Career After High School

Dolly Parton graduated high school in 1964 from Sevier County High School. Parton immediately moved to Nashville but didn’t find success as a singer right away. So what did she find success as? A songwriter. She wrote songs with her uncle Bill Owens quite often and even had two top ten hits.

These two hits were “Put It Off Until Tomorrow” by Bill Phillips in 1966 and “Fuel the Flame” by Skeeter Davis in 1967. Besides these artists, Hank Williams Jr. and Kitty Wells also sang songs that Parton wrote. She was not going to stop at songwriting though, as she wanted to sing herself.

Record Deal and Bubblegum Pop

Parton was signed to Monument Records when she was 19 years old in 1965. She was initially supposed to sing bubblegum pop music, which is upbeat music that was designed for teenagers during the late ’60s and early ’70s. Basically, they were one-hit wonders that didn’t go very far.

During this time, Parton released singles but none ever made it to the Billboard Hot 100. Dolly did the harmony on Bill Phillips’ 1966 hit, which allowed her to switch to the country genre.

She created her first full-length album title Hello, I’m Dolly, which had two songs on it that reached No. 24 and No. 17 on the country charts in 1967.