I adore Dolly Parton, I have done for as long as I can remember. She’s my inspiration and I admire her for all she has achieved throughout her amazing career, and so I’m dedicating a blog post just to her, because why not?! After all, who wouldn’t want to read about Dolly?
Dolly Parton & Me!
I think I first started listening to Dolly Parton when I used to help my mum clean at Roddington Forge, (a local music venue with country themes) as the owners had a few of her albums there at the club. They always knew I was there if Dolly was on, the CD even started to skip because I had played it so much! Everyone used to make jokes that they had to listen to Dolly again! (Although this can never really be a bad thing!) I love listening to her in the car, or when doing the housework, just whenever I can really! I have nearly all of her albums, including the latest one, Pure and Simple, And it was at Roddington Forge that I saw my first Dolly Parton tribute act, which was brilliant. It was after watching this that I realised I just had to see Dolly in concert, and so I made this my mission!
One reason I love Dolly is that she is all for gay marriage, and that means a lot to me as it was only 2 years ago that I fell in love with Keri, who obviously happens to be a girl, and despite both of us being with guys up until that point, we definitely fell for each other, and I knew then that I wanted to marry her.
I also think Dolly’s quote about gay marriage is funny! She said “Sure why can’t they get married? They should suffer like the rest of us do!”
Dolly was a big part of my pregnancy as I used to listen to her music all the time, and the baby would absolutely love it! Every time I put her songs on I could feel the baby kicking! It was then that I knew my little boy was going to be a Dolly lover too, and he definitely loves to dance.
Finley’s only 4, but he knows who she is as she appeared on CBeebies Bedtime Stories and we both sat there and listened. Well you can imagine how excited I was when I learned she would be on the show! I’m also going to order him the Children’s album for his birthday (Yes, I’m sure he’ll want it!) so he can listen to it and learn to enjoy the sound of her music as much as I do (although you really don’t have to push Dolly onto anyone as her songs are just so feel good and completely infectious.) I also can’t wait for my fiancée, Keri to have a baby, and then I can play Dolly Parton to her throughout her pregnancy too. At the risk of sounding like a crazed super-fan, seriously I think everyone needs Dolly in their life, she’s good for the soul!
I finally got to see Dolly Parton in concert in 2014 for her Blue Smoke Tour. I’d bought the album beforehand so knew all the new songs, and was able to sing along. And the concert was everything I expected and more!! Of course I had to get me a bright pink Dolly cowgirl hat and a souvenir programme, and I will treasure these keepsakes forever.
Dolly was incredible. I was shocked when she came onto stage and played about 8 different instruments! I’ve googled since to see how many she actually does play, and it’s so many that nobody really knows the total number, but I do know she can even yodel!! How’s that for talent?! And not only did she sound amazing, obviously, but she also looked amazing (even if she was just a little dot to me, sat way up in the gods at the 02 arena!)
My favourite song of Dolly’s has to be 9 to 5, I know it word for word (it’s my karaoke song!) and you can guarantee it’ll come on at any wedding, party or club when we’re out on the town (mainly because I’ve most likely requested it! Haha!) I also love Higher and higher as my second favourite, but honestly I just love them all!
For Valentine’s Day last year, Keri got me tickets to see a Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers tribute act called Islands in the stream, at the Kings Theatre in Portsmouth. Obviously it’ll never top the real thing, but was another amazing tribute!!
I definitely need to take my fiancée and little boy to see her if she ever tours in the UK again!
Dolly’s Early Life
Dolly Rebecca Parton Dean is aged 72…Today! (January 19th) Happy Birthday! and on the day she was born it snowed! (It also snowed the day my son was born! I know, freaky right?! Carry on reading…the resemblances are uncanny!) Her parents also paid the doctor who delivered her with a box of oatmeal….ok, I didn’t do that!!
She is an absolute legend in my eyes and even at 72 still looks incredible, even if it is because of plastic surgery. Like she says “It costs a lot to make a person look this cheap” but she has done it all for her fans so she can stay looking like the Dolly Parton everyone knows and loves.
Dolly Parton has 12 siblings who are all very talented and she’s always made it clear that wants them to be known for themselves, and not just someone who’s related to Dolly Parton. She uses a lovely quote which explains the reason why, and it’s very true. ”The second man to walk on the moon left footprints every bit as deep as Neil Armstrong, and yet how many of us know his name?! I know, it made me think too! And incase you didn’t know who it was either (like me) his name is Buzz Aldrin.
