Coy Parton was born in 1943 in Sevier County, Tennessee, to Robert and Avie Lee Parton. He is one of 12 children born to the couple and the second eldest of six boys. Growing up, the Parton family lived in a small cabin near the Great Smoky Mountains and had very little money. Despite their difficult circumstances, the family remained close and developed a strong bond of love and support. Coy Parton never pursued a career in show business like his younger sister, Dolly Parton, but he has kept his life private.
His Sister, Dolly Rebecca Parton
Dolly Rebecca Parton was born in Pittman Center, Tennessee on January 19, 1946, to Avie Lee Caroline and Robert Lee Parton Sr. as the fourth of twelve children. Parton’s father worked in the East Tennessee mountains and her mother entertained the children with Smoky Mountain folklore. At eight, Parton’s uncle bought her a guitar and at ten she was appearing on The Cas Walker Show. At thirteen, she recorded her first single “Puppy Love” on Goldband Records and at nineteen she signed with Monument Records and released her first country single, “Dumb Blonde” in 1967. This led to her first full-length album, Hello, I’m Dolly.
In 1967, Porter Wagoner invited Dolly Parton to join his organization, which included a regular spot on his weekly syndicated television program and in his road show. Parton’s first single as a duet with Wagoner was released in 1967 and was a moderate chart hit. With Wagoner’s assistance, Parton was eventually accepted by RCA Victor and in 1970, both Parton and Wagoner had grown frustrated by her lack of solo chart success. Parton had numerous solo hits and duets over the next few years, including her signature song “Coat of Many Colors” (number four, 1971), “Jolene” (number one, 1974) and “I Will Always Love You” (number one, 1974). In 1975, Parton topped the singles chart with “The Bargain Store”.
She also hosted an NBC special The Seventies: An Explosion of Country Music and was the first artist to have a number one single on both the country and pop charts simultaneously with the theme song to the 1980 feature film 9 to 5. Her 1987 album Trio revitalized her music career and she went on to release a series of bluegrass-inspired albums, beginning with The Grass Is Blue. In 2005, Parton earned her second Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for “Travelin’ Thru”. In 2011 she released the album Better Day and embarked on the Pure & Simple Tour. In 2014, she released her 42nd studio album, Blue Smoke, and in 2020 she released the album I Believe In You.
Dolly Parton is a music industry icon with 25 RIAA certified records, 26 No. 1 singles, 110 career-charted singles, 42 Top 10 albums, 11 Grammy Awards, and 50 Grammy Award nominations. In addition, she has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is a Grand Ole Opry inductee. She has also been honored with the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award, the National Medal of Arts, the Kennedy Center Honors, the Liseberg Applause Award, and a new species of lichen named Japewiella Dollypartoniana. Most recently, Parton was recognized with the Grammy Award, Time 100, and the $100-million Courage and Civility Award from Jeff Bezos.