By Charles Apple
Country music legend Dolly Parton has a new Christmas album that debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard holiday album chart and a new book detailing her career as a songwriter. Here’s a look at Dolly’s life and times:
Jan. 19, 1946
Dolly Rebecca Parton is born in Pittman Center, Tennessee.
Parton writes her first song, “Little Tiny Tassel Top.”
Parton begins performing as a regular singer on “The Cas Walker Show” in Knoxville.
Parton makes her first recording, “Puppy Love.” A single is released but does not chart.
Parton gives her first performance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. She’s introduced by Johnny Cash and then performs his song, “You Gotta Be My Baby.”
Parton and her uncle Bill Owens are signed to a major record contract. She records “It’s Sure Gonna Hurt” – which she wrote with Owens – but the single fails to chart, and Mercury Records drops them.
April 13, 1963
Parton sings six songs for an album called “Hits Made Famous by Country Queens.”
Parton and Owens sign a contract with Monument Records.
Singer Bill Phillips records two Parton-Owens songs and hits the top 10 with both.
Jan. 21, 1967
Parton first appears on the Billboard country charts with two singles: “Dumb Blonde” and “Something Fishy.”
Parton releases her first full-length album, “Hello, I’m Dolly.”
Sept. 5, 1967
Parton first appears on a weekly syndicated country music series, “The Porter Wagoner Show.”
Parton and Wagoner hit No. 7 on the Billboard country chart with a duet of “The Last Thing on My Mind.”
Jan. 15, 1968
Parton and Wagoner release their first duet album, “Just Between You and Me.”
Parton’s first solo single for RCA Records, “Just Because I’m a Woman,” is released.
Parton and Wagoner win the Country Music Association award for Vocal Group of the Year.
Parton’s version of Jimmy Rodgers’ “Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8)” reaches No. 3 on the Billboard country chart.
Parton’s solo single “Joshua” becomes her first No. 1 hit.
Parton’s “Jolene” hits No. 1 on the country chart and No. 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Parton’s next four singles also reach No. 1 on the country chart: “I Will Always Love You,” “Please Don't Stop Loving Me” – a duet with Porter – “Love Is Like a Butterfly” and “The Bargain Store.” In April, Parton leaves the Porter Wagoner television and road show.
Parton wins the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year award.
Sept. 13, 1976
Parton’s first TV show, “Dolly,” premieres in syndication.
Feb. 14, 1977
Parton releases her first self-produced album, “New Harvest ... First Gathering.” The single “Here You Come Again” spends five weeks at No. 1 on the country chart and peaks at No. 3 on the pop chart.
“New Harvest ... First Gathering” makes Parton the first female country artist to have an album sell 1 million copies. Parton wins her first Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Female for her album “Here You Come Again.”
Dec. 19, 1980
“9 to 5,” starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Parton, is released. Parton’s work on the film earns three Golden Globe nominations plus an Academy Award nomination for the title song.
The song “9 to 5” hits No. 1 on both the country and pop singles charts. Parton wins Grammy Awards for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Female and Best Country Song. She also is named Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year.
July 23, 1982
Parton stars in “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” with Burt Reynolds. Her remake of “I Will Always Love You” for the soundtrack earns her a Grammy nomination.
Oct. 29, 1983
“Islands in the Stream,” a duet with Kenny Rogers and written by the Bee Gees, hits No. 1 on the Billboard pop singles chart.
Parton is inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
May 3, 1986
The Dollywood theme park opens near Parton’s hometown in Tennessee.
The album “Trio” with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt hits the Top 10 on the Billboard album chart. It wins a Grammy, ACM Album of the Year and CMA Top Vocal Event awards.
The album “Eagle When She Flies” produces another No. 1 single: “Rockin’ Years,” a duet with Ricky Van Shelton.
Whitney Houston records Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” for her film “The Bodyguard.” The single spends 14 weeks at No. 1.
Parton releases her autobiography, “Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business.”
Parton embarks on a series of bluegrass albums. The first, “The Grass Is Blue,” wins a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album.
“Little Sparrow” wins a Grammy for Best Country Female Vocal Performance.
April 13, 2004
Parton is awarded the Living Legend Medal from the Library of Congress.
Parton’s song “Travelin’ Thru” for the movie “Transamerica” earns her another Academy Award nomination.
Parton re-records “Jolene” with the a cappella group Pentatonix and appears on the TV show “The Voice” singing with her goddaughter, Miley Cyrus.
Sources: Library of Congress, “The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits” by Joel Whitburn, Internet Movie Database, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, DollyParton.com, Dollymania.net