Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Dolly Parton

Tennessee never had a better daughter than Dolly Parton; in a career spanning more than 40 years - her first single, Dumb Blonde* from her debut album Hello, I'm Dolly, charted in 1967 - she has traveled the globe many times over, and wherever she's gone she's not just gathered fans but made friends. So much so that when a British newspaper recently asked its readers to identify the classiest woman alive, Parton was chosen for this singular honour by a wide margin.

PhotobucketOriginally Parton moved to Nashville to become a songwriter, and she had a little success in that venture, having published nearly 600 in her career so far. When I Will Always Love You became a bigger hit for Whitney Houston than it ever was for Dolly Parton it only underscored Parton's talent in that regard (in addition to earning her an estimated $6 million in royalties).

But Parton doesn't sit on her money; instead she funnels it back into the community that raised her. When she established Dollywood in 1986 many scoffed; today it's one of the most visited attractions in the state - with some 2.5 million visitors annually - bringing jobs and revenues to what had once been a depressed region of Appalachia.

The most honoured woman in country music has actually made herself heard in pop music as well, as her career has taken her all over the musical terrain; recent albums have been more bluegrass oriented, and feature her expert banjo playing in addition to those distinct vocals. Additionally, she's made her mark in movies, where her natural grace has inevitably shone through, in films like 9 to 5 (1980), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), and Steel Magnolias (1989) .

The main reason for Dolly Parton's success is that the word 'hate' is not in her vocabulary; Dolly loves everyone, just like Jesus wants her to, and they return the favour in abundance.

*A song which, oddly enough, she didn't write; it was, in fact, written by Curly Putman.

share on: facebook

No comments: