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Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is a landmark celebration of the remarkable life and career of a country music and pop culture legend. As told by Dolly Parton in her own inimitable words, explore the songs that have defined her journey. Illustrated throughout with previously unpublished images from Dolly Parton's personal and business archives. Mining over 60 yea Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is a landmark celebration of the remarkable life and career of a country music and pop culture legend. As told by Dolly Parton in her own inimitable words, explore the songs that have defined her journey. Illustrated throughout with previously unpublished images from Dolly Parton's personal and business archives. Mining over 60 years of songwriting, Dolly Parton highlights 175 of her songs and brings readers behind the lyrics. • Packed with never-before-seen photographs and classic memorabilia • Explores personal stories, candid insights, and myriad memories behind the songs Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics reveals the stories and memories that have made Dolly a beloved icon across generations, genders, and social and international boundaries. Containing rare photos and memorabilia from Parton's archives, this book is a show-stopping must-have for every Dolly Parton fan. • Learn the history behind classic Parton songs like "Jolene," "9 to 5," "I Will Always Love You," and more. • The perfect gift for Dolly Parton fans (everyone loves Dolly!) as well as lovers of music history and country Add it to the shelf with books like Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton, The Beatles Anthology by The Beatles, and Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.


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Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is a landmark celebration of the remarkable life and career of a country music and pop culture legend. As told by Dolly Parton in her own inimitable words, explore the songs that have defined her journey. Illustrated throughout with previously unpublished images from Dolly Parton's personal and business archives. Mining over 60 yea Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is a landmark celebration of the remarkable life and career of a country music and pop culture legend. As told by Dolly Parton in her own inimitable words, explore the songs that have defined her journey. Illustrated throughout with previously unpublished images from Dolly Parton's personal and business archives. Mining over 60 years of songwriting, Dolly Parton highlights 175 of her songs and brings readers behind the lyrics. • Packed with never-before-seen photographs and classic memorabilia • Explores personal stories, candid insights, and myriad memories behind the songs Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics reveals the stories and memories that have made Dolly a beloved icon across generations, genders, and social and international boundaries. Containing rare photos and memorabilia from Parton's archives, this book is a show-stopping must-have for every Dolly Parton fan. • Learn the history behind classic Parton songs like "Jolene," "9 to 5," "I Will Always Love You," and more. • The perfect gift for Dolly Parton fans (everyone loves Dolly!) as well as lovers of music history and country Add it to the shelf with books like Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton, The Beatles Anthology by The Beatles, and Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.

30 review for Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    A truly remarkable lady. Her talents in songwriting, how far she has come on her own talent and moxie, amazing. One of twelve children, raised in an Appalachian cabin with few amenities, her family didn't have much in the way of material things. They were, however, rich in love, family and music. Her songs all tell a story, many based on actual people. She has written for and song with many country notables. I started out reading this, able to get a copy from Hoopla, but when I saw the song lyric A truly remarkable lady. Her talents in songwriting, how far she has come on her own talent and moxie, amazing. One of twelve children, raised in an Appalachian cabin with few amenities, her family didn't have much in the way of material things. They were, however, rich in love, family and music. Her songs all tell a story, many based on actual people. She has written for and song with many country notables. I started out reading this, able to get a copy from Hoopla, but when I saw the song lyrics I bought the audible. I read along, the audio in Dolly's voice, listening to her sing some of the verses of her songs, but able to see all the pictures, of which there were many, in the Hoopla copy. Warning though, it's a trade off, the book doesn't follow the audio, more in contained in the book, but together they were perfect. The format on audio is a interviewer, interviewed type of narrative. Dolly does discuss her life, her family, her husband, her career and why she wrote each song. It was fun, interesting and a perfect first read, listen to 2021. The bad part, I had the song Jolene stuck in my head for most of yesterday.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Esil

