Country Throwback: Dolly Parton Once Found a Baby in Her Driveway

by Matthew Wilson

Forget orphanages, adoption services, or the steps of churches. Someone once gave their baby to country music legend Dolly Parton.

It’s a scene that’s straight out of a movie. But sometimes real life reflects the silver screen, at least it did in Parton’s case. In the early 1970s, Parton had just released her mega-popular tune “Jolene” on her 13th album of the same name. Coming home one day, she discovered a baby on her property.

“Years ago when my song ‘Jolene’ came out, I came home one day from work,” Parton told TV host Larry King. “And there was a basket at the gate [of our home] and I thought ‘Oh, someone’s left us some food.'”

Parton didn’t find a bundle of food, but a bouncing baby girl. The note said the baby had been named after Parton’s smash hit and left for Parton to raise to be perhaps the next little superstar.

“And there was a note that said ‘My name is Jolene and I want you to have me. You can have me for keeps’ or something to that effect,” Parton continued. “And I freaked out. I didn’t know what to do.”

Dolly Parton Freaked Out

This is where reality differs from the movies. Dolly Parton wasn’t about to act out a country music version of “Three Men and A Baby.” Instead, she rightly freaked out. The country music legend could hardly believe that someone left a baby outside of her residence.

Parton did the responsible thing and decided to call the police about the matter. The police investigated the incident and placed the child in Child Protection Services. That was the last that Parton ever saw of the little baby named after one of her songs.

The country music artist never found out what happened to the baby. By now, she would be a grown woman, probably unaware she was once left on Parton’s doorstep.