Howdy all! Dolly Parton here! I am writing my own entry here on this 'cyclopedia coz you just can't trust no one. And that goes for you gals too. Did I say I wrote Jolene about another woman chasin' my man? I did?? Well, there you go.
So you need to know my background. I was born in 1946, grew up dirt-poor in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. You can visit my museum and theme park at Dollywood. See, even better than Hollywood, whoever Holly was. I first opened my eyes on Locust Ridge. I grew up to the sound of bugs rubbing their parts to make a noise. I didn't need the little biddy birdies and the bees to tell me what is really going on.
I had enough brothers and sisters that I lost count after Stella. That many. Too Many but we all loved each other and kept warm by sharing a big bed. Boys and girls together and with the animals too. We had no running water. It was a tin bath in winter or in the summer, we'd all jump in Dawson's Creek to get clean.
What did I have besides my Southern Charm? Well, God had given me a leg up. I was tiny, yeah that did suck, but I had two huge attributes. I could sing and play guitar and I knew how to deal with men whose eyes who were staring at my body between my neck and waist. I could also sass. Yep. And anyone who still thinks there's a stash of old nudey photos of yours truly somewhere, stored in a barn..well sorry to tell yah. I burnt them years ago except for one. You'll have to wait and see that one. So you can tell, I am not some ditzy Belle of the South. I am not political or sleep under a Confederate flag bedsheet. I'm not a Liberal either, say, I am somewhere that makes sense to me all the time.
So I got my big breaks in the 60s. I didn't grow up places like New York or San Francisco with their drugs and sex culture. So my music reflected the people I knew then. Simple ya can say. What folks in big cities call Country Music. They liked hear stories straight from the heart and their beer ice cold. My good friend Kenny Rogers was singing about his ex-wives even then and I composed songs about women wanting to steal my guy away. I loved to flirt, givin' everyone the Dolly Eye but I wasn't it any of that bed hoppin' stuff or getting up to stuff in the barn with a close cousin. The first man I really liked I married. His name is Carl Dean. I was 20, he was a few years older. Now ya think I have missed out so much fun by doin' that but It was how I was brought up. Carl let me be Dolly. If I was going too far with the flirtin' other fellas, he would wear his hat backwards. That's when I knew ol Dolly had strayed too far. Anyways, this is my version of my story.
Now think. You have tiny me on the stage with my guitar. I wanted to look taller so I got into first sticking my hair up and then later, a few extensions to increase the bounce. Nuthin' wrong with that. And I know you want to know more about my breasts as well. I can them 'Country' and 'Western'. No point lying to me or you that I have this body. It's what God gave me. So you think I should hide it? No. I have nothing to be ashamed of. Nor have you for liking them either. But listen to my voice and songs as well, ya hear?
To get back to what I am talking about. I am now on the music circuit. I never wanted to have an office job or work on the railroads mending tracks. My husband Carl was right behind me always. He helped me to get gigs but I got most of them myself. I kept my name too. Some hostile people said I called myself 'Dolly' because I looked like a hick Barbie doll and that hurt. Bad. So I moved to Nashville where the audience were harder to please but they listened to me.
It was around those days that Hugh Hefner from Playboy pleaded with to become their Country Gal Centerfold. I was always taught how to say a polite let-me-think-about-it but would turn him down. I did visit his mansion a couple of times, indiscreet like. I said to him I was no prude but couldn't see how people seeing my bare skin would make it any better for my career. I pointed out that actress Mae West who was also well gifted in the chest area had never taken her clothes off but she had no problem in comin' across seductive all the same. In the end Hefner was so insistent and promised to fund some of my charities that I relented a little and did a photo shoot in some sexy underwear for him and wore a Bunny Girl costume. Some of my fans were shocked that I appeared in Playboy at all, what with all that other female flesh on display. Times were different then. I had a ball.
By the early 70s I was well known in the Country and Western music scene but I had always liked faster tempo songs. I wanted to crossover a bit more. I didn't want to see my career die off once the music tastes changed. So I wrote a true song about a woman I used to know. Her real name wasn't Jolene because I wanted it to be about everyone who has been in that situation. When guys write those sort of songs they talk of being 'bewitched', ya know, seduced by a Devil Woman. Stuff like that. Well every woman I know has met someone like a Jolene. They know men think only what they got hanging in their pants rather than floating about in their head. Jolene didn't even have to hustle for her victims and it gave her extra pleasure to steal a man right under the nose of another woman. I can now say this since she is dead but the actress Elizabeth Taylor was such just a Jolene.
