The PEOPLE exclusive video — featured in Time Life's Dolly: The Ultimate Collection — shows Dolly Parton alongside her parents and many of her siblings

By Tomás Mier and Jason Sheeler
September 25, 2020 03:45 PM
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Family always comes first for Dolly Parton.

In a PEOPLE exclusive clip featured in Time Life's Dolly: The Ultimate Collection, Parton welcomes her entire family on stage during her 1970s variety show Dolly for a rendition of the Christian hymn "In the Sweet By and By."

"I grew up in a very musical family, all my mother's people were very musical, so I was always around people playing instruments and singing, and my mom singing the old songs," Parton tells PEOPLE about her mother Avie Lee. "So that was just part of my being and I just knew I loved it. I just continued doing that, it was just a natural thing."

She adds that her mother encouraged her to play guitar and play the songs she'd write for other people.

Dolly Parton
| Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

"I just knew it was something that made me feel good, and it felt right, that it was me," she says of kicking off her music career at a young age.

In the clip, Parton introduces her parents says she always wanted to feature her parents on her variety show.

"When I got my own TV show I thought, 'I'm most definitely going to have my family on before I bring all these big celebrities because they're the stars to me,'" a modern-day Parton, 74, says in the clip.

The clip then transitions to show the "9 to 5" singer alongside her parents (mom Avie and dad Robert Lee) and seven of her siblings.

She introduces her family wearing a sky blue dress and her iconic hair: "Most of the folks that you see behind me are my brothers and sisters, and the two folks responsible for all of us: my mom and daddy," she says.

Dolly Parton
| Credit: Fran Strine

The video then returns to Parton today. "I've lost a lot of my family now," she says. (Her mom died in 2003, her dad in 2000 and brother Floyd in 2015.) "Mom and dad are not here anymore and some other family members, but I always think of that song we used to sing."

Parton starts to sing the hymn she featured in her 2001 album Little Sparrow, before it cuts to the clip of her and her family singing the track.

"In the sweet by and by," she sings onstage with her family. "We shall meet on that beautiful shore."

The clip is part of Time Life's 19-DVD collection featuring 35 hours of footage picked by Parton herself from her variety shows, The Porter Wagoner Show, her Live From London concert, her documentary Dolly Parton: Here I Am and an exclusive interview.

RELATED VIDEO: Dolly Parton Says 'of Course' She Supports Black Lives Matter Movement

In this week's issue of PEOPLE, the country icon dished about the meanings behind some of her tattoos.

"I do have some tattoos, that's true," the country music legend said. "But they're tasteful. I'm not a tattoo girl."

"My tattoos are pretty, they're artful and they usually started out to cover some scar, not to make a big statement," she added. "Ribbons and bows and butterflies are the things that I have. I was very sick for a while and I had to wear a feeding tube. It left a little indention in my side and I didn't like it because I'm so fair that scars turn purple on me. I like to make positives out of negatives."

For more from Dolly Parton, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.