Dolly Parton is at it again! A day after sharing her own virus-themed poem, Dolly has decided to release 93 of her classic songs, spanning six incredible albums, online for streaming across all major platforms.
The albums are Little Sparrow (2001), Halos & Horns (2002), For God and Country (2003), Live and Well (2004), Those Were the Days (2005), and Better Day (2011). The list of released songs includes “Little Sparrow,” “Shine,” the fan-favorite “I’m Gone.” Dolly fans will also recall that she released the song “Hello God” (from Halos & Horns) in September 2001, and she’s made it available again now in hopes that her fans will find solace and healing through music.
Dolly has been doing what she can right now, and she’s currently offering a 10-week long series called Goodnight With Dolly in which she reads children’s books from her Imagination Library live at bedtime. She’s also been offering absolutely delightful content on her Instagram account, prompting Jimmy Fallon to comment, “If you don’t follow Dolly on Instagram something is wrong with you.”
Here’s a little more about each album:
Released in 2001, this was Dolly’s 38th studio album. It’s a little more rootsy than the album that preceded it, drawing on the sounds Dolly would have heard in music while growing up in Appalachia.
While speaking about the album, Dolly said, “I believe Little Sparrow has more depth, breadth, and soul than all of the other albums I have done. Hopefully it captures the best of everything I’ve ever lived or felt, written or sung. I also think this is Steve Buckingham’s best work as a producer. I hope you enjoy it. You know how every parent thinks their kids are the prettiest, how every person thinks their hometown and their home team is the best and how every singer/songwriter thinks that the album they just finished is the best they’ve ever done … well, I think that too.”
You can stream Little Sparrow here.
'Halos & Horns'
Up next is 2002’s Halos & Horns, which is also the third album in Dolly’s bluegrass trilogy. Basically, what George Lucas is to sci-fi, Dolly Parton is to bluegrass. She found she just couldn’t stop writing after finishing up the songs for Little Sparrow, so she kept going. Dolly explained that she wanted to bring new people to the production.
“I decided I wanted to use everybody from ‘up home,’ or at least fresh people. There was nothing heavy or hard about it. I just went in with the pickers and we all kicked ideas around. That’s how you produce great records anyway — let talented people do what they do. It’s fairly ‘live,’ because I’m not the kind of singer who can start and stop and go back and get the same feeling. I just had a big time doing this.”
You can stream Halos & Horns here.
'For God and Country'
Dolly could never be accused of not being a hard worker, and no one should be surprised that she released her 40th studio album in 2003. This album includes a few new versions of well-known patriotic songs, along with new compositions by the artist herself, and the record was described by one critic as “her personal USO revue.”
You can stream For God and Country here.
'Live and Well'
Dolly recorded 2004’s Live and Well while on tour for 2002’s Halos & Horns, showing that she can pretty much handle anything. Live albums don’t always do super well, but this one had a great reception once critics heard it. Will Harris wrote, “Live and Well is a document of Parton’s 2002 tour, released simultaneously on CD and DVD, and, unlike a lot of live albums, this is a proper souvenir of one of her concerts, complete with the chatter between numbers that’s so often cut from live records. Obviously, this is good news for her fans, many of who probably weren’t able to catch one of those performances (she only did 14 shows); for others, however, it has its ups and downs.”
You can stream Live and Well here.
'Those Were the Days'
Those Were the Days is super fun — it’s one of my favorites! Dolly covers 1960s and 1970s folk and pop songs, but in the style of bluegrass. The songs covered include “Imagine” and “Me and Bobby McGee,” and Dolly collaborated with other artists like Keith Urban on the record. Other artists who recorded with Dolly include Norah Jones, Sean Lennon, and Joni Mitchell.
You can stream Those Were the Days here.
The sixth album that Dolly has released for online streaming is 2011’s Better Day. This was the first time Dolly released an album made up entirely of original material since 1998, and people loved it. Dolly explained that the album has a bit of a theme, and she commented, “We actually did demo a lot of songs for this and it seemed that with everything being so doomsday — terrorists and bad weather and unemployment — we need a little sunshine. I wanted to do something people would want to hear.”
You can stream Better Day here.