Dolly Parton Performs Rocky Top for University of Tennessee Graduates

Dolly Parton Performs Rocky Top for University of Tennessee Graduates

Of all the people who you can say she needs no introduction. That may be the most true of Dolly Parton. Dolly Dolly is a house hold name in countries around the globe. There was a time not too long ago when Dolly was the 3rd most photographed person in the world. After only the Pope and Madonna. She is a singer. She is a song writer She’s an actress. She is the most honored female country performer of all time. She has sold one hundred million records. Her new Broadway show 9 to 5 has just been nominated for four Tony awards including best original score. She’s a successful business woman. And the creator of the award winning theme park Dollywood. She is changing the lives of thousands of people as the book lady. Through her work with the Imagination Library. She is an icon. She’s an icon, and a role model, and an inspiration, an ambassador or country music and certainly of Tennessee. She is an original and a true superstar. There is simply no one else like her in the entire world. So to introduce this woman who needs no introduction I want to talk just a little bit about how she got to where she is today. And I will be very brief because I know you want to see and hear her. We all know the sequins and sparkle side of Dolly Parton’s story. But behind that was is also there is an enormous amount of good ol’ fashioned hard work. Simply put Dolly did not become Dolly over night. I think that she would be the first to tell you that nothing she’s accomplished has been without a great deal of commitment and work. That you can realize your dreams. You can be anything you want to be. But you have to be ready to roll up your sleeves because nothing else is going to be handed to you. And I know that there is a better message to any graduating class today. It’s true that Dolly is blessed with natural talent, the great ability to tell stories through song But there’s another part of the equation of her success. Smarts, perseverance, and a serious commitment to putting in the hours. I mentioned 9 to 5. If you the score. If you write the score for a Broadway musical. That promptly gets a Tony nomination for the best score. You didn’t do that by being on stage and performing in rhinestones and sequins. You did that, even as a superstar. You did that with long, long hours with a blank sheet of score paper in front of you. Dolly’s story has humble beginnings. She grew up in a family of 14 here in east Tennessee. Her family didn’t have much money. There were not a lot of opportunities around, just a lot of chickens and pigs. But Dolly knew from an early age exactly what she wanted to be. Which is a superstar. And she was willing to work for that dream. The day after her high school graduation she got on a bus in Sevierville. She had a little bit of money that she had asked her friends for as a graduation gift, instead of gifts. She had her belongings packed up in paper grocery bags. And she set out for Nashville with her guitar like so many before and since to make it big in show business. Now Dolly had already been working since an early age singing on a radio program back home. And she had already had made one what she calls “little” record. But Nashville is a tough town. Dolly had no doubt that she’d succeed But she also had no money, no prospects, and had never been away from home before. She answered phones for a sign company. She refilled ketchup bottles at a meat and three. Many nights she went to bed hungry. She was sick. And many people would have given up, but she stuck in there. She sent her songs to everybody in town. She knocked on the publishing doors. And you all know that that girl in east Tennessee did finally get a big break in Nashville. In time and with a lot of hard work. She became the Dolly Parton we know and love today. And she has not quit working since. Now Dolly makes Dolly Parton look effortless. In part because she really is one-hundred percent true to herself. This is a person who is one-hundred percent a real person. I don’t think she would mind telling you, mind me telling you, that being a superstar takes serious work and long hours. And it also involves never putting you feet up and saying “ok, I made it”. Dolly is always looking for the next step, the next way to show her talents. The next way to give back whether it’s acting or giving a Broadway musical. Or creating opportunities from the community she came from. My own personal privilege from working with Dolly. Let me learn about her energy and tireless dedication first hand. For five years now the state of Tennessee has partnered with Dolly’s Imagination Library. Which is a book, a program she started to send free books to children. In her home town of Sevierville. With a goal of getting kids reading early in order to help them achieve in school. And realize their dreams. It was one of those ideas that when I first heard about it I thought “ah why didn’t I think of that?”. And I approached Dolly about joining efforts to take the program statewide. She thought it was a great idea too. And five years later the governor’s Books from Birth Foundation And Imagination Library have today delivered over six-million books. To over 300,000 children in all 95 Tennessee counties. Applause I’m very proud of it. And as always let me take this chance to publically thank Dolly Parton. For all she has done for Tennessee’s children. That’s how she works. She takes a great idea. She takes it as far as she can go with it. all over the world, in this case the Imagination Library is now expanded to Canada and the United Kingdom. She’s all about dreaming big. About doing everything it takes to see those dreams become a reality. Dolly Parton like to say Abraham Lincoln isn’t famous because he was born in a cabin. He’s famous because he got out of it She knows that if you wanna change the world. You’ve got t be willing to get out there. To roll up your sleeves and work for it. And most of all she reminds each and everyone of this. That you can be anything that you want to be as long as you work for it. And as long as you be yourself. It is now an honor and my pleasure to introduce my friend Mrs. Dolly Parton. Applause Hello There. Hi everybody. Ah here’s something I know you’ll relate to. Hello governor thank you. You can sang too if you want to. Come on Rocky Top fans. Well I wish that I was on ol’ Rocky Top. Down in the Tennessee hills. Ain’t no smoggy smoke on Rocky Top. Ain’t no telephone bills. Now once I had me a man on Rocky Top. Half bear the other half cat. Lord he was wild as a minx. But he was sweet as soda pop. I often dream about that. Ol’ Rocky Top you’ll always be home sweet home to me. Good ol’ Rocky Top. Rocky Top Tennessee. Rocky Top Tennessee. Now once two strangers climbed ol’ Rock Top. Lookin’ for a moonshine still. Strangers ain’t come down from Rocky Top. Some say they never will. Did you know corn don’t grow at all on Rock Top. The dirt’s too rocky by far. And that’s why all the folks on Rocky Top get their corn from a jar. Ol’ Rocky Top you’ll always be home sweet home to me. Good ol’ Rocky Top. Rocky Top Tennessee. Rocky Top Tennessee. Rocky Top Tennessee. Rocky Top. Yeah. Thank you.


