HomeEntertainmentAll-star country lineup including Dolly Parton and Chris Stapleton honors Tom Petty...

All-star country lineup including Dolly Parton and Chris Stapleton honors Tom Petty in new album

Dolly Parton and the late Tom Petty shared a long history, dating back to the 1980s when Petty appeared on Parton’s TV variety show.

Most recently, Parton recorded the lead single, “Southern Accents,” for the album “Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty,” which pays homage to the legendary musician.

“It picked me,” Parton said, referring to the single. “I loved Tom Petty and that was not a song that was one of his big records, but he did it on stage and it always tore the house down. People loved it. Because he was a Southern boy.”

Petty’s daughter, Adria, visited the set during Parton’s video shoot for “Southern Accents,” bringing along her daughter Everly. The video features Petty’s home movies and heirlooms, making it a deeply personal tribute that helped connect Parton to the moment.

“I just sang my song and I could feel and see all those things around me and all the artifacts that they had there, his guitar, his clothes,” said Parton. “And I just thought, ‘Well, I hope he’d be proud of this.'”

Star-studded cast of country artists

The album features an impressive lineup of country music’s biggest stars, including Dierks Bentley, Luke Combs, Wynonna Judd, Lainey Wilson, George Strait and Willie Nelson. Chris Stapleton said he was greatly influenced by Petty’s “Wildflowers” album.

“Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is an influence on every country act that has existed since they were a band,” said Stapleton. “There were no skips, you know. It’s kind of my barometer for: this is the goal.”

He chose to cover “I Should Have Known It” from Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Mojo” album and said it was quite a lot to learn.

In the summer of 2017, shortly before Petty’s passing, Stapleton had the opportunity to meet and open for him. It was during this event at Wrigley Field that Stapleton first met Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell.

“We had to traipse through their dressing room to get to the stage … [Mike] was looking for a shirt or something,” Stapleton said, laughing.

Campbell found it ironic that they met this way, given that years later, with Stapleton’s band headlining at Wrigley Field, he invited Campbell to open for them—a perfect fit for the two.

“It’s beautifully poetic,” said Campbell.

Campbell on tribute to his “brother”

Petty and the Heartbreakers emerged from Gainesville, Florida, bringing their country influences with them.

“There’s country strains in our DNA,” Campbell said. “The country music that influenced me and Tom was George Jones, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton.”

Campbell also performs on “Petty Country” with Margo Price, covering the song “Ways to Be Wicked,” which he co-wrote.

“I’m really proud of the song legacy. That’s why I’m glad they did the country album. It reminds people that, hey, Tom was a great writer,” said Campbell.

He admitted to missing Petty deeply, reflecting on their close relationship and the numerous songs they wrote together. Performing these songs now brings a mix of joy and bittersweet emotions for Campbell, who said he sometimes gets choked up while singing the lyrics, feeling Petty’s presence.

“I love my brother. And he’s always with me, you know,” said Campbell.

The album “Petty Country” serves as a healing tribute for both the artists and the fans.

“It’s emotional but it’s good,” Campbell said. “For the crowd too, I think. Because we all miss him.”

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