Country Flashback: Dolly Parton Released Her Autobiographical Fan-Favorite ‘My Tennessee Mountain Home’ on This Day in 1973

On this day (April 2) in 1973, Dolly Parton released her eleventh solo studio album My Tennessee Mountain Home. While it wasn’t a massive chart success, the album is well-loved among her fans and was lauded by critics upon release.

Videos by American Songwriter

Artists, fans, and critics generally agree that the quality that sets country music apart from other genres is its storytelling. My Tennessee Mountain Home is a stellar example of the power cf country songs to covey a deeply personal story. Throughout the album’s 11 tracks, Parton tells the story of her life from her humble beginnings in Sevierville, Tennessee, to making it on Music Row in Nashville.

[RELATED: 3 Songs You Didn’t Know Dolly Parton Wrote With Her Uncle Bill Owens for Other Artists]

Dolly Parton Sings Her Autobiography on My Tennessee Mountain Home

Parton sings her life story throughout My Tennessee Mountain Home. Each song is seemingly plucked from her memories of her home and family. As with any album, there are standout moments.

Parton started the album with a recitation of the first letter she wrote to her family after she moved to Nashville on June 2, 1964. In “The Letter,” Parton talks about being homesick while assuring her parents that she will be okay in Music City. She also reveals some of the early opportunities she found after leaving home.

“Don’t worry about tryin’ to send me money or anything, ‘cause I’ve got a job singin’ on the early morning television show here called the Eddie Hill Show. And a couple of folks already told me that they might records a couple of my songs. So I’ll be makin’ enough money to get by,” she wrote.

Parton has never been shy about the fact that her family didn’t have much money. “The Coat of Many Colors” is a standout example of her being open about her incredibly humble beginnings. “In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)” is another example of that openness. In the song, she sings about being poor and, more importantly, being grateful for the lessons it taught her. At the same time, she has no desire to return to that. She delves into this duality in the chorus: No amount of money could buy from me / The memories that I have of then. / No amount of money could pay me / To go back and live through it again.

In “Down on Music Row,” Parton sings about her first days in Nashville. She talks about leaving tapes at studios and struggling to make it. She specifically mentions Chet Atkins and Bob Ferguson at RCA in the final verse.

Fast Facts About My Tennessee Mountain Home

The house on the album’s cover is Dolly Parton’s childhood home.

Parton currently uses the title track from the album as the theme song for her theme park, Dollywood.

In its original pressing, “Down on Music Row” was the 11th and final track on the album. The same is true for the version of the album currently available on streaming services. A 2007 CD-only re-release included “Sacred Memories” as the album’s 12th track.

Featured Image by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Watch Lainey Wilson Performing the CCR Classic “Travelin’ Band,” One of Her “All Time Favorites”

Lainey Wilson’s Rendition of the CCR Classic “Travelin’ Band” Gets the Ultimate Hat Tip From John Fogerty