Even in the absence of her, uh, anatomical peculiarities, she would still be a star. Whatever IT is, she has it. Her voice may not be as soulful as Patsy Cline’s was, or as pitch-perfect as Ella Fitzgerald’s. But the Tennessee songbird with the quavering voice is a great stylist who has pleased millions with such as “I Will Always Love You,” “Jolene,” “9 to 5,” “Islands in the Stream,” “Two Doors Down,” “It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right,” and many others in a song-writing and singing career that has lasted more than half a century.
Of course I’m referring to Dolly Parton, who, as hard as it is to believe, turns 70 Tuesday. Born to a poor family in Sevier County, Tennessee, Parton came by white soul music honestly. With a pleasing voice, a magnetic stage presence (if you’re not happy while watching Dolly perform, please check your pulse — you may be dead), and unquestioned authenticity, Parton has been at the top of the country charts countless times and has won ever award given in country music.
If this weren’t enough, everyone who has known her reports she is a friendly, generous, and thoroughly decent soul. (And she endures a ton of tasteless breast jokes with good humor.) More Dollys we could use. And it’s certainly understandable why millions love this one.
Happy birthday, Dolly. And many happy returns.
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