Released in 2019, via Netflix, Dolly Parton: Here I Am is a deeply personal and enjoyable career retrospective of her 50 year career.
The documentary includes archive footage and interviews with friends and colleges, including close friend and feminist icon Jane Fonda. Fonda tells the story of how Carl first saw Dolly, and it is absolutely beautiful; a true story of love at first sight.
We start looking at her beginnings in Nashville, Tennessee, at just the tender age of 18. Her first song was released in 1966 the same year she would get married to Carl, she kept the marriage a secret from the public from the start but refused to allow it to have any effect on her career.
The documentary explores her time on the Porter Wagoner show that she joined in 1967 and their volatile relationship. There was a great love between the two of them but they where also both very similar and headstrong. She wrote I Will Always Love You about leaving Porter Wagoner and his show, Dolly held onto the copywrite instead of giving it to Elvis, which was a fantastic career move. The song was later covered by Whitney Huston, Dolly notes that she never knew her little song could ever sound like that.
Jolene, released in 1973, has been covered by artists as diverse as The White Stripes and Miley Cyrus. Dolly Parton would meet Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin when Fonda cast and produced the feminist film 9 to 5, which was a look at women in the work force and the sexual harassment they go through on a daily basis, which Parton wrote the theme song for.
There are some really funny stories about how she created the look of Dolly Parton. The documentary also looks at how her childhood and personality shaped her and the charitable organisations she supports and founded. After being dropped by her record label, Dolly persevered and continued writing and recording, releasing three Bluegrass albums between 1999 and 2005.
We also explore the stories behind some of her best songs, including The Bridge , I Will Always Love You  and 9 to 5 .
Why I Love Dolly Parton
My love for Dolly Parton started young, I am not sure of when I first heard her but I know it was while with my grandpa. He is someone I deeply love and look up to, with his main influence on me being my love for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future and of course music. I grew up surrounded by music, always varied from Classic Rock, to Mod to Irish Folk songs, but country music is something we share, Johnny Cash, The Highwaymen and of course Dolly Parton.
In 2014 Dolly preformed at Glastonbury festival and that was the moment I fully fell in love with her, her style and humour is an inspiration to me. Growing up my mum would always say that I was like Dolly, that’s stayed with me to this day, I know she was talking about my look physically but I like to think I have some of her qualities. Her music has stayed with me and been there for me at some of the best and hardest times in my life. Jolene is my go-to karaoke song, I Will Always Love You has got me through heartache and Coat of Many Colours is my song for my mother.
In conclusion, Dolly Parton is just the best, isn’t she.
Dolly Parton and Her Best Songs
Just Because I’m a Woman 
Coat of Many Colours 
I Will Always Love You 
Here You Come Again 
Baby I’m Burning 
9 to 5 
The Grass is Blue 
You can listen to my picks here