So my little song about the auburn haired temptress gets music play. It rapidly becomes a hit with my core audience but then spreads out across America and then the world! Think of that. A dirt-poor girl from the Smoky Mountains gets her song played in countries that I couldn't even spell. Amazing.
Jolene being such a success it meant I got people knocking on my door offering contracts. They saw me as some dumb broad with big hair and huge boobies. I made sure I wasn't the loser. I wasn't desperate for their offers. I kept my options. I got to do some musical specials, Dolly and friends if you like. I gave help to my fellow musicians and anyone who hadn't been mean to be earlier on in my career. And even then, being a softhearted gal and all, I helped them too. Also, I wanted to people have fun on my shows. You have to laugh at yourself too, don't take things too personally. I did all that. And more. I appeared in the film 9-5 and sang the song. People said I was an amazing funny lady. I could have told them that! Then appeared with Burt Reynolds in the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. See I could be sexy and funny. Burt was a funny dude but he was quite vain. I would hide his TOUPEE before we'd start shooting. He would get soooo mad it cracked me up everytime. Burt would then go back to his trailer and drink beer to get us all mad with him.
I found my homespun songs about strong women and guys and clothes. My song about a patchwork coat we all shared - Coat of Many Colors- was one my first songs to get heard on the radio. I found people liked to see me so I toured my homes state and places where they liked my kinda of music. But, you see, standing on the Smoky Mountains I knew there was a bigger world out there. Did I tell you I was born dirt-poor? I didn't even have a passport for North Carolina in those days. I would say, where are the border guards, where is the barbed wire when left Tennessee. But I loved going all over America. People looked at me as if I was a novelty act. Did I say Kenny Rogers wanted to marry me as well as my husband? Yeah, well, I didn't. But did say to Kenny that if I hadn't married my husband, I would have thought about it. Just like Ruby takin' her love to town.
Take your audience where you can git them
One thing I never did was to talk like an idiot about moral issues that hurt decent people. As I said, I was no puritan. I embrace everyone and that includes people who were judged by their choices for partners. Love is what you need. That's all. I know I was considered to be a drag queen like Lady Gaga. I am sure the tabloids wrote stories that I was born a boy which was why I never had any children or adopted any. I didn't need to do that. My family provided enough nephews and nieces to care for. Funny, people think the song Dolly Parton's Tits by MacLean & MacLean is makin' fun of me. I took it as an honor and got a cut of the royalties. They were generous Canadian boys. Both gone now. Who remembers them now? Huh??
Ah Glastonbury, In England. Now that was a gig and a half. There is little ol' me on this big stage. The kids had been listening and dancing to stuff I had never heard of but did like. See, I am quite liberal when it comes to music. Anyway, they see me and shout JOLENE! JOLENE!! and I answer back. Especially to the women. I am singing out there for you. Oh, I almost forgot! I didn't know geneticists in Scotland were Country & Western fans. That sheep they cloned. They called it after me because I guess, what, it was the hair? Not that I had multiple titties! Huh!! Imagine that. A dirt-poor singer from the Smoky Mountains who has a sheep named after her. Shame, Dolly is no longer alive but she has been stuffed and placed in a museum. Wonder if I will get stuffed and placed in Dollywood. That'll be funny y'all.
Did I say I grew up dirt-poor in Tennessee? Well I did. But also, I am no dummy doozy. And talkin' about dummy doozies, Donald Trump really get me annoyed. Drink bleach he said to stay healthy from the 'China Virus'? Normally, I would have written a song about a man like. I met plenty of those when I saw dismissed as that hicky bitty titty girl from Locust Ridge. So I had his number. And then, I got involved in help finance a vaccine for Coronavirus. Boy, that got my tons of positive press. So people thought what has a country singer gotta do with medicines? Well, growing up without just one pair of shoes and sharing dresses with my brothers, I knew what it was to be poor. And illnesses kill poor people a lot quicker than those with money.
I think my time is up here. I trust you have learnt something more about me. I am still in love with my husband Carl. We renewed our vows in 2016 with a little ceremony so I could check if he was all there. He is. So bye for now 'cyclopedians'. Don't be mean to each other. Dolly tells yah!