Song by Song

S2 E5 Dolly Parton: 9 to 5

From humble beginnings to the silver screen Dolly faces the challenges of being a small town country girl in Hollywood. From the album “9 to 5 and Odd Jobs”, the song was released as a single in November 1980 and reached number one on both the Billboard Country Chart and the Billboard Hot 100 in January and February 1981, respectively. Originally written and recorded for the feature film 9 to 5, starring Dolly, Jane Fonda, Lilly Tomlin and Dabney Coleman. The song became an anthem for office workers in the U.S., and in 2004, Parton's song ranked number seventy-eight on American Film Institute's "100 years, 100 songs". Sesame Street made an educational parody of the song performed by the Anything Muppet parody of Parton herself, Polly Darton, called "Counting 1 to 5". Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1982 album The Chipmunks Go Hollywood. The film's title song garnered Parton an Academy Award nomination and four Grammy Award nominations, winning her the awards for "Best Country Song" and "Best Country Vocal Performance, Female". It is one of the few Billboard chart songs to feature the clacking of a typewriter. Parton has stated in a number of interviews through the years that when she wrote the song, she devised the clacking typewriter rhythm running her acrylic fingernails back and forth against one another. With "9 to 5", Parton became only the second woman to top both the U.S. country singles chart and Billboard's Hot 100 with the same single. (The first being Jeannie C. Riley, who had done so with "Harper Valley PTA" in 1968.) ‘Nine to Five’ was Parton’s big screen debut was astoundingly successful. She played a brassy Southern woman, Doralee Rhodes, opposite Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. She received Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture Actress: Musical/Comedy and for New Star in a Motion Picture: Female. The title track she had written, earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song: Motion Picture. In both 1981 and 1982, Motion Picture Herald named Parton Top Female Box Office Star. The film spawned the ABC TV sitcom series 9 – 5 starring Rachel Dennison, Dolly’s sister.

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