You don’t have to be a Country music fan to love Dolly Parton and her rags-to-rhinestones success story. After making her debut on local radio as a child, Parton achieved success in Nashville in the late 1960s teamed with singer Porter Wagoner. She went solo in 1975 – her song “I Will Always Love You” was about their professional split – and launched this weekly variety half-hour in 1976, produced by the team behind Wagoner’s TV show.
Syndicated to stations nationwide, Dolly was essentially Parton’s introduction to America as a solo performer. She performs both Country standards and pop hits, marking the beginning of her pivot toward crossover success. But her Country roots are still front and center as she duets with guests like Kenny Rogers (their first appearance together) and shares songs and stories from her rural childhood. There’s even a delightful episode featuring a Parton family sing-along with Dolly’s parents and seven of her siblings. (Brother Randy Parton also appears on the final episode with guest Anne Murray).
Soon after Dolly completed its single-season run, Parton released the crossover single “Here You Come Again” and continued her journey to international superstardom.
Notable guest stars: Kenny Rogers, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Anne Murray, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Lynn Anderson
Produced by Reg Dunlap and W.S. Bill Graham.