Watch White Stripes Perform ‘Jolene’ At 2001 Detroit Gig
Dolly Parton Loves Their Cover
“Jolene” is Dolly Parton’s most covered song but the version that truly stands out is the one from American garage rock band The White Stripes. It was so successful that it became a staple in their live repertoire.
In a 2008 interview with NPR, Parton revealed the inspiration behind the track – an adorable 10-year old fan. She said, “She had this beautiful red hair, this beautiful skin, these beautiful green eyes, and she was looking up at me, holding [out] for an autograph. I said, ‘Well, you’re the prettiest little thing I ever saw. So what is your name?’ And she said, ‘Jolene.’ And I said, ‘Jolene. Jolene. Jolene. Jolene. That is pretty. That sounds like a song. I’m going to write a song about that.'”
She admitted during a 2014 performance that “Jolene” was loosely based too on a red-headed bank clerk who flirted with her husband Carl Dean when they were still newly married.
Meanwhile, we came across a rare footage of The White Stripes performing “Jolene” in 2001 at The Magic Stick in Detroit. Parton has always been vocal about how much she enjoyed the band’s rendition. Not only did she mention that she loves former frontman Jack White “to death” but she also declared that “(The White Stripes) did one of the greatest versions ever of ‘Jolene’.” Back in 2016, she even hinted at a possible collaboration with him.