Feb. 28: Up A Little On The Chart Dolly's Halos & Horns gains three spots to come in at No. 56 on the March 8 country albums chart in its 33rd chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. The CD remains steady at No. 6 on the bluegrass albums chart. The Songcatcher soundtrack, with the Dolly duet "When Love Is New," drops off the bluegrass chart, down from No. 14 in its 25th week last week. And the Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, which features Dolly's "Marry Me," loses one to reach No. 5 on the soundtrack albums chart in its 20th chart week and drops four places on the pop albums chart to No. 67. The Dixie Chicks' Home remains at No. 1 on the country albums chart but falls two to No. 4 on the pop albums chart in its 26th chart week, while Shania Twain's Up! moves up one to No. 2 country and loses 11 on the pop chart to come in at No. 20 in its 13th chart week.
Bash Tables Sold Out Harrell and Patric, organizers of the second annual Blonde Butterfly Bash Dolly collectors' event during opening weekend on April 4, informed me on Thursday that all vendors tables for the event have been reserved, so we're in for a great selection at the bash! Remember, admission to the 9 p.m.-11 p.m. event is a $1 donation to the Dollywood Foundation. Thanks, guys!
Trio On DVD Album Dolly pal Emmylou Harris has a DVD-Audio album out titled Producer's Cut, and it features the Trio with Dolly and Linda Ronstadt performing "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues" from Emmy's 1979 Blue Kentucky Girl album.
Award Coverage Launch.com on Thursday posted a brief about Dolly being honored with the Governor's Awards In The Arts Lifetime Achievement Award by the Tennessee Arts Commission. Read it here.
And For The Site I'm pleased to announce that Dollymania has been selected as a Silver Web Award winner by the webmaster development team of My Gay Web.
Feb. 26: Opening Weekend Approaches Although just about all of the information has previously been reported here and elsewhere, Dollywood on Tuesday issued a press release detailing some opening weekend festivities and upcoming events at the park this year. As in the past two years, music and dance from around the world will be featured in the season opening Festival of Nations, with more than 300 performers from 14 countries including the Legend Dragon Acrobats of China, Brilho da Ilha of Brazil, Russian National Theater, Irish Ceili, Bohemia Sax Quartet and more. Dolly said: "Music is a universal language. In my travels around the world, I have found that people are drawn to music. Whether or not you understand the words, music touches the heart in a way that unites us all. It is the ambassador of our world, and the most beautiful language ever spoken." Added to this year's celebration is an International Food Fair, which will showcase cuisine from participating nations in the 7,000 square-foot Celebration Hall. The release continued to mention Dolly's Springfest In The Smokies Parade on April 4, KidsFest June 20-Aug. 10, Days of Praise June 7-8, Bluegrass Blast on Labor Day weekend, the Showcase of Stars concert series and the new productions Buddy Baxter's Bandstand USA about 1960s rock'n'roll television shows and Country State Of Mind starring Dolly's brother Randy. Read the full release here.
And Don't Forget . . . When you're making your plans for Dollywood's opening weekend celebrations April 4-6, don't forget two big events. First, Dolly will be inducted into the East Tennessee Junior Auxiliary's Business Hall of Fame during a luncheon on April 5. Tickets, $125 each, are available from P.O. Box 51266, Knoxville, TN 37950, DonnaLBieger@comcast.net or 1-865-584-4359. And April 4 will bring fans the second annual Blonde Butterfly Bash from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. at the Green Valley Motel South in Pigeon Forge. Fans will mix and mingle, vendors will be selling Dolly collectables, Randy Kohrs from Dolly's Blueniques band will meet with fans and sign autographs, the For The Love Of Dolly documentary filmmakers will be on hand to interview attendees, and even your webmaster will be there with a few Dolly rarities for sale and to say thanks in person to the site's readers. Admission to the event is a $1 donation to the Dollywood Foundation, and anyone wishing to reserve a vendor's table for selling or just showcasing your own collection may do so for free. For more information, call 972-652-5857 or visit the bash's web site here!
Remixing? Burn It Blue reports that British pop duo Bent are apparently in discussions to do a remix for Dolly. The brief mention is in a story on the group's new album here.
Another Hand For Dolly Even the Los Angeles Times thinks Dolly should've won Grammy Awards on Sunday. Its critic Randy Lewis opined about Best Country Album: "Parton and (Willie) Nelson, however, are deeper emotionally, with Parton deserving to win for her spiritually evocative Halos & Horns." And on Best Country Female Vocal Performance: "Parton and Lucinda Williams offer the most revealing performances." Read his list here. Thanks, Greg!
You Ought To Be In Pictures And if you're in the LA area, you might want to check out artist Ellina Kevorkian's new exhibit, "It's All Wrong But It's All Right," featuring paintings inspired by Dolly, Gustav Klimt and Joan Brown. It opened Saturday and continues through March 29 at the Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica.
