Dolly Parton Sheds Light on Husband’s Need for Privacy
It is a well-known fact that Dolly Parton‘s husband, Carl Dean, could rival George Jones as the number one no-show in country music! While Dolly is constantly in the public eye, Carl prefers to remain in the background and let his celebrity wife take the spotlight.
The couple, who were married 45 years this past May, are very supportive of each other, but early in their marriage, Carl decided going out to fancy dinners and hanging out at awards shows were not things he enjoyed.
Dolly told the audience at the recent Marty Stuart Jam at the Ryman Auditorium of the couple’s first and only outing at a country-music event. The occasion was a BMI dinner in 1966, where Dolly was to pick up her first songwriting award for the Bill Phillips recording of ‘Put It Off Until Tomorrow,’ which the singer co-wrote with her uncle, Bill Owens. At the time, Dolly was 20 years old and not yet signed as a recording artist. She also sang harmony on the hit single.
“This was my first big record. It went to No. 1 for Bill and it was BMI’s Song of the Year,” Dolly said. “So Carl and I got dressed up, he was in a tux, and we drove to the dinner. We got out and walked up the red carpet, and went inside and sat through dinner and the awards, and I went up and got my award.
“After the dinner we walked back out and they brought us our car — I don’t even remember what we were driving then — and we got in it and headed for home. Carl turned to me and said, ‘Dolly, I want you to have everything you want and I’m happy for you, but don’t you ever ask me to go to another one of them dang things again!’”
Dolly and Carl met in 1964, on the day she moved to Nashville. She was at the Wishy Washy Laundromat and he drove by in his white Chevrolet pickup, then drove by again for a second look. Dolly was always up front with Carl, telling him she had no intention of staying home to wash dishes and clean house, but that she intended to pursue her dream of becoming a country singer. He had no objections, so she agreed to get married, which they did on May 30, 1966 in Ringgold, Georgia.
Carl runs a road-paving company in Nashville and to this day does not accompany Dolly to her music-related festivities, instead preferring to join her at family gatherings and other private events. She says he may not enjoy a public image but he has a romantic side, often surprising her with little things he does for her. She also has said that he has only seen her in concert “a time or two.”
Check out images of Carl and Dolly in this fan-posted YouTube video. Dolly’s new album, ‘Better Day,’ is in stores today. Her world tour begins July 17.