Feb. 28: CBS Story Posted CBS on Friday posted a great story on Dolly based on her Dan Rather interview set to air on CBS News Sunday Morning this weekend (9 a.m. Eastern). The story covers the basic story of her life and career and offers many of Dolly's signature quips, but it also focuses on her business acumen, heading an entertainment empire worth several hundred million dollars. Read it here.
Dolly In 'CW' Again I'm told that Dolly gets a couple of mentions in the new 10th anniversary edition of Country Weekly magazine. Her 1999 CD The Grass Is Blue comes in at No. 23 in the top 100 albums of the past decade, with reviewers noting: "One of country's great songwriters refreshed her creative spark and helped set the stage for the impending bluegrass revival with this exploration of her Appalachian roots." There's also a photo of her in the fashion section. Thanks, Bridget!
Legion Magazine Covers CD Dolly's promotional efforts for For God And Country show up in the March issue of The American Legion's magazine. In a great interview focusing largely on God and patriotism (the album's themes), she notes that she's planning a TV special based on the CD and hopes to do an auditorium and churches tour in the near future (although the interview likely took place before her decision earlier this year not to tour in 2004). Read the interview here. Thanks, Dawn
'Straight Talk' Overseas I'm told that Dolly's 1992 film Straight Talk is getting its first DVD release in the U.K. on Monday. The film hit DVD in the U.S. last year. Thanks, Steve!
Feb. 27: Tribute Gains Ground In U.S. The Dolly tribute CD Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton gains four points to No. 42 country in its 19th chart week but drops six to No. 25 on the independent labels albums chart on the March 6 Billboard charts released on Thursday. As was reported here Wednesday night, Norah Jones' Feels Like Home remains at No. 1 pop for a second week. The album, with Dolly dueting on the track "Creepin' In," also remains at No. 1 comprehensive and No. 1 on the Internet sales chart. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly guest vocals on "Jolene," loses four places to No. 16 in its fourth week on the independent labels albums chart and falls off the Internet sales albums chart, where it had been No. 19 the previous week. The tribute album Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, featuring a Dolly duet, inches down one place to No. 45 country in its 13th week, while Johnny Cash's Unearthed, featuring two Dolly covers, re-enters the country chart for an 11th week, coming in at No. 60 . Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down logs a third week at No. 1 country but drops two to No. 5 pop, while Toby Keith's Shock'n Y'all remains at No. 2 country in its 16th week and loses eight to No. 21 pop.
Slipping Up North The Dolly tribute CD loses four spots to come in at No. 20 country in its 19th week on the Canadian charts, it was announced Thursday, and Jones' Feels Like Home gets a second week at No. 1 pop.
CMT Update Mindy Smith's video for "Jolene" from Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, featuring a Dolly cameo, moves up three spots to No. 13 in its fourth week on the CMT Top 20 Video Countdown this week, the network announced on Thursday.
Feb. 26: Flame Worthy Preliminary Noms Announced Dolly snagged two nods in the preliminary nominations for the 2004 CMT Flame Worthy Video Awards, and Mindy Smith's "Jolene" from the tribute project Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton also is up for some awards as well. Dolly will host and perform on the live awards telecast from Nashville on April 21. Dolly is one of eight preliminary nominees for Flame Worthy Female Video Of The Year for "I'm Gone" from Halos & Horns and is up for a new category, Flame Worthy Cameo Of The Year, for her appearance in Smith's "Jolene." On the female side, other preliminary nominees are Sheryl Crow, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Reba, Faith Hill, Patty Loveless and Shania Twain. For the cameo side, other hopefuls are the cast of Brad Paisley's "Celebrity," Marilu Henner, the cast of Chris Cagle's "Chicks Dig It," Jake the Dog for Dierks Bentley's "What Was I Thinkin'," Joe Don's rear end in "I Melt," Gena Lee Nolin and Bob Eubanks. "Jolene" puts Smith up for Flame Worthy Breakthrough Video Of The Year, and its director, Trey Fanjoy, is up for Flame Worthy Video Director Of The Year. Votes may be cast here through March 21 (you must register as a CMT.com user first, though). Final nominees, four in each category, will be announced March 24, with votes accepted from that date through April 18 to choose the winners. CMT.com also features two awesome new "red hot" Dolly shots on the site to promote the awards -- one on the main page here and one on the Flameworthy news page here. They are also available in the site's Dolly photo gallery available here.
