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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Despite the title, this is not a bluegrass collection. It contains tracks from four albums (Joshua, Coat of many colors, My Tennessee mountain home, Jolene) that had been previously released in the UK in their entirety, together with various Dolly recordings that had also been released on various Dolly CD's, though some are rarer on CD than others. Taken for what it is, this a great compilation for those looking for some of Dolly's traditional country, but there is nothing new here for Dolly's committed fans.
The bargain store, My Tennessee mountain home, Joshua, Muleskinner blues and Coat of many colors were major country hits for Dolly. In the good old days and My blue tears were minor country hits. In the ghetto was a huge pop hit for Elvis. Dolly's version did better than his in the country charts but neither got very high.
Shattered image was (surprisingly) not released as a single in America but it was in the UK. It did not chart but it good airplay at the time. Dolly re-recorded it for her Halos and horns album. At around that time, the original version appeared (for the first time on CD) on RCA country legends, an American compilation.
To daddy was originally planned for inclusion on Dolly's 1976 album, All I can do (the one that Shattered image first appeared on) but dropped when Dolly heard Emmylou's version. Dolly eventually recorded a live version and it became a country hit, so RCA included the original on Essential Dolly Parton volume one.
Early morning breeze appeared on two original Dolly albums – Coat of many colors and Jolene – and a re-mix appeared on the UK version of her 2003 compilation, Ultimate Dolly Parton. River of happiness is also from the Jolene album. The remaining tracks are taken from two of her finest albums – Joshua and My Tennessee mountain home.
Thus, everything that is here can found on other Dolly CD's but it might not be easy finding all the tracks and you'd have to buy several CD's to get them all. If you enjoy hearing Dolly singing traditional country and you haven't got many of these songs, you'll find this to be a real treasure trove at a great price.
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on 12 August 2008
I wouldn't say that this was the most 'Bluegrass' style CD that I have ever come across, but you will love this. Every track is fantastic.....a must have selection of tracks if you like Dolly Parton.
I love Bluegrass, and today's Bluegrass is very unlike the real true Bluegrass. So don't expect this album to give you that wonderful old sound....with incredible Banjo work etc.
But! it is a wonderful CD with that great Dolly singing voice.
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on 16 February 2013
I know nothing about country or bluegrass . I bought this for my kids to interest them in something other than nursery rhymes. They are 6 & 3. I said this was cowboy music, which got their attention, and they have had such a great time dancing to it lots of times since. From my perspective, Dolly's fabulous voice is a winner and i liked that this is quite natural music rather than pop-ified.
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on 26 May 2009
In spite of the picture on the cover, this CD does not feature bluegrass-style banjo. It is classic Dolly Parton from the 70's, when her style was fully developed musically but not as sophisticated or knowing as it is today. Some songs could be classified as folk as well as country. Incidentally, who was JJ Sneed?
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on 6 May 2013
I recall one chap on-line expressing his disillusionment at finding this anthology not being resolute Bluegrass, and the title is indeed a misnomer. But what we do have here are 18 of Dolly's songs so movingly powerful as to move a grown man to tears. They appertain to her formative years, portraying eloquently of her surroundings as the fourth of 12 children in a poor family brought up in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. So I think it's best to override iffy categorisations here and simply immerse ourselves in a collection of wonderful heartfelt music.
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on 9 March 2016
Not to be left out of any good collection.... some good songs from a much loved singer
To me Dolly at times can sing , like a angel... with many songs to please all ages .
if your in to country music you cant miss out on this album
Five Gold Stars from me for this much loved lady singer just fantastic .....

Goes down well at any.... B.B.Q
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on 1 April 2015
Nice collection of early Dolly tracks, taken from her late 60s and early 70's albums. Not all the tracks on here are true bluegrass, but some of Dolly's best songs are included on here. A must for fans of both Dolly and country music; however, if you own her early albums, nothing new on here.
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on 6 June 2011
I have very little of this type of country music in my collection and bought this because it was so cheap (Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss is more my taste for country). But if you give this a go with an open mind there is no denying the quality of the song writing here and she has a voice that can express emotion convincingly. If you are sceptical about 70s era country music then I'd recommend you try this for little more than the price of a Starbuck's coffee.
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on 3 February 2010
I have lots of collections by Dolly and this one rates as highly as any. Its a gorgeous set of typical Dolly tunes performed in the best Dolly fashion. I thought I knew every one of her tunes but this cd threw up a few top class new ones eg "J J Sneed". And at such a bargain price!
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on 11 October 2014
I've grown up listening to Dolly - and I confess I bought this album because of her cover of In The Ghetto which I used to listen to as a child. A great collection of songs, altogether - her take on life and the appreciation of family while growing up in poverty adds to the poignancy and emotion behind the words delivered in that wonderfully clear melodious voice of hers. For me, Dolly's voice and her honest singing are her most outstanding features.
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