KNOXVILLE — Seven facts you may not know about Dolly Parton:
7. She was rejected from the high school cheerleading squad.
Yes, it's true. Dolly tried out for the cheerleader team at Sevier County High School. But she didn't make it. One childhood friend said she wasn't wearing the proper clothes at the try-outs. Nonetheless, she seemed to get over it. Not being a cheerleader didn't weigh on her as an adult.
6. Despite stories to the contrary, her schoolmates now remember her as being quite popular.
Sure, "Coat of Many Colors" details how, as a little girl, Dolly was scoffed at while wearing a shabby coat of scraps to school. It was one of her mom's homemade creations. And during a class night program she told the audience she wanted to be a country music star - and some in the audience laughed at that.
Whether it's fact or fiction, Dolly isn't generally regarded by her old chums as being someone who stood out as being picked upon outrageously.
"She was a good person, and everybody liked her," recalls ex-classmate Don Baker. "She sang on (radio) back then, and we saw her at ball games because she was in the band ... being on the radio back then was a big deal.
"It was always a good time just being around her."
5. That hair of hers? Some of it isn't fake.
Back in the day, Dolly was known for her big old wigs. These days, she wears extensions. A lot of them. So whenever you see Dolly in public, you're getting at least part of the real her underneath it all.
4. She'd make a really good member of your weekly book club.
"When I do get a chance (to relax), I usually read," Dolly said recently. "I read whatever is out there, whatever is on the best-seller list. I'm reading a lot of old classics right now. I just finished 'The Kitchen House' (by Kathleen Grissom). When I was working on (the upcoming film) 'Joyful Noise,' a woman who worked (on the set) gave me a bunch of books, and I am catching up on them. I just love to read."
3. Dolly has her phobias - and some of them can be found at Dollywood.
Dolly doesn't really care to fly or be on the high seas, though she knows that sometimes she must do it for work. "I don't like being any higher up than up pullin' corn and no lower than diggin' taters," she has said. "My daddy used to say, 'I could never be a sailor. I could never be a miner. I could never be a pilot.' I am the same way. I have motion sickness. I could never ride some of these rides. I used to get sick on the school bus." Dolly won't ride the attractions at her theme park for that reason. She leaves the thrill rides to the kids.
2. Have you ever seen the real Dolly? Under all that makeup and rhinestones? Maybe you have.
On some occasions, when she isn't working, Dolly will go out to a local Walmart or run errands without all her garb. She said her hair is naturally flat. Without the makeup and wearing looser clothes, Dolly can sneak around with no one being the wiser.
Don't expect her to be seen like this on tour. She merely goes out whenever she's not working.
1. With a nip here and a tuck there, Dolly says she doesn't really have bothersome body issues.
"I have my (issues) like everybody else, but I work with what I have," she said of her body. "And if I don't have it, I'd go out and buy it! I'll try to make that work for me. It's not about body issues for me. I am just a very outgoing person. You know how they say 'Less is more?' Well, I always say, 'More is more.' I am comfortable with myself."