In 1989, Dolly Parton was flying high from her early ’80s film roles in 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and the newly released Steel Magnolias. The decade had seen the superstar top the charts with “Islands in the Stream,” her classic duet with friend and frequent duet partner Kenny Rogers, release a critically acclaimed album with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt and launch her own variety show. What better way to wrap up a decade of Dolly than with a No. 1 single “Why’d You Come in Here Looking’ Like That,” and its fan favorite video?
Written by Bob Carlisle and Randy Thomas, “Why’d You Come in Here Lookin Like That” is Parton at her sassiest and the music video reflects just that, along with her ever-present charm.
The clip opens with Parton and her management team auditioning love interests for her new music video (very meta). After a whirlwind of Elvis impersonators, car salesmen, accordion players, fencers, bikers and exotic dancers, Parton still hasn’t found her man — until an unexpected stagehand catches her eye.
Interspersed with clips of the humorous auditions are shots of Parton performing the song directed at the object of her affection in “high-heeled boots and painted on jeans, all dressed up like a cowgirl’s dream,” making for one of the country legend’s most memorable music videos. And for an artist as magnetic and vivacious as Parton, that’s saying something.
The track, which features Ricky Skaggs on guitar, harmony vocals, mandolin and fiddle, was recorded for Parton’s album White Limozeen. The album also included “Yellow Roses” and the gospel track “He’s Alive.”
“Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That” was Parton’s 18th No. 1 and spent 20 weeks on the country chart.