is the younger sister of Dolly Parton
and had a few hits of her own during the latter half of the '70s. She was born in Sevier County, KY, in 1949 and first sang on a local Knoxville TV show with Dolly
at age seven. Her radio debut came two years later, and she and two other Parton sisters soon formed a group to sing both gospel music and commercial jingles around eastern Tennessee. Parton
started working on her own songwriting in high school but married and got pregnant with her first child prior to graduation. After some time away from music, she started her own record label, Country Soul, in 1975 and released an album called I Want to Hold You in My Dreams Tonight
. Its title track was a substantial national hit, climbing into the country Top Ten, and she landed a major-label deal with Elektra in 1976. Her 1977 duet with Carmol Taylor
, "Neon Woman," was somewhat successful, and she scored three Top 20 hits over 1977-1978 with "The Danger of a Stranger," "Four Little Letters," and "Standard Lie Number One." She recorded a total of three albums for Elektra through 1979, then departed to record sporadically for smaller labels during the '80s. She scored minor chart singles in 1982 and 1989 but spent most of the decade working as an actress in Broadway musicals like The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; she also wrote and choreographed shows at her sister's Dollywood theme park and in the early '90s published a Southern cookbook.