The 10 Pivotal Songs Of Dolly Parton’s Career

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Dolly Parton, the iconic country singer, has contributed so much to the world. For those who are just joining the Dolly Parton fan club, her music is undoubtedly her most lasting legacy.  Parton’s incredible career success can be directly attributed to the power of her music, and that’s what makes her so special and so unique in this industry that’s known for rip-offs and plagiarized songs. Let’s take a moment of your time and explore these 10 pivotal songs that made Dolly Parton the legend that she is today. Check it out below.


“My Tennessee Mountain Home” – My Tennessee Mountain Home (1973)

Done as a homage to her old home where she grew up, Parton isn’t afraid to tell everyone that she’d come from humble beginnings, in Tennessee. She would develop a habit of making songs, and the rest is history.

“Tennessee Homesick Blues”Rhinestone (1984)

The song, like other of Parton’s previous works like “My Tennessee Mountain Home,” was a reflection of her rural Tennessee roots. Parton’s yodeling skills were on full display in this tune.

“Big Dreams and Faded Jeans”Run, Rose, Run (2022)

This year’s release of the first song from Parton’s newest album, Run, Rose, Run, which is also the title of a novel she co-wrote, is a perfect example of her endearing persona and her ability to flawlessly integrate country storytelling with those of melodic, pop tendencies.

“Dumb Blonde” – Hello, I’m Dolly (1967)

Parton was always one step ahead of the game, and she had a knack for turning conventional wisdom on her blonde head. Although Parton is notorious for quips like “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap,” she penned this song to counter any criticism she could get for her signature huge hair.

“In The Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)” – In The Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad) – 1969

Parton penned this song to reflect on her tumultuous childhood and the surprising positive aspects it provided for the rest of her life. Parton’s reality check: fame and fortune aren’t everything, and sometimes the most important thing in this world is to talk to the people you care about.

“Just Because I’m a Woman” – Just Because I’m a Woman (1987)

In 1968, RCA Victor released Dolly Parton’s debut single under her name. Like many others, the blonde singer seeks to subvert clichés; Parton displayed courage by doing so.

“9 to 5” – 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs (1980)

Songwriter Dolly Parton’s ability to work hard and take no codswallop from anyone is on full display in this single, which was included in the film of the same name in which she co-starred alongside Jane Fonda and Lilly Tomlin.

“Coat of Many Colors” – Coat of Many Colors (1984)

The album title track “Coat of Many Colors” was released in September 1971. Because she had no paper on hand when the song came to her, she scribbled it on the back of a dry-cleaning receipt from one of Wagoner’s clothes, as she recalled in her 1994 autobiography, My Life and Other Unfinished Business.

“I Will Always Love You” – Jolene (1973)

Another one of Parton’s most well-known songs, this one has been covered by a wide variety of musicians, especially with Whitney Houston’s version.  When Parton decided to quit her longtime colleague and partner Porter Wagoner and go it alone, she wrote this song as a love letter to him.

“Jolene” – Jolene (1973)

In an interview, Parton said the song was inspired by a redhead bank clerk who allegedly flirted with her husband Carl Dean at his local bank branch shortly after they were married. Moreover, the inspiration for the character Jolene came from a young fan who had asked for her autograph backstage. Dolly Parton said she penned “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” on the same day during an interview with The Bobby Bones Show in 2018.