If there is one figure on this godforsaken planet who can manage to bring peace to the ever-warring factions of the population, it’s globally beloved music legend Dolly Parton. Transcending generations, language, and genre, Parton’s unquantifiable fandom encompasses all walks of life, and it seems to only grow with time. Determined to find the connections between America and Parton’s unifying appeal (beyond “Jolene,” obviously), WNYC is debuting a 9-part podcast series called Dolly Parton’s America, which will, per a recent press release, “retrace the steps to Dolly’s near-universal appeal, and turn the mirror around to discover what America’s collective adoration reflects and reveals about us.”
Here’s a little more of the show’s official synopsis:
“Hosted by Nashville native Jad Abumrad, creator of the wildly popular, award-winning WNYC Studios podcast Radiolab, “Dolly Parton’s America” leads us on a journey that starts in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, and then heads off to the hills of Nairobi, the mountains of Lebanon, a classroom in East Tennessee, a red carpet premiere in the United Kingdom, and back to Nashville to investigate Jad’s own father’s journey to America. Along the way, the series moves far beyond Dolly’s biography to dig deep into personal, political and philosophical questions about feminism, faith, migration, immigration, workers’ rights, the South, the American Dream, and the universal longing for home.”
Abumrad will also interview experts and a number of figures from Parton’s life, including Jane Fonda, Ralph Emery, Gloria Steinem, and, of course, Parton herself. Dolly Parton’s America premieres on October 15. You can check out the audio trailer here.