'Home' No. 1 Again With nearly 395,000 units moved last week, Norah Jones' Feels Like Home will remain the No. 1 pop album in the country when next week's charts are released on Thursday, Billboard announced Wednesday. The CD, which features a Dolly duet on "Creepin' In," sold nearly 1.42 million copies in its first two weeks out.
Dolly On CBS? I haven't seen the promos for it, and the network hasn't updated its guest list to reflect the next episode's appearances, but a handful of readers have e-mailed with reports that they have seen on CBS that Dolly is scheduled to be interviewed with Dan Rather on CBS News Sunday Morning this weekend. The show airs in most markets at 9 a.m. Eastern. Thanks!
Honor Gets Press This week's Nashville Business Journal features a story on Dolly's upcoming Reading Works Award honor from NashvilleREAD for her literacy efforts. Dolly will accept the award in Nashville on Monday. Read the story here.
Another Library Town Added And speaking of her literacy program, her national Imagination Library has expanded to Burlington, Iowa, area, The Hawk Eye reported on Wednesday. Read coverage of efforts to bring the program to Henry County here.
Feb. 25: April Parade Time Confirmed Dollywood has announced that Dolly's parade through Pigeon Forge, Tenn., this year to celebrate the season opening of the park will be themed "God & Country" and is to take place at its usual time, 6 p.m. Friday, April 2. The park opens to the public for the 2004 season on April 3, although Dolly's appearances usually are not announced in advance for that day.
Tuesday Releases Don't forget the bevy of Dolly-related material that hit store shelves on Tuesday: Janis Ian's new CD, Billie's Bones, featuring Dolly on "My Tennessee Hills" was released, as well as re-mastered CDs of Emmylou Harris' first five albums: Pieces Of The Sky (1975, with Dolly's "Coat Of Many Colors"), Elite Hotel (1976), Luxury Liner (1977, Dolly harmony on "When I Stop Dreaming"), Quarter Moon In A Ten Cent Town (1978, with Dolly's "To Daddy") and Blue Kentucky Girl (1979, The Trio -- Emmy, Dolly and Linda Ronstadt -- on "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues).
Budget Release In Stores A reader came across a new budget compilation of Dolly's earliest recordings this week at his local Wal-Mart. Titled Makin' Believe, the CD from Canada's Legacy Entertainment contains her two Goldband tracks recorded in 1957 and her six Somerset recordings from around 1963. Thanks, Jason!
Congratulations On The Site, Paul My pal Paul has gotten his new Dolly site, Dolly Parton World, up and running. Visit it here.
Feb. 24: Smith Soaring On Americana Tally Mindy Smith's debut CD, One Moment More, featuring Dolly on "Jolene," continues its trek toward the top of the Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart, jumping five spots to No. 5 this week with 519 spins at reporting stations nationwide, it was announced Monday. The Dolly tribute project Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, itself a former Americana No. 1, slips one notch to No. 13 with 401 spins, down from 445 the previous week, and the tribute Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, which includes a Dolly track, falls three places to No. 19 with 296 spins.
Dolly In The Mags I'm told that a shot of Dolly with tribute album participants Mindy Smith and Allison Moorer appears in the March 2004 issue of Esquire magazine, on newsstands this week. Thanks, Brad!
Hot In Sweden And a reader over in Sweden wanted fans to know that Dolly is doing very well over there. I'm told that her Ultimate Dolly Parton collection is currently at No. 9 on the nation's pop albums chart with no promotion of any kind over there. Thanks, Fillip!
