Dolly Parton Details Her Kindred Connection to Elvis Presley

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Country Music, Country Music News, Dolly Parton, History, News

Virtually no other luminary in the realm of country music claims more adoring followers than Dolly Parton.  The “Backwoods Barbie” artist is abundantly honest about who she is.  She describes that the millions of fans who love her “make up for the ones that don’t.” Dolly stays true, like the lasting loyalty of her faithful public through decades.

Dolly Parton never forgets a friend or the blessing of working with a special collaborator.  She enjoys the pleasure of working with some stratospheric talents over her more than six decades as an entertainment dynamo, and she’s not slowing down anytime soon!  As it happens, however, Dolly Parton never shared the stage, or even saw a live show with Elvis Presley, as Yahoo News conveys. Nonetheless, Dolly related to “the King of Rock ‘n Roll” on a deeply emotional level.

It takes more than biology to make Dolly Parton feel like kin

Dolly Parton holds her family relations as close to her heart as her mother’s patchwork quilts that kept her and her siblings warm through the frigid winters in their Sevier County cabin.  Frequently, the songwriting wonder refers to “my family” as the reason for her relentless work ethic.  She hopes to fulfill her wish of taking her last breath on stage, of course, singing a Dolly Parton classic.

Dolly Parton’s sense of closeness to Elvis Presley never drew from genetics.  Instead, Parton senses common ground between their poor, rural roots stretching from the Tennessee Smoky Mountains to Tupelo, Mississippi.  Both she and Presley possess rich musical reflections through their childhood.  It takes an artist to know an artist and much more than the gleaming smile and swivel hips of the “Jailhouse Rock” icon moved Dolly Parton.

“I always felt like we were kin,” Dolly Parton stresses in revelations from her Playboy cover interview in 1978.  Parton elaborates that “I feel like I know exactly how he was.” She speaks insightfully in revelations from Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton. By the time of the sit-down, the subject was likely still in mourning for Elvis Presley, who passed in August of 1977 from prescription drug overdose by the hand of questionable doctors.

No Elvis show for Dolly

Dolly Parton lavishes words like “loving, very emotional, very sensitive, very giving,” in describing Elvis Presley before punctuating her praise with “thankful and grateful” in closing. She relates her thoughts on how the icon of his generation felt “in awe of his own success,” never quite understanding “why he had been so chosen.”

Speaking of choices, Dolly Parton certainly had the opportunity to see Elvis Presley on several occasions. At every stop in town by the “All Shook Up” idol, however, Parton confesses “I just wouldn’t go.  Somethin’ always kept me from goin.’” The “Here You Come Again” singer declares that even though other performers had voices that “I like to hear better,” she assures that “there was nobody I ever related to more” than Elvis Aaron Presley.

Dolly and Elvis do share a marvelous song

Country Music Alley features a story from last October describing Dolly Parton standing up and standing toe-to-toe in refusing to let Elvis Presley or his stalwart manager, Col. Tom Parker, take the publishing rights to “I Will Always Love You” as a condition of the King recording the ageless ballad.

Naturally, Dolly Parton ferociously prizes and defends her songwriting gifts.  She knows the songs are also a legacy to her family.  As thrilled as she was at the prospect of Elvis Presley singing her song for posterity, the asking price was just too high. Dolly Parton refers to the blessing of perfect timing often in her career.  The Elvis recording probably lessens the chance, at any rate, that Whitney Houston would do honors to the song on Dolly’s terms.  Everything certainly works out fine in the end.

A hit with so much heart

The late Country-Pop singer-songwriter, Mac Davis, was another close friend to Dolly Parton.  In Parton’s Time-Life anthology, the affable Davis describes that Dolly adored their writing sessions together, because he, like Dolly, “wrote songs really fast.” One of the best songs by Mac Davis is “In the Ghetto,” and in 1969, Elvis made the story of the desperate boy from the city the must-hear song across generations. No one ever compares to the heart in the Elvis Presley rendition. There is a cry that carries in the beloved, soulful voice of the singer through to the final verse.

Whether she sings it out of affection for Elvis or the love of mothers like both she and Elvis had, Dolly Parton, sings “In the Ghetto” on her fourth studio album, My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy, in 1969.  The timing appears to be anything but coincidence!   Once again, the connection between Parton and Presley is proven!

The breakfast that keeps Dolly Parton going

Experts regularly tout the benefits of breakfast as the first meal of the day.  The favorite snack of Elvis Presley, fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches, likely isn’t included in any cardiologists list of foods to wake up to, however tasty.  Elvis is known to eat the combo at all hours of the day and night.

Dolly Parton requires little sleep, also, as she verified in a Today feature. Six hours of rest usually revs up the engine for the petite powerhouse.  The proud Tennessee performer loves nothing more than making a down-home meal for her husband, Carl Dean. While he indulges in white “milk gravy,” homemade biscuits, and bacon, his bride’s favorite wake-up edible delight is homemade egg salad with a tomato on toast.  If Dolly Parton feels a little more indulgent, she dives into a bagel with cream cheese, but not too often.  She insists that she gains weight fast due to being short and having “a farmer’s appetite.”

That’s hard to believe, Dolly Parton.  With a heart like yours doing so many things right, you’ll have to wait a long time to meet Elvis Presley at the pearly gates!

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