Dolly Parton Recalls Meeting Johnny Cash For First Time

by Jennifer Shea

Country superstar and actress Dolly Parton doesn’t get starstruck easily. But when she met Johnny Cash, the musician recalled, she was smitten.

In a new video recorded by GQ Magazine, Parton shares the story of her meeting with Cash. And she talks about the impact he’s had on her life.

Parton and Cash Meet

“I met Johnny Cash when I was 13 years old at the Grand Ole Opry,” Parton began. “Johnny Cash introduced me on the Grand Ole Opry. We became good friends through the years.”

Parton explained to Seth Meyers that her uncle Bill Owens used to take her back and forth to Nashville. And that’s how she happened to meet Cash at 13 years old.

But she said she never needed a pep talk from Cash on her career in country music. It was enough just to know him.

“I don’t remember him encouraging me to follow my dreams or anything,” she said. “I just remember I was very encouraged by him that I got to meet him, because I thought he was so handsome, so sexy. And that’s the first time I ever really felt like a woman, when I was around him. He kind of stirred all that stuff in me. And we always laughed about that. I told [Cash’s wife] June, I’ve had a crush on him all my life.”

Member of the Grand Ole Opry

Parton eventually even performed with Cash. And she said that besides performing with Cash, becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry had been a dream of hers.

“I became a member 50 years ago,” Parton told Meyers. “That was my dream to be a member, but I’ve been actually doing the Opry for 60 years. I was on when I was 13. It was amazing.”

Parton is out with a new Christmas album, “A Holly Dolly Christmas.” She’s also just released a book, “Songteller: My Life in Lyrics.”