Feb. 25: Order Tickets To JA Hall Of Fame Induction As promised, here is the contact information to purchase tickets to see Dolly be inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame during Dollywood's opening weekend festivities on April 5. Tickets, which are $125 each, are available from Donna Bieger, Junior Achievement President, or Kriston Tandy, Office Administrator, by writing Junior Achievement of East Tennessee, P.O. Box 51266, Knoxville, TN 37950; e-mailing DonnaLBieger@comcast.net or calling 1-865-584-4359. Thanks, Donna!
Chicks' Dad Wouldn't Be Mad If Dolly Won At least one person with ties to the Dixie Chicks said he wouldn't have been upset if Dolly had beat the group for Best Country Album at Sunday night's Grammy Awards. Paul "Ernie" Erwin, father of Chicks Emily Robison and Martie Maguire, told the Myrtle Beach Sun News, "Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton - I'd be proud if they had lost to either of them." The Chicks' Home beat out Dolly's Halos & Horns in the category, one of three trophies the band took home Sunday. Read the full story here.
In Mourning Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Dan Rohman, longtime vice president of marketing at Dollywood, who passed away from cancer, the park announced Monday. Rohman had worked with Silver Dollar City in Pigeon Forge since 1983, three years before it became Dollywood. He headed the marketing department until 1998, when he moved to the development office to focus on the park's future growth. He also served as chairman of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism Advisory Board and was responsible for starting Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas and Sevier County's Winterfest celebration. He retired and moved to the Cincinnati area last year, at which time the city held a special ceremony with Dolly to say goodbye. "I love Dan," Dolly said. "He was a beautiful and brilliant man that we were blessed to have work with us at Dollywood. He was so important to our success; I could never have thanked him enough." The family has asked that memorials be made to the Sevier County Food Ministries.
Feb. 24: Faith, Chicks Beat Dolly For Grammy Honors As was reported here earlier Sunday night, Faith Hill's pop-leaning "Cry" beat out Dolly's traditional country "Dagger Through The Heart" for Best Female Country Vocal Performance at Sunday night's Grammys in pre-show awards, and the Dixie Chicks' Home bested her Halos & Horns for Best Country Album, the only country honor handed out during the awards' live telecast. The Chicks are now tied with Dolly for the fourth-most Grammy wins for female country performers at seven awards. Alison Krauss is first with 13, followed by Dolly's Trio pal Emmylou Harris with 11. The other one-third of the Trio, Linda Ronstadt, who won three of her 10 awards in the country field, is third. Rounding out the totals are fifth-place record holders Mary Chapin-Carpenter, the Judds, Anne Murray and Olivia Newton-John with five each and Shania Twain and Faith Hill are at sixth with four awards each. Other country acts taking home trophies on Sunday were Dolly's labelmates Nickel Creek, Best Contemporary Folk Album, This Side; Riders In The Sky, Best Musical Album For Children, Monsters Inc.: Scream Factory Favorites; Kevin Reagan, Best Recording Package, for the Dixie Chicks' Home; Johnny Cash, Best Male Country Vocal Performance, "Give My Love To Rose;" The Dixie Chicks, Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, "Long Time Gone;" Willie Nelson and Lee Ann Womack, Best Country Collaboration With Vocals, "Mendocino County Line;" the Dixie Chicks, Best Country Instrumental Performance, "Lil' Jack Slade;" Alan Jackson, Best Country Song, "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning);" Jim Lauderdale, Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Best Bluegrass Album, Lost In The Lonesome Pines.
Critics: Dolly Should Have Won The Miami Herald on Sunday predicted wins for the Dixie Chicks for Best Country Album and Martina McBride for Best Female Country Vocal Performance but noted that Dolly's CD would be "deserving" of the country album prize as it is the best album of her career and that her "Dagger Through The Heart" should've won the female country award because it was "far and away" the best performance of the five nominees. Also, Newsweek on Sunday said Dolly should've won Best Country Album but that the Dixie Chicks or Alan Jackson would likely win because of their massive sales. The Knoxville News Sentinel on Sunday predicted Dolly would win Female Country Vocal Performance and the Chicks for Best Country Album.
See Dolly's JA Hall Of Fame Ceremony A couple hundred tickets are still available to see Dolly be inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 5, during Dollywood's season opening weekend festivities. Entertainment starts at 11:30 a.m., with the crowd also videotaped sharing stories about Dolly or singing their favorite Dolly songs, with a video about Dolly to be shown just prior to her entrance to receive the award. Lunch will be served, and the event should be over by about 1:30 p.m. The $125 per-person ticket also includes admission to the park. And childcare is available for $30 per child. Look for information here soon on how to order tickets. Thanks, Donna!
Get Bluegrass Tribute Amazon.com has added a link to advance order the April 8 release Pickin' On Dolly Parton: A Bluegrass Tribute, part of the CMH Records series where bluegrass artists offer their takes on popular songs made famous by rock, country and pop stars. Reserve your copy here! (This is NOT the star-studded Sugar Hills tribute to Dolly expected to be released this fall.)
And A Personal Note If you're in the Jackson, Miss., area and want to come hear your webmaster belt out a few tunes, make plans to attend the Madison County Cultural Center's musical revue Broadway On Main II in Madison at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 2, where Duane will be performing two songs in the role of Jesus from Godspell and two as one of the T-Birds from Grease. Call 601-853-0291 for tickets.
