September 26, 2014 9:28 am
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Lost & Found: Dolly Parton – “Peace Train”

In 1997, Country music icon Dolly Parton turned her attention to the dance floor when she released the single “Peace Train”, which was originally recorded by acclaimed singer-songwriter and notorious homophobe Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) in 1971.

Dolly says she wanted to record the song for years but couldn’t find the right sound. “Then I was watching TV,” she told Billboard in a 1997 interview, “and this Lifesavers commercial came on, and I heard these beautiful rich voices. It was exactly the world sound I wanted. I called [producer Steve Buckingham] and told him to find them, whoever it was. It turned out to be a perfect blend. I was going to record that song regardless of what album I did, because of the shape the world’s in.”

According to The Advocate, Dolly releasing “Peace Train” caused some controversy at the time, as royalties went to Cat Stevens, who is an Islamic fundamentalist. Despite this, thanks to an army of top-notch mixes from Junior Vasquez, Julian Marsh, Joey Moskowitz and Paul Andrews, “Peace Train” could be heard blaring through the speakers at gay clubs across America. The music video for “Peace Train” was directed by Madonna’s brother, Christopher Ciccone, who also directed videos for his sister, Tony Bennett and Lonnie Gordon.

Hearing “Peace Train” instantly transports me back to a time in my life when all that seemed to matter was having a good time with my friends. It will always be one of my favorites.

Dolly has recently been talking about recording another dance album. During a July press conference, Dolly said: “I would like to do a dance record. I have a song called Just a Wee Bit Gay. It’s a great little dance tune – it’s funny and it’s got a lot of comic in it. I do write a lot of songs along those lines with people that are different and are just themselves.” Only time will tell, but I would love to have another Dolly Parton dance record!

1997 Joey Moskowitz Julian Marsh Junior Vasquez Paul Andrews

About Jared Braden

I'm Jared Braden, the man behind this website. I can usually be found hanging out on Twitter tweeting random thoughts and ideas. If you're on Facebook, you can find me there, too! I love to hear from my readers, so if have any ideas, suggestions, requests or just want to talk music, please feel free to send me an email at jaredbraden(at)outlook.com.
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