9 to 5
Writer(s): Dolly Parton (see lyrics here)
Released: November 3, 1980
First Charted: November 29, 1980
Peak: 12 US, 11 CB, 15 HR, 2 RR, 12 AC, 11 CW, 47 UK, 12 CN, 9 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.5 US, 1.2 UK, 2.78 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 5.0 radio, 70.7 video, 407.14 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
In 1980, Dolly Parton starred alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the workplace comedy movie 9 to 5. Fonda and Parton met by chance when they were on the same flight to New York and Fonda realized Parton would be perfect for the movie. Fonda said, “You feel comfortable with her, love her, and hug her like an old friend. All those qualities are in her work in the movie.” TR
It was Parton’s first experience making a movie. She said, “The hardest thing was the long wait between shots, the hours you’d sit in make-up and costume and all…I can’t embroider or nothin’ like that, so I figured if I started writin’ songs, it would change my mood…That’s how I wrote ‘9 to 5.’” TR
Songwriting was nothing new to Dolly. As a preschooler, she crafted stories and melodies which she asked her mother to write down. FB One family member said she started singing about the same time she started talking. FB After she graduated from high school in 1964, she left for Nashville the next morning to launch a singing career. FB
She landed her first country hit, “Dumb Blonde,” in 1967 (#24). Three years later, she scored her first #1 with “Joshua.” She hit the top of the charts thirteen times before “9 to 5” reached #1 on the country chart on January 24, 1981. Four weeks later it achieved the rare feet of topping the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart as well. It became only the second song by a woman to top both charts – the last was Jeannie C. Riley with “Harper Valley P.T.A.” in 1968. “9 to 5” became “an anthem for office workers” WK and made the American Film Institute’s list of “100 Years, 100 Songs.”
First posted 11/4/2021; last updated 11/7/2022.