Dolly Parton is a deeply beloved artist. But even she has to deal with unruly fans sometimes. During a show in Las Vegas, a man yelled to Parton that she shouldn’t be singing “Me and Little Andy” in a nightclub. In a way, she felt he had a point. So she removed the song from future club lineups.
‘Me and Little Andy’
“Me and Little Andy” came out in 1977 on the Here You Come Again LP. It’s one of Parton’s famous sad songs. When it came out, many people felt it didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the album.
“This was an odd song to be putting on a pop album,” she wrote in her 2020 book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics. “A lot of people said, ‘That is so out of place.’ I said, ‘Well, I was just trying to get some of my own songs on that record.’ And I love performing that little song.”
The Queen of Country enjoyed playing the character in the song.
“It’s a sad story, but I think people get a kick out of me doing my little-kid voice when I sing, ‘Ain’t ya got no gingerbread? Ain’t ya got no candy? Ain’t ya got an extra bed for me and Little Andy?’” she wrote.
A fan ‘cussed [Dolly Parton] out’ for singing ‘Me and Little Andy’ at a nightclub
Parton used to sing “Me and Little Andy” on the road a lot.
“I remember once we were in Las Vegas, and I had it in my act,” she wrote. “This guy in the audience hollered out, ‘Don’t sing that damn song in a nightclub! It’s bad enough that the kid died! Did you have to kill the damn dog, too?’”
Parton reflected on what the man yelled. She thought, “Well, maybe he’s right. Or maybe he’s the daddy in the song who’s drunk again.” Either way, Parton removed the song from her club act. She didn’t want to sing the song “where people drink.”
“I thought, ‘It’s hard enough for regular people who ain’t drunk to deal with some of the sorrow that I throw at ’em,’” she wrote. “Some people want to kick my a*s for writing such sorrowful songs. That guy cussed me out, big time.”
Dolly Parton’s famous sad songs
While Parton is often recognized for her optimism and upbeat personality, she’s written many, many heartbreaking songs.
“As a songwriter, I love to write those mournful things and put myself in those situations,” she wrote in her 2020 book. “It comes from those early days with all of the old songs I grew up with. I loved feeling all the sorrow in a song. In my early days, I just wrote about everything. I just wanted to write great stories, or write about situations that I could imagine myself in.”
Some of the songs Parton wrote in her early career were too sad (or too controversial) to be played on the radio. Still, if she could go back, she wouldn’t change a thing. Those sad songs are a part of who she is.
“I wrote a lot of songs that people wouldn’t play on the radio, but I didn’t care,” she wrote. “It bothered me at the time, but I never thought, ‘I shouldn’t have done that.’ Whatever I write is just what comes out of me, and I refuse to be judged.”
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