At the tender age of 13, Dolly Parton began performing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. For decades, Dolly Parton has remained one of country music’s most beloved stars. Now closing in on her 70th birthday, Parton is not slowing down.
Despite rumors of stomach cancer, which, according to the Inquisitr, Dolly quickly addressed to be false, stating her illness was caused by a difficult bout with kidney stones, Parton has been working on two separate movies. The first, based on her song “Coat of Many Colors,” which was released in October of 1971, draws from personal experience in Dolly Parton’s childhood.
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) October 5, 2015
The ballad is threaded with inspiration of many kinds from the first word to the last. According to Rolling Stone magazine, Dolly Parton was one of 12 children born in Tennessee to Robert Lee Parton and his wife, Avie Lee Parton. As one can imagine, running a farm and caring for a dozen kids did not leave much room for great prosperity. The family was poor, and as winter was coming on the year Dolly was 8-years-old, her mother lovingly stitched a patchwork coat from a box of rags that had been given to them. As she worked, Avie Parton told Dolly the bible story of Joseph and the coat of many colors.
When it was finally ready to wear, Dolly was excited to show it off at school. The reaction she received was not what she expected, however. Children can certainly be mean, and Dolly learned a valuable lesson that day. The jacket Dolly watched her mom make specially for her made her feel rich, but her schoolmates only saw her poverty. Even at such a young age, Dolly Parton understood that money alone does not define a person’s wealth. The following lyrics show the beautiful message of love.
“And oh I couldn’t understand it, for I felt I was rich, and I told them of the love, my momma sewed in every stitch.
“And I told ’em all the story, Momma told me while she sewed, and how my coat of many colors, was worth more than all their clothes.
“But they didn’t understand it, and I tried to make them see, that one is only poor, only if they choose to be.
“Now I know we had no money, but I was rich as I could be, in my coat of many colors, my momma made for me.”
Watch Dolly Parton sing of her childhood in the following video.
NBC has partnered with the star to produce Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors. The TV movie will air on December 10 in conjunction with the holidays. The second movie, also an NBC production, will be based on her hit single “Jolene”, which was released in October of 1973. Entertainment Weekly reports that former writer for The West Wing, Jon Sacret Young, will write the screenplay, says executive producer Sam Haskell.
“He has come up with an incredible story that Dolly just loves.”
“Jolene” was written about a bank teller who flirted with Dolly Parton’s husband, Carl Dean. The couple, married in 1966, are still together today. Says Dolly of the incident when she confronted the woman,”She jerked my wig off and almost beat me to death with it!”
Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors will star Jennifer Nettles as Avie Parton, Rick Schroder as Robert Parton, and Alyvia Alyn Lind as young Dolly.
— Deanna Barnert (@TVDeeva) August 13, 2015
The made-for-TV movie will air on NBC on December 10. Though Dolly Parton will not be starring in the movie, she will introduce the production as well as close it out.
Share your favorite Dolly Parton songs here.
[Image credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images]