Dolly Parton’s Next TV Movie Will Be Based on ‘Jolene’
Dolly Parton's first TV movie, Coat of Many Colors, doesn't even have an air date yet, but the country legend is already thinking about the next one. On Thursday (Aug. 13), during NBC's day of the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Parton revealed that her second made-for-TV film for the TV network will be based on her song "Jolene."
According to Deadline, John Sacret Young, who worked on The West Wing, is writing the script. "Jolene," the title track of Parton's 13th studio album, became her second No. 1 hit in February of 1974 and has been covered by a number of well-known artists. Although the tune sounds as though it could have been inspired by trouble with Parton's husband Carl, "Jolene" is actually partly based on an innocuous relationship with a red-haired bank teller.
“She got this terrible crush on my husband,” Parton explains. “And he just loved going to the bank because she paid him so much attention. It was kinda like a running joke between us — when I was saying, ‘Hell, you’re spending a lot of time at the bank. I don’t believe we’ve got that kind of money.’ So it’s really an innocent song all around but sounds like a dreadful one.”
But the name Jolene came from a different experience.
“One night, I was on stage, and there was this beautiful little girl — she was probably 8 years old at the time,” Parton says. “And she had this beautiful red hair, this beautiful skin, these beautiful green eyes, and she was looking up at me, holding, you know, for an autograph. I said, ‘Well, you’re the prettiest little thing I ever saw. So what is your name?’ And she said, ‘Jolene.’ And I said, ‘Jolene. Jolene. Jolene. Jolene.’ I said, ‘That is pretty. That sounds like a song. I’m going to write a song about that.’”
Reporters at the TCA press tour also got to learn more about the Coat of Many Colors movie -- the first in a series of TV movies based on Parton’s life, stories and songs — which will star Alyvia Lind as Parton, Jennifer Nettles as Parton’s mother, Gerald McRaney as Parton's grandfather and Ricky Schroder as Parton's father. Parton herself will executive produce, and she has been integral in selecting the cast.
"What they told me was that Dolly saw my reading and that towards the end of it, she was emotional and moved and said, 'Yes, that is my mom,'" Nettles tells ABC News Radio. "So, I love hearing that."
Deadline reports that NBC plans to air Coat of Many Colors during the upcoming Christmas season.
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