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Dolly Parton's Other Voice
January 31, 2012 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Dolly Parton is two amazing singers. You've already heard her unforgettable voice at normal speed. But as John Oswald and others show, slowed down, it becomes something hauntingly lovely.
posted by Mchelly (71 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's a MAN, baby!
posted by briank at 1:15 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Everyone's heard her work in Trio, right? It's country at its prettiest.
posted by Jpfed at 1:17 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hah, these really are great. Thanks.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:17 PM on January 31, 2012


Is this called "Reverse Chipmunking"? Because it should be.
posted by demiurge at 1:17 PM on January 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think reverse chipmunking is a sexual position.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:19 PM on January 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


... involving the unwinding of dozens of meters of electrical tape?
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:20 PM on January 31, 2012


I hate to say it, but even Bieber sounds good really slow.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:22 PM on January 31, 2012


Sounds like a cross between Anne Murray and Kenny Loggins.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:23 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, that's cool. She's got a pure bluegrass album that's pretty good stuff, too.
posted by jquinby at 1:23 PM on January 31, 2012


I love Loretta, Patsy, Kitty, and Rose, but I just can't get into Dolly. I think it is because I lived through the "9 to 5" and "Islands in the Stream" years.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:24 PM on January 31, 2012


Kind of reminds me of the V/VM album 'Sick Love', and all of his defiling of standard song mixes. Such as 'The Lady in Red (Is Dancing With Meat)'.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:24 PM on January 31, 2012



I love Loretta, Patsy, Kitty, and Rose, but I just can't get into Dolly. I think it is because I lived through the "9 to 5" and "Islands in the Stream" years.



We can fix that
posted by The Whelk at 1:26 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Seems the original Soundcloud page is missing, but it's on YouTube.

And now I realize that "slow" doesn't mean the same thing in both of these cases. That's Dolly slowed down and pitched down, while Bieber is stretched out.

If you're looking for some good Dolly, I really enjoy A Real Live Dolly, recorded on April 25, 1970 in here hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:28 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. Just... Wow. These songs are so much better slowed down.

Now I kinda want to speed up some Tracy Chapman and see what happens.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:29 PM on January 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


she also sounds pretty good on this but you've got Cline doing the heavy lifting.
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM on January 31, 2012


And hooray for John Oswald! Plexure is stil a go-to album for me when my ears need a shot of adrenaline.
posted by Shepherd at 1:29 PM on January 31, 2012


also yeowza that 9 to 5 is a completely different song now.
posted by The Whelk at 1:32 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dolly is not only a national treasure, she is actually magic. As Roger Ebert writes:
In Dallas for the premiere of 9 to 5, I had an uncanny experience and on the plane home to Chicago I confessed it to Siskel: I had been granted a private half hour with Dolly Parton, and as we spoke I was filled with a strange ethereal grace. This was not spiritual, nor was it sexual. It was healing and comforting. Gene listened, and said, "Roger, I felt the exact same thing during my interview with her." We looked at each other. What did this mean? Neither one of us ever felt that feeling again. From time to time we would refer to it in wonder.
posted by scody at 1:36 PM on January 31, 2012 [63 favorites]


Now I kinda want to speed up some Tracy Chapman and see what happens.


I was thinking Jolene has a Tracy Chapman sound to it. The slowed down 9 to 5 reminded me of Aaron Neville.
posted by 2N2222 at 1:40 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is fantastic.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:41 PM on January 31, 2012


A long time ago I heard this track and it totally opened my eyes as to what it means to recontextualize existing work and turn it into something else.

I don't know why it took me so long to make that realization, or why it was this track, because I was doing the same thing when I was a kid: playing 45's and 78's at 33 or 16 RPM on my record player. I have often wished for a blog that consisted only of slongs slowed down. Not the "8x slower" trend of today, but something like this. Everything sounds more soulful when slowed down.
posted by not_on_display at 1:42 PM on January 31, 2012


I love Oswald. Back when I got into him I started messing around with plundering really old sounds.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:42 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


entropicamericana: “I love Loretta, Patsy, Kitty, and Rose, but I just can't get into Dolly. I think it is because I lived through the '9 to 5' and 'Islands in the Stream' years.”

