Randy Parton, country singer and Dolly Parton's brother, dies at 67 after cancer battle

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Matthew Leimkuehler, Nashville Tennessean
·2 min read
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Randy Parton, a country singer and younger brother to Dolly Parton, has died at age 67.

Parton died of cancer, according to a Facebook post Thursday from his sister.

"The family and I are grieving his loss but we know he is in a better place than we are at this time," Dolly Parton shared on social media. "We are a family of faith and we believe that he is safe with God and that he is joined by members of the family that have gone on before and have welcomed him with joy and open arms."

The statement continued: "We will always love him and he will always be in our hearts."

Born Dec. 15, December 15, 1953, Randy Parton was one of 12 children raised by Avie Lee Parton and Robert Lee Parton in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Dolly Parton shares the microphone with her brother, Randy, during a celebration marking the groundbreaking for the Carolina Crossroads Music & Entertainment Center, Friday, Nov. 11, 2005, in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. Randy Parton, plans to operate the project, which officials hope will be the first of a number of similar operations in the region.
Dolly Parton shares the microphone with her brother, Randy, during a celebration marking the groundbreaking for the Carolina Crossroads Music & Entertainment Center, Friday, Nov. 11, 2005, in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. Randy Parton, plans to operate the project, which officials hope will be the first of a number of similar operations in the region.

He was a Dollywood fixture, connecting visitors to the musical East Tennessee family with popular live performances — including seasonal favorite "My People, My Music" — at the park. He began hosting shows at Dollywood in 1986, according to Parton's post.

He recorded and released a handful of country radio singles in the 1970s and early '80s, but may be best known for "Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You," a chart-topping duet with his sister. He often shared stages with Dolly Parton, playing guitar and bass in her band.

His recording career included a 1982 cut of "Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler)," which Randy Parton debuted two years before country band Alabama released a version that topped country charts. In another family collaboration, he sang on the soundtrack to the 1984 film "Rhinestone," which starred Dolly Parton.

Randy Parton last appeared on an album in 2020, singing with his sister on "You Are My Christmas." Dolly Parton dedicated the song to her brother, releasing it on her "A Holly Dolly Christmas" record.

Randy Parton's daughter, Heidi, who also entertains at Dollywood, joined on the song.

"He was born around Christmas time and he was our Christmas baby," Parton told The Tennessean in 2020. "We always called him 'Christmas' just for fun. ... I just thought, well, I'm gonna write a song for him to sing with me."

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This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Dolly Parton's brother Randy Parton dies of cancer at 67