Dolly Parton
The Press-Enterprise
February 8, 2007
Dolly Parton hopes new music finds way to a radio near you
By Paul Saitowitz

With 25 platinum records, 26 No. 1 songs, 100 million records sold -- Dolly Parton is a musical superstar.

In December, Parton, 61, picked up an award for a lifetime of achievement in the arts from the Kennedy Center. (Fellow recipients included Zubin Mehta, Steven Spielberg, Smokey Robinson and Andrew Lloyd Webber.) Two years earlier, she was awarded the Living Legend Medal by the U.S. Library of Congress.

But in today's musical climate, even someone of Parton's stature has to battle her way onto the country music airwaves alongside fresh faces like Carrie Underwood.

"I haven't had a song on the radio in 10 or 12 years," Parton said during a telephone interview from Nashville. That could change with her next album. "This time around I've really been listening to what they like and I think I have some stuff that has a chance."

Has a chance? This is Dolly Parton.

Even with country radio's flavor of the week approach, Parton appears undaunted. She makes it clear that she's not looking to get on the radio "for the money," but rather as an opportunity to expose her new music to a large audience.

She's already tracked 24 songs (most of which she wrote) which run the gamut from radio-friendly pop to country rock and bluegrass. The album should be available later this year.

"I understand that you can't stay at the top of the charts forever, but I feel like I still have a lot to offer," Parton said.

She's not just talking about music.

Parton spent close to two years composing music for the Broadway version of her 1980 film "9 to 5." She won't star in the stage production, but she's on board as a producer. In addition to the multiplatinum title song, she penned 20 new pieces of music -- both instrumental and lyrical -- to score the production. The show is due in the spring.

"It was actually a lot easier than I thought it was going to be," she said. "It's a lot different than writing songs for an album because you're not as trapped ... you can really dabble in things a bit more and it allowed me to use my sense of humor."

Next month, Parton will embark on her first European tour in 30 years and, much to her surprise, most of the dates have already sold out.

"It's really a big compliment to me and I hope the same thing will happen here when my record comes out," she said.

That's up to the people at country radio.

Source: The Press-Enterprise