Dolly Parton: How Did the Country Icon Meet Her Husband Carl Dean?

by Jonathan Howard

Now, there have been some random meetings throughout history that have changed the world. Perhaps Dolly Parton meeting her husband Carl Dean outside a laundromat in 1964 is one of those happenstances that have changed the world forever. Dolly on Dolly, Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton breaks down the country star’s marriage and “open” relationship.

No, Dolly Parton didn’t have THAT kind of open relationship with her husband Carl. Dolly explains that they both openly flirted with other people, but that is as far as it ever went. The country music Queen explained, “Yes, it’s an open relationship, but not sexually and I would kill him if I thought he was doing that. He would shoot me too.” She concluded the statement by saying, “At the end of the day we love each other madly.”

The love, even after 54 years of being together is still very apparent. Dolly recently recreated her famous Playboy photoshoot for Carl’s 79th birthday. The star donned her bunny ears and showed that she may be the best-looking 75-year old out there. However, the relationship hasn’t always been bunny ears and photoshoots.

Later, while discussing the flirty nature of their relationship Dolly opened up about having an emotional affair. That incident left her with so much guilt, she thought about taking her own life. Claiming that, “Men are my weakness,” Parton went on to give examples, “Short, fat bald or skinny — I’ve had crushes on some very unusual men,” but nothing has ever gotten physical she says. As for the guilt she felt, Dolly says her dog Popeye was her savior. Popeye apparently scurried up the stairs as Parton examined her nightstand gun. His presence brought her back to reality and she prayed after.

Dolly Parton and the Real-Life Jolene

Now, even if you aren’t a diehard Dolly Parton fan, you gotta know her hit song “Jolene”. The song details Parton begging another woman interested in her man to leave him alone and let the couple be. However, Jolene doesn’t back down easily. The real-life Jolene happened to be a bank teller that spent “too much time” with Carl. So of course Dolly had to put an end to that. Dolly admitted to seeing Jolene not too long ago. She said, “[Jolene] used to wear a D-cup – now she’s wearing Depends.” Dolly Parton will always win a battle of late age glamour.

Meanwhile, Carl knew the whole time he was with the woman he needed to be with. After seeing her at Nashville’s Wishy-Washy laundromat in 1964, Dean knew he had met his wife. Then again, just about every young man who met an 18-year old Dolly probably had the same exact thought. Two years later, the two were married and Parton’s career was soon to take off.

Despite being married to perhaps the most famous woman in country music, Carl has chosen a more simple life. He has lived on their farm and ran his own paving firm until his retirement. Being a stay-at-home husband for Dolly Parton sounds like the gig of a lifetime. 54-years strong and it all started with a random meeting at the Wishy-Washy in 1964.