Jan. 27: Lily Says Dolly Likely To Be On 'Grace And Frankie' Lily Tomlin said on Today this week that Dolly is closer than ever to appearing on her and Jane Fonda's Netflix series Grace and Frankie, possibly remotely. She said in previous seasons the problem has been Dolly's busy schedule but now that the show is approaching taping its final season, they are hopeful she will be able to clear the time to appear. Tomlin called it "a great role for her this time," adding "I think she will, too." She explained they think Dolly will be able to film her scenes remotely.
New Dolly Graphic Novel Coming March 31 Dolly will be featured in a new graphic novel biography from TidalWave Comics, the publisher has announced. The 26-page book in their "Female Force" series comes out March 31 in kindle edition for $4, hardcover for $20, and paperback for $7.
Apple Watch Adds Dolly Walking Stories Apple has added storytellers to its Time to Walk audio program for the Apple Watch, including Dolly, CNN reported here. She tells personal stories from her upbringing in the Great Smoky Mountains.
U.S. Chart Updates Barry Gibb's Greenfields: The Gibbs Brothers Songbook (Vol. 1), featuring his collaboration with Dolly on the Bee Gees' classic "Words," falls 82 places to No. 97 in its second week on the Jan. 30 U.S. Top 200 albums chart released Tuesday. The album slips five to No. 7 album sales and current album sales while dipping seven to No. 10 country and three to No. 4 Americana/folk. Elsewhere on the charts, A Holly Dolly Christmas drops off the 100-position current album sales chart, down from No. 82. Ultimate Dolly Parton re-enters the top 50 country albums at No. 45. Dolly and Zach Williams' "There Was Jesus" loses one to No. 7 Hot Christian Songs and No. 6 Christian digital sales singles, holding steady at No. 6 Christian streaming songs.
State To Use Dollywood As Mass Vaccination Site Dollywood is expected to serve as a mass vaccination site for the state of Tennessee in the fight against COVID-19, but the federal government hasn't provided enough vaccines to open mass sites yet, state officials complained to FOX 17 here. The park is closed to the public until March 13.
'Eagle When She Flies' Added To Amazon Eagle When She Flies, which until now was the only remaining Dolly studio album from her career not available for download from Amazon, was added to the music service this week and is available here.
'Dolly Parton's America' Wins iHeartRadio Award The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards were held virtually last week and Dolly Parton's America was named the Best Music Podcast of the year, Billboard reported here.
Dolly Poetry Special Available For Re-Watch The Dolly episode of Wild & Precious Life of poetry and performance to celebrate her 75th birthday last week was recorded and has been added to their website here, producers tell me.
Jan. 22: In Memoriam: Randy Parton, 67 The Parton family is in mourning this week following the death of Dolly's brother, Randy Parton, from cancer on Thursday. He was 67.
Dolly announced his passing in a statement on social media which read:
"My brother Randy has lost his battle with cancer. The family and I are grieving his loss but we know he is in a better place than we are at this time. We are a family of faith and we believe that he is safe with God and that he is joined by members of the family that have gone on before and have welcomed him with joy and open arms.
Randy was a great singer, writer, and entertainer. He sang, played guitar and bass in my band for many years. He headed his own show at Dollywood since it opened in 1986. He's had several chart records of his own, but his duet with me on "Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle To You" will always be a highlight in my own career.
"You Are My Christmas," our duet on my latest Christmas album, joined with his daughter Heidi, will always be a favorite. It was his last musical recording and he shined on it just like he's shining in heaven now.
He is survived by his wife Deb, his daughter Heidi, son Sabyn, grandsons Huston and Trent.
We will always love him and he will always be in our hearts,
Dolly Parton and Family"
Heidi Parton, who performed with her father in the My People show at Dollywood, released her own statement via social media:
"God is faithful and my dad is no longer in pain. I know he and my sister are having a great day and man that choir just got got a whole lot better. Life will never be the same tho and I'm dying inside. I love you dad and miss you already. ????, until I see you again. #restpinpeacedaddy #ipromiseillmakeyouproud"
In a press release later in the day, Paige Bales, Director of Dollywood Entertainment, said: "Randy was a creative force and a good friend. He has left a lasting legacy at Dollywood with his talent, his creativity and his leadership. We will all miss him but heaven has gained another star."
