A Way To Make A Living - The Dolly Parton Songbook Various Artists (Songwriter Series)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDTOP 1626

Name any recording that you immediately associate with Country music legend Dolly Parton and there’s a better than average chance that she not only sang it, she wrote it too. Dolly has been recording regularly since the mid-60s and almost every major hit she has ever had (and quite a few minor ones too) she wrote or co-wrote.

 Somehow this important component of her overall musical skillset is all too frequently overlooked by the public at large, who know Dolly for her luminous public image and gregarious personality without necessarily realising that she is also a brilliant songwriter.

Dolly Parton wrote hit songs for other artists before she really had any hit records of her own. The ink in her pen has never gone dry and although she’s not as prolific as she once was, she still writes songs – these days mostly for herself – that other artists are happy to record.  A generous sampling of her best work from more than half a century of song-writing is collected here in Ace’s latest instalment of our long-running and highly-regarded ‘Songwriter Series’.

It would have been easy to fill this compilation with covers of her songs by Dolly’s country peers but, as can be seen from the track listing, her work has been embraced by a variety of artists – from Percy Sledge to Nana Mouskouri to Tina Turner to the Incredible String Band – and across a variety of genres. The versions used here have been selected to demonstrate the breadth of Dolly’s catalogue and to show how comfortably her songs fit any artist who chooses to cut them.

As always, our CD booklet overflows with rare images and a generously-worded track-by-track annotation by our legendary compiler and scribe Tony Rounce.

Dolly remains an iconic artist and her popularity remains undiminished as she edges towards her 80th birthday. It’s to be hoped that Ace’s sincere salute to her words and music will help to ensure that they preserve a formidable musical legacy.


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview 9 To 5 - Dolly Parton

  • 02 Preview Nickels And Dimes - Buck Owens

  • 03 Preview Here I Am - Percy Sledge

  • 04 Preview In The Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad) - The Everly Brothers

  • 05 Preview Two Doors Down - Zella Lehr

  • 06 Preview My Blue Tears - The Incredible String Band

  • 07 Preview Down From Dover - Sally Timms & Jon Langford

  • 08 Preview Touch Your Woman - Margie Joseph

  • 09 Preview Kentucky Gambler - Merle Haggard & The Strangers

  • 10 Preview Coat Of Many Colors - Emmylou Harris

  • 11 Preview Light Of A Clear Blue Morning - Glen Campbell

  • 12 Preview Don't Let It Trouble Your Mind - Rhiannon Giddens

  • 13 Preview Do I Ever Cross Your Mind - Chet Atkins featuring Dolly Parton

  • 14 Preview I Will Always Love You - Linda Ronstadt

  • 15 Preview I Lived So Fast And Hard - Porter Wagoner

  • 16 Preview Jolene (Live 'Under Great White Northern Lights' version) - The White Stripes

  • 17 Preview My Tennessee Mountain Home - Maria Muldaur

  • 18 Preview Little Sparrow - Bettye LaVette

  • 19 Preview Put It Off Until Tomorrow - Bill Phillips

  • 20 Preview Most Of All Why - Holly Dunn

  • 21 Preview I'm In No Condition - Hank Williams Jr.

  • 22 Preview Love Is Like A Butterfly - Nana Mouskouri

  • 23 Preview With Bells On - Ru Paul featuring Michelle Visage

  • 24 Preview There'll Always Be Music - Tina Turner

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