Top Five: Dolly Parton

By Damien Nelson

I recently made an unplanned visit to Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls over the long weekend. Besides the odd Lotto Max or Bingo scratch ticket, I am not a big gambler so I gave myself $20 to throw away on the penny slot machines.

After a few different machines, I was down to $7 and decided to look for another machine on the other side of the casino. Like a beacon of god given glory, there was the hot pink Dolly Parton branded machine all by it’s lonesome. I made a high-pitched “sqqqqquuueeee” sound, sat down and shoved my $7 voucher in. Instead of classic casino symbols like lucky 7s, spades and coins, Dolly’s machine had rhinestone cowboy boots, butterflies, high heels and grand pianos.

The slot machine plays Dolly’s music and has pre-recorded messages from her encouraging you along the way (Nice job, sugar!). When I played I received 10 free games and went from $7 to $41.85. I decided to quit while I was ahead and cashed out.

I did not grow up with Dolly Parton’s music in our house, but my grandparents loved country music so I have always known about her. I bought my first Dolly Parton album, Jolene, from a used CD shop in grade 11 and have slowly added her music to my collection over the years.

Due to my good fortune at her slot machine, I thought this would be a good time to revisit why I ♥ Dolly!

1. Backwoods Barbie

“I grew up poor and ragged, just a simple country girl

I wanted to be pretty more than anything in the world
like Barbie or the models in the Fredricks’ catalog
From rags to wishes in my dreams I could have it all”

There is no way I’d be caught dead in most of Dolly’s clothes, but hot damn, she always looks good!

2. Tinsel Town

Dolly has starred in numerous films and television shows over the years, but The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is her best little movie anywhere.


3. Bold, Beautiful and Blonde

I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb… and I also know that I’m not blonde.”

I have always admired how unapologetic Dolly is about the way she chooses to go big or go home with her hair!

4. Dazzling Duets

Throughout her long career Dolly Parton has shared the stage with the likes of Willie Nelson, Queen Latifah and Loretta Lynn. But her duets with Miss Piggy are a match made in heaven!

5. Glittering and Giving

“If you see someone without a smile, give ’em yours”

Dolly has always talked about the importance of helping others in her work, whether it is donating money or time to a charity, or lending an ear to family and friends in need. The Dollywood Foundation has been contributing to literacy programs, disaster relief, and scholarship funds for nearly 30 years. I believe her lyrics have helped many people through the rough times in their life, which is worth more than gold.

Dolly with her parents, Avie Lee and Robert Lee Parton

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