Actor and comedian Leslie Jordan has his priorities, and Dolly Parton is definitely one of them.
Jordan, who teamed with artists including Parton, Eddie Vedder, Tanya Tucker, Chris and Morgane Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Ashley McBryde, T.J. Osborne, Charlie Worsham and Katie Pruitt to make his gospel album “Company’s Comin,'” pestered Parton’s friend and employee Steve Summers for years for an introduction.
“I said, ’Please let me meet Dolly. Please,'” Jordan told Dave Cobb Southern Accents Radio on Apple Music Country.
Summers told him, “Well when the time is right, it’ll happen.”
Unfortunately, the time came when Jordan was recording with Tucker. Summers called and said Parton was at the studio and Jordan could come over. The comedian dropped Tucker like a hot potato.
“Well, I just left Tanya sitting,” he said. “I did. ’Bye Tanya, I’m off to see Dolly.'”
It was the peak of the pandemic, so when Jordan arrived at the studio to see Parton, he couldn’t hug her or remove his mask, but they bonded anyway.
“We sat down and glommed onto one another and didn’t shut up for about an hour,” he said. “And people say to me, ’Well, what’s she like?’ Well, you know exactly what she’s like. You know exactly. Dolly is Dolly. And I now get up in the morning, and I say to myself, if I have a problem, ’Well, what would Dolly do?'”
Throughout his conversation with Cobb, Jordan also talked about what it was like to work with Chris and Morgane Stapleton and how he asked Eddie Vedder to sing on his album.
“They’re such a wonderful couple and so giving to each other,” Jordan said of the Stapletons. “He said, ’I really think that Morgane should do this verse right here. And then he said, ’I’ll come in.’ Well, we got a horn section out of New Orleans that came … to come in right before he came in. And every time I hear it, I almost wet my pants.”
Jordan admitted he was nervous to ask Vedder to sing on his album. The rocker is a friend of a neighbor, and Jordan and Vedder met over dinner. After that, Jordan dove into his music.
“I just loved it,” Jordan said. “He’s a poet. So I asked him, and then we sent him a song that Danny Myrick and Travis Howard wrote for him, which turned out to be one of my favorites on the album. And then when he sent us his track of ’Above Me,’… oh, I just sobbed. I just sobbed. I count him as a friend. I count him as a good friend.”