Dolly Parton
Good Morning America
Interview from March 26, 1998

Dolly:  Owwooo...

Interviewer:  Oh sing it, Dolly.


Interviewer:  As any true country music fan can tell you, the one and only Dolly Parton grew up in a two-room shack in a tiny town of Pigeon Forge in the Great Smokey Mountains.  Am I sayin' it right?  Pigeon Forge.

Dolly:  Yeah, that's not true though.  I grew up in New York City.

Dolly laughs

Dolly:  Not really.  Go ahead.


Dolly:  Can't you tell?

Interviewer:  Funny.  At age thirteen, she signed her first recording contract and was on her way to a comedian!  And no matter how famous she became, Dolly never forgot her home town so hoping to share her good fortune, she returned in 1986 and opened, you've seen it before, Dollywood.  It's a museum and a hundred eighteen acre themepark.  That is huge, featuring rides, live music, and much, much more.  It's now celebrating it's thirteenth anniversary, and Miss Dolly joins us this morning with a preview of the new attractions.  How many rides do you have?

Dolly:  Well, we have several rides.  But we have, we have an amusement area.  We're a themepark, but we have a wonderful, you know, a lot of wonderful rides.  We have a coaster, we have all kinds of water-rides.  This year, we have the fastest, the highest water-ride in the country.  It goes 50 miles-an-hour and drops sixty feet.

Interviewer:  Wow!

Dolly:  That's major.

Interviewer:  That is major.

Dolly:  Yeah, and I'm not riding it, no.

Interviewer:  Well, every year they, every...well, your hair, I don't think your hair would, would...

Dolly:  My hair wouldn't handle it.

Interviewer:  Wouldn't handle it.

Dolly:  Last year, we had the coaster through the trees and I think I left my wig hangin', on one of 'em up there.  But I don't like the rides.  But all the families and kids love to have it, so I'm, I'm scared to ride it.  So that's good advertisement.  Everybody says, 'Oh you gotta ride it.  It's not good for business if you don't.'  I said no, that's real good.

Interviewer:  That's right!

Dolly:  I'm scared to right it means the kids 'll love it.

Interviewer:  Gonna have to take lots 'a Aquanet with ya'.  When you try it out.

Dolly:  Really.

Interviewer:  Uh, you have another new attraction though opening that is not a ride, that is on the stage.  Tell us about it.

Dolly:  Yes.  That's called Paradise Road.  It's the life and song of, of me.  And it's really kinda my life story all done up with, um...we have two little Dollys.  They have to swap off.

Interviewer:  Two little Dollys.

Dolly:  Little Dollys, yeah.  And then we have all this wonderful talent at Dollywood.  And this is our signature show.  And it's a wonderful show.  It's a broadway style show.  And so it, we've structured it in such a way to when I am at the park, that I can kinda fit myself in, into it.  But it's a great show.  We're very excited about that and I think people are really gonna love that, so that's our two biggies this year on our thirteenth anniversary.  I can't believe we've been open thirteen years.

Interviewer:  Well, I know Dollywood has been a great success, but, I'll tell ya', most of America, if they don't get to Dollywood, they love seeing you on the big screen.  Where have you been?

Dolly:  Well, I haven't had any good scripts come my way in a long time an' I don't want to do something unless I feel excited about it.  So, I've been mostly doin' songwriting, in fact, the Paradise Road is a song that, uh, that I wrote that'll also be featured in a new CD that I have out in the fall called, the CD is called Blue Valley Songbird.  So that'll be featured in that.  So I've been writin' a lot the last few years, but I'm, I'm gonna do more movies if I find somethin' that I can do with.

Interviewer:  If you find a good script.

Dolly:  Yeah.

Interviewer:  What's the, what's your favorite part that you ever played?

Dolly:  Uh, I think probably 9 To 5 is my favorite movie cause it was the first.  An' I was just, it was just like I had died and gone to heaven.  I thought how easy this is.  What made me wait so long?  I thought I was gonna get scripts like that forever and they were all gonna be that easy.  They weren't of course, but that was great.  But I've enjoyed them all for different reasons.

Interviewer:  But Steel Magnolias.  Uh.

Dolly:  That was great, too.  That was my second favorite.  Working with all, I work well with women I think it's cause I have so many wonderful sisters.  I have five sister 'n my mom and I'm very close to my aunts and my grandmas so I work well with other women like with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.  We had a very successful album called Trio years ago so it seems like I do my best work with them, but I love the men.

Interviewer:  Well, Dolly, built like you, you better love the men I tell ya', that would be a great loss for that whole race 'a people.  Uh, the album you have coming out, the Paradise Road is on, is it a traditional country album or is it, are you venturing into other territory?

Dolly:  No, it's country.  In fact, I, I went back home to my...I bought the old home place years ago an' it's kinda my retreat.  So I went back home last May and I stayed three months.  I kinda fasted and I prayed.  I just got lost up there in the woods 'n I just thought well I need to really, I wanna do somethin' like I used to and I wrote a song called Hungry Again which I was gonna call the album that, originally cause it's like to write like I'm hungry again, to sing like I'm hungry again, but I wrote a song about lovin' like we're hungry again.  So it's really a lot of accoustic stuff, lot of traditional stuff an' I think it's, if anybody ever liked my music, they'll appreciate this one.

Interviewer:  Well, they love your music and I'm sure it'll do well and it's a pleasure to have you here.

Dolly:  Thank you.  Oh, let me tell you when Dollywood opens!  On the seventeenth is our big parade, on a Friday so the eighteenth and nineteenth of April is our opennin'.  Phew!  Glad I got that in!

Interviewer:  Thank you, Dolly.  An' take your hairspray, cause you need it for that ride.  Good Morning America continues right after this.