Stella Parton

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Stella Parton
Birth nameStella Mae Parton
Born (1949-05-04) May 4, 1949 (age 71)
OriginSevierville, Tennessee, U.S.
GenresCountry, gospel
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1967–present
Soul, Country and Blues
Associated actsDolly Parton
Randy Parton
Rachel Dennison
WebsiteStella Parton on Facebook

Stella Mae Parton (born May 4, 1949) is an American country singer and songwriter, widely known for a series of country singles that charted during the mid- to late-1970s, her biggest hit being 1975's "I Want to Hold You In My Dreams Tonight".[1] She is the younger sister of country music entertainer Dolly Parton, and the older sister of singer Randy Parton and actress Rachel Dennison.

Early life[edit]

Stella Mae Parton was born on May 4, 1949, in Sevierville, Tennessee. She is the sixth of 12 children born to Avie Lee Caroline (née Owens; 1923–2003) and Robert Lee Parton, Sr. (1921–2000). Country vocalist Dolly Parton is her elder sister by three years.[2] When Stella was seven, Dolly and she appeared on a local television program, and two years later she debuted on radio. During this time, Stella and her sisters Willadeene and Cassie formed a group who sang gospel music and made commercials around eastern Tennessee. During her high school years, Parton began writing songs. She married Marvin Carroll Rauhuff just prior to her high school graduation in 1966. Parton had one son by this marriage.[3]

Recording career[edit]

In 1967, Parton released her first album, In The Garden (a gospel project with Willadeene, Cassie, and their mother). Shortly thereafter, she moved to Washington, DC and began performing at the Hillbilly Heaven club. Later moving to Nashville, she started her own record label, Soul, Country and Blues, in 1975 and released her debut solo album, I Want to Hold You in My Dreams Tonight. Its title track was a substantial national hit, climbing into the country Top Ten.[citation needed] The success of "I Want to Hold You in my Dreams Tonight" landed her a major-label deal with Elektra in 1976. Her 1977 duet with Carmol Taylor, "Neon Woman", was somewhat successful, and she scored three Top 20 hits over 1977-1978 with "The Danger of a Stranger", "Four Little Letters", and "Standard Lie Number One"; she had an additional top-40 hit with her sister Dolly's composition "Steady as the Rain" in 1979.[citation needed] She recorded a total of three albums for Elektra through 1979. In 1984, Stella performed a song with Kin Vassey for the soundtrack of the movie Rhinestone, in which Dolly starred.

Though her chart success tapered off, after she left Elektra in 1980, Stella continued to record, releasing albums for several independent labels, including Accord/Townhouse and Airborne; she is currently with Raptor Records. To date, she has released 22 albums and has had 28 charting singles.

Stella has released a DVD, Live in Nashville. The DVD is footage from a 1990 concert in Nashville pulled from the Attic Entertainment archives. It is the first of a planned Vintage Collection Series.

Television and film work[edit]

In 1979, Parton starred in The Dukes of Hazzard episode titled "Deputy Dukes" as Mary Beth Malone, a woman who impersonates a police officer to settle a family score with a prisoner who ends up being transported by Bo and Luke during a change of venue.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, she starred in several Broadway touring musicals, including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Pump Boys & Dinettes, Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Parton also wrote and staged several Dollywood shows the opening season, as well as appearing on The Dukes of Hazzard (the first country artist to have a dramatic role on the series), Regis, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. She has been on several international radio programs, including Get Focused Radio with host Kate Hennessy.

In 2006, Parton made appearances in two films, A Dance for Bethany and Ghost Town, both slated for release in 2007. Each film also includes Stella's music on the soundtrack. Also ready for release in 2007 was her 21st album, which is a collection of original Contemporary Christian songs. Followed in 2008, was her 22nd album, Testimony.[1]

Stella appeared in Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors, an NBC made-for-TV movie based on Dolly's song of the same name that first aired on NBC in December 2015. In 2018, Stella took part in the BBC's Celebrity Masterchef series.

Stella appeared as a mystery guest on To Tell the Truth in 2021, and none of the panelists guessed her as the real sibling of Dolly Parton.

Social work[edit]

She devotes much of her time to causes such as domestic violence, and teaches at the New Opportunity School for Women at Berea College, Kentucky, using her knowledge of hair and makeup to help women build self esteem.

Parton has served as national spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Christian Appalachian Project and National Honorary Country Music Ambassador to the American Cancer Society.[1]


She also has a consulting business (Attic Entertainment Artist Development and Entertainment Consulting), teaching stage presence, hair, makeup, wardrobe techniques, and video coaching. Parton has also written three cookbooks, including her recipe-packed book State Fairs and Church Bazaars.[1]


  • In the Garden (with Avie Lee, Willadeene, and Cassie Parton) (1968)
  • Stella (And the Gospel Carrolls) (1972)
  • I Want to Hold You in My Dreams (1975)
  • Country Sweet (1977)
  • Stella Parton (1978)
  • Love Ya (1979)
  • True to Me (1980)
  • So Far, So Good (1982)
  • Always Tomorrow (1989)
  • A Woman's Touch (1995)
  • Appalachian Blues (2001)
  • Blue Heart (2002)
  • Appalachian Gospel (2003)
  • Songwriter Sessions (2006)
  • Holiday Magic (2008)
  • Testimony (2008)
  • American Coal (2010)
  • Buried Treasure (2014)
  • Last Train to Memphis (2015)
  • Mountain Songbird (2016)
  • Nashville Nights (2016)
  • Old Time Singing (2017)
  • Survivor (2018)


  1. ^ a b c d Parton, Stella (2011). Tell It Sister, Tell It. Attic Entertainment. p. 223. ISBN 978-0615443140.
  2. ^ "Pedigree Chart for Rachel Ann Parton: Smoky Mountain Ancestral Quest". 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2012-04-18.
  3. ^ "Stella Mae Parton b. 4 May 1949 d. : Smokey Mountain Ancestral Quest". Smokey Mountain Ancestral Quest. Retrieved 2009-02-23. Stella Parton marries Marvin Rauhuff

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