03/24/2009 AT 8:55 AM ET
At 63, country legend Dolly Parton has 80 albums, 25 No. 1 singles, 3,000 songs and even a theme park to her name. But the woman behind the quarter-billion-dollar empire says she’s still just a little ol’ country gal.
“Daddy would get up in the morning and work till he had to go to his job doing construction,” Parton says in the May/June issue of AARP. “Then he d come home and still be workin’ on the farm till way after dark. We used to soak Daddy’s old feet. Mama had some kind of salve she’d made up for Daddy’s hands because they’d crack and bleed, and I remember rubbing Daddy’s hands with it.”
And those closest to her remember her at that same simple girl, she says, including husband Carl Dean and best friend Judy Ogle.
“They knew me before I became a star. They still see me as me,” Parton says.
She dismisses longstanding rumors of her and Ogle being lesbian lovers.
“We’re absolutely, totally honest, open, and comfortable with each other,” Parton says. “We’ve been accused of being lovers. We do love each other, but we’ve never been like that.”
But one thing is true, Parton adds. She’ll never quit music. “After you reach a certain age, they think you’re over. Well, I will never be over,” she insists. “I’ll be making records if I have to sell them out of the trunk of my car. I’ve done that in my past, and I’d do it again.”