    I listened to this one as an audio book. I can’t imagine how it would work as a written book. The audio sounds more like a spontaneous interview than anything else. But it’s lots of fun to listen to Dolly Parton recount what lies behind many of her songs and to hear snippets of those songs. Her enthusiasm and positive outlook are infectious. Her unapologetic pride in her family and background are moving. And as a woman who is confident and comfortable with who she is, she is a great role model. I listened to this one as an audio book. I can’t imagine how it would work as a written book. The audio sounds more like a spontaneous interview than anything else. But it’s lots of fun to listen to Dolly Parton recount what lies behind many of her songs and to hear snippets of those songs. Her enthusiasm and positive outlook are infectious. Her unapologetic pride in her family and background are moving. And as a woman who is confident and comfortable with who she is, she is a great role model. By the end, it gets a bit repetitive as every song is her favourite, but overall I still really enjoyed listening to this one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I'm embarrassed to admit that I used to think of Dolly as over the top. Now, as an adult, I've learned that she's a wonderful soul, sending free books to kids and donating a million dollars to covid vaccine research. She is a treasure. I listened to the audiobook (narrated by Dolly and including some snippets of her music) and also bought the hardcover book. Why both? The hardcover book includes all of her song lyrics as well as memorabilia type photos. The hardcover is fierce, weighing in at ove I'm embarrassed to admit that I used to think of Dolly as over the top. Now, as an adult, I've learned that she's a wonderful soul, sending free books to kids and donating a million dollars to covid vaccine research. She is a treasure. I listened to the audiobook (narrated by Dolly and including some snippets of her music) and also bought the hardcover book. Why both? The hardcover book includes all of her song lyrics as well as memorabilia type photos. The hardcover is fierce, weighing in at over 5 pounds! The combination of the audiobook and the hardcover book provides a unique and very enjoyable way to learn about Dolly's life and music. Highly recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I listened to this and also followed along in the book. The two are very different—Dolly rambles and giggles in the audio, as she examines her personal history through many of her songs. The book is more concise with lots of pictures—so you need both! I loved this so much. Dolly has said repeatedly that she lives to glorify God. She calls her songwriting her “Godspace”, and she says she writes better and feels closer to God when she is fasting. I loved to hear tidbits of how she has made her mar I listened to this and also followed along in the book. The two are very different—Dolly rambles and giggles in the audio, as she examines her personal history through many of her songs. The book is more concise with lots of pictures—so you need both! I loved this so much. Dolly has said repeatedly that she lives to glorify God. She calls her songwriting her “Godspace”, and she says she writes better and feels closer to God when she is fasting. I loved to hear tidbits of how she has made her marriage last over 50 years. I just love to read about people who know their true calling in life, and I am grateful that a woman like Dolly is alive during my time. She is both incredibly humble and also incredibly confident. I love her so much!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Madalyn (Novel Ink)

    I mean, I didn’t really *need* more proof that Dolly Parton is a gift the world doesn’t deserve, but it’s been extra proven with this book. as a musician and songwriter, she has always been a huge inspiration to me, and getting a glimpse into her brilliant songwriting brain was so valuable!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Onceinabluemoon

    I love dolly, she is hard working, talented, kind, giving and funny. Listened to the audio book, it was like having morning coffee with a friend, I think the audio is the way to go for this, you hear a snippet of her songs and she gives the back story, hated for it to end!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Dolly tells the reader the who, what, where, and why behind many of her song lyrics. This gives a good background on Dolly herself, her relationships from her Smoky Mountain Tennessee home to her friendships, and marriage to Carl. Each one is followed by a few lines of each song, sung by Dolly. What made me laugh is that almost every single song she covers, she says, "I think that is my favorite song." Sometimes she changes the wording to "my most clever song" or "my most meaningful song". She c Dolly tells the reader the who, what, where, and why behind many of her song lyrics. This gives a good background on Dolly herself, her relationships from her Smoky Mountain Tennessee home to her friendships, and marriage to Carl. Each one is followed by a few lines of each song, sung by Dolly. What made me laugh is that almost every single song she covers, she says, "I think that is my favorite song." Sometimes she changes the wording to "my most clever song" or "my most meaningful song". She clearly loves to to write songs and to hear her tell each story was a pure delight. Not to read, must be listened to

