How Dolly Parton Can Write A Song While Doing Her Makeup
via The Howard Stern Show / Youtube
Dolly Parton has made a lasting impact on the music and entertainment industries over the course of an amazing 40-year career. Many musical masterpieces, such as the timeless songs “Jolene,” “Coat of Many Colors,” and “I Will Always Love You,” have been left to the world by the multitalented actress.
In addition to her musical accomplishments, Parton has demonstrated her acting talent with memorable performances, such as her Oscar-nominated debut in “9 to 5,” and memorable roles in films like “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and “Steel Magnolias.”
The Queen of Country had recently shared with American broadcaster Howard Stern that even the simplest morning makeup routine can inspire her to write songs.
“Somehow there’s just something about that time of the morning, and when I’m doing that, that I get some of my best ideas,” Dolly told Stern on the latter’s radio show, The Howard Stern Show.
“I’m looking at myself putting on makeup… my mind is working”
When asked by the host if Dolly has a specific place where she just “zones out”, the singer-songwriter revealed an unlikely favorite spot: her makeup table.
“When I sit down to do my makeup because I’ve got the table there, I’ve got my makeup laying around and I’ve got my notepad there and my little tape recorder,” Parton revealed.
It seems like that time in the morning was a favorite for the “Jolene” singer, as she disclosed that it was when she got “some of my best ideas” and that whenever she puts on makeup, her mind starts working. She went on:
“Somehow just when I’m looking at myself, putting on makeup, you know, my mind is working, everything is kind of working, my hands are working, and somehow there’s just something about that time of the morning, and when I’m doing that, that I get some of my best ideas.”
“I always try to keep a little tape recorder somewhere near”
Mornings in general are always the best for Dolly, as she also revealed that even her dreams reveal some inspirations that will escape her if she can’t write them down immediately.
“Sometimes I’ll dream a song, and I learned years ago if you don’t wake up and write that down, you will not remember that,”
The iconic singer had always kept a little tape recorder tucked somewhere near her bed for easy access whenever inspiration came in while she was sleeping.
“I always try to keep a little tape recorder somewhere near, because if I get a melody, that’s the same as like words. If you don’t write it down, you’re going to forget it. You’ll think you’ll remember it, but you won’t,” she added.
“I’ll use a Maybelline pencil; anything I get my hands on”
Howard agreed with Dolly that the brain, especially in the morning after waking up, “does not retain ideas”. Writing a thought down is imperative for songwriters.
“I think all writers do that, serious songwriters. We’ll write on a tablecloth, we’ll write on a napkin, on a Kleenex box, whatever, you know, it’s handy,” Parton agreed.
The country star, now also a rock and roll star thanks to finally accepting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and also releasing a star-studded Rockstar album, may have written some of her most memorable songs using a Maybelline pencil.
“And I’ll use a Maybelline pencil. Anything I get my hands on, because I know if I don’t do it, right then I will forget it, and then I’ll want to kill myself later to think, what was that great idea? I know it was great. So you just learn, that’s part of your trade,” Dolly shared.
Dolly has always been a songwriter
Dolly’s father remembers her singing before she could talk, therefore her entry into the realm of music started at a very young age. She began singing hymns at her grandfather’s church at the age of six, and at seven she began to play the guitar.
Dolly was quite inventive; she used two bass guitar strings and an old mandolin to create her first homemade guitar. Her musical journey began when her uncle gave her a real Martin guitar when she was eight years old. Dolly sums up her lifetime love of music perfectly when she says, “It’s all I’ve ever known.”
Dolly explores themes like love, family, recollections, and her deep spirituality in her songwriting. Growing up in the Church of God, she admits its effect and calls it a “very free church”.
Dolly’s unique singing style, which combines enthusiasm with unbridled freedom, might have been influenced by the lively environment of Sunday services and revivals. Her singing reflects the deepest aspects of her creativity; it is a forceful and dynamic vocal performance that also maintains a delicate and profoundly meaningful character.