Dolly Parton

Sevier County’s favorite daughter Dolly Parton was born on January 19, 1946 in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, just outside of Sevierville in the Smoky Mountains.

One of 12 children, she moved to Nashville to pursue music following high school and has won numerous Country Music Awards, Grammys and starred in hit films like “9 to 5,” and “Steel Magnolias” in the years since. In 1985, Parton opened her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

Born Dolly Rebecca Parton, she grew up in a poor family and made up songs to escape every day struggles. Her talent showed as by the time she turned 11, she was already singing on local radio stations.

Parton launched her solo career in 1967, and though she partnered with Porter Wagoner for his television show from 1967-1975, she remained primarily a solo act. (It was for Wagoner that Parton dedicated the ever-popular “I Will Always Love You.”) She won the Country Music Award for female vocalist in 1975 and 1976.

In 1987, she recorded Trio with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. In 1993, she put out another collaboration with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette titled Honky Tonk Angels. In 1999, she returned to acoustics with The Grass Is Blue, which won a Grammy for best bluegrass album. Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

In addition to music, Parton also became interested in acting, starring in 1980’s 9 to 5, 1982’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and 1989’s Steel Magnolias. She also opened the Dollywood theme park in 1985, which continues to be one of the South’s most popular vacation destinations. Parton is married to Carl Dean, who runs an asphalt-paving business. They married in 1966.

Parton launched Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in 1996 to benefit children living in Sevier County. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.

Dolly’s Imagination Library became so popular that in the year 2000 she announced that she would make the program available for replication to any community that was willing to partner with her to support it locally. Since the initial program launch in the United States, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to nearly 40,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Fall Events in Sevierville

There’s so much to do in Sevierville, Tn this fall we had to make a list.

Fall in Sevierville, TN is one of the most popular times during the year to visit the area. It’s one of the most picturesque settings around with the leaves changing color in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the crisp, cool air, and the variety of events in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

So, you’re coming in from out of town for a day or two, or you’ve decided a weekend getaway is more your style. You ask, well, what is there to do? Lots, from the annual Sevier County Fair which runs the first week of September (4-9) to the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival which features all sorts of events and crafting displays depicting autumn in the Smoky Mountains, there’s always something for every age group in the fall.

Below are just some of the main events and occurrences sure to draw people into Sevierville and the Smokies this fall:

Fall Displays Throughout Town, and of course, in the mountains – Each year, numerous downtown Sevierville businesses as well as those along Winfield Dunn and Dolly Parton Parkway create displays featuring various fall scenes including cornstalks, pumpkins, scarecrows, flowers, gourds, and more. You’re also only a short 15-20 minute drive, depending on traffic, from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its gorgeous fall foliage. Have your camera ready if you’re here in October because the reds, oranges, and yellows are unlike anywhere else in the southeast.

Sevier County Fair – Whether it’s the rides, the cotton candy, the tractor pulls, or the Friday night ‘rasslin’ matches, the Sevier County Fair is a unique event that brings about childhood memories and creates new ones every year. Come for the annual “Fairest of the Fair”, check out the prize cattle and dairy entrants, and cheer on the fastest turtle…. It’s something different each night at the Sevier County Fair, this year Labor Day week  September 3-8 at the Sevier County Fairgrounds.

Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival – Some of the country’s best Bluegrass musicians descend upon Kodak, Tn for this three-day long bluegrass festival. This year, the festival runs Sept. 13-15. Some of the major talent scheduled to perform include Jimbo Whaley & The Greenbrier, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Balsam Range, and The Lonesome River Band. This is a festival where many Dumplin Valley Bluegrass lovers spend the weekend camping on site in tents and RVs. Visit for more information. Continue reading “Fall Events in Sevierville”