Dolly In 'Interview,' 'Relix'
Dolly shows up with a couple of interviews in the press this week. A story in music magazine Relix, available on their website here, discusses her current single, her honors and more (the writer relied partly an old fact sheet that had been prepared more than a year ago based on the "Diva Data" listed on the front page of Dollymania, but his version had not been updated to add her most recent gold single or No. 1 song, so he misstated those totals). Thanks, too, to Sam for alerting me that she also has an interview in, appropriately enough, Interview magazine. The piece in the February issue covers her new album, the upcoming musical and more.
Report: 'Jesus' Is Next Single
Country music blog The 9513 last week revealed its most anticipated country releases of 2008, noting among them what it states is the follow-up single to Dolly's "Better Get To Livin'." According to the site, the song "Jesus & Gravity" will be the second track sent to radio from her upcoming release, Backwoods Barbie. No add date was given for the next single. Read more here. Thanks, Chad!
Pre-Sales Set For Thrs.
The Dolly-ite fan club pre-sales for two of Dolly's upcoming concerts have been announced by her official music website, DollyPartonMusic.net. The site revealed on Monday that seats for both her second Chicago engagement, March 1, and her Atlanta show, March 12, will go on pre-sale at 10 a.m. local time Thursday. Pre-sales end for Atlanta at 10 p.m. Friday in advance of its sale to the public on Saturday morning, while the pre-sales for Chicago end at 10 p.m. Sunday in advance of its public sale next Monday morning.
'Better' On GAC
It may be gone from CMT's countdown, but Dolly's video for "Better Get To Livin'" from Backwoods Barbie this week debuts at No. 16 on the fan-voted top 20 countdown on competing cable network Great American Country (GAC). Vote for it in next week's GAC tally here (and don't forget to keep voting on CMT's digital channel, CMT Pure Country, for its Pure 12-Pack Countdown here and the regular top 20 countdown on CMT here)! In related news, although a new release date for the CD hasn't been officially announced yet and most online retailers are still showing its original Feb. 5 release date, Wal-Mart has updated its website to show a Feb. 26 date. Thanks, Tony!
'Barbie' Date Moved
Without really offering any explanation, it was revealed Friday that the release of Dolly's much-anticipated CD Backwoods Barbie, originally slated for Feb. 5, has been pushed back. Word came in a press release sent to the media and posted on the news page of Dolly's official music website, DollyPartonMusic.net. With the exact new release date yet to be determined, the announcement stated that the disc will now come out sometime in either late February or early March, adding that the changed date will now allow it to correspond more closely to the launch of her 2008-2009 Backwoods Barbie World Tour, which kicks off Feb. 28. It also noted that the scheduled promotional club shows in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to celebrate the album's release, which apparently are cancelled at this time and have been removed from the site's tour page, might be rescheduled for a later date. Although some media outlets, such as CMT.com here and Live Daily here, posted reports that make it sound like the reason given in the announcement for the delay was so that the release would match the start of the tour, a close reading of the press release shows that this is not actually what was said. It stated that the release will be delayed "and will now coincide with the launch" of the tour, not that the release was delayed "TO coincide with the launch" of the tour, which would have been the phrasing if they were actually saying that the tour was the reason for the delay. Picking up on this phrasing, Country Standard Time here reported that the announcement did not provide any reason for the delay. In other news, the site confirmed her rumored March 14 appearance at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. However, fans who had been selected to be in the audience for Dolly's scheduled Jan. 23 taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show reported that they were informed by the program on Thursday that Dolly will not be attending that day and that they hope for her to re-schedule sometime in February.
Dolly Down On Top 12
Dolly's video for "Better Get To Livin'" loses four more spots this week to No. 7 on the viewer-voted countdown of the most popular videos on CMT's digital channel, CMT Pure Country, it was announced Friday in the track's fourth week on the tally, the Pure 12-Pack Countdown. Vote in next weekend's list here and the regular top 20 countdowns on CMT here and GAC here.
But Up In Ireland
The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1, her massively successful overseas greatest hits collection from last year, rises 17 spots this week to No. 77 in its 39th week on the Irish pop albums chart, it was announced Friday.
