The Internet is Loving This Wholesome Throwback Video of Dolly Parton and Patti Labelle

Kayla Blanton
·2 min read
Photo credit: Youtube
Photo credit: Youtube

From Prevention

  • A 1980s video of Dolly Parton and Patti Labelle is bringing the internet joy right now.

  • In the clip, the duo harmonizes together using their acrylic nails.

  • They fall into a duet of “Shortnin’ Bread” and it’s clear they’re having fun.

If you’re a true Dolly Parton fan, you know that her acrylic nails serve a dual purpose: They look glamorous and they’re an accessible musical instrument. The country music legend clicked and clacked them on-set of 9 to 5 to write its titular theme song of the same name, and in a 1980s video that’s bringing the internet joy right now, she shows the one and only Patti LaBelle how to strum her own manicure.

In the clip, Labelle joins Parton on her variety show, Dolly in 1987, per Today. The pair wear matching black, bedazzled gowns with immensely padded shoulders—it’s the ‘80s, after all. “I write a lot of songs when I don’t have my guitar,” the “Jolene” crooner tells LaBelle. “I beat around on the dashboard of my car when I’m riding around writing a song.” LaBelle nods, and Parton continues: “But then I have a little rhythm that we can do with these acrylic nails. Can you do it Patti?”

Parton starts a beat, and LaBelle quickly catches on. “That’s cute,” the “On My Own” singer says. Just like that, they fall into a harmonized, goosebumps-inducing duet of “Shortnin’ Bread,” and it’s clear they’re having fun. “Play it, Patti!” Parton exclaims, and the audience bursts into laughter.

The video initially went viral in October 2020 when Parton partnered with Time Life to release Dolly: The Ultimate Collection, a 19-DVD box set that honors her career highlights in over 35 hours of concerts, TV shows, interviews, and more. But a new corner of the web discovered it this week—a Jan. 9 tweet has garnered more than 32,000 retweets and 150,000 likes.

“Hey @MsPattiPatti and @DollyParton! Can y’all release this as a single please?” one Twitter user wrote. “I am going watch this every Monday morning. Perfect way to start the week,” another added. Someone else tweeted, “This is why acrylic nails are necessary.”

Big shoutout to Parton’s nail artist, whoever that may be—they quite literally gifted us some of Parton’s best work. The acrylics themselves even got a credit on the 9 to 5 soundtrack. “I have a credit on the back of the album that says, ‘nails by Dolly,’” Parton said on The Graham Norton Show. Why are we not surprised? It’s Dolly, there’s nothing she can’t do.

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