With her tight-fitting, blindingly bright sequined get-ups, teased and tousled cascade of blond hair and down-home Southern charm, Dolly Parton is unapologetically, unabashed country...
With her tight-fitting, blindingly bright sequined get-ups, teased and tousled cascade of blond hair and down-home Southern charm, Dolly Parton is unapologetically, unabashed country.
Cut from the cloth of old-school country music like Hank Williams, George Jones and Tammy Wynette but with decidedly more flash Parton is a trailblazer as one of the first female artists to reach crossover success in country and pop.
Parton swings her “Hello, I’m Dolly” tour into the Everett Events Center on Sunday night.
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The inimitable Parton is, unequivocally, a cultural icon with a larger-than-life persona. But beneath the hair and makeup is a gifted, influential singer-songwriter who can effortlessly execute standard country songs, record a traditional bluegrass album (“The Grass Is Blue”) and pen heartfelt ballads.
The path that Parton traveled to become one of music’s top recording artists can be traced to her humble beginnings. Born Jan. 19, 1946, Parton was one of 12 children reared on a farm in the rural town of Locust Ridge, Tenn. Though love and music in the family were abundant, money was scarce, as Parton vividly recalled in one of her early hits, “Coat of Many Colors”:
My coat of many colors
That my momma made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me.
Parton found early success as a songwriter in the mid-1960s. Her career as a singer launched when she began performing with country-music legend Porter Wagoner, who took the fledgling artist under his wing. By the early 1970s, Parton had set out on a solo career and never looked back.
Parton on Sunday will no doubt serve up a retrospective of her work, which includes such classics as “Jolene,” “Here You Come Again,” “Islands in the Stream” and “I Will Always Love You.”
As many recording artists of a “certain age” mount “farewell” tours that seem to go on forever, Parton has no plans to follow suit.
“I never said I retired, I’m never saying farewell,” Parton told Billboard magazine this year. “I don’t know why people do that because they always show back up and look stupid. This tour is ‘Hello, again, I’m still here.’ “
Tina Potterf: firstname.lastname@example.org