STARRED REVIEW
December 2020

Dolly Parton, Songteller

By Dolly Parton

In Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, the lovable, candid, tell-it-like- it-is singer shares her own story through the lyrics of her songs.

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’Tis the season to be Dolly! In Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, the lovable, candid, tell-it-like-it-is singer shares her own story through the lyrics of her songs. While fans love Parton for her crystal-clear vocals and her charming, witty stage presence, she’s always thought of herself as a songwriter first, and this book illustrates her deep devotion to music that captures a moment or tells a heart-rending tale. As she reveals, “I write a lot from my own heart. But I also just have a big imagination. When I was young, we didn’t go to the movies, so I just created my own stories. It’s kind of embedded in me to make up songs and stories.”


ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Don't miss Sarah Smarsh's incisive investigation into Dolly Parton's influence on the women who grew up with her music, She Come by It Natural.


Chock-full of never-before-seen photographs and memorabilia from Parton’s archives, every chapter tells a portion of her biography. Using lyrics from 175 of her songs—including “Coat of Many Colors,” “I Will Always Love You” and “Jolene”—she traces the journey from her Tennessee mountain childhood to her role on “The Porter Wagoner Show,” her 9 to 5 days and her bluegrass albums. As she provides a glimpse into the origins of each song, Parton notes that she has “never shied away from any topic, whether it was suicide or prostitution or women’s rights or whatever. . . . Whatever it is, I can say it in a song, in my own way.”

Parton tells her stories with a grin and a twinkle in her eye. Her book invites us to sit a spell as she weaves her enchanting storytelling web around us, wrapping us in the warm, silky threads of her voice and comforting us with her presence.

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Dolly Parton, Songteller

Dolly Parton, Songteller

By Dolly Parton
Chronicle
ISBN 9781797205090

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