Dolly Parton is a songwriter first and foremost. It’s what she wants to be known for. The Queen of country doesn’t write songs for just anybody, though. If she’s going to team up with someone to compose an album, it has to be a nice time. In her 2020 novel, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, she writes about songwriting with Mac Davis. He supported her through a tough period in her career, and they still had a great time together.
How Dolly Parton met Mac Davis
When Parton met Davis, he had his own NBC TV variety series and hits like “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me,” “I Believe in Music,” and “Stop and Smell the Roses.”
“We automatically liked each other, and so we stayed in touch,” Parton wrote in her novel. “Anytime he’d come to Nashville, he’d call and we’d get together for supper or something.”
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They had a lot in common, Parton and Davis.
“Mac Davis is my buddy,” she wrote. “We write songs together and sometimes sing together, too. I’ll still be thankful to him for helping me to make it in Hollywood. Mac resides in Los Angeles, but both Mac and I are in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. While I live in Nashville, both my husband and I have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”
Davis died on September 29, 2020, following Parton’s publication of her novel.
How Mac Davis assisted Dolly Parton during a trying time
Parton knew for a long time that she wanted to leave The Porter Wagoner Show and set off on her own. When she finally got the freedom she’d been craving, she found herself at a crossroads. She was at a loss about what to do next.
“[Mac Davis] was in Nashville working on a record when I was leaving Porter,” she wrote. “I was kind of at a low point and in a mix-up of not knowing what all I wanted to do. So I called Mac. He said, ‘Well, come on down here,’ and we ordered room service at his hotel. We talked a lot, and I told him what my plans were.”
Spring is a time for blooming and growing. Happy first day of Spring! vgb9CVkm3v https://twitter.com/vgb9CVkm3v
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) March 20, 2021
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During the talk, Davis offered to bring Parton in contact with his boss, Sandy Gallin.
“I don’t know if Sandy would want to manage a country artist, but at least he can kind of guide you,” he told her.
“I started working with Sandy, and that worked out wonderful,” she wrote. “And Mac let us be his opening act on the road for a while. He was very, very helpful to me.”
‘We do have a nice time’
Parton and Davis began collaborating on songs “anytime we could.”
“When we write, it’s such a joy,” Parton wrote. “The lines we come up with are occasionally awful, occasionally vulgar, and occasionally amusing. However, we are still having a nice time.”
The duo’s most well-known song is “Wait ‘Til I Get You Home.”
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You’re simply irresistible.
Ooh, you arouse sexy sentiments
Each man in the room will relish the opportunity to try you on for size.
Wait until I bring you home, baby.
Mac Davis and Dolly Parton, 1989, ‘Wait ‘Til I Get You Home’
“I think this song is very clever,” wrote Parton. “It’s based on how your mom or your daddy would say, ‘Young lady, you wait until I get you home.’ But it’s like a love song instead.”