By Leighton Ginn
I’ve always loved Dolly Parton, but I love her even more after catching her in concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night, Oct. 1.
The experience is unexpected because I’m not really a country music fan. I’m not a hater of country music, but I usually don’t gravitate towards that genre, even though there’s a ton of songs I do love that are country.
But Parton is a legend, and I’m also a fan of her as a movie star, especially 9 to 5, as well as the song.
I figured I was there to hear a few songs, and it will be a great night. But the entire show was fantastic. I knew many more songs than I thought. And it’s funny, you always know pieces of her career, but for me, it was great to see her perform all her hits.
Parton has a new CD out called “Pure & Simple,” which will be full of new favorites, including the title track.
What makes the show so fantastic was Parton and her storytelling between songs. She can be tawdry and wholesome all at the same time.
Early on, Parton shared her famous line, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.” There was the story of how she was so enamored with the town trollop. When a young Parton asked about the girl, some of the local women called her trash. “Then I want to be trash.”
In addition to the fun stories, there were incredibly sweet tributes to her parents, her family and growing up in Tennessee.
One thing Parton has done is create the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to help provide books for children. It’s an idea inspired by Parton’s father.
What is also amazing about Parton is her voice. When you take a second to realize she’s 71 and she sounds this good? Wow.
The concert also reminded me of what a fantastic songwriter Parton is. Everyone knows her biggest hit was “I Will Always Love You,” which also became the signature hit for Whitney Houston.
But there was also a Nora Jones song, and Jolene has been one of the most covered songs around.
On top of her banter and singing, Parton is multifaceted, playing guitar, banjo, fiddle and sax.
One of the songs I forgot that Parton is so famous for is Rocky Top. When she was telling her stories about her family in Tennessee, I was looking up to see, ‘Didn’t she sing Rocky Top?” Low and behold, she did. And it still gives me goosebumps.
For the Palm Springs area, we are the home of Coachella, and it’s country counter part Stagecoach.
It makes you wonder why she hasn’t headlined Stagecoach just yet, especially after selling out the Hollywood Bowl on two consecutive nights.
And having Parton play Hollywood has its own unique charm to it, as there were several guys dressed as Dolly. Word of advice to one or two, you might want to shave your legs, just in case you get to meet Parton.