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Jan. 6: We’re jumping back six yesterdays and 43 years to the last day of 1966, as we head to our favorite record store to thumb through the new releases.

Over in the “P” section of the 45s we find the familiar Decca rainbow label and the latest number from journeyman Bill Phillips, “Put It Off Until Tomorrow.” Interesting title. Let’s give it a spin. It’s a decent country record, with a piano kickoff and a prominent acoustic guitar throughout. But what stands out is the piercing female voice that carries the lead on the end of each verse. Who IS that? Check the label — Phillips is the only artist listed. But one of the composers is named Dolly Parton. Wonder if that might be her?

That’s exactly who it was. Nineteen years old when “Put It Off” was recorded (almost 21 when it was released), she was making bubble-gum pop music for Monument Records, without much success. After the Phillips record reached well into the Top 10 on the country charts, Monument decided to shift her to the country field. That, of course, led to her becoming one of the most diverse female entertainers of all time as well as a cultural icon.

I’ve always liked this song, Dolly Parton’s first songwriting hit. If  it’s new to you, I hope you like it, too.

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