NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Kansas Author Sarah Smarsh Explores The 'Unifying Figure' Of Dolly Parton

Ways To Subscribe
Paul Andrews
Sarah Smarsh's "She Come By It Natural" was originally published as a four-part series for roots-music magazine "No Depression."

Smarsh's new book, "She Come By It Natural," looks at how Dolly Parton's music gave a voice to working class women.

As a fifth-generation Kansas farm girl, Sarah Smarsh grew up listening to a lot of old country music. In her family, the music served as a language for women to talk about their feelings.

Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Mackenzie Martin is a producer for Up To Date, Real Humans By Gina Kaufmann, and other podcasts at KCUR Studios. Reach out to her at or on Twitter @_macmartin.