Retro Single Review: Dolly Parton, “Dumb Blonde”

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June 21, 2011

1967 | Peak: #24

Few titles could be a less apt description for the singer delivering the song.  What’s more surprising is that after establishing herself as a songwriter in Nashville, her first major single release was written by somebody else.

Curly Putman’s song has a few clever turns of phrase, and Parton’s bubbly persona is lurking just beneath the surface, even if it hasn’t quite bubbled up yet.   As with most of her pre-RCA work on Monument, she sings in a slightly higher register and the confidence isn’t fully there yet.   But the potential is.

Written by Curly Putman

Grade: B

Listen: Dumb Blonde

 

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  1. KimNo Gravatar says:

    How young is she here? It’s obvious that she isn’t that confident yet, her eyes and body language say it. But she definitely already had potential.

  2. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve always enjoyed this song, though it’s not exactly representative of Dolly at her best.

  3. Paul DennisNo Gravatar says:

    The single was recorded when she was 21. I purchased the album in December 1967 – it was released in the summer of 1967 and hit the remainder bins almost immediately – I think I paid twenty-five cents for my copy, but it might have been as much as fifty cents

    The big hit (#17) on the album was “Something Fishy” but I really liked “Put It Off Until Tomorrow” better than anything else on it. It was far from a great album but it was an interesting “start” to her solo career

    Actually there were some stray tracks on 45s before this and an album on the cheapie Somerset label that came out around 1963 titled HITS MADE FAMOUS BY COUNTRY QUEENS (Faye Tucker sings Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton Sings Kitty Wells) before this one and had a list price of around ninety-nine cents. I wonder whatever happened to Faye Tucker – her tracks were much better than Dolly’s on this particular album

  4. Some songs never get old, and “Dumb Blonde” is one of them.

    I wonder where the idea that blonde = airhead originated? Dolly sang about it 44 years ago, and blonde jokes enjoyed a resurgence in popularity when I was in college.

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