It's no wonder that Dolly Parton is a portrait of southern charm and hospitality. The iconic and revered Country Music legend is loved by millions of fans as much for her genuine Tennessee traits of warmth and being good to a neighbor as for her indelible artistic legacy. Dolly Parton doesn't pretend to be anyone different than who she is, not even when Reese Witherspoon comes to call for a new interview show. Reese and Dolly are just two Southern girls, after all, and likely share much more than their familiar inflections and drawl in conversation.

Dolly Parton was one of the names at the top of the list for Reese Witherspoon as she considered subjects for her new interview show, “Shine On with Reese,” which premieres July 17 on Direct TV channels and U-Verse via Hello Sunshine video-on-demand channel. Witherspoon wants to give a perspective on the ambitions, motivations, and inspirations that drive her female subjects beyond anything presented on the typical talk show or promotional soundbite. Just like her female-powered success with “Big Little Lies,” the actress, turned production company powerhouse, wants to probe the lives of women who have forged their own path to success. Dolly Parton was doing that long before any female empowerment courses were being taught on corporate levels.

The singer-songwriter recognized that being charming and being powerful were not mutually exclusive, and early on, she left recording industry and entertainment company boardrooms “with the cash,” keeping rights to her own songs and created projects.

In July 16 features for People and Entertainment Weekly, Dolly Parton defers to Whitney Houston’s incredible turn on her famous love song, and the sequins give Reese Witherspoon a shower inside the closet.

The feeling of arrival

Dolly Parton has a massive catalog of chart-topping songs, from pop favorites and movie themes to unforgettable country ballads and bluegrass albums that are considered masters. Adele even dressed up to perform as her recently. Among the many love songs in the Dolly, Parton lexicon is “I Will Always Love You,” which was written in 1973, in dedication and parting to Porter Wagoner, putting into song the words of affection and gratitude that probably would never be expressed in person when Parton decided to leave his show.

The song was included on Dolly’s album, “Jolene” about a year later. That album would become the songwriter’s biggest seller for the time, but she could never dream of the heights her song would reach in the hands and soaring vocal talents of Whitney Houston nearly 20 years later.

Kevin Costner made the appeal personally in a phone call to Dolly Parton to include “I Will Always Love You” in 1992’s “The Bodyguard,” which also bound him to Houston in ways beyond sharing lines in a script and top-billing, as anyone who heard his moving eulogy at Houston's funeral service will attest. Dolly sent the song out and admits forgetting about it until her own familiar notes struck her in an incredible way one day.

Dolly Parton is still in disbelief as she recalls hearing “that sound” driving home one day, and realizing that “my little heartfelt, heartbreaking song,” had been transformed into one for the ages. She remembers that she had to pull over, “lest I should wreck” upon hearing the plaintive opening from Houston be taken to heavenly realms by the end.

“She took it [the song] to so many levels” praises Parton, who added that it was not until that moment of hearing her song sung by Whitney that she felt “I had arrived as a writer.” Dolly received a bevy of gold and platinum wall décor earlier this year to verify her writing and singing credentials, coinciding with her birthday, where she got drenched in birthday love.

Showers of sequins

Dolly Parton's roots in Sevier County, Tennessee, taught her the grace of sharing what one has, regardless of circumstance. Now, Dolly has closets bigger than the cabin that she shared with her siblings and parents, and she's more than willing to share a few glittering outfits with Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon described that her dream of Dolly Parton's closet always included “sequins flying out,” and that is exactly what happened when the doors opened, and gracious Dolly asked,” Which one do you want to wear?” Appliqués from a glimmering jacket fell to the floor with just one touch.

Dolly dismissed the deluge, reminding that “it happens all the time.” She describes that during her usual performances, beads, and sequins can be “popping everywhere,” and her wardrobe people refer to the occurrence as “Dolly droppings,” and dutifully collect the shimmering bits from the stage to sew them back on later.

Dolly Parton discussed how much of her business savvy was learned from her “very smart” father, who understood dealing with people despite being illiterate, during the interview. She founded her worldwide children’s literacy initiative, Imagination Library, in his honor. This petite powerhouse can never spread enough sequins, or goodness, as she keeps sharing songs along her way.