Jake’s Take On…. Dolly Parton’s “Blue Smoke”

Dolly Parton Blue Smoke

Dolly Parton’s “Blue Smoke” reflects on her almost 60 years in the recording industry. (Photo courtesy of Sony Records & Dolly Records)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Country music icon Dolly Parton is back with her first studio album in three years!

Blue Smoke, Ms. Parton’s 42nd studio album, reflects on her nearly 60 years in the recording industry.

“I wanted to do an album that showcases all the colors of my career,” said Dolly Parton. “I have some bluegrass songs and some gospel flavors. I also loved recording songs from other artists.”

The Joyful Noise songbird exclusively told Jake’s Take that she observed numerous changes in the recording industry, since she journeyed from the Great Smokey Mountains to the heart of Music City in the mid-1960s.

“When I came to Nashville in 1964, the recording process was so different.” Parton said. “I would first go into the studio to work with the background musicians. I would have probably done a three-hour session, where I would have tried to record five songs.”

While Dolly is captivated with the recording industry’s technological advancements, she preferred the classic recording process in order to produce Blue Smoke.

“I think all of this technology is wonderful,” said Dolly. “But, I am still an old-timer that really loves to feel the music and be in the recording studio with my fellow musicians.”

In addition to assembling the musicians that will accompany her on the Blue Smoke World Tour, she also recruited two old friends to perform duets on the album: fellow country legends Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson! Rogers, a frequent duet partner, recorded “You Can’t Make Old Friends”, while Nelson sang “From Here to the Moon and Back,” a song that she originally recorded with Kris Kristofferson for Joyful Noise.

“I love working with both of them!” said Dolly. “I have known both of them since I was a young girl. We have all grown older together and we are still hanging in there.”

One particular song that Ms. Parton stated that would jolt her fans would be her cover of Bon Jovi’s 1989 hit “Lay Your Hands on Me.” The music icon enlisted the help of New Jersey rockers Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora to help her transform the track from heavy metal to gospel.

“All three of us got together and threw down our thoughts,” Dolly said. “They certainly loved my thoughts and ideas. This is going to be a big surprise to people.”

Other tracks that were Dolly’s favorites to record were “If I Had Wings” and the divorced-themed “Miss You, Miss Me.”

“If I Had Wings” has that old world feeling of the songs that I used to sing while I was growing up.” Dolly said. “I also love “Miss You, Miss Me,” because it took place at a time where something was going on with my own family and I think that many listeners could relate to it. So many people divorce and it is almost always the children that suffer the most.”

Like several of her contemporaries, Ms. Parton’s fanbase reaches multiple generations. Dolly has almost 2.4 million Facebook fans, 3.02 million Twitter followers and 1.9 million followers on Google +. She also gained a new following with her run as Aunt Dolly on Hannah Montana and has helped teach millions of kids about the joy of reading through her Imagination Library.

“My fans think of me as an aunt or a sister, because they grew up with me.” Dolly stated. “I have always managed to be on the job. I did not want any of my fans to forget me, so I have always tried to stayed out in front.”

The “Jolene” singer-songwriter will make stops in the southeastern states before traveling to Europe to perform in Manchester, London, Berlin, Oslo and Stockholm.

To learn more about Dolly’s new album and world tour, check out her website: http://www.dollyparton.com/

 If you have any thoughts about this interview or questions, contact me on Twitter at @JacobElyachar!








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  1. […] Country Album of 2014) is Dolly Parton’s 42nd studio album: Blue Smoke! When I had the chance to interview Dolly earlier this year, she told me that Blue Smoke that has “all of the colors of her career.” This is a beautifully […]

  2. […] of Country Music! I have had the privilege of interviewing Ms. Parton twice in my life (once in 2014 and this year) and every time I speak to her, Dolly’s positivity and endless amounts of energy […]

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