Dolly Parton Reveals What Her First (And Only) Job Was

by Atlanta Northcutt

Who was Dolly Parton before becoming THE Dolly Parton: the iconic female country superstar?

On an episode of “Actually Me”, Dolly sat down with GQ, going undercover and responding to social media posts and questions about herself.

Dolly Parton Goes Undercover

Parton answered questions from Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and Wikipedia.

Two questions including if two of Parton’s biggest hits, “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” were written on the same day, and what job Dolly had before becoming famous?

On Twitter, a fan posted “‘9 to 5′” has always been a favorite Dolly song of mine… What was the first job she ever had (Prior to being a country music icon)?

“Eye sore or icon,” laughs Dolly Parton after reading the comment.

What was Dolly’s First Job?

“Actually, my first job was writing songs, I think. I used to sing on a local radio show back in Knoxville, Tennessee when I was 10 years old,” says Dolly. “And my uncle, Bill Owens, used to take me around to sing in all the local shows. So I would say my first job, besides working in the fields and working at home, was singing.”

How Did Dolly Begin Her Music Career?

Not surprisingly, Dolly has always been involved in the music industry, even with music being a part of her first job.

As the story goes, Parton grew up in an extremely poor environment. Before becoming a rhinestone cowgirl, Parton grew up in Locust Ridge in the Great Smoky Mountains. She was the fourth child out of 12.

Dolly’s family members were all involved in music, someway or somehow, and as Parton answered in the interview, she credits her Uncle Bill Owens for helping her begin her career in the music industry.

The fan wanted to know if “9 to 5” related to any specific job, but as it goes, Dolly’s only job has been in music.

Dolly’s Early Music Career

Dolly Parton first took the stage at the age of 10 on “The Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour” in Knoxville, TN before being given a spot on “The Porter Wagoner Show.”

Dolly did an interview with Reese Witherspoon on her DirecTV series, “Shine On With Reese”.

“Daddy didn’t want me getting out in the world,” Parton says. “He didn’t even want me to go to school — but that wasn’t in a bad way. He was just afraid something bad was gonna happen to his girls.”

She continues, “But Momma knew that I had a strength. She knew I knew what I wanted and who I was so she would fight for me a lot when I’d wanted to go places Daddy didn’t want me to go to sing, like to Nashville with my Uncle Bill.”

Her Uncle Bill Owens helped her write her first single, “Puppy Love,” when she was 11. Dolly recorded the single in 1959 at the age of 13.

Parton made her way out of poverty by performing onstage, never looking back. Parton has proved after receiving more than 33 awards, that no matter your start, you can achieve your goals by putting your mind to it.