Jennifer Nettles to Play Dolly Parton’s Mother in TV Movie

Sugarland Singer Cast in Coat of Many Colors

I don’t know that much about television casting, but still. This is a lot to wrap my head around: Jennifer Nettles is going to play Dolly Parton’s mother.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Nettles is going to portray Avie Lee — the mother of a young Parton — in the upcoming NBC production of Dolly Parton: Coat of Many Colors.

And it could very well be one of the most important roles in the new movie because Parton’s mother was the inspiration for her beloved 1971 song “Coat of Many Colors,” when she’d stitched rags together to make a coat for her daughter.

Actor Ricky Schroder will play Parton’s dad, Lee. This is not his first involvement in the country music world, though. In the Brad Paisley/Alison Krauss music video for “Whiskey Lullaby,” Schroder starred in as the heartbroken soldier who “put the bottle to his head and pulled the trigger.”

The special will be set in the Great Smoky Mountains in the 1950s, when Parton was about 9 years old.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.