Sixty years ago this month, the Louvin Brothers were climbing the charts with their first Top Ten hit, “When I Stop Dreaming.” Since that time, the heartbreaking tune has become one of most celebrated in Ira and Charlie Louvin’s repertoire, having been covered by dozens of acts including George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Glen Campbell (with Leslie Satcher for a 2001 Louvins tribute LP), Emmylou Harris, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash and Etta James, among many others.
The latest version of “When I Stop Dreaming” brings together two Hall of Fame-caliber vocalists: Don Henley and Dolly Parton. In the simple black-and-white video for the song from the rock icon’s upcoming solo country LP, Cass County, Henley takes the lead as Parton delivers impeccable Appalachian-laced harmony, wringing tears out of every note. Henley, whose work with the Eagles has somewhat typecast him as a product of the West Coast, brings to the tune, and to his new LP, the roots of his Texas upbringing.
“I’m associated with California a lot because of that other band that I play in, but I really and truly was born and raised in Cass County, Texas. I’m a Southerner and a Texan,” he explains. “I have ancestors in Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia. So this is a natural progression for me. It’s not me trying to do the ‘Don Henley country album.’ It’s who I am and where I come from.”
Cass County also features appearances from Miranda Lambert, Merle Haggard, Mick Jagger, Ashley Monroe, Alison Krauss and more. Henley will be on tour throughout the fall. Co-produced with former Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch, the LP will be released September 25th.