Dolly Parton Thought She Offended Bob Dylan When They Met

It’s hard to imagine someone not being charmed by Dolly Parton, but she doesn’t think Bob Dylan is her biggest fan. The two musicians have crossed paths several times, but Parton explained that she never felt that he liked her very much. She explained that she even thought she had done something to offend him. Parton has covered Dylan’s music and once considered recording an album of his songs. She’s since said that she doubts she’ll actually do this. 

Dolly Parton wears a white dress and stands with her hands on her hips. Bob Dylan wears a bolo tie and stands with one hand on his hip.
Dolly Parton and Bob Dylan | Jason Kempin/Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Dolly Parton once commented on Bob Dylan’s conversion to Christianity

In the late 1970s, Dylan, who was raised Jewish, converted to Christianity. 

“Jesus put his hand on me. It was a physical thing. I felt it. I felt it all over me,” he said, per the Independent, adding, “I felt my whole body tremble. The glory of the Lord knocked me down and picked me up.”

Parton has always been open about her spirituality and commented on Dylan’s embrace of religion. An interviewer with Playgirl asked Parton if she thought Dylan’s conversion meant that there would be some kind of religious revival. She agreed, noting “whether it’s with Dylan or the thing that made him start thinking that way,” she said. “I do think there is definitely goin’ to be a big revival as far as religion goes. I know the Bible real well. And the Bible speaks of it in the latter days.”

She wondered if she offended him when they first met

Dylan and Parton were some of the biggest musicians of their time, so they crossed paths on more than one occasion. Whenever they met, Parton didn’t get the sense that Dylan liked her.

“I’ve met him a few times but I never felt any warmth from him to me,” she told the Daily Mail. “I think I have offended him somehow by the way I looked or the way I was. I love his music but he’s a weird buckaroo.”

Despite his coldness toward her, Parton still liked his music enough that she wanted to record an album of covers. She invited him to join her on a cover of “Blowin’ in the Wind,” but he declined.

“To be fair, I didn’t actually speak to him personally,” Parton told the Irish Examiner in 2005. “I’d sent a message to him because I wanted him to say at least one line on ‘Blowin’ In The Wind.’ I got the message back that he didn’t want to do it, so I got Nickel Creek … to sing on it, so, in a way, it worked out better. I was going to do a whole album of his [songs] and I was going to call it Dolly Does Dylan. Now I’m having second thoughts.”

Dolly Parton has covered Bob Dylan’s music

Though an entire album of Dylan covers may not be in her future, she has covered three of his songs, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.” She joked that her cover of the latter makes it sound like she had an affair with Dylan.

“It does sound like I dated and dumped him!” she told Maclean’s. “I’m gonna use that in my next stage show! No, me and Bob didn’t date, but I always say I’m going to do a whole album of Bob Dylan songs called Dolly Does Dylan.”

Parton’s always taking on new projects, so a future release of Dolly Does Dylan still isn’t entirely out of the question.

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