Think Dolly Parton can’t rock? Think again.
The newest country music member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Dolly’s induction involved a slight amount of controversy.
One, because she’s a country music singer and doesn’t belong in it (even though it’s open to all genres), but mostly because Dolly herself said she wouldn’t accept the honor.
“Dolly here! Even though I am extremely flattered and grateful to be nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I don’t feel that I have earned that right.
I really do not want votes to be split because of me, so I must respectfully bow out.
After some more thought, and admitted understanding about who gets in the Hall, she changed her tune:
“It was always my belief that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was for people in rock music. I have found out lately it’s not necessarily that. But if they can’t go there to be recognized, where can they go?
And so I felt like I was taking away from someone that maybe deserved it certainly more than me since I never considered myself a rock artist. But obviously, there’s more to it than that.
I’ll accept gracefully. I’ll say ‘thanks’ and accept that because the fans vote.”
However, back in 2002, Dolly actually recorded Led Zeppelin’s iconic rock hit, “Stairway To Heaven” for her Halos & Horns album. A bluegrass project, Halos & Horns was nominated for Best Country Album at the 2003 Grammy Awards, as were two songs from the record.
Of course, written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, “Stairway” us arguably the most iconic rock and roll song of all time. It was released in November of 1971 on the band’s untitled 4th studio album.
When Dolly went to record it, she reached out to the band, even though she was scared to hear what they’d think:
“I knew I was walking on sacred ground because it is a classic… I was scared to death to send it to Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. They sent word back that it was fine and they loved it.
In fact, Robert Plant said he’d always thought of it as a spiritual song, and he was thrilled we’d used a choir on it, because he thought about that, too.
If they like it, that’s most important to me. But I do hope the public will accept it too. I even hope they love it.”
So there you have it… Dolly Parton… rocker.