HomeEntertainmentMusicHappy Birthday Dolly Parton: The Country Music Singer’s Rise to Stardom

Happy Birthday Dolly Parton: The Country Music Singer’s Rise to Stardom

by Halle Ames
(Photo Credit: Ron Galella / Contributor/ Getty Images)

Today, 75-years-ago, a star was born. Here, we look back on country music star, Dolly Parton’s rise to fame.

As the fourth child of 12, Dolly Parton grew up very poor in the mountains of Locust Ridge, Tennessee. According to Parton, music was a staple in her household, which she has often credited for her success. However, her biggest supporter was her Uncle Bill Owens, who she links to her big break.

Dolly Parton began to perform in church, which eventually grew to “The Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour” in Knoxville, Tennessee. She also appeared on local radio stations and TV stations.

By the age of thirteen, Dolly Parton made her Grand Ole Opry debut alongside Johnny Cash. Jimmy C. Newman gave up his spot one night, so Parton could have a chance to perform.

After graduating from high school, the iconic artist packed her bags and moved to the Music City to purse her career full time.

Dolly Parton Grows in Popularity

By Dolly Parton’s early twenties, the artist appeared on the “The Porter Wagoner Show,” which put her name on the map. Parton and Wagoner became a popular pair and started to record a few hits together.

As soon as she could afford it, Parton started her own publishing company to protect the rights of her coveted songs.

“As soon as I could, I started my own publishing company, got my own record label,” said Parton. “I think it’s important, if you can, to keep all of your goods close to home where you can control them and know what’s happening with them.”

Although Dolly Parton had several singles making it onto the charts, it wasn’t until 1971 that she topped the Country list with her hit, “Joshua.”

In the 1970s, Dolly Parton really took off with many more number one songs, like “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You.”

Today, the country music icon is part of an elite group of people with at least one nomination from all four major annual American entertainment award organizations. These include nominations for Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar, and Tony awards.