Feb. 22: 'Hello God' Hits No. 1 Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns moves up one spot to become this weekend's No. 1 song on the PowerSource unofficial weekly Christian country singles chart, it was announced Friday. Her duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," itself No. 1 for two weeks a couple of months ago, drops three to No. 19. We'll have to wait a little longer to see where the song charts on the magazine's official monthly countdown, where "Stand By The River" in December became Dolly's first official No. 1 gospel single.
Lifetime Honor Update Here's an update on how you can attend the Governor's Awards in the Arts on March 11 in the Ryman Auditorium where Dolly will receive the Tennessee Arts Commission's Lifetime Achievement Award, which Dollymania was the first Dolly site to report Thursday night. Admission to the event is free, but seating is limited only to those with tickets. For information on obtaining tickets, call the Ryman box office at 615-458-8700 (open 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Central time). Thanks, Sandra!
Another 'Frank' Review Although it was released three months ago, Steve Lackmeyer of The Oklahoman on Friday offered his opinion on last year's Dolly comedy Frank McKlusky, C.I., saying that the film is "so horribly bad" that it's actually "worth renting." He said he laughed a lot at it and criticized the script, acting, and slew of celebrity cameos, even calling Dolly's appearance as the lead character's mother "bizarre casting." He closes by offering: "It's not Citizen Kane, but it might just be the next Howard the Duck. And I know there are plenty of you out there who enjoy bad movies more than I do." So maybe the film will develop a cult following? Read his review here.
More Grammy Talk The handful of additional Grammy predictions I've seen are still not expecting Dolly to win, but here are a few comments from some of them. One critic in Connecticut's Norwich Bulletin said about Best Country Album: "Dixie Chicks will probably win. I think Dolly Parton should win though. It's a great record." The Louisville Courier-Journal puts Dolly's odds in the category at 10-1, even with those of Willie Nelson but better than Joe Nichols' 15-1 (The Chicks are 4-1 and Alan Jackson 3-2.) And the Salt Lake Tribune, which says the Chicks should and will win, noted: "Parton's excellent bluegrass album is at a disadvantage because of its independent label release." Look for updates here Sunday night immediately after the winners in Dolly's categories are announced. She's up for Best Country Album for Halos & Horns and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for the album's single "Dagger Through The Heart."
Vote For Dolly Sugar Hill Records asked me to remind everyone to vote for Dolly in the Flameworthy Video Awards. As was reported here previously, she is one of the 10 preliminary nominees for Flameworthy Female Video Of The Year for "Dagger Through The Heart." Each fan (who must first be a registered user of CMT.com) may vote once for their favorites through March 9. Each category will be trimmed to five final nominees, who will be announced on March 11, at which time fans may vote again through April 5. Winners will be announced April 7. Click here to vote.
Feb. 21: Dolly To Get TN Lifetime Achivement Honor Dolly will next month receive the Tennessee Arts Commission's Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the arts, the Tennessee Star Journal in Pigeon Forge reported Thursday. Billed as "A Salute To Excellence," this year's Governor's Awards In The Arts will be handed out in a ceremony open to the public on March 11 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, original home of the Grand Ole Opry. In announcing the awards, Commission Chair Ann C. Smith said: "We are extremely proud of the recipients selected. The 2003 recipients represent the best in the state. These individuals have contributed greatly to the creative, artistic, and cultural life of all Tennesseans. The awards ceremony will provide us the opportunity to recognize their many contributions and reward them for excellence in their specific disciplines." Dolly was nominated by former state Sen. Carl Moore of Bristol for the award. He explained: "Although the flamboyant, fun-loving diva holds her own with the likes of David Letterman, she hasn't forgotten her roots. She has contributed much to her hometown located in Sevier County, Tenn." In addition to Dolly's Lifetime Achievement Award, three artists will receive the annual Distinguished Artist Awards, four will receive the Folklife Heritage Awards, and three individuals and three organizations will receive Arts Leadership Awards. The annual celebration was started in 1971 to recognize individuals and organizations which have made significant contributions to the cultural life of Tennessee. Thanks to Sandra Pinkoski at the Tennessee Star Journal for alerting me to this honor!
Little Movement On The Charts Dolly's Halos & Horns slips two spots to No. 59 on the March 1 country albums chart in its 32nd chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. The CD remains steady at No. 6 on the bluegrass albums chart. The Songcatcher soundtrack, with the Dolly duet "When Love Is New," drops three to No. 14 in its 25th week on the bluegrass albums chart. And the Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, which features Dolly's "Marry Me," remains steady at No. 4 on the soundtrack albums chart in its 19th chart week and loses six places on the pop albums chart to reach No. 63. The Dixie Chicks' Home remains at No. 1 on the country albums chart and No. 2 on the pop albums chart in its 25th chart week, while Shania Twain's Up! remains at No. 3 country and gains three on the pop chart to come in at No. 9 in its 12th chart week.
