BMI's "Million-Air" certificates recognize songs that have reached over one million broadcast performances, and Dolly Parton has seven songs with over 22 million cumulative performances. Additionally, USA TODAY included Dolly Parton in their Women of the Century, a list of 100 women who've "made a substantial impact on our country or our lives over the past 100 years."
In a special presentation via Zoom, Mike O’Neill, BMI’s President and CEO, along with Billboard Magazine, awarded Dolly Parton certificates for seven of her iconic hits. “I Will Always Love You” logged a staggering 10 million performances to date, ranking it in the top 30 of BMI’s most-performed songs of all time. Also included were “Nine to Five" (5 million performances), “Jolene” 2 million), and “Two Doors Down” (2 million). “Seeker,” “Yellow Roses,” and “Coat of Many Colors” all received certificates for the 1 million mark. On the BMI website, O'Neill said,
“Dolly’s career is extraordinary. She is, of course, an incredible performer, actor, philanthropist and businessperson, but for us, it all starts with her songwriting. She tells stories in her songs like no one else can, transcending genres and connecting with her millions of fans. Dolly’s lyrics and music, authenticity, strength, and humor are all extraordinary gifts she has shared with the world.”
USA TODAY is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment by assembling a list of 100 women who've "made a substantial impact on our country or our lives over the past 100 years." Dolly Parton is among these influential, trailblazing American women. Dolly told USA TODAY,
"But you can't dream at someone else's expense. You've got to get out there, make those dreams come true. You've got to be the one to sacrifice what you need, to lean on who all will help you. You've got to get out there and put legs on them, wings on them, feet on them, hands on them, fingers. You've got to get out there and work it."
Photo Credit: JB Rowland
After hearing Dolly sing on the demo, for "Put It Off Until Tomorrow," Bill Phillips requested she sing harmony with him on the track. Her backup vocals gained a lot of attention from disc jockeys around the country.
Listen to a free preview of Dolly singing "Put It Off Until Tomorrow" via SoundCloud
After years of hard work and determination, Dolly and her Uncle Bill were beginning to see that hard work pay off with publishing success and chart-topping singles. "Put It Off Until Tomorrow" rose to No. 6 on the US country charts and was named BMI’s Song of the Year, in 1966. Naturally, Dolly and Bill were excited and encouraged by the success and the award show attention. Dolly said,
"Uncle Bill and I were so excited about going to the big ceremony to accept our awards. After all, this was the first of our songs to be recorded by a major artist. To have it recognized in that way by all of those established songwriters was a huge confidence builder for both of us."
Phillips also recorded "The Company You Keep," another song written by Dolly and Uncle Bill Owens, which went to No. 8 on the US country charts.