I Act On Faith

Dolly Parton opens up about hard times, forgiveness, what brings her husband to tears, whining, nips and tucks and how she gets great cleavage!

Legendary entertainment icon Dolly Parton recently sat down with Senior Editor David Scarlett to give her most revealing interview ever to Country Weekly. Here’s some of what the irrepressible, hugely talented star had to say during that chat. And for more from Dolly, check out the cover story in the May 19 issue of Country Weekly.

CW
How you feelin’? [At the time of this interview, Dolly was recovering from a back injury that delayed the start of her tour].
DP
I’m good now, just kinda pulled my back a little. Been sore, mostly.
CW
Will you be OK by the time the tour rolls around?
DP
Oh, yeah. We’re in rehearsals now. We’ve been in rehearsal for a week and a half. So, I’m back in order.
CW
Have you eliminated any cartwheels from your show?
DP
I didn’t do many of them, but actually [she laughs], we’re movin’ around pretty good.
CW
I love the record. Probably my favorite thing of yours I’ve ever heard
DP
(Gasps!) No kiddin!
CW
It’s really, really good. So, congratulations.
DP
Oh, great. Well, I worked hard on it because I was trying to do some really good stuff, go back to writing some similar things like “Coat Of Many Colors,” which I thought “Barbie” was kinda of from that old school and some of those things people loved and “Forever Hate Roses.” So I tried to get some really country things and used Pig Robbins and Lloyd Green and some of those guys on it. Then I tried to also be as up-to-date as Keith Urban and some of them would like—“Better Get to Livin’” and all that—anyway, hopefully, it worked.
CW
It did in my eyes.
DP
Well, thank you for that. ’Cause I hadn’t heard anybody say it was their favorite thing of mine so far.
CW
One of the reasons is the breadth of what’s on it. Everything from the Fine Young Cannibals . . .
DP
(big laugh) I had some criticism on that: “Why in the hell did you do that?” [she says that with her voice dropped to as manly a depth as she can muster]. But I love that song and my little niece, my little namesake, I used to keep her all the time, and when she was 2—she’s 21 or 22 now—when she was little, she’d go around singing that, “drive me crazy, drive me crazy,” [sung in a little girl’s voice] before she could even talk, she was singing “drive me crazy.” [she laughs] And then my husband loved the song. He played a lot of rock ’n’ roll, so I’d hear him from time to time playin’ that and I thought, “That is so catchy.” And I like taking those old songs sometimes and doing covers and kind of Dollyizin’ ’em.
CW
You Dollyized it more as it went along . . .
DP
[she laughs] Oh I did . . . I know!
CW
By the end of it . . .
DP
It was a hoe down! [she laughs] I thought, “Well, maybe I can get away with it if I turn it into a hoe down!”
CW
It was great. I heard the beginning, the first couple licks, and I hadn’t even looked at the song list. And I thought, “Well, that sounds a whole lot like . . . I hope Dolly hasn’t ripped off the Fine Young Cannibals here.” Then I realized . . . absolutely not!
DP
Well, yeah, that would’ve been a total ripoff. That’s like those great licks like on “Sweet Home Alabama.” You know, there’s just some songs, that if you cop those licks . . . you’re a thief. Somethin’ that original. But I just thought, “That is just too good to not use their arrangement.” And since they wrote it, the guys that did it also wrote it, I thought, “Well they won’t care. It’s their song; they’ll get the publishing from it. And the writin’ royalties.”
CW
Are there things in your CD collection that your fans would be surprised to know that you have? Or is it mostly Carl’s stuff?
DP
Well, most of it’s Carl’s stuff because I don’t buy many records to be honest. But Carl, he loves certain things. He loves pop music like Sinatra, and blues. He goes back from Otis Reading to the old Mississippi blues; he collects all kinds of things and he loves all kinds of music, country being his least favorite. But he loves certain artists. Like he’d always loved Merle Haggard and he liked a few people and certain songs, but his favorite music is acid rock. He was a Led Head—he loved Led Zeppelin—which is why I also covered on one of my records “Stairway To Heaven,” which everybody said, “Oh that was a stupid thing to do.” I said, “Well, Why?” These are songs that as a singer, you want to sing certain songs. And as a songwriter, you appreciate when anybody does your stuff, so I thought, why can’t I do it. I’m too old to care what people think about some things and I have to do some things for myself. So I think, well, if I give you 10 or 11 songs that you like, hopefully, or certainly cater 10 or 11 to the audience, at least I can do one to suit myself or to please Carl. So, anyway, that’s kinda why I’m been doing some of those rock covers, just for Carl’s sake. Although he prefers the originals, but he appreciates the thought [she chuckles]. But he gets a kick out of me being bold enough to do them.

For more on Dolly, check out the May 19 issue of Country Weekly.

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