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anita Fajita Pita

    I needed this audiobook, read by Dolly Parton herself, right now. I made a joke about listening to A Holly Dolly Christmas for some added cheer, not realizing that this is actually the title of her Christmas album released a couple months ago. I'm sure I read an article title in passing and filed it away in my subconscious. 2020 has been a pretty crap year and Dolly Parton headlines have jumped out throughout the year, tossing up her love and philanthropy confetti. Anywho, this audiobook was a ne I needed this audiobook, read by Dolly Parton herself, right now. I made a joke about listening to A Holly Dolly Christmas for some added cheer, not realizing that this is actually the title of her Christmas album released a couple months ago. I'm sure I read an article title in passing and filed it away in my subconscious. 2020 has been a pretty crap year and Dolly Parton headlines have jumped out throughout the year, tossing up her love and philanthropy confetti. Anywho, this audiobook was a neat look into the little stories behind Dolly's music. She's written a lot of songs. A ton. And she probably has a story for all of them. I grew up listening to her older songs because my dad was a fan, and I always thought her songs were like mini stories. I could picture them as she sang them. Hearing those real life stories from her own lips and in her own words was pretty awesome. I don't think you need to be a fan to appreciate this. Pretty much everyone knows who Dolly Parton is, and that's enough to enjoy this book about her life and her process. She's a wonderful artist, a great talent, and she has made it her life's work to give back. She has her beliefs and doesn't hide them or push them. She's really a wonderful woman to listen to, her kindness and humor shine through as she talks about a range of topics, and she's still hustling. Highly recommend for a feel good listen with some lightheartedness that's a little rare nowadays and bonus Dolly crooning every few minutes as they play a snippet of whichever song she's talking about, or she sings a line or two talking about her stories. Honestly, she's a marvelous writer that applied her skills to songs but I think she could write a book of Appalachian fairytales. She probably has, it just needs to be compiled from her songs.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I listened to this one and loved hearing her describe her songs and stories and pair it with her music. Light, quick and fascinating.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mom

    Simply the best book ever!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susan Giffin

    Wanted to give this four stars because I love Dolly so much but just couldn't. I did the audiobook version and while it was delightful to her her talk and tell stories, this just seemed like a long interview, not a book. It was one- or two-minutes synopses on how and why she wrote many of her songs. Would recommend it if you're a fan, but don't go in thinking it's an autobiography or a book. Wanted to give this four stars because I love Dolly so much but just couldn't. I did the audiobook version and while it was delightful to her her talk and tell stories, this just seemed like a long interview, not a book. It was one- or two-minutes synopses on how and why she wrote many of her songs. Would recommend it if you're a fan, but don't go in thinking it's an autobiography or a book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Dolly Parton is a national treasure! Parton shares her life in lyrics, as this book covers her life from childhood to modern-day. Divided into chapters of her life, in a roughly chronological manner, she shares what inspired her music over the decades. She begins with her life as a child in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, moves through her partnership with Porter Wagoner, then her movie acting and move into pop music, and then her return back to her country roots. Her songwriting is second to non Dolly Parton is a national treasure! Parton shares her life in lyrics, as this book covers her life from childhood to modern-day. Divided into chapters of her life, in a roughly chronological manner, she shares what inspired her music over the decades. She begins with her life as a child in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, moves through her partnership with Porter Wagoner, then her movie acting and move into pop music, and then her return back to her country roots. Her songwriting is second to none, for many musical artists use songwriters, but Dolly has penned thousands of songs for herself and for other singers. Included in the pages are pictures of Dolly on stage or in movies, plus family pictures, and photographs of artifacts and costumes that she has worn through the years. The book is a joy, and you will go on a musical journey, listening to the songs now that you know more about what inspired the lyrics. Dolly truly is an icon, and that she has established a charity called Imagination Library in which she gifts children with books from birth to age five, puts her on a pedestal that no one can come close to.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Rose

    What a great book for Dolly fans!!! It’s the story of Dolly’s life told through her music and the lyrics of some of her biggest songs as well as songs that you may not have heard of. I loved all the insight and just love Dolly even more now! Go pick up this book! But be warned it’s HEAVY! Haha! It’s a coffee table book so it’s going to be different to read than a normal book but I absolutely loved it and I think you will too! We will always love you Dolly!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    4.5 stars I love me some Dolly! I am definitely glad I listened to the audio version of this book to hear her voice, as well as snippets of her songs. She tells many stories about her life and what was going on at the time she wrote each song and what inspired those particular lyrics. It reads more like an interview than a book; Dolly is definitely not reading from a script! The one thing I found funny was how she describes pretty much every single song as one of her best/favorites.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ellen McClure

