Dolly Parton Through the Decades

Country music icon, Dolly Parton, went from rags to riches with her incredible talent and giving heart. To honor her in all her glory, let’s take a look back at her discography and how her music formed the classic legend she is.


1. “Puppy Love” (1957)

Dolly Parton grew up in a poor area of East Tennessee. With 11 siblings and a one-room house, Parton and her family really struggled. To help get out of their struggle, Parton starred on radio shows at a young age. In 1957, she released “Puppy Love” with Goldband Records. Though this song did not chart, it sparked her career in music.


2. “Dumb Blonde” (1967)

“Dumb Blonde” was a part of Parton’s first full-length album, Hello, I’m Dolly. In the same year, it hit number eleven on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Her first album gained two top 40 hits: “Dumb Blonde” and “Something Fishy.” Little did Parton know, “Dumb Blonde” would grow in popularity during the 2018 film, Dumplin.'


3. “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” (1973)

Surprisingly, Parton wrote these forever classics on the same day. “Jolene” reached number one on the Billboard US Country Songs chart in 1973-1974. In several interviews, Parton talks about inspirations for this song. She mentions that “Jolene” was based on a bank clerk who flirted with her husband when they were newlywed. Though nothing came out of it, Parton gained some great inspiration for “Jolene.” With this later becoming a Whitney Houston hit, “I Will Always Love You” helped Parton win CMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 1975. Both of these classics will remain in the hearts of Parton fans forever.


4. “9 to 5” (1980)

This hit was written for the comedy film, 9 to 5, in which Parton starred in. This movie kickstarted Parton’s career as an actress. The film gained over $100 million, making this one of Parton’s most successful films. The song “9 to 5” inspired several shows, plays, and other songs after being released as a single in 1980. Fun fact: Parton’s acrylic nails were credited on the song, mimicking the typewriter noise.


5. “Rocking Years” (1991)

“Rocking Years” is featured on Parton’s album, Eagle When She Flies. This solo album was the first of Parton’s to reach number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart since 1980. The most popular song was “Rocking Years” featuring Ricky Van Shelton. The song alone charted on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart. This '90s classic is a beautiful country waltz love song you won’t want to skip.


6. “Dagger Through the Heart” (2002)

“Dagger Through the Heart” was one of the songs off of Parton’s album, Halos and Horns. The album was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Country Album of 2003. The song along with “I’m Gone” were also nominated for Best Female Vocal Performance. This album inspired Parton to go on tour. She sold out over 25 shows all across the United States.


7. “He’s Everything” (2012)

Released in 2012, “He’s Everything” was a single in the hit movie, Joyful Noise. The film starred Parton along with Queen Latifah and Keke Palmer. The soundtrack reached number one on the Billboard US Christian Albums and the US Top Gospel Albums in 2012. This gospel film was one of several movies and shows Parton starred in in the 2010s.


8. "Big Dreams and Faded Jeans" (2022)

Parton's most recent venture was a 2022 record titled Run, Rose, Run that she released alongside a novel by the same name. The book was co-written with bestselling author James Patterson. The LP's leading single "Big Dreams and Faded Jeans" is a sweet storytelling song about chasing your passions in music city.


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