Coat of Many Colors

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This article is about the album. For other uses, see Coat of many colors (disambiguation).
Coat of Many Colors
Studio album by Dolly Parton
Released October 2, 1971
Recorded March–April 1971, RCA Studio "B", Nashville
Genre Country
Length 27:26
Label RCA
Producer Bob Ferguson
Dolly Parton chronology
Coat of Many Colors
Touch Your Woman
Alternative covers
Cover of Joshua & Coat Of Many Colors
Singles from Coat of Many Colors
  1. "My Blue Tears" / "The Mystery of the Mystery"
    Released: June 1971
  2. "Coat of Many Colors" / "Here I Am"
    Released: September 1971
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (A-)[2]
Music Box 5/5 stars[3]
Pitchfork Media (7.0/10)[4]
Stylus Magazine (A-)[5]
Uncut 4/5 stars[6]

Coat of Many Colors is the eighth solo studio album by Dolly Parton, released in 1971 by RCA Records. The title song, which Parton has described as her favourite of all the songs she's ever written, deals with the poverty of her childhood. It reached #4 on the U.S. country singles charts.

Over the years, Parton would re-record a number of the songs from the album. She redid "Traveling Man" (not to be confused with the Ricky Nelson song of the same name), a song that involved an unusual love triangle between a travelling salesman, a woman, and her mother, for inclusion on her 1973 album Bubbling Over. She would also re-record her composition "My Blue Tears", an "old-timey" folk-influenced song, with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt in the mid-1970s, for an ill-fated Trio album project. (The recording would eventually surface on Ronstadt's 1982 album Get Closer). Parton cut the song for a third time in 2001, including it on her Little Sparrow album. "Early Morning Breeze" later appeared on her 1974 Jolene album, as well as her 2014 album, Blue Smoke for which she re-recorded it for the Walmart bonus tracks.

"A Better Place to Live" was a song very much of its time, dealing with living in a utopian, peaceful world where people love one another, and was very much in the same vein as Jackie DeShannon's recent hit "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" (which Parton herself would later cover in 1993).

In 2001, the album was released on CD in 2001 as Joshua & Coat Of Many Colors, attached to Joshua on one disc.[7]

In January 2016, the album was ranked number 301 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[8] It subsequently made Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2006.

A re-issue released in 2007, in conjunction with Parton's 2007 European Tour, featured previously unreleased songs.

In 2010, Sony Music reissued the 2007 CD Coat of Many Colors in a triple-feature CD set with My Tennessee Mountain Home and Jolene.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Dolly Parton, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Coat of Many Colors"     3:05
2. "Traveling Man"     2:40
3. "My Blue Tears"     2:16
4. "If I Lose My Mind"   Porter Wagoner 2:29
5. "The Mystery of the Mystery"   Porter Wagoner 2:28
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "She Never Met a Man (She Didn't Like)"     2:41
7. "Early Morning Breeze"     2:54
8. "The Way I See You"   Porter Wagoner 2:46
9. "Here I Am"     3:19
10. "A Better Place to Live"     2:39



  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Coat of Many Colors at AllMusic
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: dolly parton". Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Metzger, John (April 2007). "Dolly Parton - Coat of Many Colors (Album Review)". Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Wolk, Douglas (April 13, 2007). "Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Dolly Parton: Coat of Many Colors / My Tennessee Mountain Home / Jolene". Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  5. ^ Voegtlin, Stewart (25 May 2007). "Dolly Parton - Coat of Many Colors - Review - Stylus Magazine". Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  6. ^ Alastair McKay Uncut, May 2007, Issue 120
  7. ^ Joshua & Coat Of Many Colors at Discogs
  8. ^ "500 Greatest Albums: Coat of Many Colors - Dolly Parton | Rolling Stone Music | Lists". Retrieved 22 June 2011. 

External links[edit]