Dolly Parton | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader

Dolly Parton Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Thu., July 28, 7:30 p.m. 2011

My country-music-loving grand­parents frequently babysat me when I was growing up. This was when sequin-encrusted country pop was at its peak, and of all the glamorous ladies who turned up on the country variety shows my grandparents seemed to watch every night, Dolly Parton was the most glamorous and sequin-encrusted. She was charming, gorgeous, hilarious, vaguely naughty (in a wholesome way), and never once hit a wrong note—for a long time I was convinced that she was literally the Queen of America, and I still think if anyone ever deserved that crown, it's her. Parton has been one of pop music's most consistent performers for decades, and while she can't boast about many daring stylistic explorations she also doesn't have a lot of low spots in her catalog. Her new Better Day (on her own Dolly Records) includes "Country Is as Country Does," which lists her country bona fides—as if anyone doubts them at this point. Miles Raymer

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