ANALOG TO DIGITAL: THE OTHER PARTON
I spent some time this weekend browsing a record store I'd previously underrated--Lincoln Square's Laurie's Planet Of Sound--while hanging out with some old college friends. Browsing the country section I came across two albums by Stella Parton, the younger sister I never knew Dolly Parton had. Turns out she had a low-key country career in the late-'70s, scoring a couple of country hits but never quite emerging from her sister's shadow despite an appearance on The Dukes Of Hazzard. Today she enjoys a gospel career, which you can read all about at her website.
I Want To Hold You In My Dreams is her first non-gospel album and it's not bad, either. Released on her own Country Soul label, it features a number of original compositions sung in a pleasant voice that sounds more than a little like her sisters. And that's probably why I never heard of Stella Parton. There's plenty here to like but nothing that her sister doesn't do better. (And am I wrong or is that Dolly in the background on some of these songs?)
But, putting Dolly aside, this is worth a listen. The title track--the hit--is achingly sincere (I'm a sucker for a good spoken-word passage) and there's an odd little song about Olivia Newton John called "Ode To Olivia," defending her against country purists who didn't like the Australian's inroads into "their" music. And you have to have respect for anyone who cuts a song called "Long Legged Truck Drivers," a raucous declaration of tha narrator's inability not to give it up for any trucker that passes her way.