Dolly Parton to Receive Prestigious Songwriter’s Award

The Songwriter’s Hall of Fame has selected Dolly Parton to be the recipient of its most prestigious honor, the Johnny Mercer Award. This award ranks higher than induction into the Hall of Fame; it is presented only to songwriters already in the Hall, and “whose body of work is of such high quality and impact, that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer.”

If you can’t think of a good reason for Parton to get this honor, I’ll be nice and give you two dozen:

  1. Put It Off Until Tomorrow
  2. Just Because I’m A Woman
  3. My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy
  4. Down From Dover
  5. Coat of Many Colors
  6. Touch Your Woman
  7. My Tennessee Mountain Home
  8. Jolene
  9. Kentucky Gambler
  10. I Will Always Love You
  11. The Bargain Store
  12. The Seeker
  13. To Daddy
  14. Light of a Clear Blue Morning
  15. It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right
  16. 9 to 5
  17. Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
  18. Appalachian Memories
  19. Tennessee Homesick Blues
  20. Wildflowers
  21. PMS Blues
  22. The Grass Is Blue
  23. Hello God
  24. Welcome Home

And that’s just scratching the surface. For my money, Parton just might be the best singer-songwriter in the history of the genre. At the very least, she’s on a short list with Hank Williams, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson.


  1. FYI-Dolly didn’t write “Hard Candy Christmas”. That was written by Carol Hall-composer for “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”

  2. Calling Dolly on a par with Hank, Merle and Willie is probably overstating it a bit. For that matter Hank, Merle and Willie are probably a half rung below Harlan Howard and Dallas Frazier.

    I would put Dolly on the same plateau as Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens and Leon Payne which is still rarefied air, to be sure

  3. I was careful to write “Singer-Songwriters” because it’s an important distinction. I think she’s on the level with Williams, Haggard and Nelson in that regard. I’d put her a few steps above Lynn and Owens.

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