Throughout a career that has spanned four decades, Dolly Parton has contributed countless treasures to the world of music entertainment: songs such as "Jolene," "Coat of Many Colors," and "I Will Always Love You;" acting performances such as her Oscar-nominated film debut in 9 to 5, as well as roles in motion pictures like The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Steel Magnolias; her 1994 autobiography, Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business; and her Smoky Mountain heritage-preserving entertainment park located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, just miles from where she grew up.
Dolly Parton's remarkable life began very humbly. Born January 19, 1946 on a farm in Sevier County, Tennessee, Dolly is the fourth of twelve children born to Robert Lee and Avie Lee Parton. At age nine she appeared on Sevierville station WSEV, and by the age of ten, Dolly was already performing professionally in nearby Knoxville, Tennessee, on both television and radio.
Lest anyone at home doubted her driving ambition to make it as a country singer, she proved it by moving to Nashville the day after she graduated from high school in 1964. By 1967, at age 21, she was on her way to stardom when Porter Wagoner hired her to join the cast of his popular syndicated television show, right around the time she had her first big hit single - the prophetically ironic "Dumb Blonde."
Dolly never looked back. In the 1970's, as her musical horizons expanded to encompass both the deeply rooted sounds of traditional country ("My Tennessee Mountain Home") and the contemporary ones of progressive country ("Light of a Clear Blue Morning"), Parton's audience expanded…