Sunday, July 3, 2016

Where She Came From

Song 310: This week's playlist track can tell you about My Tennessee Mountain Home by Dolly Parton, who also wrote the song. The first version I heard of this piece was from Maria Muldaur’s debut solo album, which, by the summer of 1974, about a year after its release, had become one of my favorites, with lots of spins on the turntable. Coming from a country background, I had found the Chicago area oppressively urban, and I enjoyed hearing the colorful detailed descriptions of Dolly’s mountain home. I had noticed her name on the songwriting credits for this title, and I think I knew a little bit about who she was, but then in that summer of ’74, her career came into much sharper focus with a hit called Jolene and another called I Will Always Love You, which would soon appear on one of my favorite Linda Ronstadt LPs. Dolly had a few more hits in the next couple of years that I really liked, including The Bargain Store and her first million-seller, Here You Come Again. She continued doing well on the charts for the next couple of decades, even expanding her career to act in movies, and in this year of 2016, at the age of 70, she actively persists with touring and recording, having released her 42nd studio album in 2014. Dolly has covered quite a lot of ground since leaving her Tennessee mountain home, but she still seems to carry that inspiration that she picked up as a child, watching and listening as a songbird on a fence post sings a melody. On a side note, this track is a third sly reference to the second verse of my own song As Long as Merle is Still Haggard, which begins with the line Should Patty Loveless when Wynonna, she’s Judd fine and Dolly, beg your Parton, puts up a good front (?) You can find the As Long as Merle is Still Haggard video here.

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