39 Years Ago: Dolly Parton Earns Her First Gold Album
Dolly Parton had already been a country star for a number of years by the time she released her 16th studio album, Here You Come Again, but the crossover success of the record launched the second phase of her career, in pop music, and earned the superstar her first gold album on Dec. 27, 1977 — 39 years ago today.
Parton first came to widespread national recognition on The Porter Wagoner Show in 1967, and she scored a string of hit singles as duets with Wagoner, as well as a number of successful solo singles, such as “Jolene,” “Coat of Many Colors” and “I Will Always Love You,” the latter of which she wrote for Wagoner upon breaking up their duo act for a solo career. But despite her solo success, Parton was frustrated in her ambition to break out of the limited country genre and into the mainstream — that is, until Here You Come Again.
Parton drafted pop producer Gary Klein for Here You Come Again and recorded a number of songs from outside writers, as well as her own compositions. The disc’s title song, “Here You Come Again,” was written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and provided the crossover vehicle that Parton had been looking for. Released as the album’s lead single, it reached No. 1 on the country singles charts, while the album also hit No. 1 on the country albums chart.
Parton followed Here You Come Again‘s title track up with “Two Doors Down,” which had already been a successful country single for Zella Lehr earlier in the year. Parton re-recorded the song in a more pop-flavored version and released it as a double A-side with “It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right,” intending “Two Doors Down” for pop radio and the flip side for country radio. But country embraced both, and “Two Doors Down” became a hit across all formats, cementing the album’s success.
Here You Come Again went on to earn platinum certification and also won Parton a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal. Its success also launched a new phase of Parton’s career, which saw her move into mainstream superstardom; within a few years, she made the leap into acting with 9 to 5 and subsequently leveraged her high profile for a series of films, albums, singles, books and even an enormously profitable theme park, Dollywood.
This story was originally written by Sterling Whitaker, and revised by Angela Stefano.
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