Dolly Parton (born 19.1.1946)
Dolly Parton is an American country singer and songwriter, as well as an author and an actress.
Dolly Parton: Childhood & Family Life
Dolly was the fourth of 12 children born to Robert Lee Parton and Avie Lee Owens. Her family were poor, living in a one-room cabin in Locust Ridge, in the Great Smoky Mountains of Sevier County, Tennessee.
Aged 21, Dolly married Carl Dean, whom she had met on her very first day in Nashville.
Dolly Parton: Early Career
Dolly started out performing as a child and at the age of nine, she was appearing on The Cas Walker Show. By 13, she was recording for the Goldband record label and appearing at the Grand Ole Opry. It was there that she met Johnny Cash, who encouraged her to follow her heart. In 1964, Dolly graduated from high school and moved to Nashville.
Initially, Parton found success as a songwriter, penning songs for the likes of Hank Williams Jr..
Dolly Parton: Musical Success
Signing to Monument Records in 1965, Dolly Parton was originally marketed as a pop singer but after the failure of 'Happy, Happy Birthday Baby', they agreed to allow her to sing country music. Her first country single was 'Dumb Blonde'. The track reached 24 in the Country Charts in 1967. The same year, she released 'Something Fishy' and these two tracks helped form her debut album, Hello, I'm Dolly.
In 1967, Dolly Parton replaced Norma Jean, appearing alongside Porter Wagoner in a weekly country music TV program. Wagoner convinced his label, RCA to sign Parton and her first single for her new label was a duet with Wagoner, 'The Last Thing On My Mind', which reached the Country Charts Top Ten. Her first solo hit was 'Just Because I'm a Woman', which went to number 17.
Eventually, Porter suggested that Parton record a version of Jimmie Rodgers 'Mule Skinner Blues'. The record went to number three, backed up by her first number one single, 'Joshua'. The hits kept on rolling, peaking with 'Coat of Many Colours' in 1971, considered to be her signature tune.
'Jolene' reached number one in 1974 and was Parton's first real blockbuster hit record. Later that year, 'I Will Always Love You' was also a number one hit. Elvis Presley had expressed a desire to cover the song but Parton refused to hand over half the publishing rights to the song, as demanded by Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
Here You Come Again (1977) was Parton's first million-selling album and found success in the mainstream pop charts. Artists such as Emmylou Harris and Olivia Newton-John all released cover versions of her songs.
In 1980, Dolly released '9 to 5', the theme tune to the movie of the same name. She starred in the film alongside Jane Fonda and the track was another number one hit in the country chart.
1987 saw the release of a joint album with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. Trio received great critical reviews and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of The Year. Its follow-up, Trio II, was released in 1999 and was another Grammy winner. Inbetween these releases, she worked on a similar album, with Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn, entitled The Honky Tonk Angels.
In 1989, White Limozeen briefly revived Dolly's career but in 1991, it was Whitney Houston's hugely successful cover of 'I Will Always Love You' that became Parton's greatest financial success. In 1999, Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Around the turn of the millennium, Dolly released a string of bluegrass albums, including: The Grass is Blue (1999) and Little Sparrow (2001). In 2005, she went on to tackle the folk songs of the 1960s and 1970s, with an album entitled Those Were The Days.
2006 brought Dolly her second Oscar nomination, for 'Travelin' Through', which was written for the film Transamerica. The next year, she released 'Better Get To Livin'', the first track from her own record label, Dolly Records. Backwoods Barbie was released in 2008 and earned her highest chart entry on the Billboard 200, at number 17.