When Maren Morris think of the pop culture that shaped it, the first thing that comes to mind is Steel Magnolias. The beloved 1989 film sticks with the “Circles Around This Town” singer because her mother is a hairdresser, she recently explained. Steel Magnolias tells of “a young beautician, newly arrived in small town Louisiana, finds work at the local salon, where a small group of women share a close bond of friendship and welcome her into the fold.” movie stars Sally Field, Shirley McLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, julia robert and country music legend Dolly Parton.
It was because of Steel Magnolias that, at first, Morris had not realized that Parton was a singer.
Speaking on a recent episode of Las Culturistas with Matt Rogers and Bowen YangMorris said: “…my sister and I, we grew up in his living room and we loved, styling mannequin heads, and you know, that was my first real job, it was like being a receptionist for his living room. But watching the movie Steel Magnolias as a child, I only knew Dolly Parton [her character,] True. I didn’t know she was Dolly Parton, the country music star. I just thought she was an actress. And then, through a film about Southern hair and diabetes, I found Dolly Parton.
Morris continued, springing from the “golden light of Parton’s songwriting and feminism and all that she’s done over the last 30, 40 years, writing the most beautiful songs in history, but also such a diverse human. … I think that’s what made me think, ‘OK, wow, country music is cool if they have it at the helm.'”
Throughout the episode, podcast hosts Matt and Bow reflected on “how the need to slow down during the pandemic affected Maren’s writing, and Maren’s discovery of Dolly Parton as an actress before even if she didn’t realize that she was a singer”. Also, Steel Magnolias, 9 to 5, Maren’s new album, Humble Quest, the “short king” phenomenon, and an explanation of the lyrics “like a Coca Cola on Christmas Day” to Maren’s song “Sugar.” …This episode? It’s myyyyyyyy churchhhhh!
Listen to the full episode here: