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New Harvest...First Gathering

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Album Review

In 1977, Dolly Parton broke ties with her mentor, Porter Wagoner, moved to Los Angeles, and began mapping out the career that would take her out of the country market and transform her into a star of practically all media. New Harvest...First Gathering was Parton's first album working with her new management, and she produced it herself (with Gregg Perry assisting on two tracks), and though it isn't as calculated a piece of radio-ready product as her next set (Here You Come Again) would be, the record makes clear that Parton was interested in moving on to a larger stage. The opening track, "Light of a Clear Blue Morning," is a sophisticated piece of adult contemporary songcraft that suggests practically zero Nashville influence, and her covers of two soul chestnuts, "My Girl" (reworked into the gender-free "My Love") and "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher," dispel any doubts that Parton's voice would work outside of strict country boundaries. However, Dolly doesn't turn her back on her country audience with this set; "Applejack" is a cheerfully corny bit of backwoods nostalgia, "Holdin' on to You" and "You Are" are lovely and delicate love songs, and "There" is a spiritual number that's as sincere and passionate as it is inventive. In retrospect, New Harvest...First Gathering sounds like a dry run for Dolly's later crossover career, but it's also full of fine songs and produced with intelligence and restraint, and it has stood the test of time far better than much of her work of the 1980s.

Customer Reviews

Top 5 must have Dolly albums!

Well worth the price! One of her finest. "Light of a clear blue morning" and "There" are both beautiful and inspiring while "Where beauty lives in memory" haunts you. "Applejack" keeps the album fun and "Higher & Higher", "Holdin' on to you" and "Getting in my way" keeps your toes tapping. I highly recommend this album!!!

One of the best!

This is Dolly Parton's favorite album that she's ever done. And it shows. It is a very personal one at that being the first album that she produced herself, without any help from mentor Porter Wagoner. The first song, "Light of a Clear Blue Morning" (the only song to chart) is truly her song of deliverance. She has said that she wrote it on the day that she left Porter on the road for the last time. It has become a true and tried Parton classic. So has "Applejack," which has remained in her stage show since this album. Her gorgeous cover of "My Girl" is amazing and her cover of "Higher and Higher" (a Grammy nominee) rollicking. "Holdin' On To You" and "How Does It Feel" begin her blending of country and pop. And "You Are" is an amazing testament to her love of her fans. "Where Beauty Lives In Memory" and "There" show the true, poetic genius of a songwriter and singer only on the cusp of super stardom.

Great Dolly Ablum.

Is is GREAT to see this 1977 Ablum now on CD for the first time. This is one of my favorite Dolly Ablums, and it worth buying.


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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