Dolly Parton Miley Cyrus
I was trapped in a Dolly Parton Youtube hole yesterday, and while watching an old Dollegend interview from the ’70s with Barbara Walters I realized that Dolly is the original everybody.

Dolly being the original Gaga/Nicki/Katy/Etc.

Barbara: “You don’t have to look like this. You’re very beautiful. You don’t have to wear the blonde wigs, you don’t have to wear the extreme clothes.”

Dollegend: “It’s certainly a choice. I don’t like to be like everybody else. I’ve often made the statement that I’d never stoop so low as to be fashionable because that’s the easiest thing in the world to do. So I just decided that I’d do something that would at least get the attention, [and] once they got past the shock of the ridiculous way that I looked and all that then they’d see that there was parts of me to be appreciated.”

Dolly being the original Miley:

Barbara: “Do you ever feel that you’re a joke? That people make fun of you?”

Dollegend: “Oh, I know they make fun of me. But actually, all these years, people have thought that the joke’s on me, but it’s actually been on the public. I know exactly what I’m doing and I can change it at any time… I am sure of myself as a person. I’m sure of my talent… I’m very content.”

Dolly being the original Taylor and Shania:

Barbara: “I hear folks back home saying, ‘She’s gone Hollywood. Dolly’s changed.’ Tell us about all that.”

Dollegend: “I’m not making a crossover from country to pop, I’m trying to be accepted in the pop field, as well as the country field. I feel my music is it’s own music, just like I’m my own person. I write ’em, I sing ’em, I have my own way of singin’ ’em, my own way of doin’ it. And as a businessperson I like to think that there’s more money to be made than the money I’ve been making. I’ve been working too hard, too long, for too little.”

“When you say that you can make millions compared to thousands, and if you are going to be in this business, if you are talented, if you do love it, why not touch as many people? My dream was always to make as many people happy as I could in this life… I want to be a star. A universal star. I would like to be a superstar. So in order to be a superstar, you can’t just be a superstar in one area. That means you have to appeal to a majority of people.”

So basically Dolly did everything that your fave is doing now, except she did it first and way better.

  • LizzyG

    Basically propaganda, a tale as old as time.

    • bluesatellite

      Do elaborate.

      • LizzyG

        Tactics to sway the public, in this case to buy into the brand that was dolly and then now with all todays chicks Proph mentioned. I guess they’re getting money so good for them but honestly idk I personally don’t have much respect for it. But artist have to decide for themselves what’s more important, be yourself or get money. Sometimes, and these are the lasting legends, they can do both.

        • bluesatellite

          It’s getting harder these days for some reason, which sucks. In the 90s, Alanis, Jewel and Natalie Imbruglia made their millions dressed in T-shirts and jeans with little to no make-up and kept it about the music instead of the image. I definitely share your sentiments, though…

          • LizzyG

            Yes see real chicks! It is harder but some do it right? I can’t think of a great example off the top of my head but

          • bluesatellite

            In this day and age the closest we get is Lorde, I suppose. I do hope for more of them. These days the emphasis on image and appearance is just too much, everyone’s so pretty and polished, the mainstream is definitely missing a raw element and I hope more female artists bring it to the table, as well as more openly gay male musicians (seriously, we need more of them).

          • Lorde kind of just came along at the right time as music was shifting back over to more alt-pop, which is another example of the ’90s nostalgia wave. It’s interesting to see the wave of alt-pop stars being huge now though, like Lana and Lorde and I’m sure we have many more to come. Don’t know if it’ll reach the amazing heights of the ’90s though with Fiona Apple, Liz Phair, Hole, etc.

            Taylor is the closest thing we have to Dolly now with her songwriting and multi-format success.

          • bluesatellite

            Lana is probably too contrived and polished for my liking, but I do like some of her stuff. I sure hope for more female singer/songwriters in the mainstream. Kelly Clarkson came very close with My December (I think I’ve said it that it would have been huge if it had been out some decade earlier) but alas she went back to doing generic (but occasionally good) poppier stuff. I think My December was the only time that I properly liked her, it’s an amazing record. Katy and Gaga definitely have it in them to truly bring out the singer-songwriter goodness but alas… too busy being popstars, I guess. I think that’s the problem with these girls — a lot of pressure from their surroundings and the music climate doesn’t exactly help. Too bad.

