“We will always love him and he will always be in our hearts.”

By Rebecca Angel Baer
January 21, 2021
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Sad news to report out of east Tennessee this morning as we learn that Dolly Parton's baby brother Randel Huston Parton, known as Randy, has died after a battle with cancer. Dolly addressed the sad news via a Facebook post earlier today saying in part, "The family and I are grieving his loss but we know he is in a better place than we are at this time. We are a family of faith and we believe that he is safe with God and that he is joined by members of the family that have gone on before and have welcomed him with joy and open arms."

Randy was one of Dolly's 11 siblings, and the two were extremely close. Here is the entire family pictured in healthier and happier times that Dolly posted on Facebook in 2017.

In her social media eulogy, she goes on to discuss Randy's own success in entertainment and how much the pair bonded over their shared love of music. "Randy was a great singer, writer, and entertainer. He sang, played guitar and bass in my band for many years. He headed his own show at Dollywood since it opened in 1986. He's had several chart records of his own, but his duet with me on 'Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle to You' will always be a highlight in my own career."

Most recently, the two collaborated just last year for a wonderful Christmas duet, "You Are My Christmas," from her 2020 album, Holly Dolly Christmas. As we previously reported, the holiday tune was in fact inspired by Randy. In December, the Smokey Mountain songbird posted a video to her Instagram account explaining the backstory of how brother Randy's birth was her ultimate Christmas gift. She recalled how that was the Christmas she was longing for a "walking, talking doll," and while she didn't get the one from the catalogue she'd asked for, her wish did come true. "And so my brother Randy was our December baby, he was born close to Christmas, and mama said, 'Hey, y'all wanted a walking, talking doll that peed and did all the stuff, come over here, I want you to see your new walking, talking doll. We had our own baby that year, our own walking, talking doll that really cried real tears and he cried a lot of 'em. So we'd have to rock him, take care of him, we had to diaper him, too."

Dolly touches on how meaningful the duet is to her in her post this morning saying, "'You Are My Christmas,' our duet on my latest Christmas album, joined with his daughter Heidi, will always be a favorite. It was his last musical recording and he shined on it just like he's shining in heaven now."

Randy is survived by his wife Deb, children Heidi and Sabyn, and grandsons Huston and Trent as well as the extended Parton family. Dolly ends her note by saying "We will always love him and he will always be in our hearts."

Our deepest condolences extend to the entire Parton family.