Listen To Dolly Parton's Haunting New Version Of 'Jolene'
Joshua Patton 12/6/2018
One way you know you have a truly great song is that it tends to sound great no matter what instruments bring it to life.
While the iconic Dolly Parton is best known as a country singer, she is first and foremost a songwriter. Her songs are so beautifully crafted that they work as pop music, rhythm and blues, or even symphonic music.
That's the latest twist on one of her most classic songs as part of the soundtrack for the forthcoming Netflix film Dumplin', based on the book about child beauty pageants. Parton contributed a new song, "Girl in the Movies," but she also sang over a new arrangement of one of her most beloved songs.
In her latest music video, the 72-year-old superstar doesn't rely on fancy backdrops, clips featuring stars of the film, or anything other than herself and the orchestral string section performing the song with her.
The video begins with no fanfare, just silence until the musicians first pull their bows across the strings.
The video is shot entirely in black-and-white, an aesthetic choice that matches the melancholy in the music. From the first notes, almost everyone will immediately recognize the opening of "Jolene."
Dolly started out professionally in 1967, singing with Porter Waggoner and appearing on his television show. Dolly was a replacement in the double-act for another singer, but her powerful vocals and charisma won them over.
By the early 1970s, she was finally able to release solo albums, which helped make her an even bigger star. Shortly after getting married, Dolly noticed a bank teller flirting with her new husband. Her fleeting feeling of jealousy inspired her biggest hit to date.
Released in 1973, the song tells the story of a doomed relationship and a woman desperate to keep it together. She pleads with the other woman, the titular Jolene, to not "take her man/just because [she] can."
Over the next few years, Dolly Parton performed this song all over television. Yet, in this studio session, the singer really expresses the despair her character in the song feels.
Looking as fit and sounding as good as she ever has, this video shows what it is about Dolly Parton that made her a star. It wasn't her big hair, big personality, or anything else so superficial. Because behind the movies and behind Dollywood, she is an artist.
Dolly Parton is one of America's greatest songwriters, and this video proves that her voice is powerful and emotive as any of her peers.
Treat yourself and watch this amazing performance by a music legend: