Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics

This is my first book for the 2022 Non-Fiction Reading Challenge. It fits into the Celebrity Category. My interest was piqued when I saw Carol’s review on Reading Ladies back in November. I knew I wanted to check it out and I am glad I did. Click on the link to check out Carol’s review.


4.5 Stars:

I love Dolly Parton and thought I was familiar with most of her songs, but I was so wrong. This book highlights 175 of her songs and that’s not all of them. I was amazed at the number of songs that other people sing and are known for that were written by Dolly. She is a songwriter extraordinaire. This book shares lyrics and tells the story behind the song. Dolly refers to herself as a Songteller because she tells a story through her song.

I found this book really interesting. It was a different way to share her life with the reader. If you are not familiar with her background, here it is in a nutshell. She is one of twelve children, raised in an Appalachian cabin with few amenities and her family didn’t have much in the way of material things. Her father was a tobacco farmer and with droughts, tobacco worms and other things, the harvest could be gone in an instant. They were, however, rich in love, family and music. Her songs are usually based on people or events from her past. I really enjoyed learning all about her life.

Now, I listened to the audiobook because I was told you got to hear the music, and I thought that would be wonderful as well as Dolly narrating the story. I was also told that the full lyrics for each song and some great images were in the book, so I thought I would read along. Well, this is the first time that I have done a read/listen and has such a disconnect. Dolly talks to her listeners and DOES NOT follow the printed book in the audiobook. I gave up and listened to the story, then went back and read the lyrics and looked at the images. It was okay, but I wanted to let you know in case you planned on doing the same thing. I definitely recommend this one for anyone who loves Dolly Parton and is interested in this version of a memoir.

I want to add, that when I finished reading this book, I watched two of the movies she mentions in the book, that I had not watched before. I recommend, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors which is a true story based on the loss of her brother “Larry” at birth and Dolly’s bullying at school. You can check out the trailer below. The other one I watched was Joyful Noise and I very much enjoyed it as well.

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About the Book: 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 150 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