Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dolly Parton: the early years

I have a soft spot for Dolly, not just because she's an amazing singer/actress/person, but because 2 years ago I was hired to do voiceover and singing work for the animatronic beavers (insert laugh track here) in the River Battle Ride at Dollywood. Probably one of the most surreal days of my life for sure and I really hope I'm able to do more stuff like that in the near future. I've never been to Dollywood, but it's definitely on my bucket list. If you listen carefully you can hear the song in the background here. Totally nuts, right??!!

Most people know Dolly's hits from the 70's and 80's, but her music career actually started in the late 50's. I'd love to get my hands on her very first record, a single from 1959 on Goldband Records. This link has a picture of the label (albeit a re-issue, but better than nothing!) as well as an MP3 of the very Brenda Lee-esque A-side, Puppy Love.

Her next single was released in 1962 on Mercury Records called It's Sure Gonna Hurt and has country elements mixed with that classic oldies teen pop sound (certain melodies throughout this song kind of sound like Dion's Teenager in Love and Connie Francis' Lipstick on Your Collar).

1963-1967 is when Dolly's career really started taking off singing for Monument Records. One of the songs on Monument that stands out the most to me is the B-side of the single Control Yourself, titled Don't Drop Out. It has an almost northern soul groove to it mixed with a little country twang here and there. It's seriously SO GREAT and you have to listen to it right now. I still haven't been able to find this on vinyl, but the song is available on several compilation CD's. I could totally see this song being a huge hit for a group like The Supremes.

Here are some other great early Dolly tracks:

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