The Story Behind Dolly Parton’s “Joshua”

Dolly Parton Joshua
Dolly Parton

The year was 1959 and thirteen-year-old Dolly Parton began her recording career by taking a bus from her Tennessee mountain home near Sevierville to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where an uncle had rented studio time. The young girl recorded a song called “Puppy Love,” a composition of her own. Even at that early age, her mind was set on a career in country music, and on May 30, 1964, just one day after she graduated from high school, Dolly moved to Nashville. Along with her uncle, Bill Owens, she began a prolific period of songwriting, and her first success came when Bill Phillips went to #6 in 1966 with their composition, “Put It Off Until Tomorrow.” Shortly afterward, Dolly signed a recording contract with Fred Foster’s Monument Records and on January 21, 1967, she made her first appearance on Billboard’s country singles chart with the #24 “Dumb Blonde.” “Something Fishy” took her to #17 later that summer, but a pivotal event occurred on October 16, 1967 when she debuted as a member of the Porter Wagoner Show.

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