Parton visits city on 'Million Dollar' tour

By Greg Miller

   Country music star Stella Parton visited Elizabethton on Thursday.
   "We're touring on the million dollar motorcoach out here for Ingle's," Parton said. "I was just so fortunate that they invited me to join this tour of 23 stores for the 'Million Dollar All-American Adventure.'"
   Parton sold cookbooks, CDs and photographs. "My new CD comes out this month," Parton said. "It's called 'Blue Heart.' I'm excited about that."
   She is also excited about the fact that Ingle's "has offered to match the money that we leave in each town at each store from the sale of the cookbooks. We are leaving a portion of the proceeds that they will match for the women and children's shelter (battered women's shelters) in each city. That's one of the causes that I have really gotten involved with over the last several years."
   Parton says she is "basically an Appalachian folk singer" and performs a lot of gospel music. "I started out singing gospel music," she said. "I had never planned on being a country singer. That was not my original plan."
   Parton had "always wanted to be a missionary, and then I found myself in country music. I've made a good living and put my son through law school. I've continued to do my missionary work in and around my country music career. And God has blessed me."
   Last year, Parton's "Appalachian Blues" CD was up for nomination in four categories. Parton has had 22 charted records and has released 16 albums.
   Parton is writing an inspirational book, "I Am an Appalachian Child." "It's about our culture and about growing up as an Appalachian child," Parton said. "It's also about how to make it in America with an Appalachian education."