Sunday, January 23, 2011

DOLLY PARTON: "THE BRIDGE" (1968)

Dolly Parton

Click above to hear "The Bridge."

I've always felt it was unfortunate that so many people are unwilling, or unable, to look past the big hair and the big, well...you know, to acknowledge Dolly Parton as the talented and prolific songwriter that she is. With more than 3,000 songs bearing her name as composer, Dolly has never been shy about taking risks when it comes to her music, and "The Bridge" is a perfect example of this.

The song garnered its share of controversy when it was released. It's a sad tale of young love, unexpected pregnancy, and ultimately suicide, told in a frank, to-the-point fashion, which was quite daring for the time. Parton's musical mentor, Porter Waggoner, warned her against such edgy material, but Parton followed her heart, and "The Bridge" has
become a classic in the eyes of her fans. However, the song is largely unknown by the general public, being an album cut on the long-ago released LP "Just Because I'm a Woman."

Parton's life story is well known, so I shall be brief. Born dirty poor in a Smoky Mountain town in Tennessee, Parton always knew she wanted to be a singer, a songwriter, a star. Despite her brassy image, Dolly Parton has never forgotten where she came from, and is well known, and loved, for her efforts to give back to the community that raised her.

A shrewd business woman, a showbiz icon, but more importantly, a damn good songwriter.

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