Dolly Parton, Dancing with the Stars

ABC/Richard Cartwright

Has someone sent you a link to Dolly Parton's latest video yet? Directed by Steven Lippman and starring Strangers with Candy's divine Amy Sedaris, the country music legend's new single, "Better Get to Livin'," from her upcoming album, Backwards Barbie, is turning into a YouTube smash.

Being a Dolly fanatic, I called Lippman—who's directed videos for Bette Midler, David Bowie, Carly Simon and k.d. lang—at his New York office to find out what it's like working with the one and only.

Congrats! The video is a hit on YouTube.
It really has taken us by surprise. We expected people to like it, but the two [posts] on YouTube are edging toward 172,000 hits, which is huge for a record that’s not even out yet...I think it’s the convergence of the two fan groups: the cult around Dolly and the cult around Amy.

How did you get hired?
They wouldn’t release the song, but they sent me the lyrics and they played the song for me over the phone. So, I actually submitted two different concepts to them based on the lyrics and me listening to the song over the phone a couple times...That's how I got the gig.

Was Amy Sedaris a part of your original plan?
I was thinking: Who could we get who has no vanity, is willing to go along for the ride and wants to do it because they love Dolly? We’re all huge fans of Amy Sedaris. We thought about some other people, but nobody seemed as right for it as Amy. I know a few people who know her, so we were able to kind of send word that we wanted her. The next thing you know, her agent calls and says, “I hear you’re looking for Amy.”

You shot on a farm in Dolly’s hometown, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. When did you first meet Dolly?
About five minutes before the first shot.

Are you serious? Obviously, you were in contact before.
Absolutely. She approved the concept. But you know, Dolly is a busy woman. She gave me a tremendous amount of creative freedom.

You’ve worked with some big stars, but I have to know: Dolly's the most fun, right?
Because the nature of the song and the video was so much fun, I would have to say yes, only because all the other work that I’ve done with these other people has been much darker and much more serious. Like, 90 percent of those women in the video were all from the secretarial pool in the accounting department at Dollywood. It was insane. Dolly was sitting there in between takes just cracking these women up. They were all howling with laughter.

Sounds like fun to me!

Click below for the video and see for yourself.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.