What Happened When Dolly Parton Met Her Childhood Idol, Brenda Lee

Brenda Lee grew to become a singer when she was only a youngster. By the Sixties, she was the largest feminine pop star within the sport. Dolly Parton cherished listening to Lee when she was rising up. Right here’s what occurred when Parton lastly received the prospect to fulfill one in all her biggest inspirations.

Dolly Parton | Ron Galella Assortment through Getty Photographs

Dolly Parton idolized Brenda Lee when she was rising up

The “Jolene” singer regarded as much as a number of well-known singers as a toddler, however one in all her favorites was Lee. Parton even has a particular reminiscence of the time her sister informed her she had a greater voice than her idol. The praise meant a lot to Parton as a result of she thought so extremely of Lee.

“When I was a kid, Brenda Lee was already on the scene,” Parton wrote in her 2020 e-book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics. “She was a kid at the time, too. I always thought, ‘Oh, I could never sing like that.’ My older sister Willadeene said, ‘Oh, you’re better than Brenda Lee.’ She might have been just saying that just because she loved me, but of course, I knew it was a lie. It did make me feel special to have my sister think I was that good. Because we all loved Brenda.”

Dolly Parton and Brenda Lee grew to become good mates

As Parton’s profession grew, she had the chance to fulfill increasingly of her idols. When she met Lee in Nashville, the singers grew to become mates.

“It turned out that Brenda’s husband and mine went to Central High School together and were friends,” wrote Parton. “And that gave us something to talk about. In my early days in Nashville, we visited together as couples—Ronnie Shacklett and Carl Dean, the high-school buddies, and Brenda and me. We’d go to each other’s houses to eat or play cards or do whatever.”

Along with their husbands being highschool buddies, Parton and Lee additionally bonded over the truth that they’re each very petit. Lee is 4’9” and Parton is 5’1”.

“Brenda and I have always loved each other,” wrote Parton. “We both love music, and we are both very short. We’d joke about that. I’d say, ‘Hell, anybody is bigger than me.’ But she’d say, ‘No, you are taller than me.’ So I’d say, ‘Well then, you’re the only person I know who I’m bigger than.’ So we’ve always had that ‘little’ kidding thing going on.”

‘What Do You Take into consideration Lovin”

At any time when the “Eagle When She Flies” singer and Lee received the prospect to work collectively, the ladies had plenty of enjoyable. Written by Parton and her uncle Invoice Owens, they put out “What Do You Think about Lovin’” in 1982.

“When we got together to sing ‘What Do You Think about Lovin’,’ it was a pure joy for me,” wrote Parton. “I was singing with my little childhood idol.”

The music is about loving “in the morning,” “in the evening,” “in the nighttime” — “Baby, any time, any way, loving’s just alright.”

“When we sang together, it really was a dream come true,” wrote Parton.

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