Dolly Parton Wows The Crowd At Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam

This appeared on The Boot Blog - June 11, 2011

Dolly Parton took control during Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam Wednesday (June 8), receiving a standing ovation as she walked onto the Ryman Auditorium stage. Looking great in a black pant suit with rhinestone pink and yellow flowers, the icon thanked Marty for inviting her to be part of the concert, which benefits MuisiCares.

"When I saw the invite and it said 'Late Night Jam,' I thought maybe I should wear my jammies," Dolly joked. "You know I"m usually in bed by 10:30."

"You are not in bed at this time; you are like me, you haven't been to bed since 1972!" Marty responded. "This woman asked me the other day if we were married in the '80's. We weren't, were we?"

"No, we couldn't have been, we'd have fought too much over the hairspray," Dolly quipped. "I always thought we were soul mates though, and we do look cute together."

Dolly went on to say that she wore the rhinestones in honor of her mentor, the late Porter Wagoner, with whom she performed and recorded early in her career. "We did a show that was a tribute to Porter at Dollywood a few years ago, and these costumes were made for that," she told the audience. "I don't get to wear them much, but I thought it would be appropriate to wear here tonight."

"I don't know how many times I've done this song on this stage," Dolly continued, before launching into 'Jolene.' After she finished singing the tune, she said, "I've had luck with my little songs. They come straight from the heart and are about people I've known and things I've experienced. 'Coat of Many Colors' is my favorite, and I'm going to dedicate it to all the mammas out there."

Following that song, the East Tennessee native told the audience that 37 years ago, on June 8, her tune 'I Will Always Love You' hit the top of the country charts for the first time. The song was written for Porter, during the time period that Dolly and he were splitting their business association.

Dolly recorded it in 1974, and it became a No. 1 hit for her. She re-recorded it in 1982 for the soundtrack of 'Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.' The tune again went to the top of the Billboard charts, which was the first time the same song by the same artist had done that.

The song reappeared in 1992 when Whitney Houston recorded it as the lead song for her movie 'The Bodyguard,' starring Kevin Costner. Had it not been for her co-star, Whitney might not have ever heard the song. She had wanted to record a different tune, but before she could do so, that song was placed in another movie. Kevin brought Whitney Linda Ronstadt's version of 'I Will Always Love You,' and Houston and producer David Foster recorded it.

Dolly recorded 'I Will Always Love You' again in 1995 in as a duet with Vince Gill, causing her to joke, "Are ya'll getting tired of this song? I know I am." When the singer released her album 'Backwoods Barbie' in 2008, 'I Will Always Love You' was offered as a bonus track exclusive from iTunes.

As she ended her set on his show, Marty told her that he was donating $5,000 to Dolly's Imagination Library, which puts books in the hands of young people who might not be able to buy books, in order to encourage them to read.

Dolly exited the stage as she entered it, with a standing ovation.

The singer opens her Better Day World Tour in July, with dates scheduled for the U.S., Europe and Australia. Her new album, 'Better Day,' will release the end of June. She also has filmed a movie, 'Joyful Noise,' co-starring Queen Latifah and featuring Kris Kristofferson, which is now scheduled to be out in early 2012.

By Vernell Hackett

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