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Since the age of five, Dolly has written over 3,000 songs. Some are about poverty, loneliness, betrayal and abuse, but others are uplifting songs of optimism, inspiration, and joy. Professor Hamessley will explore the many facets of Dolly’s songwriting: her songs influenced by her Appalachian heritage, Nashville country songs, pop songs, and her foray into bluegrass.

Presenter: Lydia Hamessley is the author of Unlikely Angel: The Songs of Dolly Parton (Univ. of Illinois Press, 2020). She is Professor of Music at Hamilton College. Hamessley appeared in the BBC2 documentary Dolly Parton: Here I Am. She is a clawhammer banjo player and she has been to Dollywood!


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  • Shelley Wyman

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