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Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is a landmark celebration of the remarkable life and career of a country music and pop culture legend. As told by Dolly Parton in her own inimitable words, explore the songs that have defined her journey. Illustrated throughout with previously unpublished images from Dolly Parton's personal and business archives. Mining over 60 yea Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is a landmark celebration of the remarkable life and career of a country music and pop culture legend. As told by Dolly Parton in her own inimitable words, explore the songs that have defined her journey. Illustrated throughout with previously unpublished images from Dolly Parton's personal and business archives. Mining over 60 years of songwriting, Dolly Parton highlights 175 of her songs and brings readers behind the lyrics. • Packed with never-before-seen photographs and classic memorabilia • Explores personal stories, candid insights, and myriad memories behind the songs Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics reveals the stories and memories that have made Dolly a beloved icon across generations, genders, and social and international boundaries. Containing rare photos and memorabilia from Parton's archives, this book is a show-stopping must-have for every Dolly Parton fan. • Learn the history behind classic Parton songs like "Jolene," "9 to 5," "I Will Always Love You," and more. • The perfect gift for Dolly Parton fans (everyone loves Dolly!) as well as lovers of music history and country Add it to the shelf with books like Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton, The Beatles Anthology by The Beatles, and Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.


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Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is a landmark celebration of the remarkable life and career of a country music and pop culture legend. As told by Dolly Parton in her own inimitable words, explore the songs that have defined her journey. Illustrated throughout with previously unpublished images from Dolly Parton's personal and business archives. Mining over 60 yea Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is a landmark celebration of the remarkable life and career of a country music and pop culture legend. As told by Dolly Parton in her own inimitable words, explore the songs that have defined her journey. Illustrated throughout with previously unpublished images from Dolly Parton's personal and business archives. Mining over 60 years of songwriting, Dolly Parton highlights 175 of her songs and brings readers behind the lyrics. • Packed with never-before-seen photographs and classic memorabilia • Explores personal stories, candid insights, and myriad memories behind the songs Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics reveals the stories and memories that have made Dolly a beloved icon across generations, genders, and social and international boundaries. Containing rare photos and memorabilia from Parton's archives, this book is a show-stopping must-have for every Dolly Parton fan. • Learn the history behind classic Parton songs like "Jolene," "9 to 5," "I Will Always Love You," and more. • The perfect gift for Dolly Parton fans (everyone loves Dolly!) as well as lovers of music history and country Add it to the shelf with books like Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton, The Beatles Anthology by The Beatles, and Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.

30 review for Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    A truly remarkable lady. Her talents in songwriting, how far she has come on her own talent and moxie, amazing. One of twelve children, raised in an Appalachian cabin with few amenities, her family didn't have much in the way of material things. They were, however, rich in love, family and music. Her songs all tell a story, many based on actual people. She has written for and song with many country notables. I started out reading this, able to get a copy from Hoopla, but when I saw the song lyric A truly remarkable lady. Her talents in songwriting, how far she has come on her own talent and moxie, amazing. One of twelve children, raised in an Appalachian cabin with few amenities, her family didn't have much in the way of material things. They were, however, rich in love, family and music. Her songs all tell a story, many based on actual people. She has written for and song with many country notables. I started out reading this, able to get a copy from Hoopla, but when I saw the song lyrics I bought the audible. I read along, the audio in Dolly's voice, listening to her sing some of the verses of her songs, but able to see all the pictures, of which there were many, in the Hoopla copy. Warning though, it's a trade off, the book doesn't follow the audio, more in contained in the book, but together they were perfect. The format on audio is a interviewer, interviewed type of narrative. Dolly does discuss her life, her family, her husband, her career and why she wrote each song. It was fun, interesting and a perfect first read, listen to 2021. The bad part, I had the song Jolene stuck in my head for most of yesterday.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Esil

