August 06, 1979 12:00 PM

Dolly Parton

Hard-core country fans will be pleased that Parton has taken a turn back down home. Most performers call it a career without recording anything as satisfying as at least four of the cuts on this album. There’s a countrified version of the Beatles’ Help! with a happy banjo-mandolin chase between Herb Pedersen and David Grisman; Down, a gentle, C&W-Caribbean crossbreed Dolly wrote herself; Sandy’s Song, a classic Parton ballad; and, of course, Great Balls of Fire, which the lady performs with all the exuberance of old Jerry Lee himself. (The walls shake at the mere thought of a live Lewis-Parton duet.) Few entertainers achieve full stardom yet work as hard and respect their audience as much as they did as struggling newcomers. Dolly, bless her, is one of those few.

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