Feb. 23: Jones, Smith Still Doing Well Overseas Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring a Dolly duet, logs a second week at No. 1 on the British pop albums chart, it was announced Sunday, and Down Under in Australia, the CD remains steady at No. 2 pop for a second week. Elsewhere in Europe, Mindy Smith's version of "Jolene" from the tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, continues to be hot. The song jumps a whopping 121 points on the continent's top 200 country singles airplay chart from the European CMA to come in at No. 43 this week. The song gains four notches on the French country airplay chart to reach No. 10. Also, Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns is on the overall airplay chart at No. 93. Shania Twain's "Coat Of Many Colors" and Melissa Etheridge's "I Will Always Love You" both fall out of the top 200 overall. Twain also drops out of the top 20 in Germany, where her cover had been No. 14 last week, and Etheridge drops out of the top 20 country airplay charts in both Spain and Germany, where her song had been No. 2 and No. 19, respectively. Alison Krauss' version of "9 To 5" drops out of the top 20 in Spain, where it was No. 4 last week.
EW Loves 'Creepin' I'm told that the Feb. 27 issue of Entertainment Weekly puts Dolly and Norah Jones' duet of "Creepin' In" from Feels Like Home at No. 8 on the week's "Must List," noting "Leave it to Dolly to spice up Norah's sultry sound on this cool new bluegrass track." Thanks, Jay!
Old Quote Dredged Up Again An innocent comment Dolly made a decade ago which some took to be anti-Semitic is rising from the past again in coverage of a book recently released by Anti-Defamation League Executive Director Abraham H. Foxman, Never Again? The Threat Of The New Anti-Semitism. For readers who may come across mentions of the comment in reviews and stories on the book but not be familiar with the details, I thought it appropriate to provide some insight into what she was quoted as saying and what happened afterward. Read that summary here.
'Our Country' In Arizona I'm told that the film Our Country, which features Dolly, has been added to the Arizona Mills IMAX Theatre in Tempe, Ariz. And of interest to readers in the Phoenix area, I'm also told that a local car dealership, Camelback Toyota, is giving away free passes at its front desk. The film is also playing in several other cities, including Rochester, N.Y.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Houston, Texas. It is scheduled to open next week in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Hampton, Va. Thanks, Mark!
Library Helper Profile The Daily Beacon, the student newspaper at the University of Tennessee, offered a nice profile on Friday of Dolly's Imagination Library program and one of the school's professors who serves on the national committee of education and child development experts which selects the books for Dolly's nationwide literacy program. The program, active in more than 260 communities across 35 states, provides one free book per month from birth to age 5 for every child whose parents sign up in a participating community. Her Dollywood Foundation covers the administrative costs, while local sponsors pay for the book purchase and shipping charges. Read the story here.
Feb. 21: Movin' On Up On CMT Mindy Smith's video for "Jolene" from Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, featuring a Dolly cameo, moves up another two spots to No. 16 in its third week on the CMT Top 20 Video Countdown this week, the network announced on Thursday.
Smith Gets More Press And Smith continues to get coverage for her debut album, One Moment More, which includes Dolly vocals on the "Jolene" cover, with stories about her life and her new relationship with Dolly in both the Knoxville News-Sentinelhere on Friday and Knoxville's Metro Pulsehere on Thursday.
Another Jones Review The Nashville City Paper on Thursday gave a positive review of Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, singling out the duet of "Creepin' In" as being "bolstered by a strong vocal contribution from Dolly." Read the full review here. (The issue also features a shot of a Dolly portrait by artist Katherine which is part of a collection of her 12 paintings of the world's best-loved musical icons on display Tuesday through April 20 at The Trace in Nashville. See it here.)
Feb. 20: U.S. Chart News As was reported here Wednesday night, Norah Jones' Feels Like Home debuts at No. 1 on the Feb. 28 Billboard pop albums chart released Thursday with 1.02 million copies sold in its first week. The album, which features the Dolly duet "Creepin' In," also debuts at No. 1 comprehensive and is No. 1 on the Internet sales chart as well. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly on "Jolene," falls off the pop chart and comprehensive chart after coming in at No. 165 and No. 183, respectively, in its second chart week; the CD loses six places to No. 12 on the independent labels albums chart in its third week and 13 on the Internet sales albums chart to No. 19. The tribute CD Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton slips four points to No. 46 country in its 18th chart week and remains steady at No. 19 on the independent labels albums chart. The tribute album Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, with a Dolly cut, inches up three more spots to No. 44 country in its 12th week. Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down logs a second week at No. 1 country but drops two spots to No. 3 pop, while Toby Keith's Shock'n Y'all remains at No. 2 country in its 15th week and loses four to No. 13 pop.