    I listened to this one as an audio book. I can’t imagine how it would work as a written book. The audio sounds more like a spontaneous interview than anything else. But it’s lots of fun to listen to Dolly Parton recount what lies behind many of her songs and to hear snippets of those songs. Her enthusiasm and positive outlook are infectious. Her unapologetic pride in her family and background are moving. And as a woman who is confident and comfortable with who she is, she is a great role model. I listened to this one as an audio book. I can’t imagine how it would work as a written book. The audio sounds more like a spontaneous interview than anything else. But it’s lots of fun to listen to Dolly Parton recount what lies behind many of her songs and to hear snippets of those songs. Her enthusiasm and positive outlook are infectious. Her unapologetic pride in her family and background are moving. And as a woman who is confident and comfortable with who she is, she is a great role model. By the end, it gets a bit repetitive as every song is her favourite, but overall I still really enjoyed listening to this one.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I'm embarrassed to admit that I used to think of Dolly as over the top. Now, as an adult, I've learned that she's a wonderful soul, sending free books to kids and donating a million dollars to covid vaccine research. She is a treasure. I listened to the audiobook (narrated by Dolly and including some snippets of her music) and also bought the hardcover book. Why both? The hardcover book includes all of her song lyrics as well as memorabilia type photos. The hardcover is fierce, weighing in at ove I'm embarrassed to admit that I used to think of Dolly as over the top. Now, as an adult, I've learned that she's a wonderful soul, sending free books to kids and donating a million dollars to covid vaccine research. She is a treasure. I listened to the audiobook (narrated by Dolly and including some snippets of her music) and also bought the hardcover book. Why both? The hardcover book includes all of her song lyrics as well as memorabilia type photos. The hardcover is fierce, weighing in at over 5 pounds! The combination of the audiobook and the hardcover book provides a unique and very enjoyable way to learn about Dolly's life and music. Highly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I listened to this and also followed along in the book. The two are very different—Dolly rambles and giggles in the audio, as she examines her personal history through many of her songs. The book is more concise with lots of pictures—so you need both! I loved this so much. Dolly has said repeatedly that she lives to glorify God. She calls her songwriting her “Godspace”, and she says she writes better and feels closer to God when she is fasting. I loved to hear tidbits of how she has made her mar I listened to this and also followed along in the book. The two are very different—Dolly rambles and giggles in the audio, as she examines her personal history through many of her songs. The book is more concise with lots of pictures—so you need both! I loved this so much. Dolly has said repeatedly that she lives to glorify God. She calls her songwriting her “Godspace”, and she says she writes better and feels closer to God when she is fasting. I loved to hear tidbits of how she has made her marriage last over 50 years. I just love to read about people who know their true calling in life, and I am grateful that a woman like Dolly is alive during my time. She is both incredibly humble and also incredibly confident. I love her so much!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Madalyn (Novel Ink)

    I mean, I didn’t really *need* more proof that Dolly Parton is a gift the world doesn’t deserve, but it’s been extra proven with this book. as a musician and songwriter, she has always been a huge inspiration to me, and getting a glimpse into her brilliant songwriting brain was so valuable!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Onceinabluemoon

    I love dolly, she is hard working, talented, kind, giving and funny. Listened to the audio book, it was like having morning coffee with a friend, I think the audio is the way to go for this, you hear a snippet of her songs and she gives the back story, hated for it to end!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    I had no idea before reading this book just how many songs Dolly Parton had written. It was interesting as she goes through to learn about her family background and poor upbringing, but how rich in love and the things that really matter her family was. Interesting to hear how songs were created from that background and real life experiences. One of my favourites is Coat of Many Colors. Interesting too to hear of her long term marriage which in the entertainment industry is a rarity. Loved seeing I had no idea before reading this book just how many songs Dolly Parton had written. It was interesting as she goes through to learn about her family background and poor upbringing, but how rich in love and the things that really matter her family was. Interesting to hear how songs were created from that background and real life experiences. One of my favourites is Coat of Many Colors. Interesting too to hear of her long term marriage which in the entertainment industry is a rarity. Loved seeing the photos of her life. While reading the book I kept hearing it all in Dolly’s voice. Very natural although it did seem by the end that just about every song was her favourite. My biggest problem was the absolute weight of this massive book. I could barely lift it or have it on my lap too long because it was so cumbersome and heavy. That aside, this is an interesting insight into a woman who has worked hard to get where she is and who has a real concern and passion for others less fortunate in this world. An enjoyable read for those who are fans or those just curious to find out a little more about this incredible woman.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susan Giffin

    Wanted to give this four stars because I love Dolly so much but just couldn't. I did the audiobook version and while it was delightful to her her talk and tell stories, this just seemed like a long interview, not a book. It was one- or two-minutes synopses on how and why she wrote many of her songs. Would recommend it if you're a fan, but don't go in thinking it's an autobiography or a book. Wanted to give this four stars because I love Dolly so much but just couldn't. I did the audiobook version and while it was delightful to her her talk and tell stories, this just seemed like a long interview, not a book. It was one- or two-minutes synopses on how and why she wrote many of her songs. Would recommend it if you're a fan, but don't go in thinking it's an autobiography or a book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge: A Book About Art or an Artist.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy | Foxy Blogs

