Dolly’s music continues to inspire rising musicians

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Fifty Grammy nominations, 25 country number ones, it’s easy to see why Dolly Parton continues to influence today’s rising artists.

“She has created this music that people attach themselves to and they love,” says Opie of 100.3 The Wolf in Knoxville. “And then when they start to create their music and their art, what starts popping in their head? Those melodies those lyrics. That heart and that soul that Dolly has.”

It’s that heart and soul that can be found resonating in a lot of today’s new country music artists. That includes the East Tennessee duo, The Young Fables.

The group, with Maryville roots, says while they don’t intentionally write music to sound like Dolly sometimes her influence just comes out.

“We wrote one recently almost in that mindset. This should be a Dolly song,” says guitarist and singer Wes Lunsford.

Lunsford, along with singer and guitarist Laurel Wright, says Dolly’s influence isn’t hard to find in today’s new music, but be careful if you decide to cover one of her many hits. Her fans will be listening.

“At almost every show we play, almost every single one, we play a Dolly song,” says Lunsford. “If you flub a word or mess up a chord they are on it.”

A statement Wright agrees with whole heartedly: “Especially when we come back to East Tennessee. Especially the Knoxville area or Pigeon Forge. That’s when the pressure is really on us!”

Regardless, The pair agrees that when you do a cover, you have to make it your own because Dolly is in a league of her own.

“Dolly is always Dolly,” says Wright. “It doesn’t mater what genre she is singing, Christian, Country, whatever. It’s like, it’s still her.” Lunsford agrees, “You can’t try to do it exactly like Dolly cause you’re out of your league then. You’re in deep water. You go to try and do something a little different.”

“I think everything that Dolly does is intentional and I just think people get inspiration through that. Whether it’s through her music or just day to day.” says Carina of 100.3 The Wolf. “What’s not to love?” adds Opie. “I mean she just exudes kindness, love, acceptance. I mean, who doesn’t want to be that person?”

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