Dolly Parton Discusses Her First Crush, Johnny Cash

by Atlanta Northcutt
(Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Dolly Parton fell down, down, down into a burning ring of desire for her first crush. The one and only country music crooner, Johnny Cash.

Dolly has always been an open book, and enjoys telling her life story exactly as it’s written down.

From her crushes, her career, and her favorite country Christmas songs, Parton’s happy to tell it all, making her the legendary Dolly Parton we all know and love.

Dolly Parton Crushes on Cash

Although, she was only 13 when meeting the “Man in Black,” Dolly remembers that moment fondly.

“He [Johnny Cash] was the sexiest thing I’d ever seen,” Parton said. “I was 13 years old, looking at him, and feeling all these things that you feel.”

She explains that the intensity of her crush was similar to the Man in Black’s own 1963 hit, “Ring of Fire.”

“That was the first time I really understood what sex appeal was,” she adds. “I just really ‘fell into a burning ring of fire.

During that time, Johnny Cash was spiraling downward into his own ring of fire. The flames from all of the partying began reaching higher until finally leading him down the path of addiction.

“When I met Johnny, he was all strung out on drugs and everything, but he was so magnetic, so sexy,” says Parton. “He was my first male grown-up crush. He just really moved me.”

That’s when she began to realize what hormones can do. “He just kind of stirred me somehow,” explains Parton. “So I guess that’s when I realized I was becoming a little woman.”

Future Friendships

And what was Mr. Johnny Cash’s reaction to learning he was Dolly’s first crush?

“Oh, we laughed about it through the years,” she says. “I told him, ‘you know, you were my very first crush. My first sexy grown-up crush.’ He always got a kick out of that.”

Following those memorable days, Parton paid tribute to Johnny by covering the song she’s known, and experienced, so well.