Born in the U.S.A.: Top 50 Stars of the 50 States

Tennessee: As with Springsteen in New Jersey, it's hard to imagine anyone other than Dolly Parton representing Tennessee, especially since her "Dollywood" theme park welcomes approximately 2.5 million visitors annually. The Nashville queen, born in Sevierville, boasts the most No. 1s (25) of any female artist in the 68-year history of Country Songs.

Fran Strine

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Hi Gary,

Per the question of popular songs written by other artists, while you mentioned Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers having recorded the Bee Gees' "Islands in the Stream," we should also note that Dolly herself is a prolific writer whose songs have been made popular by many others.

Of course, the best example was Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You," her 14-week Hot 100 No. 1 in 1992-93, but there have been several songs she has written for country artists that have been hits, as well:

Merle Haggard, "Kentucky Gambler" (No. 1 on Country Songs, 1974)

Emmylou Harris, "To Daddy" (No. 3, 1977)

Porter Wagoner, "The Last One to Touch Me" (No. 18, 1971), "Carolina Moonshiner" (No. 19, 1974), "Mountain Music" (No. 64, 1978)

Bill Phillips, "Put It Off Until Tomorrow" (No. 6, 1966), "The Company You Keep" (No. 8, 1966), "I Only Regret" (No. 54, 1969)

Waylon Jennings, "Waltz Me to Heaven" (No. 10, 1985)

Stella Parton, "Steady As the Rain" (No. 26, 1979)

Hank Williams Jr., "I'm in No Condition" (No. 60, 1967)

Zella Lehr, "Two Doors Down" (No. 7, 1977)

Skeeter Davis, "Fuel to the Flame" (No. 11, 1967)

The Kendalls, "Put It Off Until Tomorrow" (No. 9, 1980)

Sherrie Austin, "Jolene" (No. 55, 2001)

Shania Twain with Alison Krauss & Union Station, "Coat of Many Colors" (No. 57, 2003)

And, "American Idol" pop/rock David Cook, "Little Sparrow" (No. 1 Bubbling Under Hot 100, 2008)

There are others, but that gives you an idea!

T. Duane Gordon
Middletown, Ohio
Editor and publisher, the Online Dolly Parton Newsmagazine