One of my favorite music and acting friends is my former film co-star Stella Parton.
She enjoyed in recent months the opportunity to be depicted as a youth and to portray another character – “Corla Bass” in the NBC movie “Coat of Many Colors” highlighting the experiences of the Appalachian family highlighted in her sister’s hit song of the same name.
To start off 2016, Stella is honoring her iconic sister with Mountain Songbird: A Sister’s Tribute, an album of re-recorded songs previously made famous by Dolly. Mountain Songbird: A Sister’s Tribute also includes a new duet Dolly and Stella co-wrote together, titled “More Power to Ya.” The new album project coincides with an upcoming tour of the United Kingdom in February and March.
“I have been asked many times throughout my career to record an entire album of her music, but in my heart and mind, I never felt I could ever do her music or performances justice,” Stella said. “So in the end, while making the decision to record this tribute album of eleven of my favorites, I decided to sing the story songs because they resonated with me the most.”
Among the other songs are “Mountain Songbird,” “In the Good Old Days,” “Jolene,” “Blackie Kentucky,” “Coat of Many Colors,” “Bargain Store,” “Steady as the Rain,” “Down from Dover,” “Just Because I’m a Woman,” “The Flame,” “Seeker,” and “I Will Always Love You.”
It’s no coincidence Stella released Mountain Songbird: A Sister’s Tribute on her sister’s birthday, Jan. 19.
“I wanted this to come out on her special day,” she said. “Dolly has always been my favorite songwriter, although I grew up in a family chocked full of them. It was indeed a daunting task to choose eleven of my favorite songs from a catalog so vast.
“I have chosen to sing them as sincerely and respectfully as possible and I hope you can hear that in my humble and honest approach to my sister’s beautiful songs,” she said. “I am pleased and honored to share my sister tribute.”
Her sister Dolly said her sister was there from the beginning of her career.
“She always complimented and encouraged me in my writing,” she said “I admire and respect the way that she chose to do my songs. She stayed true to the original spirit in which I wrote them and yet found a way to make them her own.
“I really love how they turned out and I think you will, too,” she said. “It’s been a personal source of joy to be able to hear this loving tribute from one sister to another and just to be able to work that closely with her.
Dolly said she is especially proud of the song we wrote together “More Power To Ya”.
“Stella is a great singer, entertainer and songwriter. All the more reason I am so proud she decided to do a tribute CD of my songs,” Dolly said. “I hope you will enjoy this CD as much as we’ve enjoyed working on it for you.”
Visit Stellaparton.com for more information. Both Stella and Dolly are included in my most recent book Encouragers II: Walking with the Masters.