This is Dolly Parton. Her story is probably the most inspiring in country music history.
Born into real poverty, she had looks, talent and brains (first in her family to graduate high school) and more than that an incredible desire to succeed.
When she arrived in Nashville, women were show-biz ornaments and add-ons and as such she began a professional involvement with Porter Waggoner. His conduct (and her strength during their professional breakup) is the stuff of legends. One career going up, the other sliding down. A Star is Born, country-style.
Do you know about country music lyrics? They’re either so bad they’re funny or so good they speak directly to you and have real emotional power. Because of people like Dolly Parton (and Kris Kristofferson and Rodney Crowell) country music is a thousand times better than it was 40 years ago. I haven’t met many people in my life who could have combined talent and clarity at such a young age, put pen to paper and composed “I Will Always Love You.” She wrote it at age 27, and according to Parton she wrote it for Waggoner. The Whitney Houston version is among the top-selling recordings of all-time. Thanks, Porter.
I’ve been thinking about the Oilers and “clarity” lately. They look a little shy in this area, they’re definitely on the Porter Waggoner side of the universe. We’ve talked many times since the lockout Stanley run about “balance” and huge holes in the roster. We’ve compared the current Oilers to the old-timey Expos who insisted on playing Hubie Brooks at SS whilst wasting the CF at-bats.
There is some evidence now that Craig MacTavish is locked and loaded for 08-09. He’s stopped using Jason Strudwick as a defenseman, the goalie situation is calm and decided, the PP seems to have some hop and the PK some direction. The Oilers need to go on a roll pdq, in fact rfn. Among the very best indicators is that coach MacTavish has sussed out the roster and knows who he can count on.
Good news for some, bad for others. If they can beat Nashville tonight the Oilers will be in the middle of a very nice run with winnable games straight ahead. If they can’t win tonight, they’re back to porridge, back to zero clarity, back to bad lyrics, back to the Carroll County Accident.