Jewel's latest project, "Picking Up the Pieces," is her 12th album. This self-produced recording is a collection of what the artist calls a throwback to her first album, "Pieces of You." She says she abandoned all she had learned from the music business over the past two decades in order to achieve her goals with this album. In doing so, she called on Dolly Parton to join her on the album's first single, "My Father's Daughter."
Jewel was kind enough to talk about why she chose Dolly for the song. Much like Dolly's "Coat of Many Colors," this song is an autobiographical telling of Jewel's family and childhood. She says her unique lifestyle, growing up on a remote Alaskan homestead, is part of why she looked up to Dolly, both musically and as a role model. She said,
"I loved that Dolly always was very unapologetic about who and what she is. She was just very proud of who she was and where she came from, and that gave me a lot of courage as a young woman to say and speak my mind and to be exactly who I was and to be authentic."
In the official video, a young Jewel dances to Dolly's 1972 album, "Just the Way I Am." Fittingly, this particular song is about proudly accepting unique personality traits, especially free-spirited ones. Dolly is a big Jewel fan and has been for a long time. She said,
"I've loved Jewel from the first time I saw her and heard her. She's like a little sister to me. We have so much in common in how we grew up poor girls, how we feel about God, family and music. I am so proud of this duet with her. I think our voices blend like family. We hope you love it as much as we loved doing it."
Watch the official video of "My Father's Daughter" by Jewel (featuring Dolly Parton).
Jewel went on to talk about releasing this album along with a new book, "Never Broken," while maintaining her primary role as mother to her four-year-old son. She even offered some tips to other moms who face similar challenges when balancing family and work. She said,
"Go slow and see what works for you. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a mom that's actually going back into the workplace, both are really great and really noble things, and you have to find what works for you and what works for your family."
Most Dolly fans are aware of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which is a book gifting program that has sent over 72 million free books to children in four countries. The program is active in Telluride, CO, where Jewel and her son live. It is also present in Homer, AK, near her family’s homestead, the setting of the Discovery Channel’s "Alaska: The Last Frontier." Jewel says the Imagination Library is wonderful and even talks about the importance books have played in her music and songwriting. She shared,
"As a young child it meant the world to me to be able to escape into books, and I learned everything I know about writing from books, by reading great authors."
"Coat of Many Colors," originally released in 1971, was the first of Dolly’s songs Jewel remembers hearing. She says it resonated with her because of her own humble upbringing. Knowing NBC plans to release the film version of the song this December and more movies based on Dolly's music in 2016, Jewel says, if given the chance, she would like to play Jolene!
With the release of "My Father's Daughter," Jewel joins a long and distinguished list of Dolly's duet partners. Surely, she found gold while picking up the pieces.
Recording with Dolly
"Raising my son is like writing a song that lasts forever." --Jewel
The first time she heard Dolly
Jewel on achieving success in multiple musical genres
One of the highlights of Dolly’s 42nd album 'Blue Smoke' is the duet 'You Can’t Make Old Friends,' recorded with one of her most beloved singing partners Kenny Rogers. The song is a poignant reflection of enduring friendship.
Rogers said of this, his first duet with Dolly since 1985’s 'Real Love,'
“We really are those kind of friends, where you can't make old friends. Dolly knows me like a book, and I know her like a book. So this is the perfect idea for a song for us."
The song was nominated for a 2014 GRAMMY Award in the Best Country Duo/Group Performance category. This was the third GRAMMY-nominated collaboration for Dolly and Kenny! Other nominated collaborations include 'Islands in the Stream' and 'Real Love.'
LuLu Roman, known throughout the world as one of the most beloved stars of the long-running show "Hee Haw," teamed up with Dolly for a new version of Dolly’s classic, "I Will Always Love You."
The new version, which appears on LuLu’s 2013 album, "At Last" brings two friends of over 40 years back together.
LuLu said of the collaboration,
“Well, going into the studio this time was a great time. It really was. Dolly is just this, ‘What you see is what you get!’ Dolly is Dolly. She just lights up the room and lights up the attitudes. She’s just absolutely precious.”
Dolly was thrilled to hear the results,
"I have known and loved LuLu since the days of 'Hee Haw.' I have always known she was a great singer; but I did not know how great until she did this album. Hearing her sing my song "I Will Always Love You" gave me the chills. And being able to sing with her on it really got the goose bumps going. I am so proud of her. Hope you enjoy our version of the song."
The song "I will Always Love You" was written by Dolly in 1973 for her early singing partner Porter Wagoner and originally appeared on her 1974 album "Jolene." Possibly the most famous version of the song was recorded by the late Whitney Houston on the soundtrack for the movie "The Bodyguard" released in 1992. Another version of the song is on the soundtrack as well - a musical version by Jon Doe. Linda Ronstadt also did a cover of the song on her 1975 album "Prisoner in Disguise."
Dolly sang and co-wrote the duet "The Right Time" with her friend Billy Ray Cyrus (and Morris Tancredi) on the 2010 debut album "Brother Clyde," the name taken after Cyrus’ alternative rock band of the same name. Allmusic.com reviewer Thom Jurek said of the track,
"The Right Time" is the first glance toward country, but only because Dolly Parton co-wrote and appears on it. A roots rocker, she rises to the band's intensity and helps deliver one of the best cuts here.”
Cyrus really got the most from Dolly in their hard-driving collaboration.
"Dolly, she said she wanted to rock... She came to my studio, brought homemade corn, mashed potatoes and a spread of country cooking. We ate, played guitar for an hour then she just kicked ass. She became like Tina Turner. You could tell she really wanted this."
The album was released on Aug. 10, 2010.
Dolly contributed vocal harmony to the 2005 Brad Paisley song 'When I Get Where I'm Going,' written by George Teren and Rivers Rutherford.
The touching music video features individuals with photographs of their loved ones. It won Video of the Year at the Academy of Country Music (ACM) awards and the song won Vocal Event of the Year.
Dolly wrote a letter to the songwriters,
“I want to thank you and congratulate you for one of the greatest songs that I have ever heard and certainly one of the best songs that I've had the good fortune to sing on in my whole career. I hear nothing but great comments on it. I just lost a dear friend, and they played it at his funeral. It was his favorite song ever. But all of my living friends love it, too... I truly am as proud to have been a part of that [song] as anything I've ever done in my whole life.”
Paisley also chose the collaboration with Dolly, based on the recent loss of his aunt to cancer,
“Her voice is angelic and that takes it to a more spiritual realm instantly... and my aunt loved her and thought she was great."
The song was the second single released from Paisley’s "Time Well Wasted" album. "When I Get Where I'm Going" topped the Billboard Hot Country singles chart and landed at No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100.