Jan. 31: Steady On Charts Dolly's Halos & Horns remains steady at No. 58 on the Feb. 8 country albums chart in its 29th chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. The CD also remains steady at No. 7 on the bluegrass albums chart. The Songcatcher soundtrack, with a Dolly duet, moves up one on the bluegrass chart in its 22nd week, coming in at No. 12. And the Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, with Dolly's "Marry Me," re-enters the soundtrack albums chart at No. 24 to log in a 16th chart week. The Dixie Chicks' Home remains at No. 1 on the country albums chart but loses one to No. 4 on the pop albums chart in its 22nd week, while Shania Twain's Up! remains at No. 2 country and gains one on the pop chart to come in at No. 12 in its ninth chart week.
Orlando Stampede Gets Manager The Orlando Business Journal reported Thursday that a manager has been hired for Dolly's Dixie Stampede in town. John Shaver, general manager of the equestrian dinner theater's flagship restaurant in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., will go to Florida to run the $28 million complex, the largest of the four Dixie Stampedes. Read the story here.
Helpin' Out The Young Folk Irish boyband Westlife is in Nashville this week seeking advice from country stars as they prepare to cover Kenny Rogers' "Daytime Friends," it was reported Thursday. The group performed Thursday at the Wildhorse Saloon with country singers Mark Wills and while in town are scheduled to meet with and get words of wisdom from Dolly, Kenny, Lee Ann Womack and Deana Carter. Read stories from Net Music Countdownhere and Music Industry Newshere.
'Sweet Home Alabama' Dolly's Imagination Library is adding another state, the Decatur Daily News of Alabama reported Wednesday, saying the program's entry into the Danville-Neel area will be the state's first. According to the story, the local elementary school's principal saw a brief in the newspaper last month about the Bureau of Indian Affair's announcement that it will bring the Dollywood Foundation project to nearly 100 Native American communities across the country this year, which prompted him to learn more about it. Linda Owens, reading coach for the local area in the Alabama Reading Initiative, said: "This will give them such confidence when they start school because they'll already know how important reading is, and they'll even have read some of the books." The program is expected to start there in March. The program, entering its fourth year of being available nationwide thanks to a $17 million gift from Dolly's Dixie Stampede restaurants, is currently operating in 185 communities across 26 states and expects to distribute in excess of 1 million books this year. (These figures do not include the Native American program.) The project provides one free book per month to any child from birth to age 5 in a participating community whose parents sign them up. Read the full story here.
Working 'Girl' The Tucson Citizen had a neat little story Thursday about a female impersonator who specializes in Cher and Dolly. Read it here.
Jan. 29: Dolly, Meet Shania, Shania, Meet Dolly Shania Twain first meeting with her idol, Dolly, will be featured in a VH1 profile set to premiere in February, according to a press release from the network on Tuesday. The release doesn't go into much detail, but it explains that Shania and her assistant took video cameras along with them during her recent promotional tour for her new album Up! to give a behind-the-scenes documentary look at her public appearances and interviews. The release notes that also included is a peek at her private home in Ontario and her first meeting with Dolly. The show, Shania: What It's Like, airs at 9 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 12.
'Voice' Gets Makeover Phil over at Voice Of An Angel on Tuesday premiered his updated site, with lots of special features including more multimedia files, a chat room, a letters to the webmaster section and more following his move to a new server with more storage capacity. Check out his great re-designed site here! Thanks, Phil!
Jan. 28: Dolly Sings On Another Cover CMT.com's Hot Talk column by Edward Morris on Monday broke the news that Dolly has recorded a new version of her "Steady As The Rain" for bluegrass duo The Larkins' untitled debut album, due in July from Koch-Audium Records. The duo (sisters Tina and Shaunna) is usually part of a quartet with their parents, Barbara and Lowell, performing for the past eight years at Dollywood. Of course, Dolly recorded the song on her 1999 Grammy-winning The Grass Is Blue, but it was first recorded by her sister Stella in 1979, who took it to No. 26 on the country chart. Read the full column here.
Seeing Stars And Dolly is slated to be featured in a special on the Biography Network. In episode 10 of Star Central, premiering at 9 p.m. Feb. 7, photographer Roxanne Lowit discusses photo shoots with several celebrities, including Dolly.
Jan. 27: Fans Talk To The 'Times' The New York Times story on Dolly fans announced here earlier in the week hit newsstands Sunday, featuring comments from several Dollymania friends, including Patric Parkey, Harell Gabehart, David and Jo-Ann Scmidli and documentary filmmaker Tai Uhlman. Dolly herself talks in the story about her fans, saying: "I've often wondered if it's healthy for some of these people to depend on me that much, to where people live through you and don't live their own lives. . . . But I think it's healthier for those people to have something to look forward to than to not. If they've got a show to look forward to or a record to look forward to, it might keep them from doing something bad to themselves or to somebody else. Or give 'em something more to do than just dwelling on themselves so much. I don't know. I just know I love the fans. I appreciate 'em. I love what I do. So I guess we'll all be at it for a long time to come." Read the story, titled "St. Dolly and Her Flock," here and a sidebar about her music here. (P.S. If you're not registered to use the Times site, you must first do so before you may access an article. Registration is free.)
Austin Concert Air Date Announced On CMT's Grand Ole Opry Live Saturday night, Ray Benson, Asleep At The Wheel front man and Dolly co-star from Wild Texas Wind, announced the air date for his special Stars Over Texas, a concert which will serve as a pilot for a new variety series Benson hopes to host for the network. He said the special will air March 3 on CMT. As was previously reported here, the concert featured Dolly and Vince Gill headlining and was taped in Austin, Texas, in October. (View photos from the taping here.)
'Norton' On DVD In U.K. Although it's not available here in the U.S., a DVD of Graham Norton from his British series So, Graham Norton has just been released overseas and includes Dolly's appearance on his show from two years ago.
