The Beatles song that changed Dolly Parton’s life

Dolly Parton has recently announced a collaboration with Paul McCartney on her forthcoming album, which has made a host of music fans giddy with excitement, but perhaps none more so than Parton herself — a devoted Beatles fan. Even though their sound was incomparable to her favoured genre, country, The Beatles did something to the young singer which Parton couldn’t explain.

When Beatlemania exploded, Parton was only a few years younger than The Beatles, and they were firmly the band of her generation. Despite coming from different corners of the world, Parton instantly connected to the Fab Four following the release of their hit single, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’.

Following the release of the track in the United States in 1964, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ initially landed at 45. However, it slowly climbed to the top of the singles chart and became the first track by The Beatles to achieve this feat, but it wouldn’t be their last. Parton was one of the many who couldn’t get enough of the sound, which soundtracked a pivotal time in her life.

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Parton named the track as the first song she obsessed over and said: “I loved all kinds of songs, and I grew up singin’ all sorts of songs, but the first time I ever remember totally being jarred and feelin’ all kinds of emotions was when that song came out. I couldn’t get enough of it.”

Parton continued: “This girlfriend of ours had an old trap car, so we used to ride around — she was a little older than us,” Parton revealed. “I just remember us hearing that on the radio any time we had a chance — because they played it night and day when the Beatles first came on the scene.”

The Beatles have continued to participate in Parton’s life since the release of ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’. Like the rest of the world, the country singer was hurt by the death of John Lennon. “Everyone was so heartbroken,” Parton later told Today. “Like all young teenage girls back then, I fell in love with the Beatles. Back there in the Smoky Mountains, it was like something had been dropped from outer space.”

Parton has also paid tribute to the legendary Liverpudlian band by covering their work throughout her career. On Parton’s 1979 release, Great Balls of Fire, she took on ‘Help!’ but made it her own by adding a healthy dosage of bluegrass to the song’s recipe. A few years later, Parton took on Lennon’s signature single, ‘Imagine’, and brought it into her sonic realm.

Due to her country background, few would suspect Dolly Parton to have a strong love for The Beatles, but it’s further proof of their broad appeal, which spans across the entirety of the music business.

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