Blog for Zipline Attraction in the Smoky Mountains

Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.


Belated Happy Birthday To Dolly - Part 1

By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on January 23, 2024

In all the hubbub about the snow and ice around here last week, some of you may have missed the fact that Dolly Parton recently turned 78. Naturally, that's of interest to us since she was born and raised right here in our neck of the woods. So in honor of her 78th birthday, we're belatedly going to share 78 facts about Dolly Parton (half this week, half next week). You might already be familiar with some of these, but we can almost guarantee that there will be a few on this list that are new to you.

Before we get to those, however, we wanted to note a few places of interest that you'll certainly want to check out the next time you come to the Great Smoky Mountains. Those include Dollywood theme park, of course, as well as Dollywood's Splash Country (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend) and even the statue of Dolly on the grounds of the Sevier County Courthouse in Sevierville. (And beginning this spring, if you're looking for the most awesome place in the Smokies to zipline, Sevierville, TN, is also where you'll find Smoky Mountain Ziplines.)

And now, without further ado, 39 facts about Dolly Parton (more next week):

1. Dolly is one of 12 siblings, all of whom were raised in a two-room house.

2. Dolly Parton's childhood home still stands in Sevierville. A replica is available for visitors to walk through in Pigeon Forge.

3. An Eastern Sevier County history book says Dolly's father paid the doctor who delivered her with either a bag of oatmeal or cornmeal.

4. She's been nominated for more than 100 awards for her music and acting, and she won 43 of those, according to IMDb.

5. While she's been nominated for ACM's Top Female Vocalist Award 13 times, she's only won once, in 1981.

6. She's released 79 albums and more than 200 singles and EPs. Sources say she's credited with writing and arrangement on nearly 2,000 songs.

7. Dolly's first single, “Puppy Love,” was recorded in 1957 and released in 1959.

8. Between 2015 and 2022, Dolly earned 47 Gold and Platinum certifications from around the globe.

9. Dolly wrote her first song, “Little Tiny Tassel Top,” at the age of 6 or 7, in 1953.

10. Parton once lost a Dolly Parton look-a-like contest.

11. Parton began performing as a regular singer on The Cas Walker Show in Knoxville in 1956.

12. When Parton was 13 years old, she performed at the Grand Old Opry for the first time, was introduced by Johnny Cash and got three encores.

13. In 2022, Parton gave $1 million to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville for pediatric infectious disease research.

14. Dolly's middle name is Rebecca.

15. In 1967, Dolly released her first full-length album, Hello, I'm Dolly, with Monument Records.

16. Parton had a television show that debuted in 1976 called Dolly. The show had 26 episodes before it ended in 1977.

17. Parton's first film was 9 to 5, released in 1980.

18. Parton is listed as the author of eight books on Amazon, including novels, inspirational books and children's books.

19. Dolly has a never-before-heard song locked away at Dollywood that will be released in 2045.

20. She broke seven world records. Parton originally held the records for most decades on the U.S. Hot Country Songs Chart for a female artist at six decades and most number-one hits on the chart by a female artist at 25 songs. She then broke both of those records, having 109 hits on the chart and staying on the chart for seven decades. In 2023, Parton added new titles to create the longest span of number-one hits on the U.S. Top Country Albums chart by a female artist, most studio albums released by a female country singer and most top-10 entries on the U.S. Top Country Albums chart.

21. Parton won a CMA Award in five different decades.

22. Dolly is on TikTok.

23. Dolly released a baking collection with Duncan Hines in 2022. New additions were announced in January of 2023.

24. Dolly's book with James Patterson, Run, Rose, Run, is being turned into a film by Sony Pictures along with Reese Witherspoon's production company, Hello Sunshine.

25. Parton starred in the 1982 film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

26. In a Vanity Fair interview, Dolly admitted to having pastel tattoos to cover scars.

27. Dolly creates the concepts of her looks, and her creative team cranks out around 300 outfits a year, according to Steve Summers, Dolly's creative director.

28. Summers, who has been working with her for more than 30 years, says there is a warehouse that has every single garment Dolly has worn since 1964.

29. Parton has released at least 50 duets, including “I Will Always Love You” with Vince Gill, “Islands In The Stream” with Kenny Rogers and “Here I Am” with Sia for the 2018 Netflix film Dumplin'.

30. Parton was first signed by Tree Publishing and Mercury Records in Nashville with her uncle Bill Owens.

31. Parton has been married to her husband, Carl Dean, for more than 55 years.

32. In 2020, Parton told People magazine that she first met Dean, who was a Nashville businessman, when she was 18.

33. Parton also told People that one of their first dates was at McDonald's.

34. Dolly has been offered the Presidential Medal of Freedom twice and turned it down. The first time she turned it down because of her husband's illness, and the second time because of the pandemic.

35. Parton's theme park, Dollywood, opened on May 3, 1986.

36. In December 2022, a Southwest Virginia farm made a hay sculpture honoring Parton. It was called Doll-Hay.

37. Dolly's likeness has been captured in two Funko Pops, which were announced in early 2023.

38. Doggy Parton, Dolly's line of pet items, launched in the summer of 2022.

39. During an event where Parton promoted her novel, Run, Rose, Run, with James Patterson, fans were able to claim NFTs of Parton.


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