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Story and photos by Terry MayerDolly Rebecca Parton burst onto the stage with all the glitz and glamor of the original Rhinestone cowgirl from long ago. With trademark platinum blonde tresses, shiny, form fitting buttoned-down dress - the country diva let her genuine and warm smile shine like a Tennessee mountain top at sunrise. The country veteran began the evening with "Two Doors Down," a number one hit on Billboard's hot country singles for 1978, that found her beautifully warbling voice in fine form. In between songs, Dolly would interact with the crowd, thanking them for spending their hard earned money on tickets for her show and joked that she needed the money because it "cost a lot to look so cheap."
There is a "realness" to Dolly Parton that carries through her music - with a collective understanding that she still has a child-like wonder when she performs. With that perky southern drawl and down home hospitality, she bounced back and forth onstage with the audience before launching into "Why'd You Come Here Looking Like That" and then the immensely popular "Jolene" where she played a bit of fine acoustic guitar. She also performed a version of John Denver's "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" and "Backwoods Barbie" from her current album Backwoods Barbie.
Parton showed that she is a real entertainer. She has a heart felt connection with her fans, some who were hearing her for the first time and others who have grown up with her music. She has had 26 number one singles, recorded 42 top country albums, and in the last five decades, has continuously had a top 40 hit. At 62, and looking quite beautiful, Parton is a class act that younger artists and fans alike look up to for inspiration.
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