The Dolly connection
One very alert reader sent this fascinating laundry list of Dolly Parton/sg intersections. So here we go.
1) Though the Kingdom Heirs were already employed by Silver Dollar City and inherited their Dollywood position when Dolly Parton became an equal partner to the Herschends, the Kingdom Heirs have actually recorded with Parton prior to the HRC cd project. The group backed Parton on several tracks on a gospel hymns project titled Precious Memories that can only be purchased at Dollywood.
2) Porter Wagoner often credits Dolly (who was a member of his cast) for bringing the gospel groups to his attention that later were booked as guests on his syndicated television series. Guests included but are not limited to The Blackwood Brothers (Porter did two albums with BB so maybe this was his idea?), Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters, The Rambos, and The Lefevres.
3) Dolly Parton was one of the performers at the very first Wendy Bagwell Days.
4) Dolly sang at Little Jan Buckner’s daughter’s wedding.
5) Dolly has recipes in both Vestal Goodman and Dottie Rambo’s cook books.
6) Dolly has recorded three Gospel themed albums Golden Streets Of Glory, Precious Memories (features Kingdom Heirs) and For God and Country (features The Fairfield Four).
7) Former member of the Downings Joy Gardner is a frequent background vocalist for Dolly on television and concerts. Alongside of Joy Gardner, Christ Church’s Jennifer O’brien served as a BGV for Parton for most of the 90s and often is used on special appearances today.
Dolly was heavily mentioned in Vestal Goodman’s autobiography and interviewed in the More Than The Music biopic of Dottie Rambo.
9) Dolly has recorded duets with Vestal Goodman (”Satisfied”), with Dottie Rambo (”Stand By The River”), and with the Christian Contemporary group Selah.
10) Compositions written by Parton have been covered by but not limited to the following SG artists: Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters, Jeff and Sheri Easter and JD Sumner and the Stamps. One of Bill Gaither’s Homecoming Christmas Videos also features a Dolly composition.
12) Dolly Parton’s album Little Sparrow featured Sonya and Becky Isaacs singing backup on two tracks “Mary Me” and “Seven Bridges Road.” Michael English sang back up on a track for Parton’s “Slow Dancing With The Moon” album. The Christ Church Choir has backed Dolly on several CMA Awards Show appearances, in concert and on several recordings including a well received version of “He’s Alive” written by Christian contemporary writer Don Fransico.
14) Gold City and The Florida Boys opened Dolly’s benefit shows for her scholarship programs at Dollywood this also was in conjunction with the opening of the SGMA Hall Of Fame at Dollywood.
15) Parton filmed an all gospel cable television special for the now defunct TNN network which featured The Kingdom Heirs and Kirk Talley as guests. In the show a segment about Southern Gospel and the The SGMA Hall Of Fame opening at Dollywood took place with clips of the Chuck Wagon Gang and other notable groups as well as audio from Wendy Bagwell who was the latest inductee at the time.
16) In Dolly’s autobiography in her thank you section Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters are among the names listed.
17) Dolly appeared on sg booking agent Sonny Simmons’s Country Gospel TV show in the 70’s.
18) During the Grand Opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the SGMA Hall Of Fame Dolly took the large scissors and pretended to cut Guy Penrod’s hair. The picture made the super market tabloids but not the Singing News.
Perhaps it’s unnecessary to ask at this point, but are there others?Email this Post