Dolly Parton
Country Song
July 2000
The Five Minute Interview
By Nancy Brooks

      Dolly Parton is, in every sense of the word, a true country legend.  Still working today as much as she always has, Parton has never seen limits to her talent or dreams.  It's just one of the many reasons that she is the icon that she is and the newest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.  She also recently released an album entitled The Grass Is Blue.  (Dolly has also released, on Buddha Records, two classics, Jolene and Heartbreaker.)

      Country Song Roundup:  What happened the minute that you first heard that you were going to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame?
      Dolly Parton:  I wasn't expecting it now, because in my mind, I'm still young and still working and active.  My family was out visiting me in June in L.A., my two sisters and their two daughters, and they were in the kitchen and I was in my office when they called me from the Country Music Hall of Fame to tell me that I was going to be inducted.  Well, I just screamed, and my sisters came running 'cause they thought somebody in the family had died or something, 'cause they'd heard the phone ring and me scream, but they saw that I wasn't sad and I said, "No, it's OK, I'm just going in the Hall of Fame."
      CSR:  Many female acts of today list you as their musical inspiration.  What are your thoughts on this, and what do you think of hot new acts like the Dixie Chicks?
      DP:  I see the Dixie Chicks as these great talented young people, and I see myself as an old Southern hen that has hopefully done some things right.  But I'm always so honored and so flattered, and I'm surprised at some of the people that have said that I'm an influence, because I think those people are very talented in their own way.  But to think that I've been around long enough to have left some sort of impact and to have influenced somebody is always a great honor.  Just like the night that Shania Twain got the Entertainer of the Year, and that being her big night and that she in a moment like that would even mention my name.  I mean, I was just knocked over with that.  It makes me just feel proud in my heart.
      CSR:  Did you ever get to meet Shania Twain?
      DP:  No, when Shania mentioned my name I was on my way home.  As soon as I finished my song with Vince Gill that night, I headed out the door as soon as I could, you know how you do to miss the traffic when there's a big event.  So I didn't see her say that, and when I got home the TV was on and I saw her making that speech when I walked into my kitchen and I thought, "She said my name on television."  I just about fell over!  So the next day, I sent her flowers and a telegram that said I was so sorry that I hadn't met her and I didn't know she wanted to meet me, and I told her that I would love to get with her and that I'd love to write with her, maybe sing, or if nothing else just say hi.  Then she sent me back a note saying that she would love to get together.
      CRS:  You are always working on something new; what's coming up this year of 2000?
      DP:  I'm doing a Christmas movie, a feature film for next Christmas, and it's called The Christmas Rap.  I've also got a lot of production things through my company like a CBS movie of the week, a gospel musical called Heavens To Betsy and I'm doing a remake of Solid Gold Cadillac for Turner Networks.  So, as usual, I have a lot of things happening this year.
      CSR:  Dolly, the world sees you as a superstar.  Do you ever look at yourself and think, "Man, I'm a big star"?
      DP:  I'm a person that does not think of myself as a star.  I think of myself as a working girl.  Every day I wake up with a new dream.  This is my gift, so therefore it's my responsibility and my job.  I just try to make the most of all the things that God has given me.  I'd like to think I'm a likable star.  I think of myself as a real person, and sometimes when people make over me or say something like Shania did, I'm just shocked, I really am.  I'm like, "Gosh, they're talking about me."  I really do.