Parton went on to become a country music legend while her husband, happy to stay out of the limelight, ran an asphalt business. But come May 30, the couple will celebrate their 50th anniversary in an uncharacteristically public way.
"We're going to get married again!" the star told People magazine in a new interview. "I'll have a beautiful wedding dress, 'cause I didn't have a big, long wedding dress when we got married and we’ve got a suit for him, so we're going to dress up and take a bunch of pictures."
The photos, Parton explained, will be sold to benefit her Imagination Library literacy charity. Still, she was "shocked" her husband went along with the idea of a wedding.
"My husband is a loner," she said of the man rarely seen in public with her. "He doesn't particularly care about being around anybody but me. He's just always asked me to leave him out of all this. He does not like all the hullabaloo."
At the same, she said, "he's always been supportive."
"He's like a brother and a father and a friend and a husband and a lover -- all of those things to me," said the singer, who turned 70 in January. "I think he's kind of proud that we've been in it this long!"