Every great superstar had someone who really believed in them and gave them their big break. For Dolly Parton, that man is producer and new Country Music Hall of Fame member Fred Foster.
At the Hall of Fame’s Medallion Ceremony on Oct. 16, Dolly kicked off the evening honoring Fred with the first song they recorded and released together, “Dumb Blonde.”
Before she sang the song, Dolly shared her gratitude to Fred for signing her to his record label when she’d been turned down by just about every other label in Nashville.
She said, “You started my life and you started me with my first record. You saw things in me that nobody else did. I hope I made you proud. So many times, when I’m out on the road thinking about all that has happened to me, I thank God, I thank the fans and I thank you.”
Dolly went on to say it’d been a long time since she’d sung “Dumb Blonde.”
“It’s in a very high key,” Dolly joked. “I may strain my milk, but I’m gonna try.”
Before the ceremony, Fred told Rare Country about writing the liner notes for Dolly’s first album as a way of introducing her to country fans.
He told us, “I never considered myself a great writer, but I knew it had to be special. So, I sat and thought about what I saw in Dolly. I titled the liner notes, ‘Sometimes you just know.’
In the liner notes — which she has framed, I understand, hanging in her home — [I wrote] ‘Looking at her, you could see traces of Harlow and Monroe. She is one of those that can do anything she wants to do. She could be a movie star, television, records, you name it.'”
When she first read the liner notes, Dolly actually said Fred was crazy for saying she’d be a movie and TV star.
Fred replied, “‘You’ll see, Dolly.'”
We all know now that Fred was right on the money.