Dolly Parton announced the release of I Believe In You, her first album written and recorded for children, will release with Sony’s RCA Nashville and Dolly Records on Oct. 13. All proceeds will benefit Parton’s Imagination Library.
A digital release of the new album will be available in advance, Sept. 29.
All 14 tracks on I Believe In You (below) were written and performed by Parton. Tom McBryde, Richard Dennison and Tom Rutledge produced various tracks with executive producers Paul T. Couch and Parton.
“My first album was released 50 years ago and it’s been an amazing 50 years since then. I am very excited that now I’m coming out with my first children’s album in all of those 50 years. I’m proudest of all that all of the proceeds from this CD will go to the Imagination Library,” Dolly said. “It’s been 20 years since the Imagination Library was launched. We’ve seen 100 million books get into the hands of children and hopefully there will be many more.”
Since its beginning in 1996 in Dolly’s hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee, the Imagination Library has expanded into four countries serving more than one million brand new books each month.
At a press conference yesterday, Aug. 15, children and special guests witnessed the unveiling of the I Believe In You album cover, track listing and performances of “I Believe in You,” “Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny” and “Brave Little Soldier” in addition to reciting her Coat Of Many Colors book. The press conference ended with Dolly answering questions and taking family photos with all the guests.
What other work have you released for kids?
I write kids songs all the time. We [have] put a compilation of kids songs we sold through the Imagination Library, but never put a public album out. I also write songs for the little playhouse [at Dollywood].
What inspired these songs?
There’s a few songs that talk about attitude with a good message. These are all songs that uplift children and really talk to them. We have a lot of sick children and one of the songs is called “Chemo Hero” that is related to my own family. My niece Hannah Dennison was diagnosed with Leukemia and was at Vanderbilt hospital for years so I wrote a little song for her and all the other sick children. Most of these songs are inspired by the books we give out through the Imagination Library.
How was writing different for this album?
It gives me a chance to be more playful and relax. I keep tree houses and playhouses for all my nieces and nephews when they come to visit me. Usually when I write these children’s songs I go up in a treehouse and try to put myself back in their place to become a kid again. It’s so easy to tailor make [songs] to my nieces and nephews that I’m with all the time because I hear what they’re going through and what their feelings are. It think it puts me in a more tender place rather than a commercial place to make money.
Will there be a holiday movie this year?
We were very excited that we got nominated for an Emmy for The Christmas Of Many Colors, and Coat of Many Colors did so well with the ratings. It makes you know people are looking for family, faith-based movies. I don’t think we have enough of that—the world is so out there anymore. We may eventually do another of the Coat of Many Colors. I’d love to do enough to where all the kids were born, because the last one Mama was pregnant with twins and I had another sister, Rachel, born after.
We’re still working on Jolene, trying to decide if we’re going to do it as a movie or series, or both. We don’t have an air date but that’s one of the hot ones coming up. I’m going to be producing movies and we’ve got some things in the works with more of the songs I’ve written.
Why was it important for you to be involved with Kenny Rogers’ final show?
You never know who the kinds of people [fans] will tag you to. We really didn’t have all that many hit records. We were just so magical when we were together, and of course “Islands In The Stream” was a huge, huge hit. He said, ‘I’m not doing it without Dolly.’ And I’m looking forward to having the audience see us sing the last time live. Although I hope to still be friends with Kenny and that he’ll be around a long time.
How did you decide to be a part of Kesha’s album, Rainbow, released this week?
Kesha? Is that how you [pronounce] her name? I’m so far behind the times…
Mostly, I know her because of her mother. Her mother wrote “Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You” that I did as a duet with my brother Randy years ago. So when Kesha became famous she called to ask me to sing on “Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You.” I said, “Well, of course we have to do it.” I really think it turned out great, I really put my heart and soul in to it. And her mother was there when we recorded it. She told me how she wrote it, living with a hippie in a van, and how it all came about. I hope her album does great!
Any plans to tour in the near future?
No plans for touring. We were successful with the Pure & Simple Tour. We were happy and proud we did so well. We toured for six months. It’s the biggest tour I’ve ever done since I started. So I’m going to concentrate on the TV things, and producing—trying to spend a little more time with my family.
I Believe In You Track Listing
I Believe in You*
Coat of Many Colors (new recording)+
I Am a Rainbow*
A Friend Like You*
You Can Do It*
You Gotta Be*
Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny+
Brave Little Soldier+
Bonus track (spoken audio): Coat of Many Colors
*produced by Tom McBryde and executive produced by Paul T. Couch
+produced by Tom Rutledge and Richard Dennison and executive produced by Dolly Parton
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