Saturday Guest: Charlene Rose, Dolly impersonator

Tell me about the day you became a Dolly fan… 

In 1980 when I joined the Academy of Country Music and first saw Dolly’s cover of her album “New Harverst…First Gathering”

Why did you begin to work as a Dolly Parton impersonator? 

I entered a Dolly Parton Lookalike contest and out of 100 women won 1St place and was hired by Brides of California to do my first job at their event, where I met other impersonators who insisted I join their agency

In your shows, you use some of her original outfits, like a Tony Chase costume from Dolly’s music videoWhy’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That”. Where do you find her original outfits? 

I purchased them directly from Tony Chase before he died. Dolly had spoke of him on a tv show, so I called information, got his phone #, told him what I did and he gave me an appointment to come in.

How come you’ll been at Jay Leno with Dolly? Tell me about that day and how it began…

I had met Dolly at het book autographing 5 days prior taping Jay Leno and her publicist ask me for my name and # after I ask Dolly to autograph  an 8X10 photo of me dressed as Dolly in her original costume from video “Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That”, five days later I was called to be on the show with Dolly (as well as two other Dolly’s, one. A drag queen)

You’ve met Dolly a lot of times during the years, tell me about these days and how they’ve affect you….

It is always an honor to meet her because she is so down to earth and humble, not to mention flawless in person…She looks like a porcelain doll! The only way I’m affected is that I realize how much we are alike, in that both talk a lot, are both very friendly, people person, and what you see is what you get!

In one of Dolly’s music video’s you’re Dolly and lip-sync to the song, how come you’ve been a stand in for Dolly?

In this particular video, she was singing on the track with Yusef Islam, aka Cat Stevens whom she has recorded many of his songs over the years, and he has sang on some of her tracks. This was his first song back in the USA after 20 years, and in it he mentions Steve Buckingham, who produced many of Dolly’s albums over the years.

You’ve been all around the world for 21 years with your show, how are the audience to you as an impersonator? 

The audienciences have always received me very well, warm and welcome. Everyone loves Dolly, young and old and they treat me as if I were the real deal. Many times they’ve really believed I was her, even thought I tell them I’m not. Even when they ask me for an autograph, I sign “Breast WishesLOL!

Who makes your wigs? 

I buy them in Hollywood and then have them cut and styled in her latest look.

Isn’t difficult to keep changing wigs and style over the years like Dolly do? 

OH YES! And I’m going broke trying to keep up with her! LOL! Actually, it is a lot of fun! I love the creative Challenge and shopping for fabrics and sequins, jewelry, high heels…Like the song says…! I enjoy being a girl”! I DO!

Do you have contact with her hairstylist so you know what kind of style her hair will be this or that month? 

I had met one of her hair stylist’s bit I don’t contact him, I just google her and pick one that is most popular and recognized by her fans.

Do you have any more goals to make? 

YES! Long before “Doing Dolly” I used to write songs and my dream would to have at least one published some day. I know I have at least 3 # 1hits out of over 150 I’ve written.

Thank You Diana! Hope to see you back in Sweden next time I’m performing on Silja Symphony! I really enjoyed being there for three months…Nice People!

By: Diana Falheim

Thank You Charlene! Go and visit her at

2 thoughts on “Saturday Guest: Charlene Rose, Dolly impersonator

  1. Great interview! Had the chance to read it now. ” earth and humble, not to mention flawless in person” and “. what you see is what you get..” Exactly! And interesting how you, Charlene, was a stand in in a video with Dolly and Cat Stevens (one of Dolly’s favorites she likes to listen to to. I think.) You really do look like her, in the photo too! 🙂

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