Happy 75th, Dolly Parton!

By Arts, Women, Writing 3 Comments

I asked my student, Misty, to share with my readers some of her vast knowledge about her shero, Dolly Parton, who turns 75 today. Misty’s mom went to high school with Dolly, and when Misty asked her parents to host us in their home this past fall, they pulled out the yearbooks. That’s Misty’s index finger on Dolly’s senior picture. In the group shot below, we show off the “What Would Dolly Do?” t-shirts Misty (second from left) gave us.

So now from Misty Hedrick I give you…

Five Reasons to Love Dolly Parton

1. Billboard estimates Dolly’s current catalog at nearly 5,000 songs. That makes Dolly Parton the most prolific living songwriter. She writes poetry, screenplays, and Broadway musicals, and she starred in hit movies like 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias. And Dolly now churns out Netflix specials based on her songs, like Jolene and Two Doors

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How to Write Good Lyrics

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My guest today is by singer/songwriter, Katherine Long. You can check out her FB fan page and hear her sing by going here.

“I can’t get that song out of my head!” A familiar phrase, no? How does a songwriter pen a simple line of words that plays over and over in eager minds and could become legendary in the history of music? If you expect a quick answer or a three-step process, alas, I have neither. The thing about song writing is that the process is a little different for everyone. Some start with a good melody line and fill in lyrics that fit . For others, lyrics must come first. The good news is that after consulting the experts (Songwriting for Dummies by Jim Peterik, et al), I can give you some great tips on writing good lyrics. 

There are a lot of possible starting points, …

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Resources for Songwriters

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Interested in writing lyrics for the Christian market? One
of my students recently tracked down these resources:

Lee, C. Nancy.  Lyrics of Lament, From Tragedy to
Fortress Press, 2010, 
O’Donnell, Sean Douglass. God’s Lyrics, Rediscovering worship through Old Testament Songs.  
P&R Publishing Company, 2010.
Woods, Robert and Walrath, Brian. The Message in the Music. Abingdon Press, 1976.
Rogal, J. Samuel. A
General Introduction to hymnody and Congregational Song. 
The Scarecrow 
Press, 1991.
Lectures and
Moon, Wisdom and Thompson, Mandy “The Songwriter’s Café:
Episode 3 iTunesU, Released March 15, 2011.
Episode 4 iTunesU, Released April 16, 2011
Episode 5 iTunesU, Released May 16, 2011
 Thompson, Dan and
Brookhouse, Joe “The Songwriter’s Café Episode 12”
iTunesU, Released January 16, 2012
Christian Songwriters Conference in Mount
Finale Songwriter
Song Factory
Master Writer 2.0
Toontrack EZ Songwriting Bundle
Master songwriter HALion Workstation
Track Notes
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