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Dolly Parton Tells The Story Of Her First Days in Nashville


Written by Live Nation Staff • August 19, 2016

When Dolly Parton first arrived in Nashville some 52 years ago, she was just an 18-year-old with a dream. Growing up one of 12 children in the Appalachian town of Sevierville, TN, she was no stranger to tough times, and when we sat down earlier this year to talk about her new album, Pure & Simple, she recounted a story about how she survived on next to nothing while trying to get her music career off the ground.

"I would buy a jar of relish, a jar of ketchup, and a jar of mustard and I would take hot water and I'd make me soup out of it," she remembers, "or I'd go down to the hotels and walk through the rooms looking for old trays of food."

Of course, Parton's early struggles eventually gave way to one of the most successful country crossover careers in music history. In the five decades since, Dolly's put out 43 records, toured the world, starred in movies, television, and film, opened a theme park, launched a production company, become an ambassador for childhood literacy, and spurred generations of women towards positive, progressive, feminist ideals--and that's just for starters.

Watch Dolly recall her earliest memories of the music biz above, and check out our interview for the full the story behind Pure & Simple. For a list of Dolly's upcoming tour dates and to purchase Pure & Simple, visit her website.