In the early 1980’s, Dolly Parton was a massive superstar speeding through the pop culture cosmos at a frantic pace. She became an actress, cut a number of award-winning albums, graced major magazine covers, and peddled her image on talk shows around the world. She made boob jokes all the rage and dominated the airwaves in multiple radio formats. Her talent was a force to be reckoned with.
Digging through the country record bins of Amoeba, I came across a plain white record sleeve with “Crystal Gayle Interview Promo” scribbled across the top right hand corner in black sharpie. It was a Solid Gold Country music radio show recorded in 1988. Inside the record’s sleeve was a programming sheet that included all of the show’s major sponsor ads geared towards the geriatric crowd with plugs for Folgers coffee and several over-the-counter cold medicines.
The idea of compiling Dolly Parton’s more pop-oriented material came in 1996 when my obsession with her music was in overdrive. Of course I love Dolly’s more country sounding records but there was something absurd about focusing attention on her musical output from the late 70’s. Before that time Dolly Parton’s music was, to some degree, polished and derivative of the countrypolitan Nashville sound but in 1977 she decided to set her sights on superstardom. Helmed by a gay manager named Sandy Gallin, Dolly was sold to the masses as sexy, vibrant, and larger than life.