Skip to main content

If you enjoy country music, you have likely heard the name Dolly Parton. She is a woman of many talents, from singer-songwriter to actor and businesswoman.

One of her most noteworthy qualities for years was her curvy figure and large bust. Therefore, when she interviewed with Playboy, it was noteworthy. What is surprising is that Parton’s 1978 Playboy interview proves this country legend hasn’t changed much with the passing of time. The same values and expectations she held for herself then are still there, even after all these years.

Dolly Parton: the queen of country

Parton’s first album, Hello, I’m Dolly, debuted in 1967. In the years since, she has released 52 albums. Her top songs include titles like Jolene, I Will Always Love You, 9 to 5, and Islands in the Stream with the late Kenny Rogers.

She has amassed many awards, including 11 Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and 10 Country Music Association Awards. Not only do fans love the songs she sings, but they also enjoy how personable she is. Fame and fortune are hers, but they never took away from her overall likability.

We can attribute some to her upbringing in Little Pigeon River, which is in Pittman Center, Tennessee. As a young girl, she grew up with Smoky Mountain folklore and ancient ballads that her mother would sing. The family was, in Parton’s own words, “dirt poor”, which became an inspiration for songs like Coat of Many Colors.

Parton has come a long way from that one-room shack she grew up in. However, all it has done is ensure that she is someone fans can relate to, especially since she holds her upbringing so close to her heart, even now.

Parton once got candid with Playboy

Dolly Parton performs onstage in 1978
Country legend Dolly Parton in 1978 | Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

When Parton interviewed for Playboy in 1978, she was 32. She openly responded candidly to some personal questions and talked about her appearance. Early on, she says that at first, she was concerned that Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris might put her down for the way she looked.

When Parton goes on stage, her fashion sense shocked some. She wore “gaudy rhinestone outfits, blond teased wigs, five-inch heels, and heavy make-up.” When no one said anything negative, she said, “I don’t think it takes people long to know I’m not ignorant.”

When asked why she looked so outrageous, Parton basically says, because she enjoys looking that way.

Later in the interview, Parton was asked, “When were you first attracted to gaudiness?” Parton replies, “I was always fascinated with make-up. We didn’t have any when I grew up. We weren’t allowed to wear it. But we used to have this medicine, what you call Merthiolate, that’s what I would put on my lips as a little kid. I’d paint my lips and there was nothin’ Daddy could do. He couldn’t rub it off.”

At the time of the interview, Parton had been married for 12 years to Carl Dean. Her grace and honesty shone through throughout the interview, but especially when asked, “Has sex changed for you over the years?”

To this, Parton’s reply was simple. “Sex? Yes, it gets better. The reason it gets better is because you get more mature, you’re more relaxed, you experience more things until you become more comfortable with them, and then you feel also comfortable to experience new things, totally new and different things. It takes you a while to trust somebody enough to be able to tell your fantasies.”

She then talks about being aggressive, into dangerous sex, and sleeping naked.

Parton tries to maintain her image 24/7


Dolly Parton’s Meet Cute With Husband Carl Dean Involved Him Hollering at Her at a Laundromat

At 76, Parton still prides herself on the way she looks. Parton and her husband have been together for 55 years and are still going strong. She attributes at least some of their success in marriage to the fact that she never lets him see her looking like a slouch.

In fact, she openly admits that she wears her makeup to bed each night because you, “Never know if there’s going to be an earthquake or fire or emergency in the middle of the night. I also don’t want to go to bed looking like a hag with my husband.”