“9 to 5” by Dolly Parton Became the #1 Song in America on this day in 1981. Dolly wrote this for the 1980 film of the same name, and the single was released on November 3, 1980. The song earned Parton an Academy Award nomination and four Grammy Award nominations, winning her the awards for Best Country Song and Best Country Vocal Performance, Female. This would be Dolly’s only solo hit to land at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. She also hit #1 with her duet with Kenny Rogers, “Islands In the Stream.”
The film was Dolly’s acting debut, and also starred Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dabney Coleman. The film was a huge success, grossing over $103.9 million. Although Dolly was already a successful singer, musician and songwriter, this movie and song launched her permanently into mainstream popular culture.
Dolly wrote the song while on the movie set. She didn’t have her guitar with her, so she came up with the rhythm by rubbing her fingernails together.