Celebrating Women’s History Month: March 4

4 Mar

Honoring Dolly Parton

Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Dolly Parton. Parton has been a favorite of mine for many many years, dating back to her days with Porter Wagoner. I will confess, back in the mid 1970’s my former stepmother used to force us to listen to country music–I hated it!!! However, there was one song that caught my heart.  We were listening to Just Because I’m a Woman, by Dolly Parton. I loved the song and felt so indignant that there was a double standard for how women and men were treated–I fell in love with our Dolly with this song.  How impressive that a female country music star was addressing the inequities between gender in 1976.  Of course, if there is anyone that listens to Toby Keith, one wonders if he is even aware of the women’s movement, or anyone that is not a white heterosexual man. Just Because I’m a Woman, was one of many clues that I would become a militant feminist. The next song that caught my heart was The Bargain Store. I used to cry listening to this song. How could she not see her value and how lovable she is? The song is very telling of how often women internalize messages of self-doubt, or the misconception that they are lucky if someone choses them, whey in reality they should do the choosing!

Parton has been good friends with two of my other favorite women, Linda Rondstadt and Emmylou Harris. Who could not love their album in 1987 The Trio, specifically My Dear Companion? I also loved Trio II. The song Blue Train, I find haunting and beautiful.

I also loved Dolly Parton in the quintessential women’s movement movie of the 1980’s decade, 9 to 5.  How can you not love Doralee? I would be remiss if I did not include Hard Candy Christmas, from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I will conclude this article with a song that Ms. Parton was robbed of an academy award for, Travelin’ Thru, from Transamerica.

There are many reasons to love our Dolly Parton, just some of which are: a pioneer for strong women in country music, a powerful and smart business woman with a brilliant voice, and a supporter of the LGBT community.

7 Responses to “Celebrating Women’s History Month: March 4”

  1. Jenny March 4, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    And- she’s a KICK ass guitar player. Jolene is one of my favorite songs ever- Dolly is an avid supporter of equality in marriage. I’ve heard her say so on tv myself. I love her honesty and she’s one sharp ageless lady. Who plays guitar just fine on her own- I love her. Thank you for paying tribute to Dolly.

  2. Jay March 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    The late film critic Gene Siskel, of Siskel and Ebert fame, was asked which celebrity he most enjoyed meeting and he said Dolly Parton. He mentioned her charm and kindness, and said something to the effect of her being the sweetest person he’d ever met in any venue, not just show business.

    Just one of those left field anecdotes that I read twenty or twenty-five years ago that, for whatever reason, has stuck. I haven’t read or seen anything to contradict Siskel in the intervening years.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

      Jay, I’m glad you shared that story. I can vouch for her being a wonderfully kind person. She lived behind my parents when they lived in Nashville, and I had the chance to work with her when I worked at the Country Music Hall of Fame–Emmylou Harris was my boss.

  3. webwordwarrior March 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Emmylou Harris was your boss and you lived next to Dolly Parton? That’s pretty amazing. I’ve only ever heard good things about Ms. Parton, too. Thanks for highlighting her.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

      Lex, I have to say that Emmylou is so wonderful that I would actually cross the road for her 🙂 She is brilliant and beautiful!

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  1. Music Posts from The Solipsistic Me « Music and Meaning: The RBHS Jukebox - April 9, 2011

    […] Dolly Parton […]

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