Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Those Were the Days -- Dolly Parton

Bum Phillips once said of Don Shula's coaching ability, "He can take his'n and beat your'n and he can take your'n and beat his'n."

So what does that have to do with Dolly Parton? Check out her new CD, Those Were the Days, and you'll have the answer. It's a CD of mostly cover tunes, some of them with the original artists singing along, and in every case Dolly's version is definitive. She can take another artist's song and make it her own, but the reverse isn't true. When she sings one of her own songs, nobody else can top it.

Maybe my favorite song on the new CD is "The Twelfth of Never." You have to be as old as I am, I guess, to remember the Johnny Mathis version, which sold a jillion copies. Dolly's take on the song is about as different from the original as it can be (and Johnny doesn't sing on it with her; Keith Urban does). It's sort of country and bluegrassy, if you can imagine that. When the song's over, Urban says, "You give me chills, Dolly." Me, too. This is a CD I'll be listening to again and again.


  1. Ah, Bum...

    Good coach, but destroyed who might very well have been the greatest running back in NFL history.

  2. That's a mighty fine album cover, too.

  3. Easy, James. Easy, now.

  4. i dunno, Bill. "Crimson and Clover"? And Dolly singing "If I Were a Carpenter"? I've loved her work for years, but this collection just doesn't work for me - at least not in my head.

  5. Well, maybe you'd have to hear it. I didn't think it would work, either. But it did for me. (And "If I were a Carpenter" has never been a big favorite of mine.)

  6. Eleanor6:42 PM

    I don't know who anyone is here, and I'm not even sure exactly where I am, but "If I Were A Carpenter" is a terrific song and if you were a woman and a man sang it to you, you would answer "YES" in a New York minute.