NASHVILLE - 1965: Country singer Dolly Parton poses for a portrait in 1965 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

9 Vintage Photos Of Country Music Artists Before They Were Super Famous


Did you ever wonder what your favorite country stars looked like before they achieved megastardom? You're about to find out!

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton & Porter Wagoner

1967: Country singer Dolly Parton with her collaborator Porter Wagoner on the set of his TV show in circa 1967. Mr. Wagoner is wearing a Nudie Suit designed by Nudie Cohn of Nudie's Rodeo Tailors. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

"I Will Always Love You" and "Jolene" singer Dolly Parton is a country music legend who has been nominated for dozens of Grammys. She starred in the movie 9 to 5, had a hit song of the same name, and is co-owner of a Tennessee theme park named Dollywood. She is pictured here alongside Porter Wagoner circa 1967 before her career really took off.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley circa 1953

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: USA Photo of Elvis PRESLEY, posed portrait of Elvis Presley, c.1953/1954 (Photo by RB/Redferns)

Although you can still find people out there who insist that the King still lives, the country and rock icon passed away in 1977. Pictured is a photo of Presley circa 1953 before he became an international sensation.

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash in 1955

MEMPHIS - 1955: Country singer/songwriter Johnny Cash poses for a portrait in 1955 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Johnny Cash, aka "The Man in Black," was a country legend with hits like "Ring of Fire" and "I Walk the Line." Toward the end of his career, Cash covered haunting versions of "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails and "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode. Pictured is an early publicity still of Johnny Cash from 1955, the same year he made his first recordings at Sun Records.


Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson With A Band In 1955

TEXAS - CIRCA 1955: Country singer/songwriter Willie Nelson (second from left) performs onstage with a band in circa 1955 in Texas. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Singer and activist Willie Nelson is one of the most recognizable faces in country music. Two of his most famous songs are "On the Road Again" and "To All the Girls I've Loved Before." Nelson has appeared in over 30 movies and is an advocate for biofuels and the legalization of pot. Pictured is Nelson (second from left) circa 1955 performing with a band in Texas.

Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard's last recording, "Kern River Blues," described his disenchantment with politicians. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 79. Pictured is Merle Haggard in a publicity portrait for Tally Records in 1961 before he had any hit songs.

Waylon Jennings

Waylon Jennings made the theme song for The Dukes of Hazzard TV show. The "good ol' boy" passed away in 2002 at the age of 64. Pictured is Jennings during the broadcast of his radio show at KLLL in Lubbock, Texas in 1958.

Bill Monroe

Bill Monroe circa 1937

CIRCA 1937: Country music duo The Monroe Brothers, Bill Monroe (left) and Charlie Monroe (right) pose for a portrait circa 1936. (Photo by Donaldson Collection/Getty Images)

Bill Monroe helped create the style of music known as bluegrass. His band, the Blue Grass Boys, is named after his home state of Kentucky. Monroe passed away in 1996 at the age of 84. Pictured, left is Bill Monroe alongside his brother Charlie in 1936, the same year Bill got his first recording contract.


Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift in 2006

Taylor Swift during 41st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards - Arrivals at MGM Grand Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

People forget that to promote her debut album in 2006, Taylor Swift opened for other established country artists such as Brad Paisley to gain exposure. She is pictured here in 2006 at the 41st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Nowadays, her music is decidedly more pop than country.

Rosanne Cash

Roseann Cash in 1981

View of singer Roseanne Cash performing, Chicago, Illinois, May 3, 1981. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Rosanne Cash is the eldest daughter of country-music legend Johnny Cash, although that didn't help her get her self-titled 1978 debut album released in the United States... or anywhere other than Germany. She released her most commercially successful song, "Seven Year Ache," in 1981, the same year this photo was taken.

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