All I Can Do

Album: All I Can Do (1976)
Play Video


  • That's right, Dolly's in love again - only this time she's afraid to show it in case the feeling isn't mutual. The second single from her 17th solo album, it peaked at #3 on the Country chart.
  • "I remember writing this one because I thought it was such a cute idea," Dolly recalled in her 2020 book, Songteller. "I wrote it on this funky little guitar that has all those decals on it that are so cheap looking. I remember banging on the guitar with my thumb and beating out that rhythm. I was just bopping along with 'It's all I can do, it's all I can do.' I kept on playing that little riff until my thumb got sore. But I played it through, until I got the song wrote."
  • Dolly wrote several other songs on the same guitar, which is adorned with butterfly decals, but it's officially retired. It's kept on display at the Dollywood museum.
  • The album also peaked at #3 on the Country Albums chart, giving Dolly the highest chart position of her solo career until her next album, New Harvest…New Gathering, reached #1.
  • The album earned Dolly a nomination for Best Female Country Vocal Performance at the 1977 Grammy Awards. She lost to Emmylou Harris for Elite Hotel.
  • Dolly co-produced All I Can Do with Porter Wagoner, her former duet partner/producer she split from in 1974 and the subject of her platonic breakup ballad "I Will Always Love You." The album marks Wagoner's final involvement in Dolly's solo career.
  • The actress Mary Kay Place covered this on her 1976 album, Tonite! At the Capri Lounge: Loretta Haggers, which featured backing vocals from Parton on a few of the tracks. Place played the wannabe country singer Loretta Haggers on the satirical soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. She also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for the album at the '77 ceremony.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

The Punk Photography of Chris Stein

The Punk Photography of Chris SteinSong Writing

Chris Stein of Blondie shares photos and stories from his book about the New York City punk scene.

Little Richard

Little RichardFact or Fiction

Was Long Tall Sally a cross-dresser? Did he really set his piano on fire? See if you know the real stories about one of rock's greatest innovators.

Sam Phillips

Sam PhillipsSongwriter Interviews

Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind - Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TV

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TVSong Writing

Shows like Dawson's Creek, Grey's Anatomy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed the way songs were heard on TV, and produced some hits in the process.

Five Rockers Who Rolled With The Devil

Five Rockers Who Rolled With The DevilSong Writing

Just how much did these monsters of rock dabble in the occult?

Church Lyrics

Church LyricsMusic Quiz

Here is the church, here is the steeple - see if you can identify these lyrics that reference church.