    Something I learned about this book after I finished it is: ♦ The audio is different than the physical book. ♦ The book contains pictures. ♦ The audiobook is told by Dolly. You get to hear her laugh and sing some of her songs. So, there's a tradeoff - either you get to listen to Dolly or you get to see pictures that go along with the story. Maybe the solution is to do both - read it to see the pictures and listen to it to hear her voice. I might check my local library to see if they have a physic Something I learned about this book after I finished it is: ♦ The audio is different than the physical book. ♦ The book contains pictures. ♦ The audiobook is told by Dolly. You get to hear her laugh and sing some of her songs. So, there's a tradeoff - either you get to listen to Dolly or you get to see pictures that go along with the story. Maybe the solution is to do both - read it to see the pictures and listen to it to hear her voice. I might check my local library to see if they have a physical copy of the book so I can see all the photos. I like to listen to podcasts and in a way, the audiobook reminded me of a podcast format. There is an interviewer who asks Dolly a question and then it segues into Dolly giving us the story behind why the song was written. And at times the interviewer would fill in pieces of the story. I thought it was interesting when she was asked if she could only pick one thing to be: singer, actress, or songwriter which one she would pick and she said songwriter. Because that's how she can fully express herself. Without the songwriter, there would be nothing to sing or act. Dolly is so positive throughout her sharing about her songs and what they meant to her and her family. I love how she said even though she and her husband didn't have children her songs were her children and they were going to support her when she's old. If you want to hear Dolly share about her family, career, and God then pick this up and give it a listen. It's very entertaining. Audiobook source: Libray/Overdrive Narrator: Dolly Parton Length: 5H 18M

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Dolly tells the reader the who, what, where, and why behind many of her song lyrics. This gives a good background on Dolly herself, her relationships from her Smoky Mountain Tennessee home to her friendships, and marriage to Carl. Each one is followed by a few lines of each song, sung by Dolly. What made me laugh is that almost every single song she covers, she says, "I think that is my favorite song." Sometimes she changes the wording to "my most clever song" or "my most meaningful song". She c Dolly tells the reader the who, what, where, and why behind many of her song lyrics. This gives a good background on Dolly herself, her relationships from her Smoky Mountain Tennessee home to her friendships, and marriage to Carl. Each one is followed by a few lines of each song, sung by Dolly. What made me laugh is that almost every single song she covers, she says, "I think that is my favorite song." Sometimes she changes the wording to "my most clever song" or "my most meaningful song". She clearly loves to to write songs and to hear her tell each story was a pure delight. Not to read, must be listened to

  12. 4 out of 5

    Una Tiers

    While some of this was interesting, it was organized like an interview and there was a lot of repetition. Dolly is a treasure, but this book isn't. While some of this was interesting, it was organized like an interview and there was a lot of repetition. Dolly is a treasure, but this book isn't.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anita Fajita Pita

    I needed this audiobook, read by Dolly Parton herself, right now. I made a joke about listening to A Holly Dolly Christmas for some added cheer, not realizing that this is actually the title of her Christmas album released a couple months ago. I'm sure I read an article title in passing and filed it away in my subconscious. 2020 has been a pretty crap year and Dolly Parton headlines have jumped out throughout the year, tossing up her love and philanthropy confetti. Anywho, this audiobook was a ne I needed this audiobook, read by Dolly Parton herself, right now. I made a joke about listening to A Holly Dolly Christmas for some added cheer, not realizing that this is actually the title of her Christmas album released a couple months ago. I'm sure I read an article title in passing and filed it away in my subconscious. 2020 has been a pretty crap year and Dolly Parton headlines have jumped out throughout the year, tossing up her love and philanthropy confetti. Anywho, this audiobook was a neat look into the little stories behind Dolly's music. She's written a lot of songs. A ton. And she probably has a story for all of them. I grew up listening to her older songs because my dad was a fan, and I always thought her songs were like mini stories. I could picture them as she sang them. Hearing those real life stories from her own lips and in her own words was pretty awesome. I don't think you need to be a fan to appreciate this. Pretty much everyone knows who Dolly Parton is, and that's enough to enjoy this book about her life and her process. She's a wonderful artist, a great talent, and she has made it her life's work to give back. She has her beliefs and doesn't hide them or push them. She's really a wonderful woman to listen to, her kindness and humor shine through as she talks about a range of topics, and she's still hustling. Highly recommend for a feel good listen with some lightheartedness that's a little rare nowadays and bonus Dolly crooning every few minutes as they play a snippet of whichever song she's talking about, or she sings a line or two talking about her stories. Honestly, she's a marvelous writer that applied her skills to songs but I think she could write a book of Appalachian fairytales. She probably has, it just needs to be compiled from her songs.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Fabulous Book Fiend