Wy On Dolly In an interview with CMT.com to promote her Inside Fame special which premiered over the weekend (including interviews with Dolly), Wynonna said her style both in singing and appearance was influenced by Dolly. She listed Dolly as one of her big musical influences, and in a later question when asked about her clothes talked about using leather like Mary J. Blige and Shakira but also more typically country outfits. She said: "I have a girl here in Nashville who puts all the bright and shiny rhinestones on my clothes and boots because ever since I first saw Dolly Parton, I've always been drawn to the sparkle and shine. I have to have a little bit of both. I'm a little bit leather and a little bit lace." Read the interview here.
Another Gospel Chart Gospel station WFLQ is still seeing Dolly. Her "Hello God" remains steady at No. 9 in last week's countdown, while her "Stand By The River" with Dottie Rambo also remains steady at No. 19.
Dolly And Goldie Together? British newspaper The Guardian had an interesting story on Sunday about Goldie Hawn, saying she and Dolly are the "rural and urban versions of each other, pre-feminist sisters of a sort under those blonde haystacks and formidable chests." The story continues to further compare the two before praising Goldie's latest film The Banger Sisters. It concludes by saying the next thing Goldie should do is make a movie with Dolly. (It doesn't mention that the two became friends when Porter and Dolly appeared on Laugh-In and that when Goldie recorded an album in 1972, she covered the Dolly song "My Blue Tears," complete with Porter and Dolly sitting in the producer's chair for that number.) Read the story here.
Chieftains Want Dolly Chieftains leader Paddy Moloney wants to record with Dolly, he said this week. In an interview published in Sunday's Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, Moloney says he hopes in the near future to work with Dolly, Nickel Creek and The Dixie Chicks. The Irish band recently recorded and released a collection of songs collaborating with country, bluegrass and folk's finest, with an additional CD recorded with country stars in Nashville due in a few months, so if they get together with Dolly, it would be on a future recording. Read the story here.
Jan. 25: Dolly Makes Girl's Dream Come True The Express And Star on Friday had a wonderful article about a 10-year-old British girl who suffered a stroke last year and whose life-long wish is to meet Dolly. Well, the newspaper contacted Dolly and arranged a visit. While Dolly's schedule while on tour in the U.K. in November kept her from hooking up with the young girl, she offered to meet her if she came to Dollywood. So her family raised more than £5,000 to make the trip, and Dolly will meet with her during opening weekend in April. Carla Nicholls' mother said, "Carla has wanted to meet Dolly for so long, she is her idol and loves her music. It's fantastic that she is going. She was originally due to go to Florida later this year, but we have decided to fly out early to Tennessee because it's a once in a lifetime opportunity for Carla, and her dream." Read the full story here.
Gospel Update Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns moves up five spots this week on the PowerSource Christian country music countdown to No. 8, while her duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," remains steady at No. 14, it was announced Friday. I was also alerted to the God's Country International Music Chart, where Dolly is shown as the No. 8 most played gospel artist overseas, and "Stand By The River" is No. 43 on their countdown, while "Hello God" is No. 61. And on the Country Gospel Guild Top 80 for February, Dolly and Dottie come in at No. 57. Thanks!
Jan. 24: Down A Little On U.S. Charts Dolly's Halos & Horns inches down four spots to reach No. 58 on the Feb. 1 country albums chart in its 28th chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. The CD remains steady at No. 7 on the bluegrass albums chart but falls off the independent label albums chart, down from last week's No. 38. The Songcatcher soundtrack, with a Dolly duet, falls one on the bluegrass chart in its 21st week, coming in at No. 13. And the Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, with Dolly's "Marry Me," falls off the soundtrack albums chart, down from No. 23 last week in its 15th chart week. The Dixie Chicks' Home remains at No. 1 on the country albums chart and moves up one to No. 3 on the pop albums chart in its 21st week, while Shania Twain's Up! remains at No. 2 country and but loses six on the pop chart to come in at No. 13 in its eighth chart week.
And From Our Neighbors Honky Tonk Angels with Tammy and Loretta falls off the Canadian country albums chart in the Jan. 23 edition, down from No. 46 last week, its third week of chart re-entry since its original release a decade ago.
More 'River' Press And Dolly and Dottie Rambo, who scored a Christian country No. 1 single with their duet of "Stand By The River," will be featured in the cover story of the February issue of PowerSource magazine, the official magazine of the Christian Country Music Association. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm told the story features a "really cute" interview with Dolly. Their duet was the No. 1 song for December in the magazine's official monthly chart and held the No. 1 spot for two weeks on its unofficial weekly chart, where the song is still in the top 20 -- as well as Dolly's "Hello God." (And if you want to get a subscription to PowerSource and voting rights to cast a ballot for Dolly and Dottie in the annual CCMA Awards, memberships are $25 each. For more information, e-mail Henri@ccma.cc.) Thanks!
Calling Goldmine Your Dollymania webmaster has a letter to the editor published in the Jan. 24 issue of Goldmine magazine on newsstands now complimenting the publication on its great cover story on Dolly from December and asking the questions raised here about whether some additional singles should have been included in the magazine's list of the most collectable Dolly recordings (see Dec. 17 news update by clicking on "For Older News" at the bottom of this page), and writers for the publication provide some answers to those questions. Also, this edition touts a special issue focusing on the career of Linda Ronstadt in the edition dated Feb. 21, so I'm sure it will include several mentions of Dolly and the Trio.
Jan. 22: Dolly's Dulcimer To Benefit Environment A dulcimer made just for Dolly and used on Halos & Horns is up for auction this week, The Tennessean reported Tuesday. The dulcimer is one of several items in a silent auction to benefit the Tennessee Conservation Voters at its annual fundraiser. The group represents 17 of the state's most active non-profit environmental organizations and serves as their lobbying arm. Tickets for the event, called "Nature Votes" and to be held from 4:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. Friday at the Historic Travellers Rest (636 Farrell Parkway off Franklin Road), may be reserved by calling 615-269-9090. Read the full story here.
