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Women Music March #16 — Dolly Parton

I’ve always enjoyed Dolly Parton’s music and acting. After watching her in Ken Burns’ Country Music series, I admire her even more. Dolly is a superstar in many fields, not the least of which is business. Today is another two-fer, with the 2nd song after the lyrics of the first song.

Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, known primarily for her work in country music. After achieving success as a songwriter for others, Parton made her album debut in 1967 with Hello, I’m Dolly. With steady success during the remainder of the 1960s (both as a solo artist and with a series of duet albums with Porter Wagoner), her sales and chart peak came during the 1970s and continued into the 1980s. Parton’s albums in the 1990s did not sell as well, but she achieved commercial success again in the new millennium and has released albums on various independent labels since 2000, including her own label, Dolly Records.

Parton’s music includes 25 Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)-certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards. She has had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard country music charts, a record for a female artist (tied with Reba McEntire). She has 41 career top-10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career charted singles over the past 40 years. She has garnered ten Grammy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, ten Country Music Association Awards, seven Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards, and is one of only seven female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award. Parton has received 47 Grammy nominations.

In 1999, Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has composed over 3,000 songs, including “I Will Always Love You” (a two-time U.S. country chart-topper, as well as an international pop hit for Whitney Houston), “Jolene”, “Coat of Many Colors”, and “9 to 5”. She is also one of the few to have received at least one nomination from the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Emmy Awards. As an actress, she has starred in films such as 9 to 5 (1980) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), for which she earned Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress, as well as Rhinestone (1984), Steel Magnolias (1989), Straight Talk (1992) and Joyful Noise (2012).

Dolly Rebecca Parton was born January 19, 1946, in a one-room cabin on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in Pittman Center, a very small community in Sevier County in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. She is the fourth of 12 children born to Avie Lee Caroline (née Owens; 1923–2003) and Robert Lee Parton Sr. (1921–2000). Her father, known as “Lee”, worked in the mountains of East Tennessee, first as a sharecropper and later tending his own small tobacco farm and acreage. He also worked construction jobs to supplement the farm’s small income. Mr. Parton was illiterate but Dolly Parton often says despite that fact, he was one of the smartest people she’s known in regards to business and making a profit. Avie Lee was homemaker for the large family. Her 11 pregnancies (the tenth being twins) in 20 years made her a mother of 12 by age 35. Often in poor health, she still managed to keep house and entertain her children with songs and tales of mountain folklore. Avie Lee’s father, Jake Owens, was a Pentecostal preacher, so Parton and her siblings all attended church regularly. Parton has long credited her father for her business savvy, and her mother’s family for her musical abilities. While Dolly Parton was still very young, her family moved to a farm on nearby Locust Ridge. Most of her cherished memories of youth happened there, and it is the place about which she wrote the song “My Tennessee Mountain Home” in the 1970s. Parton bought back the Locust Ridge property in the 1980s. Two of her siblings are no longer living; Larry died shortly after birth in 1955, and Floyd died in 2018.

My Tennessee Mountain Home is the eleventh solo studio album by Dolly Parton. It was released on April 2, 1973, by RCA Victor. The house pictured on the album cover was the house in which the Parton family lived during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The title track was released as a single in early 1973 and reached number 15 on the U.S. country singles chart.

 

 

Sittin’ on the front porch on a summer afternoon
In a straightback chair on two legs, leans against the wall
Watch the kids a’ playin’ with June bugs on a string
And chase the glowin’ fireflies when evenin’ shadows fall

In my Tennessee mountain home
Life is as peaceful as a baby’s sigh
In my Tennessee mountain home
Crickets sing in the fields near by

Honeysuckle vine clings to the fence along the lane
Their fragrance makes the summer wind so sweet
And on a distant hilltop, an eagle spreads it’s wings
An’ a songbird on a fence post sings a melody

In my Tennessee mountain home
Life is as peaceful as a baby’s sigh
In my Tennessee mountain home
Crickets sing in the fields near by

Walkin’ home from church on a Sunday with the one ya’ love
Just laughin’, talkin’, making future plans
And when the folks ain’t lookin’, you might steal a kiss or two
Sittin’ in the porch swing, holdin’ hands

In my Tennessee mountain home
Life is as peaceful as a baby’s sigh
In my Tennessee mountain home
Crickets sing in the fields near by
Songwriters: Dolly Parton

bonus video:
Joshua” was released in November 1970 as the first single and title track from the album Joshua. The song was significant for being Dolly’s first single to reach number 1 on the US country charts. The single reached number 1 on the Billboard country charts in February 1971. Parton received her first Grammy nomination in the Best Country Female Vocal category for the song, losing to Lynn Anderson.

 

18 thoughts on “Women Music March #16 — Dolly Parton

  1. EGOT, an acronym for the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards, is the designation given to people who have won all four awards and there are only 15 actors, producers, directors, and composers who have been awarded all four. She created Dollywood as a way to bring jobs to the community.

    Liked by 1 person

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