            Yeah, I agree, in keeping with this post’s theme. Taylor’s non-pop stuff is legit good. Jacques, you always mention Fiona, which is more than okay, but no shout out to other 90s female piano rockers? Tori? Sarah? Paula? lol

          • Do NOT put Fiona Apple in the same sentence as someone like Paula Cole LOL. Fiona is in a different league of artistry lol.

            I don’t mind Tori, like some of her stuff but I prefer Fiona over them all because her compositions are so complex and unpredictable, and vocally she runs rings around all the others. Also love Hole because I’m a huge grunge fan and I love all the huge grunge acts of the ’90s (especially Smashing Pumpkins, my fave). And love Liz Phair because Exhile In Guyville is so brilliant. Ani Difranco is good but a bit too folky and positive for me. Folk is one of my least favourite genres. And I like stuff that’s darker and grittier in general.

          • bluesatellite

            Have you actually listened to Paula Cole? I know her sound has more pop leanings but girl wrote some amazing stuff (Happy Home, Tiger, I Believe in Love) and churned out two 90s classics so you can’t exactly dismiss her lol

          • LizzyG

            Damn I missed most of this discussion, is there a way to get alerts or anything with disqus? So much to comment on lol well in short I’ll say I’m glad to not be alone in feeling that today’s weird pop-peteers are just not up to par with many of their predisessors. Everything feels stale, there’s got to be change coming..

          • bluesatellite

            Lol, I get notifications in my e-mail, but idk, perhaps you need to check back regularly? Yeah, I think the mainstream has seriously been lacking diversity. It’s getting better now, but still, there definitely needs to be more variety. Back then pop ballads, rock and R&B co-existed nicely in the mainstream, and you don’t really get that these days. And I wish there were less ageism in the industry. Pertaining to the post, I would like someone like Dolly scoring a mainstream hit just because she put out great music, you know?

          • LizzyG

            I’m going to try to figure out email notifications and yes I should check more regularly, I usually do! Anyway, I totally agree, I so miss the ballads and the rock and the R&B and all of it was equally good. And now, idk even know how to describe todays music (I mean I do like some of it but I used to like way more).
            Yes, the ageism is horrible.
            That would be cool for someone who hasn’t put out music in a long time, who was a legend, and put out something now, killed it and tought all these little minions a lesson. That is what needs to happen!!

        • Well one major difference is Dolly wrote, sang, and produced all her songs from scratch herself. The only other person out of today’s pop girls to do that is Taylor Swift on Speak Now and a few of Lady Gaga’s filler ballads, but Dolly did that for 95% of all her music and she’s released close to fifty albums

          • LizzyG

            I edited my post Jac and gave her props! I know she’s an exception and I guess we’ll see in 50 years which one of the now chicks stand the test of time.

          • LizzyG

            But already a bunch of them seem to be dropping off, I guess that was my point to start.

  • KingBeaArthur

    God I love her!

  • OxyCyrus

    Yes!!! So much love for Dolly. As far as pop stars go, she has one of the most expansive and one of the highest quality discographies of them all.

  • Seeing this reminded me of Dolly being on Live with Kelly and Michael over a year ago and her wit was sharp as ever. She’s a riot ;)

    • She is a smooth fox!

  • FreakyFlyBri

    Dolly is indeed the original everyone. I love the woman dearly…her music, her personality, and before I understood what being gay was way back when I was five, I thought she was incredibly beautiful, perhaps the most beautiful woman on the planet (probably a big sign that I would turn out gay lol). But she’s just a wonderful person inside and out…and so much great music that spans several decades. Her music tells such emotional stories, especially her earlier stuff like Jolene, Coat of Many Colors, and The Bargain Store (my anthem for being a jaded gay man who’s been hurt by love so much lol). Bitch even does pop well, like 9 to 5 and Baby I’m Burning. Whitney never would have had I Will Always Love You had it not been for Dolly. She is an institution. Fun fact…Islands In The Stream was the number one song in the country on the day I was born. :D

  • JustJam

    Nice article and good comparisons there. I kind of saw some similarities to Gaga’s style with Dolly Parton’s as well. Also, wasn’t Cher known for her outrageous outfits as well? Madonna probably took inspiration from both and went onto the next level. Gaga took it even higher and went to the extreme by wearing outfits everytime she goes out.