Fans In The Times Tai Uhlmann, the director of the documentary on Dolly fans currently filming, For The Love Of Dolly, asked me to pass along that Sunday's edition of the New York Times will feature a story on Dolly fans in its Arts & Leisure section. Michael Joseph Gross' story will also include a mention of the documentary. Congratulations, guys!
Dolly Sales Help English Label Sanctuary Records, the European distributor of Dolly's Sugar Hill recordings, released its 2002 earnings on Sunday, and, as happened the past two years, dramatic increases were attributed largely to Dolly, this year being the release of her Halos & Horns. The company saw pre-tax profits rise 25 percent to 14.2 million pounds and annual sales jump 44 percent to 118.1 million pounds, compared to an industry average increase of just 3 percent. Dolly's CD debuted at No. 1 on the country albums chart in Great Britain and held the top spot for 10 weeks this year, also peaking at No. 37 pop. Its success also propelled her other two releases on Sanctuary, The Grass Is Blue and Little Sparrow, into the country top 10 again, with Sparrow logging a total of more than a year and a half in the top 20. Read the story on Ananovahere.
Belated Birthday Greetings Webster Springs, W.V., radio station WAFD Solid Gospel 100.3 FM sent in a message Monday asking me to pass along birthday greetings to Dolly, who turned 57 on Sunday. So from Leonard Allan Cogar, Artie Jewel Rogers Cogar and Marjorie Ann Cogar: "Happy Birthday, Dolly!"
Virus Alert On Monday, I was alerted to a virus problem I felt I needed to pass along to you all. Someone who has the Dollymania e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) in his or her computer has acquired a computer virus. The virus sends itself to other e-mail addresses in your computer's address book but identifies other addresses in your address book as the sender instead of you. This e-mail address, email@example.com, is incapable of sending e-mail. It can only receive messages. Therefore, if you receive any messages in your inbox which purport to come from firstname.lastname@example.org, immediately delete them because they contain a virus. Any actual e-mails from me are generated from my personal account at BellSouth, not the Dollymania address.
Dolly Convention Update The organizers who hosted the annual Dolly Collectors' Convention until last year have asked all Dolly sites to pass along the fact that they are, after all, considering scheduling a convention for opening weekend in April and need some feedback before they make a final decision. The full text of their press release is as follows: "Big Shot Productions is in the process of planning a 2003 Collectors Convention specializing in Dolly Parton Memorabilia. The event would be held during Dollywood's Grand Opening Weekend in April 2003. Before definite plans are made, we want to make sure that this venture would be successful and worthwhile for everyone involved: attendees, vendors, & producers. To do so, we need to hear from you! If you would be interested in renting a booth as a vendor or to exhibit your Dolly Parton Collection at the 2003 Collectors Convention, please email us at DPConvntn@aol.com. We need to hear from you no later than February 1, 2003. The response we receive will determine whether or not there will be a 2003 Collectors Convention.For further information, visit our web site at hometown.aol.com/dpconvntn; or email us at DPConvntn@aol.com." As you may recall, it was reported here last week that organizers said they would likely not hold a convention in the spring if Dolly's concerts were held in the December, which this site confirmed will be the dates for her benefit shows this year. Apparently following that report, organizers received enough inquiries from fans for them to consider a convention in April, dependent on having enough vendors sign up by the end of the month to rent tables for the event. Prices for table rental and admission have not been announced. To be fair, I feel I must note that if it does materialize, the convention would apparently be held on the same day (Friday, April 4) and at approximately the same time as the second annual Blonde Butterfly Bash, a Dolly fan party and memorabilia convention scheduled for 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. at the Green Valley Motel South in Pigeon Forge (admission to the Bash will be a $1 donation to the Dollywood Foundation). To reserve a table at the Blonde Butterfly Bash at no charge by March 28, call 972-652-5857. And, again, if you are interested in renting a table at the Dolly Collectors' Convention should it be held, e-mail DPConvntn@aol.com by February 1.
Jan. 20: CM: Dolly One Of Year's Best Although I haven't seen the magazine yet, my pal Chris over at Dolly Parton Central reported on his news page Sunday that Dolly is all over the place in the Country Music magazine annual critics poll of the best music of 2002 in the February/March issue on newsstands now. He reported that Dolly ranked No. 5 for Artist Of The Year, No. 2 for Female Vocalist Of The Year (her friend and frequent back-up singer Alison Krauss was No. 1), her album Halos & Horns No. 9 for Album Of the Year and her summer 2002 concert tour No. 3 for Live Act Of The Year. Visit Chris' site here.
A Dolly Mention A letter to the editor in Friday's The Tennesseean thanking the paper on its coverage of Maurice Gibb's death included a mention of Dolly. The writer, Ginger Eldridge, recalled meeting Gibb, one-third of the BeeGees, a few years back and reported, "He told us how much he adored Dolly Parton and how great she was to work with." The BeeGees worked with Dolly and Kenny Rogers on their biggest hit, "Islands In The Stream," back in 1983. Read the full letter here.
Hail To The Gov. Phil Bredesen was sworn in Saturday as the new governor of Tennessee. As you may recall, one of his campaign promises was to expand Dolly's Imagination Library of the Dollywood Foundation into a statewide program using public and private funds.
