Dolly Parton and Carl Dean

Dolly Parton met Carl Thomas Dean at the Wishy Washy laundromat on the same day that she arrived in Nashville from Tennessee.

It was a hot day and Carl warned Dolly: “You are going to get burnt out there little lady!”

“My first thought was I’m gonna marry that girl,” Carl has said about the singer.

Carl’s second thought was: ‘Lord she’s good lookin.’

“And that was the day my life began,” he says. She was 18 and he was 21.

Soon after, Carl enlisted in the army but the romance continued.

They were married two years later on 30 May 1966 at a church in Ringgold, Georgia.

Dolly kept the marriage a secret because her record label was worried that the relationship would get in the way of her career.

A private man

Carl runs an asphalt-paving company in Nashville.

He is a private person who prefers a quiet life away from the media attention.

“A lot of people have thought that through the years because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” Dolly told Entertainment Tonight.

“It’s just not who he is….He figured if he ever got out there in that, he’d never get a minute’s peace, and he’s right about that.”


In the 1973 hit ‘Jolene’ Parton sings about confronting a young red-haired woman whom she believes is sleeping with her husband.

However, the story is fiction and the real Jolene is actually a little girl who Dolly met at one of her shows.

The couple renewed their vows in May 2016, marking their 50th anniversary.

“I got all dressed up in the most beautiful gown you’ve ever seen and dressed that husband of mine up,” Parton told Rolling Stone.

“He looked like a handsome dude out of Hollywood.

“We didn’t plan anything big at all because we didn’t want any kind of strain, any kind of tension, any kind of commotion, so we planned it cleverly and carefully. We just had a simple little ceremony at our chapel at our place. We just had fun with it.”