Sunday, April 24, 2011

Women of Easter I

OK, it's the evening, but this is too awesome an Easter song not to share (I already linked it on my Twitter feed earlier today). Dolly Parton sings "He's Alive" -- which was also a (small) hit on the secular country charts.

One of the two friends I identified in my most-recent post below as having fallen in love with was, like Dolly, an evangelical country kid from Tennessee. Sevierville-born Dolly had a grandfather who was a Pentecostal preacher, identifies as a born-again Christian, and plays spiritual songs at her concerts to this day. Jim (not his real name) absolutely loved Dolly Parton (and such other country divas as Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline) and one time, when we were going out somewhere, he insisted that we stay in his car until she was finished singing "He's Alive" on the cassette tape. Let's say Dolly sang "He's Alive" with as much conviction and joy as you'll ever hear on a song. Oh ... unless it's also Dolly singing "Coat of Many Colors."

We also talked a lot about Parton's TV and film work and the key to her star appeal, and it's not the two things you might be thinking of. She was *likeable* on stage and on screen, with a natural effervescence and good cheer. As she showed in "9 to 5" and "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," she knew how to handle her obvious sex appeal without coming across as slutty or affected. She kidded it and didn't dress or act like she was trying to show it off (as in the attached photo ... typical of Classic-era Dolly). Her TV musical-variety show "Dolly" was a lot of fun and she was one of the few performers of her era who could make the comedy-music-sketch format work (though the format was obsolete, ratings-wise, and so "Dolly" only lasted a season). Thankfully, she turned down God-knows-how-much money to do what would unquestionably have been the best-selling Playboy centerfold ever.

In other words, she had the old-school class of a good Christian lady.


John Vagabond said...

bonsubmaWhat a great song - we used to do it with Don Francisco, the writer - when he came to the UK to tour.

Panic Away said...

Dolly Parton is an excellent example of how a woman can be her best at all times. Being beautiful on the outside is easy, but developing the talent that God has given you and spreading His word with it is an amazing thing to do.

Ian Tayao said...

She is one of my favorites! Thanks for this article.