Slowly Falling On Up North The Dolly tribute CD slips three more places to No. 20 country in its 18th week on the Canadian charts, it was announced Thursday, and Jones' Feels Like Home debuts at No. 1 pop.
Troves Of Emmylou Hitting Stores Rhino Records on Tuesday will release re-mastered CDs of Dolly's Trio pal Emmylou Harris' first five albums, and the Dolly connections abound. Emmy does a wonderful cover of Dolly's "Coat Of Many Colors" on her 1975 debut collection Pieces Of The Sky. Dolly provides harmony for "When I Stop Dreaming" on 1977's Luxury Liner. Her 1978 collection Quarter Moon In A Ten Cent Town features her No. 3 hit version of Dolly's "To Daddy" (which also appeared on last year's Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton). Dolly shows up with the other third of the Trio, Linda Ronstadt, for "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues" from 1979's Blue Kentucky Girl. Also being re-issued is her 1976 album Elite Hotel. Click on each title to order! (Note: Tuesday is also the date that Janis Ian's new CD, Billie's Bones, featuring Dolly on the track "My Tennessee Hills," hits stores. Get your copy here!)
Getting Their Due The Sylvia Herald and Ruralite in North Carolina had a great profile this week on the Voices In The Laurel Youth Choir's December performance opening for Dolly's benefit concerts at Dollywood. Read it here.
Carousel Sells The former Dollywood carousel has finally sold. The 1955 Allen Herschell ride was purchased by Twin Grove Park Campground northeast of Harrisburg, Pa., which paid $40,000 for the carousel in the hope of regaining the amusement park's 1930s glory, according to a story in Preservation Magazine this week. The Delaware River and Bay Authority, which had purchased the piece from the park about eight years ago has had it in storage for a couple of years after removing it from public use at its pier, failed to sell it in an ebay auction last month, but it resulted in great publicity. Read the story on the sale here.
Feb. 19: 'Feels Like' . . . Platinum! Norah Jones' Feels Like Home sold an amazing 1.02 million copies in its first week out and will debut at No. 1 on the Billboard pop albums chart when it is released on Thursday, the magazine announced Wednesday. Perhaps garnering the most attention of all songs on the disc has been her almost-bluegrass duet with Dolly, "Creepin' In." The CD had the biggest opening week of any album in more than two years. Read the full story here.
Feb. 18: Tribute Popular In Europe While the songs from the Dolly tribute Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton aren't getting much airplay stateside, cuts from the CD are becoming very popular overseas, according to European CMA. Although nothing from the album appears on its official European country top 100 chart, three are in the top 200 airplay chart: Shania Twain's "Coat Of Many Colors" (with Dolly and Alison Krauss) at No. 67, Melissa Etheridge's "I Will Always Love You" at No. 84 and Mindy Smith's "Jolene" at No. 164. The individual songs are faring better in various countries. "I Will Always Love You" is No. 2 country in Spain and No. 19 country in Germany this week, where "Coat Of Many Colors" is No. 14. Also in Spain, Alison Krauss' cover of "9 To 5" is No. 4 country for the week, and over in France, "Jolene" is No. 14 country. Thanks, Tony!
