Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Dolly Parton Reveals Key to a Lasting Marriage Ahead of 58-Year Anniversary with Carl Dean

Dolly Parton Reveals Key to a Lasting Marriage Ahead of 58-Year Anniversary with Carl Dean

Dolly Parton recently gave a rare insight into her extremely private marriage with Carl Dean, who she admits inspired her new rock and roll album. 

The award-winning singer met her husband when she was only 18 years old, and she married him at 20. The businessman has never been one for the spotlight. While she walks the red carpet and travels the country for special events and interviews, he opts to stay at their Nashville, TN, home. 

Parton has always appreciated that she and her husband have different personalities, hobbies, and tastes, even if it keeps them apart for long periods of time. In fact, she believes their differences are what keeps them together. 

While talking to ABC’s Robin Roberts, Dolly Parton admitted that she and Carl Dean share a deep and loving relationship. And she said the key to their happiness is a “great respect” for each other and uniquely different “tastes.”

“We both have a great sense of humor like this, and we both just have fun being together,” she said. “Our tastes are different in things, but that works great because we have — it gives us stuff to talk about. But we have our things that are perfect together, and that’s been the strength of it. And we love each other.”

Carl Dean Was a Major Force Behind Dolly Parton’s Upcoming Rock Record

As it turns out, Dean was a huge force behind her upcoming record, Rockstar, which finally drops on Nov. 17. The 30-track project features a blend of classic covers and Parton originals. The album features collaborations with a dozen infamous rockers, such as Ringo Starr, Joan Jett, and John Fogarty. 

When Parton was brainstorming which hits to cover, Dean offered his expert advice, which she greatly appreciated. He also gave her the final push to make Rockstar a reality. 

“From the time I met him in 1964 — he just had rock and roll blasting. That’s his music,” she shared. “I grew up with him, you know, through the years with him of just hearing all that great music. Of course, I knew about rock before, in my early days – Elvis and Jerry Lee and all of them – but it was Carl who really made me make that final decision to think, ‘You know what? I’ve got this great opportunity to do this, and I’m just gonna do it.’”

Parton admitted that her husband is always honest with her. When she creates music he doesn’t like, he’ll tell her. When he thinks she needs to keep perfecting, he’ll help her figure out how. Working as a team proved the strength of her marriage. And now, the album holds a special place in her heart because it garnered great respect from the person she admires most. 

“When I played it for him, he said, ‘You know, I gotta say, that’s pretty good.’ So for him to say, ‘That’s pretty good,’ he meant it’s really good,” she noted. “And that meant more to me than for anybody else to say the record was good.”