Dolly Parton's First Record Label Wanted Her to Ditch Country Music to Be a Rock Star
"They thought I might have a better chance in rock 'n' roll," recalled Parton.
Dolly Parton, Queen of...Rock and Roll? While it's hard to imagine Dolly Parton as anything else other than the Queen of Country music, if her first record label, Monument Records, had gotten their way, she could have very well been climbing the rock charts instead of blossoming into the country music icon we all cherish so dearly.
Indeed, we were quite surprised to learn her career could have gone in a very different direction, as The Cheat Sheet reported. When recording with Monument Records, Parton told WNYC's "Dolly Parton's America" host Jad Abumrad that her label felt her voice was too high and might not be a good fit for the country music genre. (Heavens to Betsy are we biting our tongues over that one.) "It sounded like people thought it was childish, so they thought I might have a better chance in rock 'n' roll," Parton recalled of the criticism she received. Clearly, the fates had other plans and Parton would go on to be one of country music's brightest stars.
Another interesting tidbit? Fred Foster, owner of Combine Music and Monument Records, thought Parton was destined for the silver screen. "I told Dolly, she would be a gigantic movie star someday. And she said, 'I think you have lost your mind.' Then I said, 'I didn't have much to lose anyway Dolly, it's okay,'" as shared on DollyParton.com. While she may be best known for her singing, considering Parton's roles in films ranging from 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias to 'Joyful Noise and Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square, she's certainly had her fair share of film roles, too.
Do you think any of Parton's songs have a rock-and-roll edge to them? We think she's 100% Smoky Mountain Songbird, country to the bone — and that's just the way we like it.