The Truth About Dolly Parton’s Marriage Finally Revealed


Country music legend Dolly Parton has been
married for over 50 years. But even with a union this long-lasting, it’s
easy to overlook, as her husband, Carl Dean, is notoriously private. Here are some details you probably didn’t
know about their marriage. Parton and Dean met back in 1964 in an unlikely
fashion. According to Parton’s official website, the
two first crossed paths outside the Wishy Washy Laundromat on the very first day Parton
moved to Nashville, Tennessee. As Parton recalled, “I was surprised and delighted that while
he talked to me, he looked at my face (a rare thing for me). He seemed to be genuinely interested in finding
out who I was and what I was about.” Dean made such a good impression that the
two ended up getting married two years later. Dean spoke about meeting Parton in a rare
public statement in 2017, admitting, “My first thought was, ‘I’m gonna marry that
girl.’ My second thought was, ‘Lord she’s good lookin’.’ And that was the day my life began. I wouldn’t trade the last 50 years for nothing
on this earth.” Parton added, “If I had it to do all over, I’d do it all
over again.” Parton and Dean renewed their vows for their
50th anniversary in an intimate ceremony in 2016, but their first wedding ceremony was
much more low-key and private. In fact, it was totally secret. In a 2016 interview with CMT News, Parton
explained that her record label wanted her to wait a year to get married. Since they had invested so much money and
time in building up her career, she felt she owed it to them to honor their request. But Dean’s mother was so excited about the
two getting married that they decided to do it secretly. So Parton, Dean, and Parton’s mother traveled
across the state to Ringgold, Georgia for a small ceremony on May 30th, 1966. Parton wore a little white dress and carried
a little bouquet and a little Bible. She didn’t want to get married in a courthouse,
so they found a Baptist church nearby and had the ceremony there. Their wedding vow renewal ceremony fifty years
later on May 30th, 2016 was a chance for them to redo their secret marriage. As Parton revealed to Rolling Stone, “I got all dressed up in the most beautiful
gown you’ve ever seen and dressed that husband of mine up. He looked like a handsome dude out of Hollywood.” They kept the ceremony small with just a few
family members and friends and exchanged vows at a chapel near their home. They also auctioned the wedding photos to
benefit Parton’s Imagination Library literacy charity. She told People Magazine that she was “shocked”
that her husband agreed to something so uncharacteristically public. Being married for more than 50 years is a
feat worth applauding for anyone. “We have a little RV. We travel around everywhere. So after 50 years, which is saying a lot,
in this business.” It’s normal to wonder how Parton and Dean
have been making things work for as long as they have. As it turns out, the country star has a bit
of a strange secret to making it last: the two of them spend plenty of time apart. In a 2018 interview with People Magazine,
Parton said that she always laughs when people ask her the key to their love, adding, “I always say ‘Stay gone!’ and there’s a lot
of truth to that. I travel a lot, but we really enjoy each other
when we’re together and the little things we do.” In a 2011 interview with Taste of Country,
Parton shared that she and Dean are both very independent people, so they don’t need to
be around each other all the time. She also touched upon the importance of friendship
in marriage, noting, “You’ve gotta be great friends. And you’ve gotta be able to be accepting and
just kind of know that you’re not gonna change that person, because you married him because
you loved ’em for what they were.” Parton has had many hit songs during her long
career, but one that’s really stood out among the rest is “Jolene.” It tells the story of a beautiful red-headed
woman trying to steal away Parton’s man, and it’s not just packed with meaningless lyrics. It’s actually about a real situation that
Parton and Dean went through. During a 2014 concert in Glastonbury, Parton
revealed to the crowd, “Some of you may or may not know that that
song was loosely based on a little bit of truth. I wrote that years ago when my husband was
spending a little more time with Jolene than I thought he should be.” The Jolene in the song is apparently based
on a red-headed bank teller who had a crush on Dean, who liked the attention, so he kept
going back to her. Parton started teasing him about it, and it
became a joke between them. So it’s actually “an innocent song,” according
to Parton. As for the title of the song, she got the
name “Jolene” from a red-headed fan she once met, and it stuck. “Back when I was writing the songs like ‘Jolene,’
I was young. I was experiencing all these feelings for
the first time.” Throughout their marriage, there have been
rumors that Parton cheated on Dean by having a relationship with her female assistant. Parton has denied that, but she has revealed
that she once had an emotional affair. In the book Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and
Encounters With Dolly Parton, she shared a little bit about that affair, which was rumored
to be with her band leader Gregg Perry. The affair made her so upset that she considered
taking her own life. She eyed a gun in her room for a long time
and then held it, but she was stopped when her dog Popeye appeared. She confessed, “The tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to
reality, I suddenly froze and I put the gun down.” And that’s the only affair Parton has ever
admitted, or likely ever will admit. In a 2014 interview with The Guardian, she
