Dolly Parton wearing a white dress with embellishments singing

The best 5 songs from Dolly Parton to add to your playlist!

The country music legend defines herself as a singer, and entertainer and a businesswoman, but if she has to choose one thing to be in life it would be being a songwriter. Read on to find out about the surprising meaning behind her biggest hits!

  • Did you know that Dolly Parton was only 13 years old when she recorded her first single “Puppy Love” in 1959?
  • Parton has written more than 3,000 songs, but she jokes about it saying that only 3 are good ones. In fact, she has a record for a female artist with 25 songs reaching No. 1 in the Billboard country music charts.
  • The blonde star has won 9 Grammy Awards and nominated 50 times. She also received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers - Source: Getty Images

Dolly Parton wrote some of the greatest songs of all time. Here are our favorite ones!

1) “Jolene”

"Jolene" original album cover.

This is surely Parton's best-known single, so incredibly powerful and an iconic part of American culture. It was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014.

The song is based on a true story about her life. After her marriage in 1966 she discovered her husband Carl Dean flirting with a red haired woman who was a cashier at the bank. Dolly felt threatened by the girl’s beauty and put her feelings into the lyrics.

2) “Coat of Many Colors”

Parton wearing the "Coat of Many Colors" for the musical premiere.

The 74 years old star had a poor childhood. Her mom tenderly handmade a little coat with rags and told her the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors from the Bible. It made her proud of her patchwork coat. It was a very special memento even when kids used to make fun of her.

"To me, it's more than a song. It's an attitude, a philosophy and speaks about family," Dolly said. "It's anti-bullying.” The tune tells about the important things in life, feeling rich thanks to the love of your family.

3) “9 to 5”

Dolly in "9 to 5" she was nominated for her first Academy Award.

This 1980 smash hit is a celebration of the working class. Dolly was debuting as an actress in the movie with the same title. Could you believe she wrote the song during a filming break?

The inspiration came from her acrylic nails. She tapped them and discovered they sound like a typewriter. The movie was about secretaries so with the rhythm she composed the song right on the set and played her fingernails as percussion for the soundtrack!

4) “I Will Always Love You”

Houston's "I Will Always Love You" version won triple platinum.

Could you believe she wrote the lyrics of  “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” on the same day? When she was listening to her old tapes while writing her new memoirs “Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics” she discovered both songs on the same cassette recorded back to back!

The song was an emotional tribute to Porter Wagoner when she ended her musical partnership in 1973. It became an international record-breaking phenomenon in 1992 when Whitney Houston recorded her version for the movie “The Bodyguard.”

5) "Islands in the Stream"

Did you know that Ernest Hemingway inspired this love song after the novel of the same name? The lyrics were written by the disco 70s stars The Bee Gees and Marvin Gaye originally planned to record it.

Kenny Rogers was interested in recording the song, and he was rearranging it in a studio in Los Angeles to make it more to his taste, and wished if he could only have Dolly Parton to sing a duet. Can you believe she just happened to be recording upstairs! Thanks to her magic voice “Islands in the Stream” went to the top of the charts and won platinum certification.

Corey Robertson

Corey Robertson is an American journalist and writer. She has over 20 years experience in the movie industry. A pretzels fan who loves Hollywood romantic comedies and a walk in the park. + info

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