Dolly Parton's mother put her heart and soul into being the best mother she could be, and not only was she Dolly's biggest fan, but she was her biggest inspiration.
Avie Lee Owens Parton was born into a small town in South Carolina on October 5, 1923. By 1939, Avie Lee married Lee Parton and the two had twelve children, six boys and six girls. And one of those twelve children was the legendary Dolly Parton! Below is a photo of the family.
(Photo Credit: dollyparton.com)
Avie Lee was a sweet and caring mother, that made sure to show each of her twelve children extra attention and love. Unfortunately, in 2003, Avie Lee passed away at the age of 80, but her legacy will forever live on through her children.
For Dolly, her mother was her biggest inspiration throughout her music career. Avie Lee inspired Dolly's 1971 hit song, "Coat of Many Colors". The song tells the story of a special coat Avie Lee made for Dolly. The family could not afford a new coat, so Avie Lee made a coat out of all small scraps of fabric. Avie Lee used the coat as a lesson for Dolly, to love and value the things you have.
But "Coat of Many Colors" wasn't the first song Dolly wrote about her mother. Before she could read or write, Dolly wrote a song about a little doll her mom made her. In the audio clip below, Dolly says of the song,
I wrote two songs based on things my mama gave me. One was about a little doll, mama made me out of a corn cob. She put a little dress on it made out of corn husks and she made some corn silk hair, so naturally I named her 'Tassletop'!
Avie Lee wrote down Dolly's lyrics and just like that, Dolly Parton's first song was born! She was destined to be a superstar thanks to her mother's support!
Check out Dolly's first song below, "Little Tiny Tassletop".