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  • Writer's picturePodcast Librarian

My Year With Dolly: Yes, another Dolly Parton podcast, because I can't get enough

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

Justin Kirkland spends a year breaking down every Dolly Parton album EVER!

Series or standalone:

Series (well not technically, but it's more fun to go year by year)

Begin listening to:





Justin Kirkland, Dolly fan extraordinaire

Sound/production quality:


Rating/age suitability:

All ages

Approximate length of episodes:

20-30 minutes

Curricular ties:

Not likely, unless you teach music and/or this Dolly Parton course at University of Tennessee

Similar recommended pods:

Dolly Parton's America

Podcast Librarian’s Review:

You've likely heard of Dolly Parton's America (previously reviewed), but there are other Dolly pods out there. I'm partial to MYWD because the host is an utterly charming young man from East Tenneesee, Justin Kirkland. While DPA focuses on Dolly's wide appeal to all sorts of Americans and other podcasts focus on the effectiveness of her songwriting (like Switched on Pop, which did a great episode tie-in to DPA, or Strong Songs, in which Kirk Hamilton explores the story and impact of all the versions of "I Will Always Love You"), this podcast goes year by year through Dolly's career, beginning in 1967, and focuses on what was going on in Dolly's life that year. Each episode is about 20-30 minutes (which is my ideal length for a podcast like this), and Justin posts “homework” ahead of time so you know which songs will be the focus of the next episode. He has the same kind of charm as the aforementioned Kirk Hamilton; it's bizarre to say since I've never met either one of them, but I think Kirk and Justin would get along great in real life!

Anyway, back to the pod--the only weakness has to do with some recording and energy inconsistencies when Justin interviews other people; part of the show's format is to find out how average people relate to or remember Dolly's songs, which is sometimes less interesting to me than Kirk's breakdown of Dolly's year. The sound leveling can be a bit rough sometimes, as you might expect. However, this really doesn't take away from the show much, and I'm sure Justin will continue to iron out those kinks as he takes us through the years (hopefully all the way up to present!) of Dolly's career. Even as only a casual Dolly fan, I enjoy this podcast and make sure to listen to each episode soon after it releases.

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