“They had a bunch of Chers and Dollys that year, so I just over-exaggerated — made my beauty mark bigger, the eyes bigger, the hair bigger, everything. All these beautiful drag queens had worked for weeks and months getting their clothes. So I just got in the line and I just walked across, and they just thought I was some little short gay guy.. but I got the least applause.”
––Dolly Parton tells a story from her new memoir, Dream More, out November 27. If you don’t love Dolly Parton I don’t even want to know you.
I grew up in a small, rural town where muddy trucks would cruise up and down main street with rifles mounted in the back window and country music blasting from the speakers. I grew up hating country music. I thought it was stupid, cheesy, and ignorant. To me, country music was the soundtrack to a conservative, small-town mentality that felt incredibly stifling. I tuned it out in favor of pop, rap, oldies, indie rock, and metal (for years my musical taste could be easily summed up as “Everything except country!”) until one day in 2003, when the Dixie Chicks caused a firestorm by speaking out against President Bush on stage. This was progressive, ballsy, the complete antithesis to everything I thought I knew about country music. I realized if these kinds of women were singing country songs, maybe it was time for me to reconsider my hatred for the genre. I slowly–and secretly–starting getting into country. Pretty soon I was asking friends for country recommendations and discovering that I have a serious banjo fetish.
This year I drove two-hundred miles roundtrip to attend a country music festival and even took a trip to Nashville to get my live banjo fix. My high school self would be stunned. Here are seven things I’ve learned to love about country music since my conversion to a proud country fan… Keep reading »
Can we take a moment to appreciate that Better Day is Dolly Parton’s freaking 41st studio album? Much respect, Dolly, much respect. What makes Dolly tunes so amazing is that they can take lyrics that would normally make me roll my eyes—for example, “Together you and I can stop the rain/ and make the sun shine”—but with her voice and the sheer power of her optimism, it makes me think, Yes, we can make the sun shine! This album is the perfect thing to play at your Fourth of July BBQ over the long weekend or to put on the stereo for that road trip to Dollywood.