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Dolly Parton Recalls the Time a Fan Left a Baby on Her Doorstep

Dolly Parton
Frederick Breedon, Getty Images

There’s no question that country’s hottest stars get lots of gifts from fans — and we can bet than some of them are pretty unusual. But nothing quite tops the present that a fan left for Dolly Parton outside of her home.

“There are all kinds of things that people ask me to do but I tell this story and it’s a true story but freaky. Years ago when I first started being a big star I had fans that were fanatical,” Parton remembers. “It was when ‘Jolene’ was a big hit. We came home one day and there was a baby in a box at our gate with a note in it. The note said, ‘My name is Jolene, my momma has left me here and she wants you to have me.’ Of course, we all freaked out!”

Because this is real life and not the movies, Parton did what she had to in order to ensure that baby Jolene found a safe place. “We immediately called Human Services and took care of the baby until they got there,” she spills. “We never did know or hear anything about it. I knew nothing else. What do you do in a situation like that? There are some loony people in this world! Can you imagine yourself in that situation? It wasn’t like it was a kitten or a puppy dog. It was a baby named Jolene!”

‘Jolene’ was a No. 1 Billboard Hot Country single way back in 1973, so that would make baby Jolene about 38-years-old now, give or take. Parton says that yes, sometimes she wonders if the infant left on her doorstep found her music and became a fan — or if she has ever been to a Dolly Parton concert. However, she says, “I don’t think that person would ever even know about the way that went down. There was no way to track it and I didn’t want to.”

Parton adds that she was ill-equipped and not prepared to raise a baby. “I couldn’t take the baby and I didn’t want to be involved. I wanted the police and the people involved to know we had nothing to do with it,” she says. “We just made our statement but to answer your question that was the wildest thing.” We’ll say!

Watch Dolly Parton Perform ‘Jolene’

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