"Traveling Man" was a song written and performed by Dolly Parton. In the song the narrator, a young girl, describes her affair with a traveling salesman, and how her mother forbade the relationship. She disregards her mother's orders, and frequently sneaks out to meet the traveling man, eventually making plans to run away with him. However, on the day they are to leave town together, she discovers that he has instead run away with her mother, whom he'd apparently also been seeing all along. (This is revealed in the final line of the last verse.) Parton used this device -- setting up a narrative, only to invert the story during the last verse -- in a number of her songs of this period ("To Daddy", "Chas", "Robert").
Parton initially recorded the song in 1971, and included it on her Coat of Many Colors album. She rerecorded it in 1973 for her Bubbling Over album. The 1973 recording was released as a single, reaching the top 20 on the U.S. country singles charts in October of that year.
Barry Metcalf, 71, traveling man, a rebel at heart ; Mr. Metcalf's gifts to his family were the stories he told about his adventures across the United States.
Jul 04, 2010; KELLEY BOUCHARD By KELLEY BOUCHARD Staff Writer Portland Press Herald (Maine) 07-04-2010 Barry Metcalf, 71, traveling man, a...