Dolly Parton is joining this year's list of artists releasing holiday projects, announcing that her album A Holly Dolly Christmas will arrive on Oct. 2. The project, produced by Kent Wells, includes holiday standards as well as new material and will be released on Parton's Butterfly Records in partnership with 12Tone Music Group.
"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 of her inspiration for the album's title. "He used to be on all of my Christmas specials all through the years. I think of him as Mr. Christmas. I thought, 'Why don't do I call it something cute and clever, like that or Deck the Halls with Boughs of Dolly, something corny like that.'"
A Holly Dolly Christmas will feature several collaborations including appearances from Michael Bublé, Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon, Willie Nelson and Parton's brother Randy Parton. The first single from the project will be "Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas," Parton's collaboration with Bublé. With Nelson, she recorded a rendition of "Pretty Paper," a Roy Orbison song that Nelson later covered. "One of my favorite songs ever is a traditional song now that Willie Nelson wrote called 'Pretty Paper,'" Parton said. "I did it the old-timey way and asked him to come be part of it."
She also dove into modern holiday classics and chose Fallon to help her with a new take of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You." "I thought, 'What other songs are really hot?'" Parton recalled. "And I thought, 'All I Want for Christmas is You.' Jimmy Fallon, a couple of years ago, I was on his show around Christmas and he asked me to sing that and I didn't know it and I felt so bad. 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."
The country icon shared that she had the idea to do a new holiday project for some time, but it was delayed due to her work on the soundtrack for the Netflix movie Dumplin' before she resumed work on it this year. Parton and Wells finished the album during the coronavirus pandemic, and many of her collaborators recorded their parts separately.
"We were working in our little circle with our masks and with our gloves and we had our engineer and we just had the very few people that we had to have when we were in there when I was singing," Parton explained. "They had done some of the tracks before the pandemic, but then we went in and started doing our vocals. We've been very smart, very careful, because we're trying to protect ourselves and I'm an older person. I'm not out to get it if I don't [have] to, I'm hoping I can outrun all that. We've been all very, very smart, but it didn't slow us up."
See the full tracklisting for A Holly Dolly Christmas below.
- "Holly Jolly Christmas" - Dolly Parton
- "Christmas Is (feat. Miley Cyrus)" - Dolly Parton
- "Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas" - Dolly Parton, Michael Bublé
- "Christmas On The Square" - Dolly Parton
- "Circle Of Love" - Dolly Parton
- "All I Want For Christmas Is You" - Dolly Parton, Jimmy Fallon
- "Comin' Home For Christmas" - Dolly Parton
- "Christmas Where We Are (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus)" - Dolly Parton
- "Pretty Paper" - Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson
- "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" - Dolly Parton
- "You Are My Christmas (feat. Randy Parton)" - Dolly Parton
- "Mary, Did You Know?" - Dolly Parton