DOLLY! – THE COMPLETE SERIES (SYN 1976-1977) RARE FULL COLLECTION!!! Dolly Parton
The Smoky Mountains native made her debut on local Tennessee radio and TV as a child and joined flashy balladeer Porter Wagoner on his national variety show in her early 20s. She stepped away from that seven-year partnership (which produced number one hits like “Jolene”) to venture out on her own in 1975, even penning a song about her professional split with Wagoner. “I Will Always Love You” became the closing theme of a self-titled TV series that would be Parton’s coming out party as a solo artist.
Produced by the creative team behind Wagoner’s show, Dolly! was a thirty-minute variety program syndicated to local stations beginning in September of 1976. Parton welcomed big name musical guests and sang her own original songs, as well as inventively arranged pop tunes that pushed the boundaries of traditional Country. Each episode opened with the 29-year-old descending from the ceiling on a rope swing — seriously— while singing her hit “Love Is Like A Butterfly” (introduced by announcer Ralph Emery). There were corny jokes, colorful outfits, giant wigs, and lots and lots of great music. In short, it was a Dolly Parton show. But Dolly! was the first time she did it on her own.
Among fans, Dolly! is remembered as the place where a few of Parton’s lifelong creative partnerships took shape. Kenny Rogers performed with Dolly for the first time on the series, seven years before their duet “Islands In The Stream” would top the charts. And Dolly! marks Parton’s first televised performance with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. A decade later, the three icons would collaborate on the Grammy-winning album Trio and its follow-up Trio II. There’s also an episode featuring a Parton creative partnership that pre-dated the TV show by decades: Dolly’s family. Her mom, dad, and seven of her siblings performed together in the show’s sixth installment, singing traditional songs and sharing memories of their life together. Brother Randy Parton also appears on the final episode.
Sadly, Dolly! ended after just one 26-episode season despite very high ratings, falling apart when Parton asked out of her contract for a variety of reasons, including the toll that eighteen-hour production days were taking on her vocal cords. Her crossover single “Here You Come Again” and film 9 To 5 (1980) followed soon after, and Dolly was well on her way to becoming one of the biggest stars in the world.
Dolly! originally aired in first-run syndication, meaning its broadcast rights were sold to various television stations around the country. These stations could then choose their own day and time to air the show, as well as what order to air the episodes. Due to this fact, the show aired on different days and times around the county and episodes were shown in various orders. The episodes one the 3-disc set are presented in the order they were originally broadcast by WNGE-TV Channel 2 in Nashville on Mondays at 6:30 PM.
Show 1: Sept 13, 1976 – Captain Kangaroo
Show 2: Sept 20, 1976 – Anne Murray, Randy Parton
Show 3: Sept 27, 1976 – Kenny Rogers
Show 4: Oct 4, 1976 – Ronnie Milsap
Show 5: Oct 11, 1976 – The Hues Corporation
Show 6: Oct 18, 1976 – Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt
Show 7: Oct 25, 1976 – Tennessee Ernie Ford
Show 8: Nov 1, 1976 – Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo
Show 9: Nov 8, 1976 – Jim Stafford
Show 10: Nov 15, 1976 – Anson Williams
Show 11: Nov 22, 1976 – Lynn Anderson
Show 12: Nov 29, 1976 – Rod McKuen
Show 13: Dec 6, 1976 – KC and the Sunshine Band
Show 17: Jan 3, 1977 – Pure Prairie
Show 18: Jan 10, 1977 – John Hartford and LaCosta
Show 19: Jan 17, 1977 – Tom T. Hall
Show 20: Jan 24, 1977 – Ray Stevens
Show 21: Jan 31, 1977 – The Parton Family
Show 22: Feb 7, 1977 – Karen Black
Show 23: Feb 14, 1977 – Mel Tillis
Show 24: Feb 21, 1977 – The 5th Dimension
Show 25: Feb 28, 1977 – Freddy Fender
Show 26: Mar 7, 1977 – Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius