Dolly Parton, Mac Davis Thrill 7,141 Fans
by Gail Plumberg
Springfield Daily News February 25, 1977, page 15
“The combined talents of Dolly Parton and Mac Davis thrilled 7,141 enthusiastic fans last night in Hammons Center of the Southwest Missouri State University campus.
“Appearing on tour together for the first time, both singers had words of praise for each other. ’This is working out great,’ said Miss Parton. ‘Mac is a good guy, a good friend and a great talent.’ Davis, who declined an interview, said ‘just write a good story about Dolly -- she’s a beautiful lady.’
“During his segment of the show, Davis referred to Miss Parton as ‘the real thing,’ which drew appreciative shouts and whistles from the male segment of the audience.
“Appearing in pink satin and sequins, the County Music Associations’ choice as best female singer, opened her show with a medley of favorites including ‘Tennessee Mountain Home.’ She also sang selections from her new album ‘New Harvest, First Gathering,’ which was released this month.
“Before the show, a fan came backstage to give her a gem tree he had made. The artist, Mike Gough, explained that he designed the tree especially for her, using her January birthstone of garnet.
“’I often get gifts,’ she said, ‘maybe it’s because I’m so childlike and enjoy them so much.’ She said the tree was ‘one of the nicest gifts I’ve ever received from a fan.’
“Before her performance started, another artist fan, John Miller, presented her with a picture he’d drawn of her and she dedicated the show to him in thanks.
“At no time during her exuberant performance was there any indication of her former voice problems.
“’It’s just voice abuse,’ she explained. ‘The doctor tells me not to sing and talk so much and I love to sing and talk and that creates a problem.’ Her plans for her musical future include maintaining her present image and ‘doing new and different things.’
“’Right now, I am expressing my own musical freedom,’ she explained. ‘If I break into other markets, that’s great, but I’ll still just be me.’
“She foresees no future tours or work with her former partner, Porter Waggoner, but doesn’t rule out the possibility of ‘maybe a special later somewhere down the line.’
“Although her husband, Carl Dean, is usually reluctant to travel with the former star of “The Grand Ole Opry,” he was in Springfield Thursday night.
“’He’s not at the show,’ she said, ‘He’s never been to one of my live shows -- they make him kind of nervous.’
“Her younger brothers and sisters used to tour with her but she says they have each gone out on their own with different groups. ‘It was fun while it lasted,’ she said.
“For nearly an hour, she kept the fans clapping and cheering with her, and once, after a particularly enthusiastic response, said, ‘I don’t know if we’re that special or not, but thanks for making us think we are.’
“Of Springfield, she said, ‘I like it here -- these are home folks.’
Davis opened his half of the concert with his million-selling hits ‘Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me,’ and ‘One Hell of a Woman.’
“After singing ‘Naughty Girl,’ he asked to hear from all the “naughty girls in the audience.’ Once the roar died down, Davis grinned and remarked, ‘That’s why I like Missouri.’
“Although the singer-writer declined to be interviewed because he was ‘under the weather’ from the tour, he did spend a few moments backstage signing autographs and being photographed with fans.
“As flashbulbs popped and girls screamed, Davis said ‘we’re here for one reason tonigh -- to have fun.’
“Under the weather or not, Mack [sic] Davis and the crowd seemed to be doing just that.”