Dolly Gets New Peak For CD
Dolly's most recent SonyBMG compilation CD, 16 Biggest Hits, saw a nice spike over the past week, leaping 17 places to a new peak position at No. 56 in its 13th week on the country albums chart, Billboard revealed Thursday in the Jan. 19 tallies. 21 Number Ones by Kenny Rogers, with "Islands In The Stream," falls back off the 75-position country list, down from No. 61 the previous week, its 95th. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, featuring the chart-topping Dolly duet "When I Get Where I'm Going," loses four to No. 17 on the country catalog albums list, and it rises two to No. 45 Canadian country. Elsewhere across the border, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 re-enters the top 50 Canadian county albums chart at No. 41. Back in the U.S., Taylor Swift's self-titled debut rises two to No. 1 country and three to No. 5 pop with 47,000 units moved in its 63rd week, while Garth Brooks remains steady at No. 2 country and No. 7 pop with 39,000 copies sold of The Ultimate Hits in its 9th week.
'Better' Gone From CMT
News wasn't so good over on CMT, where the video for Dolly's "Better Get To Livin'" from Backwoods Barbie fell out of the Top 20 Countdown, down from No. 16 the previous week, it was announced Thursday. The track had just two chart weeks, albeit three weeks apart (because there were no new charts issued on Dec. 20 or 27 due to the holidays), peaking at No. 12. Remember to vote for it on CMT's countdown for next week here, the Pure 12-Pack Countdown here and GAC here. As was previously reported here, the song re-enters the regular Jan. 19 Billboard country singles chart this week at No. 55.
Tour Adds More Shows
Four more concerts have been added to Dolly's first American leg of her 2008-2009 Backwoods Barbie Tour, her official music website, DollyPartonMusic.net, announced Wednesday. The shows include a second night in Chicago on March 1 at the Chicago Theatre and three new cities: March 4 at the Hershey Center in Hershey, Pa.; March 8 at the Borgata in Atlantic City, N.J.; and March 15 at Nokia Live in Dallas, Texas. Dolly-ite fan club pre-sale dates are TBA for all four shows, and the public on-sale dates for the three new cities also have yet to be announced, although the public sale date for the second Chicago show will be Jan. 21, so the pre-sale should be a day or two prior for that one. The website's tour page also on Wednesday added her June 21 County Cork, Ireland, concert to the official itinerary (tickets have been on sale for three weeks). In related news, fan site Dolly On-Line reported Wednesday that she has been added to the line-up of this year's South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, with a March 14 performance scheduled, although her participation in that event has yet to be officially announced.
Wal-Mart Gets New '9 To 5'
The Wal-Mart version of Dolly's Feb. 5 release Backwoods Barbie will feature an exclusive bonus track, the retailer has revealed. The store's version of the CD will include a live recording of "9 To 5." Thanks, Lemar! In other news, Billboard has released its radio data for the new chart regarding the album's first single, "Better Get To Livin'." As was previously reported here, the song re-enters the 60-position country singles chart this week at No. 55 on the list dated Jan. 19. According to the magazine, its radio audience nearly doubled for the week of Dec. 31 through Jan. 6 at the country stations that report for the tally. For that week, its 73 spins represented an audience of 583,000 listeners, up 83 percent from 319,000 the previous week.
Dolly's 'Old Black Kettle' Revisited
A new trio has looked to Dolly for some inspiration. The three ladies have named themselves Old Black Kettle after the 1973 Dolly song of the same name. In another relation, one of the singers, Jodi Haynes, is the daughter of the legendary Connie Smith, to whom Dolly has referred as one of her three favorite female singers. One of her fellow band members, Sarah Siskind, noted in an article this week here in The Nashville Scene: "We joke around that maybe one night Dolly will come and see [a show], because it's named after one of her songs. I mean, it's probably a lofty dream, but it would complete the circle. Although, we would be shaking in our boots."
'Better' Returns To The Charts
For the first time in nearly two months, Dolly's current single, "Better Get To Livin'" from Backwoods Barbie, will return to the country singles chart, Billboard revealed Tuesday. The track will re-enter the 60-position tally dated Jan. 19 (her 62nd birthday) covering radio airplay for the week of Dec. 31 through Jan. 6. It reappears on the chart at No. 55 in its ninth chart week, just five points shy of its previous peak at No. 50.