Where's Dolly? Craig Havighurst of The Tennessean had some advice for country radio in Thursday's paper in observance of the Country Radio Seminar's start that morning in Nashville: Play better music! Complaining that radio is "disastrously formulaic," he offers a list of a dozen tracks from the past year which he believes would "help make radio interesting again." Among them are cuts by Pam Tillis, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Nickel Creek, Alison Krauss and others. No. 7 on his list is Dolly's Grammy-nominated "Dagger Through The Heart," about which he writes: "Wasn't there some strong evidence last year that people like bluegrass? It's a scientific fact: they love Dolly. This song got played on CMT but not on radio. What a loss." Read the full list here.
Grammy Talk With the Grammy Awards to be handed out on CBS Sunday night from New York, predictions are starting to appear. And while I have only seen three or four so far, none yet is predicting a win for Dolly. All I've seen are expecting the Dixie Chicks' Home to take home Best Country Album over Dolly's Halos & Horns and either Faith Hill's "Cry" or Martina McBride's "Blessed" to win Best Female Country Vocal Performance over Dolly's "Dagger Through The Heart." But you never know, because no one predicted she'd win that category last year for "Shine"! In her career, Dolly has amassed 40 Grammy nominations and taken home the award seven times. Keep your fingers crossed for our lady!
Wanna Work At Dollywood? More than 700 positions will be filled at Dollywood and Dolly's Splash Country in Pigeon Forge at a job fair to be held Feb. 28 and March 1 at the park, it was announced Thursday. If you'd like to apply for a position, call 1-865-HAVE-FUN (428-3386) to set up an interview.
Feb. 19: More British Rumors Rumors continue that Dolly may play Britain's Glastonbury music festival this June. Of course, DotMusic first reported the rumor back in January, at which time it was noted here on Dollymania. Now music site Drowned In Sound reported on Tuesday again that Dolly is among the list of artists "strongly" rumored to be planning a performance at the event, according to sources close to the show. So far, the only act confirmed is REM. Others rumored as possible performers include The Rolling Stones, Prince, Queens Of The Stone Age, Muse, Radiohead, Massive Attack and iDLEWild. Tickets for the June festival will go on sale sometime next month. Read the story here.
Nice Story The Tennessean on Monday had an interesting article on Welk Music Group, founded by Lawrence Welk and parent company for Sugar Hill Records, including several mentions of Dolly's success distributing her three most recent solo albums through the label and several comments from her producer, Steve Buckingham. Read it here.
Feb. 17: Dollywood Update Dollywood on Friday updated its web site to include information on April's opening weekend festivities, this summer's KidzFest and December's benefit concerts, plus a few new shots of Dolly. Of course, as has previously been reported, opening weekend will be April 5 and 6. This year's theme is "Seasons of fun for everyone," and the Springfest in the Smokies Parade with Dolly will run through Pigeon Forge at 6 p.m. Friday, April 4. As has previously been reported, Dolly's benefit concerts will be Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now to season pass holders and will go on sale to the general public on April 22. And the KidzFest will be June 20 through Aug. 10. Get more information on opening weekend here (and this year's Festival of Nations here), KidzFest here and the concerts here.
Gospel Charts Update Dolly's "Hello God" remained steady at No. 2 on the weekend's PowerSource Christian country singles countdown, while "Stand By The River," her duet with Dottie Rambo lost one notch to No. 16. Also, on the monthly Country Gospel Connection radio airplay chart for February, "Hello God" is No. 9, while "Stand By The River" is No. 10.
Dolly On The BBC As was reported here last week, Dolly appeared this Sunday on the BBC's Songs Of Praise program. In an interview from Nashville with the show's host, Pam Rhodes, Dolly spoke of two of her life's passions: God and sex. British news site Ananova ran a preview of the interview over the weekend. Read it here.
Vote For Dolly CMT.com has a poll open where you can vote on who you think should take home Grammy Awards this year. Go here and vote for Dolly for Best Country Album and Best Female Country Vocal Performance!
Gone To The Barnyard In The Sky Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal and Dolly's namesake since she was created from breast tissue, was put to sleep on Friday at age six after it was discovered she had lung disease.
Feb. 14: Gaining Some Ground Dolly's Halos & Horns gains four spots to come in at No. 57 on the Feb. 22 country albums chart in its 31st chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. The CD also gains one to reach No. 6 on the bluegrass albums chart. The Songcatcher soundtrack, with a Dolly duet, remains steady on the bluegrass chart in its 24th week, coming in at No. 11. And the Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, with Dolly's "Marry Me," gets the "Pacesetter" designation on the pop albums chart, jumping a whopping 117 spots to No. 57 and jumps 11 notches up on the soundtrack albums chart to No. 4 in its 18th chart week. The Dixie Chicks' Home remains at No. 1 on the country albums chart but falls one to No. 2 on the pop albums chart in its 24th chart week, while Shania Twain's Up! loses one spot to No. 3 country and four on the pop chart to No. 12 in its 11th chart week.
