Country Throwback: Dolly Parton Rocks the 1989 CMA Awards with ‘He’s Alive’

by Joe Rutland

When you see Dolly Parton perform on stage, there’s hardly anyone who goes away disappointed. She didn’t disappoint at the 1989 CMA Awards.

Parton sings an incredible version of her song “He’s Alive.” The lyrics surround the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, appearing to a woman after his crucifixion.

Before she starts singing, Parton says to the audience that, like her mom used to say, she hopes they get a blessing.

Dolly Parton Song Retells Story of Jesus’ Resurrection

She retells the ancient story of Jesus’ last earthly moments, mentions Mary and John in the lyrics, and finishes with quite a bang. Parton, backed by a 40-plus-member choir, sings “He’s alive!” over and over again as the song ends.

It’s a beautiful, powerful song from one of country music’s greatest singers and songwriters.

Sit back for a few minutes and enjoy Dolly Parton singing “He’s Alive” on Oct. 9, 1989.

Parton Releases ‘The Golden Streets of Glory’ in 1971

Going along with the theme of Parton’s performance, she released her first gospel album, “The Golden Streets of Glory,” on Feb. 15, 1971.

This gospel collection was produced by Parton and is her sixth studio album. She has never been shy in talking about her faith in Christianity. It’s played a role in her life. She shared a little about her faith with National Public Radio during a February 2009 interview.

“Well, you’ve got to keep your faith, first of all,” Dolly Parton said. “I pray every day, I always have. I always believed that God would provide. But I think people are going to have to just really keep the faith.” 

“The Golden Streets of Glory” included 10 gospel tracks. The album’s first song, “I Believe,” was written in 1953 by Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl, and Al Stillman. Jana Froman initially sang the song on her television show.

Other songs on the album include “How Great Thou Art,” “Wings of a Dove,” “The Master’s Hand,” and “Lord, Hold My Hand.”