On stage, country singing icon Dolly Parton may love being the centre of attention but when it comes to her personal life the 76-year-old is notoriously private, having only given a handful of insights into her decades-long marriage with Carl Dean.
But as the couple celebrates 56 years together, it’s only fitting that an old 1977 interview with Johnny Carson has resurfaced, giving fans the chance to listen to a young Parton share the adorable story of how she met her husband at a laundromat.
In the video, a youthful Parton is seated next to Johnny Carson wearing a bright orange jumpsuit adorned with sequences that make up the shape of a butterfly and a matching orange headband on top of her signature big blonde hair.
“Well, I just took up with a strange man, that’s all,” Parton joked.
“My daddy didn’t want me to leave home for that very reason. He knew I’d do that.”
@dollysbutterflies Such a beautiful love story! #dolly #dollyparton #jolene #9to5 #iwillalwaysloveyou ♬ original sound – Dolly Parton Fan Account ????
Parton was fresh out of high school and met the love of her life on the very first day she moved to Nashville in 1964.
In her own words the couple “met at the wishy-washy and, in all honesty, it’s been wishy-washy ever since”. The pair married two years after meeting and the rest is history, having recently celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary on Monday, May 30.
In a more recent interview in 2018, Parton told People that the key to their long-lasting union was their shared independence and respect for each other’s spaces.
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“I always joke and laugh when people ask me what’s the key to my long marriage and lasting love. 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,” she said.
In a separate interview, the country legend admitted she was “surprised and delighted” when Dean talked to her the first time they met.
“…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,” she said.
But Dean’s interview with ET proved that the moment he laid eyes on the country crooner, he knew she was the one he wanted to marry.
“My second thought was, ‘Lord she’s good lookin’. And that was the day my life began,” he said.
While Dean has mostly chosen to stay out of the spotlight and was the inspiration behind Parton’s audacious song Jolene-where she begs another woman not to steal her man- Parton has assured fans that they were both “really proud” of their long-running marriage, saying “it’s the first for both of us. And the last.”