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Intro

Dolly Parton once said, "I was the first woman to burn my bra – it took the fire department four days to put it out." The 5-foot-tall faux blonde from the hills of Tennessee has always had fun toying with her image: she charmingly evades questions about sex and sexual orientation, openly discusses plastic surgery and breast size, embraces feminist values without ever embracing the word "feminism," and jokes endlessly about her own looks with quips like "You'd be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap!" When she wrote the title song for the 1980 film Nine to Five, Parton was continuing in her self-made tradition of embracing female empowerment while staying true to her country roots (and staying glued to her fake hair). But in those days of economic recession, "9 to 5" became more than a song for the ladies: it's a working people's anthem that has remained relevant for decades to come.

About the Song

ArtistDolly Parton Musician(s)Dolly Parton (vocals)
Album9 to 5 and Odd Jobs
Year1980
LabelRCA
Writer(s)Dolly Parton
Producer(s)Mike Post, Gregg Perry
Learn to play: Sheet Music
Buy this song: Amazon iTunes
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Shmoop Connections

Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
Dolly Parton is one of the biggest figures in the history of country music, not least because she crossed the lines between country and pop more than any country star before her. With "9 to 5," Parton continues to stylishly toe that line.

But when the song and movie were released in 1980, the stubborn five-foot-tall singer was potentially taking more serious risks than a little genre-mixing: she was espousing anti-corporate sentiment in a conservative political environment—the sort of stuff that got people hunted down as communists during previous decades. She was embracing feminism and female solidarity, despite the fact that some would-be fans accused her of being a lesbian and communing with radicals. Still, rather than pissing people off, "9 to 5" struck a chord with the American public. Something about that Dolly Parton magic took the edge off the radical message, making "9 to 5" one of the greatest hits of the early 1980s and one of Parton's signature songs.

On the Charts

"9 to 5," first released as a part of the original soundtrack for the 1980 film, charted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1981. It also peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary charts. The song returned to the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1981 after a 3-week drop to #2.

"9 to 5" was nominated for an Oscar (for its part in the film) and four Grammys in 1982, and Parton took home Grammys for "Country Song of the Year" and "Female Country Vocal of the Year."

The "9 to 5" single and the album, 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs, are both certified gold with over a million sales for each.

Dolly Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

Parton has the most #1 hits of any woman in country music, and has released the most top ten charting albums (41) of any country singer, male or female.
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