Local 3 Sports
National treasure and Tennessee’s own Dolly Parton graced Neyland Stadium with her gift of song on Saturday as she sang ‘Rocky Top’ live on the field after being escorted out by Peyton Manning.
— Ben Bobick (@BenBobickLocal3) November 18, 2023
That’s about the only thing that went right for No. 21 Tennessee, which lost to No. 1 Georgia 38-10 on the field.
Still, it got perhaps its best-ever Rocky Top rendition out of it.
Parton was born in a small town outside of Gatlinburg, and she still lives in her home state in Brentwood. Parton’s 50-plus year career in country music and beyond as a cultural icon has made her one of the most beloved figures in the country, and even more so in Tennessee.
She was a huge hit with the Tennessee fans as she sang along with the band.
After she finished, she was interviewed by CBS Sports sideline reporter Jenny Dell. “I am joined by the goddess here herself,” Dell said before asking Parton what it was like to sing Tennessee’s favorite song in front of a packed stadium.
“Well, it was great, only I couldn’t hear because my sound went out and the stadium was so loud….but I was so honored to be here.
“It’s just so good to be home, always.”
Dolly Parton’s singing interrupts Brad Nessler’s play-by-play.
Or, Brad Nessler’s play-by-play interrupts Dolly Parton’s singing. pic.twitter.com/Sp7reY5vjR
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) November 18, 2023
Parton hummed Rocky Top as Dell threw it back to Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson for play-by-play, but made it clear they’d come back to Parton. After just one play, they did, and she sang part of it again.
Parton also partnered with the University of Tennessee to put out an exclusive Vols edition of her album that includes a bonus track: a live bluegrass version of ‘Rocky Top’.