This heartwarming special will tell the story that inspired Dolly Parton to write her famous “Coat of Many Colors” song in 1971. Parton will serve as narrator for the holiday special, and will make an appearance in the beginning of the movie as she introduces it from Dollywood, her theme park in Tennessee. The NY Post recently shared why Dolly Parton wanted to turn the song into a movie.
“Folks have been telling me since the ’70s that Coat of Many Colors would make a good movie, and the timing finally felt right to me. I had the right partners in Warner Bros. and NBC and my friend [executive producer] Sam Haskell. We knew that with the right writers and cast, we could tell a story that could be very meaningful, especially at this time of year.”
The story begins in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, and back in 1955, times are tough for the large Parton family. A drought has ravaged their tobacco fields, and Avie Lee, played by Jennifer Nettles, is expecting her 10th child. According to the St. Louis Dispatch, after tragedy strikes the family, Dolly’s mother decides to make the spunky Dolly (Alyvia Alyn Lind) a coat from donated rags. Her thought is that perhaps the coat will give the young Parton something to be proud of. Ricky Schroder plays her father, Robert Lee Parton, and Gerald McRaney portrays her grandfather, the Reverend Jacob “Jake” Owens. His church is where Dolly began her singing career. “My mama’s rock-solid faith was the heart of our family,” Parton narrates in the movie, “but we had no idea how that faith would be tested.”
Unfortunately, 8-year-old Dolly must learn to deal with bullying when other children make fun of her new patchwork coat. The problems the young Dolly Parton faces also paves the way for the telling of the biblical story of Joseph and the similar problems he faced because of his own coat of many colors. Dolly Parton’s sister, Stella, is also in the movie, and plays the part of the woman who owns the town’s mercantile store and brings the family the rags that are used to make the coat. Parton remarked that it was wonderful to have her sister in the movie.
Fans of Dolly Parton will get a special look into her life before fame and fortune came her way. She told the Boot that it will reveal quite a bit, and that there’s much more to the story.
“It really kind of evolves and details a lot of my whole life in bits and pieces. And it really shows family. I don’t know if people, besides me, miss having shows like Little House on the Prairie or The Waltons, but it’s kind of like that. It just shows the simple life of back then, back when.”
She goes on to say that it is a show about all of the people who made Dolly Parton who and what she is today. “It shows that I love music, and I love my folks … it’s really got a lot of great elements.” Fans will be happy to learn that Coat of Many Colors is only the first in a series of movies that Dolly Parton is producing for NBC on her life, her stories, and her songs.
So, what’s next for Dolly Parton in regard to making more movies for the small screen? The next movie will be based on Parton’s song, “Jolene,” but there will be even more to come. “Lord, I’ve lived so long. I’ve got a lot of stories to tell,” Parton says.
Are you a fan of Dolly Parton? Leave your comments, thoughts and opinions below. The film airs on December 10 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
[Image via Dolly Parton/Facebook, cropped and resized]