The entertainment icon has often told the story of how Carl Dean vowed to stay out of the spotlight after attending one music business event with his world-famous wife early in her career.
In the coming days, he’ll make an exception though -- as Parton and Dean renew their vows on their golden anniversary.
“My husband is the worst!” Parton joked to ABC News. “It's hard for me to make him do anything. I have to make him go to the dentist, I have to make him go to the doctor. I have to make him get new clothes. I go get 'em and [he says] 'I don't like that ... my feet are too long ... I don't like those socks.' I said, 'Well, we're going shopping for a wedding suit and I don't want to hear nothin' about it!' So anyway, we've got him all suited up, so he liked the suit.”
The “I Will Always Love You” composer says she’s excited about the ceremony, because she never really got to have a wedding. When Parton, 70, and her husband, 73, tied the knot back in 1966, she’d just signed her first recording contract and promised her label she’d wait to marry. So the young couple fled to a church in Ringgold, Georgia, where they tied the knot in secret, with Parton's mother as a witness.
“He don't like to do this kind of thing as a rule,” she says of Dean, “but he's like me, he's proud we've made it 50 years. We've been together 52 years. We dated two years and then we got married, so anyway, we're gonna do it. He said he would, so he better -- or it won't last another year!”
There’s a possibility the world may get its best look ever at the mysterious Carl Dean after the anniversary, as Parton is planning to sell the photos to raise money for her nonprofit, the Imagination Library, which sends books to children all over the world.