Dolly Parton On Johnny Cash: “He Was So Magnetic, So Sexy… My First Grown-Up Crush”

Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton are posing for a picture
Don Hunstein

Dolly Parton is a national treasure.

Funny, charming, a straight shooter… Dolly is 100% herself every second of the day. And when you ask her a question, you can always count on the truth.

Dolly recently sat down with Jane Graham for The Big Issue and dove into everything from her childhood and family life, to her career in country music, her song “Jolene,” Elvis, the Grand Ole Opry, her first crush, and more.

And who was her first crush? The great Johnny Cash.

“I was about 13 when I first met Johnny Cash and that’s when Johnny was all strung out on drugs and everything, but he was so magnetic, so sexy. He was my first male grown-up crush, he just really moved me.

That’s when I realized what hormones do and what sex appeal really means. He just kind of stirred me somehow. And so I guess that’s when I realized I was becoming a little woman.

Oh, we laughed about it through the years. I told him, you know you were my very first crush, my first sexy grown-up crush. He always got a kick out of that.”

Back in the early ’80s, Dolly took part in a gospel record with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Brenda Lee, which was eventually turned into a television special hosted by Johnny Cash. Here’s a clip of Dolly and Cash sharing the stage from that special.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock