‘A Holly Dolly Christmas’: Is Dolly Parton’s CBS Special on her lovers? Singer once said 'men are my weakness'

Dolly said, 'Short, fat, bald or skinny — I've had crushes on some very unusual men but Carl knows I'll always come home and I'm not having sex with these people — I'm just flirting and having fun'

                            ‘A Holly Dolly Christmas’: Is Dolly Parton’s CBS Special on her lovers? Singer once said 'men are my weakness'
Dolly Parton (Getty Images)

At 74, legendary country singer Dolly Parton’s singing game is still going strong as age is just a number for the ‘Jolene’ star. The nine-time Grammy award winner is returning to television screens with the CBS special 'A Holly Dolly Christmas’ on December 6. Parton will entertain us with her festive melodies “from an intimate, candle-lit set”.

The program will amplify the joy of celebration with some euphoric, faith-filled hymns from the singer. To our elation, America's biggest entertainer will also share personal stories and faith-based recollections with her songs from her record-breaking album ‘A Holly Dolly Christmas’.

The album consisting of 12 songs has ‘Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas’ too that the songstress cooed with iconic artiste Michael Bublé. The whimsically animated song depicts two cartoon characters who mimic Parton and Bublé as they sing amid the snowy times in the festivities.

The song depicts how lovers seek to cozy down with their beloveds in bars, hotel rooms, in their homes, and anywhere in the festive season. The song with its jazzy buoyancy will totally make one snuggle down, holding a glass of mulled wine, blanket and some solace.


While one could think that the cheeky holiday-themed song is about Parton’s lovers, we are proved wrong. The singer reveals the inspiration behind the romantic theme of the song which is kids! “People will find this surprising,” Parton said about the song’s origins.

“They might not even like it. It might not be as sexy – but it’s the truth: I wrote this when I was cuddling up and cozying down with one of my little nieces and nephews, just thinking about mothers and their babies. When I started writing it, it was just like, ‘I want to cuddle up and cozy down with you / Wrap my arms around you / Sleep the whole night through',” Parton continued, “and it’s really about being there with your little baby, kissing and hugging and all that.”

Parton later thought to change the tone of ‘Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas’. She said, “I thought, ‘Well, I need to make this into a more romantic thing.’ So I did and I cuddled up with Michael Bublé on this one! He did a great job on it. So it made it sexy. I can only fantasize cuddling up and cozying down with him!” Now as the singer hinted about the romantic overtones in the song, here we shed some light on her lovers and past affairs. 

Carl Dean

Carl Dean and Dolly Parton (A&E)

Dolly Parton has been married to businessman Carl Dean for over 50 years! In the documentary titled 'Biography: Dolly', which focused on the life of country music legend, Parton revealed that she had met Dean outside a local laundromat called the Wishy Washy Washateria when she was 18. He had charmingly gone out of his way to tell her she was going to get sunburned and they just gelled immediately and kept chatting away.

Carl Dean worked as an asphalt contractor back then and revealed his initial impressions on their first meeting 50 years later as we reported earlier: “My first thought was, ‘I’m gonna marry that girl’. 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." 
The couple finally decided to get married secretly in 1966 which went public a year later. Since then, they have made many public appearances together and have revealed the secret to their long-lasting marriage is an “open arrangement”. The openness in their marriage reportedly refers to each partner’s ability to enjoy the company of other crushes, fantasize about them, and maybe flirt a little — without betraying each other in their marriage. 

Dolly once said about how she loves flirting and is into an open marriage, "Men are my weakness. Short, fat, bald, or skinny — I've had crushes on some very unusual men but Carl knows I'll always come home and I'm not having sex with these people — I'm just flirting and having fun.” Since the open marriage concept, the artiste had many rumored affairs from Slyvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, to longtime friend and assistant Judy Ogle." I love to flirt, and I've never met a man I didn't like”, she once said.

Sylvester Stallone

American actor, director, screenwriter, and producer Sylvester Stallone wearing baker boy hat, UK, 4th February 1977 (Photo by Fresco/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/(Getty Images)

Dolly was rumored to be linked romantically with Sylvester Stallone with whom she did ‘Rhinestone’ in 1984. Dolly said about Stallone’s personality at that time, “I think he’s beautiful. I’d never seen him in person before I started on Rhinestone. I was surprised when I first saw him because I thought he would be gigantic. When I had my surgery I decided I had to get myself in better shape, eat better, because I just turned 38. I lost all of my weight before I even met Sly. He’s a great inspiration to be around, though. He was more than happy to help me. I loved working with him, he’s a great person.”However, their purported affair was never confirmed.

Burt Reynolds

Promotional portrait of American actor Burt Reynolds on the set of the television series, 'Riverboat,' circa 1960 (NBC Television/(Getty Images)

Rumors of actor Burt Reynolds and Parton went rife when they appeared in 1982's ‘The Best Little Whorehouse’. Dolly said at that time, “I couldn’t wait to jump into bed with Burt ­Reynolds,” and after a pause said, “In the movie, not in real life.”

Burt also admired Dolly and said, “I got to work with her for so long that ­eventually I was looking at her face.”While tabloids reported on their casual affair Dolly said later, “Burt and I had our little arguments and little spats. But we were so honest with each other. In the same way, Kenny Rogers and I are. We held no secrets from each other, we couldn’t fool each other.” Their rumored fling came at a time when Dolly was in marriage with Carl Dean. 

Judy Ogle

It's not just men but Dolly Parton has been linked to women too. Parton was rumored to have a love affair with her personal assistant and best friend Judy Ogle. The speculation and rumor intensified when Parton once innocently confessed to sharing a bed with Judy. However, 74-year-old Parton says that she has never "had a ­relationship with a woman or had a desire to be with a woman", though she has fallen for other men.

The suicidal relationship

Singer Dolly Parton performs at the Weinstein Co. Pre-Oscar Party at the Pacific Design Center on March 4, 2006, in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

While Parton mostly has playfully casual flings, she once suffered from a serious heartbreak. This came in 1980s when the singer was left feeling suicidal as an "affair of the heart" ended very badly. In her book titled 'Dolly on Dolly, Interviews, and Encounters with Dolly Parton', she wrote, "I was sitting upstairs in my bedroom one afternoon when I noticed in the nightstand drawer my gun that I keep for burglars. I looked at it a long time..."

She continued about the anonymous lover, "Then, just as I picked it up, just to hold it and look at it for a moment, our little dog, Popeye, came running up the stairs. The tap-tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to reality and I suddenly froze. I put the gun down. Then I prayed. I kinda believe Popeye was a spiritual messenger from God."
As the ‘Steel Magnolias’ star is ready to take the stage with the CBS special with some heartwarming jingles on romance, one can only await with bated breath about what she shares more. "A Holly Dolly Christmas' special program will be broadcast on Sunday, December 6 at 8.30 pm ET on CBS Television Network. It will be available to stream live on CBS All Access.

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