News From Down Under Friday's Tasmanian Examiner has an interesting story on a screenwriter there who submitted a script to Dolly to get her permission to use her name in the story and got back a personal response. Carolyn Harris is writing a movie script about an Australian family who win a trip to visit America but not any place to stay while here, so they decide they're going to track Dolly down and spend their vacation at her house. The whole movie follows them around the country trying to find Dolly, hence the title Pursuing Dolly Parton. Harris had written Dolly's production company to get permission to use her name in the film, but Dolly's personal response was that the script was "quite a hoot" and the story "fun and silly and crazy." Dolly further volunteered that if they are able to shoot the film, and do so in the U.S. or Canada, she would be willing to appear as herself in a scene or two, as her schedule permits. Read the full story here.
Another Prediction The Associated Press on Thursday issued a few predictions for the Grammy Awards, which now are a little more than a week away, and their critics think the Dixie Chicks' Home will win over Dolly's Halos & Horns for Best Country Album. Read the story here.
Where's Dolly? Once again, Dolly did not appear as promised on a Shania Twain special. This time, it was Wednesday night's documentary on Shania's recent promotional tour for her new album. Press releases from VH1 said the network's show would include Shania's first meeting with her idol, Dolly, but that portion did not air when the special was broadcast on Wednesday. Last year, a press release from the cable network's sister station, CMT, touted a Dolly interview on a Shania profile, but Dolly was edited out of that program as well.
Library Update Another Dolly Imagination Library story came out Thursday, this time in Greene County, N.C. Read it here.
Feb. 13: Flameworthy Dolly Dolly's video for "Dagger Through The Heart" is a preliminary nominee for CMT's second annual Flameworthy Video Awards, the network announced Wednesday. Her video for "Shine" was nominated last year but lost to Martina McBride's "Blessed." Each fan who registers with CMT.com may vote once for their favorites in the preliminary voting through March 9. Each category will be trimmed from the 10 initial nominees to five finalists, who will be announced on March 11, at which time fans may vote again through April 5. Winners will be announced April 7. Dolly, nominated for Flameworthy Female Video of the Year, faces Jessica Andrews' "There's More to Me Than You," Rebecca Lynn Howard's "Forgive," Deana Carter's "There's No Limit," Martina McBride's "Concrete Angel," Terri Clark's "I Just Wanna be Mad," Jennifer Hanson's "Beautiful Goodbye," Shania Twain's "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!," Faith Hill's "Cry" and Lee Ann Womack's "Something Worth Leaving Behind." Click here to vote for Dolly!
Dolly On The BBC I'm told Dolly is scheduled to appear on the BBC One program Songs Of Praise at 4:55 p.m. British time on Sunday. The show is part one of a two-part special in which host Pam Rhodes visits Nashville and meets Dolly, Ricky Skaggs and other country stars. No word on if Dolly performs on the show. Thanks, Steve!
'Texas' Tales CMT on Wednesday posted a story touting the premiere of Stars Over Texas, the one-hour concert/variety special hosted by Ray Benson featuring Dolly and Vince Gill which was taped last year in Austin. The release basically recaps the set list as has been previously reported here. The show premieres at 8 p.m. Eastern March 3 on CMT. Read it here.
Grammy Talk Launch.com has issued its Grammy predictions, and its critics believe the Dixie Chicks will win Best Country Album for Home over Dolly's Halos & Horns and that Martina McBride will win Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "Blessed" over Dolly's "Dagger Through The Heart." We'll have to wait until awards are handed out on Feb. 23 to see who wins. Read more on Launch's predictions here. Thanks, Christopher!
A Mention A new book is set to come out from the Country Music Hall of Fame in March titled Heartaches By The Number: Country Music's 500 Greatest Singles. While there's no word yet on how many Dolly cuts are included, they are using a quote from her to promote the book. CMT.com reported her saying: "Heartaches by the Number is sure to be one of the most appreciated and informative books ever written about country music and great country singles." I'm sure she'll be well-represented in David Cantwell and Bill Friskics-Warren's book, as she has charted 107 country singles over the past three and a half decades, 24 of which went to No. 1. In their introduction, the authors write: "This is a book about listening. It's not an encyclopedia. It's not a history," adding that the work is "an argument for a sensibility, a way of hearing. It's comprised of critical essays that each can stand alone but that, when read in sequence, comment upon each other and tell a larger story - one that we hope challenges some of the prevailing assumptions about what country music is and what it can mean." Read the full story here.
Feb. 11: Dolly And Randy To Record The president of the Randy Kohrs Fan Club tells Dollymania that Dolly has agreed to provide guest vocals on his next CD, expected to be out later this year on Doobie Shea Records. (And remember, if you'd like to join the fan club for Randy, who led Dolly's Blueniques band on tour this summer, write to RKFC P.O. Box 085433 Racine, WI 53408-5433 or e-mail email@example.com.) Thanks, Ryan!
Dolly Salutes Station From Her Youth Dolly is among several celebrities announced this week to attend the 50th anniversary celebration for Knoxville radio station WIVK on March 19. The 5:30 p.m. $125 per-person black-tie-optional event will be held at the Knoxville Convention Center and will feature Dolly, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Chesney, Tanya Tucker, Ray Price, Charlie Daniels and Aaron Tippin, among others. None of the artists is expected to sing, but rather they will tell stories of their experiences at the station, which is one of the places where Dolly got her start singing as a child. All proceeds will benefit the United Way, and tickets will go on sale to the public on Wednesday (credit card orders may call 1-865-909-9430 that day). A red carpet greeting of guests will be open to the public prior to the event. For more details, visit the radio station's site here or read an article in Monday's Knoxville News-Sentinelhere.
