August 11, 2021 Featured

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Meredith Biesinger is a professional educator and writer in Tupelo, Mississippi. With a great love for all things Southern, she loves to feature all the many positives of the south one word at a time! Follow Meredith on Twitter

Two words. One fabulous lady. Dolly Parton!

Young-Dolly-Parton

To know her is to love her.

Although I don’t know her personally, I wish I did, and I’ve been a lifelong fan ever since I was old enough to bee-bop along to “9-5” in the back of my grandparent’s silver Lincoln.

A genuine rag to riches story, Dolly embodies strength, determination, and joy which she bestows on us all, as it’s her personal mission statement

“My dream was to make as many people happy as I could in this life.”

Dolly is a superstar, yet she remains humble and grounded in the things that matter most: faith and family. The little country girl who made the world her stage is also a woman of great intention.

The Early Life of Dolly Parton

From the hills of Tennessee, singing barefoot on the front porch, to owning the stage in six-inch heels and jewels, Dolly Parton is a larger-than-life living legend with a heart that’s just as big as her dreams.

Dolly grew up in Locust Ridge, a small mountain town nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains. She is the fourth of twelve children with a large extended family as well. Many of her loved ones played essential roles in her success, but she credits her Uncle Bill Owens for helping her launch her music career.

Dolly’s talent launched her to super-stardom, as she wrote her first song at the age of five and played her first show at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry at 13! Dolly took the stage at “The Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour” in Knoxville, Tenn., and landed a spot on “The Porter Wagoner Show.”

Young Dolly Parton iconic

From Rags to Rhinestones

Sometimes I think people look at Dolly and misjudge her because of her iconic image and style. The truth is, aside from her tremendous talent, many people vastly underestimate where Dolly came from and the amount of GOOD she does for people daily.

Did you know that the Parton home didn’t have electricity or running water while Dolly grew up in the 1940s and ’50s? The winters, especially, were brutal. The country legend has shared what it was like living through the harsh mountainous winters as a little girl. Expressing that it was so cold that, most nights, the only bit of warmth she and her siblings would experience was when one of her younger siblings would wet the bed.

Fast forward to 2021, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library sends books to children all over the country. She has multiple scholarships in place encouraging students to graduate high school. She most recently donated 1 million dollars to Vanderbilt University for COVID-19 vaccine research. And, I’m only scratching the surface of the many incredible “Dolly deeds.”

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Full of grit, dreams, and plans, Dolly, like the rest of us, is primarily made up of where she came from. Many of her songs tell the stories of her childhood, such as “Coat of Many Colors.”

Dolly thought about becoming a preacher, like her Father, in addition to being a singer. In my opinion, Dolly is already a preacher of wisdom and love through her music. Her song “Little Sparrow” brings me to tears every time I hear it and is an unofficial hymn in my book.

Dolly + Carl

Dolly is happily married to her husband, Carl Dean, and has been for 55 years! She married the love of her life at 20 years old. A marriage of this caliber is impressive no matter what, but with the pressures of Hollywood, I think this is amazing.

Although Dolly and Carl never had children of their own, Dolly considers her songs to be like her children, and you know what? Her songs will live on for generations to come and continue to touch lives, just like posterity does.

Dolly, and her husband, Carl Dean.

The Secret Song

2045 seems like a long time away, doesn’t it? Well, it just so happens that this is the year that a “secret song” of Dolly’s will be released. She will be 100 years old and claims she will be long gone by then, but I wouldn’t be so sure about that!

Reportedly, Dolly wrote this song 30 years in advance, can you imagine?

So I wrote this song, and I can’t say what it is. It’s just burning me up inside that I have to leave it in there,” she wrote. “I put a CD player in the box, too. Because the song is on a CD, and there’s no telling what music is going to be by then. Hopefully, it will play, and the whole thing ain’t rotted.” ~Dolly Parton

The box containing the secret song won’t be in just any old box. It’s inside of a chestnut wood box made by her beloved Uncle Bill. If anyone can live to 100, Dolly can, and she’ll look fabulous doing it, I’m sure of that! I don’t know about you, but I hope I’m around to hear this secret song, and I hope Dolly is too!

Dolly at the 2021 Super Bowl

Be a Dolly!

If you follow Dolly on Instagram, she shares a positive message with followers nearly every day. There has been a Dolly comeback lately, although I know many of us have always loved her. Younger generations are learning about Dolly now too, and some of her older music is touching new hearts and souls.

My favorite t-shirt of all time is light pink, with an outline of Dolly’s face and her big blonde hair.  The shirt says “Tease it to Jesus” and I love it!  I have all sons, and when they get older, this might embarrass them, but I don’t care. We all know “the higher the hair, the closer you are to heaven,” right? Not really, but it’s just another Dolly-ism to love!

Dolly Parton is a musician, an actress, a philanthropist, a businesswoman, a wife, a daughter, and a sister. She’s not unlike you and me. She loves her family and cares about the well-being of others; she just does it with a little more glitz and glam. And, honestly, what’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. If you are going to be starting a career in the music industry then having the best gear at your studios is a must, Click here to see reviews of some of the best gear on the market today.

In a world that often seems so negative, accentuate the positive. Be a Dolly!

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