The passing marked the third of Dolly's 11 siblings for her to lose: baby Larry as an infant in 1955, youngest brother Floyd in December 2018 from cancer at age 61, and now Randy, who himself was preceded in death by his other daughter, Tever Parton, who died in 2017 at age 36.
The family has asked that memorials be made to Dolly's Imagination Library in tribute to both Randy and their father, Lee Parton.
Barry Gibb's Greenfields: The Gibbs Brothers Songbook (Vol. 1), featuring his collaboration with Dolly on the Bee Gees' classic "Words," debuts at No. 15 on the U.S. Top 200 albums chart dated Jan. 25 and released a day late on Wednesday due to the holiday on Monday. The album was actually the week's No. 2 best-selling CD and download -- as evidenced by its No. 2 album sales and No. 2 current album sales positions -- while taking the No. 3 country albums position and No. 1 Americana/folk albums place. Gibb on Tuesday released studio footage here or in the media player above of the two recording their duet. Elsewhere on the charts, A Holly Dolly Christmas drops 38 spaces to No. 82 current album sales. Dolly and Zach Williams' "There Was Jesus" gains one to No. 6 Hot Christian Songs and holds steady at No. 6 Christian streaming songs and No. 5 Christian digital sales singles.
Dolly Calls For Love, Kindness On Birthday Dolly's 75th birthday rolled around on Tuesday, and many tributes poured out on social media. Dolly herself acknowledged the day with a special greeting to fans:
Well, another year has rolled around and what a year it has been. Like everyone else, it is now my turn for a COVID covered birthday. So what do you do? What do you want? Should you even celebrate?
I am choosing the quiet path so I can stay close to the ones I love to count my blessings and think hard about what this new year will bring.
However, I do have a birthday wish that I want to share with you. My wish is that everyone does something a little different today. Let's call it a call for kindness. If you want to donate to your favorite cause, then donate. If you want to give an old friend a call during these lonely times, give them a call. If you can safely volunteer, then raise your hand to do so. If you decide that today is the day you get a dog, then run down to the shelter and find your new buddy. The choices are limitless.
I always encourage people to dream big but I also take great care to follow that up with the message to work hard. We can't just hope for a brighter day, we have to work for a brighter day. Love too often gets buried in a world of hurt and fear. We have to work to dig it out so we can share it with our family, our friends and our neighbors. So today, January 19th, let's get to unearthing love. Love is more contagious than a virus so let your best self shine in a glorious light and others will be inspired by you.
This is my birthday wish and may your birthday wishes also come true.
Jan. 18: Gibbs' 'Greenfields' Hits Pole Position Down Under Barry Gibb's Greenfields: The Gibbs Brothers Songbook (Vol. 1), featuring his collaboration with Dolly on the Bee Gees' classic "Words," was announced Saturday as this week's No. 1 album in Australia. The album also made it to No. 1 in the U.K., it was revealed Friday, but in the U.S. Billboard over the weekend reported it won't break the top 10.
Jan. 16: Two New Gold Singles For Dolly Dolly ended last year and started this year by adding to her collection of gold and platinum honors, it has been revealed. The Recording Industry Association of America on Wednesday certified the digital single of her collaboration with Zach Williams on "There Was Jesus" as a gold record for sales in excess of 500,000 copies. The award followed a Christmas Day certification by the BPI of the digital single for "I Will Always Love You" having sold 200,000 units in the U.K. since its release for download in 2004, earning it the British silver record certification.
'People' Debuts Special Dolly Birthday Issue In honor of Dolly's 75th birthday on Tuesday, People magazine has this week issued a special stand-alone issue dedicated to her life and career featuring a new interview with her, an overview of her style with her personal designer, and coverage of her from the magazine's archives over the past several decades. It is available now wherever magazines are sold, and a preview was posted online Friday here.
