It’s been over a decade since Dolly Parton has played a show in Nashville. Safe to say, she hasn’t missed a beat.
Playing back-to-back night at her old stomping grounds, Dolly recalled what it was like to play the Ryman back in the 1960s with the likes of Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and Jeannie Seely, all fighting for space in the one ladies’ dressing room.
“It’s just sacred ground to me,” she said of the Ryman Stage.
The benefit show for the Opry Trust Fund was called “Dolly Pure and Simple” and it was just that.
Dolly owned the stage playing with just three back up musicians/singers and on a few numbers singing a cappella.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Dolly show without her jokes and tales in between her hits. She talked about her Pentecostal Preacher Granddaddy being worried about her soul when she started bleaching her hair and wearing makeup.
“I said ‘I want to go to heaven, but do I have to look like hell to get there?’”
For every laugh there was a musical moment as well.
As soon as Dolly started in on “Little Sparrow,” (which she admits is her favorite song to sing in the Ryman) no one made a sound. It was a moment that brought a standing ovation.
She ended the night with the entire building singing “Islands In The Stream” and “9 to 5,” then she bid us farewell with “I Will Always Love You.”
“I’ll never feel like I’m done. I’ll never retire,” Dolly mentioned in a news conference before the show.
Let’s pray she never does.