Dolly Parton Preparing 'Thousands of Songs' to be Released After Her Death

With a career that stretches back five decades, it should be no surprise to Dolly Parton fans that she has thousands of songs in her archives that could make up potential posthumous releases. No one wants to think of a world without Parton, but the living legend herself said she has thousands of songs she has written that were never recorded. Parton added that she has no plan to leave her work like Prince or Aretha Franklin, whose work has been tangled up in legal issues since their deaths.

"I've got hundreds, hundreds, even thousands of songs — a big part of them have never even been recorded," Parton told Jad Abumrad in the final episode of WNYC's Dolly Parton's America podcast, reports Consequence of Sound. "There's enough stuff to go on forever with my music, to do compilation albums, to do new and original stuff."

In other words, do not be shocked when the next generation of country music stars record "new" songs written by Parton, 73, even after she is gone.

Parton said she hopes to complete vocal tracks so they could be used for posthumous collaborations.

"Anybody could produce that," Parton explained, notes Taste of Country. "Anyone, any producer in the world — a hot shot producer, when I'm gone, they could take my songs, just the click track of my vocal, and build a complete arrangement around that. So that will go on forever," she states. "I'm one of those people that believe in being prepared."

Although this might sound like morbid talk from Parton, she has been around the music business long enough to know how the work of posthumous artists are treated by money-hungry executives. Parton wants to be prepared for anything.

"I don't want to ever leave my stuff in the same shape like Prince or Aretha or anybody that don't plan ahead," she added. "I hope my music will be left behind. I hope it will always live... I think a lot of that other stuff may fall away. But I would like to think that I've left some good pieces of music."

Parton began recording in 1965, and is still making music 55 years later. Her most recent singles have been collaborations about faith, including "God Only Knows" with For King & Country, "There Was Jesus" with Zach Williams and "Faith" with Galantis. "God Only Knows" was even nominated for a Grammy.


"She's done about everything possible in music," King & Country member Luke Smallbone told recently. "And yet she's calling us, celebrating a Grammy nomination. We did a music video with her, and you see her saying, 'No that wasn't quite right. Again, again.' You're seeing this level of excellence that she carries that I think for us, it had less to do with words. But to actually see her in action I think was super inspiring because you do see someone who is living it. She's not just talking about it, she's living it."

Photo credit: NBC