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6 Fun Facts About Dolly Parton That You Might Not Know

dolly statue sevierville tn
May 4, 2021

We all know that Dolly Parton is a woman of many talents. She’s a singer, a songwriter, an actress, a businesswoman, and so much more. But even though we know all these things about her, there are some things that only the biggest Dolly fans would know. Check out these 6 fun facts about Dolly Parton that you might not know:

1. Her first crush was Johnny Cash.

Dolly Parton’s first crush was on Johnny Cash. When she was a young teenager, she was given the opportunity to perform at the Grand Ole’ Opry in Nashville, TN. That’s when she first saw Johnny Cash perform. Years later, she got to know Johnny Cash, and he became someone who was special to her and supportive of her career. One of Dolly’s favorite songs of his is “I Walk the Line.”

2. She won’t ride the rides at Dollywood.

roller coaster at Dollywood

That’s right — Dolly Parton refuses to ride the rides at her own theme park! It’s not because the rides aren’t safe or that she doesn’t think they’re fun; she’s just extremely afraid of roller coasters and has motion sickness. She said she even used to get sick on the school bus when she was a kid!

3. She once lost a Dolly Parton lookalike contest.

Who better to win a Dolly lookalike contest than the country queen herself? At least that’s what she thought when she saw the contest on Santa Monica Boulevard. One Halloween, Dolly saw a group of guys dressed up as her, so she said she just over-exaggerated her look a little and walked up in stage. Unfortunately, she didn’t even come close to winning!

4. Her parents paid for her birth with a sack of oatmeal.

sack of oatmeal

It’s no secret that Dolly didn’t grow up with a lot of money. The Smoky Mountain hometown hero has been very open about her family’s struggles during her childhood. They were so poor that her parents could not afford to pay the doctor who birthed her. Instead, her father gave the doctor a bag of oatmeal for his services because it was all they had.

5. She turned Elvis down.

We’ve all heard the song “I Will Always Love You,” but did you know that Elvis wanted to sing it? After Dolly made her own hit out of the song, Presley’s manager reached out to her in hopes of having Presley cover it. However, part of the deal required Dolly to surrender half of the publishing rights to the song, and the singer didn’t like the sound of that very much. She said something in her heart was telling her not to do it. Later on, Whitney Houston covered the song for the soundtrack of “The Bodyguard.” Dolly has said she is so thankful to have said no to Elvis and yes to Whitney.

6. “Jolene” was written about a bank teller.

bag full of money

Everyone loves Dolly’s hit song, “Jolene,” but do you know the inspiration behind it? The song was actually written about a redheaded bank teller who used to flirt with her husband, Carl Dean. She said he just loved going to the bank because the woman paid him so much attention, and it became a running joke between the couple when Dolly would say, “You’re spending a lot of time at the bank. I don’t believe we’ve got that kind of money.”

Now that you know all these fun facts about Dolly Parton, it’s time to come visit her hometown! We’ve got a variety of gorgeous cabin rentals for you to stay in when you come. Browse all of our cabin rentals in the Smoky Mountains and start planning your trip!

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