Cash Covers On NPR NPR's Fresh Air featured a great interview Monday with Rick Rubin, Johnny Cash's producer for his American recordings. The story focused on his Unearthed boxed set, with cuts from several songs being played. Rubin and host Terry Gross talked at length about the two recordings of Dolly's "I'm A Drifter" which appear on Cash's collection. "Of all the songs when I started looking for Johnny for the first record," Rubin recalled, "that was the very first song I was excited about for him to record." He said that each of the recordings Cash did of the song, including an acoustic take not included on the CDs, were "very good, respectable versions" but never resulted in the exact sound he wanted for the studio albums. He said he felt a strong connection to the song, moved by the "depth and power in the lyrics" by Dolly, but he felt her 1976 original version was too "light" for the lyrics and wanted Cash to capture their seriousness. Excerpts from both of Cash's recordings of the tune from the collection were played. Listen to the full interview here. Thanks, Danny!
Feb. 17: Americana Update The Dolly tribute project Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton slips two more places on the Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart, with the former No. 1 coming in at No. 12 this week, it was announced Monday. It had 445 spins at reporting radio stations nationwide, compared with 469 the previous week. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly on her cover of "Jolene," moves up three spots to No. 10 with 478 spins, and the tribute Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, which includes a Dolly duet, remains steady at No. 16 with 320 spins.
Library Profile The Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D., had a great article Monday profiling the successes of Dolly's Imagination Library in the area. Read it here. The nationwide literacy program of the Dollywood Foundation provides one free book per month from birth to age 5 for any child in a participating community whose parents sign up. It is active in more than 260 communities across 35 states.
Another Jones Review The Tennessean weighed in on Monday about Norah Jones' new CD, Feels Like Home, praising the album and giving it three-and-a-half stars. The reviewer noted the album, while overall a wonderful product, "is light on surprises, save for a natural-sounding duet with Dolly Parton on 'Creepin' In,' but full of songs that reveal their depth, smarts and poignancy over time." Read the full review here.
Down Under Dolly I'm told that Australia's The Nine Network had a special Sunday night celebrating the 25th anniversary of its program Sixty Minutes. Featured on the show were scenes from a 1987 special on Dollywood, where Dolly sang "9 To 5," showed the host her corncob doll and sang "Little Tiny Tasseltop" and performed "Islands In The Stream" with Richard Dennison. Thanks, Sean!
Stampede Event Announced An organizer with "The Showdownhoedown" contacted me on Monday and asked that I announce a new event taking place down in Orlando, Fla., during the annual "Disney Gay Days." The Showdownhoedown, to be held June 5 at Dolly's Orlando Dixie Stampede, is being billed as the first event in the 10-year history of Gay Days where all proceeds benefit the gay community. Profits will go to Orlando's Joy Metropolitan Community Church, the third-largest church in the MCC, a predominantly gay and lesbian Christian denomination. It is also billed as the largest non-alcoholic Gay Days gathering ever. Tickets, which are $75 each, are on sale now through Ticketmaster and will include the pre-show, a special Dixie Stampede performance tailored specifically for this event and a country dance afterward. For more information, or to read a greeting for the event by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, visit their Web site here.
Feb. 16: Smith Falls, But Charts Like Jones Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly on her cover of "Jolene," falls out of the British top 40 independent labels albums chart, it was announced Sunday. The CD had debuted at No. 34 last week. Also on the U.K. chart, Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with the awesome Dolly duet "Creepin' In," debuts at No. 1 pop. Down Under in Australia, it will debut at No. 2 pop on Monday's charts. Stateside, I'm told that the duet on Saturday made the No. 11 spot at music download service Rhapsody for all genres and No. 7 jazz (Thanks, Richard!), and the duet grabbed a spot down in Texas on the Star-Telegram weekly "Fab Five" column Sunday, coming in at No. 2. Critics note that Jones is very mellow, but "Dolly lights a fire under her on this up-tempo, bluegrass-inflected cut . . . and the harmonies work better than you'd think they would." Also on this week's list, among others, are the videogame Nightshade and actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, "Chloe" on the series 24. Take a look here.
'Welcome Home' On GAC The Great American Country (GAC) video network has finally added Dolly's "Welcome Home" from For God And Country to its line-up. The video is scheduled to air in coming days between 6:30-7 p.m. Eastern on Monday and 7-7:30 a.m. and 3:30-4 p.m. on Tuesday. Remember to cast you vote for the video on GAC's weekly countdown here and CMT's MWLhere. Thanks, Bridget!
