Acoustic Music, Bluegrass Music, On Leadership, The Times We Live In
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Did you have Dolly Parton helping to fund COVID-19 vaccine on your 2020 bingo card?

Helping to affirm her “living saint status” as Rolling Stone describes her, it was announced today that Dolly Parton provided $1 million back in April to help fund research that…

“…through an early-stage trial, ultimately helped the development of Moderna’s recently announced vaccine. ‘My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements toward research of the coronavirus for a cure,’ Parton wrote on Instagram at the time.”

What an amazing woman.

I featured Parton in a Saturday Soundtrack last November. As I said then, few people — much less entertainers and celebrities — can bring together blue and red Americans, straight and gay communities, grandmothers and granddaughters, rich and poor.

Dolly Parton bridges those divides, and more.

And now she helps fund research that could lead to a breakthrough with COVID. “When I donated the money to the Covid fund I just wanted it to do good and evidently, it is! Let’s just hope we can find a cure real soon,” Parton tweeted Tuesday.

One writer on a blog I followed noted that Dolly knows everybody. “How cool is it,” he wrote, “that a hillbilly singer/songwriter and entrepreneur is friends with a refugee from Lebanon’s civil war and surgeon that’s affiliated with the American Surgical Association, the Society for University Surgeons, the Association of Academic Surgery, the American Diabetes Association, the Endocrine Society, the Nashville Surgical Society, and the Tennessee Academy of Medicine.”

As Rolling Stone writes, the pandemic hasn’t kept Dolly down.

“Parton, whose philanthropic efforts also include the childhood literacy program Imagination Library, has remained busy with her music and on-screen projects in 2020 despite the pandemic. On October 2nd, she released the holiday album A Holly Dolly Christmas, and on November 22nd she’s slated to appear in the film Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square, available on Netflix.”

Mary Elizabeth Warren wrote about Parton in Salon last fall, saying “Her larger-than-life persona makes her a great entertainer. Her intelligence and authenticity make her an icon.”

She just proved it all over once again.

More to come…

UPDATE: Here’s a story from today’s Washington Post about how Dolly came to meet Dr. Naji Abumrad. It is as wonderful a story as you would expect.

UPDATE #2: Here’s Alyssa Rosenberg’s take on why Dolly Parton is the superhero America needs in 2020. It is a great read and spot-on in its analysis of the power of doing good and doing it consistently.


I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.


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