Dolly Holiday Airings Brought Good Ratings Dolly's holiday wrap-up appearances on television still brought in the viewers, ratings afterwards showed. A repeat of her new CBS concert special A Holly Dolly Christmas to promote the album of the same name aired Dec. 23 and was the evening's No. 1 most-watched program, drawing 3.3 million viewers and a 0.4 share, compared to 6.2 million when it first aired Dec. 6. Then on Dec. 28, a repeat of the 2016 NBC movie Dolly Parton's Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle Of Love was the night's No. 5 program, with an audience of 2.6 million viewers and a 0.3 share, which compared to 3.1 million who watched its companion film, 2015's Dolly Parton's Coat Of Many Colors, repeat on the network Dec. 17.
Dolly May Get Tennessee Capitol Statue A state legislator in Dolly's home state of Tennessee made national news this week for introducing legislation to add a statue in her honor on the Capitol grounds in Nashville. If approved, funds would be raised for the statue rather than use any public dollars, and it would face the Ryman Auditorium, former home of The Grand Ole Opry. Read more from WKRN here.
Dolly On U.K.'s No. 1 Album This Week Before the year ended, Dolly and Barry Gibb released a single version of their collaboration on the BeeGees' classic "Words" a week before Gibb's full-length country tribute album to the band's old songs came out, Greenfields: The Gibbs Brothers Songbook (Vol. 1). Well, the Official British Charts Company on Friday announced that the CD which features the Dolly duet is this week's No. 1 album across the pond. On the British country compilation chart, Very Best Of Dolly Parton Vol. 1 and The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe hold steady at No. 6 and No. 8, respectively, while Emmylou Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) gains eight to No. 9, The Essential Dolly Parton rises one to No. 11 and Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) gains three to No. 16. In the U.S., the Jan. 16 charts released Tuesday confirmed A Holly Dolly Christmas tumbles 28 spots to No. 44 current album sales and has fallen off all other tallies with the passing of the holidays, while Ultimate Dolly Parton re-enters the top 50 country albums at No. 48. Dolly and Zach Williams' "There Was Jesus" rises two to No. 7 Hot Christian Songs, five to No. 6 Christian streaming songs and three to No. 5 Christian digital sales singles. And since this site wasn't updated last week, the magazine's final holiday charts of the season, dated Jan. 9, had Dolly's "Hard Candy Christmas" lose five to No. 29 holiday digital single sales and A Holly Dolly Christmas drop seven to No. 27 Top Holiday Albums.
Dolly Remembers 2020 On Twitter Dolly said goodbye to 2020 with a brief year-in-review video she shared to social media here. Watch it below.
Through all of the darkness, I've tried my best to spread some light in 2020. Thank you for coming along for the ride ?? See you all in 2021! pic.twitter.com/3c3R57J88X
We're BAAAAACK! On a personal note, thanks to our readers for understanding your webmaster's absence for the past few weeks. My entire family contracted COVID-19 and while the children had extremely mild cases and recovered in a day or so, and my husband had a moderate case, mine was a little more severe. While I never got so bad as to require hospitalization, I came quite close and was completely bedridden for over a week. It has taken a couple of weeks since then to recover to the point where I could resume updating the website and return to my day job running our regional social justice charity federation. My son brought the coronavirus home from school (as did two of his classmates and his teacher as well, infecting their families). It was the school's first instance of in-classroom spread since they returned to in-person classes in August and they can't explain how it spread with all of the precautions they took, but it did. Thankfully, everyone I had potentially exposed to it for the couple of days before we knew about it had taken precautions (worn masks, stayed socially-distant, etc.) when I was in their presence, and they all tested negative, so at least I knew I wasn't responsible for spreading it to anyone after I became infected. My doctor explained to me the virus attacks every person differently – some with severe health problems can end up with nothing more than a runny nose while others in completely fit health can end up dying from its complications, and vice-versa – so please take this pandemic seriously. Wash your hands, socially distance, avoid crowds, and wear your mask. Get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible. This was the absolute worst health experience of my life and I would wish it on no one. I literally came to accept at a couple of times during the worst of it that I might die from it. Thankfully, I didn't. The virus is real. It is not politics. It is dangerous. It is deadly.