Smoky Mountain native Dolly Parton is one of the most recognizable celebrities in the world. With 42 chart-topping albums, starring roles in a dozen Hollywood films, and her very own theme park in Pigeon Forge, TN, it’s safe to say that Dolly is no stranger to attention. Despite all of her time in the spotlight, however, Dolly Parton husband Carl Dean almost never appears with her at public events.
That’s all about to change next year. When Dolly and Carl celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in May, Mr. Dean is slated to join his wife on stage for the first time ever! Visit My Smokies has all the details on Carl’s special appearance.
The details on Dolly’s anniversary party came from Parton’s goddaughter, Miley Cyrus. In a recent interview, the pop star revealed that Carl Dean would take the stage with Dolly “not to sing – just to be there at her side, in the spotlight”. Dolly and Carl are also going to renew their vows to commemorate their special day.
The party is scheduled to take place at the couple’s home in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood, TN. Known as Willow Lake Plantation, the beautiful 60-acre estate features a 23 room mansion and a swimming pool with a butterfly design at the bottom.
50 Years of Marriage Started with a Chance Meeting
Dolly and Carl’s half-century relationship began with a chance meeting on the streets of Nashville. Just a few days after moving to Music City, Parton was walking to the laundromat when Carl Dean approached her and gently warned, “Hey, you’re going to get sunburned out here!” The two immediately hit it off, and after two years of dating, the happy couple married in 1966.
Although they have no children of they own, Dean and Parton played an important role in raising many of Dolly’s younger siblings in Nashville. Because of her role as both an older sister and a mother figure, some of Dolly’s nieces and nephews call her “Aunt Granny”. Visitors to Dollywood will recognize the nickname from the theme park’s restaurant, Aunt Granny’s All-You-Care-to-Eat Buffet!
A Private Man
Although Dolly has a warm and open relationship with the media, Dolly Parton husband Carl Dean has consistently shied away from fame and celebrity. He has never given an interview and doesn’t appear with Dolly at public engagements. In the last fifty years, he has reportedly only attended one of Dolly’s shows. The Daily Mail claims, however, that he does sneak into Dollywood from time to time!
From what Dolly has said about him, Carl sounds like a quiet, sweet man who values his privacy. The former head of an asphalt-laying company, Dean has little interest in the music industry. According to Parton, “He is not musical – but he is kind, funny, and romantic…We’re completely opposite, but that’s what makes it fun. I never know what he’s gonna say or do. He’s always surprising me.”
Here at Visit My Smokies, we want to wish Dolly and Carl a very happy anniversary! We hope Mr. Dean enjoys his brief moment in the spotlight – he deserves it. If you would like to send the couple your anniversary wishes, leave a comment below!
2016 promises a lot of excitement for Ms. Parton! In addition to her 50th anniversary, Dolly will also oversee the opening of the new Lightning Rod coaster at Dollywood. Reaching speeds of up to 73 miles per hour, the Lighting Rod will be the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world! For all the details on the new ride, check out our blog REVEALED: Lightning Rod – New Dollywood Roller Coaster for 2016.