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Dolly Parton with Robert K. Germann – ‘Songteller: My Life in Lyrics’ review

The Country icon shares the stories behind her songs.

Songteller
Credit: Hodder & Stoughton

Dolly Parton is one of the world’s most recognisable and iconic performers. Having been in the limelight from a very young age, she’s managed to stay at the top of her career for decades and she’s the most-loved Country music star on the planet. At 74 years of age, Parton is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon and this year alone she’s released holiday album ‘A Holly Dolly Christmas’, her Netflix Christmas film ‘Christmas on the Square’ and a book, ‘Songteller: My Life in Lyrics’.

‘Songteller: My Life in Lyrics’ is a large hardback book that’s beautifully designed. With an iconic picture of Parton on the front, the book is a real treasure for fans detailing the stories and lyrics of 150 of the singer-songwriter’s songs. There are stunning photos from across Parton’s career throughout the book and an introduction from the legend herself sets the scene for what you’re about to read. Split into 14 chapters, the book kicks off with the lyrics to 1952 song ‘Little Tiny Tassletop’, which Parton wrote when she was just six years old.

I really love the way the book sets context for each of the songs before presenting the lyrics. Then right after you get an anecdote from Parton about how the song came to life. It’s a fascinating insight into one of the world’s most gifted lyricists and you can almost hear her Southern accent jumping from the pages. These songs aren’t just the most well-known ones – although ‘9 to 5’, ‘Jolene’ and ‘I Will Always Love You’ are in there of course – there are some gems from throughout her career that may not have got the attention they deserve like ‘Backwoods Barbie’, ‘My Blue Tears’ and ‘Heartbreak Express’.

As well as sharing personal and intimate stories alongside each of the songs, ‘Songteller: My Life in Lyrics’ is also an autobiography of sorts with each chapter exploring a different phase of Parton’s career. We get to learn about her start in music and her 1959 Opry guest appearance, right through to her charitable endeavours and always positive outlook. There are some fantastic insights that give a real glimpse into the icon that is loved by so many.

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‘Songteller: My Life in Lyrics’ is a really unique book and it’s one that all Country fans should have in their collection. It’s astounding to think just how prolific Parton has been throughout her career and the fact that the majority of the songs were penned solo is even more impressive. This is a beautiful way to celebrate the career and life of an entertainer who has made a huge impact in the world and has built a legacy that will live on for many decades to come.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Release date: 17th November 2020 Buy ‘Songteller: My Life in Lyrics’ now

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