I ended 2019 watching “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings” series, and I began 2020 watching Dolly Parton’s “Here I Am” movie, both recently released on Netflix, and both excellent.
The series is one of the best I watched last year. Its 8 episodes are all very interesting. Each one begins with Dolly Parton talking about on of her songs and explaining its background and its lyrics. Then, you have a story, more or less an hour long, based on the song. It’s a very interesting concept for who wants to know more about the cultural background of Dolly’s songs and an excellent way to listen to them again.
The songs that inspired the episodes are “Jolene“, “Two Doors Down“, “If I had Wings“, “Cracker Jack“, “Down From Dover“, “Sugar Hill“, “J.J. Sneed” and “These Old Bones“. All are excellently directed and performed, with talented actors, two many to name them here. I particularly loved “Sugar Hill“, “Down From Dover“, “J.J. Sneed” and of course “Jolene“, but all of them are really awesome. I strongly recommend this series and I hope that another season will be released soon.
“I think there will always be country music. I do believe that people will search out those songs, like the “Jolenes”, hopefully, or the “I will always love you’s”, or the Hank Williams songs an all those great songs, because they are the stories that people naturally live. They are your true feelings. Just about love and heartache, and family and poverty. So, I think that there will always be that simplicity people need because the world is so complicated. I think that country music kind of simplifies simplicity and we’re gonna always need that the crazier the whole world gets“.
Here I am
“Here I Am” is a fascinating documentary about Dolly’s life and career, directed by Francis Whately, a British TV producer and director. The movie includes interviews of Dolly Parton, of course, Porter Wagoner, Jane Fonda, Jerry Douglas, Mac Davis, her managers Sandy Gallin and Danny Nozell, Kylie Minogue and more.
Dolly Parton’s story is fascinating for who loves country music. The film talks about the importance of her participation in the Porter Wagoner show. It reminds how the musician entertainer convinced her to release a love song, that would be “I will always love you“, and how she refused to let Elvis Presley sing it. It talks about some her best country songs, like “Just because I’m a woman” and “Jolene“, about how her manager Sandy Gallin wanted her to be an actress. Jane Fonda remembers her participation for the movie “9 to 5“, and what she says about Dolly is really interesting. Her bluegrass songs are not forgotten.
If you love Dolly and country music, you’ll love this film and you will be very interested by what Dolly says about country music and about those songs that are your “true feelings“, about “love and heartache and family and poverty“.