1. Dolly Parton, on leaving home at 18: “I knew that I had to go. It  wasn’t that I wasn’t proud of who I was and where I was from. But I had a  dream, and I just couldn’t imagine myself [like my mother]. … I  wanted to do something with my music. I knew I was going to leave when I  was 18 years old. And I graduated from high school on a Friday night,  and I left for Nashville on Saturday morning. I was ready to go.” (Image: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images Entertainment.) View in High-Res

    Dolly Parton, on leaving home at 18: “I knew that I had to go. It wasn’t that I wasn’t proud of who I was and where I was from. But I had a dream, and I just couldn’t imagine myself [like my mother]. … I wanted to do something with my music. I knew I was going to leave when I was 18 years old. And I graduated from high school on a Friday night, and I left for Nashville on Saturday morning. I was ready to go.” (Image: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images Entertainment.)

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  1. "There were certainly lots of people playing in Chapel Hill … but I  certainly was the only black person at the time doing it. But that was  not going to stop me. I think it’s characteristic of all of us, that we  were sort of misfits in our own rights when we grew up. Doing something  just because it wasn’t cool or because you weren’t supposed to — we  certainly aren’t any stranger to that.Justin Robinson, Carolina Chocolate Drops (Photo: Julie Roberts) View in High-Res

    "There were certainly lots of people playing in Chapel Hill … but I certainly was the only black person at the time doing it. But that was not going to stop me. I think it’s characteristic of all of us, that we were sort of misfits in our own rights when we grew up. Doing something just because it wasn’t cool or because you weren’t supposed to — we certainly aren’t any stranger to that.Justin Robinson, Carolina Chocolate Drops (Photo: Julie Roberts)

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  1. The wordplay in Cole Porter or Nabokov is dazzling but usually superficial, the wordplay in country songs is pedestrian but sometimes profound. It has a rueful irony, as the innocent reading of an ordinary expression reveals a new meaning that makes it more sad and knowing.

    — Geoff Nunberg, in an essay on puns in country music songs done right.

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  1. "They used to call me ‘ethnic’ until they found out I knew a few of the  tunes, other than the old hand-me-downs and the old ballads, the good  old tunes I cut my teeth on. I think I really shocked some people in  some of the clubs." — Doc Watson (Photo: Rick Diamond/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment) View in High-Res

    "They used to call me ‘ethnic’ until they found out I knew a few of the tunes, other than the old hand-me-downs and the old ballads, the good old tunes I cut my teeth on. I think I really shocked some people in some of the clubs." — Doc Watson (Photo: Rick Diamond/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment)

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  1. Somehow it seems appropriate that Dolly Parton is our guest on Labor Day.

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    9 to 5

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  1. "I’ve got tapes that I’m  so thankful that my father made — old reel-to-reel tapes.  I’ve got a  ton of those things at home.  He kept those like fine diamonds, I mean  he kept them, you know, in a box and was very, very careful of them, you  know.  And I’ve got a bunch of those things at home, and it’s amazing  now as I go through and listen to them how well I could play when I was  6, 7, 8 years old." — Ricky Skaggs (Image: Jason Kempin/Getty Images) View in High-Res

    "I’ve got tapes that I’m so thankful that my father made — old reel-to-reel tapes. I’ve got a ton of those things at home. He kept those like fine diamonds, I mean he kept them, you know, in a box and was very, very careful of them, you know. And I’ve got a bunch of those things at home, and it’s amazing now as I go through and listen to them how well I could play when I was 6, 7, 8 years old." — Ricky Skaggs (Image: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

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  1. countryandwestern:

    Doc Watson - Keep On The Sunny Side

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  1. "The beauty of country  music is it has this weird, colloquial but sort of statesman prosaic.  … People would say [to me], ‘You have such a great voice; you should  do this sort of record,’ and I thought, well, if I do that, and it has  this smooth Nashville background, it’s going to be exactly what people  hate about country music, which is too soft and too weepy and too, you  know, all these negative things about country. Whereas with The Sadies,  it’s really rough — not rough like rough and tumble, you know. It’s got a  serious edge, and even as much as we tried to smooth it out, you can’t  smooth that. You can’t smooth these guys out." — John Doe (Image: Scott Gries/Getty Images) View in High-Res

