Dave and Chuck the Freak

Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon is the latest name confirmed for the upcoming rock album from country icon Dolly Parton.

Cronin talked about the collaboration during an appearance on Yahoo’s Totally ’80s podcast. He shared that he and Parton recorded a “dark duet” version of “Keep On Loving You.” The song is famously about Cronin finding out his first wife cheated on him before they got married.

“I get a call from Dolly, literally the other day … And she decides she wants to cover ‘’Keep on Loving You,'” begins Cronin. ” … When I wrote that song, I kind of portrayed myself as more of the good guy than perhaps I was. Perhaps it takes more than one snake in the grass, ‘all coiled up and hissing,’ to tango — if you catch my drift. That’s the reality of the song, you know?”

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He continued, “So, it gave me the idea that Dolly could sing the first verse, and in the first verse, I’m cheating on her. But then I take the second verse, and in the second verse, I go, ‘Oh yeah? Well, know all about those men!’ And so now, the song becomes this kind of dark duet — until it gets to the chorus, where they go, ‘I meant every word I said. When I said that I love you, I meant that I love you forever, Dolly.’”

Cronin added, “And I sing it in harmony. It just slays me, because that’s how the song was meant to be performed; I just didn’t realize it until Dolly called me the other day. So that’s how we’re doing it, and I’m just so stoked.”

Parton’s album aptly titled Rock Star is expected to come out in Fall 2023. She’s assembled quite the all-star guest lineup. In addition to Cronin, other guests confirmed for the album include Stevie Nicks, Paul McCartney, John Fogerty, Steve Perry and Steven Tyler.

“Keep On Loving You” is featured in our ranking of the best power ballads of all time. Keep on scrolling (see what we did there?) to see where it’s ranked!

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.