When you think of legendary country singers the name Dolly Parton has to come quickly to mind. Her award-winning career has spanned more than fifty years, including 41 top ten albums and 25 songs that have reached the top spot on the country charts. Even with all of that success, Parton felt there was something else that she needed to accomplish and so her very first children's album, I Believe In You is now available.
While Parton (married for 51 years to Carl Dean) made a conscious decision decades ago not to have children of her own, her love for them is apparent. She was raised in a large family and helped care for her eight younger brothers and sisters. She is also now happily involved in the lives of her nieces and nephews but still felt the need to provide a bit of guidance to other children as well.
Parton spoke with Rolling Stone recently about how this album came together saying,
"I have so many nieces and nephews, so many friends, all my band members, all the people that work for me, and all their little kids. I'm surrounded by kids, and they all love me. They think I'm Mother Goose or Cinderella, or one of those old exaggerated cartoon characters, so they love to play with me. I'm kinda like just their playmate. On all my properties, since I love children so much and I'm so involved with family, I have treehouses. I have the fantasy playhouses, the fairy princess house outdoors. When I was writing a lot of these songs, I would go up to the treehouse, or in the playhouses, and I would remember things that we talked about, certain little personalities, different ones of the kids'. I would write some songs thinking how they would relate to it. Or what I wanted to teach them, what I wanted them to know. I would write songs based on little things that I would pick up from them."
Aside from the obvious good here, music that is sure to inspire children, all of the proceeds from the sale of this project will benefit Parton's Imagination Library. It's an amazing organization that she founded 20 years ago in her hometown of Sevierville, Tenn.. It aims to help foster a love of reading in preschool children by mailing them a new book every month from the time they are born. In 2000, the program expanded throughout the U.S. and is now in place in the U.K., and Canada as well. More than a million children are currently receiving a new book each month thanks to Parton's Imagination Library!