64 Years After Recording Her First Single in Louisiana, Dolly Parton Drops Releases Album
Dolly Parton recorded her first single in 1959. In the 64 years since then, she's become an absolute icon in the music industry. She has had several hits across the decades and has inspired several artists to aim as high as she did.
Parton's career has also included acting, advocacy, and more. If you name it, she's probably done it. But there is one thing she's never done, until now: She's never dropped a rock album.
On Friday, though, it happened. Parton released Rockstar, a 30-track studio album featuring covers of several iconic songs outside of her comfort zone. From "Stairway to Heaven" to "Heart of Glass" to even "Wrecking Ball," Parton has proven herself capable.
But for almost every track, she wasn't alone. In many cases, the original artists were alongside her, providing powerful backups to their own music. Such is the power of Dolly Parton.
One of the first singles from the album was "What's Up?", a cover of the popular song by the group Four Non Blondes. Linda Perry, of the original group, joined her on the track.
The album isn't all cover songs, however. One single, "Bygones," is an original that was performed with Judas Priest's Rob Halford and Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx and John 5. That song debuted at No. 1 on some charts.
“I am so excited to see the response ‘Bygones’ is receiving," Parton said at the time. “To debut at No. 1 on the Rock charts is such a thrill for me, and it makes it even sweeter to share this with Rob, Nikki, and John 5. I also have to recognize my coproducer on the album and co-writer on this song, Kent Wells, who helped me bring this song to life. I am a happy girl today!”
It's been 64 years since her career started and she's still going strong. But, did you know she got her start here?
Dolly's Louisiana Beginnings
Back in 1959, Parton recorded her first single, "Puppy Love." You can tell that, even at the age of 11.
But that's where Louisiana comes into play. "Puppy Love" was released by Goldband Records, which was based out of Lake Charles. Via Parton's website:
Dolly and her grandmother, Rena Owens, took a 30-hour bus trip to the recording studio in Lake Charles, Louisiana to record the songs. Remembering that fateful journey, Dolly said, "I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way the inside of that bus smelled. It was a combination of diesel fuel, Naugahyde, and people who were going places."
Based in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Goldband Records was founded by Eddie Shuler. He first started the label to promote his own band, the All-Star Reveliers but soon brought in more artists. In 1954, Boozoo Chavis recorded his hit "Paper In My Shoe" on the Goldband label. Phil Phillips' hit song, "Sea Of Love," also on Goldband, was released the same year as Dolly’s "Puppy Love."
Over 60 years later, the country legend and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is still at it, and she doesn't seem to have lost a beat.
Check out some of her greatest hits below.