Getting Back On The Air Dolly's making some inroads in radio, according to a story in Monday's New York Times. In an article detailing the return of classic country music to radio dials last year, several artists' spins (the number of time they were played on radio) were noted, including Dolly's. In 2002, she saw 15,164 spins on radio, a 54 percent jump from the 9,825 she received just three years earlier in 1999. Other artists listed were Tammy Wynette, with just over 2,000 spins last year, and Waylon Jennings, with just under 15,000. Read the full story here.
Dollywood News Dollywood on Monday announced its 2003 schedule for the annual Showcase of Stars concerts. Kicking off the series will be Sawyer Brown on May 17. The remainder of the schedule is as follows: Marty Stuart and wife, Connie Smith, June 14; Ricky Skaggs and Steve Wariner in an acoustic show, July 19; Chad Brock, Wade Hayes and Rhett Atkins in a Honky Tonk Tailgate Party Aug. 16; and Jamie O'Neal, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Billy Dean, Sept. 13. The concerts, held at the park's Celebrity Theater, will go on sale to the general public April 22 for $20 each plus tax. Tickets are currently on sale for season passholders. The park on Monday also announced two special weekend events for the summer: the contemporary Christian youth music festival Days of Praise (featuring Avalon, The Benjamin Gate, Skillet and the Rock and Roll Worship Circus, among others) will be June 7-8, and the Bluegrass Blast (with Mountain Heart, the Gibson Brothers and Old Crow Medicine Show, among others) will be Aug. 30-31. Admission to these shows is included with admission to the park.
Another Chart Dolly and Dottie Rambo's "Stand By The River" debuts this week at No. 34 on the European Christian Country weekly radio show in The Netherlands.
Feb. 10: 'Hello God' Moving Up Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns shot up another five spots on the weekend's PowerSource unofficial weekly countdown show, coming in at No. 2. Her duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," lost one notch to No. 15.
In The 'Times' Your webmaster Duane had a Letter To The Editor in the New York Times arts section this weekend thanking them for the recent article on Dolly fans. Although they edited it down to about half its original length, you may read it on their site here.
But They're Not On The Menu, Yet Dolly's Dixie Stampede in Myrtle Beach, S.C., has added a pack of eight buffaloes to its menagerie of animals in its nightly dinner show, The Sun News reported Friday. Read the story here.
Randy Not Joining Chicks, Another Bluenique Is Ryan Footit, the president of Randy Kohrs' fan club, informs me of a new development in the item reported here last week about Dolly reportedly letting her band, the Blueniques, go. At the time, the source who informed Dollymania of the news said Randy, who led Dolly's band and performed his single "Little By Little" at the opening of her concerts on tour this summer, was expected to join the Dixie Chicks' band. Ryan tells me that Randy was offered the gig but turned it down to focus on his solo career. Instead, Brent Truitt, also from the Blueniques, will tour with the Chicks. While talking about Randy, he won first place at the SPBGMA Bluegrass Band Competition in Nashville last week, and anyone interested in booking him to perform in their area (or who wishes to join his fan club for $15 dues) may contact Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, Ryan! (P.S. I'm also told that Randy is expected to make an appearance at this year's Blonde Butterfly Bash on Friday, April 4, 9 p.m.- 11 p.m., at the Green Valley Motel South in Pigeon Forge during Dollywood's season opening weekend festivities!)
Vote For Dolly Dolly is nominated for a TVLand Award. The classic television cable network will announce the winners of its awards on March 2 and air the awards show on TV Land and its sister network, Nick At Nite, on March 9. Dolly is up for Most Memorable Female Guest Star In A Comedy As Herself for her 1989 appearance on Designing Women as Charlene's Guardian Movie Star in a dream sequence. She is up against Dr. Joyce Brothers for Days, Nancy Reagan in Different Strokes and Betty Ford in Mary Tyler Moore. You may vote as often as you wish by visiting their site here. Thanks, Derek!
Garfield At Dollywood Garfield, Odie and John from the famous Garfield comic strip have been added to Dollywood's Kidz FunFest this summer, it was announced Friday. Garfield's live-action 25th anniversary show, "Happy Birthday To Me," will be presented during the festival, which runs June 20 through Aug. 10 at the park. Other activities include a stage show featuring VeggieTales characters Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber and several extreme sports exhibitions. In previous press releases, it was noted that Dolly plans to be on hand to kick-off the festivities in June, but no mention of her appearance was made in this week's announcement.
Dolly And The Bellamys The Bellamy Brothers' website (here) has posted a photo on its news page of Dolly in the studio with the duo recording a track for their next album, Angels And Outlaws. As was reported on Dollymania two months ago, Dolly is one of several artists participating in the tribute album, which pairs the Bellamys singing their past hits with several legends and newcomers in country music. Others participating in the project include Kenny Rogers and David Allen Coe.
