56 years ago today.
According to Dolly’s own archives, on this date in 1967, Dolly Parton released her debut album Hello, I’m Dolly, which was produced by Fred Foster and peaked at #11 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.
However there is some discrepancy as to the actual date of the release.
In Parton’s 1994 autobiography, My Life and Other Unfinished Business, she also says the album was released in February, however in an interview from June of 1967, she said the album “should be out by the end of this month.”
So it sounds like they may have released it, quickly pulled it to build a little more hype, and then released it again. That being said, we’re sticking with 56 years ago today.
The 12-song tracklist spawned two top 40 hits, including “Dumb Blonde” and “Something Fishy”, which each peaked at numbers 24 and 17, respectively.
The record was released just three years after Dolly first moved to Nashville, when she was subsequently signed to Monument Records with a publishing and recording deal.
And actually, Fred (who was also the owner of Monument Records), didn’t think Dolly had a voice that was made to sing country music (how funny is that?), and tried to market her as a bubblegum pop singer, sending five of her first singles to pop radio, though they never even broke the Top 100.
At the time, Dolly had also penned songs for Bill Phillips, Skeeter Davis, Hank Williams Jr., and even her hero Kitty Wells, so she was determined to stick with it and eventually cut some of her own country songs.
Finally, after her song “Put It Off Until Tomorrow” for Bill Phillips peaked at #11 on the country chart, Fred was persuaded to let Dolly put out a full-lengthy country album.
The rest, as they say, is history, and Dolly has gone on to become a country icon, as well as a beloved pop culture figure and philanthropist.
It only feel appropriate to cue this one up now…
“Put It off Until Tomorrow”