The great Dolly Parton has lost her brother and bandmate, Randy Parton, to a battle with cancer. He was 68.
Dolly broke the news on Facebook with a touching eulogy:
“My brother Randy has lost his battle with cancer. The family and I are grieving his loss but we know he is in a better place than we are at this time. We are a family of faith and we believe that he is safe with God and that he is joined by members of the family that have gone on before and have welcomed him with joy and open arms.
Randy was a great singer, writer, and entertainer. He sang, played guitar and bass in my band for many years. He headed his own show at Dollywood since it opened in 1986. He’s had several chart records of his own, but his duet with me on “Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You” will always be a highlight in my own career.
“You Are My Christmas,” our duet on my latest Christmas album, joined with his daughter Heidi, will always be a favorite. It was his last musical recording and he shined on it just like he’s shining in heaven now.
He is survived by his wife Deb, his daughter Heidi, son Sabyn, grandsons Huston and Trent.
We will always love him and he will always be in our hearts,
Dolly Parton and Family.”
A singer and songwriter himself, Randy Parton recorded “Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler)” in 1982 before the band Alabama made it a hit in 1984. He also played bass in Dolly’s band for many years and sang on the Rhinestone soundtrack, the 1984 film starring his sister Dolly.
Most recently, Randy was also featured on a her A Holly Dolly Christmas album that was released this past holiday season, singing “You Are My Christmas” together.