Dolly Parton Statue
Dedicated in 1987 and prominent on the Sevier County Courthouse lawn, this statue pays tribute to the well-known female country music star, Dolly Parton. Born and raised in Sevier County, Dolly Parton has dedicated her life to growing the community and town of Sevierville with the fortune of her country music career. The bronze statue stands tall in the heart of the county where many tourists travel for a selfie while touring the town of Sevierville. It is widely popular especially among country music fans.
Backstory and Context
Born in Locust Ridge, Tennessee on January 19, 1946, Dolly Rebecca Parton grew up in a small cabin in the Appalachian Mountains. She was one of 12 children who lived in the cabin and faced the daily struggles of poverty. She has written many songs about her everyday struggles growing up, one of her most famous songs " Coats of Many Colors" especially recognizes the fact that she grew up poor. While she was young, her family turned to music for evening activities and fun entertainment in the cabin. Her mother played guitar and sang, which is one of the many reasons she wanted to pursue her career in country music. By age 10, Dolly could be seen on local televisions and heard on radio stations. After finishing high school, Dolly moved to Nashville to pursue her musical career.
In 1967, Dolly's career in Nashville began growing. She began performing on The Porter Wagoner Show. The two became a well-known duo after they recorded multiple songs together. Dolly became famous due to her prominent looks and her amazing personality. After Dolly became famous from The Porter Wagoner Show, she developed her own record label so she could protect her publishing rights. By 1971, her hit “Joshua” became number one on the country top 10 lists. After this hit, many others followed, including well-know songs such as “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You.”
After her musical career exploded, she opened a theme park in 1986 called Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The theme park is still open and is growing each year due to Dolly’s contribution. Along with her contribution to Tennessee, her homeland, she also involved herself in multiple philanthropy and community service opportunities. She has always strongly believed in enhancing children’s literacy, so she created Dolly’s Imagination Library. She also is known for providing scholarships to thousands of children and money to local schools.
Dolly’s contribution to Tennessee has gained her respect nationally, and her contributions to Tennessee led her to a spot in the heart of Sevierville. The statue on the lawn of the Sevier County Courhouse shows Dolly sitting gracefully playing her guitar as a butterfly sits on the strings of her instrument. The bronzed statue sits on a rock, and was sculpted by Jim Gray. Jim Gray is responsible for multiple statues in the Smokey Mountains, which makes the statue even more at home. Sevier County commissioned for the statue to show their gratitude to Dolly for her great contributions to the county. The statue was dedicated on May 3, 1987 and is one of Dolly's greatest successes.
Sevierville Dolly Parton Statue. InsideSevierville. April 10, 2012. Accessed November 03, 2018. http://www.insidesevierville.com/things-to-do/sevierville-entertainment/seviervilles-dolly-parton-statue/.
Dolly Parton Statue. Smokey Mountains. . Accessed November 03, 2018. https://smokymountains.com/sevierville/things-to-do/dolly-parton-statue/.