After last week’s successful NBC movie Coat of Many Colors, many more people are familiar with Dolly Parton’s parents, Avie Lee and Robert Parton, thanks to their portrayals by Jennifer Nettles and Ricky Schroder. Because she grew up so poor, Dolly recalls how she couldn’t wait to give back to her family once she started having some success.
“It was always my wish to be able to do something great for my family, and of course, I loved my daddy and my mama,” she tells Billboard. “My daddy always drove a truck, and I bought my daddy a big blue truck, and he was so proud of that. He never would trade it in. He kept it. Daddy’s gone now, but I still have the truck, up on some of the property that I bought that Daddy used to own. My little nieces and nephews, if they want to play in Papaw’s truck, well that’s what they can do.”
Dolly made sure her mother got some new wheels, too.
“That same year, I bought my mama a Cadillac,” she remembers. “Of course, I kept trading hers in every few years, cause she was so proud of that. The last one was a gold Cadillac. And of course, that went back to me when Mama passed on, and I wouldn’t take nothing for it. My husband drives it a lot, and because it was Mama’s car, and I still drive it some, I call it the Dolly-Mama,” she jokes. “Everybody knows not to mess with the Dolly-Mama, because that’s a precious thing.”
Dolly’s younger sister Stella, who was not only a character in the movie but starred in it as well, recently revealed to the Washington Times that she’s recorded a tribute album of songs written by her famous sister. It’s set to be released January 18, one day before Dolly turns 70.