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Thread: Dolly Parton

  1. #1
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    Dolly Parton

    Dolly is someone whose music I've always meant to dig into a bit more, but I never have. I think she's awesome, but I don't really know her music that well, and she has an overwhelming amount of recorded material. I'm wondering if there are any fans on here, and what you think her best songs are? Like most people, I know the big hits ... I'm curious about lesser-known gems.

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    Senior Member holdenglass's Avatar
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    Oh yeah! I got this one. I think her greatest output was early in her career and stretching into the later seventies. Her masterpiece: New Harvest...First Gathering. This has my favorite track "Light of a Clear Blue Morning" in its original and best form. Then there are her later bluegrass albums which are a great return to her roots. I would say that Little Sparrow is the strongest of that trio of releases, which also brings up Trio: a great collection of songs in which Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris share the singing duties. Many of her albums are hit and miss but the ones i've listed tend to be more of full artistic statements.

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    Senior Member Jake's Avatar
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    I would second Little Sparrow as a brilliant album. Her cover of "Shine" is a revelation.

    I need to listen to New Harvest...First Gathering! I'm with you, sleeptheclock. I've never investigated her albums properly but I've always loved her.

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    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    Her cover of "The Great Pretender" just came on shuffle today; brilliant!

    Little Sparrow is my favorite Dolly song, and one of my favorite songs of all time. Will He Be Waiting For Me, Two Doors Down, It's All Wrong But It's All Right, Applejack, Do I Ever Cross Your Mind... all classics, if not as successful/well-known as Jolene, 9 To 5, etc.

  5. #5
    In the garden of your mind. Tellurium's Avatar
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    Little Sparrow is one of my favourite albums by anyone. Cannot recommend that album enough. And of course, the entire Bluegrass trilogy (LS, The Grass is Blue, and Halos and Horns) is brilliant. Great place to start, although TGIB is a pure covers album, so maybe not for someone wanting to delve deeper into her songwriting.

    Then for the more "classic" stuff: Coat of Many Colours, Jolene, and Just Because I'm a Woman are all faultless albums.

    Those six should be more than enough to sink your teeth into. Holdenglass's recommendation of New Harvest, First Gathering, is a pretty solid choice too, though it's not a favourite of mine (Light of a Clear Blue Morning definitely is, though! That track is heaven!). TBH, everything else is a bit hit and miss and is perhaps best taken on a track-by-track basis. For example I really like the three songs she recently recorded from her 9 to 5 musical and put on her latest album, Better Day, but the rest of that album is a bit meh.

    Hope you enjoy!

    ETA: My favourite off the Better Day album. It's a bit glossier than I usually like my Dolly, but it's really gotten under my skin recently. I adore it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeKg2APfiwI

    And Down from Dover is gorgeous. I prefer the more melodramatic Little Sparrow version but any version of it will do.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0Ccg8Rg1-c
    Last edited by Tellurium; 04-03-2013 at 01:27 PM.

  6. #6
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    Everyone in this thread has covered everything.. I just want to ask a question and make a comment.
    Comment first. I love when the director of Transamerica asked Dolly to record a song for the film. Story is that she was on tour and wrote the song in her tour bus during some down time. Oscar nominated and a lot of people really thought she was going to win. She was blown away by how well-received the song was. Performed it live on Ellen. And I think for a fairly recent song, actually it isn't recent at all - almost 10 years.. goodness me, it showcases how she still has it lyrically and chord progressively . "Travelin' Through"
    A lot of people thought Felicity was going to win, as well. But they kind of both lost out to June Carter.. weird that one - not really.

    The question.. throwing a little shade at Piers Morgan. First off, I just have to say I hate Piers Morgan (not the person, I don't hate anyone personally, I don't think) but his CNN show stinks. If a guest doesn't say what Piers wants to hear he will quickly go on to something else.. Case and Point: Willie Nelson was on Piers Morgan and Piers asked him of all his songs what was his favorite. Willie answered "My favorite song is a song I just wrote with Dolly Parton.." and Piers cut him off pretty quickly. You can't let Willie say the name of the song. I still don't know what the song is and as a fan of both artists I would really, really like to know. Screw you Piers.

    AHEM

    Also, DollyWood used to be one of my favorite places. Anyone been?
    Who said you were evil?
    My SAT scores.

  7. #7
    HUH! HUP! HYAAAAT! Joey's Avatar
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    Yay!

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    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    Yay! Back to bluegrass, please, Dolly

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    Senior Member Jake's Avatar
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    Yessss I want another Little Sparrow!

    *edit* Also, I'd LOVE to see her do something like Loretta Lynn did with Jack White on Van Lear Rose. Can you imagine?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Andyland's Avatar
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    http://www.dollypartonentertainment....simple.1902438

    Dolly Parton is set to bring her boundless energy to stages in over 60 cities as she embarks on her first major U.S. and Canadian tour in more than 25 years. For the last 20 years, Parton has only played select dates in the U.S., but her 2016 tour will cover cities across North America. As one of the hottest concert tickets of the summer, Parton’s legion of fans are destined to sell out the shows quickly. Parton’s set-list will include hit songs all while weaving in a few new songs from her double-disc album Pure & Simple with Dolly's Biggest Hits. She will also be playing songs that have not been heard live for decades.
    No dates yet, but this is awesome news

  11. #11
    I'm not gonna talk about Judy. Johnothon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyland View Post
    http://www.dollypartonentertainment....simple.1902438



    No dates yet, but this is awesome news
    Ooh! I'm most excited about the deep cuts that she'll do. Off the top of my head, I would effing love to see her dig out:

    My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy
    Old Black Kettle
    All I Can Do
    Higher and Higher
    You Are
    Heartbreak Express
    The River Unbroken

    Oh, God, so many! I loved the medley she did on the last tour, the one for Blue Smoke. She did But You Know I Love You, Think about Love, It's All Wrong and a couple of others (The Bargain Store, I think?) I never thought she'd dig deep!

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    So I saw her a few weeks ago in Queens and she was awesome live (I posted about it in the "Who Have You Seen?" thread).

    Following the show I looked at this thread again and ordered Little Sparrow--on CD. I'm a vinyl/mp3 person and have not bought a CD in eons, but it's not on vinyl, and it's not on iTunes. What a great recommendation! It's a fantastic album. Earlier in the year I received Trio on vinyl as a birthday gift, and that is also a brilliant recording.

    I definitely look forward to investigating more of her work.
    Last edited by sleeptheclock; 07-10-2016 at 06:01 PM.

  13. #13
    Gone Andromeda grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleeptheclock View Post
    Dolly is someone whose music I've always meant to dig into a bit more, but I never have. I think she's awesome, but I don't really know her music that well, and she has an overwhelming amount of recorded material. I'm wondering if there are any fans on here, and what you think her best songs are? Like most people, I know the big hits ... I'm curious about lesser-known gems.
    I don't know if it's considered well known or not, but I love her cover of Stairway to Heaven. It's really great.

    And of course it's super well known, but I can never get over how perfect Jolene is.

  14. #14
    I'm not gonna talk about Judy. Johnothon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleeptheclock View Post
    So I saw her a few weeks ago in Queens and she was awesome live (I posted about it in the "Who Have You Seen?" thread).

    Following the show I looked at this thread again and ordered Little Sparrow--on CD. I'm a vinyl/mp3 person and have not bought a CD in eons, but it's not on vinyl, and it's not on iTunes. What a great recommendation! It's a fantastic album. Earlier in the year I received Trio on vinyl as a birthday gift, and that is also a brilliant recording.

    I definitely look forward to investigating more of her work.
    I think that the Sugar Hill bluegrass trilogy of records are probably the best she has ever recorded, with the Little Sparrow album the absolute highlight of her career in terms of vocals, lyrics and instrumentation. Just pure musicianship, and so far removed from the myth of Dolly Parton as wig and tits singing 9 to 5.

    Big shout out also goes to 1973's My Tennessee Mountain Home album, which I think of as her first major artistic success.

  15. #15
    Administrator Ryan's Avatar
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    Dolly Parton is a treasure. Gay boys of a certain age who grew up in the south loved Dolly, Reba, and Wynonna... and a little later, probably Trisha too.

    The tacky costumes and big hair and makeup are one thing, but underneath that she's definitely got a voice. This live performance is from last year:


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