Dolly Parton Selling Vow Renewal Photos for Charity
Dolly Parton and her husband, Carl Dean, recently celebrated 50 years of marriage with a vow renewal ceremony in Nashville, and the photos from the event will play a huge part in their philanthropic efforts. The country icon has announced that the photos will be released to the highest bidder, and the money will benefit children's charities.
"If I had it to do all over, I'd do it all over again, and we did. I'm dragging him kicking and screaming into the next 50 years. Wish us luck," says Parton. "In all honesty, the only way I was able to get Carl to do any of this in the first place was that it was a great opportunity for us to raise money for some very worthy causes."
It's been a long time since May 30, 1966 -- the day the couple originally said "I do" -- and this time around, their wedding looked a lot different: The first time Parton and Dean tied the knot, their wedding was a quick event. Parton had just signed with Monument Records, and label head Fred Foster asked the singer to delay her wedding. Instead of delaying it, she and Dean eloped, in a way, to Ringgold, Ga.
“[We] got married [there] so it wouldn’t be in the Tennessee papers,” Parton explains. “We went down there, and Mom went with us, and Mom made me a white dress. I said, ‘I’m not getting married in a courthouse,’ so we had to go back the following Monday … We actually got married in Ringgold, Ga., at a Baptist church. Inside. No people there, just the preacher and his wife, the witness and Mama and Carl and I.”
Country music lovers are certainly looking forward to seeing photos of the romantic (re-)nuptials. Dean is rarely seen in public, and in addition to being photographed, he also agreed to do his first interview, which will be released to coincide with the photos. But although Dean prefers to let Parton stand in the limelight, his love for his wife is deep and true.
"My first thought was, 'I’m gonna marry that girl,'" says Dean in a press release, recalling the moment he first laid eyes on Parton, at the Wishy Washy Laundromat. "My second thought was, 'Lord, she’s good lookin’.' And that was the day my life began. I wouldn’t trade the last 50 years for nothing on this earth."
Parton is staying busy this summer with her stripped-down Pure & Simple Tour, her largest North American tour in more than 25 years. She'll also release a new double-disc album, Pure & Simple With Dolly’s Biggest Hits, which will street later this summer.
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