A Genuine Person


Back in the early ’70’s, I was working in the music industry in Nashville. One of places I worked was small studio that a musician had set up in his garage. It was equipped with hand-me-down gear retired from other studios. The console was a pastiche of vacuum tube and early transistor modules in a rather tall wood enclosure. I sounded great, but I could just barely see over it when sitting down.

As I was setting up for a demo session one evening (A demo is a simple recording of a song used to pitch it to singers for them to record.), the songwriter walked into the control room. She wasn’t very tall, and seated at the console, all I could see of her was that she was a cute brunette with a short haircut. It wasn’t until she came around the console and stood next to me that I realized she was Dolly Parton.

I very much enjoyed that session. In an industry where too many stars and wannabe stars are legends in their own minds, Dolly Parton was a nice person, a pleasure to work with. And sensible.

I was reminded of her good sense when I read a post by Suzanne Venker titled Of Course Dolly’s Not a Feminist. She Loves Men. (The periods are in the title.). The post is based on an NPR podcast called Dolly Parton’s America, and the apparent inability of the podcast’s host to understand why Dolly Parton isn’t a feminist.

In Dolly Parton’s America, Parton proves in spades that there’s a much more positive and compassionate attitude to have toward men, women and relationships. But if you want to adopt it, you can’t simultaneously pay homage to a group that assumes the worst of half the population. And you can’t take life so seriously.

But you can work hard and use your talent. And be a pleasure to work with.