Dolly Parton/ Wikimedia Commons

Dolly Parton/ Wikimedia Commons

Hello Dolly

Shaka Guide


Okay, y'all, do I have any country music fans with me today? Now, even if you don't love country music, well, it's hard not to be smitten by the effervescent Dolly Parton. And speaking of Queen Dolly, if you've driven through the town of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, you might have noticed that enormous amusement park called Dollywood. Or if you missed that, maybe you saw the giant billboards for Dolly Parton's stampede dinner attraction. 

Early Life and Musical Beginnings

Okay, for any of you young'uns in the car that don't know who the heck I'm talking about, well, Dolly Parton is Miley Cyrus' godmother. There you go. Anyway, Miss Dolly was born and raised in a tiny cabin just a few miles north of Pigeon Forge in Sevierville. 

And the first song you heard in the last track is about her sacred home. She was born to a musical family of 12 kids, and she was playing a homemade guitar by the time she was six years old. Wow. 

Rise to Stardom

In the 1960s, Dolly's music career really began to skyrocket. And before long, she was one of the most popular and well-respected country artists on the planet. Now, it's an understatement to say that Dolly's had an amazing career.

She's written some of the biggest songs of the past six decades. I Will Always Love You. And I will always love you.

Jolene. Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene. I'm begging of you, please don't take my man.

And, of course, her iconic anthem, 9 to 5. Plus, her platinum blonde wigs, flashy costumes, and sweet southern drawl are instantly recognizable. But despite all her fame and success, Dolly remains down to earth. She still calls herself a hillbilly and speaks fondly of the people and the town where she grew up. 

Dollywood and Business Ventures

And Dolly's contributions go way beyond music. The Dollywood Company is one of the largest employers in the whole area. She's donated millions to local charities and organizations in the area as well. 

And she's established an animal sanctuary in Pigeon Forge. But Dolly doesn't limit her generosity to just the people of Tennessee. She created the Imagination Library, which provides free books to any child from birth to age five. 

Any child, anywhere in the world. The Imagination Library has distributed over 200 million books to children across the globe. Now, these are some amazing achievements for a poor country girl from Sevierville.

It's a true rags-to-riches tale and a reminder that the American dream is still alive and well. 9 to 5, what a way to make a living, barely getting by. It's all taking and no giving. 

They just use your mind and they never give you credit. It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it. 9 to 5, for service and devotion, you would think that I would deserve a fair promotion. 

Want to move ahead, but the boss won't seem to let me. I swear sometimes that man is out to get me. They let you dream just to watch them shatter. 

You're just a step on the boss man's ladder, but you've got dreams he'll never take away. On the same boat with a lot of your friends, waiting for the day your ship will come in, and the tide's gonna turn, and it's all gonna roll your way. What can I do about it?

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