  1. @ 7:20 – 7:25….. Dolly's entrance…."Hello-o–o Governor, thank you can sing too….."… Classic entrance ….all Dolly.

  2. definitely lip singing with a recorded band, but those tits are real, trust me. I saw her husband at an airport once and he had stretch marks around his face.

  3. love dolly but the Crimson TIde is the best.

    Rocky Flop youll always be second best in the sec. Good ol rocky flop bama beat tennesee

  4. what are 5 things you never hear in tennesee

    5, wraslins fake

    4 ill have the egg white omlette instead of biscuits and gravy

    3 we cant do that you are my sister/brother

    2 i got it all saved on disk/cd/hard drive


  5. @mudhawg97 it is a proven fact that except florida the rest of the country is biased against the sec. I always root for the highest sec team at the end. i even rooted for auburn that one year. Dixie needs to stick together

  6. @motoxKKKtm69 who is the war eagles, a sunbelt team??? a shitty team in one of those shitty conferences???well you must be a shitty person if you think you can contend with a SEC team

  7. My son graduated that day, but he was in the first group and we had to listen to Al Gore, Ugh! Would have much rather listened to her. We love you Dolly!

  8. i'm probably a third her age, but boy she seems to have more energy than me. and she sure can sing live. wow.

  9. ~sigh~ I love me some Dolly, but as a professional lip sync artist, I have to tell ya, this was DEFINATELY a lip-sync performance. Watch her lips during the opening….the first like "Well I wish that I was"………………She missed the "Well I"…..that and this sound quality would NOT sound "studio perfect" if it was live, there's no echo, and the mic doesn't make any noise when she claps her hands against it. Kind of disappointing, but Im sure she had a good reason.

