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Dolly Parton

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Sevierville, Tennessee, U.S. (1955 – present)

Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946 in Sevierville, Tennessee, U.S.) is an American country singer, songwriter, composer, producer, entrepreneur, author and actress.

Parton began performing as a child, singing on local radio and television in East Tennessee. At age 12 she was appearing on Knoxville TV, and at 13, she was recording on a small label and appearing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. When she graduated from high school in 1964 she moved to Nashville, taking many traditional elements of folklore and popular music from East Tennessee with her.

Parton’s initial success came as a songwriter, with her songs being covered by Kitty Wells, Hank Williams, Jr., Skeeter Davis, and a number of others. She signed with Monument Records in late 1965, where she was initially pitched as a bubblegum pop singer, earning only one national chart single, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby,” which did not crack the Billboard Top 100. Additional pop singles also failed to chart.

The label agreed to have Parton sing country music after her composition “Put It Off Until Tomorrow” as recorded by Bill Phillips (and with Parton, uncredited, on harmony) went to No. 6 on the country charts in 1966. Her first country single, “Dumb Blonde” (one of the few songs during this era that she recorded but didn’t write), reached No. 24 country 1967, followed later the same year with “Something Fishy,” which went to No. 17. The two songs anchored her first full-length album, Hello I’m Dolly, that same year.

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