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Coat of Many Colors

Dolly Parton

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Back in the early ‘70s, Dolly Parton was a quietly determined rebel, pushing against the country music conventions of her time. Coat Of Many Colors (1971) adds depth and shadows to Nashville’s familiar conception of the female artist, and the album’s title track remains one of Parton’s signature tunes, drawing an analogy between a poor mountain family’s pride and the blessings of an Old Testament king. Such tracks as “My Blue Tears” (a traditional-styled ballad of stark beauty) and the Porter Wagoner-composed “The Mystery Of The Mystery” (a meditation on the wonders of God’s creation) have a similarly old-fashioned feel. Other tracks are more risk-taking, especially the rollicking “Traveling Man” and “If I Lose My Mind” (the latter a domestic portrait with decidedly kinky overtones) and “She Never Met A Man (She Didn’t Like),” a tale of an unashamedly loose woman. Musically, most of the tracks stick to familiar Nashville arrangements — “Here I Am,” though, simmers to an enticing Memphis soul groove. Throughout, there’s a sense of hard-won wisdom and independence to Parton’s sweet-yet-resolute performances.

Customer Reviews

For People Who Listen to "Anything But Country"

You know how you'll read someone's online profile, and in the section for their musical tastes it reads "Hip-Hop, Rock, Anything but Country"? It just seems as if they're saying that they're open-minded to certain things, which is quite the contradiction. Now, I myself don't listen to country music, but I don't go around denouncing since I don't know much about the genre. It's one thing to not say that you don't listen to country, and another to declare that you do not listen to country. Maybe I shouldn't look so deeply into semantics, but there's definitely an arrogance that I think is pretty apparent. Will I get to the review of this album at some point? Sure. I say all of this because I feel as though this would be the album that even those "anything but country" people would like. I don't even remember what happened in my life that made me seek out this album. I kind of remember being really bored, looking for new music to buy, and just stumbled across this somehow. I think that I saw it on someone's rateyourmusic list for "best album covers". I'm not sure how it all started. But it started. I gave this album a chance, although I couldn't remember actually ever hearing a Dolly Parton song, aside from the guest appearance she has on Norah Jone's "Creepin' In". Whenever I get a new album, I like to give it a full listen, without any distractions such as television, internet surfing, other people, etc. Rarely, after one listen, do I go back for a second consecutive listen. With "Coat of Many Colors" I went back for a second listening. It's a very solid album from start to finish. The most enjoyable aspect of the album is Dolly's voice. It's amazing. From songs about poverty to infidelity, the content is interesting. The instrumentation is very excellent, especially the use of percussion throughout album, which was a pleasant surprised since I went in expecting a more acoustic guitar based recording. This album is a classic that transcends the routinely stereotyped genre. Then again, I don't know much about country music, but after this album, I will definitely seek out more from the genre.

go dolly

i love the coat of many colors! its soo kool!


Born: January 19, 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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