If you sign up now for Vinyl Me, Parton, you’ll receive the first three Records of the Month — My Tennessee Mountain Home, Little Sparrow and Blue Smoke — in April, May and June 2023, which start the limited subscription off by highlighting Dolly Parton’s roots. Click here to learn more about Vinyl Me, Parton, and read on to find out more about these three albums.
April: My Tennessee Mountain Home
The inaugural Vinyl Me, Parton release is My Tennessee Mountain Home, appearing on vinyl for the first time since 1973 to celebrate the record’s 50th anniversary. My Tennessee Mountain Home is a concept album about her upbringing in small-town Tennessee and begins with the letter Dolly wrote home after moving to Nashville to pursue her dreams as a country singer.
This exclusive reissue of My Tennessee Mountain Home is pressed on 180g “Smoky Mountain Galaxy” colored vinyl with AAA lacquers cut from tapes by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound.
In the digital Listening Notes for My Tennessee Mountain Home, Amileah Sutliff writes: “Released when Dolly was 27 years old, the introductory track finds her reading an old letter she wrote to her parents when she left home to chase a music career in Nashville at age 18. Her dispatch from Music City embodies a familiar feeling, no matter where you come from: going off on your own, only to find you miss all the trappings of home that you never noticed or appreciated. … Though hardships and pain could’ve easily defined her childhood, My Tennessee Mountain Home paints a world filled with warmth and wonder, a reflection of her parents’ efforts to ensure love and imagination were paramount.”
May: Little Sparrow
The Vinyl Me, Parton Record of the Month in May is Little Sparrow, the middle album in a trilogy of bluegrass-focused albums Dolly made in the late ’90s and early ’00s that capture the roots of her musical education — and her cover of Collective Soul’s “Shine,” featured here, won her a Grammy. Appearing on vinyl for the first time as part of Vinyl Me, Parton, our exclusive edition of the record is pressed on 2LP Lavender Galaxy vinyl with lacquers cut by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound.
“That trilogy [with Little Sparrow in the middle] marks one of many high points of the country legend’s ever-changing career, at the time reminding audiences that — for all her glitz and glam — Parton was still a mountain girl at heart,” writes digital Listening Notes author Brittney McKenna. “Through a carefully curated collection of covers and original songs, Parton reasserted her own artistry, a continuation of the ambitious, career-redefining work she’d done on 1998’s Hungry Again, which she released upon the dissolution of Rising Tide, as well as 1999’s Trio II, the follow-up to her beloved 1987 collaborative album with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, Trio.”
McKenna added, “Like fellow landmark Parton albums Coat of Many Colors and Jolene, Little Sparrow offers a glimpse at Parton’s storied personal history as well as her rich musical DNA, and is yet another endlessly listenable piece of evidence proving her artistry transcends time or genre.”
June: Blue Smoke
The third Vinyl Me, Parton release is Blue Smoke, the 2014 album dedicated to Dolly’s upbringing in the Smoky Mountains, which was her highest-charting solo album ever. Our exclusive edition of the record is pressed on 180g “Blue Smoke” Galaxy colored vinyl, with lacquers cut by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound.
“By the time Blue Smoke was released in 2014, the Dolly tides had almost fully turned,” writes digital Listening Notes author Natalie Weiner. “The then 68-year-old singer had come full circle in a way, from savant to country music punchline to memefied global icon whose cultural significance sometimes outpaced even her musical impact … The release is, in many ways, of a piece with much of her late-era output: a collection of new and old originals, covers and collaborations, many of which have a decidedly bluegrass tinge and many others that display the same polished country pop styles Parton had spent decades refining. Blue Smoke is named for both the album’s title track and the lovely haze of Parton’s native Smoky Mountains.”
Weiner added, “Yet the release is hardly bogged down in nostalgia. Instead, Parton approaches familiar forms and ideas with characteristic verve and expertise.
Sign up now to receive My Tennessee Mountain Home, Little Sparrow and Blue Smoke.