Dolly Parton is an acclaimed singer, yet few outside the country music world know her as a songwriter. If she had never sung a note, she'd be a rich woman for a little tune called "I Will Always Love You." Dolly recorded the song and took it to #1 in 1974 and then again in 1982. And you probably remember how well it did in 1992 when Whitney Houston sang it in the movie The Bodyguard. But when the song was still fresh, she was approached by one Colonel Tom Parker about Elvis Presley recording the song she wrote. Dolly said no.
Why did Dolly turn down the offer? According to Wikipedia:
When the 1974 recording of the song was reaching number one on the country charts, Elvis Presley indicated that he wanted to cover the song. Parton was interested until Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, told her that it was standard procedure for the songwriter to sign over half of the publishing rights to any song Elvis recorded. Parton refused. She recalls:
I said, 'I'm really sorry,' and I cried all night. I mean, it was like the worst thing. You know, it's like, Oh, my God … Elvis Presley.' And other people were saying, 'You're nuts. It's Elvis Presley.' ...I said, 'I can't do that. Something in my heart says, 'Don't do that. And I just didn't do it... He would have killed it. But anyway, so he didn't. Then when Whitney [Houston's version] came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland.