For Their First Date, Dolly Parton’s Husband Took Her to a Place We’ve All Been to

Dolly Parton is a singer, songwriter, actor, and author. She’s been in the business for over 50 years and is one of the most popular and recognizable singers on the planet. But someone who we almost never see is the Queen of Country‘s husband, Carl Dean.

Although Dean isn’t in the spotlight, Parton still mentions her hubby and shares stories about their relationship often. One story the “Jolene” artist has told before is about where they went on their first date. The spot Dean took the star to is a place you’ve likely been to before as well. Here’s where they went then and where they still like to go on date night.

Dolly Parton in an orange outfit at the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards
Dolly Parton in an orange outfit at the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Dolly Parton’s husband dislikes being in the spotlight

Dean has been married to Parton for more than half a century but many of Parton’s fans have never seen him. That’s because even before Parton became a household name, Dean told her that he had no interest in fame or being in front of the camera. Many have noted that he doesn’t accompany her to award shows but according to the Daily Mail, he did one time the year they were married. The publication reported that he joined her for an event in 1966, and on the drive home told his wife: “Dolly, I want you to have everything you want, and I’m happy for you, but don’t you ever ask me to go to another one of them dang things again!”

After that night, Dean has only appeared alongside Parton in public a handful of times.

“I’ve always respected and appreciated that in him and I’ve always tried to keep him out of the limelight as much as I can,” the singer stated during a chat with Entertainment Tonight in 2020.  

RELATED: Dolly Parton ‘Cried All Night’ After Refusing Elvis Presley’s Demand When He Wanted to Meet Her

Where Dean took Parton on their first date

But just because Dean isn’t in the spotlight doesn’t mean Parton shies away from talking about their relationship. She recalled meeting him outside the Wishy Washy laundromat when she moved to Nashville, telling CMT‘s Cody Alan: “He was coming home from work one afternoon in 1964… I had left a boyfriend at home, thinking the last thing I want to do is get hooked up with a man.”

But when Dean asked her out, Parton accepted and they went out to eat on their first date. “He wanted to take me out to dinner,” she said. “He pulled up to the drive-in window and got our food at McDonald’s.”

Yep, Parton and Dean kept it simple and went to the same fast food chain that has served “billions and billions” of hamburgers to people around the world.

They have another spot go-to for date nights

Parton and Dean enjoy going to another fast-food spot on date night as well. During an interview with SiriusXM host Andy Cohen a few years back, Parton said they really like Taco Bell too.

“I love their tacos. They also have little pizzas that I love,” she said (per Taste of Country). “Carl and I have a little camper, a little RV, and we’re always driving through fast food restaurants to get our stuff. That’s one of the things we do.”

Parton also revealed whether she gets recognized while picking up their food and admitted there is one thing she can’t stand that happens sometimes after ordering. “Sometimes they know me, sometimes they don’t. I usually wear my hair up in a scrunchie and a little bit of makeup. I don’t look like I’m going on stage,” she told Cohen. “Sometimes I sign autographs on napkins. I don’t mind any of that, but I really get mad if they mess up my order.”