Happy Birthday, Dolly Parton!

Dolly Parton has long been considered an icon. Even before she was a teenager, Dolly was singing on local radio stations in their small Tennessee town. And at 13 years old, she performed at the Grand Ole Opry and met Johnny Cash. After high school, Dolly immediately moved to Nashville to hone her talents and live her dream. I think we all know how that panned out—Dolly Parton is a household name with the records to support it, but her legendary status doesn’t stop with just music. 

Dolly is a well-known philanthropist, through her Dollywood Foundation. It originally provided scholarships to local high school students then continued to grow and provide other charitable support as well. Her Imagination Library provides books to pre-school-age children in over five countries; one book per month from birth until they enter kindergarten. (For more information, visit our Children’s Department webpage!) During the 2016 Great Smoky Mountains wildfires, she organized a telethon and gathered about $9 million for those impacted by the fires. She’s also donated to medical centers and specifically pediatric programs.

Even if you swear that you’re not a country music fan, it’s easy to find something to appreciate about Dolly Parton. Check out some of these books to pique your interest and then maybe you’ll feel inspired to listen to one of her albums! 

Unlikely Angel: The Songs of Dolly Parton by Lydia Hamessley 

Dolly Parton: Songteller, My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton 

Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson 

(And if you want some music to listen to while you read, Dolly wrote an album of the same name to accompany the novel!) 

She Come by It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs by Sarah Smarsh 

Diamonds & Rhinestones: The Greatest Hits Collection  

-Linnea

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