Let's Hope She Gets The Votes Experts in the film community are currently casting their ballots for the 100 greatest songs in movies, and Dolly has two selections in the 400 tracks being considered. The American Film Institute has included both "9 To 5" from 9 To 5 and "I Will Always Love You" on the preliminary list, although they list the latter as from The Bodyguard (although 10 years earlier it was pivotal in The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and has appeared in several other films since). The list of the top 100 will be unveiled by AFI in a prime-time special on CBS in June. Thanks, Jay!
New Site Launched Reader Andrew Rollason has opened a new Yahoo UK/Ireland club to share rare Dolly tracks that haven't been released on CD. Visit it here. Thanks, Andrew!
Feb. 14: Work At Dollywood The annual job fair for Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country has been announced for Feb. 27-28 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Positions open at Dollywood include food services, merchandise and attractions, while those at the water park include lifeguards, foods and merchandise. Appointments are required by calling (865) HAVE FUN or (865) 428-3386 (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern) after Feb. 15.
Ian Duet Gets Notice It's just Friday, but CMT.com has already posted next Monday's weekly "Hot Talk" column by Edward Morris, which includes some praise for Janis Ian's duet with Dolly, "My Tennessee Hills," on Ian's soon-to-be-released CD Billie's Bones. Morris compares the song to Dolly's "My Tennessee Mountain Home" and plugs the making of the CD preview that has been available on Ian's Web site here for several weeks. Read the brief in his report here.
CMT Celebrates Country Couples In honor of Valentine's Day, CMT.com has a feature on country couples, which briefly notes Dolly's 37-year marriage to the reclusive Carl Dean. Read it here.
Y'all Come To The Great White Way Steel Magnolias, Robert Harling's smash 1987 Off-Broadway play made into a 1989 blockbuster film starring Dolly, is headed to Broadway, it was announced on Friday. Producers Roy Gabay and Robyn Goodman are working on bringing the show to its first showing on New York's revered theatre district this fall. The cast hasn't been decided, but Gabay tells The New York Timeshere that there is no interest in hiring anyone from the movie version. "We want to introduce the play to an audience who only knows it from the movie," he said.
A Great Big Heart The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut will have its annual celebration May 8 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino Ballroom. The Dolly connection: A 16-year-old girl named Erika from Hartford County, Conn., will be one of two honorees at the ceremony. Her wish was to meet Dolly, which she did in December. Read the full story here. At least once or twice a year, Dolly hosts a breakfast at her theme park where she meets with terminally ill children and adults in cooperation with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but she never publicizes the good work.
Feb. 13: Clarification: Dolly Ceremony Invitation-Only The ceremony to present the Reading Works Award to Dolly by the tutoring organization NashvilleREAD next month will not be open to the public as had earlier been reported here Wednesday night, a spokesperson for the organization said on Thursday. Instead, mailed invitations will be required, said NashvilleREADS Director of Development Cindy Breathiest, who contacted the site. "In order to gain admittance into the luncheon you must present your written invitation," she explained. "We have had to implement this due to the fact that we were having to turn away invited guests who donate regularly to NashvilleREAD. I am sorry but unless you received an invitation in the mail or are on the guest list of a corporate sponsor you will not be admitted to the event." She added that the restriction is required due to the limited size of the venue where the celebration will occur. The confusion was due to a statement posted on the front page of the organization's Web site here. Near the top of the page, a description announcing the event and Dolly's award appeared in red letters, including the sentence: "You are invited to the Celebration of Reading on Monday, March 1," a phrase which generally means when posted on a public Web site that anyone who reads it may attend. In this instance, that is not the case. Thanks, Cindy. (Note: Shortly after this phrasing on the organization's Web site was brought to their attention by your Webmaster, they changed it to remove any suggestion that they were offering an open invitation to all who read it.)
