Dolly Parton just released her 42nd album, Blue Smoke, which means anyone who told her to ditch her backwoods Barbie image — modeled after the “town tramp” — when she first got to Nashville because people wouldn’t take her seriously, was probably wrong. “I’m totally real where it counts,” Parton tells Kathie Lee Gifford, host of “SiriusXM’s Town Hall with Dolly Parton” premiering May 14 at 7 p.m. ET on Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM Channel 105). “I know I look artificial, but I think people know that I’m serious about how I look — that it came from a serious place of a country girl’s idea of glamour. ‘Cause we had nothin’, I wanted anything.” She needs all that hair, makeup, and gaudy clothes to feel comfortable, she insists.
On another note, Parton also says it’s okay if people still don’t realize she’s the one who wrote the song “I Will Always Love You.” Even though she took it to No. 1 twice herself, she knows Whitney Houston’s rendition on The Bodyguard soundtrack is what made it a worldwide hit: “[People] would be almost mad at me,” Parton says, laughing. “They’d say I wrote that song. ‘That’s Whitney’s song!’ I said, ‘That’s fine. Whitney can have the credit, as long as I get my cash.’”
Hear a clip below. The “Town Hall” will be rebroadcast on Willie’s Roadhouse (Channel 56), Prime Country (Channel 58), and Out Q (Channel 109).