My Life

Dolly’s Touching Goodbye To Her Beloved Uncle Bill Owens

Published April 7, 2021 / Last Updated April 7, 2021

Dolly pens a heartwarming farewell for her Uncle Bill Owens upon his passing.

Billy Earl Owens: Sept. 28, 1935-April 7, 2021

I’ve lost my beloved Uncle Bill Owens. I knew my heart would break when he passed, and it did. I’ll start this eulogy by saying I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t been there. He was there… there in my young years to encourage me to keep playing my guitar, to keep writing my songs, to keep practicing my singing. And he was there to help build my confidence standing on stage where he was always standing behind me or close beside me with his big ol’ red Gretsch guitar.

He was there to take me around to all of the local shows, got me my first job on the “Cas Walker Show.” He took me back-&-forth to Nashville through the years, walked up-&-down the streets with me, knocking on doors to get me signed up to labels or publishing companies.

It’s really hard to say or to know for sure what all you owe somebody for your success. But I can tell you for sure that I owe Uncle Billy an awful lot.

Uncle Bill was so many things. He loved the music, loved to play, loved his guitar and loved to write and sing. He wrote great songs, at least 800 of them through the years. We wrote several songs together, the biggest one being “Put It Off Until Tomorrow.” We won our first big award on that one back in 1966. It was the BMI Song of the Year.

He wrote songs that were recorded by Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagoner, Ricky Skaggs, Kris Kristofferson and many others. He also traveled the road with many big artists playing his guitar, including playing on stage with me in my early years in Nashville.

Uncle Bill worked at Dollywood from the time we opened in the family show for many years. He was funny, friendly and generous. He always had a kind word for everybody and gave good advice to young people starting in the business. He joined forces with Dollywood, The American Chestnut Foundation, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and The American Eagle Foundation to bring back the endangered chestnut tree to the Great Smoky Mountain area. That was his passion. He also championed the cause of protecting the natural environment at Dollywood in 1986. During that time, he took it upon himself, with his wife Sandy, to plant 70,000 trees on the Park property.

I bet a lot of our own relatives don’t even know all of the great things that Uncle Bill did behind the scenes through his life. But the greatest thing he ever did for me was to help me see my dreams come true and for that I will be forever grateful. I’m sure that Uncle Bill’s friends, fans, his wife Sandy, his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids will join me when I say that we will always love you. Rest in peace, Uncle Bill.

Michael MartinDolly’s Touching Goodbye To Her Beloved Uncle Bill Owens

Dolly Parton’s Favorite Birthday

Published January 19, 2016 / Last Updated January 19, 2016

Dolly shares why turning 18 and moving to Nashville takes the cake for favorite birthday memory.

From an early age, Dolly knew she wanted to become a star. As a teenager in East Tennessee, she could hardly wait until she was old enough to leave home and move to Nashville, TN.

Before she turned 18, Dolly pursued her dreams in Music City part-time with her Uncle Bill Owens. The two had a publishing contract, and Dolly had released two songs on Mercury Records, but she knew she wanted to be there full-time. She counted down the days until she could make her big move. Dolly said,

“Probably the best birthday I ever had was when I turned 18, because I had been traveling back and forth to Nashville all those years before, and I knew my Daddy would send a posse after me if I left before I was 18.”


Michael MartinDolly Parton’s Favorite Birthday

Dolly’s Dream Box

Published April 2, 2014 / Last Updated October 17, 2015
Managing Editor at Dolly Parton Productions
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Dolly Parton Productions

Contents of Dolly’s Dream Box for Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort revealed

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort was driven by Dolly’s dream to create a place where families can reconnect. To honor her dreams and the people who made them possible, Dolly created a Dream Box which will remain locked until 2045. Visiting families can see Dolly’s Dream Box on display at the resort.

“My resort is a dream 30 years in the making, and the items I picked for my Dream Box are closely tied to special people who encouraged me and certain events in my life where that encouragement paid off,”

said Dolly.

Dolly’s Dream Box contains:

  1. A copy of her 2012 book “Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You” which expands on the popular 2009 commencement speech that Dolly delivered at the University of Tennessee.
  2. A piece of wood from Dolly’s Tennessee Mountain Home’s front porch, a favorite gathering spot for her family and where she sang as a child growing up in the Smoky Mountains.
  3. A song written by Dolly for the future to be released in 2045 that shares her hopes and dreams for the future.
  4. A sealed mystery box made of chestnut, the contents of which are known only to Dolly and are to remain unopened until 2045. The box honors Dolly’s Uncle Bill Owens who, early on, recognized his niece’s talents and helped her career take flight. Owens’ work with the American Chestnut Foundation helped develop a blight-resistant American chestnut tree, restoring it to the woodlands of the Eastern U.S.
Dolly Parton ProductionsDolly’s Dream Box

Dolly dedicates the Uncle Bill Owens room at Dollywood

Published March 23, 2013 / Last Updated April 7, 2021

Dolly honors one of her longest and most beloved supporters, her Uncle Bill Owens with the Uncle Bill room in her Chasing Rainbows Museum

Dolly credits her Uncle Bill Owens with being one of her earliest supporters and one of the biggest reasons she reached for her childhood dreams. On March 23, 2013, she dedicated a section of her Chasing Rainbows Museum at Dollywood in honor of Uncle Bill and everything he has done for her. The room features pictures, songs, her very first single and, occasionally, Uncle Bill himself!

The Dollywood CompanyDolly dedicates the Uncle Bill Owens room at Dollywood

‘Honky Tonk Angels’

Published November 2, 1993 / Last Updated August 23, 2015
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly records ‘Honky Tonk Angels’ with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette

In 1993, Dolly collaborated with fellow country music legends Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette to release the album “Honky Tonk Angels.” The album appeared on the Columbia Nashville Label. Dolly co-produced the recording with Steve Buckingham.

“Honky Tonk Angels” is mostly comprised of country standards. It also features songs like Dolly’s original tune “Let Her Fly and “Put it off Until Tomorrow” by Dolly and Bill Owens. Both Lynn and Wynette pinned songs on the album as well.

The song, “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Vocal Collaboration. It also earned a CMA Award nomination for Vocal Event of the Year.

The album reached No. 6 on the Billboard Country Album chart and No. 42 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Team Dolly‘Honky Tonk Angels’