said, “I’m not admitting nothin’. Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. And it’s none of your damn business!” Maybe you’ve wondered why Carl Dean never
seems to go anywhere high-profile with his wife. The explanation for that is fairly straightforward,
as it turns out that he’s extremely private. When speaking at a concert in 2011, Parton
revealed that she brought Dean to an event in 1966 where they got all dressed up, and
she received an award. Afterwards, he turned to her and said, “Dolly, I want you to have everything you
want, and I’m happy for you, but don’t you ever ask me to go to another one of them dang
things again!” In a 2016 interview with Vogue, Parton explained
that she respects her husband’s decision to stay out of the limelight, saying, “My husband is not one who wants to be just
thrown out there. He’s very private, and I’ve always respected
that for him and about him.” She’s also noted that even though Dean wants
to be left out of her fame, he’s nevertheless always been supportive of her. Even though they’ve been together for so long,
Parton and Dean have never had any children. Parton had a partial hysterectomy in 1984,
and, while it was difficult for her to deal with at first, she no longer regrets that
they could never have kids. In a 2014 interview with The Guardian, she
said, “My husband and I, when we first got married,
we thought about if we had kids, what would they look like?…Anyway, we talked about
it, and we dreamed it, but it wasn’t meant to be. Now that we’re older? We’re glad.” She also explained that, if she had kids,
she probably would’ve had to have given up everything else and thus wouldn’t have had
the career she’s had. Parton also told Billboard in 2014 that she
used to think she should regret not having kids, but now she’s so close to her nieces
and nephews that it doesn’t matter. As she put it, “Now that Carl and I are older, we often say,
‘Aren’t you glad we didn’t have kids? Now we don’t have kids to worry about.'” In 2016, Parton released the album Pure & Simple,
which is full of love songs. It’s easy to assume that she wrote the tracks
with her husband in mind, and it turns out that assumption would be correct. In fact, she told Rolling Stone that she was
inspired by their 50th anniversary. As she explained it, “I was just trying to think about all the
different colors of love through the years. I thought, ‘Well I’m going to write about
mine and Carl’s relationship. It’s just a pure and simple relationship,’
so it started with that and then I thought, ‘Well why don’t I just write a whole album
of love songs?'” The album isn’t just about her relationship
with Dean, as some songs cover other types of romance, but it’s still lovely to know
that a husband is inspiring his wife to make beautiful music. When Parton stopped by The Tonight Show in
November 2018, she told host Jimmy Fallon a surprisingly intimate detail about her husband. It turns out there’s a famous actress with
whom he’d like to have a threesome, and that actress would be Jennifer Aniston. The Friends alum starred in the 2018 movie
Dumplin’, which featured a soundtrack of Parton’s songs. Parton admitted that she’s a huge fan of Aniston
and that her husband is “crazy about her.” She even said that he was more excited about
his wife getting to do a movie with Aniston than he was about her getting to write all
the music. “I think he kind of fantasizes, like, a threesome
with us.” “Carl! Hey! Carl! Go to bed!” So what did Aniston think about all this? When asked by USA Today for a response, she
said, “My mouth just dropped. And then I laughed my (butt) off. That’s Dolly.” Carl Dean doesn’t just dislike going to public
events and being photographed. He also doesn’t even like to watch his wife
perform live! In an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show,
Parton said that Dean has only seen her perform live a small number of times. As she described it, “He gets nervous seeing me perform, cause
it’s almost like seeing your kid in a recital. He’s afraid I’ll mess up. Actually, he has seen me a time or two and
it did relax him a little. He saw that I do mess up and it’s okay ’cause
people are not gonna punish me for it.” Parton also said that she doesn’t really show
her husband the music she writes and that he doesn’t always listen to it either, unless
she essentially forces him to. It makes sense, as Dean seems to be so private
that he doesn’t really like anything that has to do with his wife’s mega-fame. “He doesn’t dislike it, but he doesn’t go
out of his way to play my records, let’s put it that way.” We all know Dolly Parton as “Dolly Parton”
and not “Dolly Dean.” But as it turns out, she does use her husband’s
name in private. In a 2014 interview with The Guardian, she
revealed that she quietly took her husband’s last name, and in fact her passport says “Dolly
Parton Dean.” She also explained that she signs all of her
contracts with the name “Dean.” She never made the name change publicly because
of her record deal, noting that it made no sense, as he never asked her to. That’s not an uncommon move among people in
the entertainment industry, as many newly married celebrities don’t change the names
they were known as before they got hitched. “‘Dolly Dean’ sounded like a fake name anyway. We had Jimmy Dean and all this, James Dean-” “I love Jimmy Dean sausages!” “I know. But, yeah, so do I.” For Dolly Parton and Carl Dean, it doesn’t
matter because she says she’s “Dolly Dean” whenever she’s home. She told The Guardian, “But then I’m also Dolly Parton. I’m Dolly Parton Dean. I’m myself!…Anyway, if I had chosen the
name Dolly Dean…I’d have been Double D. Again!” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more List videos about your favorite
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