Was the Jolene in the Dolly Parton song a real person?
No. It has been said that the original inspiration for “Jolene” was a red-headed bank teller whom Parton suspected her husband at the time was fantasizing about, due to his suddenly frequent trips to the bank, though Parton herself has stated on many occasions that her inspiration came from a little red-headed girl seeking an autograph after a concert who told the singer her name was “Jolene”. “Jolene” is a song by Dolly Parton from her album Jolene (1974), produced by Bob Ferguson. It tells the tale of a housewife confronting a beautiful seductress who she believes is having an affair with her husband. It includes some of Parton’s most striking imagery, and became her second solo number-one single on the country charts after being released as a single in late 1973 (prior to the album’s release). It reached the top position in February 1974; it also was a moderate pop hit for her, and was released as a single in the UK the following year, where it did well.