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About the Author
" A hefty retrospective on the six-decade career of a country music superstar who tells stories in song. Parton has been mining her East Tennessee roots for crowd-pleasing songs ever since she wrote her first tune, about a corncob doll, at around the age of 6. With Nashville-based music journalist Oermann, she serves up her highest-grade ore in a handsomely produced collection of the lyrics to more than 175 of her songs, some in print for the first time. All songs have brief introductions on topics such as when and how Parton wrote them, and longer pieces show her evolution from 'a hard-core country artist' with a 'girlish soprano tremolo' to a multifaceted star also at ease with pop, gospel, and bluegrass. Moving chronologically through the artist's life, the book reveals her abiding passions with thematic juxtapositions of songs, which range from '9 to 5' to the elegiac ballads 'Jolene' (her song 'most performed by others') and 'I Will Always Love You' ('For what she did with that, I will always love you, Whitney Houston'). Hundreds of color and black-and-white photos of Parton and others display her over-the-top tastes in fashion and wigs faithful to her motto: 'Leave no rhinestone unturned.' Parton conceals more than she reveals about her 50-plus-year marriage to the reclusive Carl Dean and whether she's had affairs ('Well, I don't admit or deny anything'). She is frank, however, about professional setbacks. For example, when she was starting out in the industry, every major record company on Nashville's Music Row turned her down as a vocalist. In the final pages, Parton sounds a poignant note in the lyrics to a song written with Kent Wells and released during the pandemic. The song, 'When Life Is Good Again, ' is the hymnlike lament of a repentant sinner who vows to change 'when life is good again.' A splashy, entertaining guide to the lyrics of one of the most popular musicians of our time. " --Kirkus Starred Reviews
"...a tome that will keep you entranced for weeks. It is essentially the story of her life, told through the lyrics of her songs. The design is wonderful, replete with photographs, ample white space, descriptive text and song lyrics surrounded by the ephemera related to them...As I read, I could hear her voice as if it were reading the book to me. What a treat!"
-- Denton Record-Chronicle (TX)
Holiday Gift Guide Pick
"The coffee table book of the year, this weighty tome is filled to overflowing with personal anecdotes, terrific photos and behind-the-music revelations about Dolly's life, loves, regrets and victories."
Holiday Gift Pick
" A must-have. You'll come away with even more appreciation for her -- as if that's possible. "
--Cool Mom Picks