next Friday, January 18.

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