Retro Single Review: Dolly Parton, “Joshua”

1970 | Peak: #1

Parton’s first chart-topping single tells the story of Joshua, a hillbilly loner that our protagonist manages to fall in love with.

It’s all a bit ridiculous.  She sells it with a great storytelling performance, complete with a closing yodel that borders on skat.

But it’s all a bit ridiculous.

Written by Dolly Parton

Grade: B-



  1. I like this song, mostly because of Dolly’s storytelling style. If sung by a lesser vocalist, it would have fallen flat, but I probably would have given this a B or even B+.

  2. It may be ridiculous, but I don’t think there’s any big mystery as to why it was also ridiculously successful. Dolly simply had a gift for real-life storytelling, however corny or maudlin it may be to some, that is so painfully absent from country radio now.

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