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Dolly Soars With 'Jolene'

During a seemingly routine autograph session, Dolly Parton found the inspiration for a future hit. Following a concert date with Porter Wagoner, Dolly stood at the edge of the stage and waited to greet fans. Immediately, she was struck by the sight of a young girl with long auburn hair who asked Dolly for an autograph.

"You sure are pretty," Dolly told the youngster. "What's your name?" When the girl answered "Jolene," it registered permanently in Dolly's head.

"I had never heard that name before," she recalled, "and it made an impression on me. I remembered it a year or so later and got the idea for a song."

The song Dolly wrote, "Jolene," used the little girl's name, but was actually about an adult female on the prowl for another woman's husband. It was released in November 1973, and finally hit the top of the charts on Feb. 2, 1974, giving Dolly her second solo No. 1.

"Jolene" also became one of Dolly's signature songs - all because of a sweet preteen fan. Years later, Dolly remarked,

"I don't think that little girl ever knew she was my inspiration."

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