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Ultimate Dolly Parton

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Album Review

Dolly Parton has had countless collections, including many billed as either "definitive" or "ultimate," which is the billing given BMG Heritage's 2003 release. Running 20 tracks over the course of a single disc, this Ultimate Dolly Parton keeps its focus on the big hits, including a large stretch of hits from the late '70s and early '80s, including "Here You Come Again," "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right," "Heartbreaker," "9 to 5," and "Islands in the Stream." In addition to this, there are a couple of latter-day tracks, her Trio recording of "To Know Him Is to Love Him" and early hits "Joshua," "Coat of Many Colors," "I Will Always Love You," and "Jolene." So, in short, it's her most familiar material on one disc, something that has certainly been done before in her catalog, but it's done particularly well here. As a roundup of her hits, it works very well and it's also a good introduction, although listeners who are interested in her purer country and more ambitious music are advised to pick up Raven's superb Mission Chapel Memories: 1971-1975 instead.

Biography

Born: 19 January 1946 in Locust Ridge, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

It's difficult to find a country performer who has moved from her country roots to international fame more successfully than Dolly Parton. Her autobiographical single "Coat of Many Colors" shows the poverty of growing up one of 12 children on a rundown farm in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. At 12 years old, she was appearing on Knoxville television; at 13 she was recording on a small label and appearing on the Grand Ole Opry. Her 1967 hit "Dumb Blonde" (which she's not) caught Porter Wagoner's ear, and...
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