Members of the Nashville music industry and media migrated to Huntsville, Alabama last week (Nov. 16) to catch one of the last remaining stops in Dolly Parton’s Pure & Simple Tour which ends on Dec. 10 in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
With caravans and buses heading South, industry members convened at the Von Braun Center Arena to witness one of country music’s most iconic and legendary singers.
Backstage prior to the show, Dolly hosted a packed meet & greet welcoming both fans and Nashville industry insiders including Robert Deaton, Sarah Trahern, Damon Whiteside, Pam Tillis, Paulette Carlson, Leslie Fram, Sherod Robertson, Kirt Webster, Danny Nozell, and Steve Lassiter among others.
From the opening number of “Train, Train” to the ending encore of “Hello God” and “He’s Alive,” guests were captivated as Dolly intertwined personal tales between the mega hits that spanned her full career. The retrospective journey included such popular tunes as “Jolene,” “Coat of Many Colors,” “Here You Come Again,” “Islands in the Stream,” “9 to 5,” and “I Will Always Love You.”
The tour also supported the singer’s 43rd studio album, Pure & Simple, by including a performance of the title track and “Outside Your Door” from the new project.
Her stories brought back to life her early childhood and gave respectful homage to her family and how she was raised. She spoke often about growing up in the Great Smoky Mountains and what she learned from her parents Avie Lee Parton and Robert Lee Parton.
Known for her quick wit, she also peppered the show with tall tales and humorous jokes.
The superstar also touted her recent accolade as the 2016 recipient of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented to her during The 50th Annual CMA Awards and gave a shout out to the guests from the CMA who were in the audience.
Inspiring the audience by sharing her story of how she worked hard and followed her dreams, she confessed, “I kept dreaming all those dreams about being in show business. I graduated on a Friday night and got on the bus [to Nashville] the next morning with my sack of songs, my head full of dreams and my heart full of hope. And I headed out to try to make it.”
And that she did.
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