- Series: The Praeger Singer-Songwriter Collection
- Hardcover: 178 pages
- Publisher: Praeger (July 22, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0313378037
- ISBN-13: 978-0313378034
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,576,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Words and Music of Dolly Parton: Getting to Know Country's "Iron Butterfly" (The Praeger Singer-Songwriter Collection) Hardcover – July 22, 2011
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"Reading this book is like discovering Dolly Parton all over again. Besides compiling and annotating Parton's vast catalog of recorded songs―a scholarly tour de force in itself―Cardwell has gleaned stories and insights directly from many of the people who helped shape the legendary performer's career. It's an achievement both useful and delightful." (Edward Morris, Senior Writer for CMT.com)
"We are avid fans of the writing of Nancy Cardwell. The focus of her book is on Dolly Parton's music and her songwriting. If you're interested in the songwriting, poet heart of Dolly, behind the glittering show-biz image, then this is the book to read. For those of you who still like to stand in record stores and flip through LPs endlessly, if you plan to spend some time in the ‘P' section of the country music bins checking out Dolly's music, this book will be a good guide. Dolly is in the same league as Bill Monroe, Carter & Ralph Stanley, Elvis, and Vincent Van Gogh. We as a species on the planet only get one of each. To whom can we compare them?" (Dixie and Tom T. Hall (Country Music Hall of Fame) & Dixie Hall, Good Home Grown Music, Blue Circle Records)
"Nancy Cardwell has written an informing and heartwarming book about the greatest female singing songwriter ever, the inimitable Dolly Parton. Part history but mostly 'her story,' each page is a learning tool exploring and explaining how and why Dolly did what she did to reach a plateau of prosperity as a female in the male-dominated world of show biz. Born dirt poor but always rich in spirit, Cardwell touches on how success has not changed the heart of the girl from east Tennessee. Dolly continues to tour and tend to her businesses, doing and dreaming, writing and singing, never forgetting from whence she came … and always living by faith. A most worthwhile volume for fans and for students of country music." (Hazel Smith, host of Hot Dish with Hazel Smith, CMT)
About the Author
Nancy Cardwell edits publications and manages professional development, leadership, and youth programs for the International Bluegrass Music Association in Nashville, TN.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book follows Dolly's humble beginnings in east Tennessee, the daughter of a farmer who along with his wife had 11 other children to support. Financially destitute, but rich in love, the Parton's were survivors which explains how Dolly has been able to exist in an industry for over 50 years where most country music acts are popular for 5 years, only to be washed-up and to be never heard from again after a few chart hits. We discover the tough times Dolly had when she first came to Nashville in 1964, her association with Porter Wagoner, her signing with RCA Records and their belief she couldn't sell records (with Porter putting his own name and royalties on the line for her), their eventual break-up in the mid seventies which was followed by a 3 million dollar lawsuit against Dolly by Porter for breach of contract, and Dolly's eventual pop success with "Here You Come Again", her roles in movies, and her theme park "Dollywood".
For me the best part of the book are the pages where Les Leverett is interviewed. He was Dolly's album photographer on her early RCA albums and it's neat hearing him discuss the mechanics behind these LP pictures. For example I didn't know her cover for the 1973 "Bubbling Over" record was taken at the Hall of Fame in Nashville and that he won an award for that pic. Did you also know her elusive husband appears on her 1969 album "My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy"?
The book goes on to discuss Dolly's breakdown in the early eighties and how she contemplated suicide when things in her life simply got out of hand, her association with her beloved friend Kenny Rogers, the moment when her record label, Columbia, dropped her in 1996 because they felt she was too old and couldn't sell records and her formation of the successful "Dolly Records" (take that Columbia!), and her decision to go on a world tour in 2010.
"Iron Buttterfly" is a great title for a book on Dolly as she has often used the butterfly as a personal logo. The word "iron" comes from being tough and Dolly is anything but. She was first given this name back in 1974 when Elvis' people wanted her to sign over half the publishing rights to "I Will Always Love You" for the King to sing and she refused. If she had signed half these rights over to him she would have lost millions in the nineties when Whitney Houston covered the song.
The book is also filled with wonderful photos, and a discography and chart data listing (from Duane Gordon who runs "Dollymania" on line).