    "The beauty of country music is it has this weird, colloquial but sort of statesman prosaic. … People would say [to me], ‘You have such a great voice; you should do this sort of record,’ and I thought, well, if I do that, and it has this smooth Nashville background, it’s going to be exactly what people hate about country music, which is too soft and too weepy and too, you know, all these negative things about country. Whereas with The Sadies, it’s really rough — not rough like rough and tumble, you know. It’s got a serious edge, and even as much as we tried to smooth it out, you can’t smooth that. You can’t smooth these guys out." — John Doe (Image: Scott Gries/Getty Images)

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  1. "My brother adapted a harmony that he thought sounded good, and it was always good enough for me. … If it was obvious that the song was going to get too high for me to sing in a certain place, my brother would just automatically take that high lead and I would do the low harmony. We didn’t have to step on each other’s foot or wink or bump shoulders to do this. It was just something that you knew was going to happen in the song, and you’d go ahead and change to a part that you was capable of doing." — Charlie Louvin (Image: Michael Buckner/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment) View in High-Res

    "My brother adapted a harmony that he thought sounded good, and it was always good enough for me. … If it was obvious that the song was going to get too high for me to sing in a certain place, my brother would just automatically take that high lead and I would do the low harmony. We didn’t have to step on each other’s foot or wink or bump shoulders to do this. It was just something that you knew was going to happen in the song, and you’d go ahead and change to a part that you was capable of doing." — Charlie Louvin (Image: Michael Buckner/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment)

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  1. "I went to Nashville and  I had [the song ‘Crazy’] with some others, and I met Hank Cochran, who was with  the publishing company that I eventually signed with, thanks to Hank.  And Hank knew Patsy [Cline]. And he took the song to Patsy and to [her  husband] Charlie. I think maybe Charlie heard it first and thought it  would be a good song for Patsy. … She wasn’t too sure about it. … I  think the first day, she went into the session she spent four hours  trying to sing it the way I was singing it, and it wasn’t working for  her. And the next day, the producer said, ‘Why don’t you sing it like  Patsy one time?’ And that’s what she did. And that song has gone on to  be the top jukebox song of all time: Patsy Cline's recording of 'Crazy.'” — Willie Nelson View in High-Res

    "I went to Nashville and I had [the song ‘Crazy’] with some others, and I met Hank Cochran, who was with the publishing company that I eventually signed with, thanks to Hank. And Hank knew Patsy [Cline]. And he took the song to Patsy and to [her husband] Charlie. I think maybe Charlie heard it first and thought it would be a good song for Patsy. … She wasn’t too sure about it. … I think the first day, she went into the session she spent four hours trying to sing it the way I was singing it, and it wasn’t working for her. And the next day, the producer said, ‘Why don’t you sing it like Patsy one time?’ And that’s what she did. And that song has gone on to be the top jukebox song of all time: Patsy Cline's recording of 'Crazy.'” — Willie Nelson

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  1. "The Big Bopper had the flu, and he came to me and says, ‘I hear you have  a plane tonight. Is there any way I can talk you into letting me have  your seat on that plane?’ And I said, ‘If you talk to Buddy and if it’s  okay with him, it’s okay with me.’” — Waylon Jennings View in High-Res

    "The Big Bopper had the flu, and he came to me and says, ‘I hear you have a plane tonight. Is there any way I can talk you into letting me have your seat on that plane?’ And I said, ‘If you talk to Buddy and if it’s okay with him, it’s okay with me.’” — Waylon Jennings

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  1. What does bother me is that I think to get a record deal now, somebody has got to be very handsome or very pretty … because I look back at some of the great singers, you know, they never would have gotten a deal today. Because aesthetically or cosmetically speaking, you know, I think they probably don’t meet the standard of today… I mean, I’ve heard that said in retrospect about, say, for instance, Marty Robbins… or Hank Williams, or Patsy Cline… or Kate Smith. You know, I think we probably would have missed out on a lot of good music. And we’re probably missing out on a lot of good music now because they want people who are very video-friendly.

    — Bobby Braddock, Spelling S-U-C-C-E-S-S With Country Songs

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  1. Stand By Your Can from Sesame Street

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  1. George Jones, He Stopped Loving Her Today

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  1. It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world.

    — Dolly Parton (via talldrinkoflemonade)

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