Dolly Parton | Dolly Parton and Carl Thomas Dean | Source: Getty Images, Instagram.com/dollyparton/
Dolly Parton | Dolly Parton and Carl Thomas Dean | Source: Getty Images, Instagram.com/dollyparton/

Carl Thomas Dean and Dolly Parton’s 5 Decades Together - The Story and Secret to Their Strong Marriage

Titi Dokubo
Sep 20, 2022
09:30 A.M.

After over five decades of marriage, Carl Thomas Dean and Dolly Parton are still in love and happy. The musician, known as the leading lady of country music, once revealed the secrets of their lengthy union.


Dolly Rebecca Parton has been in the music industry since she was 12, and by the time she was 13, the musician born on January 19, 1946, was already appearing at the Grand Ole Opry.

At 18, the award-winning musician had graduated from high school, and that same year, she met Carl Thomas Dean, who became her husband. Despite the singer's fame, there is very little information about him.


Carl Thomas Dean Is Originally from Nashville

Dean's Zodiac sign is Cancer, and he was born on July 20, 1942, in Nashville, Tennessee. He is successful in his own right and retired as a businessman from his asphalt-laying company.

Although he is not a public figure, he has appeared in several documentaries. In 2003, he starred as Chester in the Jason Ruha-directed short film "Vigorish."


Dean is not in the show business, but he never resents what happens in the industry, and Parton once stated that even though they are different, he is a good man.

They enjoy each other's company by telling each other stories about the things they do. In addition, the singer's husband is her best buddy and best friend, and he has a great sense of humor.

Photo of Dolly Parton in 1977 | Source: Getty Images

Photo of Dolly Parton in 1977 | Source: Getty Images

Love at First Sight

Dean was 21 when he met the 18-year-old Parton outside the Wishy Washy Laundromat in 1964. It was on the first day she moved to Nashville.

The young musician described him as a tall, dark, and handsome man. When he talked to her, she was surprised and delighted. During their conversation, she was pleasantly shocked that he looked at her face.


The "Jolene" singer revealed that it was a rare thing for her, plus Dean was genuinely interested in wanting to know her and what she was about.


Years later, Dean, who said his life began that day, revealed what was going through his mind when they met. He said:

"My first thought was I'm gonna marry that girl. My second thought was, 'Lord she's good lookin.'"

The couple began dating and hanging out on her aunty's porch because she had to babysit her nephew. On the day she was free, he took her to his parents to introduce them and inform them of his intentions.


Two years, Dean and Parton married on May 30, 1966. The country singer said when she traveled, she had no intentions of meeting anyone, let alone getting married. However, love found them, and he never stood between her and her dreams.

Their wedding was on Memorial Day, and the simple private ceremony occurred at Ringgold Baptist Church in Georgia. She traveled there with her mother, and the only ones who attended the wedding were the preacher and his wife.


Carl Thomas Dean and Dolly Parton Have Been Together for over 50 Years

The couple has been together for over 50 years. Shortly before their wedding, Parton's manager tried to discourage her from getting hitched.

In 1969, the singer introduced fans to her husband when she used him as the cover of "My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy," her first solo album.

On October 15, 1973, inspired by her husband and a little girl with beautiful red hair, skin, and green eyes, she released "Jolene." The girl's name was Jolene, but the lyrics were inspired by a red-haired local bank teller flirting with Dean.


The bank teller had a terrible crush on Dean, making him frequent the bank premises. Parton jokingly told her husband that he was spending a lot of time at the bank, and she was not sure they had that kind of money.

However, the woman sure gave the singer cause for concern. According to her, the bank teller had everything she did not have. The woman was tall, and no matter how beautiful she saw herself, she was threatened by the woman.

Parton is still able to make jokes about Jolene years later. In 2021, she posted a picture on Instagram, and the caption read: "How did Jolene get some of my merch?! 💗"


In the 1980s, Dean's desire to be private made some people assume he was not real. However, Parton denied their claims noting that he traveled with her to Los Angeles when she was shooting "9 to 5."

Around that time, the singer reportedly had an affair with Gregg Perry, her band leader, and soon, there were rumors that she was getting divorced. She denied the rumors and said no man in the world could ever live up to her husband.

In 2002, Parton released a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," her husband's favorite song. Ten years later, he served as the perfect muse when she needed to write a beautiful love song.


The Secret of Carl Thomas Dean and Dolly Parton's Marriage

After over five decades, fans always want to know the secret to the long-lasting and inspiring marriage between Carl Thomas Dean and Parton.

Several factors have worked in their favor. The singer revealed in an interview that being different makes it fun, and she agrees that opposites attract. He always surprises her, and she never knows what he will do or say.


They have also been successfully married because they appreciate each other and enjoy their moments together. The singer said she still takes care of her appearance at home, even though her husband cares more about her happiness than what she's wearing.

Carl Thomas Dean still finds Dolly Parton attractive after over 50 years.

Despite being different, Parton said they had enough things in common to make their time together memorable, and that makes it work. She and Dean love a simple life where they can be calm and have a good time.


Carl Thomas Dean Still Loves Dolly Parton

Through the years, Dean has supported Parton while remaining in the background because he prefers not to share the spotlight with his wife. He has reportedly attended only one of her shows, but their love is still going strong.

The couple who do not have any children celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2016. For the anniversary, they renewed their vows in a private but glamorous ceremony in Nashville.

The singer said if she had it to do all over, she would do it again with her husband, and she was ready to drag him kicking and screaming into the next 50 years.


After renewing their vows, Parton released her "Pure & Simple" album. The album was inspired by their 50th anniversary and their love.

The singer revealed that she was thinking about all the different colors of love they shared through the years; theirs was a pure and simple relationship. With that thought, she decided to write an album filled with love songs.


On July 20, 2021, Parton decided to give her husband a well-deserving birthday present. To do that, she had a photoshoot and recreated her 1978 Playboy magazine cover.

The 10-time Grammy winner had made herself a promise to pose for the cover of Playboy at 75, but because they no longer have a magazine, she posed for her husband instead, as he had always loved the original one.

In the video the singer posted on Instagram explaining her outfit, she revealed that Dean still finds her attractive after over 50 years, and she was not going to try to talk him out of that.

In her caption on Instagram, Parton wrote: "It's always #HotGirlSummer for my husband, Carl 💝." This is not the first time she celebrates her husband on social media.

For Valentine's Day in 2022, she posted a photo with her and Dean as she reminded her fans to squeeze their loved ones tighter on that day while reminding them they loved them.

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