For those who want to treat their friends at Dolly's Oct. 25 Kentucky charity concert to benefit St. Mark Catholic Church in Richmond, Ky., the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute and St. Anne House for Mentally Challenged Women, there are special row purchases available. Originally, there were nine rows available for $2,000 each which will hold six or seven people and five rows for $2,600 each that will hold eight or nine people. Of these, all have been sold except for two of the 6-7 and two of the 8-9 rows. All four remaining rows are within seven rows of the stage. They are named after the person who purchases them, and they may have anyone they like join them on the rows. Each person on the row will also receive a special piece of Dolly memorabilia. You may also join up with other fans to purchase a row as a group. Regular Gala tickets are available for $175 each. These tickets include preferred seating, valet parking, a pre-concert reception with food and after-concert dessert with drinks. Ed. Note: Meet-and-greet admissions and front-of-stage seating were originally available for this event but have since sold out. E-mail or call 859-623-2989 for more information.
Stampede Coverage Continues
Coverage of Dolly's closing of her Dixie Stampede dinner theatre's Orlando location continued to dominate the Florida press Tuesday. The Orlando Sentinel offered a lengthier story on the events here, complete with Dolly's statement: "We at Dixie Stampede have been blessed, but I am a firm believer in timing and opportunity. This was an opportunity we could not pass up. We're exploring our options now and we will be back better than ever!" Later in the day, it reported here that the property on which the dinner theatre sits has been purchased by Chelsea Property Group, which owns an outlet shopping mall across the street from the restaurant.
Possible 'Oprah' Date Revealed
A few different sources have independently told me over the past few days that Dolly's upcoming appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show will be taped on Jan. 23 at 11 a.m. Winfrey's producers did not respond to a request for information on the program, so this date is not officially confirmed, though. Also, there is no word on whether the program with Dolly will air that day or is being taped for future broadcast.
MSNBC Behind The Times
Word must not have made it to MSNBC that Dolly late last year announced she would serve as a mentor on the new season of American Idol because the network put her in the top spot on its top five choices for celebrities they'd like to see appear on the FOX program as mentors. Read the article here.
Tanya Talks About Dolly
What does Tanya Tucker want to do with Dolly? Well, she'd like the two of them to work together on a television program honoring the pioneering women of country music such as Kitty Wells and Patsy Montana. Read more about Tucker's vision in an interview with Country Stars Central by my friend Christian here.
Randy Theatre Update
Dolly's brother Randy this week saw his name removed from the controversial theatre in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., that he once headlined. Local TV station WRAL reported here on Tuesday that city leaders met that evening to discuss renaming the venue one month after city officials asked him to leave the theatre prior to a performance. In the meeting, officials voted to rename it the Roanoke Rapids Theatre.
Stampede Closes Its Doors In Fla.
With no prior warning, Dolly's Dixie Stampede dinner theatre permanently closed its Orlando, Fla., location on Monday. A spokesperson told television station WESH here that an unnamed buyer placed an offer on the 13-acre property which Dolly and the restaurant's other owners decided to accept. He added that the company is looking to re-open the venue in another location, which might be outside of central Florida. All employees were notified of the news in person or on the phone, he explained, and will receive two months' salary and benefits. The facility's phone system on Monday greeted callers with the following message: "Hello, you have reached Dixie Stampede Orlando, Fla. As of Jan. 7, 2008, Dixie Stampede has ceased operations at this facility. If you have booked a reservation for this property, a member of our team will be calling you to discuss your refund options. If you are an employee needing further information, please call 407-276-3789. Feel free to leave a message with your name and number and someone will return your call as soon as possible. All other locations -- Pigeon Forge, Tenn.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Branson, Mo. -- remain open and operating as normal. Thank you." The Orlando information was also removed from the company's website at that time. The $28 million complex opened in Florida in June 2003. It was the chain's fourth and largest location, although it quickly faced difficulties in the highly competitive Orlando market. Soon, it became the only establishment in the chain to serve alcoholic beverages, as many foreign tourists refused to eat anywhere that did not offer beer. Two hurricanes forced temporary closures in 2004, although the restaurant was lauded in the press for collecting thousands of pounds of food for storm victims in the aftermath. In March, its employees voted to unionize. Indications were that the crowds had remained large for the equestrian-themed shows. Additional coverage of the surprise development is available from WFTV here, The Orlando Sentinel here and FOX 35 here. Image of Dolly at the Orlando Stampede opening in 2003 courtesy Dixie Stampede via PRNewsFoto.
Dolly's Site Offers CD, T-Shirt
Dolly's official music website, DollyPartonMusic.net, on Monday debuted its new online store, although the only product offered thus far is pre-ordering her Feb. 5 release, Backwoods Barbie. Those who pre-order it through Dolly's site, though, will get a free limited edition pink Dolly Parton t-shirt with their CD. The site had originally posted 30-second previews of all 12 tracks from the album, but those were pulled from the web early Monday evening after being available just a few hours. In related news, the authorized online seller of merchandise from Dolly's previous tours has updated and moved its Dolly store here.
Ky. Charity Concert Coming In Oct.
Dolly has tentatively scheduled a charity performance in Kentucky in October, it has been announced. The Encore Performance fund-raiser is a follow-up to an annual Evening Among Friends event at St. Mark Catholic Church in Richmond, Ky., which raises money not only for the church but for other charities each year (for Dolly's concert it is the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute and St. Anne House for Mentally Challenged Women). Past performers at an Evening Among Friends have included Regis Philbin, Bill Cosby and Natalie Cole. Dolly is scheduled perform Oct. 25, and tickets are presently on pre-sale through the church office. Regular general admission Gala tickets, which include valet parking, pre-concert hors d'oeuvres and desserts and aperitifs after the show, are $175 each. Group tickets are also available for reserved, orchestra-level seating ($2,000 for rows of six and $2,600 for rows of eight – and each member of your party will receive special Dolly memorabilia). The venue, the E.K.U. Brock Auditorium, holds just 1,500 people, so the concert will be quite intimate. Tickets should be mailed out about a month prior to the concert. Ed. Note: Meet-and-greet admissions and front-of-stage seating were originally available for this event but have since sold out. E-mail or call 859-623-2989 for more information.
Dolly No Longer No. 1 On Digital Chart
After two weeks at No. 1, Dolly's video for "Better Get To Livin'" couldn't hold onto the top spot for a third week on the viewer-voted countdown of the most popular videos on CMT's digital channel, CMT Pure Country, it was announced over the weekend. The song fell two to No. 3 in its third week on the Pure 12-Pack Countdown which the network released Saturday. Vote in next weekend's countdown here. (And remember to vote for it in the top 20 countdowns on the regular CMT channel here and GAC here.) Reserve your copy of Dolly's CD containing the song, Backwoods Barbie, here, and download the video on iTunes here! In related news, Amazon.com reports that the CD will be made of gold. Most CDs use aluminum for the reflective coating, hence their silver appearance. Gold is used occasionally instead, and since the metal coats more evenly and reacts more slowly with oxygen, it lasts longer than the normal CDs. Typically, gold CDs are also mastered to a greater degree, often resulting in a higher fidelity sound, although that really has nothing to do with the gold layer, so it's not always the case.
Irish Chart Slip, Too
In its 38th chart week on the Irish pop albums chart, Dolly's foreign greatest hits collection The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 dips five digits to No. 94, it was announced Friday.
Emporium Back Again
As was done last year, Dollywood will be opening its largest gift shop during the "off season," it has been announced. The Emporium, as well as the park's season pass center, will be open for shoppers each Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. starting this week.
More On CBC Dolly Doc
As was noted here in Friday night's update, Canada's Cape Breton Post on Saturday published a longer story on the CBC-TV documentary The Book Lady about Dolly and her Imagination Library literacy program. The piece, which was posted online here, reveals that in addition to Dolly's interview from early last year, the program will also feature interviews with Olympia Dukakis, Keith Urban, Miley Cyrus, Kurt Browning and Robert Munsch. In related news, read about the program's expansion to Dare County, N.C., from The Virginian Pilot over the weekend here.
'Better' Makes Magazine's Year-End Tally
Apparently the story was originally posted online by Newsweek magazine two weeks ago and everyone (including myself) missed it, but Dolly's official music website, DollyPartonMusic.net, on Friday corrected the oversight by reporting that the publication included Dolly's "Better Get To Livin'" music video among 2007's best music releases (CDs, singles and videos). The critic noted: "Where did this video come from? Cavorting around carnival grounds in a corset and tiny top hat, Dolly shows no mercy for those deflated, joyless legions who have lost their vim, vigor and sparkle." Also on the list is former duet partner and mentor Porter Wagoner's final full album prior to his death, Wagonmaster, with a new version of "My Many Hurried Southern Trips," a tune he and Dolly co-wrote. Read the full list here.
New Pics Posted
Special thanks go out to Toni Amato for sending in some photos of Dolly at her November in-studio visit to WXTU in Philadelphia. Take a look here!
Library Head Promoted
Congratulations to David Dotson, executive director of the Dollywood Foundation, which administers Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. Dolly announced Friday that Dotson had been promoted to the position of president of the Foundation. "David has been with us for eight years and has grown the Imagination Library from Sevier County to now be in 740 communities, as well as in Canada and the U.K.," she said. "He always exceeds my expectations in creating new opportunities for kids and managing the growth of the Imagination Library. This coming year, we will give away more than five million books."
