Music

“She’s Not So Hot Now”: Dolly Parton Recently Ran Into The Real ‘Jolene’

The Dollnaissance is here.

dolly parton jolene photo

Dolly Parton is currently doing the rounds promoting Heartstrings, a new Netflix anthology series that tells the stories behind her biggest songs. While ‘Jolene’, of course, gets an episode, Parton let a little information slip while on Fallon Tonight, detailing a recent run-in with the song’s inspiration.

Parton tells Fallon about how the song stemmed from her suspicions about her then-husband’s crush on a bank teller, but that she recently saw her and felt okay about it.

“She’s not so hot now,” she says. “She’s not! She used to have that red hair, now it’s grey. She used to have a tight butt, now it’s a tight spot getting her butt through the doors. She used to wear a D cup, now she’s wearing Depends.”

Parton’s clearly joking — please don’t cancel her for being ageist — but it makes for a good chance to revisit ‘Jolene’ ahead of Heartstrings, which is out today.  Across its eight episodes, it stars Parton herself, as well as Kathleen Turner, Julianne Hough and Australia’s own Ben Lawson. In addition to ‘Jolene’, the show covers ‘These Old Bones’, ‘Down From Dover’, ‘Sugar Hill’ and more.

If you’ve been hearing Dolly’s name a bit more recently, it’s not just because of Netflix. Dolly Parton’s America, a nine-part podcast which covers her career and legacy, was recently launched by heavyweights WNYC — you know, the team behind shows like Invisibilia, Radiolab, This American Life and Serial. She’s also featured on ‘Faith’, a country-EDM song by Swedish giants Galantis — it’s not the ‘Old Town Road’ remix she put her hand up for earlier this year, but we’ll take it.

If you’re keen to dive deep into the widespread Dolly love, …America is worth your time, as is this long-form New York Times feature by Lindsay Zoladz. Alternatively, 9 to 5: The Musical will be in Sydney from April next year.

The Dollnaissance is here: hop aboard, and watch the Fallon clip below.