A Look Into Randy Parton's Music Career

Randy Parton, country music singer and brother of Dolly Parton, died of cancer on January 21, 2021 at the age of 67. In a Facebook post, Dolly paid tribute to her younger brother, calling him "a great singer, writer, and entertainer." Randy Parton had his own stage show at Dolly's theme park Dollywood, starting when it opened in 1986. He also performed as a member of Dolly's band and the two of them collaborated on the song "Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle To You," which topped the Billboard Hot Country chart in 1980. Dolly shared that the song "will always be a highlight in my own career." 

Per Taste of Country, Randy Parton had a few minor radio hits of his own in the 1980s, including the songs "Shot Full of Love" and "Hold Me Like You Never Had Me." In 2007, he briefly managed his own music venue, the Randy Parton Theater in Roanoak Rapids, North Carolina, but his deal didn't last and the venue was renamed the Roanoke Rapids Theater within a year. Most recently, he and his daughter Heidi collaborated with Dolly on the song "You Are My Christmas" from Dolly's last Christmas album, 2020's A Holly Dolly Christmas. 

Dolly will always love her brother

On her personal website, Dolly explained that she wrote "You Are My Christmas" for her brother, noting, "Randy was our Christmas baby. We used to cry for one of those walking, talking dolls when we were kids.... The year that Randy was born, around Christmas, Mama said 'Hey! We're got your own walking, talking doll. He actually cries tears. He pees real pee.' So he was like our Christmas baby and loved it." Randy was the eighth of the 12 Parton family's children, born to Robert and Avie Lee Parton, while Dolly was fourth. 

Dolly went on to explain that she wanted Randy to sing with her on the song because they had sung so well together in the past on "Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle To You." On Facebook, Dolly said "You Are My Christmas" will "always be a favorite" and shared that the song was Randy's "last musical recording and he shined on it just like he's shining in heaven now."

According to The Tennessean, Randy Parton is survived by his wife, Deb; two children; and two grandchildren.