In 1977, TIME sent correspondent Jean Vallely out on the road with Dolly Parton, as the country star—who turns 70 on Tuesday—made her way around the nation. Parton had swapped out her Travelin’ Family Band for the more rock-friendly Gypsy Fever Band, and was aiming for crossover stardom. She traveled in a bus with two bathrooms and 11 berths, plus a closet for 20 costumes and four wigs. But, as the dispatch made clear, she hadn’t left her country roots behind.
As Parton said back then, “I don’t want to leave the country. I want to take the country with me.”
Here’s what Vallely had to say about one concert in Battle Creek, Mich.:
Reflecting on her career, Parton remarked that, “When I sit back in my rocker, I want to have done it all.” Nearly four decades later, she’s still at it–and that rocking chair remains empty.
Read the full story, here in the TIME Vault: On the Rock Road With Dolly Parton
- Climate-Conscious Architects Want Europe To Build Less
- The Red-State Governor Who's Not Afraid to Be 'Woke'
- Jonathan Van Ness: We Are Still Not Taking Monkeypox Seriously Enough
- The Not-So-Romantic Return of Europe's Sleeper Trains
- This Filmmaker Set Out To Record Her Family’s Journey Rebuilding Afghanistan. Her Work Is a Reminder of What’s at Stake
- Why Sunscreen Ingredients Need More Safety Data
- What Historians Think of the Joe Biden-Jimmy Carter Comparisons
- Author Mimi Zhu Is Relearning What It Means to Love After Trauma