The Real Story and Relationship Of Dolly Parton And Her 11 Siblings

The Real Story and Relationship Of Dolly Parton And Her 11 Siblings | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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Born into a big family, Dolly Parton grew up with 11 siblings in a small cabin in Tennessee. Her birthday is January 19, 1946. Her dad worked hard on farms and in construction, and her mom took care of the large family at home. They didn’t have much money, and Dolly once mentioned her father gave the doctor a bag of cornmeal when she was born because that’s all they could afford.

Dolly and her brothers and sisters were surrounded by music because of their mom’s musical family. “I grew up in a very musical family, all my mother’s people were very musical, so I was always around people playing instruments and singing, and my mom singing the old songs,” Dolly recalled in an interview with PEOPLE.

She even made two movies about her life, “Coat of Many Colors” and “Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love,” which shared more about her childhood stories. Her brothers and sisters played parts in these films.

Now, let’s get to know Dolly Parton’s brothers and sisters:

Willadeene Parton

The Parton family’s eldest sibling, Willadeene, came into the world on March 24, 1940. Her position as the firstborn meant she played an essential role in the family dynamics, often seen as a secondary maternal figure by her younger siblings. Despite the nearly two-decade age gap between herself and the youngest Parton, Rachel, she shared a love of music that resonated throughout the family. Though Willadeene did pursue a gospel music career for a time, she eventually stepped away from the music industry and found her calling in writing. In 1996, she published Smoky Mountain Memories: Stories from the Hearts of the Parton Family, offering an intimate look at her family’s history and experiences. She followed this with a cookbook titled All-Day Singing & Dinner on the Ground in 1997. Outside of her literary contributions, Willadeene has opted for a life away from the limelight.

David Parton

Born in 1942, David is the first son of the Parton family. In contrast to several of his siblings who have embraced careers in the music industry, David chose a different path and has maintained a private lifestyle. His public appearances are rare, but he has been seen occasionally in family photos alongside his famous sister Dolly and other relatives.

Coy Parton

As the third child and second son, Coy was born in 1943. Aligning with the choice of his brother David, Coy has also decided to keep his personal life away from the public’s eye. While the Parton family is celebrated for their musical talents and presence in the entertainment world, Coy is one of the Parton siblings who have opted not to pursue a life of fame.

Robert Lee Parton Jr.

Robert Lee Parton Jr., often referred to as Bobby, was born in 1948—just two years after his sister Dolly. Serving as another example of a Parton sibling who has chosen to steer clear of the entertainment industry, Robert has deliberately kept his life private. As with brothers David and Coy, not much is known about Robert’s personal or professional endeavors, by choice, as he seems content away from the spotlight that has shone brightly on some of his other family members.

Stella Parton


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Dolly’s younger sister, Stella Parton, was born on May 4, 1949, and has also made a name for herself in the country music scene. Her debut album in 1975, I Want to Hold You in My Dreams Tonight, propelled her career, thanks to the title track reaching the ninth spot on the Hot Country Songs chart. Over the years, Stella has not only enjoyed a successful music career with hits like “The Danger of a Stranger” and “Four Little Letters” but has also branched out as an author and actress. In 2011, she released her memoir, Tell It Sister, Tell It: Memories, Music and Miracles, along with three cookbooks. Stella also appeared in Dolly’s TV movies Coat of Many Colors and Christmas of Many Colors, playing the role of Corla Bass. She continues to be active in the music industry.

Cassie Parton

Following Stella, Cassie Parton was born on February 12, 1951. She showcased her singing talent by performing in a gospel group with her sisters before moving away from a professional music career. Cassie then participated in the 2013 season of her sister Dolly’s My People show at Dollywood, performing as a vocalist alongside their brother, Randy. Despite her brief public appearances, Cassie leads a mostly private life today.

Randy Parton


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Dolly’s brother, Randy Parton, born on December 15, 1953, also pursued a career in music with the release of his debut album There Was a Dream in 1978. He enjoyed a music career that saw the release of hit singles such as “Hold Me Like You Never Had Me.” Randy was the first artist to record “Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler),” which later became a hit for Alabama. He was closely involved with Dolly’s music, collaborating on several songs and even taking part in her movie projects. Randy had a long-standing show at Dollywood starting in 1986. Sadly, Randy passed away in January 2021 at the age of 67 after battling cancer, leaving a significant impact on the Parton family and fans.

Larry Parton

The Parton family faced a profound tragedy with the birth of their ninth child, Larry Parton, in July 1955, who passed away just four days after his birth. The loss of Larry was a pivotal event for the family, deeply affecting them and becoming a central theme of Dolly’s first Coat of Many Colors film. Larry’s death, described in the movie, illustrates the deep bonds within the Parton family and how they drew strength from one another during such a devastating time.

Floyd Parton

Floyd, one of Dolly Parton’s younger brothers, was born on June 1, 1957. He shared the family’s musical talent, choosing a path in country music similar to his illustrious sister. Floyd Parton made a mark as a songwriter, collaborating with Dolly to create the hit “Nickels and Dimes” from her 1978 “Heartbreaker” album. He also penned “Rockin’ Years,” which Dolly released as a duet with Ricky Van Shelton in 1991, hitting #1 on the charts. Tragically, Floyd Parton’s life was cut short, and he passed away in 2018 at 61. The Parton family, deeply affected by their loss, paid tribute to him by singing “Rockin’ Years” at his memorial service, reflecting on his life filled with “love and beautiful songs.”

Freida Parton

Freida, Floyd’s twin sister, also arrived in the world on June 1, 1957. Distinguishing herself within the musically adept Parton family, Freida ventured into the punk rock genre, diverging from the country roots predominantly favored by her siblings. Despite her punk inclination, she occasionally contributed backing vocals to Dolly’s projects. In 2014, Freida sought to embrace her nurturing side beyond music; she became an ordained minister and fulfilled a dream by opening Parton Family Wedding Chapel & Antiques in Sevierville, Tennessee. Her venture aims to spread love and joy, aligning with her passion for weddings and being a part of couples’ special moments.

Rachel Parton


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Rachel, the youngest of the 12 siblings, was born on August 31, 1959. Her journey in music began with her leading vocals for Honey Creek, a band formed with her brother Randy. Opting to leave school post-eighth grade, Rachel dedicated herself to music and supported Dolly on tours, showcasing her talents in makeup and as a backing vocalist. Transitioning from music to acting, Rachel secured a prominent role in the television adaptation of “9 to 5,” where she played Doralee Rhodes—a character originally portrayed by Dolly in the film version—from 1982 to 1988. Continuing her creative endeavors, Rachel collaborated with Dolly on a cookbook titled “Good Lookin’ Cookin’,” combining their culinary expertise to share 80 cherished recipes, reflecting Rachel’s prowess in both preparing and presenting delectable dishes.