The Dryes have always wanted to write a song about Dolly Parton.

The Nashville-based husband-and-wife country duo of Katelyn and Derek Drye adore the country legend’s drive and sass, her music and her confidence, her reputation and her strength.

“She has what she has because she works hard and she's real and she's not afraid to be different," Katelyn Drye says of Parton. "And in that way, I can relate to her. It's why I love her so much."

But as much as the Dryes love Parton, they'd never felt quite right writing a song about her, until the day they found themselves driving by Dollywood. They pass the Pigeon Forge, Tenn., theme park on every drive back to Nashville from North Carolina, and on one of those drives, Derek Drye had an idea.

"Derek goes, ‘Babe, I've got the best idea: We should write a song called "Dollywood,"'" Katelyn Drye recalls. "And I thought he was talking about the place, but he was talking about what would become "Dolly Would." And I instantly knew that’s what we needed to do.”

Premiering exclusively on The Boot, the Dryes co-wrote “Dolly Would” with Shane Stevens and Mia Fieldes, creating a song that's custom-made for anyone who finds themselves chasing their dreams despite life's distractions. "It’s an anthem for people who have felt misunderstood,” explains Derek Drye.

"It’s also," he adds, "for people who feel like they can't say what they really feel or be who they want to be."

After the Dryes joined together with some of Nashville’s best musicians, the recording of the saucy song came together with lightning speed. The pair say it was a rip-roaring good time in the studio, too.

“We got there at 2PM and by 2:15PM, we had much of it done,” Katelyn Drye says with a laugh. “We were literally dancing in the studio. We had the best time. It was a honky-tonk dream.”

And while the song is the ultimate good time, the Dryes say it's come to mean so much more to them.

“You go to Dolly's shows and you see people of all walks of life,” explains Derek Drye. “I think it's obvious that there's something about her mindset that people just relate to. She has her convictions, but she doesn't seem to shame anyone for believing in something different from her. It's very interesting. And I don't know of any other person where you go to their concerts and they have as diverse of a group of fans that Dolly has.”

The Dryes will perform "Dolly Would" and more of their songs at Dollywood on Friday and Saturday (Aug. 20-21), during two shows as part of the Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival. Visit for more details.

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