Smith Slips, 'God' Gone Again Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly on her cover of "Jolene," drops 22 spots to No. 165 on the Feb. 21 Billboard pop albums chart released Thursday. In its second chart week, the album remains steady at No. 6 on the independent labels albums chart, falls 28 notches on the comprehensive albums chart to No. 183 and debuts at No. 6 on the Internet sales albums chart. The tribute CD Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton falls three points to No. 42 country in its 17th chart week and one spot to No. 19 on the independent labels albums chart. Dolly's For God And Country falls back off the 75-position country albums chart after returning for a fifth week last week at No. 75. Johnny Cash's Unearthed, with its two Dolly covers, falls off the country albums chart after logging 10 weeks; it was No. 67 the previous week. The tribute album Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, with Dolly and Sonya Isaacs performing a duet, inches up six spots to No. 47 country in its 11th week. Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down debuts on both the country and pop charts at No. 1, while Toby Keith's Shock'n Y'all slips to No. 2 country after a 13-week reign at the top of the chart and loses two to No. 9 pop.
Still Hanging On Up North The Dolly tribute CD slips three places to No. 17 country in its 17th week on the Canadian charts, it was announced Thursday.
Smith Moving Up On CMT Mindy Smith's version of "Jolene" from Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton (featuring Dolly in the video but not vocally) moves up two notches to No. 18 in its second week on CMT's Top 20 Countdown, it was announced Thursday.
Rambo Reacts To Nomination Gospel legend Dottie Rambo on Thursday released a statement reacting to her Dove Award nomination for Country Recorded Song Of The Year for her Dolly duet, "Stand By The River." "I couldn't be more excited!" the multiple-Dove winner said. "God deserves all the glory, but I am very honored to be nominated by the GMA and to be nominated with Dolly Parton makes it even more dear to my heart!" In other gospel news, Frances Preston was inducted Wednesday night into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and Dolly sent a pre-recorded message of congratulations played during the ceremony, after which Pat Boone joked, "Now, who was that blonde woman with Frances?" Thanks!
Jones Still All Over The News NPR's All Things Considered this week had an interview with Norah Jones, with whom Dolly performs on her new CD Feels Like Home released this week. The interview doesn't play a sample of the Dolly duet, "Creepin' In," but Jones confesses that she's been listening to a lot of Dolly's recent bluegrass-inspired recordings lately. Take a listen to a streaming audio version of the segment here. Thanks, Danny!
CMT.com's weekly "Nashville Skyline" column by Chet Flippo this week laments Jones' too-brief appearance on last weekend's Grammy Awards, noting that she and Dolly performed together on last year's CMA Awards and that they "sound like soul sisters" on "Creepin' In." Read the column here.
North Carolina's News Observer on Thursday gave its opinion on Jones' CD, noting: "Halfway through, Dolly Parton shows up for a vocal cameo on the bluegrass shuffle 'Creepin' In.' The effect is similar to actress Renee Zellweger's sudden appearance in the movie Cold Mountain -- it gives the proceedings a jolt of energy you didn't even realize was needed." Read the full review here.
Read 'CW' Article Online Country Weekly magazine on Thursday posted an online version of the Dolly interview about For God And Country which appeared in the print edition of the publication three weeks ago. Read it here.
'Flameworthy' Performers Added Rocker-turned-country singer Sheryl Crow and frequent Dolly collaborators Alison Krauss and Union Station have been added to the roster of performers for the CMT 2004 Flameworthy Video Music Awards on April 21 in Nashville, the network announced Thursday. Dolly will host the ceremonies and perform. The only other performer announced thus far is Shania Twain.
Feb. 12: Dolly Wins Another Literacy Honor Dolly will be honored next month by NashvilleREAD in recognition of her Imagination Library, it has been announced. According to the tutoring organization's Web site here, she will be on hand to receive the Reading Works Award at its annual Celebration of Reading on Monday, March 1, at the Stadium Club at Vanderbilt. Dolly's nationwide literacy program started in her home of Sevier County, Tenn., in 1996 and was first offered to other areas in 1999. Since inception, it has distributed more than 1 million books to children and will send out more than 1 million more before the end of this year. The program provides one free book per month to all children in a participating community from birth to age 5 whose parents sign up. It is currently operating in more than 260 communities across 35 states including all of South Dakota, and the governor of Illinois is currently seeking state funding to provide it for every child in his state. Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen's recent proposal to provide $2 million in matching funding to any community in that state wishing to join the program and news of Dolly's award received coverage in Wednesday's Nashville City Paperhere.
