On This Date: Dolly Parton Joins The Grand Ole Opry In 1969

Dolly Parton country music

53 years ago today, a legend was recognized by the legendary.

Dolly Parton actually made her Grand Ole Opry debut as a 13 year old in 1959, where she was introduced to the stage by none other than Johnny Cash, performed next to her uncle Bill Owens and received three encores after covering George Jones “You Gotta Be My Baby.”

Cash said:

“We’ve got a little girl here from up in East Tennessee. Her daddy’s listening to the radio at home, and she’s gonna be in real trouble if she doesn’t sing tonight, so let’s bring her out here.”

Somehow, things only went up from there.

She quickly became a household name from her solo songs like “Coat Of Many Colors” and “Jolene,” as well as a professional partnership with Porter Wagoner, leading to her own induction in 1969 as the 140th member of The Grand Ole Opry.

“They call it the ‘Mother Church,’ because the old Ryman was a church, but it’s sacred to me, wherever it goes… the church of my heart. For me, the Opry is like the song ‘New York, New York’ — if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.”

She continues to dominate the country music conversation through today, inviting Carly Pearce to be an Opry Member and securing 3 Guinness World Records, proving the star power she carries well through today and into the very distant future.

There’s only one Dolly Parton, that’s for sure…

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