On This Day: Dolly Parton Releases Iconic ‘9 to 5 And Odd Jobs’ Album in 1980

by Maggie Schneider

Dolly Parton celebrates the 41st anniversary of her iconic album, “9 to 5 and Odd Jobs.” It’s time to dance at our desks.

41 years ago today, country icon Dolly Parton released “9 to 5 and Odd Jobs” on RCA Records. While the pop-country crossover has been around for decades, Miss Dolly is one of the genre’s leading ladies.

Including famous tracks like “9 to 5” and “Working Girl,” the album is a concept record about women in the workforce. Alongside 5 tracks written by Parton come a few classic covers, including “The House of the Rising Sun” and “But You Know I Love You” by Mike Settle. The album made it to Number One on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums Chart, as well as Number 11 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Chart in 1980. The title track also went platinum in 2017.

Rolling Stone Magazine’s 1981 review of “9 to 5 and Odd Jobs” calls it Parton’s “impressive comeback,” stating that the concept EP is “eminently intelligent.” Mixing catchy melodies with a serious message about women fighting for equal pay and equal treatment, Miss Dolly’s wit came as a surprise.

“Parton’s originals are balanced by an interesting mixture of folk and country chestnuts,” Stephen Holden writes. ” It’s nice to have Dolly Parton back from the trash bin unscathed.”

Cover Art for Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5 and Odd Jobs” (1980)

The History of “9 to 5”

The title track, “9 to 5,” is one of Dolly Parton‘s most well-known songs. The story behind it is just as brilliant. According to American Songwriter, Jane Fonda reached out to Dolly Parton about starring in the 1980 comedy film under the same name. Parton said she would only do it if she could write the movie’s theme song. With this agreement in place, Parton began writing.

With both the song and the film finding inspiration from the women’s activist organization named 9to5 (now known as the National Association of Working Women), Parton empowers women to fight for better working conditions with a smile. This serious message is balanced by some other fun musical elements. Yes, this includes Miss Dolly’s acrylic nails.

“I always play the nails and I’d come up with little things that I would see on the set, like I tumble out of bed and I stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of… And I thought, ‘Wow, that sounds like a typewriter,'” Parton shares.

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin got goosebumps when they heard the single for the first time. Relating to the song’s meaning, the women saw the track as more than the movie’s theme song. “We knew, this is not just a movie song, this is an anthem,” Fonda shares.

Pour yourself a cup of ambition and listen to Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5 and Odd Jobs” album today.