Jolene - Dolly Parton (1974)
Long before the theme parks, plastic surgeries and Hannah Montana appearances, Dolly Parton was simply the best female songwriter of her generation. Her streak of country chart hits in the 1970's were not just impressive because of their number (8 number 1's by 1976), but also because of their quality. She could be funny, heartbreaking and reflective, writing from her heart without her wallet on her mind. Of course that would come in time as she crossed over to pop and became an icon. Still, here on her first Country #1, we get a young woman begging another to leave her man alone. It is not an angry confrontation. It is one facilitated out of a simple need: She loves her man too much to lose him. She talks to Jolene as a friend, hoping to be treated the same way. A "woman scorned" ballad has never been this tender or honest. No wonder NPR did a piece on the origin of the real Jolene.
And The White Stripes just KILL with their version!
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