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The Covers: VI – “Jolene.”

April 14, 2020

Last post, I wrote a bit about a song called “Making Believe.” I first thought it was an original by a Danish metal and punk band called Volbeat. Later, I heard Dolly Parton’s version and thought she’d written it. Nope. It was recorded in 1954 by a country singer named Jimmy Work. Not a Dolly original, like I’d thought.

The song for this post, “Jolene,” is a Dolly original, and one of her most famous tunes.

Here is Dolly explaining the origin of the song, and performing it:


And here is the version I first heard.. which will blow your head off..

The White Stripes.. Jack and Meg White.. Jack often claimed they were brother and sister. Not true. They were married for little while. Among many unconventional things Jack has done, he took Meg’s surname, instead of her taking his, when they married.

They were married from 1996-2000. They formed their radical, intense, two person band in 1997. They got divorced before they became massively popular. Must have been weird to tour together after the divorce, but Jack is a weird dude..

I don’t really need to write about the woman who wrote and originally recorded this song. She’s a legend.

But I do feel I should mention an amazing, very entertaining, and even educational podcast series called Dolly Parton’s America, created and hosted by Jad Abumrad (pronounced ah-boom-rod), one of the two guys from one of NPR’s most well-loved shows, Radiolab. (NPR – National Public Radio, in the US. There are tons of NPR and related podcasts.. some of them really worth listening to, such as Radiolab). Abumrad met Dolly because his father was her doctor.

Abumrad and Parton got to talking, and Jad had an idea for a podcast.. not just about Dolly, but about the country music scene when Dolly was young, how America has changed over the decades, and many more subjects.

Not having grown up with country music or being much of a country fan now,  I’ve, until recently, paid little attention to Dolly Parton. When I was a kid, other boys told me about her boobs. That’s pretty much all I knew about her when I was young. Country singer with big boobs.

There’s a LOT more to know. I listened to the whole series. It was excellent. I’ll listen to it again someday.

Check it out here..

The next four posts will feature Johnny Cash!


Thanks for stoppin’ by!


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