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Who Is Dolly Parton? (Find Out)

As the 1970s progressed, so did Dolly Parton’s career as a solo performer. By mid-century, she had captured the hearts of country music stars of both sides of the Atlantic, and by the late 1970s, all of the so-called “it” celebrities would be at Dolly’s concert after parties.

Dolly Parton’s unique voice, electrifying stage presence and heartbreaking lyrics propelled her career to a new level in 1970. That year, she released two groundbreaking albums, “The Fairest of Them All” and “Hello, I’m Dolly,” cementing her place in the annals of country music.

Who Is Dolly Parton?

Dolly Rebecka Parton was born in rural Appalachia, Tennessee on January 19th, 1946. Her parents, Robert Lee and Avie Lee, were sharecroppers and farmers, respectively.

Parton was the fourth of twelve children. All of her siblings were born before she turned 35, and her mother named her Dolly. “I think my mom knew I wanted to be a star,” Parton told People. “We were dirt poor, and money was always a problem.”

Parton’s first introduction to music was from her parents, who both sang and played the guitar. She was also exposed to music while performing at church. According to People, she wrote songs before she could read.

Parton’s first guitar was given to her by a relative, and she began to write her own songs.

When she was 10 years old, Parton began performing professionally. She appeared on local TV and radio programs in her hometown of Knoxville, about an hour away. Three years later, she made her grand ole Opry debut.

She decided to pursue a career in the music industry and moved to Nashville on the day after high school graduation in 1964.

The Tragic Life Story Of Dolly Parton

Rising Era

Dolly Parton’s career really took off in 1967, when she teamed up with fellow country singer, Porter Wagoner, on the popular television show, The Portersonger Show.

She and Wagoner went on to record a dozen or so country hits together. A lot of the focus was on Dolly’s voluptuous figure, petite stature (5-foot-tall), and warm manner, which some saw as a sign of a serious artist with a serious business acumen.

Since the beginning of her career, Dolly has protected the rights to her entire catalog of songs, and this has resulted in millions of dollars in royalties.

Dolly Parton with Johnny Carton (1977)
Dolly Parton with Johnny Carton (1977)

Album Chart And Success

The success of Dolly Parton’s debut album in 1970 reflected not only her talent but also the changing country music landscape. “The fairest of them all”, released in January 1970, was a smooth blend of classic country and the emerging Nashville sound.

The album’s peak of #6 on Billboard’s country albums chart showed the album’s appeal to audiences looking for a new, yet authentic sound.

“Daddy Come and get me” is one of the best tracks on the album. It’s about heartbreak and vulnerability, and Parton’s voice takes it to a whole new level. It’s not just a story, it’s an emotional journey. The album as a whole helped Dolly Parton explore the complexities of love, grief, and resilience.

Later that year, September saw the release of “Hello, I’m Dolly,” a record that not only confirmed Parton’s introduction to the general public, but also marked a creative growth. It peaked at number 11 on “Billboard’s” country albums chart. 

The album featured an eclectic blend of songs that showed Parton’s full range, from the uplifting energy of “Joshua” to the soulful depth of “Coat Of Many Colors.”

One of the album’s most memorable tracks is “Coat Of Many Colors”. The song tells the story of Dolly Parton’s struggle to overcome the hardships of her impoverished childhood, and resonates powerfully with people of all backgrounds.

The song’s impact transcends the boundaries of music, serving as a cultural reference point that celebrates the power of personal history. This song’s longevity is a testament to the enduring power of Dolly’s storytelling and her capacity to capture the hearts of listeners.

Dolly Parton at the Grammys
Dolly Parton at the Grammys
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Dolly Parton’s Chart Performance in 1970

AlbumHighest Chart PositionNotable Tracks
The Fairest of Them All#6“Daddy Come and Get Me”
Hello, I’m Dolly#11“Coat of Many Colors,” “Joshua

TV Fame For Dolly Parton

In 1970, Dolly Parton didn’t just make her way to the top of the charts, but she also became a television star. She teamed up with fellow singer-songwriter Porter Wagoner, and the two of them made magic on the “Porter Wagoner Show.”

It wasn’t just about the music; it was about watching your favorite duo make magic together. The connection between Dolly and Porter was so strong that you could feel the love radiating from them.

It was as if two best friends were having a good time while sharing incredible music. This show was Dolly’s passport to fame, and more people began to recognize her for more than just her singing; she was a TV icon, and boy did she shine! In 1970, Dolly was conquering the charts, conquering our TVs, and bringing her music and contagious charm to homes across the nation.

Dolly Parton With Emmylou Harris and Nudie Cohn
Dolly Parton With Emmylou Harris and Nudie Cohn

Awards and Recognition in 1970 for Dolly Parton:

  • Dolly won a big music award called a Grammy.
  • She was the best female country singer according to the Grammy people.
  • The special song that won her the award was called “Joshua.”
  • This was just the beginning; more awards followed, showing everyone she was a big deal.
  • Dolly wasn’t just a singer; she was like a pioneer, breaking new ground in country music.


  • Dolly Parton, born in 1946, had humble beginnings in rural Tennessee, but she dreamed big.
  • She learned music from her parents, wrote songs as a kid, and got her first guitar. By 10, she was performing on TV!
  • After high school, in 1964, she moved to Nashville to chase her music dreams.
  • Teaming up with Porter Wagoner in 1967 on “The Porter Wagoner Show” made her a TV star.
  • In 1970, her albums “The Fairest of Them All” and “Hello, I’m Dolly” hit big, showing her versatility in country music.
  • Her song “Joshua” won a Grammy in 1970, starting a trend of many awards.
  • Both albums climbed the charts, proving she wasn’t just a TV star but a country music force.
  • Dolly’s music, storytelling, and TV charm made her a trailblazer, leaving a lasting impact on country music.

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