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Dolly Parton - Coat of Many Colors

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Dolly Parton - Coat of Many Colors

Dolly Parton - Coat of Many Colors

Legacy Recordings
Bottom Line:

This re-release of a classic Dolly Parton album is nostalgia at its finest. The title track is probably one of the top three defining songs of Dolly Parton's career. And considering the number of albums she has recorded through the years; that is saying quite a bit. Dolly's distinctive voice and the emotion behind her lyrics make it a winner for any collection.

The album was originally released in 1971, with two of the tracks actually recorded in 1969. Legacy and Sony BMG have re-released it with four additional tracks. Eight of the ten original tracks were written by Dolly and the remaining two tracks were written by Porter Wagoner. This was a major step for Parton in proving her capabilities not only as a solo artist, but also as a credible songwriter. Dolly's lyrics have always tended to deal with personal life experiences and she was never one to shy away from things that weren't widely discussed in public. "Coat of Many Colors" is a song that has not only withstood the test of time but is a personal story of her childhood. She even turned it into a very successful children's book. But it is the story of a coat that her mother made for her. Only instead of using a single piece of material, she pieced together rags to make a coat and kids at school were very cruel when she wore it. As the coat was being made, her mama had told her the Bible story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. It made the coat even more special to the young girl, and she was very hurt at the cruel teasing from her classmates. She tried to make them understand how special it was to her to no avail. It is a beautiful song with a powerful message that will never go out of date.
As for touching on subjects that were not widely discussed in that time period, she recorded a song called "Traveling Man." This song has actually been a favorite of mine for years. First because I enjoyed the music, and later when I was older and understood the lyrics I appreciated their message as well. It's written from the point of view of a young woman who thinks she is mature and worldly, but in truth she is very inexperienced. She is sneaking around with the older man, a traveling salesman, planning on running away with him and feeling like an adult because her mama doesn't know what she's doing. Meanwhile, her mama runs off with the man and she finds out that the guy was going out with both of them at the same time. It was quite a break through song in its time as far as the lyrical content of the song. While all the songs are good, those were the two really strong songs for me. The others are all stepping stones to her blossoming style and songwriting skills. Other notable songs for me were "My Blue Tears" and "Early Morning Breeze." Overall, this is a very enjoyable album to listen to. I love the simple style of the instruments without all the electronic jazz that is a part of today's album making process. It really makes the true vocal talents of Parton stand out. This is a "must have" for your music collection.

Track List:

  • Coat of Many Colors
  • Traveling Man
  • My Blue Tears
  • If I Lose My Mind
  • The Mystery of the Mystery
  • She Never Met A Man (She Didn't Like)
  • Early Morning Breeze
  • The Way I See You
  • Here I Am
  • A Better Place to Live
      *Bonus Tracks Previously Unreleased
    • My Heart Started Breaking
    • Just as Good as Gone
    • The Tender Touch of Love
    • My Blue Tears
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