Music & Movie Career
In Dolly Parton’s book My life and other unfinished business , you learn a few facts about Dolly and the reasoning behind some of the songs she wrote, or why she named them. For instance did you know the name for the song Jolene was actually after a little girl of about 9/10, who asked Dolly for an autograph. The name stood out to Dolly because she’d never heard it before, and so a year later when she was going to write a song, she remembered the name Jolene and used it! So it’s not at all about her husband cheating on her, which most people think, even though she often jokes that it is the meaning behind the song, as I guess that’s what sells, and people can relate!
It also says in her book that she was going to bring out a clothing line called Dolly’s Dailies, however I can’t find anything online, which is a shame as it was going to sell bra’s for bigger breasted women and my fiancée could do with some nice new looking hammocks!!
The book goes on to say that in the future she hopes to be in a broadway musical. I know the book is some years old, but I still think that she could be, and should be!! It would be brilliant! If she did then it might even win a Tony Award, which FYI is just one of the three awards she has never managed to achieve, which I’m shocked by because she has so many, and she may as well try for the full set, lord knows she deserves it! The other two awards are a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award. This’ll make you laugh…I once looked into putting her up for a Pride Of Britain award, until I realised you couldn’t be a candidate if you didn’t live in the UK! This had my fiancée in fits of giggles, not least because the pride of Britain is actually presented to ordinary people who show extraordinary acts of courage and bravery, and share their remarkable achievements! And although Dolly shows all of the above, she is anything but ordinary! All that aside, if I could have put her up for the award then I would have, and if there’s a Pride of America Award then I’d sign her up now!!
Here’s a funny fact for you. Dolly once entered a Dolly Parton look a like contest and lost!!
Not only does Dolly Parton wow the world with her amazing music, she has also starred in some great movies too, for example 9 to 5, Steel Magnolias and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. I love all of these films, but my favourite has to be Steel Magnolias…it gets me every time! I once went to see the stage adaptation at our local Mayflower theatre when Denise Welsh was in it. There’s also her film called Coat Of Many Colours which is named after the song. This is a wicked film! Dolly is played by the amazing child actress Alyvin Alyn Lind, and even though all of the actors/actresses where very good in it, she was my favourite. She played the part perfectly. So if you haven’t already seen it, you really must! And There’s also a Christmas special of the film which is just as good, and had me & Keri blubbing away while tucking into our tub of celebrations!
Dolly Parton has achieved so much in her whole career she appeared on stage at the Grand Ole Opry at just aged 13 and “Here You Come Again” was the first million seller and she now has 100 million albums worldwide! I’m sure there will also be lots more to come! I think she succeeds in all that she does because she never gives up and she focus’s on her abilities, a lot like another of her quotes I came across, “If god had meant for us to fly he’d have given us wings! Well look at what he did give us” I love all the quotes she comes out with and by reading them you can tell she is a very spirited person! another of my favourites is “We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails”
Dolly parton’s sister Willadeene Parton also wrote a book called Smoky Mountain Memories which is a great read, and gives a good insight into the whole family. It’s even where I got some of my facts in this blog from. See, it’s good to read! You can’t google everything!
The book also has songs & recipes, and my favourite story I read from the book was about the bouquet Willadeene gave to Dolly when she first appeared in concert at the Knoxville Coliseum. It was a bouquet of red roses and apples, and the story goes like this… Willadeene had started a rose bush from the flowers that Dolly had sent her over the years, rather than throwing them away. Then on the day Dolly told her family about signing her contract with Porter Wagoner, she happened to be eating an apple and once finished she tossed the apple core out into the yard, but later Willadeene covered the core over with dirt, and from it grew an apple tree. So this was how her bouquet came to be roses and apples, it was a very thoughtful gift from Willadene.
An example of just how amazing Dolly Parton really is, even when she’d eventually earned a lot of money through her success, she didn’t just keep it to herself, no! She has shown a huge amount of generosity through buying homes for some of her sisters, and one time their mother had to give up their family home for some reason or another, but Dolly being Dolly told her that once she’d made lots of money she would get that house back, and sure to her word she did! She also remodelled and replaced everything in it for her mum as a surprise!!
With her fortune she also opened her famous theme park called Dollywood, and she used it to help her friends, family and the people of Nashville Tennessee by giving them jobs! Funds from the park also go towards the Dollywood foundation, which helps with medical needs, school kits and lots more.
Dolly thought of the name of her theme park when she first arrived in L.A. She looked up to the hills at the Hollywood sign and simply said “I wish I could change that H to a D!! I can hear her saying it now in her sweet southern accent.
