1997 CADILLAC D’ELEGANCE
|Dolly Parton is the most honored female country
performer of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold,
platinum and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25
songs reach number 1 on the Billboard Country charts, a
record for a female artist. She has 41 career top 10
country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110
career charted singles over the past 40 years.
All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections,
paid digital downloads and compilation usage during her
Hall of Fame career have reportedly topped a staggering
100 million records world-wide.
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|Born and raised only a few miles from here in a rustic, dilapidated one-room cabin in Locust Ridge just
north of Greenbrier in the Great Smoky Mountains, Dolly Parton learned early to escape the hardships of
life through her vivid and far-ranging imagination. Before she learned to read and write, she was
"making up" her own songs. She got her first guitar when she was 8 and began singing on a Knoxville,
Tenn., radio station at age 11. That same year, she made her first recording on Gold Band Records, a
tiny independent label. She made a name for herself locally while still in high school, but she dreamed of
a bigger stage. The day after she graduated in 1964, she moved to Nashville.
Dolly has gained international fame as a country music singer/songwriter, author, actress and
philanthropist. She remains one of the most successful country music artists, with 26 number-one
singles, a record for a female performer, and a record 42 top-10 country albums. She has the distinction
of having performed on a top-40 country hit in each of the last five decades.
|Dolly Parton has also invested locally in several business ventures, most notably the theme park Dollywood in
Pigeon Forge, which has become one of the South’s leading tourist attractions, Dollywood’s Splash Country and
Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. Through Dollywood and the non-profit Dollywood Foundation, Dolly has
contributed in many ways to her home county’s economy, to scholarship programs for high school students there,
and to Her literacy program, Dolly Parton's "Imagination Library", which mails one book per month to children from
the time of their birth until they enter kindergarten, began in Sevier County, Tennessee, but has now been
replicated in 1000 communities. She also supports the Dolly Parton Wellness and Rehabilitation Center of Fort
Sanders Sevier Medical Center, which provides women’s health services and other programs. There is now a life
size statue of Parton on the lawn of the Sevier County courthouse.