Stella Parton is one of country superstar Dolly Parton's younger sisters, and a minor country star of the 1970s. Her 1975 debut single, "I Want To Hold You In My Dreams Tonight," Stella landed a Top Ten, but over the next few years she was never album to repeat that success, although she consistently charted in the Top 40 throughout the rest of the decade. She gradually moved out of the spotlight, and recorded for a number of indie labels, including her own Raptor Records, where she has released several albums, of both secular and gospel material. Here's a quick look at her work...
Stella Parton "Anthology" (Renaissance, 1998)
Stella Parton "Hits Collection" (Raptor, 2009)
Re-recordings of her old hits...
Stella Parton "The Best Of Stella Parton" (Elektra, 1979) (LP)
Stella Parton(?) "In The Garden" (1967)
(with Willadeene, Cassie, and Avie Lee Parton)
Stella Parton "I Want To Hold You In My Dreams Tonight" (Soul, Country & Blues Records, 1975)
Stella Parton "Country Sweet" (Elektra, 1977) (LP)
(Produced by Jim Malloy & David Malloy)
On her major-label debut, Parton delivers a solid set of '70s country-pop, although it has to be said she doesn't do much to distinguish herself from her better-known older sister. If you listened to this album blindfolded, you'd be hard pressed to not think it was another Dolly album. Stella has an airier, more girlish voice, but there's a lot of similar tonality, and she wasn't shy about usingthe family sound to her advantage. The repertoire is okay, with a trio of songs credited to Stella ("If You're A Dream" and "The More The Change" and "I've Got To Have You For Mine," which is probably the most country-sounding song on the album, as well as the best track overall.) There are also three tracks credited to rockabilly revivalist Even Stevens, including a dreadful disco-pop work-up of "The Danger Of A Stranger," which Stevens co-wrote with Shel Silverstein, and "It's The Little Things," where Parton moves away from her Dolly-soundalike mode into a super-chirpy girl-group vocal that's more reminiscent of Skeeter Davis or Jody Miller. Overall, this is a pretty solid album, very much in keeping with the styles of the time, and while it's clear she'd have to work hard to move out of her sister's shadow, she still sounds quite nice, regardless. Definitely worth a spin.
Stella Parton "Stella Parton" (Elektra, 1978) (LP)
Stella Parton "Love Ya" (Elektra, 1979) (LP)
Stella Parton "So Far, So Good" (Townhouse, 1982) (LP)
Stella Parton "Always Tomorrow" (Airborn, 1989)
Stella Parton "Appalachian Blues" (Raptor, 2001)
Stella Parton "Blue Heart" (Raptor, 2002)
Stella Parton "Appalachian Gospel" (Raptor, 2003)
Stella Parton "Testimony" (Raptor, 2008)
Stella Parton "Holiday Magic" (Raptor, 2008)
Stella Parton "American Coal" (Raptor, 2010)
Stella Parton "Tell It Sister, Tell It" (Raptor, 2011)
Hick Music Index