Personnel: Dolly Parton (vocals, banjo, hand claps, background vocals); Glenn Baxter (vocals, trumpet); Stephanie Spruill (vocals, tambourine, background vocals); Anita Ball (vocals, hand claps, background vocals); Richard Dennison, Lea Jane Berinati, Denise Maynelli (vocals, background vocals); Dolores Edgin, June Page, Sonja Montgomery, Jennifer O'Brian, Jennifer O'Brien Enoch, Debbie Jo Puckett, Christ Church Pentecostal Choir, Howard Smith , Delores Edgin, Janie Fricke, Anita Carter, Porter Wagoner, Lea Jane Singers, Vicki Hampton, Bill Phillips, Joe Babcock (vocals); Ricky Skaggs (guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, triangle); Reggie Young (guitar, electric guitar); Dean Parks (guitar, banjo, alto flute, synthesizer); Herb Pedersen (guitar, banjo, background vocals); Bobby Thompson , Buck Trent (guitar, banjo); Steve Gibson (guitar, mandolin); David Lindley (guitar, fiddle); Maurice Gibb (guitar, synthesizer); Jeff Baxter (guitar, vocoder); Chip Young, Pete Bordonali, Billy Joe Walker, Jr., Jimmy Colvard, Dave Kirby, Odell Martin, David Wolfert, Martin K. Walsh, Fred Carter, Jr., George W. McCormick, George Terry, Tom Rutledge, Bruce Osbon, Steven A. Gibson, Rod Smarr, Harold Bradley, Steve Watson, Hugh McCracken, Jay Graydon, Jerry Kennedy, Jerry Reed, Jimmy Capps, Kelso Herston, Albert Lee , Little Billy Earl, Mark Casstevens, Marty Walsh, Paul Yandell, Ron Elliott, Steve Cropper, Vince Gill, Wayne Moss, Barry Gibb, John Pell, Fred Tackett, Billy Sanford, Bruce Watkins, Kent Wells, John Goux, Tim Renwick , Jerry Shook, Dale Sellers, Ben Benay, Michael Severs, Craig Hull, Howard "Buzz" Feiten (guitar); Mac McAnally (acoustic guitar); Joe McGuffee (steel guitar, dobro); John Bidasio, Jimmy Crawford , Al Perkins , Lloyd Green, Paul Franklin , Pete Drake, Sonny Garrish, John Hughey, Stuart Basore (steel guitar); Don Warden (dobro, background vocals); Larry McNeely, Sonny Osborne, Vic Jordan, Bla Fleck (banjo); Gregg Perry (dulcimer, piano, keyboards, synthesizer, tambourine, typewriter, background vocals); Alisa Jones Wall (hammer dulcimer); Mary Hoephinger, Dorothy Remsen (harp); Gove Scrivenor (autoharp); Jimmy Mattingly (mandolin, fiddle); David Grisman (mandolin); Johnny Gimble, Mack Magaha, Stuart Duncan, Buddy Spicher (fiddle); The Nashville String Machine (strings); Larry Andrew Williams (flute, tenor saxophone); Charlie McCoy (harmonica, vibraphone); Terry McMillan (harmonica, percussion); Tommy Morgan (harmonica); Nick DeCaro (accordion, synthesizer, background vocals); Joey Miskulin (accordion); Dewayne Pigg, Earl Dumler (English horn); Tom Saviano, Tom Scott (saxophone, horns); Boots Randolph (saxophone); Kim Hutchcroft (baritone saxophone); Don Sheffield, Danny Davis , William K. McElhiney, Jerry Hey, Steve Madaio (trumpet); William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach Jr. (trombone); Chuck Findley, Dick Hyde, Gary Grant, Gary Herbig, George Bohanon, Neal Bonsanti, Pete Graves and His Bunkhouse Buddies, Jim Horn, Whit Sidener, Kenneth Faulk (horns); David Briggs (piano, harpsichord); Hargus "Pig" Robbins (piano, organ, keyboards); Jerry Lee Smith (piano, organ); David Huntsinger, Gary E. Smith, Mitch Humphries (piano, keyboards); Albhy Galuten, George Bitzer (piano, synthesizer); Paul Hollowell, Bob Wilson & His Orchestra, Floyd Cramer, Larry Butler , John Barlow Jarvis, Larry Knechtel, Barry Beckett, Jerry Whitehurst, Larry Muhoberac (piano); Ray Stevens (organ, vibraphone); Mike Davis (organ); David Foster (keyboards, synthesizer); David Paich, Steve "Golde" Goldstein, Jai Winding, Mac Rebennack , Michael Davis , Michael Omartian, Randy McCormick, Red Young, Robbie Buchanan, Ron Oates (keyboards); Ian Underwood, Peter Manning Robinson (synthesizer); Clyde Brooks (drums, tambourine, percussion); Jim Keltner, Eddy Anderson (drums, percussion); D.J. Fontana, Leo Bubba Taylor, Richard Schlosser, David Platshon, Ed Greene, Ron Zeigler, Willie Ornelas, Jeff Porcaro, Larrie Londin, Mike Baird, Rick Marotta, Steve Turner , Eddie Bayers, Jerry Kroon, Kenny Malone, Paul Leim, Jerry Carrigan, Jim Isbell, Mark Morris, Buddy Harman (drums); Lenny Castro (congas, percussion); Paulinho Da Costa (congas); Jimmy Riddle (Jew's harp); Judy Rodman (hand claps, background vocals); Ernie Winfrey, Judy Ogle (hand claps); Leonard Castro, Bobby Hall, Brian Glascock, Joe Lala, Farrell Morris (percussion); Chet Atkins, Alexandra Brown, Curtis Young, Carol Carmichael Parks, Donna McElroy, Ernest Tubb, The Fruit Jar Drinkers, Michael Black, Zedric Turnbough, Lee Parton, Grandpa Jones, Randy Parton, Jan Gassman, Avie Lee Parton, William "Bill" Greene, Linda Dillard, Gene Morford, Jennifer Kimball, Jim Gilstrap, Jim Salestrom, Joe Maphis, Joey Scarbury, Johnnie Wright, Karen Taylor-Good, Kirk McGee, Kitty Wells, Lisa Silver, Terry Williams , Minnie Pearl, Angela Winbush, Ramona Jones, Ray C. Walker, Richard Marx, Rose Lee Maphis, Roy Acuff, Roy Galloway, Stoney Cooper, The Jordanaires, Wilma Lee Cooper, Augie Johnson, Myrna Matthews, Marti McCall, Carl Butler, Pearl Butler (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Steve Rosenthal.
Liner Note Authors: Laura Cantrell; Holly George-Warren.
Recording information: Audio Media, Nashville, TN (??/1959-09/1992); Bradley Recording Studio, Nashville, TN (??/1959-09/1992); Columbia Recording Studios, Nashville, TN (??/1959-09/1992); Creative Workshop, Nashville, TN (??/1959-09/1992); Fred Foster Sound Studios, Nashville, TN (??/1959-09/1992); Goldband Recording Studio, Lake Charles, LA (??/1959-09/1992); Los Angeles, CA (??/1959-09/1992); Nashville, TN (??/1959-09/1992); RCA Studios, Nashville, TN (??/1959-09/1992); Record One Studios, Los Angeles, CA (??/1959-09/1992); Rumbo Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (??/1959-09/1992); Sound Lab Studios, Hollywood, CA (??/1959-09/1992); The Sound Shop, Nashville, TN (??/1959-09/1992).
Authors: Ralph Emery; Dwight Yoakam; Marty Stewart; John Sebastian ; Jon Langford ; Kris Kristofferson; Merle Haggard; Mindy Smith; Porter Wagoner; Wanda Jackson.
Introduction by: Laura Cantrell.
Photographers: Henry Horenstein; Jim Herrington; Kristin Barlowe; Raeanne Rubenstein; Les Leverett; Nils Jorgenson; Harry Langdon; Roger Ressmeyer; Randee St. Nicholas.
Arrangers: Dolly Parton; Steve "Golde" Goldstein; Mike Post; Nick DeCaro; Porter Wagoner; Ray Stevens; Bergen White; Gregg Perry.
Dolly Parton's story is mighty but it's never properly been told on record until this 2009 Legacy box set. Spanning 99 tracks over four discs, beginning with the early-'60s demo "Gonna Hurry (As Slow as I Can)" and running until the end of her stay with Columbia in the early '90s, DOLLY may miss her bluegrass comeback of the new millennium but this is the only gap in the narrative, and it's not greatly missed, because this captures her prime. DOLLY has genuine momentum, beginning with her earliest stabs at girl group pop, running through duets with the Merry Melody Singers, not getting to her star-making duets with Porter Wagoner until the end of the first disc, allowing plenty of time for her complex story to be told in some detail, including several rarities and seven unreleased cuts. Some fan favorites may be missed, but this hits all the hits, along with expertly chosen album tracks, creating a substantial and entertaining testament to Dolly's skills as an entertainer, song stylist, and incisive songwriter. As it reaches its conclusion, it's hard not to agree that there's never been another talent like her.
Billboard (p.33) - "DOLLY captures the highlights of Parton's improbable American journey, with a focus on her early recordings with Porter Wagoner and solo '70s hits..."