    What an absolutely uplifting read. If you're a Dolly fan, or just a fan of women who know what they want and achieve their dreams no matter what, this is a must read for you. Forgoing the outward image to see what is on the inside is the memoirs core spirit. Give it a whirl!! What an absolutely uplifting read. If you're a Dolly fan, or just a fan of women who know what they want and achieve their dreams no matter what, this is a must read for you. Forgoing the outward image to see what is on the inside is the memoirs core spirit. Give it a whirl!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    Big love to Dolly for helping us all to get through this craptastic year.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    This one is ok for me. It seems like clips from interviews that Dolly has given over the years that were put together with someone asking questions or explaining more of what Dolly is talking about.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Lindzy

    I'm a huge Dolly Parton fan, so receiving this book as a gift made my Christmas!! As I read, I could hear Dolly's voice explaining the story behind each song in the book. It was entertaining and worth the read. I'm a huge Dolly Parton fan, so receiving this book as a gift made my Christmas!! As I read, I could hear Dolly's voice explaining the story behind each song in the book. It was entertaining and worth the read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bethany Owens

    I just love Dolly and I loved hearing her tell the stories of her songs. Although, I giggled throughout the book, because she claimed that 99% of the songs she talked about was her favorite. lol!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Heneghan

    I always have loved Dolly but fell in love with her after listening to the Podcast Dolly Parton’s America. So I picked the audiobook on this one. I love that they put some of the songs in when they start talking about each song and how or why she wrote it. She is a gem and I think we all need to be a little more like Dolly.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jerrod Griebel

    It wasn't until my early 20s when I fell in love with Dolly Parton and her work. And in this new book Songteller, we get to learn why her work is worth falling in love with. Rather than reading the printed text, I opted for the audiobook because it's essentially one long interview with Dolly. And I appreciate hearing her own voice and expressions when talking about her songs. Some of the stories are serious (discussing alcoholism and suicide); others are rather comical (at one point, she explore It wasn't until my early 20s when I fell in love with Dolly Parton and her work. And in this new book Songteller, we get to learn why her work is worth falling in love with. Rather than reading the printed text, I opted for the audiobook because it's essentially one long interview with Dolly. And I appreciate hearing her own voice and expressions when talking about her songs. Some of the stories are serious (discussing alcoholism and suicide); others are rather comical (at one point, she explores one of her sexier songs and explains, "I just like horny songs"); and still others showcase how her biggest hits, like "Jolene," came to be. But underlying all of these tunes is a woman who's not afraid to feel deeply and then communicate those feelings in music and lyrics. And that vulnerability and commitment is what makes her art worth exploring.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nina Keller

    I love Dolly, and this book is basically an interview of her process as a writer, storyteller, creator, and performer. Must listen to the audiobook, as it just wouldn’t be the same without Dolly’s twang.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    Dolly Parton telling the timeline of her life through stories about her songs. It was obviously perfect.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I love that she just owns who she is. Her personality is so uniquely Dolly and I love it. I want expecting the format of the book, and slightly repetitive but overall quick and enjoyable audio.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maddy Duval

    I didn’t realize I could love Dolly even more than I already did. Loved reading how her upbringing in Appalachia is present in her songwriting!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Coleen

    I pre-ordered this book on Audible and didn't expect to get to it so quickly, but I'm so glad I did. I loved this book!! I started and finished it today. Dolly Parton is witty, wise, tender, honest and self aware. i know I will come back and listen to this one again. I pre-ordered this book on Audible and didn't expect to get to it so quickly, but I'm so glad I did. I loved this book!! I started and finished it today. Dolly Parton is witty, wise, tender, honest and self aware. i know I will come back and listen to this one again.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emma Martindale

    The absolute BEST audiobook I have ever listened to. If you can listen to this book on audio, DO IT. Dolly is everything.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Yancey

