Friday Fan : Dolly Parton’s America

As a child I loved the radio. I loved television too but I couldn’t carry that around with me. The radio, however, was portable. Apart from when I was at school, it was always by my side. It was the equivalent of today’s smart phone which has become, for many people, more a companion now than just an instrument of quick communication.

The radio was my companion. I even slept with it laid out beside me on the pillow. Radio 1 was my jam. I bet I knew the daily schedule better than the station’s controller.

When I was a pupil, in the evenings I also trained as a radio broadcaster at the BBC. I ended up producing and co-presenting a show as well as doing interviews and outside reports for it. Had I not taken up a tenancy in Chambers, I would have been offered my own radio show with some television work thrown in from time to time.

I still enjoy radio when I get the time to listen to it and still occasionally do some presenting.

So, I should have jumped on the podcast bandwagon earlier than I did. But I’m here now!

Podcasts are huge business. 6 million people, per week listen to podcasts in the UK.

Lockdown has allowed me to become one of them.

You must remember this : Presents is a fascinating peek into the scandals and stories of the golden era Of Hollywood.

Song exploder : asks song writers to delve into the creative process of their songs. I love finding out the inspiration behind a song and so this series of 20 minute episodes is a delight.

But my absolute favourite at the moment is Dolly Parton’s America.


You don’t have to be a Dolly Parton fan to love this (though it’s hard to believe that any living, breathing, sane person, could not be a Dolly fan).

This enchanting, heartwarming, joyous podcast is a  glimpse into a world that, at times, is so magical and beautiful that it will bring you to tears. From the smoky mountains of Tennessee, to South Africa via Lebanon, this 9 part series is really about relationships, the human spirit, family and how much better life could be like if we had the grace and heart of Dolly Parton.

Her exquisite songs are woven into the fabric of this audio coat of many colours which will leave you wanting to catch the next flight out to Nashville. Fun fact: Dolly wrote I will always love you and Jolene on the same day! (The episodes about the two songs are an eye opener). Anyone who thinks that Dolly Parton writes fluffy songs will be schooled hard by the scholarly and scandalous breakdown of them through the prisms of social and political changes in recent American history. Overseeing it all is the humour and wisdom of Miss Parton who is as astute about the human condition as they come.

I can’t recommend this podcast enough.


Yours editorially

Rehna – because elegance is an attitude