10 Dolly Parton Covers Playlist

In honor of Women’s History Month, stream a collection of covers of songs written by the country music legend.

By Andy Kahn Mar 26, 2022 7:37 am PDT

Dolly Parton remains eligible for the Rock And Roll Of Fame despite the legendary country musician’s recent attempt to block her current nomination. Whether or not Parton is inducted will have little impact on her legacy that includes a lengthy and successful career in music and film, as well as in businesswoman and philanthropy.

Parton’s signature style, distinctive vocals and personal songwriting have influenced fans and fellow musicians alike for more than 50 years. Beyond her music and film career, Parton co-founded the Dollywood Corporation, which operates the Dollywood theme park and other family destinations, as well as the Dollywood Foundation charity organization. Parton’s $1 million donation to Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Hospital helped the early stages of the development of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Through her creative and other endeavors, Parton carved a path that many women have since followed. The final entry in this month’s weekly playlist series honoring Women’s History Month focuses on Parton’s songwriting, which has been an essential aspect of her career and generated several classic songs.

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According to Parton’s representatives, Parton is, “the most honored and revered female country singer-songwriter of all time,” and her accomplishments include:

Achieving 25 RIAA-certified gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards, she has had 26 songs reach #1 on the Billboard country charts, a record for a female artist. Recently, Parton reached #1 on the Billboard Christian Airplay Chart for the first time for her duet with Grammy award-winning Zach Williams of “There Was Jesus,” for which they won a Grammy [in 2021], making that her 11th Grammy win. She received her first Dove Award for short-form video for her collaboration with for King & Country on the song “God Only Knows.” Parton is the first artist to have topped Billboard’s Adult Contemporary, Christian AC Songs, Hot Country Songs, Christian Airplay, Country Airplay and Dance/Mix Show Airplay radio charts. Parton recently became the first country artist honored as Grammy MusiCares Person of the Year given out by NARAS. She has 44 career Top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and 110 career-charted singles over the past 50+ years.

In 2014, the RIAA recognized her impact on recorded music with a plaque commemorating more than 100 million units sold worldwide. Her 2016 #1 album, “Pure & Simple,” which topped the Billboard Top Country Albums and Americana/Folk Albums charts and debuted at No. 1 in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia, added to that massive tally. She has garnered 11 Grammy Awards and 50 nominations, including the Lifetime Achievement Award and a 2020 win with for King & Country for their collaboration on “God Only Knows;” 10 Country Music Association Awards, including Entertainer of the Year; five Academy of Country Music Awards, also including a nod for Entertainer of the Year; four People’s Choice Awards; and three American Music Awards. In 1999, Parton was inducted as a member of the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame.

One of many other accolades the 76-year-old native of Pittman Center, Tennessee has been bestowed was induction into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 2001. While Parton herself has scored many hits with songs she composed, many other talented musicians have interpreted her work through covers of their own.

Parton, whose debut album was issued in 1967, earlier this month released her 48th LP, Run, Rose, Run. The album features 13 new Parton original songs and served as a companion to the novel of the same name that she co-wrote with acclaimed author James Patterson.

Parton got her initial start in the music business as a songwriter and she has composed some of the most well-known songs of the past five decades. Parton originals have been covered countless times but an equally incalculable number of musicians with “Jolene,” “Coat Of Many Colors,” “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind,” “Light Of The Clear Blue Morning,” and “I Will Always Love You,” among her most frequently performed songs.

Covers of each of those songs appear on the playlist below. Evidence of Parton’s influence on rock ‘n’ roll can be heard with the opening version of “Jolene” performed by The White Stripes. Parton’s wide-ranging influence is further evidenced by Rain Phoenix and Jonathan Wilson coming together on “Coat Of Many Colors,” the late Justin Townes Earle joining Dawn Landes on “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind” and Waxahatchee’s “Light Of The Clear Blue Morning.” The late Whitney Houston’s well-known cover of “I Will Always Love You” from the 1992 The Bodyguard soundtrack was left off the playlist in favor of Linda Ronstadt’s recording from 1975.

Other covers making the playlist include Joan Shelley and Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s collaborative take on “The Bridge,” Puss N Boots giving “The Grass Is Greener” a go and Rhiannon Giddens tackling “Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind.” Parton’s contemporaries Johnny Cash (“The Drifter”) and Emmylou Harris (“To Daddy”) also contribute covers to the 10-song collection that can be streamed below:

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