It’s a good year to be a Dolly Parton fan. This holiday season, the legendary country singer is releasing her first Christmas album in 30 years. Even better, she’s not waiting for the snow to start falling — the album comes out on Oct. 2, leaving plenty of time to get into the festive spirit.
Parton, 74, broke down the album for Billboard. She says she’s been hoping to release a holiday album for some time but had to push it back to work on the soundtrack for the Netflix movie inspired by her music, “Dumplin.'” But she picked it back up this year, and “A Holly Dolly Christmas” is officially on its way.
“I thought, ‘I think I’ll call it A Holly Dolly Christmas because I love the song ‘A Holly Jolly Christmas’ with Burl Ives,” Parton told Billboard. “He used to be on all of my Christmas specials all through the years. I think of him as Mr. Christmas.”
After coming up with the title, Parton turned to her pals for support with creating the songs. The album, which is produced by Kent Wells, features collaborations with Michael Bublé, Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus (Parton’s goddaughter), Jimmy Fallon and Willie Nelson. Even her brother, Randy Parton, appears on the album.
“One of my favorite songs ever is a traditional song now that Willie Nelson wrote called ‘Pretty Paper,’” Parton explained. “I did it the old-timey way and asked him to come be part of it.”
There are also covers of popular holiday classics, like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” which Parton first discovered when Jimmy Fallon asked her to sing it on her show. “I didn’t know it and I felt so bad,” Parton recalled. “So I went and learned it and I was just going to put it on my album and then I went, ‘I’ll ask Jimmy Fallon to sing it with me!’ And he said, yes. So I’m really excited about that.”
Other songs on the album include “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas.”
Parton hasn’t made a Christmas album in 30 years. She followed her double-platinum collaboration with Kenny Rogers in 1984, “Once Upon a Christmas,” with “Home for Christmas” in 1990.