Dolly Parton Says She Was “Humiliated” Advertising Laxatives On ‘The Porter Wagoner Show,’ But She Made A TON Of Money Doing It

Dolly Parton country music
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It’s hard to imagine that Dolly Parton is embarrassed by anything.

At 77-years young, the country icon has no shame (rightfully so), and is very unapologetically herself, with recent proof being her jaw-dropping performance at the Dallas Cowboys Halftime Thanksgiving show, where she performed in a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader outfit.

No, I’ll never get over it:

But back when she first started on The Porter Wagoner Show in 1967, Dolly says she was “embarrassed” by some of the products she had to advertise.

In her book Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business, she recalls that a big part of her job as the “girl singer” was to film live commercials for sponsors.

She wrote that some of them weren’t too bad, like the ones she did for Breeze:

“I didn’t mind telling folks about ‘the flowery towels in boxes of Breeze’ (in my mountain dialect it came out ‘flardy tals’).

After all, I had hawked Blue Band Coffee on The Cas Walker Show. I could also smile with some degree of believability while pushing Soltice, a cold remedy or ‘croup salve’ as we called it.”

But she despised doing ad reads for Wine Of Cardui, which was for ladies who had certain problems with feminine issues, if you will.

In fact, Dolly says that her face must have turned colors “even in black and white”:

“I know the Chattanooga Medicine Company was a loyal sponsor of the show and its support ultimately paid me, but that did not make it any easier for a young woman to go on TV and talk about ‘menstrual cramps’ and ‘water bloat.

My face must have turned colors, even in black and white.”

Fair enough… can’t say I blame her for that.

She also hated showing off Black Draught, which was a laxative designed to make you “smile from the inside out.”

Enough said, really:

“This was a laxative that made you ‘Smile from the inside out’ according to the song. I hope my colon was smiling sincerely because the smile on my lips was phony as all get out.”

Ultimately, though, she pushed through, because being on the show meant she was making more money than she ever had in her life.

And yes, after her first big paycheck, she went out and bought a brand new Cadillac:

“The jingles were sung, the smiles were faked, and the checks were cashed. Try to imagine what sixty thousand dollars represented to a young woman who had grown up in poverty in the Smoky Mountains.

It was a world of money. It was probably more than my daddy had earned in his lifetime. I did act kind of silly with it at first.

The joke is that the hick who strikes it rich always goes out first thing and buys a Cadillac. So did this hick. I still like Cadillacs. I guess I’m just a Cadillac kind of girl.”

Dolly made her debut on the show in 1967 after replacing Norma Jean Beasler, left in 1974, wrote “I Will Always Love You” about it, and the rest, as they say, is history:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock