Dolly Parton's craziest fan gift? A baby
August 2nd, 2011
09:41 AM ET

Dolly Parton's craziest fan gift? A baby

Country superstar Dolly Parton has revealed that she may have received the most extreme gift from a fanatical fan – ever.

The singer tells Chicago’s Windy City Times that years ago, a fan left a baby on her doorstep!

The incident occurred after Parton penned her 1974 hit “Jolene.” With her star on the rise, the singer had begun to attract “fanatical” followers.

“We came home one day and there was a baby in a box at our gate with a note in it,” Parton explains. “The note said, 'My name is Jolene, my momma has left me here and she wants you to have me'. Of course, we all freaked out! It wasn't like it was a kitten or a puppy dog. It was a baby named Jolene!"

The 65-year-old country legend, who is on her “Better Day” world tour, says she doesn’t know what ended up happening to baby Jolene. She called Human Services upon discovering the abandoned child, and never heard an update.

“What do you do in a situation like that?,” Dolly muses. “There are some loony people in this world!”

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soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Jessie

    She did the right thing. yes the Mother was a loon to leave her baby on a doorstep. But what about the Father, the grandparents? there could be plenty of normal people worried sick about the baby. hopefully CPS was able to reconnect the baby with her family or if not find a good family to take her in. And Dolly never said she didn't wonder about the baby (the fact that she is talking about her after 30 years tells me she did), she said she never heard anything which with privacy laws makes sense – CPS wouldn't have told her anything.

    August 5, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. kissyfur

    This article makes Dolly sound very cold. I agree with many people that it's odd she never wondered about the baby. I wonder all the time about lost pets I've taken to a clinic, lost children I took to the security office in a mall... If someone left a defenseless baby at my gate, you can bet I'd know EXACTLY what was happening to ensure it's health, safety and happiness. Just because she's famous, doesn't give her an excuse to be callous.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. LRoy

    All I can say is, if the baby (now adult) ever reads this, maybe that person will try to make contact with Ms. Parton...through proper channels, of course.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bubba

    You guys seem to be missing the point, which is that if she took this child in, there would be twenty of them the next day and a hundred by Friday.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. @sandy

    The person who said she had "twins", think about that...twins. Not twin children, either. Get it now? 😉

    August 3, 2011 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kathryn

    She did the right thing & the same thing I would have done. You find a baby like that and how do you know it was not kidnapped or something or someone is using it to accuse you of kidnapping it or to extort money or something? You call the authorities immediately. Celebs today do attract a lot of scary people & they have to be careful! I hope they caught the nut case that left a kid like that & put them in jail or a mental facility.

    August 3, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. sandy

    Someone said dolly is a mom...correction, she never had kids!!!

    August 2, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. r

    A nice cheddar cheese statue of herself was what I thought she was going to say.

    August 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. LEE

    I doubt that baby's name was really Jolene. I'm sure the mother did that to try and get Dolly to fall in love with the baby, but Dolly did the right thing. She was the oldest of 14 children and she pretty much raised her brothers and sisters. Dolly helps a lot of people.

    August 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    I've read some pretty vile comments on here about Dolly. First off, she wasn't able to have kids, morons. She had a hysterectomy. Second, Dolly Parton has given MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of her $$$$ to kids, AIDS patients,etc. The thing about Ms. Parton is she doesn't gloat or talk about her VERY KIND actions the way most celebrities do. She does alot of it anonymously. So for all you jealous LOSERS out there that want to speak ill of her or make jokes about her "jugs" as I've seen you call them, why don't you take 10 mins to investigate the heart behind those boobs of hers.

    August 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Me

    If it were me, I'd probably do a follow up to see how the child was doing and where it was, but to each her own, I guess.

    August 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ummm no

      Actually, no you would not.

      You would not be allowed. Ask any CPS worker.

      August 2, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. lyd

    I wish I found a baby on my door step. I would keep it and love it and raise it. Finders keepers.

    August 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. NM

    Sounds to me, like baby Jolene would have been much better off with DP, than with the biological, looney tunes mother.

    August 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sher

    You can't just keep a baby that you find on your doorstep! She had no legal rights to the baby, and probably no way to check up on it. What was she supposed to do other than what she did. She had no say over the baby, and certainly no obligation to become financially responsible in some way. It never said in the article she never thought about the baby again.

    August 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Karla

    As a worker at Social Services, they should NOT be talking to Dolly about what happened to the baby.

    August 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Sheila

    Looney is having fake breasts put in, plastic surgery to conceal one's age, and dressing like you are in your 20's when you are much much older and being an immoral role model to society.

    August 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      @ Sheila, u DON'T know ANYTHING about Dolly. Remember, when your attempting to point your finger at someone, you got THREE pointing back. Your nothing but TRASH.

      August 2, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Name*Carol

    OMG what the heck is wrong with people ?

    August 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  18. sandra

    Thank God she didn't keep the kid, and I hope the kid was raised by a descent, caring and loving's everything missing with this woman.

    August 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  19. derp

    Hillbilly's are funny

    August 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  20. SouthernBelle

    To everyone saying she should have kept the baby, started a trust fund, checked up on it....certainly it would have been nice for the child for her to do so. Or would it?....if Dolly had kept track of the child, so would the media...I don't think I would've wanted to be known as the child left by my mother at anyone's garden gate. And just think of all the others who would've been encouraged by that act to leave their children also. CPS was the best solution.

    August 2, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Holly Renee

    I wish my mother had left me on someone's door steps,she didn't love me and she allowed men to abuse me.She is the worse b**ch i've ever known.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Coolius Unroolius

    The baby's real mother probably couldn't feed Jolene. She figured that Dolly had more than enough milk in those enormous fun bags she has.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Surrounded by idiots

      Even more LAME than the first time I read it in this thread.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Ice

    Dolly I love you. You are brave coz i think the mother was somewhere watching and would you have decided to take the baby; you would have landed yourself in problems; maybe she was planning tu sue you for stealing her baby....its a good think; you acted the way I would have........................GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR EMAILY PLUS THAT BABY TOO.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Now, that sounds like a tale from a conspiracy theorist. I'm just sayin...

      August 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  24. ian

    I heard Jolene turned out to be a crack-ho.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  25. GoFaster58

    Must be a slow news day. This is old news.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Mik

    Well I would hope that you phone and check on it periodically... first of all!!! Sheesh!

    August 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Yeah right..

    It happened in 1974... this isn't news and it's 37 year old news if anyone wants to argue about it... 😀

    August 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  28. childless

    Someone can leave a child for me on my doorstep.. 🙁

    August 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Vinnie

    Why should she follow up on a baby that was left at her gate? Just because she has money doesn't mean she is responsible for everything her fans do. Give me a break. Those of you complaining she was wrong by not following up or setting up a trust probably rely on assistance from the state or others to survive. Get a life. If someone has a baby and can't take care of it, take the baby to the hospital... don't leave it outside hoping the person who lives in the house will come home and find it and care for it. Idiots. People are so stupid.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Anna Lington

    You judgemental a**h*les,i'll bet none of you have not done anything this year or if ever beneficial to a child other than your own.I don't mean things that cost money either.All you do is sit around criticizing rich people that can't do everything for everybody but do care and try to help society. To you I say get up and out and do something nice for some one else this summer.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • frances

      Actually, I found a runaway who was ill in a laundromat and took her to a hospital. She was 16 and she was calling her grandparents with a nurse when I left her side. She hugged and thanked me for caring when I was leaving, said she wished her mother cared about her. I felt good for what I had tried to do and I hope that she was able to stay with her grandparents or at least work things out with her mother. Either way, I helped a family reunite and it felt good!

      August 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |

    Wow- i think thats terrible that she didnt even give a crap about the baby. Like she couldnt afford to care for it, or even keep track of the child. Geez

    August 2, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • gentlerain

      She did the right thing for that child. Why is it her responsibility to raise the child or set up funds etc. Would you have done that? No, you wouldnt have. Stop throwing blames and what haves, when you wouldnt do the same. Doesnt matter how much money you have.

