Dolly Parton has been working hard on her upcoming television movie Coat Of Many Colors, in part because the story is based on her own life. But the iconic country star says she also wants to bring family stories back to television, because there’s a serious lack of those these days.
“There’s nothing on TV anymore about families. So it’s more about celebrating the people that made me who and what I am. It really celebrates my whole family,” Dolly said on the Today show.
The movie follows young Dolly in her rural Tennessee hometown, where she grew up with 12 brothers and sisters in a family that, like many others during that time, struggled to make ends meet. The coat in question is one her mother made for her out of sewing scraps, and while Dolly was made fun of at school for it, she says she wouldn’t have traded it for the world.
“My mama, she’d always say, ‘Now, don’t you say we’re poor. There’s a lot of people in worse shape than us. We’re not poor, you know, we just ain’t got a lot of stuff, but there’s a lot of stuff we do have.'”
Dolly Parton’s early life has had a huge influence on her career; after branching out from singing and acting to businesswoman when she opened Dollywood in 1961, Dolly continued to pull from her own experiences when it came time to build her empire. Even now, she takes memories from her youth and turns them into entertainment, such as the Lightning Rod ride she’ll add to her theme park next year. It will be the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster.
“Lighting Rod reminds me so much of those colorful cars cruisin’ up and down Main Street in downtown Sevierville back when I was in high school. I remember all those souped-up cars; but what I remember most were those good-lookin’ boys behind the wheel with those flat-top and ducktail haircuts,” Parton told Country Weekly.