Parton Sings Parton as Stella performs the songs of her sister Dolly at Horsham’s Capitol on March 9.
She’s promising a show that will take you to the hills of East Tennessee where the Parton family were brought up. Sister, singer, songwriter and actress Stella offers a musical journey through the life of one of one of America’s superstars, with songs including ‘I Will Always Love You’, ‘Jolene’ and ‘Coat of Many Colours’.
Stella will also be offering footage of the two sisters together at various times in their careers.
“I have been working on a tribute album for about ten years,” Stella says.
“It coincided with the invitation to do this tour, and I thought this would be the perfect time to do it. I released the tribute album on my sister’s birthday on January 19.
“She loves it. She feels honoured. She is all for it. But we are an unusual family. We walk our own paths. But that’s why I wanted to do this project. I wanted to celebrate her musical legacy, her great contribution. People wonder what the relationship is between us, but it has always been a warm and loving relationship because that’s the way we were always raised. I never try to emulate my sister’s style, but obviously we have similarities because it is in the DNA and we grew up together! What I have tried to do is to keep it pure and simple. My sister is a song-writer, writing with her guitar. I have heard some of her work done that has been overproduced, and that is not how it works best. I think she is at her best when she is just sitting with her guitar playing her compositions.
“The first half of my show is very acoustic. I have had a lot of fun doing it. I realised it was something I had to do now. I didn’t want to wait until after she had retired or stopped working. I wanted to do it right now. I felt her work should be honoured, and I wanted to choose the songs that really resonated with me.”
As for Dolly’s contribution to music, Stella feels: “You have to remember she is a songwriter, but a woman that has always followed her own creative path. She has had the courage to do that, and she has had great success and notoriety for doing that. And she has had the courage to say ‘This is who I am’ and ‘If this is the image I need to be a success, then so be it.’
“I think our mother is the one that taught us the philosophy always to be creative and to do whatever you want to do, always to follow your dream.”
But at the same time, their mother and their Christian faith, have taught them philanthropy: “If you are fortunate enough to be known in the public arena, then you have got an obligation to give something back to the public. That’s scriptural. You have got to give back when you have been blessed. Everything I do and think, and my sister too, comes from the Christian philosophy, that you have got to treat your neighbour as you would yourself.
“Life hasn’t been without its struggles, but you have got to concentrate on the positive instead of the negative, and you have got to put the negative together with the positive and create something even more positive.”
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