DOLLY Parton took a flight from the States to Glasgow in May 1977 and, en route, learned that she would be appearing in front of the Queen at a special concert in the city.

The all-star Royal Variety Show, at the King’s Theatre, was part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations.

“They kept it as a surprise from me until I was on the flight over”, Parton (main image) told journalists once she had landed. “It’s just one of the biggest thrills of my life.

“When they told me on the plane about appearing before the Queen I just jumped up and ran up and down telling everyone.

“When I was a little girl I grew up in a world of kings and queens and princes and princesses in fairy tales. Now I’m going to meet one”.

The Evening Times reported that as these words were uttered “in her delicious Southern drawl”, “male travellers gaped at the stunning American country singer”.

Backstage after the concert she was photographed talking to the Duke of Edinburgh, with Sydney Devine and Lena Zavaroni looking on.

Read more: Herald Diary

Parton, who is also pictured here in concert in Glasgow’s Armadillo in 2007, has often referred to her “rags-to-rhinestone story”: born the fourth child of 12 to Avie and Robert Lee in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, she grew up in poverty. For years the family had no electricity or indoor plumbing.

“We had a roof over our heads, even if it did leak”, she once said in a TV interview. “We had something to eat on our table, even if it wasn’t exactly what we wanted. We had a bed to sleep in, even if there’s a bunch of us in it”.

Music ran in the family, however, and she would often sing barefoot on the porch of her family home. She credits her uncle, Bill Owens, with helping her to get a foothold in the music business. Early appearances on the Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour in Knoxville, Tennessee, a popular radio show, led to a spot on the Porter Waggoner Show.

She has had no fewer than 25 certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, as well as 25 number-one hits on the Billboard country music charts. She is said to have written 3,000 songs; and, as her website notes, she is one of an elite group of artists to have received at least one award nomination from all four major US entertainment organizations - the Oscars, the Tonys, the Grammys and the Emmys.

Netflix has recently announced an anthology series, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings -”eight stories celebrating family, faith, forgiveness and more ... inspired by Dolly Parton’s iconic country music catalog”. The stars include Parton herself, and Kathleen Turner. It premieres on November 22.