Dolly Parton: Country Music's Backwoods Barbie, Then And Now

By | October 30, 2017

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Left: Dolly Parton in 'The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas' (1982). Right: On the cover of her 1967 debut solo album, 'Hello, I'm Dolly.' Sources: IMDB;

Country music star Dolly Parton has been wowing audiences for years with her unbridled music and acting abilities. A plus for her audiences was the fact that she is very easy on the eyes. This product of the Great Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee grew up in poverty and rose to the heights of country stardom, all while remaining humble and folksy.

Throughout her career, Parton has been almost as notable for her figure and wardrobe as for her singing and musical talent. But she heads her critics off at the pass, poking fun at herself more than -- and better than -- anyone else. "I make jokes about it, but it's the truth that I kind of patterned my look after the town tramp," Parton has said. "I didn't know what she was, just this woman who was blond and piled her hair up, wore high heels and tight skirts, and, boy, she was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen. Momma used to say, 'Aw, she's just trash,' and I thought, That's what I want to be when I grow up. Trash."

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Parton was one of 12 children born into a poor, Tennessee family. She was raised in the economically depressed Appalachian Mountains. Dolly was reportedly spunky from the start; all “5-foot-nothing” of her. In a brood that big, she had to be competitive to get her share whatever there was.