  10. This was a great graduation. Mine was horrible. When I graduated UT our guest speaker didn't even show up and the girl next to me was so hungover she almost couldn't walk across the stage. The whole floor smelled like vodka. But I got that scroll and ran! GO VOLS!

  11. @CarmenAleXXXis I don't think she is lip sinking the lack of feedback is because the person working the sound board knew how to work it properly, matched with a modern sound system and some video sound editing magic. The sound is off on the whole video due to compression.

  12. The Guv needs a lesson in public speaking…When you say, "So-and-so needs no introduction" the next thing you say is "Ladies and Gentlemen, So-and-so!"

  13. The title should be changed to "Governor reads entire wikipedia page on Dolly Parton, students sleep heavily"

  14. Come back when you're that age, and show us what you look like, and if you have the energy to perform like that. If you want to challenge her, she can play the banjo at the same time she sings the song; Can you ?
    What were you doing in 1959 ? She was making records. Apparently somebody bought them, as she's credited with selling 100 million.
    Most folks age some as the years go by. She's no exception.
    Let's see— Your state and town is known for a cracked bell.

  15. My graduation from UT sucked. The governor didn't show up, the guest speaker got stranded at an airport somewhere and everyone around me smelled like cheap vodka. Oh well, GO VOLS!

  16. Wow, even Dolly couldn't get that bunch of dour academics behind her to act like human beings just once in their lives.

  17. way to blow thru 7:10 introducing somebody that needs no introduction for a song that is only 2 minutes long.

  18. Who was that windbag!? After "…needs no introduction," you're supposed to say, "DOLLY PARTON!" (At least that's what I've been teaching in my Advanced Public Speaking course for the past 20 years!)

  19. Madonna should not EVER be mentioned in the same breath as Dolly Parton!! Dolly is an angel sent from Heaven and well…we all know what what the other one is….

  20. I have to make a correction (sorry guys, just keepin it real). Now, don't get me wrong…I love me some Dolly, but officially Dolly isn't the most honored female country performer of all time. As a matter of record, Loretta Lynn is the most awarded lady in the entire history of Country Music.

  21. I guess that is the President who drones on and on in his "intro."  His blathering is precisely why intros should never be longer than that which they're introducing.  What a moron.  Never let someone like this in front of a mic.

  22. It was nice to hear a good talk about work unlike most of the crap the kids are told now.
    The so-called president talked about climate global changing warming dribble -the big lie.

  23. Seven minutes of PURE blow hard was a tad bit ridiculous. Don't think that I listened to any of it because I didn't. Like you said, Dolly needs no introduction. 

  24. for some one who don't need an introduction she got an awfully long one… administrators love the sound of their own voices … don't they?? 


  26. What if there were a trap door under the podium that an impatient audience member had the remote control to.
    Hard telling what might happen!

  27. This would be a much better video if it started at 7 minutes, 10 seconds and then I would have included it in my Ultimate Rocky Top Playlist.

  28. Further more,,, and in conclusion, on this occasion quite auspicious, I say to you my esteemed colleagues and audience members, to finalize my small introduction, but first perhaps a small story is in order here. So where to begin, hmm, let's see,, many years ago as a small boy on Rocky

  29. not completely true what he says, I know many many very hard working people, intelligent people with incredible gifts that have very modest lives because fate did not give them the spoils dolly had. She is a little to famous for her level of talent.

  30. Love this song! originally by The Carter sisters and mother Maybelle. The pioneers of country. But Dolly did a awesome job with it.

  31. Corn liquor, hillbillys and moonshine….perfect subjects for a University fight song! Hillbilly banjo trash. At Michigan, we play Earl Scruggs in the stables to make the livestock urinate on schedule….are you listening, Peyton?

  32. The only person who needed an introduction was that flappy-lip guy (whoevertheheckhewas) but God only knows how long THAT intro would take

  33. 😴 😴 😴 😴 Wa uh Man I Missed Dolly Parton Thanks A Lot Asshole If Wanted To Hear Long Speech I Would've Taking My Ass To Fucking Funeral Lol 😎

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