Dolly Parton Reveals Why ‘Jolene’ Sounds Different Than Much of Her Other Music

by Atlanta Northcutt

Dolly Parton is explaining to fans why her hit song “Jolene” has its own unique sound compared to her other songs.

While going undercover on GQ’s “Actually Me” segment, Dolly personally replied to fans’ questions on Twitter, Reddit and Instagram.

What makes “Jolene” stand out?

One Twitter user asked, “Why does “Jolene” by Dolly Parton sound so different from the rest of the album?”

“Well, I don’t know. I wrote most of the songs on it, but ‘Jolene’ just was one of those funky little tunes kind of in a minor key,” says Parton. “And it just is different, I think a lot of it, because of that. It’s just its own little personality. It’s been recorded more times than any song that I’ve ever written.”

“It was supposed to be different,” she adds. “I’m different. You’re different.”

Celebrating Dolly Parton and her music

The title track of her 1974 album is one of the superstar’s greatest hits due to the catchy tune and lyrics, as well as the raw emotion in her voice while singing. It has been covered by The White Stripes, Olivia Newton-John, and by Dolly’s own goddaughter, Miley Cyrus.

Miley Cyrus and Parton perform a duet of the classic hit in July 2010 to celebrate Dollywood’s 25th anniversary.

Dolly Parton tells the story behind the song

“The real story was about my husband, [Carl Thomas Dean],” the 74-year-old said during an appearance on The Tonight Show. “This woman I tell the story about, this girl that worked at the bank when we first got married, this beautiful redhead and he’s spending more time at the bank than we had money and I thought, ‘Well that ain’t gonna work out too good.’”

“Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You”

Dolly answers another fan’s question regarding if two of Dolly’s most famous songs were written on the same day and “I Will Always Love You” were written on the same day, to which the famous country singer-songwriter replied:

“Well I’m not certain,” she admits, but since both tracks were on the same cassette, she says, “So if I didn’t write it on the same day, it was during that same week or that period of time when I had that particular set in my little player. It was very possible that it happened.”