Dolly-Jewish Connections? In an interesting article from Saturday's Austin American Statesman on the young Jewish magazine Heeb, there's a mention that the editor and publisher, Jennifer Bleyer, is trying to find some Jewish connection to Dolly (I guess she wants a reason to feature her in the magazine). Well, here are a few links for her: For starters, throughout her career, Dolly has utilized several Jewish performers in her band and recorded songs written by Jewish composers. Sandy Gallin, one of the most well-known Jewish (and gay) powerbrokers in Hollywood, served as her manager from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, developing an immediate and very strong friendship. They took vacations together and even co-owned a New York apartment that they shared. They also began several entertainment enterprises, most successful of which was their Sanddollar Productions. And a few years ago, Dolly purchased the movie rights to "The Jew Store," Stella Suberman's memoir of growing up in the sole Jewish family in a small Tennessee town in the 1920s. Dolly has said she hopes to make a feature film based on the book and plans to play the character of Miss Brookie, a middle-aged lady who was the first to befriend the family in town. Read the newspaper's story here.
Shania Plugs Dolly In Shania Twain's new video for "Up!," she has a wall in the background of the video showcasing some of her favorite music. Included: The album cover for 1975's Best Of Dolly Parton! Thanks, Mike!
Jan. 18: 'Hello God' On Chart Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns debuts this weekend on the PowerSource weekly top 20 Christian country chart at No. 13, it was announced Friday. Dolly's duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," remains steady at No. 14. As was previously reported here, the magazine's official chart, which is tabulated monthly, debuted "Hello God" at No. 38 for January while "Stand By The River," No. 1 for December, fell to No. 6 for the month.
Order 'Straight Talk' Amazon.com has added a link to reserve your copy of Dolly's 1992 comedy Straight Talk, when Buena Vista Home Video issues it on DVD for the first time on May 6. Get your copy here!
'Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby' Of course, that's the title of Dolly's first chart single, which went to No. 108 pop way back in 1965, and it's what fans all over the world will be saying to Miss Dolly when she turns 57 on Sunday. Happy Birthday, Dolly!
Jan. 17: Little Movement On Charts Dolly's Halos & Horns inches down one spot to reach No. 54 on the Jan. 25 country albums chart in its 27th chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. The CD loses one notch to No. 7 on the bluegrass albums chart but gains eight places on the independent label albums chart to come in at No. 38. Pinmonkey, with Dolly guest vocals, falls back off country albums chart after returning to No. 73 last week in its eighth chart week. Patty Loveless' Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas, featuring Dolly on the title track, falls off the bluegrass chart , down from No. 12 in its 10th week. The Songcatcher soundtrack, with a Dolly duet, falls one on the bluegrass chart in its 20th week, coming in at No. 12. And the Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, with Dolly's "Marry Me," falls two to No. 23 on the soundtrack albums chart in its 15th chart week. The Dixie Chicks' Home remains at No. 1 on the country albums chart and No. 4 on the pop albums chart in its 20th week, while Shania Twain's Up! remains at No. 2 country and gains one to move to No. 7 pop in its seventh chart week.
And Up North Honky Tonk Angels, Dolly's 1993 trio album with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, falls nine spots to No. 46 on the Jan. 16 Canadian country albums chart in its third week of re-entry up north, it was announced Thursday. The CD went gold in both the U.S. and Canada following its original issue a decade ago.
Jan. 16: Dolly Bash, Benefit Concert News I've gotten a few e-mails recently asking whether they'll be any planned gathering of Dolly fans at Dollywood's opening weekend festivities this year, with the events being now just 10 weeks away, and (after several e-mail queries and replies) I have some answers. As many readers will remember, the organizers of the annual Dolly Collectors' Convention, which had taken place during opening weekend for several years, chose not to hold their event last year, so fans Patric and Harrell, the same guys who stayed at Dolly's apartment at Dollywood last month (see their exclusive Dollymania page on that weekend here), started up the Blonde Butterfly Bash as an alternative, offering fans a place to informally gather, talk, trade memorabilia and all-in-all have a good time while in town for opening weekend. And it will be back this year!
A few of the final details are still being worked out, but the guys have confirmed that there is to be no charge for exhibitors or those who wish to sell Dolly merchandise at this year's Bash (one table is free, a second one is $5). Attendees will be asked to make pay a small admission fee (just $1), 100 percent of which will be donated to the Dollywood Foundation. The festivities are scheduled for 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Friday, April 4, at the Green Valley Motel South (4109 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.), the same location as last year. Room discounts will be available to sellers who who book reservations at the hotel (865-453-9091 or email@example.com). The reservation deadline is March 28, and you may call 972-652-5857 for more details. You may also visit their site dedicated to the event here for updates.
As for the Dolly Collectors' Convention, organizers tell me they prefer to hold their event in conjunction with Dolly's benefit concerts because they tend to bring in larger crowds. And, since Dollymania confirmed with Dollywood this week that the concerts this year will again be held in December, it is unlikely that the convention will be offered at grand opening this year. Organizers' official word is that no final decision has been made yet on whether a convention will be held this year or not.
Dollywood officials confirmed to Dollymania on Wednesday that Dolly is planning a "whole new Christmas show" for December as her annual benefit concerts for the Dollywood Foundation and that the actual dates of the shows will be announced the first week of February. Thanks, Patric, Pete and Jeff!
And A Note Reader Greg thought it would be nice to note for everyone who hasn't visited the Ask Men article this week on Dolly that it features a different photo on each page. The first one was probably taken either at her National Press Club address in D.C. or a VIP reception at Stars Over Mississippi (she wore the same yellow outfit to both events), the second one from a concert this summer in Missouri and the third a stock photo from Wild Texas Wind. Visit the pages here. Thanks, Greg!
Jan. 14: Stampede Orlando Update The Orlando Sentinel on Monday called Dolly's new Dixie Stampede, now under construction, "the big news" among the region's "smaller attractions." It noted that the previously-announced May 23 expected opening date has been finalized, as have ticket prices ($44 adults, $29 children). The 1,200-seat, $28 million arena will be the largest of Dolly's four Stampedes. Auditions for entertainers were held Monday. Read the full story here.
