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Growing up, my dad was a country singer/comedian. We traveled all over the country doing shows. I got to be on stage with him at the Grand Ole Opry when I was pretty young but I still remember it.

I sang some with him when I was younger but stopped as I started getting into the teen years. Probably a good thing, I think people liked me because I was young and all. Anyway, I got to meet some of the biggest country music stars of the time. I met Ernest Tubb, Charlie Walker, Lorrie Morgan (she's about my age and I had a crush on her), and more. Dolly Parton was just starting to become famous and I was a big fan of hers too. Finally, my dad was scheduled to do a show with her at a country club in Texas.

When I was that age I had problems with migraines and dehydration. I'd sometimes have to be admitted to the hospital. Sure enough, about a week before the show I had to go in again. The doctor told me that there was no way I'd be out in time to go to the show. I told him I WAS going to be out and I WAS going to meet Dolly. He had no idea who she was! What a moron!

Needless to say, I blew his mind and got out in time. Well Dolly found out about it and I was hers for the day. We went all over the country club together. We played shuffleboard, ping pong, and whatever else they had. When she was being interviewed by the local media, I was right there with her. I was in heaven!

Unfortunately we don't have the pictures anymore. We had a huge house fire in the mid 80s that wiped out basically everything. But I'll always have the memories.

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Comment by stephen dijoseph on November 14, 2009 at 5:08pm
..not the fire! dolly.. :0
Comment by stephen dijoseph on November 14, 2009 at 5:07pm
that's fabulous!!...
Comment by Barry Parsons on November 12, 2009 at 2:15am
Maybe I was thinking of Charlie. I know I remember dad talking about one of them and I am a somewhat familiar with the Louvin Brothers. I recall listening to their music when I was younger.
Comment by Janet Stinson Therrien on November 12, 2009 at 1:20am
Well, Sonny is Charlie Louvin's son, of the Louvin Brothers, Grand Old Opry Days, radio and the theater.
Comment by Barry Parsons on November 12, 2009 at 12:39am
If I met Sonny I don't recall it. I am pretty sure dad did some shows with him though. He's another great artist.
Comment by Janet Stinson Therrien on November 12, 2009 at 12:10am
What a wonderful time in your life and such a lasting memory! Barry, just by chance, would you happen to know Sonny Louvin?
Comment by Barry Parsons on November 11, 2009 at 10:49pm
She was as genuine as they come. Her caring enough about my story to adopt me for the day was proof enough for me. But the few times I was around her she was just as normal as the rest of us and I am sure she's still that way today. She was one of the few who really didn't let celebrity go to her head. She's thankful for what she has and remembers her origins.

Lorrie had a bit of a brat complex behind the scenes. As I recall she had some drug/alcohol problems as an adult and a checkered past. But she was a good singer. I haven't heard anything about her lately, she's probably still out there performing somewhere.

Oh there are plenty of stories of those days and much more. Dancing backstage at the Grand Ole Opry with Little Jimmy Dickens, meeting Merle Haggard in Georgia when he was married to Leona Williams, a singer my dad toured with a lot. The first song I ever did on stage was an old song of his. I could write a book but I don't think the stories would be that fascinating to that many people.
Comment by wiffledust on November 11, 2009 at 9:54pm
barry! what a great story!!! and what a colorful youth you had....and how fortunate you were to have exposure to so much talent and huge experiences! dolly for a THAT is a gift! is she as warm as she seems? she is my idea of one of the most REAL people and what an incredible songwriter!!! and i remember lorrie morgan...she was fabulous. and what a testimony to the human will and spirit that you willed yourself well to be with dolly!!! i'm sorry about the fire, but i often find i don't even need the photos of my life anymore. everything is burned in my mind. thanks so much for sharing all of this!!! i'm sure you have more stories...?!

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