Dolly Parton discusses her new festive album
The US-born singer, known as the Queen of Country, celebrates her 75th birthday today. Parton has one of the world’s most recognisable voices and during more than six decades in the music industry has had 110 charted singles. The 9 to 5 vocalist, who released A Holly Dolly Christmas last year, has earned 10 Grammy Awards, 50 nominations and the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Parton professed to “love Christmas” during a recent interview, ahead of her festive album and the Netflix film Christmas on the Square being released.
In preparation for the release of A Holly Dolly Christmas, which reached number 16 in the UK album charts, the singer got into the festive mood prematurely.
She admitted to having “started it early on in the summer” and had been “doing Christmas since July”.
Parton’s attempts to spread merriment included “decorating the studio” with festive items to ensure her team “felt like [they] were in the Christmas spirit”.
By October, when the legendary singer gave an interview to Jessie Ware’s Table Manners podcast, she was already in festive attire and surroundings.
Dolly Parton revealed she regretted being unable to ‘cuddle and cosy-up’ to Michael Buble
Dolly Parton, now 75, had hits including Jolene, 9 to 5, I Will Always Love You and more
Ware said: “We can paint the picture Dolly, there’s a Christmas tree, there’s a wreath, Dolly is in a beautiful red outfit.
“I feel like it’s Christmas Eve and I have the best present of all.”
Parton thanked the musician, who reached number three in the UK albums chart with her release What’s Your Pleasure last year.
The country legend continued: “We need some Christmas. I wish I recorded that in my new album, ‘We need a little Christmas’ but I didn’t.
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Dolly Parton has received scores of awards including 10 Grammys and their Lifetime Achievement Award
“But we certainly do and I’ve got it. I started it early on in the summer, so I’ve been doing Christmas since July.”
Featured on Parton’s Christmas album was Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus, Willie Nelson, US talk show host Jimmy Fallon and the singer’s brother Randy.
But the musician explained that she was most excited to record alongside Canadian superstar Michael Bublé.
Despite her excitement to perform with the Haven’t Met You Yet singer, reality didn’t live up to expectation when they recorded together.
Parton explained: “I’m in Nashville, I’m in one of our studios where we do our work.
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Dolly Parton released A Holly Dolly Christmas last year, where she duetted with Michael Buble
“We kind of work in a small circle, in our own little personal private areas and we try to do our social distancing and try to be smart and all that.”
Ware then asked the country legend: “Did you actually get to get cosy with Michael or did it have to be socially distanced cosying-up with Michael Bublé?”
Parton replied: “Well, I wanted to cosy-up…”
Ware interjected: “Don’t we all Dolly?”
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Parton continued: “I wanted to cosy-up with him but I couldn’t very well do that, not this year anyway, so maybe next year.
“I’ll do a Christmas special of the same album and then maybe I’ll get to cuddle up with him then.”
Parton went on to explain the difficulties of filming during the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused the deaths of more than two million people and infected 95.6 million.
She said: “All the guests that we had on, we kind of had to do it with them in their studios.
Dolly Parton celebrated her 75th birthday this week on Tuesday, January 19
“We had to kind of do it with all of the social distancing and all of the stuff that we had to do but thank God [for] technology – we pulled it off!”
To mark her 75th birthday, Parton will release the song I Will Always Love You and I Dreamed About Elvis Last Night, alongside an Elvis Presley impersonator.
Parton’s decision stemmed from a feud between herself and the King of Rock and Roll, which developed after she turned down an opportunity to duet with him.
Their disagreement was over money after Elvis wanted the country singer to give up half of her publishing rights to I Will Always Love You – if they performed it together.
Dolly Parton released A Holly Dolly Christmas and Netflix film Christmas on the Square last year
She rejected the opportunity and was sad that they never made amends before Elvis’ death in 1977 – but one night Parton had a dream where they sorted out their differences.
Parton channelled that experience in the song I Dreamed About Elvis Last Night, which she has only ever performed live in concert.
Now she will record the tracks in honour of the King, a decision she explained in The Big Issue’s Letter to My Younger Self section last year.
She wrote: “One day, I’m going to put that track out. So I think that I’d talk to Elvis, and just clear that up with him.”
Dolly Parton appeared on the podcast Table Manners with Jessie Ware, which was released on December 2 and is available to listen to here.