Gospel Chart Update Gospel station WFLQ released its top 20 chart on Monday, and Dolly's got two spots! "Hello God" moves up one spot for the week to No. 9, while "Stand By The River" with Dottie Rambo falls 15 spots to No. 19. Also, I'm told that the Solid Gospel program has been airing "River" in heavy rotation. Everyone e-mail their requests for it and "Hello God" to the show here!
Ask Them Ask Men.com has posted its section for this week's Singer of The Week, Dolly, complete with their raters' opinions on her career, sex appeal, etc., although most fans would rate her much higher in each category than they do. There's also an okay biography (although it had a couple of little errors, like saying Hello, I'm Dolly was her first RCA album -- it was on Monument Records a year before her first solo RCA album, Just Because I'm A Woman). Read it here.
Jan. 13: Another Best Of Year Nod Halos & Horns has made another best of year list. The Los Angeles weekly publication Entertainment Today offered its critics' reviews of 2002 in Friday's issue, and Paul Andersen chose Halos as the seventh-best recording of the year. Others on his list included Brandy, Norah Jones, Mary J. Blige, Coldplay and Queens Of The Stone Age. Read the full story here.
'Hello God' On PowerSource Chart One entry got left out of the PowerSource January chart update posted here Thursday night: Dolly's "Hello God" debuts on the monthly Christian country music chart at No. 38. In related news, this weekend's weekly countdown from the magazine's radio show sees Dolly's duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," lose one spot to No. 14, it was announced Friday.
Dolly On Wynonna Special Dolly is interviewed for CMT's Inside Fame profile of Wynonna, according to a press release issued by the network. In the release, Dolly is quoted as saying: "Wynonna is very strong willed. She has definitely her own mind. She knows who she is, she knows what she wants, and she knows how to go about getting it. I have a great deal of respect for Wynonna for being exactly how she is." The special premieres on CMT at 9 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, Jan. 25. (Let's hope this isn't like the Shania Twain profile from November, in which the network said Dolly was interviewed, but she reportedly didn't appear in the special. My cable company doesn't carry CMT, but readers wrote in to let me know that Dolly wasn't in the version which aired.)
Prayers For Gibb Maurice Gibb, 53, one-third of the Bee Gees, died early Sunday morning in a Miami hospital where he had been since suffering a heart attack during intestinal surgery on Thursday night. He and his brothers, Barry and Robin, wrote Dolly's biggest-selling hit, "Islands In The Stream," which appeared on Kenny Rogers' 1983 Eyes That See In The Dark album. Barry Gibb co-produced the single and album, and Maurice co-wrote eight of its 10 tracks, also playing synthesizer and acoustic guitar throughout the album. A couple of readers e-mailed me over the weekend to say they had met Gibb a few years back, and, of course, their conversation moved to Dolly. They said he told them how much he respected her talent and loved her as a performer and a person. Thanks!
Jan. 10: U.S. Charts See Movement Dolly's Halos & Horns inches down four spots to come in at No. 53 on the Jan. 18 country albums chart in its 26th chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. The CD loses one spot to No. 6 on the bluegrass albums chart and 19 on the independent label albums chart to reach No. 46. However, I would expect a slight spike in in its position when the Jan. 25 numbers come out next week reflecting purchases of the disc following its Grammy nominations (the charts issued today are for last week's sales). Pinmonkey, with a gorgeous rendering of Dolly's "Falling Out Of Love With Me" featuring her on harmonies, returns to the country albums chart for a eighth week, registering in at No. 73. Patty Loveless' Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas, featuring Dolly on the title track, loses six on the bluegrass chart in its 10th week to make it to No. 12 and falls off the country albums chart, down from last week's No. 51 position. Selah's Rose Of Bethlehem, with Dolly on "Once Upon A Christmas," falls off the contemporary Christian chart, down from No. 32 last week in its ninth chart week, and off the Heatseekers chart, down from No. 37. The Songcatcher soundtrack, with a Dolly duet, gains one on the bluegrass chart for a 19th week, coming in at No. 11. And the Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, with Dolly's "Marry Me," falls one to No. 21 on the soundtrack albums chart in its 14th chart week. The Dixie Chicks' Home regains the No. 1 country spot in its 19th week and remains at No. 4 on the pop albums chart, while Shania Twain's Up! drops to No. 2 country, down from No. 1, and No. 8 pop, down from No. 2, in its sixth chart week.
News From Canada An interesting note from our friends to the north: Dolly's 1993 trio album with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, Honky Tonk Angels, must've been re-issued in Canada last month, because it's back on the charts there. The CD, which went gold in both the U.S. and Canada when originally released, jumps up 51 places to No. 37 in its second week on the chart, according to the Jan. 9 list announced Thursday. Kenny & Dolly's Once Upon A Christmas, however, falls off the country albums chart after its annual appearance there. There were no charts published for the past couple of weeks due to the holidays, but on the Dec. 19 tally, the holiday CD was at No. 13 in its seventh week this season.
Dolly-Dottie Chart Update January's PowerSource magazine is out, and Dolly's duet with Dottie Rambo slips to No. 6 for the month on its Christian country music chart. As you may recall, the song was the top song for December, marking Dolly's first official gospel chart No. 1. On the magazine's bluegrass chart, the song is at No. 15, down from No. 11 last month. In addition, the song debuts at No. 41 on the Southern gospel chart, which represents more conservative traditional Southern gospel stations. The issue also includes a story on Silver Dollar City changing its corporate name. In addition to its theme parks in Missouri and Georgia, the company co-owns Dollywood, Dolly's Splash Country and the Dixie Stampede restaurants with Dolly.