    I listened to this book on audio from my library. I think if I had bought the audiobook it would have come with some supplementary material including the photos mentioned in the blurb but I didn't experience those. However when you do this one on audio you get to hear Dolly recalling each memory and each story from her life in her own words since it is narrated by her and you get to hear her signing her songs, sometimes from a live concert recording. This book taught me so much about Dolly Parto I listened to this book on audio from my library. I think if I had bought the audiobook it would have come with some supplementary material including the photos mentioned in the blurb but I didn't experience those. However when you do this one on audio you get to hear Dolly recalling each memory and each story from her life in her own words since it is narrated by her and you get to hear her signing her songs, sometimes from a live concert recording. This book taught me so much about Dolly Parton, someone I thought I already knew a lot about. I had no idea how hands on she was with all of her projects and it was great to learn about what she has done for reading, her heartstring series in her Netflix partnership and just how involved she still is with Dollywood. I also got to know about her past, her relationships and her family and Dolly is open and candid about each of those things. I really didn't expect to discuss alcoholism in those she was close to, how relationships don't always work or be just so open about the lack of money in the household growing up. Because each of those stories is accompanied by a song and she explains the meaning behind each song I really feel like I got to know her on such a deep level. This was one of those books that didn't have to be read in chronological order, you could jump to the song you're interested in and hear the story behind it and it was very soothing to hear her talking and then hear her singing the song she was talking about. I really enjoyed this one and even if you just have a passing interest in Dolly I think you will gain a lot from this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    reading is my hustle

    Dolly Parton has led a remarkable life & her lack of ego or self-consciousness makes for charming reading. Here she tells her life story through her lyrics & songs which proves to be a wonderful way to learn about her life & experience as a country music legend. Also, her latest interview with Stephen is lovely; she ends up spontaneously singing (acapella) a song her grandmother used to sing to her as a child. Stephen Colbert teared up he was so moved & I’m certain she gained even more fans that Dolly Parton has led a remarkable life & her lack of ego or self-consciousness makes for charming reading. Here she tells her life story through her lyrics & songs which proves to be a wonderful way to learn about her life & experience as a country music legend. Also, her latest interview with Stephen is lovely; she ends up spontaneously singing (acapella) a song her grandmother used to sing to her as a child. Stephen Colbert teared up he was so moved & I’m certain she gained even more fans that day. I’ve heard from others that the audio has the added benefit of hearing her sing & so I plan to give it a listen. Recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I listened to this one and loved hearing her describe her songs and stories and pair it with her music. Light, quick and fascinating.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Brown

    It was nice hearing the background for all of Dolly's songs. I listened to this one and Dolly narrated it. I think that made it so much better. It was kind of like listening to an interview. She has some pretty good stories. It was nice hearing the background for all of Dolly's songs. I listened to this one and Dolly narrated it. I think that made it so much better. It was kind of like listening to an interview. She has some pretty good stories.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    There is literally nothing in this world better than Dolly Parton. Highly highly highly recommend listening to this on audio!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mom

    Simply the best book ever!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Dolly Parton is a national treasure! Parton shares her life in lyrics, as this book covers her life from childhood to modern-day. Divided into chapters of her life, in a roughly chronological manner, she shares what inspired her music over the decades. She begins with her life as a child in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, moves through her partnership with Porter Wagoner, then her movie acting and move into pop music, and then her return back to her country roots. Her songwriting is second to non Dolly Parton is a national treasure! Parton shares her life in lyrics, as this book covers her life from childhood to modern-day. Divided into chapters of her life, in a roughly chronological manner, she shares what inspired her music over the decades. She begins with her life as a child in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, moves through her partnership with Porter Wagoner, then her movie acting and move into pop music, and then her return back to her country roots. Her songwriting is second to none, for many musical artists use songwriters, but Dolly has penned thousands of songs for herself and for other singers. Included in the pages are pictures of Dolly on stage or in movies, plus family pictures, and photographs of artifacts and costumes that she has worn through the years. The book is a joy, and you will go on a musical journey, listening to the songs now that you know more about what inspired the lyrics. Dolly truly is an icon, and that she has established a charity called Imagination Library in which she gifts children with books from birth to age five, puts her on a pedestal that no one can come close to.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Heneghan

    I always have loved Dolly but fell in love with her after listening to the Podcast Dolly Parton’s America. So I picked the audiobook on this one. I love that they put some of the songs in when they start talking about each song and how or why she wrote it. She is a gem and I think we all need to be a little more like Dolly.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelli V Spann

    Oh, this is so good. Dolly Parton is beyond compare. This book, she narrates herself, is interspersed with song and is lively, honest, and down home country good. Least you think she’s all heart and no brains, come again. Dolly is as smart as a whip. She is the whole package and then some. She will give you enough rope to hang yourself, but will not stand idly by and watch you do it. She tells the truth about some of the country greats she has tangled with, the good bad and the ugly. This book i Oh, this is so good. Dolly Parton is beyond compare. This book, she narrates herself, is interspersed with song and is lively, honest, and down home country good. Least you think she’s all heart and no brains, come again. Dolly is as smart as a whip. She is the whole package and then some. She will give you enough rope to hang yourself, but will not stand idly by and watch you do it. She tells the truth about some of the country greats she has tangled with, the good bad and the ugly. This book is entertaining, cover to cover. It will tear at your heart and let you know why she is one of America’s true living treasures. She is beyond compare.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Rose

    What a great book for Dolly fans!!! It’s the story of Dolly’s life told through her music and the lyrics of some of her biggest songs as well as songs that you may not have heard of. I loved all the insight and just love Dolly even more now! Go pick up this book! But be warned it’s HEAVY! Haha! It’s a coffee table book so it’s going to be different to read than a normal book but I absolutely loved it and I think you will too! We will always love you Dolly!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    4.5 stars I love me some Dolly! I am definitely glad I listened to the audio version of this book to hear her voice, as well as snippets of her songs. She tells many stories about her life and what was going on at the time she wrote each song and what inspired those particular lyrics. It reads more like an interview than a book; Dolly is definitely not reading from a script! The one thing I found funny was how she describes pretty much every single song as one of her best/favorites.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ellen McClure

    What an absolutely uplifting read. If you're a Dolly fan, or just a fan of women who know what they want and achieve their dreams no matter what, this is a must read for you. Forgoing the outward image to see what is on the inside is the memoirs core spirit. Give it a whirl!! What an absolutely uplifting read. If you're a Dolly fan, or just a fan of women who know what they want and achieve their dreams no matter what, this is a must read for you. Forgoing the outward image to see what is on the inside is the memoirs core spirit. Give it a whirl!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    Big love to Dolly for helping us all to get through this craptastic year.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Veatch

    This book was SO amazing! Dolly Parton is SO amazing! I read this book and stopped at each song to listen to it on YouTube as I was going along. It took me awhile, but I sure did enjoy it. There are so many songs I had never heard before so I'm so glad I treated myself to such a fun listening experience. A beautiful book...I loved all of the photos. My favorites were of her guitars. I loved learning so much about her life. She's quite a lady! This book was SO amazing! Dolly Parton is SO amazing! I read this book and stopped at each song to listen to it on YouTube as I was going along. It took me awhile, but I sure did enjoy it. There are so many songs I had never heard before so I'm so glad I treated myself to such a fun listening experience. A beautiful book...I loved all of the photos. My favorites were of her guitars. I loved learning so much about her life. She's quite a lady!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Wow. The only thing that bothered me as I listened to Songteller was my lack of awareness of how Dolly Parton is one of many (I'm sure) writers that uses music as her medium. She is a writer first and a musician second. Much like her younger predecessor Lin-Manuel Miranda. Both make influential music, but it is the *words* that move her fans, not the notes. Wow. The only thing that bothered me as I listened to Songteller was my lack of awareness of how Dolly Parton is one of many (I'm sure) writers that uses music as her medium. She is a writer first and a musician second. Much like her younger predecessor Lin-Manuel Miranda. Both make influential music, but it is the *words* that move her fans, not the notes.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Craig

    I love Dolly Parton so much and this book is the perfect story of her life!!!! Beautiful stories and pictures, and I loved learning the story behind her music.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shauna

    I listened to this audiobook on the job while.......working 9-5. (lolol jk, I work 8-4).

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