When Jewel was a young girl growing up on a homestead in Alaska with an outhouse, she idolized Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, not only for their musical talents, but also because of their similar upbringings. So it was a dream come true when Dolly agreed to sing on the title track of her new album, My Father’s Daughter.
“I love Dolly… I have like idolized her and pretended we’re best friends and then I actually finally worked up the nerve to ask her to sing on this song and she was kind enough to oblige and she was everything I would’ve hoped for in the studio,” Jewel says of the recording that took place in Nashville. “She was sassy and obviously very bright and witty and sarcastic and very well-prepared.”
Even though she’s sold millions of records and charted pop hits like “You Were Meant for Me” and “Who Will Save Your Soul,” Jewel says she wasn’t necessarily prepared to come face-to-face with the worldwide legend in the studio.
“It was very intimidating to do it. I’d written this song and I was producing the record, so all of the sudden I found myself producing Dolly Parton, which was… really weird and felt very sacrilegious…”, she observes.
But true to her reputation, the superstar from East Tennessee was both down-to-earth and matter-of-fact.
“She really put me at ease right away. She was like, ‘Honey don’t you be afraid to get what you need outta me. You better get it right now. We don’t know how much longer I’m gonna be around!’” Jewel says, lapsing into Parton’s accent. “So she was pretty fabulous,” she laughs, eliciting more laughter from the crowd. “Was that a good impersonation? I tried!”
This holiday, Jewel contributes two songs to CMA Country Christmas, airing December 3 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
Dolly has her own special during the season as well. Her movie, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, is set to air December 10 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
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