The Whelk: We can fix that

Yep, that just about does it. entropicamericana may have lived through the "9 to 5" and "Islands In The Stream" years, but after hearing that, I imagine it'd be tough for anybody to live through this one.
posted by koeselitz at 1:45 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap!

[THIS IS GOOD]
posted by Afroblanco at 1:47 PM on January 31, 2012


Years ago, a friend had played Madonna's Get into the Groove at slower speed (I forget exactly how he did this) the same way, with the song now sounding like it was being done by a male crooner voice. It was surprisingly effective.
posted by wittgenstein at 1:47 PM on January 31, 2012


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember reading somewhere that Dolly is actually a really cool person. Does some kind of charity work or something?
posted by Afroblanco at 1:48 PM on January 31, 2012


And she has a theme park.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:49 PM on January 31, 2012


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember reading somewhere that Dolly is actually a really cool person. Does some kind of charity work or something?

Her father never read, so she runs a children's literacy program, I believe.
posted by elephantday at 1:49 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Years ago, a friend had played Madonna's Get into the Groove at slower speed (I forget exactly how he did this)

Just play the 45 at 33⅓.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember reading somewhere that Dolly is actually a really cool person. Does some kind of charity work or something?

Free book for kids, IIRC.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:50 PM on January 31, 2012


um... books, plural
posted by Sys Rq at 1:50 PM on January 31, 2012


I actually prefer my pop music all slowed and throwed so this is now my favorite fpp.
posted by SharkParty at 1:52 PM on January 31, 2012


Hey all you kids, here's a book, work it out
posted by shakespeherian at 1:52 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow...9 to 5 suddenly got kind of funky.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:53 PM on January 31, 2012


Dolly's done a lot of philanthropic work including her work for children's literacy, but also raising money for other charities (HIV/AIDS charities in particular), the Red Cross, and environmental causes. She's a cool lady.
posted by dismas at 1:59 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think reverse chipmunking is a sexual position.

Reverse chipmunking has to be when you spew all of the stuff that you had stored in your cheeks, and if it's also some sort of sexual maneuver I don't want to be invited to that party.
posted by pracowity at 1:59 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Confession of a fact I'm not actually ashamed of: I have a soft spot for Islands in the Stream.
posted by dismas at 2:00 PM on January 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


Dolly Parton once came in second in a Dolly Parton lookalike contest.

Dolly's best line (don't ask me how I know this) in her recent movie Joyful Noise: "So what if I've had a few nips and tucks? God didn't create plastic surgeons so they could starve!"

I actually love her voice the most when she's singing backup; she's just got a really pure and beautiful voice when she isn't all, well, dolled-up, vocally. Here she is doing back up on Mindy Smith's cover of Jolene and on Brad Paisley's schlock-attack When I Get Where I'm Going. (Warning: that song is just. Well. Awful.)
posted by Snarl Furillo at 2:01 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, who'da thunk Dolly's been singing Speed Gospel all these years.
posted by lekvar at 2:06 PM on January 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


I can't believe I'd never heard that Roger Ebert story because it pretty much sums up what I imagine time spent Dolly would be like -- especially back then for some reason. I think she is an incredible talent and from all accounts, a great person, but even though I obviously don't know her at all, I have an opinion about her that feels 'right.'

Even Dolly's flaws, in my opinion, are golden. "She always tells the same stories or makes the same 'off the cuff' quips on talk shows," some say. Sure, but when she does it, it's charming as hell.

I try not to put too much stock in a celebrity's public persona or even believing what you think you have gleaned from what you think you see behind the mask, but the goodness of Dolly is something I like to believe. If I was to find out I was mostly wrong about any other celebrity, I might be surprised but probably shrug it off. But I think a part of me would be pretty damned crushed to find out about Dolly's dark side.

