How Dolly Parton Felt About Her in-Laws

Article Highlights:

  • What Dolly Parton thought of her in-laws.
  • The song the Queen of Country wrote with her mother-in-law.
  • Parton’s husband, Carl Dean, brought her to his mother’s house on their first date.
a close-up of Dolly Parton in 1972.
Dolly Parton in 1972 | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Dolly Parton met her mother-in-law on her first-ever date with her husband of 55 years Carl Dean. From that moment on, the two got along. The Queen of Country adored her in-laws. In fact, she even recorded a song with her MIL so they could share something special together.

What Dolly Parton thought of her in-laws

Parton is not someone who hated her in-laws.

“A lot of people say, ‘I don’t like my in-laws,'” she wrote in her 2020 book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics. “Well, I loved mine. I loved my husband’s mother. She was very sweet, and we were like best friends. Her name was Virginia, but everyone called her Ginny. Carl’s mother was very religious. She was in church every Wednesday night and every Sunday morning.”

Dean’s father’s name was Edgar Henry, but everybody called him Big Ed.

“The Deans were Church of Christ people,” wrote Parton. “They don’t believe in having instruments in their church; they just use their voices. Ginny had this big, beautiful, ‘church’ kind of voice. Very proper. It sounded totally different from our ‘Holy Roller’ church back home.”

‘Lord Hold My Hand’

RELATED: The Only Reason Dolly Parton Would ‘Pull Back’ From Her Career

One day, Parton decided she wanted to do something special for the Deans.

“[Ginny] was writing this song called ‘God Hold My Hand,'” wrote Parton. “I loved her to death, and she knew I was in the music business. I thought, ‘This would be a good way for the two of us to get together. We can write this song, and I can put it on an album.'”

The song came out on the LP Golden Streets of Glory in 1971. To this day, Parton thinks of the song fondly thanks to her collaboration with her husband’s mother.

“I wanted to do it for Carl,” she wrote. “I wanted to do it for all of the Deans, so that they could feel proud of it. The fact that I have a song with Ginney Dean, my mother-in-law, makes me feel good. She’s long passed away now, but I got to pay tribute to her with that.”

Carl Dean took Dolly Parton to meet his mother on their first date

RELATED: Dolly Parton Once Answered if ‘Dolly’ Is Really Her Name

Parton met Dean on her first day in Nashville. She went to go walk around outside while she was waiting for her clothes to wash at the local laundromat. Driving down the street was none other than Dean. He hollered over to her and the two got to talking. He asked her out but she initially turned him down. Not wanting to move too fast, she told him he could help her babysit the following afternoon. He agreed and the pair had a great time. After that went well, Parton told Dean she’d go out with him. On that very first date, he took her to go meet his mother. From then on, the “9 to 5” singer knew her future husband was a “mama’s boy.”