Dolly Parton & the Roots of Country Music
Special Presentation: Dolly Parton Timeline
January 19, 1946
Dolly Rebecca Parton is born to Robert Lee Parton and Avie Lee Parton near Sevierville, Tennessee.
Parton writes her first song, "Little Tiny Tassle Top."
Parton makes her first guitar out of an old mandolin and two bass guitar strings.
Parton begins performing as a regular singer on The Cas Walker Show in Knoxville.
Parton makes her first recording, "Puppy Love," on Goldband Records. The single is released in 1959, but does not chart.
Parton gives her first performance at the Grand Old Opry. Introduced by Johnny Cash, she performs his "You Gotta Be My Baby" and gets three encores.
Parton and her uncle Bill Owens are signed to Tree Publishing and Mercury Records in Nashville. She records "It's Sure Gonna Hurt" (written by Parton and Owens) backed with "The Love You Gave." Credited to "Dolly Parton with the Merry Melody Singers," this is her first single on a major label. The record fails to chart, and Parton and Owens are dropped from Tree and Mercury.
Parton sings six songs, some of them Kitty Wells hits, on Hits Made Famous by Country Queens, released on Somerset records.
Fred Foster signs Parton and Bill Owens to his Combine publishing house and to Monument Records.
Bill Phillips makes the top ten with recordings of two Parton-Owens songs,
"Put It Off until Tomorrow" and "The Company You Keep."
January 21, 1967
Parton first appears on the Billboard country charts with two singles recorded for Monument: "Dumb Blonde" (number twenty-four) and "Something Fishy" (number seventeen).
Parton's first full-length album, Hello, I'm Dolly, is released on Monument Records.
September 5, 1967
Parton first appears on the Porter Wagoner Show.
Parton and Wagoner's duet version of "The Last Thing on My Mind" enters Billboard's country chart, hitting number seven.
Parton and Wagoner's first duet album, Just between You and Me, is released on RCA.
Parton's first solo single for RCA, "Just Because I'm a Woman," is released.
This is also the title of her first solo album for the label.
Parton and Wagoner win the Country Music Association (CMA) award for Vocal Group of the Year, as well as the Music City News (MCN) award for Duet of the Year.
Parton's version of Jimmy Rodgers' "Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8)" reaches number three on the Billboard country charts and shows crossover appeal.
Parton's solo single "Joshua" becomes her first number one hit.
"Jolene" reaches number one on the country charts, and number sixty on the pop charts. Parton's next four singles also reach number one on the country charts: "I Will Always Love You"; "Please Don't Stop Loving Me" (her only number one duet with Porter); "Love is like a Butterfly"; "The Bargain Store." In April, Parton quits the Porter Wagoner television and road show.
Parton wins the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year award.
Dolly, Parton's syndicated television show, premieres. She ends her long
professional association with Porter Wagoner.
Parton releases New Harvest ... First Gathering, her first self-produced album.
The single "Here You Come Again" hits number three on the pop charts.
It holds the number one spot on the country charts for five straight weeks,
making it the biggest hit (based on chart time) of her career.
New Harvest ... First Gathering goes platinum, making Parton the first female
country artist to have an album sell one million copies.
For the album Here You Come Again, Parton wins her first Grammy for
Best Country Vocal Performance by a Female.
Parton's first film, 9 to 5, is released. This earns Parton Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress, Best New Film Star, and Best Original Song (for the title song), as well as the People's Choice Award for Favorite Movie Song ("9 to 5") and an Oscar nomination for the title song.
The song "9 to 5" reaches number one on the country and pop charts. It earns Parton Grammy Awards for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Female and
Best Country Song. She releases the song on her own album, 9 to 5
and Odd Jobs, which wins Parton her first Academy of Country Music (ACM)
Female Vocalist of the Year award.
Parton stars in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Burt Reynolds.
Her remake of "I Will Always Love You" for the soundtrack earns a Grammy nomination.
Parton is inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
May 3, 1986
Dollywood, a theme park, opens near Parton's hometown in Tennessee.
Trio, with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, is a top ten pop album. It wins a Grammy as well as the ACM Album of the Year, MCN Vocal Collaboration of the Year, and CMA Top Vocal Event awards.
The album Eagle When She Flies gives Parton another number one hit:"Rocking Years," with Ricky Van Shelton. Parton is Billboard's All-Time Top Female Country Artist, the only woman to chart number one records in three different decades.
Rhythm & blues singer Whitney Houston records Parton's "I Will Always Love You"
for her film The Bodyguard. This recording set a then-record of fourteen weeks at number one.
Parton releases Honky Tonk Angels with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, the first album to be released through Columbia and Parton's own record label, Blue Eye.
Parton releases her autobiography, Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business, which is a New York Times Bestseller.
Parton's first bluegrass album, The Grass Is Blue, is released to great critical acclaim. It is her first release on the independent label Sugar Hill Records and her own Blue Eye Records.
The Grass Is Blue wins the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. Parton releases bluegrass- and folk-based Little Sparrow, another critical and commercial success.
Little Sparrow wins the Grammy for Best Country Female Vocal Performance for its single "Shine" and is named Best Bluegrass Album by the Association for Independent Music Awards. Parton releases a third bluegrass-influenced CD, Halos & Horns, which includes a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven." Parton goes on tour for the first time in a decade.
Halos & Horns earns Parton two more Grammy nominations. She also earns a nomination for the CMA Female Vocalist Of The Year--her first such recognition in sixteen years. Sugar Hill releases the tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs of Dolly Parton. Welk Music Group releases a new collection of patriotic and spiritual songs by Parton, titled For God and Country. Two of her songs are named by CMT (Country Music Television) among the 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music.
Parton is featured at the annual Capitol Fourth concert in Washington, D.C.
April 13, 2004
Parton accepts the Living Legend Medal from the Library of Congress.
Last Updated: April 8, 2010