Dolly Parton Bringing A Lifetime Of Music To Pensacola
At this year’s Country Music Association awards ceremony, Dolly Parton was presented a lifetime achievement award. She has already been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters hall of Fame. After the CMA’s she talked about her career. "I love what I do and I hope to be doing it from now on and I hope they don't think that because they gave me a Lifetime Achievement Award that they thought I was done!"
Dolly Parton, who will be performing in Pensacola this month, says some of her earliest musical influences were members of her family. "My mother's people were all very musical and used to sing and play different instruments so I really was influenced early on by my own relatives." Professionally, she says Kitty Wells was one of the women she looked up to on the Grand Ole Opry. Also Rose Maddox, the lead singer and fiddle player for the Maddox Brothers and Rose. "I was impressed with them because not only were they great singers, they had a choreographed show and they wore these beautiful, flashy outfits." She also credits her long time performing partner Porter Wagoner with teaching her stage presence.
When it comes to putting a show together, choosing songs from a career spanning four decades can be tough. "You know you have to do your big hits, the ones that people would kill you if you didn't do, like 9 to 5, Here You Come Again, I Will Always Love You, Islands in the Stream, Jolene, Coat of Many Colors...there's a handful that you just have to do. But then you try to figure out what's going to be most entertaining, what they call 'dynamics' in a show, the ups and downs and the moods that you set. That's always the hardest part of touring." She says she tries to incorporate songs that can showcase her musical abilities. "I play the banjo and Applejack is a song I wrote about an old man who plays the banjo so of course I've got to do that."
Parton is more than a singer/songwriter. She has starred in movies such as 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias and has had her own TV series. She is also a businesswoman. In 1986 she invested in the old Silver Dollar City amusement park in the Smoky Mountains and reopened it as Dollywood. The attraction has since doubled in size and employs over 3000 people. She says she has many more plans for the future. "I really feel like I know enough now to do good work. So I really have a lot of new dreams. Every day I have new dreams. So I've got a lot of plans with some TV things, some more movie things, play some parts, produce some things, possibly have a line of make-up and some clothes and stuff down the line. So I've got dreams all the time that I'd like to see come true while I'm still living. And I'm living it to the fullest!"
This summer Dolly released a new album called “Pure and Simple”. It debuted on the country music album chart at number one, the first time that’s ever happened in her career. Her Pure and Simple tour makes a stop at the Pensacola Bay Center on Tuesday, November 29.