Feb. 7: U.S. Charts Mixed Dolly's Halos & Horns loses three spots to come in at No. 61 on the Feb. 15 country albums chart in its 30th chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. The CD 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 23rd week, coming in at No. 11. And, with sales spurred by its release on home video, the Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, with Dolly's "Marry Me," gains nine on the soundtrack albums chart at No. 15 in its 17th chart week and re-enters the pop albums chart at No. 174 for a 10th week. The Dixie Chicks' Home remains at No. 1 on the country albums chart and jumps three spots to regain the No. 1 pop album position in its 23rd chart week (its 10th at No. 1 country), while Shania Twain's Up! remains at No. 2 country and gains four on the pop chart to come in at No. 8 in its 10th chart week.
'Halos' Passes 150K, Tribute Coming In Fall It's been a while now since I've given you an update on Dolly's sales figures, and I've started getting e-mails from fans who want to keep up with the numbers. So, thanks to the folks at Sugar Hill Records, here they are: Since its release in July, Halos & Horns has sold 153,000 copies, up about 28,000 since the last update here two months ago, meaning in that time it has averaged about 3,100 copies sold per week. Little Sparrow is at 205,000 units, or 4,000 more since the last update. And The Grass Is Blue stands at 186,000, or about 4,000 more since the last update. Also, I'm told that while final details are still being worked out on the tribute album to Dolly which will be issued by Sugar Hill, the label is planning a fall 2003 release date. As was reported here previously, Dolly has agreed to participate in matching singers with her songs and may even perform on a few tracks on the disc. Shania Twain has asked to sing "Coat Of Many Colors," according to published reports, and other artists the label has said have expressed interest in participating include Alison Krauss, Sinead O'Conner, Norah Jones, Aimee Mann and the Dixie Chicks. Thanks, Rob!
And Another Tribute Tower Records is showing that a new tribute album to Dolly, Pickin' On Dolly Parton: A Bluegrass Tribute, will hit stores on April 8. While I haven't received official confirmation of the release or a track listing, I would suspect it is to be issued by CMH Records, which has for several years now been releasing CDs under the "Pickin' On" title with bluegrass musicians playing their versions of hits by legends in country, rock and pop. Thanks, Mike!
Site: Christmas Concerts Announced The Dolly fan site Voice Of An Angel reported Thursday that Dolly's benefit concerts for the Dollywood Foundation this year have been set for Dec. 12 and 13 under the theme "Tennessee Mountain Christmas Concerts," suggesting a return this year to her standard set list of holiday tunes. Tickets, selling for $75, $50 and $35 each, will go on sale to the general public on April 22, the site reported.
See Warhol Painting Of Dolly Las Vegas television station KLAS reported Thursday that one of Andy Warhol's portraits of Dolly will be on display at the Bellagio Casino in town. The show, titled "Andy Warhol: Celebrity Portraits," opens Friday and runs through September, complete with an audio tour by Liza Minelli. Previously, one of Warhol's Dolly portraits was on display at The Parthenon in Nashville from November through early January. Read the Vegas story here.
More Library News Another school in Decatur, Ala., has signed up for Dolly's Imagination Library, as well as the community of Allen County, Ohio, according to news reports on Wednesday. Read the stories in the Decatur Daily Newshere and the Toledo Bladehere.
A Reminder Paul over at Dolly Parton World asked me to remind everyone about his club at Yahoo for Dolly fans. He includes news, articles, photos and more. Join here.
Feb. 5: Only One Convention For Opening Weekend It turns out there will be only one Dolly fan convention this year at Dollywood's opening weekend in April. Organizers of the Dolly Collectors' Convention have confirmed that they will not hold an event in 2003. In a written statement, Tuesday night, Jeff Lewis, marketing manager with the event's organizer, Big Shot Productions, said: "Due to the time required to plan and produce the high quality convention we strive to present, we do not see that it is possible to hold a Dolly Parton Collectors Convention during Dollywood's 2003 Grand Opening Weekend. If we were to operate under the very limited time restraint we are facing, we feel that we would not be satisfied with the quality of the event. However, keep watching for a more exciting and new Collectors Convention in 2004! Plans are already underway for an event to be hosted during Dollywood's 2004 Grand Opening Weekend. We would like to extend a gracious thank you to all the fans and many vendors that contacted us expressing your interest in participating in the proposed 2003 Convention. We will keep your information on file and contact you regarding the next convention as further plans begin to take shape." Of course, the convention was a mainstay of opening weekend for several years until it went on hiatus last year. In its absence, fans Patric and Harrell created the Blonde Butterfly Bash, which will return this year. The Bash will be held Friday, April 4, from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. at the Green Valley Motel South in Pigeon Forge (4109 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.). 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; any vendor may reserve additional tables for $5 each. You may also visit their site dedicated to the event here for updates.
