Dolly Parton Country Legend

| July 20, 2011
Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton is known as much for her big ol’ voice as she is her big ol’ heart – and her recent partnership with the American Printing House for the Blind affirms that.

The Queen of Country Music’s Dollywood Foundation and APH – which is based in Louisville – will expand the Imagination Library program to provide blind and visually-impaired children with accessible books. Imagination Library currently provides one book a month to 675,000 children ages 5 and under in 1,300 communities in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

Parton, 65, took time out to talk with us about the new endeavor, what she’s up to and her love for Louisville.

– Angie Fenton

Why did you agree to partner with the American Printing House for the Blind?

We think it’s important to get the books in the hands of all children. How wonderful is this that we can partner with (the American Printing House for the Blind)? We’re very excited.

You’ve always been known for your music, but you’re also a respected advocate for those in need.

I do have a soft spot for people, and I love children. When I see a kid, it just melts my heart. My heart goes out to kids. … They should have the right tools to work with, the write words said to them.

From left: Bradley Burkett, Dolly Parton, Cameron Burkett, Suzette Wright of American Printing House for the Blind, and Gary Mudd of APH.

From left: Bradley Burkett, Dolly Parton, Cameron Burkett, Suzette Wright of American Printing House for the Blind, and Gary Mudd of APH.

A number of people record books for APH. What about you maybe in the future?

I’m sure that when I write more children’s books, I do intend to put some out on audio. I’d be more than happy to put some of my books on tape.

You’ve been working on a number of projects, including voicing Dolly Gnome in “Gnomeo and Juliet,” cutting your next album, “Better Day” and embarking on the Better Day World Tour. Goodness!

I’ve been hopping and doing all sorts of things. I sure don’t need a side job (laughs).

When is the last time you visited Louisville?

I love Louisville! My husband (Carl Thomas Dean) and I drive up there on occasion and spend the night. We love Kentucky, and the scenery is just beautiful.

The American Printing House for the Blind Inc. is located at 1839 Frankfort Ave. in Louisville. For more information, call 502.895.2405 or go to
Find out more about Imagination Library at

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Category: The Spotlight

About the Author (Author Profile)

Angie Fenton
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.

Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.

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