Grammy Possibilities CMT.com editorial director Chet Flippo predicts Dolly has a shot at one or two more Grammy Awards this year in his weekly column, Nashville Skyline, published Thursday. He writes: "Last year's crowning of O Brother, Where Art Thou? as album of the year could not have been more apt (although O Brother was a rare smash success both commercially and critically). And Dolly Parton and Ralph Stanley winning, respectively, the country female and male vocal performance awards sent a clear shot across the bow of the mainstream country record labels. This year, the choices are again studded with sentimental favorites and anti-mainstream establishment icons. Parton, Stanley, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson are prominently nominated and -- given the temperament of the Recording Academy voters -- have to be serious contenders." Read his full Grammy nomination article here.
Another Poll And speaking of CMT.com, Dolly was in another poll there Thursday. This time, readers were asked whose home they would most like to visit. Shania Twain's Swiss mansion was leading as of last count I saw with 35 percent, followed by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's pad with 24 percent, Dolly with 23 percent, Kenny Chesney at 12 percent and Brooks & Dunn with 5 percent.
Could Dolly Play Glastonbury? U.K. music site DotMusic on Thursday reported that rumors are circulating that Dolly may be on the line-up for the annual Glastonbury music festival to be held in late June. The article noted that while the concert line-ups have traditionally been kept secret until their opening day, organizers are expected to announce this year's stars when tickets go on sale in March. The only act which has been publicly confirmed at this time is REM, who will play its opening night on June 27, it was reported. Others rumored to be participating this year include Prince, Radiohead, The White Stripes (maybe they could do their cover of "Jolene" as a duet with Dolly?) and The Flaming Lips, among others. Read the story here.
More Dolly-Dottie News I'm told that "Dolly's Hometown Newspaper," The Tennessee Star Journal, has a front page article in Thursday's issue about "Stand By The River" going No. 1, complete with a comment from yours truly. Wayne Stone's story talks about how the duet came about after the two visited following her Christmas concerts at Dollywood last year, and Christian Country Music Association President Gene Higgins notes: "With Dottie and Dolly together, I'd be surprised if it didn't get the number one spot as quickly as it did. These ladies are household names and both have talent given to only a few people." It also points out that the single will be included on Dottie Rambo's new album to be released later this year, her first studio project in a decade. The story adds: "Though the recording is actually Parton's first number one gospel hit, her fans have welcomed her ventures in Gospel Music. Duane Gordon, webmaster of the popular Dolly Parton fan site DollyMania, feels that fans shouldn't be shocked at Dolly's recent gospel honor. Gordon sees the duet's success as an open door for Parton's current single 'Hello God' on Christian Country radio saying 'I think it shows that as an artist she can be successful and accepted in the Christian country field, and that should help those who are considering playing "Hello God" to make up their minds to air the song, which itself is a soul-jarring and honest reaction to the events of September 11th.'" Dolly Parton Central webmaster Chris Barnes is also quoted saying: "Personally, I love Dolly's gospel recordings. One of my favorite Dolly songs is her 'Calm On the Water.' Many fans have also remarked to me that their favorite parts of Dolly's concerts are her gospel performances. Dolly fans always look forward to any guest appearances that Dolly does, but 'Stand By The River' seems to have stirred up more of an interest than other songs. I have received numerous emails from several different fans asking where they can purchase the song. Dolly & Dottie are so incredibly similar that their fans are bound to be alike as well." Dottie's manager, Larry Ferguson, explains that fans all over the world are writing, calling and e-mailing her about the song asking why the pair didn't get together sooner and expressing a desire for them to record additional duets. He adds that he believes they stand a good chance of taking home Duo Of The Year, Song Of The Year and possibly even Video Of The Year at next year's Christian Country Music Awards.
Jan. 9: Dolly: Nominations 'Special' News of Dolly's two Grammy nominations could be found Wednesday in just about every newspaper around, and Dolly herself, of course, was thrilled at the honors. "It's always wonderful and a great compliment to be nominated for any Grammy award, but Halos & Horns is very special and dear to my heart, so it made it twice as special. 'Dagger Through The Heart' is one of my favorite songs on the whole album, so I was thrilled about that as well," she told Launch.com. Even CMT has Dolly pulling some strong numbers in an online poll for who should win Best Country Album (vote here). As of last count I saw Wednesday evening, Alan Jackson was leading with 43 percent, compared to Dolly at a close second with 41 percent. The Dixie Chicks had 8 percent, Joe Nichols 7 percent and Willie Nelson 1 percent. The nominations for Best Country Album fopr Halos and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "Dagger Through The Heart" marked Dolly's 39th and 40th respective career nominations. She has won the Grammy seven times, including one in each of the last three years for each of her three most recent albums prior to Halos.
Documentary Gets High Marks Comments on Dolly's BBC documentary which aired in Britain Monday night continued on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Scotsman gave a positive review to the special, saying it "was a useful footnote to stick in the archive for Dolly scholars of the future scribing their PhDs on her rags-to-riches embodiment of the good-time American dream. It was also - almost - as amusing as its subject and full of good clips of Dolly, nips and tucks and all, looking trashy ("Hey, buster, it cost me a whole lot of money to look this cheap"). She was in great voice." Read the story here. And the BBC's website added some behind-the-scenes commentary from the special's producer, Mark Hagan, here.
More From Overseas Although it's been several weeks since she was overseas, a reader from Ireland this week offered his recap of Dolly's concert there in November. Read it on the Letters To The Webmaster page here. Thanks, Roger!
A Few More Pics And Patric and Harrel, the lucky guys who won a charity auction to stay at Dolly's apartment at Dollywood during her benefit concert weekend last month, have sent in a few additional shots of them meeting Dolly. View them on the exclusive Dollymania page dedicated to their adventure here. Thanks, guys!
