A while back I had the idea to do frequent posts about people I admire and/or inspire me, of course it slipped onto the back burner like so many of my ideas do due to work, performing and the podcast. However, Mama is horribly sick right now and can't really record anything so this is the perfect time for me to break it out and do a post.
Take THAT laziness!
Now there are a lot of people who inspire me and I'm sure I'll get around to all of them eventually but today I want to talk about someone who I don't normally mention because part of me is embarrassed by it. Not because of who the person is really, but because of what it implies. So I'm just going to come right out and admit it......
I like country music.Yup.
Now keep in mind I don't like a lot of new country music but I do like a lot of older stuff, stuff that I guess you could classify as country/blues or country/folk, either way though I do like the twang. I guess part of my hidden fondness for country is because of my mother. You see I grew up with two very different musical influences, on one hand I had my mother, who listened to country, David Bowie, George Michael and ABBA. On the other hand I had my father who listened to The Beatles, tons of jazz, blues, and classical. So I wound up with rather odd tastes in music as you can imagine.
I can remember many times being in the car with my mother and listening to Bonnie Raitt, Merle Haggard (old HAG as we called him) and of course, the woman I want to focus on today, Dolly Parton.
I love Dolly for a couple of reasons, for one she can really sing. Not in a sultry sexy way or in a hardcore kind of rock-chick way but her voice is very strong and clear, which isn't always what you want to hear but I like it.
Another reason I like her is because she is tiny, barely 5”1 without her heels on, and yet she has such a big personality about her. I find that inspiring because I'm 5 foot and when you're tiny like I am you have to find ways of getting people's attention and keeping it, this applies to both performing and at work. You see I work in a predominantly male based industry and it is a little strange to be someones boss and have to look up at them. Heels help a lot in this regard, because even if it doesn't make me as tall as my co-workers it still gives me a sense of authority. Although I will mention that I sometimes feel like Dolly in that scene in 'Straight Talk' where she has to walk through the library in stilettos, her heels clacking in the total silence....
Attitude is another thing that gets people's attention and Dolly seems to have a very genuine and sincere quality about her that comes through in her music, movies, and interviews. Not to mention anyone who has ever met her in person has said that she is a lovely person and really does seem to care. I like that, because despite my ability to be a total cut-throat bitch, I also like being kind to people and when I perform I'd like to give people the impression that I'm having a good time so they should too.
The last two reasons I like Dolly are for personal reasons, the first being that she grew up dirt poor. And while we didn't exactly grow up in a broken down shack we certainly didn't live in luxury. At one point me, my mother and sister all shared a giant bed because we lived in a one bedroom apartment and I can remember a few Christmases and birthdays where instead of getting a store bought toy we went down to Value Village and picked them out ourselves. Looking back at it now I'm glad we were raised that way, I'm sure a hell of a lot more humble about having money now and like to spread it around by buying people things or being able to help them out should they need it. After all, to quote Dolly, 'Money is made to be spent. What goods it doin' in the bottom of my panty drawer?'
The last reason is kind of silly but I love her giggle/laugh. Again it has that sincere and honest quality to it that is just too adorable, not to mention it's kind of higher pitched and loud. Something I can relate to....
I will leave you now with a few of my favourite Dolly clips:
The first is from "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas", the intro to the Whorehouse and I enjoy this clip mainly for skirt drop right at the beginning because I always have to do that with long dresses.
The last is clip from what I think was the short lived 'Dolly Parton Show' which my mother informs I would insist on watching every night before bed, in this clip she does a fashion show. Check out the crazy hair!
Ya'll come back now y'hear?