Library Doc Noted
Saturday's Cape Breton Post in Canada will feature a story on the upcoming documentary The Book Lady about Dolly and the Imagination Library which recently filmed in the city. (The project was at Dollywood during 2007's grand opening weekend shooting footage of Dolly herself.) Read a preview of the article here.
'Wilderness Adventure' Took Last Ride
The Smoky Mountain Wilderness Adventure ride at Dollywood has thrown Dolly and bumpkin inventor Clovis into peril for the last time, at least for now, it has been announced. Park spokesperson Pete Owens confirmed Thursday that when the 2008 season opens this spring the Turbo Action theatre will instead house Thunder Road, the motion adventure ride which the Wilderness Adventure replaced in 2002. " Thunder Road was the original film Dollywood created for that attraction. Over the past several years our guests have asked if we would ever bring back that film attraction because it was so fondly remembered," he explained. "Smoky Mountain Wilderness Adventure has been in place for five years – the same length of time as Thunder Road's original run – and we decided it was time to give that experience a rest. The great thing about the Turbo Action ride is its versatility." He added that the success of short-run rides, when the park would temporarily replace the Wilderness Adventure each summer with a children's-themed experience (a SpongeBob SquarePants ride in 2005 and 2006 and Yogi Bear ride last year), "demonstrated a demand by our guests for additional experiences." Thunder Road was based on the 1957 movie of the same name, which was the first film Dolly ever saw as a child (her family traveled to see it because they knew the mountain moonshiners on whom the action flick was based). The Wilderness Adventure featured Dolly as your guide through the Smoky Mountains in a contraption by a local "inventor" that drove, flew, and floated. The park closed for the season on Dec. 30 with Wilderness Adventure and will re-open with the Thunder Road ride on March 21.
'Better' Still In Top 20 On CMT
Although the single once again failed to return to the country charts this week, Dolly's music video for "Better Get To Livin'" from next month's Backwoods Barbie CD has a spot on CMT's "Top 20 Countdown." The track dips four spots to No. 16 this week, the network revealed Thursday. Vote for it on next week's countdown here (as well as CMT's digital channel Pure Country here and GAC here.)
'16 Biggest' Returns To Chart
The Dolly compilation 16 Biggest Hits got a little holiday sales boost to return to the country albums charts in the Jan. 12 numbers Billboard released Thursday. The collection re-enters the 75-position tally at No. 73 for a 12th week. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with the No. 1 Dolly duet "When I Get Where I'm Going," jumps seven digits to No. 13 on the country catalog albums list, while the CD re-enters the Canadian country top 50 at No. 47. 21 Number Ones by Kenny Rogers, featuring "Islands In The Stream," inches up one to No. 61 country in its 95th week. The Eagles retain the top country spot but dip two to No. 6 pop with Long Road Out Of Eden and 85,000 copies sold in its ninth week, while Garth Brooks gains two to No. 2 country and five to No. 7 pop with 77,000 units moved of his The Ultimate Hits in its 8th week.
Having A Dolly Holiday
Dolly made one British writer's Christmas. Read here from The Bucks Free Press about how Dolly's interview with Scissor Sisters singer Jake Shears in a 30-minute documentary became her favorite holiday viewing this year.
'American Songwriter' Lauds Dolly
Dolly lands a wonderful cover interview in the new edition of American Songwriter magazine. Done a week after the death of mentor Porter Wagoner, Dolly talks about the influence he had on her career and the emotional performance of "I Will Always Love You" she did for him at his Opry anniversary in May, disclosing that he looked so frail that night that she feared it might be their last performance together (it was). She also reveals that she has been asked by several hip producers, including Rick Rubin (who oversaw Johnny Cash's award-winning American recordings) and Jack White (of Loretta Lynn's award-winning Van Lear Rose), have approached her to produce her CDs, but she doesn't see herself doing something like that for perhaps another quarter-decade. Read the full interview here.
Library Picks Up In Ky., Tenn.
Read up on the latest efforts with Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program in two states with stories this week. The program's increased fund-raising in Webster County, Ky., is profiled in The Journal Enterprise here, while work closer to her home gets a nod in The Knoxville News-Sentinel, which notes here that two-thirds of children under age 5 in Knox County, Tenn., one of the most populous counties in the state, are registered to receive books from Dolly.