    Dolly is a delight, as usual. Probably a 4.5. The only reason it wasn’t higher is that I knew a bunch of the stories already... since I’m a committed Dolly fan.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Carr

    This book is huge! Full of photos and little tidbits, memories, inspirations, and lifelong reflections that inspired many of Dolly's songs. Honestly, audio is the way to go because she speaks so fast you just feel like you're listening to a long conversational interview with her. Mixed in are song clips related to that section and make it extra special. I've always enjoyed Dolly, but have a lot more respect for some of her non-musical endevors now This book is huge! Full of photos and little tidbits, memories, inspirations, and lifelong reflections that inspired many of Dolly's songs. Honestly, audio is the way to go because she speaks so fast you just feel like you're listening to a long conversational interview with her. Mixed in are song clips related to that section and make it extra special. I've always enjoyed Dolly, but have a lot more respect for some of her non-musical endevors now

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yaaresse

    ETA: OK, those last 30-35 pages? She and Oermann both phones it in. I should dock them both half a star, but I won't. He wasn't even trying anymore, as if nothing Dolly had done in the last 15 years was worthy of his commentary, which is silly because the last decade may have some of her best work both in music and her other interests. That said, it's worth having a browser open to YouTube to hunt down some of the more obscure songs listed in this chapter, many of which are bluegrass. you won't ETA: OK, those last 30-35 pages? She and Oermann both phones it in. I should dock them both half a star, but I won't. He wasn't even trying anymore, as if nothing Dolly had done in the last 15 years was worthy of his commentary, which is silly because the last decade may have some of her best work both in music and her other interests. That said, it's worth having a browser open to YouTube to hunt down some of the more obscure songs listed in this chapter, many of which are bluegrass. you won't find them all because some have never even been recorded. This may be where the audio book version comes in handy. __________________________ In full disclosure, I have about 30 pages still to read, but I'll finish it later today. And I want to end my 2020 reading year on a high note. Goodness knows little else this year qualifies. Someone just told me that if you do this book in audio format you get to hear the songs sung. Is that true? If it is, I can see where there might be a real dilemma for the rabid Dolly fan about whether to go for the audio for the music or the print for the photos. I appreciate her songwriting and music, but my admiration for Dolly Parton is because of what she's done with her fame and fortune and her unquenchable zeal for everything she does. She's like Super Fairy Godmother. She funds vaccines. She saves eagles. She makes sure Dollywood employees had income during wildfires and pandemics. She raised a butt-load of money for HIV/AIDS research back when no one wanted to talk about HIV. She'd given away 100 MILLION books to kids. That was just in her spare time from her day job as The Hardest Working Songwriter in Country Music. I'm giving it four stars just for the photos. It's 50-60 years of who's who in music. And she's done it all in five inch heels, sequins, and the world's biggest wigs. Which brings us to the pictures. I read the Kindle version, which has the usual klutzy handling of photos endemic to Kindle, so I can only imagine the impact of the print version. Still, OMG, the photos. They're priceless. And we finally get to see what the elusive Carl Dean looks like. (Kinda hunky, actually.) There are pics of outfits and hairdos that defy the laws of physics, of course, but there are also pics of young Dolly working with the then-icons of country and the whole famn-damily. (How many uncles and aunts does she have anyway? Seems like dozens.) As for the text, if I'm honest, it's a mixed bag. Each book is separated into chapters loosely built around significant changes in her career: getting started, the Porter Wagoner years, going solo, acting, etc. Within the chapter are sections for each song written or introduced during that time. The first few pages are written by Robert Oermann, a journalist who is sort of an unofficial historian of country music. He describes what was going on when the song was written or recorded. Then you get the lyrics, and then a few pages of text with Dolly giving her take on what the song meant or what was happening to inspire the writing of it. Sometimes the two repeat the same things, as if they wrote the pages separately without discussing who'd write about what. I think it would have been fine (and less repetitive) with just Dolly doing the writing. She's a generous soul, I'll give her that. She cuts people a lot more slack and gives them a lot more credit than I would, especially Porter Wagoner. In all, a very fun read and a great book with which to end my reading year.

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