Dolly Parton performs “Coat of Many Colors” live in Hee Haw 1972.

"Coat of Many Colors" reached the number # 4 on the U.S Hot Country Songs, on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks charts, would reach at number # 15. The song was included in Dolly's eighth solo studio album, Coat of Many Colors (RCA 1971)

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YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel

Coat of Many Colors

Lp cover Dolly Parton ( RCA 1971 )
Lp cover Dolly Parton ( RCA 1971 )

Coat of Many Colors, a song written and recorded by Dolly Parton for the RCA label, was recorded on April 27, 1971, at RCA Victor Studio, 800 17th Ave. South, Nashville, TN, at the recording session Dolly was accompanied by : Billy Sanford (guitar), Dave Kirby (guitar), Jerry Shook (guitar), George McCormick (guitar), Buck Trent (electric banjo), Pete Drake (steel), Bobby Dyson (bass), Jerry Carrigan (drums), Mack Magaha (fiddle), Johnny Gimble (fiddle), Buddy Spicher (fiddle), Hargus Robbins and David Briggs [piano] and The Nashville Edition. With the production of Bob Ferguson, the song was released in September 1971. The number # 4 on the U.S Hot Country Songs, on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks charts, would reach at number # 15.

The song was included in Dolly’s eighth solo studio album, Coat of Many Colors (RCA 1971), the album was released on October 4, 1971, reaching January 22, 1972, number # 7 on the US charts. Top Country Albums, for a total of 3 weeks.



Story behind the song:

Dolly composed the song in 1969 while traveling with Porter Wagoner on a tour bus. (He explained in his 1994 memoirs, My Life and Other Unfinished Business, because he couldn’t find paper, since the song came to it, he wrote it on the back of a dry cleaning receipt for one of Wagoner’s suits; when the song became a success, Wagoner had the receipt framed.)
Parton was born in Locust Ridge, Tennessee and grew up in poverty, the fourth of 12 children, and his mother really made him that coat. Her classmates made fun of her, but Parton was proud of the coat and tried to make them understand that, although her family didn’t have much money, they were rich in other more important ways.
Parton kept the famous coat, which later became a popular attraction in his Dollywood Museum, where it is preserved in an exhibition along with his handwritten lyrics of the song. >>
Even after Parton became a great star, this song remained his favorite of the more than 3,000 songs he had written. Dolly said about the song: “Tell about the people I grew up with, talk well about my family and particularly from my mother, “I can always sing that sincerely from my heart.”
Dolly Parton would present this song in concert as “a true story about a small patchwork coat that my mom made me with a box of rags.”
After Parton’s mother, Avie, died in 2003, Dolly found it very difficult to perform this song. She says it was months before I could sing it without crying.
Dolly wrote a children’s book based on the song (illustrated by Judith Sutton), which was published in 1996.
A movie based on the song was also made, which premiered on NBC on December 10, 2015. 13 million viewers tuned to the premiere of the television movie. It was the most watched movie on American television since May 2012 and also earned NBC its best total audience results since the end of the 2009 ER series.



Some versions:

Noma Jean 1972 (RCA)
Emmylou Harris 1975 (Reprise Records)
Carroll Baker 1978 (TeeVee Records)
Porter Wagoner 1982 (Fire)
The Lynn Morris Band 1992 (Rounder)
Joey + Rory 2014 (Spring House)
Stella Parton 2016 (Raptor)





Dolly Parton – Coat of Many Colors Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Back through the years
I go wondering once again
Back to the seasons of my youth
I recall a box of rags that someone gave us
And how my mama put the rags to use
There were rags of many colors
Every piece was small
And I didn’t have a coat
And it was way down in the fall
Mama sewed the rags together
Sewing every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors
That I was so proud of
As she sewed, she told a story
From the bible, she had read
About a coat of many colors
Joseph wore and then she said
Perhaps this coat will bring you
Good luck and happiness
And I just couldn’t wait to wear it
And momma blessed it with a kiss

[Verse 2]
My coat of many colors
That my mama made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My mama made for me

[Verse 3]
So with patches on my britches
Holes in both my shoes
In my coat of many colors
I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughing
And making fun of me
In my coat of many colors
My mama made for me

[Verse 4]
And oh I couldn’t understand it
For I felt I was rich
And I told them of the love
My mama sewed in every stitch
And I told them all the story
Mama told me while she sewed
And how my coat of many colors
Was worth more than all their clothes

[Verse 5]
But they didn’t understand it
And I tried to make them see
That one is only poor
Only if they choose to be
Now I know we had no money
But I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My mama made for me
Made just for me

Single Dolly Parton ( RCA 1971 )
Single Dolly Parton ( RCA 1971 )

Miquel Batlle
mbatllegarriga@gmail.com