And on this date in 1971, she scored her very first #1 hit on the country charts with “Joshua,” which was the lead single from her 7th studio album of the same name.
It’s a simple song that talks about life in Appalachia, specifically about a rural recluse who everyone in town is scared of. Dolly decides to pay him a visit, because she believes he isn’t what everyone else makes him out to be, and they end up falling in love.
As a solo write and her first hit on the radio, it helped jump start her career for years to come, which is why it’s so important, even though it’s not one that necessarily always stands out in her deep and impressive catalog.
The song also earned Dolly her first Grammy nomination, where she was nominated in the Best Country Female Vocal category, but ultimately lost to Lynn Anderson.
53 years ago when she reached this important milestone in her career, I’m sure Dolly had no idea what was to come in terms of her becoming a global icon and superstar, and it all started with this song.
Here she is performing “Joshua” on the Porter Wagoner Show back in September of 1971… she’s been a total superstar since day one: