On This Day: Dolly Parton Releases Smoking-Hot Album ‘Great Balls of Fire’ in 1979

by Katie Maloney

Forty-two years ago, Dolly Parton released her 21st solo studio album, Great Balls of Fire.

By the time 1979 rolled around, Dolly Parton was well acquainted with hit songs and albums. So it’s no surprise that Great Balls of Fire was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album also produced Dolly’s eighth number-one hit song. In celebration of this album’s anniversary, we’re highlighting a few of our favorite songs from Great Balls of Fire.

Dolly Parton Is Always the “Star of the Show”

The first song on the album, “Star of the Show” is the self-love anthem we all need. The song is about knowing that you are the star of your own show, and not allowing anyone to make you feel like less. During the song, Dolly Parton sings, “I don’t play second fiddle in nobody’s band. And I’m no backup singer and I won’t be a fan. And I’m nobody’s co-star. I just play leading roles. And I don’t want the part, don’t want a part, won’t play a part unless it’s the star of the show.” Some people may falsely accuse this song of sounding arrogant but we don’t interpret it that way at all. Dolly simply speaks the truth – she’s the star of the show and we all know it. And we are all the stars of our own shows. Sing it, Dolly!

Dolly Parton’s “Star of the Show”

“You’re The Only One”

Now let’s talk about the first single from the album, “You’re the Only One.” The song is about realizing just how much you love the person you’re with – even if it’s a little too late. During the song, Dolly sings, “You’re the only one, you’re the only one. Take me back to where we started from. And let’s make it now like we made it then. This old heart ain’t gonna break your heart again.” The song topped the U.S. country charts in 1979 making it Dolly Parton’s eighth number-one single.

Dolly Parton’s “You’re the Only One”

“Sweet Summer Lovin’”

Who doesn’t enjoy some summer lovin’? There’s something about the combination of sunshine and love that just makes the heart swell. And Dolly Parton is exactly the person to turn that feeling into a song. During “Sweet Summer Lovin,” Dolly sings “By a stream in the country. Running barefoot and feeling free. While the love in our hearts blend into sweet summer loving.” The song reached the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

“Sweet Summer Lovin'” by Dolly Parton

“Almost In Love”

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how impeccably Dolly Parton writes love songs? Whether she’s singing about heartbreak, being in love for decades, or that moment when you’re just about to fall in love, Dolly Parton perfectly summarizes all the emotions that come with love. In ‘Almost In Love” she sings about knowing that she’s about to fall hard. During the song, Dolly sings, “And I’m almost in love. I can feel myself falling. Yes, I’m almost in love. I can hear my heart falling. ‘Cause I’m almost in. Yes, I’m almost in love.” With a hint of pedal steel, this song is one of the songs that brings the album back to Dolly Parton’s country roots.

Dolly Parton’s “Almost in Love”