Why Dolly Parton has helped put millions of books in the hands of children

Country music legend Dolly Parton has sold millions of records in her long career. But what you might not know is she's also responsible for putting millions of books in the hands of children. 

Parton is the driving force behind a charity that distributes books -- completely free of charge -- to children around the nation.

"They get this book once a month in the mailbox with their little name on it, not in the care of daddy or mommy. It's their little name on that book. So that's special to them," Parton told "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-host Anthony Mason.

The program, which sends free books to children from birth to age five, delivered its 100 millionth book last year. Parton launched the program in Sevier County, Tennessee, in 1995. It now has partners in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In 2017, North Carolina implemented it statewide.

Parton said she started the program because her father and his 11 brother and sisters didn't get the opportunity to go to school.

"You know he didn't like to feel like he was going to try to learn to read as a grown man. It was kind of an embarrassing thing to him I think," Parton said. "My daddy was the one I got my work ethic from and his stamina and his intelligence."

What she also got from her dad? Her business savvy.

"He knew how to barter, he knew how to trade, he knew how to maneuver. … My daddy, you couldn't fool him on money. He might not have been able to read the words but he had those numbers in his head. He was a genius with that," she said.

Parton's dad, who died in 2000, helped her launch the Imagination Library. He got to live long enough to hear kids call his daughter "book lady" Parton said. "And he loved that."

The country music icon was in Nashville, Tenn... 03:00

She often includes a letter in the books, which also have advice on how to read with your children and that means everything to the Acostas.

"It's such a gift to have anything for free when you have a small child, because they're expensive," Andrea Acosta said. "We've got this library that Dolly started for us."

Parton was honored for her charity work at the Grammys this year. In her more than five decades in music, she has earned nine Grammys and scored 26 No. 1 country hits. No woman has had more.

"Is it true you wrote 'Jolene' and 'I Will Always Love You' on the same day?" Mason asked.

"You know what I don't know if I wrote it the same day, but I found those songs on the same cassette, you know, an old cassette that I had when we were going through stuff," she said. "And I thought 'Wow, that must have been a really good night. What was I drinking that night?'  Well, I can't drink and write. So that wasn't it. But I thought, that is amazing that I have both those songs, two of the biggest I've ever done, back to back on that cassette."

To this day, she records on cassette tapes and writes on yellow legal pads.

"I still have to look up these tapes. I have to find them on Amazon, these cassettes, cassette player, 'cause if I change my rhythm, it changes my style," she said. "I just have a comfort zone in the way I work. They all laugh at me cause I'm not that high tech."

"So, it's a legal pad a cassette recorder and a guitar?" Mason asked.

"Or a banjo. Depends what I'm writing … and that's just how I do it. And that's how I will always do it, I'm sure."