Fifty three years ago today, Dolly Parton released her second solo studio album, Just Because I’m a Woman.
Dolly Parton released Just Because I’m a Woman on April 15, 1968, with RCA Victor. The album peaked in the 22nd spot on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The album’s title track was the only single released. It spent 14 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and peaked at number 17.
The title song is about recognizing the double standards that women face. During the song, a woman reprimands her boyfriend for judging her for her previous sexual encounters even though he’s had encounters of his own. Being that it was 1968 in the South, the song was considered pretty daring at the time. Some radio stations even shied away from playing the song.
Dolly Parton actually wrote the song about an argument she had with her own husband. He became upset with her shortly after they got married when she told him that she had been with a man before him. Dolly shared the story during an interview.
“When I was first married, Carl and I were very happy,” said Dolly. “Then eight months in he suddenly asked me whether I’d been with anyone else before we got together. I told him I had and he was so upset, he had a hard time getting over it. That’s why I wrote it: ‘My mistakes are no worse than yours, just because I’m a woman.’ Carl hates for me to tell the story, but I say to him, ‘I’ve got to tell the truth, don’t I?'”
There’s a Dolly Parton Tribute Album Based on Her Album Just Because I’m A Woman
In 2003, Dolly Parton re-recorded “Just Because I’m a Woman” for the 2003 tribute album, Just Because I’m A Woman. The album includes covers of 12 Dolly songs recorded by various artists. Alison Krauss performed “9 to 5.” Norah Songs sang “The Grass Is Blue.” Melissa Etheridge recorded “I Will Always Love You.” Sinead O’Connor performed “Dagger Through the Heart.” Shania Twain teamed up with Alison Kraus for “Coat of Many Colors.” And Emmylou Harris performed “To Daddy.” In conclusion, there is a whole lot of talent on the Dolly Parton tribute album.
In the liner notes for the album, Dolly compared her songs to kids and thanked the talented artists for caring for her children. She wrote, “Any songwriter can tell you, there is no greater compliment than to have someone else sing a song that you’ve written. It’s like bragging on your kids. Thank you for being kind to my children.”