Dolly Parton is a deeply admired musician. But still she has to contend with unruly fans occasionally. During a performance in Las Vegas, a guy screamed to Parton that she shouldn’t be singing “Me and Little Andy” in a nightclub. In a way, she thought he had a point. So she omitted the song from potential club lineups.
‘Me and Little Andy’
“Me and Little Andy” came out in 1977 on the Here You Come Again LP. It’s one of Parton’s popular sad songs. When it came out, several people thought it didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the record.
“This was an odd song to be putting on a pop album,” she wrote in her 2020 memoir, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics. “A lot of people said, ‘That is so out of place.’ I said, ‘Well, I was just trying to get some of my own songs on that record.’ And I love performing that little song.”
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The Queen of Country enjoyed playing the character in the video.
“It’s a sad story, but I think people get a kick out of me doing my little-kid voice when I sing, ‘Ain’t ya got no gingerbread? Are you sure you don’t have any candy? Are you sure you don’t have an extra bed for me and Little Andy?’ she wrote.
A fan allegedly yelled at Dolly Parton for singing ‘Me and Little Andy’ in a nightclub.
Parton often performed “Me and Little Andy” on the stage.
“I recall we were in Las Vegas at the time, and I included it in my act,” she wrote. “This guy in the audience hollered out, ‘Don’t sing that damn song in a nightclub! That the child died is bad enough! Did you have to kill the damn dog, too?’”
Parton reflected on what the man yelled. She thought, “Well, maybe he’s right. Or maybe he’s the daddy in the song who’s drunk again.” Either way, Parton removed the song from her club act. She didn’t want to sing the song “where people drink.”
“I thought, ‘It’s hard enough for regular people who ain’t drunk to deal with some of the sorrow that I throw at ’em,’” she wrote. “Some people want to kick my a*s for writing such sorrowful songs. That guy cussed me out, big time.”
Dolly Parton’s popular sad songs
Although Parton is mostly remembered for her optimism and upbeat personality, she’s written many, many tragic songs.
“As a songwriter, I love to write those mournful things and put myself in those situations,” she wrote in her 2020 novel. “It comes from those early days with all of the old songs I grew up with. I liked hearing all the sorrow in an album. I used to write about anything and everything in my early years. I simply desired to write fantastic stories or to write about circumstances in which I might envision myself.”
Hey, nice shot.
February 16, 2021 — Dolly Parton (@DollyParton)
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Several of the early songs Parton wrote were deemed too depressing (or too controversial) for radio play. Even so, she would not change a thing if she could go back. Those melancholic songs are an integral part of who she is.
“I wrote a lot of songs that were never played on the radio, but that didn’t matter to me,” she wrote. “It bothered me at the time, but I never thought, ‘I shouldn’t have done that.’ Whatever I write is just what comes out of me, and I refuse to be judged.”