Jan. 8: British Special Highly Rated Dolly got a good portion of Great Britain up past their bedtimes on Monday night when BBC One's documentary Dolly Parton: Platinum Blonde hit the airwaves at 10:35 p.m. Newspaper The Guardian reports that the special netted 4.1 million viewers, more than a full quarter of all people watching TV in the U.K. during that hour and a full million more than tuned into the national news on rival network ITV at 11 p.m. Read their note about the special in a story here. And while I haven't been given any detailed recounts of the show yet, a fan who saw it did provide a brief recap on the Dolly On Tour group on Yahoo. Visit the site here to read the note, which said there were only a couple of shots from her recent London concert, a recording from when she first appeared on radio before "Puppy Love" and some hilarious interview segments.
Grammy Talk As was reported Tuesday morning, Dolly is up for two awards at the February Grammies, and I've started to be asked for my opinion on her chances of winning. For Best Female Country Vocal Performance, I think her only real competition will be Faith Hill's "Cry," but that song's strong pop leaning is likely to turn off some of the more traditional country voters, and if we see a continuation of the roots music popularity which last year's awards presented, it would certainly work in Dolly's favor. Best Country Album is another story, my instinct is that The Dixie Chicks will walk away with the award hands down. This album not only is damn good, but it topped just about every critic's list as the best country release of the year, has sold several million copies and is full of traditional sounds. While country awards shows have honored Alan Jackson again and again since the release of his disc, I doubt the wider Grammy voting audience would select him compared to the other entries. And while some traditionalists would pull for Willie Nelson, I think more of them would vote for Dolly. So, here are my odds: Female Vocalist -- 40 percent Dolly, 30 percent Faith, 15 percent Martina McBride, 5 percent each for Lucinda Williams and Lee Ann Womack; Album -- 50 percent Dixie Chicks, 25 percent Dolly, 15 percent Alan, 8 percent Willie, 2 percent Joe Nichols. But, then again, the preferences of Grammy voters in recent years have become notoriously difficult to predict, so who knows! And to note country artists with major category nominations, Alan got a nod in the Song of The Year category for songwriting with "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)," and The Dixie Chicks are the sole country entry for Album Of The Year. Their producer also got a nomination for Best Production for the album.
Jan. 7: UPDATE: Two Grammy Nominations Dolly earned two Grammy nominations in Tuesday morning's announcement of this year's honorees to bring her career total to 40. "Dagger Through The Heart" is up for Best Female Country Vocal Performance against Faith Hill's "Cry," Martina McBride's "Blessed," Lucinda Williams' "Lately" and Lee Ann Womack's "Something Worth Leaving Behind." Halos & Horns is nominated for Best Country Album against The Dixie Chicks' Home, Alan Jackson's Drive, Willie Nelson's The Great Divide and Joe Nichols Man With A Memory. Winners will be announced Feb. 23. In her career, Dolly has won seven Grammy Awards.
Bonuses On 'Whorehouse' DVD My DVD copy of The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, Dolly's 1982 hit musical film, arrived Monday, and I can tell you it has several great bonus features, such as the fact that the film is presented in its original widescreen version. There are some hilarious outtakes (many featuring Dolly), which never aired on television because of their language -- but, alas, the funny scene of Dolly fighting with a window shade is not included. There is also a "making of" documentary on the film, featuring interviews with Dolly, Burt Reynolds, Dom Deluise and several of the real-life people on whom their characters were based. Plus, it includes the theatrical trailer for the film, complete with the full-length version of Dolly singing "The Chick-Chick-Chicken Ranch" song which was not included in the film. Unfortunately, some of the material I had hoped would be on there wasn't -- such as the full Best Little Special In Texas television program which aired to promote the film and Burt Reynolds' performance of "The Fields Where Stallions Run." That song was cut from the film but played on some versions which aired on cable television over the years, but probably you already know the melody. Dolly wrote it for the film, and when it was cut from the final version, she changed the lyrics to a female perspective and recorded it as "A Cowboy's Ways" on Burlap & Satin in 1983. She later changed the lyrics completely to morph the melody into "God Won't Get You," a top 10 hit from 1984's Rhinestone. If you haven't ordered your copy of the Whorehouse DVD, which hits stores in the U.S. for the first time on Tuesday, get yours here!
Christian Chart Update Dolly's duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," falls three to No. 13 in this week's PowerSource countdown of Christian country music, it was announced Monday. The song had peaked at No. 1 for two weeks on the unofficial weekly countdown and No. 1 for one month in the magazine's official chart. No weekly chart was published online for the past three weeks due to the holidays.
Jan. 6: Off U.K. Indie Chart Dolly's Halos & Horns this week falls out of the top 40 of the Jan. 5 British independent labels albums chart, it was announced Sunday. The CD drops from its previous standing of No. 37 in the Dec. 22 chart (no chart was published last week due to the holidays).
Remember Documentary Airing Overseas Remember (if you're overseas) to watch BBC One's documentary Dolly Parton: Platinum Blonde Monday night at 10:35 p.m. British time. The hour-long special, presented in widescreen format with stereo sound, pledges to discuss her roots and early life to her lengthy career right through last year's concert tour (including interviews with her on the road and a few snippets of her London concert). Also featured will be interviews from pals Lily Tomlin, Shirley MacLaine, Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Billy Connolly, Dabney Coleman, Alison Krauss and former Monument Records president Fred Foster as well as appearances by Sinead O'Connor, Norah Jones, Jonathan Ross and Terry Wogan.
Memorable Appearance The official site for Middle Tennessee State University's Blue Raiders on Saturday named Dolly's concert with Kenny Rogers on campus on November 1, 1986, one of the 30 "greatest moments" at the school's Murphy Center. The 30 were selected from fan nominations through the website and were listed on a commemorative poster distributed at Saturday's game. Read the full list here.
Streaming Dolly Launch.com, which has for a while now made available for viewing Dolly's "Straight Talk" and "Dagger Through The Heart" music videos online, has added "Hello God" for you to enjoy. Visit their Dolly page here to access the videos. Thanks, Solomon!
Remember To Get 'Whorehouse' And don't forget that Dolly's second film, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, will be released on DVD for the first time in the U.S. on Tuesday. Those who advanced order their copies through CDNow or Amazon.com should be receiving them in the mail on Monday or Tuesday. If you haven't ordered yours yet, get it here!
Jan. 4: Up On The Charts Dolly's Halos & Horns gains two spots to come in at No. 49 on the Jan. 11 country albums chart in its 25th chart week, Billboard announced Friday. The CD moves up one to No. 5 on the bluegrass albums chart but loses 11 on the independent label albums chart to reach No. 27. Patty Loveless' Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas, featuring Dolly on the title track, loses two on the bluegrass chart in its ninth week to make it to No. 6 and nine spots on the country chart to reach No. 51. Selah's Rose Of Bethlehem, with the Dolly on "Once Upon A Christmas," loses four spots to No. 32 on the contemporary Christian chart and 16 to No. 37 on the Heatseekers chart in its ninth chart week. The Songcatcher soundtrack, with a Dolly duet, inches up two on the bluegrass chart for a 18th week, coming in at No. 12. And the Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, with Dolly's "Marry Me," fall two to No. 20 on the soundtrack albums chart in its 13th chart week. After a five-week reign at No. 1 on both the country and pop charts, Shania Twain's Up! falls to Eminem to come in at No. 2 pop but continues its hold on the top of the country side, while the Dixie Chicks' Home remains steady at No. 2 country and drops one to No. 4 pop in its 18th chart week.
Dolly On Domestic Violence Benefit CD Dolly has contributed a cut for a benefit album for families affected by domestic violence, Billboard reported Friday. Her "Endless Stream Of Tears" from The Grass Is Blue will appear on the Jan. 21 Signature Sounds release Respond II. Others participating in the two-CD set include Sarah McLachlan, Joan Bael and the Indigo Girls. The first CD in the series, released in 1999, raised more than $125,000. Read the story here.
More On CMT Special An online guide to entertainment in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area on Thursday recapped again the variety program which Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel hosted in Austin late last year featuring Dolly and Vince Gill as headliners. The article, reprinted from The Dallas Morning News, said the tentative title for the program is Planet Texas, and the hour-long pilot is set to air on CMT in March. Read their story here.
Gospel Update "Stand By The River," Dolly's gospel duet with Dottie Rambo, falls to No. 6 in the January Country Gospel Southern Style chart, down from December's No. 1 position, it was announced Thursday.
Mae Mention Country Weekly includes a note in this week's issue, I'm told, about Dolly's upcoming Mae West bio-pic for ABC, saying (as was reported here two weeks ago) that the network hopes to air it during sweeps week in November. Thanks, Jim!
Dollywood Official Named By Gov. Susan Whitaker, vice-president of marketing at Dollywood, has been tapped by Tennessee Governor-Elect Phil Bredesen to head the state tourism department, it was announced Friday. Read the story from the Knoxville News-Sentinelhere.
Jan. 3: Another Great Review Although the CD was released almost six months ago, The Hartford Courant on Thursday offered its review of Dolly's Halos & Horns, with Susan Campbell praising the album and noting: "It's nice when an internationally known crossover superstar crosses back home - in this case, home to roots music, bluegrass" and saying that she possesses "a voice that knows no boundaries." She adds that her favorite cut on the entire album is "These Old Bones," explaining, "It's nasal, it's country, it's home-fried good." Read the full review here.
More Pinmonkey Praise CMT on Tuesday named Pinmonkey one of the five new artists of 2002 who are "most likely to succeed." The band's self-titled album contains a cover of a Dolly song with Dolly herself providing harmony, with CMT noting that the band "effortlessly conquered" the cover. Read their full list here.
A Literal Paper Dolly One of my online friends alerted me to a relatively new book found in a local bookstore which contains a Dolly item. Glamorous Movie Stars of the Eighties, a book of paper dolls released in June by Dover Publications, contains a Dolly paper doll with the red dress from The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. (Although my friend said it wasn't a very good likeness of her.) The book sells for $5.95 here on Amazon.com. Thanks, Toni!
Dolly Diplomacy? Bradley Martin, who is working on a book about North Korea and teaches at Ohio University, offered interesting phrasing in an article Thursday in his local newspaper, The Athens News, about U.S. foreign policy. In explaining a fear in some nations that America's aim might be world domination through military force, he observed: "the rest of the world is singing 'Jolene' to us: 'Please don't take me down, Uncle Sam. Please don't take me down just because you can.'" Read his interview here.
Dollywood Auditions Announced So ya wanna work at Dollywood? Well, talent auditions are coming up soon, including spots for a new 1950s and 1960s music show which will premiere in the 2003 season. In a press release, Dolly invited singers and dancers to come on down and see if they've got what it takes. "As the Entertainment Capital of the Smokies, we feature some of the finest young talent in the country," she said. "I'm proud to be able to offer these young folks a place to do what they love while at the same time provide a great entertainment package for our millions of visitors to Dollywood each year." Auditions will begin at 10 a.m. promptly for singers and musicians (4 p.m. for dancers) with call-backs scheduled for 6 p.m. each day. Singers are limited to 16 bars of a ballad and 16 bars of an up-tempo number, while dancers will be taught a routine on site to perform. Musicians should prepare a one-to-two-minute selection. Interviews for technical personnel, such as audio and lighting technicians, will also begin at 10 a.m. All applicants should bring one 8x10 photo and one-page resume. Auditions are scheduled at those times at the park in Tennessee on Jan. 11, 18, 19 and 25, with auditions also scheduled for Birmingham, Ala., on Jan. 11. For more information, write Dollywood Entertainment Auditions, 1020 Dollywood Lane, Pigeon Forge, Tenn., 37863-4101.