Dolly Parton Will Always Remember Eugene, Oregon

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton will never forget one night she spent in Eugene, Oregon in 1972.  She was a young, little known singer on tour with Porter Wagoner.  She was far from her Tennessee home and feeling very sick.  I wasn’t there that night, so I’ll let Dolly tell the story in her own words.

"I stayed in my little room in the bus and cried while Porter and the band went on and did the shows without me.  In Eugene, Oregon, I decided that I had to get up and get on stage that night. I was so weak that it took me all afternoon to get ready."

"I went out on stage, informed the audience that I was sick and asked them to please forgive my weakness. They totally supported me, they loved me and gave me my first standing ovation — actually two. I got one after I finished my song ‘Coat of Many Colors’ and I cried like a baby. I almost couldn’t go back into the next song I was so touched by it.”

"Then I got another standing ovation when I left the stage. I went back a couple of times for encores. I was so touched by their kindness that I went straight to the bus, as sick as I still was, and wrote the song, ‘Eugene, Oregon.’ To this day it is one of my favorite songs and I will remember Eugene, Oregon, for the rest of my life.”

One can feel the deep appreciation she felt while writing the lyrics:

Eugene, Oregon, I'll remember you for the rest of my life
I won't forget how good you were to me
No and I won't be forgettin' all the kindness that you show
To a homesick country girl a long, long way from Tennessee

Tired and weary and feelin' low
Among strange people I didn't know
A long, long way from home and a long time gone
Oh but Eugene, Oregon, you were kind
The love you gave was genuine
You gave me inspiration and the strength to carry on

Eugene, Oregon, I'll remember you for the rest of my life
And I won't forget how good you were to me
Oh an' I won't be forgettin' all the kindness that you show
To a homesick country girl a long, long way from Tennessee

Oh Eugene, Oregon, I have been trying to find a way to say thanks again
For standing up for me when I was alone
Oh and I couldn't think of a better way
To say the things that I wanted to say
Than to take my old guitar, sit right down and write you a song

Eugene, Oregon I'll remember you for the rest of my life
I won't forget how good you were to me
No and I won't be forgettin' all the kindness that you show
To a homesick country girl a long, long way from Tennessee

Fade:

The love you gave was genuine
Eugene, Oregon I'll remember you for the rest of my life...

I feel that way too about the spirit of my adopted hometown - Eugene, Oregon.  It’s 40 years later, but I think that residents here would react to someone like Dolly in the same way.

Enjoy listening to Dolly’s love song to Eugene, Oregon.  I will also remember Eugene, Oregon for the rest of my life.

 

Rick Obst is an Arizona native who moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2005 and fell in love with the verdant Pacific Northwest.  He enjoys photography and discovering the many people, places, and events that make this part of the world so special.

To learn more about Eugene, Lane County, and western Oregon, visit 365 and More Things to do in Lane County, Oregon on Facebook.  You'll see hundreds of pictures and links to discover the beauty and attractions of this special area.

 

Comment balloon 7 commentsSam Gamgee • February 18 2012 11:52AM

Comments

What a great story!

Posted by Jim Shepherd (360) 229-2235, Find Shelton Homes (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Shelton) over 7 years ago

That is amazing, your town now has a great legecy of that song and the memory of Dolly Parton's performance

Posted by Bud & Beth McKinney, Cary/Raleigh/Apex NC - The Team That Cares, RE/MAX United (RE/MAX UNITED) over 7 years ago

What a wonderful story, a testiment to being open and honest, and receiving kindness and understanding in return. Thanks for getting my morning off to such a nice start, Rick.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 7 years ago

Eugene, Oregon, I will remember you for the rest of my life too...and my beloved host parents as well! <3

Posted by Fernanda Nunes over 7 years ago

Thank you for your comments about a touching true story.  I had never heard the song Eugene, Oregon until I came across this story recently.

Fernanda Nunes' comments above relate to the special time that she had as a Brazilian teacher studying at the University of Oregon in Eugene for a short time in 2011.  We hosted her for a day and showed Fernanda around Eugene and Lane County.  She's become like our adopted "daughter," even though she's back home in northern Brazil now.

Posted by Sam Gamgee over 7 years ago

I was birthed and raised here and it has always been the best place for me to be.

Posted by Rick about 5 years ago

I studied in Eugene in 1992. I was there for 3 months and I will never forget the Smith family. We were too early there and there was no one of the housing facilities. We strawl around and they invited us home and gave us food and shelter. I will never forget their hospitality. That was and is Eugene to me. I never returned and I still live in Amsterdam. Thinking of Oregon and the university...good memories. With love,Sandy

Posted by Sandy Spil (male) about 1 year ago

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