Last night Stuart and I went to Wembley Arena to see big-breasted, big-talented and big-voiced Dolly Parton stage the second night of her sell-out concert.
The packed house (mainly gays and groups of, ahem, wimmin) went wild for our Dolly as she took to the stage. Standing just five feet tall with a 40 inch bosom she cut a spangled, sparkly figure dressed in gold lame. She ran around the stage like a Barbie doll on speed and sang like Minnie Mouse on helium. But what a voice! She may be 61 years old but it's lost none of its power.
Her songs have mainly been country songs over the years with strong elements of folk music in them. And we were treated to some of her classics last night such as Shine, Coat Of Many Colors, Jolene, Two Doors Down, The Grass is Blue, Here You Come Again, Little Sparrow, Islands In The Stream and the all conquering 9 to 5.
She sang a few covers too: Those Were The Days, Imagine and Turn Turn Turn but sadly no Stairway to Heaven. I had been holding out for Love Is Like A Butterfly and A Tender Lie (my favourite Dolly song) too but it was not to be.
In between songs she bantered with the crowd telling us about her childhood and film career. She was always self-deprecating and always very funny.
Something I didn't know, in 1974, her song I Will Always Love You was released and went to the top of the country charts in the US. Around the same time, Elvis Presley indicated that he wanted to cover the song. Dolly was interested until Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, told her that she would have to sign over half of the publishing rights if Elvis recorded the song (as was the standard procedure for songs Elvis recorded). Dolly refused and that decision is credited with helping make her many millions of dollars in royalties from the song over the years. She claims to have made over $6 million from Whitney Houston's cover version alone - selling over 12 million copies.
Little known Dolly facts:
Her production company made the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
She owns her own wig company.
Dolly famous lines:
"It takes a lot of money to look this cheap."
"If I have one more face lift I'll have a beard!"