East Tennessee native Dolly Parton is the focus of an upcoming podcast series by former Nashville resident Jad Abumrad, who co-hosts the popular public radio series Radiolab with Robert Krulwich. Titled Dolly Parton’s America, the nine-part series arrives this fall and looks at what Parton’s storybook life reveals about the country itself.
In a Twitter post teasing the upcoming series, Abumrad writes, “She’s been called the “Great Unifier” for her rare ability to bring people together across divides. What does @DollyParton’s story tell us about America? I’ve been going back home to Nashville to figure it out.” He explains that the term “Great Unifier” originated with writer Sarah Smarsh’s year-long, four-part series on Parton for No Depression in 2017. The Peabody Award-winning Radiolab, which officially began in 2005, originates from WNYC Studios in New York and airs on nearly 600 radio stations across the country.
1/ CHECK IT! She’s been called the “Great Unifier”* for her rare ability to bring people together across divides. What does @DollyParton's story tell us about America? I’ve been going back home to Nashvlle to figure it out. “Dolly Parton’s America,” 9-part pod series, this fall. pic.twitter.com/thYQbxnA1z
— Jad Abumrad (@JadAbumrad) August 1, 2019
Parton recently pulled off an emotionally charged surprise appearance at the Newport Folk Festival, joining the Highwomen — Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby, and Maren Morris — and songwriter Linda Perry onstage for collaborative renditions of her songs “Eagle When She Flies,” “Just Because I’m a Woman,” “I Will Always Love You,” “Jolene” and the show-closing “9 to 5.”
An official premiere date has yet to been announced for Dolly Parton’s America, but the global entertainment legend will also be hitting Netflix screens later this year with an eight-part series of films based on a handful of her songs. According to a February story from the Hollywood Reporter, the episodes include “These Old Bones” (a track from 2002’s Halos and Horns), which co-stars Kathleen Turner and Ginnifer Godwin, “Jolene,” featuring Parton, Julianne Hough, and Kimberly Williams-Paisley, plus additional episodes based on “Two Doors Down” and the emotional “Down from Dover.”
Parton will also be appearing in Hallmark’s Christmas at Dollywood film this holiday season.