(Even the phrase "Dolly's dark side" seems ridiculous to me as it stares back to me at the screen.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:07 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's about time that Joan Armatrading got a little recognition.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:08 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


But I think a part of me would be pretty damned crushed to find out about Dolly's dark side.

She wears a lot of tight leather for a country star, all I'm sayin'...
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:16 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you're looking for some good Dolly, I really enjoy A Real Live Dolly, recorded on April 25, 1970 in here hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee.

Urgently seconded. Its performance of "Coat of Many Colors" is unspeakably beautiful.
posted by Trurl at 2:19 PM on January 31, 2012


I wish I'd had the thought to do this first, then post it to Metafilter Music as my own "cover" version, and watch the cortex-sized tsunami of favorites come poring in!

But seriously, that Jolene, uh, "cover version" is awesome. The original is amazing, but slowing it down, it's hard to believe it's the same person, but it's so rich.
posted by hincandenza at 2:24 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's a MAN, baby!

Ya know, briank, ordinarily I'd dismiss that comment as a stupid, puerile retreading of a sexist joke... but damn, she sounds so much like a professional tenor on 9 To 5 (slowed) that I had to double-check what I was listening to.

And, yep, Jolene (slowed) does sound like Cher. (Hope that's not too cherist.)
posted by IAmBroom at 2:25 PM on January 31, 2012


"I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb... and I also know that I'm not blonde." - Dolly Parton
posted by argonauta at 2:26 PM on January 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


I love this very much, thank you!

I always thought the best Dolly quote was: "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap!"

And I agree with MCMikeNamara, I really like to believe in her goodness, and would be crushed if she wasn't a lot like her public persona.

I was fortunate to meet Reba McEntire once. The first thing she said to me was: "Yew jess come over here and let me hug yewr neck!" And then she did! I hope Dolly would be the same.
posted by kamikazegopher at 2:28 PM on January 31, 2012


In college, I discovered that Christina Aguilera sounds EXACTLY like Cher when slowed down. I have no links to prove this now, but if someone has the technology to mess with some Cher and Christina tracks, I heartily recommend it.
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 2:33 PM on January 31, 2012


I had no idea that she'd been married to the same person for 45 years.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:38 PM on January 31, 2012


demiurge: "Is this called "Reverse Chipmunking"? Because it should be."

That, uh... Is something else...
posted by symbioid at 2:47 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


shakespeherian: "And she has a theme park."

So did the PTL club.
posted by symbioid at 2:49 PM on January 31, 2012


If Dolly and Mr. Rogers had a child,eh?
posted by symbioid at 2:50 PM on January 31, 2012


Oswald said:
"Although the idea of slowing down Dolly Parton was my idea, two separate Dolly Parton fans told me on two separate occasions that I should listen to Dolly Parton 45s at 33 RPM, because she sounded really great at that speed. And it's true."
(Via)
posted by filthy light thief at 3:28 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


More from Oswald:
"Pretender (based on 'The Great Pretender' written by Buck Ram) features the opportunity for a dramatic gender change, suggesting a hypothesis concerning the singer, Ms.Parton, perhaps worthy of headlines in the National Enquirer. The first inklings of this story came from fans of Ms.Parton's earlier hit single 'Jolene'. As many consumers have inadvertently discovered, especially since the reemergence of 12' 45rpm records of which this present disc is a peculiar subset, it is not uncommon to find oneself playing 45rpm sides at the LP standard speed of 331/3. In this transposed tempo 'Jolene' reveals the singer to be a handsome tenor. Additional layers of homosexual longing, convoluted ménages à trois and double identities are revealed in a vortex of androgyny as one switches, verse to verse, between the two standard playback speeds."
posted by filthy light thief at 3:32 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


About a million years ago I saw her at Grand Ol' Opry. As she was walking out onto the center of the stage she tripped, and fell, and her huge wig came off; she jammed the thing back on her head and right on into the show, a huge smile, a winning smile, we loved her all the more for pulling that off so easily. The woman is A Star, it's no accident.
posted by dancestoblue at 3:33 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Christ. It sounds like something a little kid would make playing with a record player. My mom had one when I was a little kid and we played around speeding up and slowing down records.

