For a half-century now, Dolly Parton, 71, has been one of the most recognizable talents and personalities in the music world. Over that time, Parton has released 44 albums and racked up a collection of hits that includes “I Will Always Love You,” “Jolene” and “9 to 5.”
While the breadth of her musical output has been vast, it took until 2017 for Parton to release her first children’s album: “I Believe In You.” This impassioned offering features 14 original songs written by Parton, with all proceeds from its sale benefitting her Imagination Library initiative.
“It’s more fun to write songs for children,” said Parton in a recent interview with Zoomer Magazine. “You have to be smart when you’re working with children because you want to make sure the message is the right one and you don’t stray too far from it.”
She continued: “But you also want to have it sing-able and fun – something that they can learn and grow from. It kind of lets me be a kid again and go back into that place and time for myself, especially when you’re older. It’s really kind of rejuvenating and energizing to me when I write the children’s songs because I try to think of the children, and I become a child.”
Throughout “I Believe In You,” Parton touches on responsibility, friendship, sharing and bullying, plus many other topics of importance to children.
When it comes to performing these songs for children, Parton explained that it’s a less pressure-packed environment, and one in which her style and personality is perfectly suited for.
“It’s less nerves. It’s fun, because you’re the big one and so they’re looking to you,” offered Parton. “I’ve got a little child’s voice. My voice is high-pitched and I’m an excitable girl, and when I get with kids I just become one of them. So my voice is suited for it, for the songs, and for talking and playing with kids.
“My look is suited for it because I look like Mother Goose, or the fairy godmother, or one of those overdone characters,” added Parton. “So kids focus on me, and then the fact that they can feel that I care for them, and that I’m there for them. It’s actually magical when I work with kids. I love it.”
On Friday, November 3 (8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT), we encourage you to watch the series premiere of “Your All-Time Classic Hit Parade.” Presented by Marilyn Lightstone and inspired by the “Your Hit Parade” radio and television shows of the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, this classic music/variety series features Marilyn and the Zoomer Players performing hit songs and sing-a-longs.