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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

Number of DVDs: 3
Quality: 8.5-9/10
Running Time: 624 min (approx)
Aspect Ratio: Full Screen 1.33:1
NOTES: This is a fan-made DVD set. Not    a studio release. Videos come from old VHS recordings.
See more: DVD-R
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