Personnel includes: Dolly Parton (vocals, guitar); Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Kenny Rogers, Porter Wagoner (vocals).
Producers include: Dolly Parton, Bob Ferguson, Gary Klein, Ricky Skaggs, Gregg Perry.
Compilation producer: Al Quaglieri.
Recorded between 1970 & 1988. Includes liner notes by Holly George-Warren. Includes liner notes by Holly George-Warren.
Personnel: Dolly Parton (vocals); Emmylou Harris, Kenny Rogers, Porter Wagoner, Ricky Van Shelton, Linda Ronstadt (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Holly George-Warren.
Recording information: 1966-2000.
Photographers: Kristin Barlowe; Raeanne Rubenstein; Les Leverett; David Hill .
Arrangers: Porter Wagoner; Dolly Parton; Gregg Perry; Bill McElhiney; Nick DeCaro; Steve Goldstein.
One of the most successful and versatile artists in country music, Dolly Parton is a true icon of the genre. With a recording career spanning more than four decades, Parton epitomized country, while always venturing into other territories, including pop and bluegrass. Columbia/Legacy's THE ESSENTIAL DOLLY PARTON (not to be confused with other similarly titled compilations) begins with the striking performer flaunting her charmingly assertive nature with 1966's rollicking "Dumb Blonde," and proceeds in chronological fashion through Parton's slew of '70s hits, including the gentle, folk-like "Coat of Many Colors" and the gorgeous 1974 version of "I Will Always Love You." (The latter two songs, like many on this collection, were written by Parton herself.)
Parton's hits from the late '70s, '80s, and beyond continue on the second disc. Runaway '80s hits "9 to 5" (from the titular film starring Parton) and "Islands in the Stream" (her Bees Gees-penned duet with Kenny Rogers) represent her commercial peak, but the remaining latter-day songs reveal that Parton's talents--particularly her distinctive high, clear voice--were still going strong into the 2000s (most notably on her bluegrass rendition of Collective Soul's rock hit, "Shine"). For those looking for the best overview of Parton's career, this 37-track set is it.
Q (10/03, p.128) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...[The album] showcases a musical talent that puts Dolly Parton in a league of her own..."