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I Will Always Love You: The Essential Dolly Parton, Vol. 1

Dolly Parton

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Album Review

The Essential Dolly Parton, Vol. 2 doesn't cover the late-'60s and early-'70s pure country hits that were also ignored by its predecessor, choosing to concentrate on her '70s crossover hits. Although that still leaves a large portion of her best work unanthologized, Vol. 2 is still a very good compilation. It's true that including the original version of "I Will Always Love You" — which was presented in a re-recorded take from 1982 on Vol. 1 — is a bit redundant, but the remainder of the disc is filled with hits, from her faithful cover of Jimmie Rodgers' "Mule Skinner Blues" to the soft-rock of "Here You Come Again." Such diversity doesn't make for a coherent collection, but it does illustrate exactly why Dolly had such a large fan base.

Biography

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...
Full Bio