Dolly Parton’s America wins Peabody Award; Dolly offers praise in speech

Host Jad Abumrad interviewing Dolly. (Photo courtesy of OSM Audio and WNYC)

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Dolly Parton seems to be just about everywhere these days, and the podcast space is no exception.

On June 10, 2020, her podcast Dolly Parton’s America, which is produced by WNYC and OSM Audio, won a prestigious Peabody Award.

The Peabody Awards selected 30 programs and dubbed them as the most compelling and empowering stories of 2019. The Peabody reflects the best of the best from the nearly 1,300 entries submitted in the categories of entertainment, news, documentary, children’s and public service programming. All winners are chosen unanimously by a board of 19 jurors.

The Dolly Parton’s America podcast does a deep dive on Dolly and her legacy, including the way she seems to be the “great unifier” for people across all platforms and diverse backgrounds.

Read more: 6 life changing lessons from the Dolly Parton’s America Podcast

The Peabody Awards Ceremony was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, many award recipients pre-recorded an acceptance speech.*

“Now I was very proud to be the subject of this podcast,” Dolly says in her acceptance speech. “I can honestly say I never enjoyed doing an interview as much as I enjoyed working with Jad on this one … He was able to drag things out of me I never thought I’d tell anybody! Jad is such a pro and deserves all the accolades he’s received with or without me. I’m proud of you, Jad, congratulations!”

Watch Dolly’s full acceptance speech here.

Podcast host and executive producer Jad Abumrad says in his acceptance speech that the podcast tells the story of Dolly Parton, of course, but also of America and its divisions — and where it’s possible to get across everything that divides us and land “some place new.”

“That is one of Dolly’s great gifts,” he says.

“It was the adventure of a lifetime and I’m deeply grateful to Jad for having me join him,” says Shima Oliaee, reporter and producer. “Meeting all the people in the Dolly-verse and hearing their incredible stories changed us … Thank you to everyone who spoke to us, thank you to all the podcast fans and listeners, thank you to the unsinkable Dolly Parton and thank you to the Peabody Awards. We will always love you!”

Watch Abumrad’s and Oliaee’s full acceptance speech here.

Dolly Parton’s America consists of 11 episodes:

  1. Sad Ass Songs — This episode dives into Dolly’s discography, starting with her early period of sad songs about pain, domestic violence and slut-shaming. The episodes looks at how Dolly took centuries-old Appalachian “murder ballads” and flipped the script by singing from the woman’s point of view.
  2. I Will Always Leave You — This episode takes a look at Dolly’s relationship with Porter Wagoner and the start of her career as his new “girl singer.”
  3. Tennessee Mountain Trance — The podcast staff visits Dollywood and discusses country music, authenticity, nostalgia and belonging.
  4. Neon Moss — This episode visits Dolly’s actual Tennessee mountain home, and Dolly discusses stories about her first trips beyond her Tennessee mountains.
  5. Dollitics — This podcast episode takes a look at Dolly’s inclusivity and her refusal to discuss politics.
  6. The Only One for Me, Jolene — This episode looks Dolly’s unique storytelling on the classic tale of the “other woman.”
  7. Dolly’s Wildflowers: Live music from the series
  8. Dolly Parton’s America — The podcast visits Dr. Lynn Sacco’s class at the University of Tennessee (which is actually named “Dolly Parton’s America”).
  9. Dixie Disappearance — This episode looks at the controversy around removing “Dixie” from the formerly named Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede.
  10. Traveling Creatures: Live music from the series
  11. She’s Alive! — In this episode, Dolly discusses her faith and her story of finding God in an abandoned church filled with graffiti. She also discusses her plans on how she will be remembered after she’s gone and how her voice will live on.

Dolly Parton’s America is hosted by Jad Abumrad and produced and reported by Shima Oliaee. Dolly Parton’s America is a co-production with OSM Audio and can be found wherever you get your podcasts.

For more information about the podcast, visit dollypartonsamerica.org. To support the podcast, visit dollypartonsamerica.org/donate.

Learn more about the Peabody Awards on their website, peabodyawards.com.

*The Peabody Awards would like to note that many speeches were recorded prior to the protests regarding George Floyd and police brutality 

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