Iconic country singer Dolly Parton is partnering with NBC to release a series of TV movies based upon the "Two Doors Down" singer's life. The first movie in the series will be called "Coat of Many Colors," based on Parton's early life. A rags to riches story; Parton's early life was marked by hardships, sacrifice and faith.
For now, no details have been revealed yet as to the cast of the movie. Although NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has noted Parton will produce the series and could even see time on screen. Deadline reports that Pamela K. Long is writing the script. Greenblatt previously worked with Parton in executive producing the Broadway adaptation of 9 to 5: The Musical, which she wrote the music and lyrics for.
Parton herself took to the stage to perform "Coat of Many Colors" and "I Will Always Love You" (a song Parton brought to #1 twice before Whitney Houston made it an Interntional anthem) at NBC's Upfronts presentation.
Parton began performing as a child, singing on local radio and television programs in the Eastern Tennessee area. She received her first guitar at eight. By age ten, she was appearing on The Cas Walker Show on both WIVK Radio and WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee. At age thirteen, she was recording (the single "Puppy Love") on a small Louisiana label, Goldband Records, and appeared at the Grand Ole Opry where she first met Johnny Cash, who encouraged her to follow her own instincts regarding her career.
The day after she graduated from high school in 1964, she moved to Nashville. Her initial success in Nashville came as a songwriter, having signed with Combine Publishing shortly after her arrival; with her frequent songwriting partner, her uncle Bill Owens, she wrote a number of charting singles during this timeframe, including two top ten hits: Bill Phillips's 1966 record "Put it off Until Tomorrow", and Skeeter Davis's 1967 hit "Fuel to the Flame". Her songs were recorded by a number of other artists, including Kitty Wells and Hank Williams Jr. during this period. She signed with Monument Records in late 1965, at age 19, where she was initially pitched as a bubblegum pop singer. She released a string of singles, although the only one that charted, "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby", nonetheless did not crack the Billboard Hot 100. Although she expressed a desire to record country material, Monument resisted, thinking her unique voice with its strong vibrato was not suited to the genre.
It was only after her composition, "Put It Off Until Tomorrow", as recorded by Bill Phillips (and with Parton, uncredited, on harmony), went to No. 6 on the country music chart in 1966, that the label relented and allowed her to record country. Her first country single, "Dumb Blonde" (one of the few songs during this era that she recorded but did not write), reached No. 24 on the country music chart in early 1967, followed the same year with "Something Fishy", which went to No. 17. The two songs appeared on her first full-length album, Hello, I'm Dolly.