Putting this up on youtube and calling it "art" is completely absurd. It also sounds horrible, IMO.
posted by delmoi at 3:40 PM on January 31, 2012


Looks like someone pissed in delmoi's Cheerios this morning... at 73% speed.
posted by hincandenza at 4:04 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Christ. It sounds like something a little kid would make playing with a record player. My mom had one when I was a little kid and we played around speeding up and slowing down records.

Yeah, the Youtube video? Yes. Agreed. Terrible. Listen to the other ones in the last link. They're what we're all talking about.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:09 PM on January 31, 2012


Islands in the Stream you say? Rob Brydon and Ruth Jones definitive version from the fabulous Gavin and Stacey.
posted by merocet at 4:26 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


delmoi: It also sounds horrible, IMO.

I, too, tried to enjoy Plunderphonics, but it came across chaotic. I think my problem is that I was hoping for something in the vein of modern bastard pop, like Girl Talk and friends. But you have to give Oswald credit for being a pioneer in plunderphonia. He was cutting audio tape by hand back in the 1970s, not blending pop tunes on a modern computer with software that can match up beats for you.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:50 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


(And in case you missed it, that YouTube track in the OP was John Oswald's reworking of Dolly circa 1989, not actually a recent YT post)
posted by filthy light thief at 4:54 PM on January 31, 2012


demiurge: "Is this called "Reverse Chipmunking"? Because it should be."

symbioid: That, uh... Is something else...

No, apparently it isn't.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:29 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


We used to listen to lots of 45's played at 33 back in the olden days... fun times... if YouTube had a speed-dial, well, that would be swell.

At the Heatwave Festival in 1980, between the band's sets, the DJ's (possibly from from CFNY) played a growly version of Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love. We were convinced that it was the Blonde on Blonde cover slowed down, but in retrospect it was probably Tina Turner's sultry spin.
posted by ovvl at 5:36 PM on January 31, 2012


Wow..that slowed version of Jolene is really pretty moving. I don't think I'd ever been really affected by that song before now. It makes it much more poignant a plea.
posted by darkstar at 5:46 PM on January 31, 2012


Wow, who'da thunk Dolly's been singing Speed Gospel all these years.

Makes sense to me. Like how bluegrass guitar is basically Acoustic Speed Blues.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:33 PM on January 31, 2012


Also don't miss Wanda Jackson's "Funnel of Love" 45 played at 33 rpm.
posted by obvious at 6:35 PM on January 31, 2012


Is this the thread where we post Dolly's incredible girl-group-style 1966 single Don't Drop Out? It's regular speed but it sounds like the Shangri-Las fronted by, well, Dolly Parton.
posted by Adventurer at 7:07 PM on January 31, 2012


What a swell post. The jukebox at the bar in my college town had My Coat of Many Colors on it, and Ted, the bartender/owner used to play it at closing sometimes. I like Jolene as she sings it, and the slow version is pretty cool, too. Dolly wrote I Will Always Love You, and it was covered beautifully by Linda Ronstadt before Whitney Houston made it her own.

So, Dolly's a National Treasure? Yeah, I'd have to say she is.
posted by theora55 at 9:19 PM on January 31, 2012


If we're messing around with Dolly Parton source material, my favorite track from the entirely excellent Bran Flakes is the "I Have Hands" track Stumble out of Bed.
posted by cortex at 11:12 PM on January 31, 2012


She also did a surprising enjoyable cover of Collective Soul's "Shine," of all things.
posted by argonauta at 11:25 PM on January 31, 2012


Wow. And my second thought? I really would love to hear Doly cover some Judas Priest.
posted by ewan at 12:58 AM on February 1, 2012


It goes the other way too.
posted by jefftang at 7:35 AM on February 3, 2012


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