      August 2, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • flower12

      Agree 100% What a selfish beech.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wendy

      Just because she is wealthly doesnt mean she must take care of a child that someone left on her door step. Would you say the same thing about a middle class family with dual income and no kids if they had a baby left on their door step? You presume that Dolly Parton wanted to be a mother in the late is you who is selfish to assume that just because someone is wealthy means they would be good parents.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • crossedeyes

      ok i'll leave my baby at your door step and you raise it for me.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      It is very likely that Tennessee CPS legally could not provide any information. There are and have been very strict confidentiality laws in play on issues such as this.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • mep2820

      did you read the article? This happened in 1974. I doubt she was worth as much then as now. "star on the rise" doesn't mean you are making any amount of money yet. Get a grip people. She is not responsible for this child.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Surrounded by idiots

      You must be the very same lousy mother that dumped her kid on Dolly's doorstep.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • frances

      Funny thing is, Ms Parton does not mention whether or not she left funds for the baby. She could have and requested that the child never be told where the money came from. Seriously, do you think that she would tell the world that information? That would be something she would want to keep very private.

      As for asking for information about the child, she had no rights to the child and would not have been given any updates about her...unless she was trying to adopt her...which she obviously did not feel was not beneficial to herself or to the baby. I believe she did the right thing. As to whether or not she left her a "gift," that is her business and not ours.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • William

      LoL, this took place in the 70's Dolly was far from rich back in those days. She was a struggling artist who just got her first hit with "Jolene". Why should she change her whole life around at that point just because some trash of a mother decided to get knocked up and abandon her baby?

      August 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ummmm no

      I think you are probably the psychopath who left that baby there in the first place. Now that you found out she decided not to support your child you're all mad. Get a life and learn what personal responsibility is. Your children are your responsibility.

      August 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Octomom

      I'm going to leave mine on Angelina Jolene's doorstep.

      August 3, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  32. MeMe

    The person who put the baby on Miss Dollys' doorstep did a good thing, I mean a "looney" person might left the child in a dumpster,in the woods or worse. Miss Dolly did the correct thing by calling CPS.

    August 2, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  33. Pete

    One could easily imagine a country song about a baby being left on Dolly Parton's doorstep, moving on to an orphanage, getting a truck, the truck breaking down, getting married, the husband cheating, getting divorced, going fishing, dying. They could call it "Jolene."

    August 2, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • JMTN

      There's already a song called "Jolene" by the Zac Brown Band. Actually, it's a incredible song.

      August 2, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • ian

      @ jmtn.

      UH NO. There was already a song from Dolly called "Jolene." Zac Brown-eye came in last and the song sux.

      August 2, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • William

      lol, did you even read the story. The baby Jolene was left there when Dolly's song Jolene was a top hit. That's kinda what the whole article is about...

      August 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  34. la

    It seems strange to me that she never wondered about the well-being or the whereabouts of the baby or offered to set up a small trust or something...I know she didn't ask for it but if it were me I would be racked with guilt over just ignoring it...

    August 2, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Ana L

      Oh, Dolly Parton is racked allright

      August 2, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • kasey

      Why should she feel guilty? Seriously. The one that should feel guilty is the lunatic who left the baby there in the first place. She did the right thing by calling CPS. Sheesh.

      August 2, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • scb

      Ignoring it would be pushing the box out of the way and walking past it. Calling Human Services is what responsible people are supposed to do, so that steps can be taken to protect the welfare of the child. We do not live in a world where babies can be adopted like stray pets or foundlings in old novels.

      August 2, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • AlleyD

      So because some crazy person left a baby on her doorstep she's automatically responsible for it?!

      August 2, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • JMTN

      @Ana And BOOOM goes the dynamite....Well played

      August 2, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • jjfromnyc

      and what message would that send to the world? leave your baby on a celebrity's doorstep and they will set up a trust for them? she did the right thing – the baby was not her responsbility – i'm sure it has bothered her anyway over the years – think before you spready your thoughts

      August 2, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • momofboys

      I agree that she never followed up on the child???? She is a mother and I think it's strange that you wouldn't be interested that the baby was in a safe place. I dont think she would need to give $$ or any other support other than to make sure the baby is placed in a wonderful home. She was too busy creating her own stardom at the time

      August 2, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • AGuest9

      Yes, Ana, look how it's pulling on her face. LOL!

      August 2, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • flower12

      I could not agree with you more. I cannot believe that she never followed up on the child! She could have done at least something for this child.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • la

      geez people – I said if it were ME I would feel guilty about it. Can a person have a reaction to a story without a firing squad. Relax.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrs Marvel

      Before you blast her for not following up, consider that CPS has a responsibility to the child, not the person who found it. In this instance a famous person found a child on her doorstep. Subtract the fame and she was just another citizen who found a lost child. Would you expect reports on a child you found? The child was probably placed in foster care while they tried to find family and possibly even adopted. How would the child feel today knowing her mother thought so little of her that she gave her away? Think people.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bad precedent

      If she ad created a trust for the baby and word got out that she had, then every mother with an unwanted child would have started dumping their kids at her gate, hoping she would do the same for them.

      She was very wise to do nothing.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      She never received an update from CPS, that doesn't mean she never wandered about the baby. There are also privacy issues at stack – not only Dolly's privacy, but that of the baby's as well. As others have pointed out, if she had done even so much as set up a trust fund, other looneys would have been dumping babies there left and right thinking the same would be done for their children. There are some ... questionable people out there.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      Once she had the baby over it was out of her hands.The baby was not hers and Human services what it was called is not bounded by law to tell what happened. She can worry all she wants but since she had no legal ties to the baby there was nothing she could do. I do not fault her she did what was right in her heart.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • JusttheFacts

      @momofboys As far as I know, Dolly is not a mom and never wanted to be a mom. She came from a very large family and has spoken of this in interviews in the past.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      The infant wasn't her responsibility, and Ms Parton did exactly what anyone in that position should have done: she called for professional help. There was no need for *her* to feel guilty, she didn't abandon the child.

      Had she inquired no details would have been forthcoming, that information is kept private *by law.* It's likely the infant was found a home or her folks were traced, whatever it was this writer admires Ms Parton for doing the right thing. Good for her for doing her civic duty.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Momofboys, you're mistaken, Ms Parton had no children by choice. Stop blamestorming her for what she did.

      I'd do exactly the same thing if a child were abandoned on my doorstep. I have a son. He is autistic and my hands are completely and permanently full.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • DB

      That's you.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Maybe she has set up a fund. Maybe she has also kept updated about the child. It was a very short story and I am sure , like most media stuff, is only a small part of it. Obviously she did not just leave the child at the gate. Don't be so quick to judge something based on so little information.

      August 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ummm no

      It seems strange to me that you think any of that was Dolly's responsibility.

      If that's how you feel, please post your home address here so that mothers with unwanted children can drop them off at your doorstep for you to raise and financially support.

      If you are not willing to do so then why do you expect others to do that unless you are some kind of drug addicted welfare recipient who feels society should support their habits so they can keep getting high.

      August 2, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jill

      She did the right thing and who said she never wondered about the baby? She stated she never got an update. She wasn't a party to the case. She had no rights to information about the baby. That's not her fault. And should she set up a trust for every baby that lands on her doorstep? Will you create a trust when a baby lands on your doorstep? I really need to stop reading these strands because idiotic opinions like this drive me nuts.

      August 2, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dolly Fan

      She did do something: she called the authorities...right thing to do folks. If she didn't follow up, that doesn't make her a bad person – it was her choice. I guess if she set up a college fund and provided monetary support, it would make the nay sayers happy. Instead, she provides and has provided for many – the thing is, she didn't brag about it – if she did, then folks would be saying she bragged about what she was doing...leave her alone. Go help the homeless and orphaned children in your own town ....

      August 3, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
    • MagicBus

      Just because she is a celebrity doesn't mean she HAS to take it in and care for it or take out a trust fund or something on it! WTH people? She did the right thing. What would you do in her situation? Celebrity or not?? Im sure some authorities or nosy neighbors would catch on to someone just suddenly having a baby and child services wouldn't take long to come to your door......

      August 4, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • hsgrl


      Ms. Parton has stated several times in interviews, on stage, and in her memoirs that she wanted children with her longtime husband, but, to paraphrase her, God never granted them children. She stated they wanted them, but it didn't happen naturally and she decided her path in life was to be a godmother and "fairy godmother" to her neices and nephews, along with the poor children of the Appalacian Mountain area where she grew up. She started her reading program in and around Pigeon Forge, TN, and has helped thousands of children throughout TN with different foundations. We'll never know if she set up a fund for the baby left on her porch, but she has definitely helped out multiple children through her good works.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Stephen

    That sounds crazy. Very crazy.

    August 2, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  36. T. Urdburglar

    There really are some loony people in this world!! lolololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololol!!!

    August 2, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      Actually, the best thing to happen to this baby was for the mother to give it up. Anyone that whacked out should not be anywhere near a child.

      August 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |

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