Dolly Parton plans posthumous career with click-track recordings


Many artists have posthumous careers, thanks to their archives of unreleased tracks and demos. Dolly Parton, however, appears to be taking a more strategic approach for remaining successful after she dies.

“I am a lucky person, cos I’ve got hundreds, hundreds, even thousands of songs. And a big part of ‘em have never even been recorded. There’s enough stuff to go on forever with my music,” she said in the final episode of the (excellent) Dolly Parton’s America podcast. “To do compilation albums, to do actually new and original stuff. And I am purposely trying to put songs down for that very purpose: to have a click track and my vocals to where any arrangement can be done. So I think ahead… Anybody could produce that. Anyone, any producer in the world, a hot producer, when I’m gone, they could take my songs – just the click track and my vocal – and build a complete arrangement around that. Any style… if you’ve got a good click track and a vocal, anything can be done with that. So that will go on forever.”

Although she’s clearly thinking about human producers, there might also be potential for her estate to make these tracks available for experiments with AI-generated music too, in the future. See Skygge’s ‘American Folk Songs’ EP for an example of old vocal tracks being paired with new, AI-generated music already…


Image by pipilongstockings (CC BY 2.0)

Written by: Stuart Dredge