Ultimate Dolly Parton Dolly Parton Primary Artist
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There are many more ultimate Dolly Parton recordings than the 20 contained here, but this collection of choice material does provide a succinct overview of the artist's two-plus decades on RCA. The focus is on chart hits -- 19 of the 20 songs were No. 1 country singles, the only one not reaching that lofty perch being 1971's No. 4 hit, Coat of Many Colors, which is nonetheless one of her most beloved and personal songs. The most memorable cuts come with Parton's writer's credit too, including beauties such as her original version of I Will Always Love You (which Whitney Houston took to the charts, via the {|Bodyguard|} soundtrack, in 1992), as well as vivid biographical memories of the characters from her Tennessee mountain home, Joshua and Jolene, and the timeless homespun philosophy of Love Is like a Butterfly and The Bargain Store. The more recent recordings are from other writers' pens and showcase Parton's considerable interpretive skills. Dolly shows off both the strength of her pipes and her subtlety in laying on the heartache on Billy Vera's pop-blues I Really Got the Feeling and the soaring Donna Summer–Bruce Sudano power ballad Starting Over Again. The collection also includes her feisty 9 to 5 theme song, and a cut from the {|Trio|} -- Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris -- a precious, heart-tugging version of Phil Spector's To Know Him Is to Love Him. As an introduction to some of the most important work by one of country music's most important artists, Ultimate Dolly Parton is an essential starting point.

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