Dolly Fever.

I saw Dolly Parton perform for the first time about 6 years ago. I wasn't really a fan of hers at the time, but knew I would have fun with my friends. Our friend Terry scored backstage passes so along with the concert, we'd get the opportunity to have our photo taken with her. 

I'm cool as a cucumber when I run into celebrities, but I act like a complete buffoon when I actually talk to them. I made Steven Tyler hug me. I cried when Tammy Faye Bakker talked to me (at Sam's Club). So when I spoke to Dolly for about 10 seconds 6 years ago, it's not surprising I acted a fool. 

I wanted to tell her that we had the same birthday but instead I stammered "You're so pretty..." and then just stood there. She was charming and coaxed a smile out of all of us, even though we were surprisingly nervous and forgot to say and do all the things we said we were going to do when we met her. 

Seeing her perform that night turned me into a Dolly Parton fan. Despite the plastic surgery and the fact that she knows how to work a crowd, I left thinking that she was really genuine

I'm a fan of a few of her songs, but I've mostly found myself captivated by the way she acts in the limelight. 

Ariel and I are living in Tennessee, so we bought tickets as soon as we heard she was playing a benefit concert in Knoxville. Ariel isn't a music enthusiast and only knew a couple of her songs (Jolene, 9 to 5) but he thoroughly enjoyed the performance.

Here are a few of the things we discussed after the show last night. 

 Why you should love Dolly Parton by Virginia Ingram. 

Why you should love Dolly Parton by Virginia Ingram. 

Ariel has always wanted to go to Dollywood and that is next on our list as we fully emerge ourselves into the culture of East Tennessee. 

It's worth talking a few minutes to celebrate Dolly and all she has accomplished.

Here's Dolly doing some adorable banter with Kenny Rogers as she fills in for Sheena Easton on "We Got Tonight." 

Working 9 to 5.

Dolly singing I Will Always Love You to Burt Reynolds in the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. 

And Jolene.

Maybe you're a fan of her music, maybe you're not, but I recommend seeing her in concert if you can. 

P.S. For a delightful read, check out "Why Dolly Parton Doesn't Need Fashion (And Why Fashion Desperately Needs Dolly)" by the lovely, Rebecca Bengal.  Here's a favorite Dollyism from the article.

There was this one woman, I thought she was beautiful and, you know, she had the peroxide hair and she had it all piled up on her head and had red fingernails and red lipstick and, you know, wore her powder. And I just thought she was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen. And Mama said, Oh, quit looking at her. She ain’t nothing but trash. And I thought, Ooh, that’s what I want to be when I grow up—trash.
— Dolly Parton