Dolly Parton’s husband, Carl Dean, famously likes to stay away from the spotlight. But during a recent episode of Reba McEntire‘s Living & Learning with Reba McEntire podcast, the 75-year-old revealed that her husband had a very prominent part on one of her early albums, specifically My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy.
“Blue Ridge Mountain, the cover of that album is my actual husband,” Parton revealed of her fourth solo album, which was released in 1969. “A lot of people don’t realize that. He never is involved in the business, at all, and this one particular time, because he was so handsome when he was young — he still is — but I said, ‘You don’t have to do nothing. You don’t have to interview. Nobody has to see you. I just want you to go sit on this log, and take this picture, and be my Blue Ridge Mountain Boy.”
The album earned high praise from McEntire, who claimed that record was her favorite of all of Parton’s.
“I wore it out,” McEntire gushed. “Your songwriting, it is just so heartfelt, and it pierced my heart on every song. ‘Gypsy, Joe and Me,’ ‘Home for Pete’s Sake,’ those songs, I can still remember the words to them, when I can’t remember the words to a song that I have out as a single nowadays. But I remember that album as so good. Thank you for that.”
Parton and Dean have been married 54 years, with Dean quietly supporting her from behind the scenes throughout her illustrious career.
“My husband and I always had a great friendship,” Parton previously revealed (via People). “We’re both funny, and we both have a great and warped sense of humor so we’ve always had a good time. He’s pretty much a loner and a homebody, and I’m a gypsy. But when I’m home, I love that. We don’t do the same thing so it gives us different stuff to talk about. He doesn’t get involved in my business, and I don’t in his, so we have our own little world that we create for ourselves.”