A Wonderful Year for Dolly Parton Lovers!
News Story – Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton has had one heck of a year. In March, she debuted her new novel Run Rose Run, co-written with James Patterson. In October, she received the ‘Courage and Civility Award’ from Jeff Bezos, which included a $100 Million award to be spent any way she chooses. On November 5, she was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame alongside Pat Benetar, Eminem, and Judas Priest, among others. And this December, Dolly has a new movie out, ‘Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas,’ which premiered last month and features guest stars Jimmy Fallon, Willie Nelson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus and Jimmie Allen.
That’s a career for most people not named Dolly Parton. But Dolly received it all with her characteristic grace and humility.
On the success of her novel, Run Rose Run:
“James Patterson called me out of the blue and asked if I would like to write a book with him. I thought, ‘What in the world does James Patterson need me for? He’s doing all right.’ I told him, “Well, I don’t know…I’ve never thought about it. I’ve read all of your books but have never thought about writing one with you. What would it be about?” He said, “Well, let’s get together and we’ll figure something out.” Run Rose Run is the story of a young, promising, talented singer-songwriter trying to escape an abusive past and make it in Nashville. If that sounds familiar, yes, much of the plot was taken from Dolly’s real-life experiences. “It shows a lot of the
dark side of the usic business that – people that have been in it, like me, you know that, because you’ve lived it,” Parton told CBS Sunday Morning. “People that will rip you off, they try to steal your songs, they’ll con you, they’ll do whatever. I have seen it all,” Parton said. She hopes they will eventually make a movie version of the story.
On her Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction:
Dolly initially declined the invitation but reconsidered after she researched the matter. “I never thought of myself as a rock star,” she noted of her first reaction to the news. “I found out later that they give it to you if you’ve influenced other people. I found out more about it. But I had said at the start I didn’t want to accept it because I didn’t think I’d earned it. And still ain’t sure.”
Her induction included the performance of a new song, ‘Rockin,’ which now serves as her inspiration for a new album of rock material. The new record, set for 2023, will include original material as well as covers of Prince, Elton John, and The Rolling Stones – all previous Hall of Fame inductees. “I’m a rock star now,” said Parton during her Hall of Fame speech, teasing the album in which she said she would like to feature a new rendition of “Stairway to Heaven” with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. “I still got rock and roll down in my country soul.”
On receiving the Courage and Civility Award:
“Did you say a hundred million?!” Parton said after Bezos announced the gift. Parton can use the money to support any charitable cause she chooses. “I try to put my money where my heart is,” Parton said of receiving the Courage and Civility award. “I will do my best to do good things with this money.” Parton’s ongoing charitable projects include the Imagination Library, a popular literacy effort that is now closing in on sending its 200 millionth free book to young children in five countries. Imagination Library of Saline County serves over 3,500 children locally, putting free books in the hands of children ages 0 – 5. “I created the Imagination Library as a tribute to my Daddy,” said Dolly. “He was the smartest man I have ever known but I know in my heart his inability to read probably kept him from fulfilling all of his dreams.”
On her new holiday movie, Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas:
“The whole theme of the show is, I’m wanting to go back home and do like a simple Smokey Mountain Christmas like I remember as a child. Well, of course, when Hollywood gets ahold of anything, it’s gonna get bigger and bigger. There’s some good comedy in the show. I think it’s entertaining. I think we got the fun. I think we got the inspiration. I think we got the meaning.” Parton has signed on to develop a series of TV movies for the network based on some of her most well-known songs and life stories, including Coat of Many Colors, and the sequel, Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.
So what’s next for Dolly?
Well, she’s not going to rest on her laurels. She is co-hosting “Miley’s New Years Eve Party on NBC with God-Daughter Miley Cyrus. There’s a new children’s book coming out in April, the new album is set for release later in 2023, and there’s a new ride and promotion at Dollywood, her country music-themed amusement park. There will be concerts, performances, appearances… and she has to figure out how to spend $100 Million.
“When I was a little kid, I always dreamed of being this,” said Parton (quote via Variety). “I wanted to be a star — I wanted to shine and make money and travel and wanted my songs to be heard and show off, I guess. And all of my dreams came true! So now I have to work. People ask, ‘How do you work all the time?’ Because I dreamed myself into a corner and I have to be responsible to those dreams. And I couldn’t be happier, because every dream I have brings on a new dream, like a tree with deep roots and branches and a lot of leaves.”
Dolly Parton is an absolute treasure. To sign up for free books through Imagination Library of Saline County, go to www.imaginationlibrarysalinecounty.com, or come to either branch of the Saline County Library and ask any librarian.