Dolly Parton
ManchesterOnline
November 2002
Hello Dolly

FIRST things first - anyone expecting Dolly Parton to be giving one of her glitzy, over-the-top Las Vegas-style shows on Friday, November 15 at the Bridgewater Hall will be barking up the wrong tree.  Dolly's current show revolves around the music to be found on her last three albums, the back-to-her-roots folk and acoustic trio of The Grass Is Blue, Little Sparrow and Halos And Horns.

"I love the music I do now.  It's from my childhood and deep in my heart.  These are the songs I grew up on and they are the ones my Daddy liked to hear me sing the most," she says with feeling.  "It's in my Smoky Mountain DNA, my psyche, and I expect I'll be making an album like this every year or so for the rest of my life."

But all is not entirely lost, rhinestone fans.  Not only has Dolly been devoting a portion of her current show to revamped versions of her eighties-style hits, but she has also said she would feel "isolated and lacking accomplishment if I just did this acoustic music for the rest of my life".

"I have a lot of fans in a lot of different areas, so I want to make pop records again, and I want to get played in the clubs, too," she giggles, with that infectious laugh of hers.

Speaking of her fans, it can't possibly have escaped her notice that many of her fans are of the gay persuasion and may, just possibly, not have been entirely attracted by her musical abilities.

"Lord, no!" she squeals.  "I've had a big gay following for years because I'm so outrageous in the way that I see life, not just in my appearance!

"Drag queens fascinate me.  I'm really complimented that they think so much about me that they want to dress up like me," she admits.  "Although I have judged a few Dolly lookalike contests, with drag queens dressed up as me, and sometimes it's been quite a shock, when you see someone who looks like a total dog and you think `Oh my God, is that how I look?"

There is, it seems, very little that Dolly won't talk about, and she freely admits to having had a fair few cosmetic makeovers.

"I do it because I'm a show person.  People place such importance on how you look in this business.  You are on camera all the time and people expect you to look a certain way.  I had my boobs lifted when they started dragging on the floor," she admits matter-of-factly of her oft-joked-about assets.  "Who'd want to look at them if they were like that?

"I may look fake, but that's always been my magic," she concludes.  "In fact, I am totally real."

Dolly Parton is at The Bridgewater Hall on Friday, November 15.