In Another Best Of All Time List Sydney Morning Herald music critic Peter Holmes on Tuesday published his list of the 100 best songs of all time, and while Dolly's classic "I Will Always Love You" (which usually places near the top due to Whitney Houston's over-the-top performance of it from 1992) is missing, her "Jolene" (written the same day as "I Will Always Love You" and originally recorded for the same album) comes in at No. 66. His choices for the top spots: Otis Redding's "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay" at No. 1, Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" at No. 2 and R.E.M.'s "Fall On Me" at No. 3. Read the full list here.
Breaking Barriers The new Singing News Magazine gospel chart debuts Dolly and Dottie Rambo's "Stand By The River" this month at No. 76. I'm told that while this low showing may not appear very impressive, it actually is. This chart is operated by an ultra-conservative magazine which usually does not even consider listing someone on the chart who is not solely a Southern gospel singer, so the inclusion of a single which features a mainstream country or pop performer like Dolly is very, very rare. (For example, in an earlier issue of the magazine, there was a small item about the duet, and their editors doctored the photo of Dolly to cover up her famous cleavage!) I'm told that another reason it charted so low is that many DJs reporting to the magazine for the chart chose not to include the song in their lists because of the magazine's policy, even though it was one of the most played cuts on their stations.
More Library Coverage Fayette County, Ind., is now in the Dolly Imagination Library through the Dollywood Foundation, according to an article in Monday's Palladium Item News. Read the story here.
Just One Degree I'm sure you all know the old saying that everyone in the world is separated by six or fewer other people ("six degrees of separation"), and just to prove the world is small and the entertainment world is even smaller, here's Dolly's connection to legendary producer Phil Spector, who was arrested this week on suspicion of murder: he wrote "To Know Him Is To Love Him," the sole No. 1 single from Dolly's 1987 Trio album with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris (he took the title line from the epitaph on his father's headstone); and he co-wrote "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," which Dolly covered as a duet with Neil Diamond in 1993.
Feb. 3: Source: Dolly Disbands Band A source close to Dolly's career who wishes to remain anonymous tells Dollymania that Dolly has dissolved her band the Blueniques at the present time to "pursue some other things right now." The source adds that she does plan to reunite with the band at a later date and that Randy Kohrs, who led the group and sang a solo at the start of each of her concerts during her tour this summer, is expected to join the Dixie Chicks' band. The news suggests that a new Dolly tour, which she said would likely come if her 2002 concerts were successful, may be on hold until at least late 2003 or early 2004. Thanks!
All Over 'PowerSource' Dolly is all over the February issue of PowerSource magazine, in the mail now to Christian Country Music Association members. Dolly and gospel legend Dottie Rambo have a three-page article and the cover photo for their duet "Stand By The River," the magazine's No. 1 song for December, making it Dolly's first official gospel No. 1. The article shows four photos of the two together, five of Dolly alone from throughout her career and four of Dottie alone over the years. In the story, Dolly notes: "I'm very proud to be a part of any number one song and especially one with Dottie Rambo. That makes it twice as sweet," adding about possibly recording with Dottie in the future: "Who knows? God works in mysterious ways--and so does Dottie Rambo!" They offer their opinions on their favorite compositions by each other, with Dottie's being "Coat Of Many Colors" and Dolly's being "Come Spring," and Dolly said she "always wanted to record a whole album of Dottie Rambo songs as she is one of my favorite writers in the world." In the February chart, Dolly's "Hello God" moves up 29 spots to No. 9, while "Stand By The River" falls 12 to No. 18. Dolly is also all over the magazine's bluegrass chart with "Stand By The River" at No. 18 (down from No. 15), "I'm Gone" debuting at No. 23 and "Halos And Horns" debuting at No. 27. "Stand By The River" is No. 29 on the Southern gospel chart, up from No. 41, and that chart also happens to have a Dolly and Dottie connection at No. 1: "He Ain't Never Done Me Nothing But Good" was written by Dottie and is performed by Sonya Isaacs and The Isaacs; of course, Dolly did guest vocals on Sonya's debut solo album, and Sonya has provided harmony vocals on several Dolly cuts in recent years.
Another Gospel Chart Update Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns gains one notch this weekend to No. 7 on the unofficial weekly PowerSource Christian country countdown. Dolly's duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," remains steady at No. 14 again this week. Also the God's Country International Music Chart, Dolly moves up one this week as the No. 7 most played gospel artist overseas, and "Stand By The River" falls 34 spots to No. 77 on their countdown, while "Hello God" jumps up 43 spots to No. 18!
Vote For Dolly Chris over at Dolly On-Line on Friday discovered that BBC America is taking votes for viewers' favorite episodes of So Graham Norton in an online poll, the results of which will determine the line-up of shows broadcast Feb. 17-21. Click here to vote for both Dolly episodes (her appearance to promote Little Sparrow -- which served as the show's U.S. premiere -- and the hour-long holiday special of her and Graham at Dollywood)! You may vote as often as you wish through Friday.
Emmy And The HRC Dolly pal and Trio collaborator Emmylou Harris will serve as honorary co-chair and entertainer for the state meeting of the Tennessee branch of the gay and lesbian rights group the Human Rights Campaign on March 1 in Nashville, CMT.com reported Friday. Close friends since the mid-1970s, Dolly and Emmylou since that time have recorded about 35 songs together.