Anyway, Dollywood looks like an amazing theme park (I googled again!) with lots of rides and a special section which tells you all about her, although I think I just about know everything already! She’s also brought a lot of culture to the theme park, giving an insight into the people living up in the mountains. The great smoky mountains are one of the main attractions in Tennessee. She also says she tried to base her theme park on the county fair she used to always go to, so I’m sure there’s a big dose of nostalgia for anyone that visits.
One day I will go to Dollywood and will take Keri and Finley with me! We’ve actually talked about the possibility of going for our honeymoon. The plan is to get married aboard, (somewhere exotic!) stay there for about a week with our family and friends to celebrate, and then fly to Tennessee to countrify ourselves, visit the Grand ole opry, visit the sites, soak up the atmosphere and of course visit Dollywood. That’s the dream anyway….and as we’re busy dreaming we may as well hope to see Dolly in person there too! But of course we have to save up first! For the wedding and honeymoon! Keri had better get writing that book!
The Imagination Library
Which leads us on nicely to another fantastic idea Dolly had (seriously this woman never ceases to amaze me!) She decided to start the Imagination Library 📚 I think it’s such a lovely idea to send free books to children each month. For one they will absolutely love receiving parcels in the post, because every child loves to be sent stuff, especially when it’s wrapped! And two, it will help the children with their reading and learning. Also Dolly receives no money from the library for herself, which shows just what a selfless woman she is! I also love the fact that it is now in the UK 🇬🇧 and although it’s not yet available in our area, I’m sure it will be soon, and am just happy for the children that are receiving books, especially those that are less fortunate. We are very lucky that our little boy loves his stories, and we add new titles to his bookshelf whenever we can.
I’ve also told my fiancée, Keri that she should send her children’s book, that she’s already written, to the Imagination Library, as I think Dolly and the kids would love it. Oh and it definitely needs to be published as it really is a very good book. Yes, I know I’m biased but it’s worth a shot!
Dolly Parton fun facts!
Dolly and her husband Carl actually remind me of me us in so many ways! For one my fiancée loves cooking like Dolly, and I really don’t! I mean I can’t! I’m completely useless in the kitchen. Dolly once got bought a cooker for Valentine’s Day and the press tried to run a story about how unromantic Carl was, when actually Dolly loved the present! I think Keri would wet herself with excitement if I got her a new cooker, but she says it has to be a Range one?! I’ve never even heard of a Range cooker 😂 Another way they remind me of us is that Dolly believes in spirits and the afterlife, where as Carl doesn’t and tries to find a reasonable explanation for it, the same as me! But Keri is most definitely a believer, and I hate to admit it but I’m slowly being persuaded! I’m still very sceptical but she’s got me watching all these ghost adventures and most haunted shows, and I have to say even I can explain everything!
One thing you may not know about Dolly, that she mentions in her book is that she has a scar on her knee from chasing a chicken around, trying to get a bottle teat back as it was the only one they had. Another funny story is that once, when she was drunk she got double dared to run around Tom Jones’s garden naked, and she actually did because no one says no to a double dare! Also even though I can hardly believe it, Dolly was once a tom boy, like me! and one time she saw the greasy pole game which had a cash prize at the top, so she decided to give it a go, and of course with most things Dolly sets out to do, she manages to succeed! First she got herself all wet, then she went out into the parking lot and rolled around in the dirt, and sure enough as it gave her better traction, she was able to climb up that greasy pole and bag herself the cash prize. Everyone began to say she’d cheated, but of course they were just jealous they hadn’t thought of it first! There are loads more funny stories and facts in her book, but I won’t spoil it all for you, so I guess you’re gonna have to go & Buy her book!. Dolly Parton is a true inspiration to a lot of people because she shows everyone that no matter where you come from or how little you start out with in life, it means absolutely nothing! It’s just about how much you want something and believe in yourself! Dolly even decided the look she wanted to have, and it didn’t matter what anyone thought of it or what they said, she stuck with it. She became a success and proved everyone wrong. This for me made Dolly someone that I look up to, and she made me believe that no matter what I want to do, I will do it if I truly believe enough! So one day, once I’ve saved enough money I will become a property developer, and Keri will write that dream book of hers, and will be published! In the words of Dolly “some of my dreams are so big they would scare you!”
I’ll leave you with my favourite quote of Dolly’s….
“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow you gotta put up with the rain” ~ Dolly Parton
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