Critic Poll: Dolly One Of The Best The alternative weekly Nashville Scene on Thursday will include its fourth annual Country Music Critics Poll, a survey of 90 reviewers and experts from across North America and Europe, and Dolly fares well. She comes in third place for the year's Best Female Vocalist behind friend Patty Loveless in first place. Second place Alison Krauss received just one point more than Dolly in the balloting, and third place Emmylou Harris received two votes fewer than Dolly. Other participants in the recent Dolly tribute project in the top 10 included Shelby Lynne, Allison Moorer, and Rhonda Vincent. Two Dolly projects made the list for Best Albums: Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers at No. 3 and Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton at No. 15. Rodney Crowell's Fate's Right Hand took No. 1 and Patty Loveless' On Your Way Home No. 2. Read more about the survey here. Other winners were:
The Dixie Chicks -- Best Artist, Best Group, Best Live Act
Alan Jackson -- Best Male Vocalist
Jerry Douglas -- Best Musician
Dierks Bentley -- Best New Act (Mindy Smith, who performs "Jolene" with Dolly on her debut album, One Moment More, made it to No. 4)
Johnny Cash, Unearthed (featuring two covers of Dolly's "I'm A Drifter") -- Best Reissue
Johnny Cash, "Hurt" -- Best Single
Rodney Crowell -- Songwriter
Vote For 'Welcome Home' Cable network Great American Country on Wednesday added Dolly's new video for "Welcome Home" from For God And Country to its list of videos eligible for votes in its weekly countdown. Cast your ballot for it (and Dolly's video with The Larkins on "Steady As The Rain") here, and remember to vote for the videos on CMT as well here (click on "Vote For Your Videos").
New 'Creepin' In' Reviews Dolly's duet with Norah Jones, "Creepin' In," on Jones' new CD, Feels Like Home, continues to get rave reviews. The Nashville Scene (here) on Thursday calls the song "a sophisticated take on a mountain stomper" and one of the "most memorable cuts" from the album. And The Boston Globe (here) on Tuesday said the song is the CD's "most delightful track," describing it as "a jaunty bluegrass duet with the great Dolly Parton, who is so playful and ebullient she allows Jones to loosen up."
I Wonder If Any Are Named 'Dolly' The Newport Plain Talk in east Tennessee had an interesting story this week on babies born at the Dolly Parton Birthing Center, which opened at Ft. Sanders Sevier Medical Center in Sevierville, Tenn., five years ago. Read it here.
In Memoriam Shaun McCormick Simpson, 32, a mortician in Salt Lake City, Utah, died Feb. 10. His obituary in the Salt Lake Tribunehere stated that he was a personal friend of Dolly's and the former president of Dolly's fan club. Services are Friday at Cannon Mortuary in Salt Lake City. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family. Thanks, Mark.
Feb. 11: Dolly, Dottie Up For A Dove! Dolly and friend Dottie Rambo will be vying this year for a Dove Award, roughly the Christian music field's equivalent to the Grammys, it was announced when nominations were released on Tuesday. Their duet, "Stand By The River," is nominated for Country Recorded Song Of The Year. It will likely face strong competition from Randy Travis' hit "Three Wooden Crosses." Other nominees are "Closer To Home" and "Love Never Fails" by Connie Smith, Sharon White and Barbara Fairchild; "Family Man" by Andrew Peterson and "Pray for the Fish," another track from Travis' gospel CD. Awards will be handed out in Nashville on April 28.
Jones Rush Continues Norah Jones' release of Feels Like Home on Tuesday continued to have people talking this week. USA Today on Tuesday offered a profile which noted that on "Creepin' In," the song with Dolly, "the country icon's unmistakable soprano and bubbly presence highlight Jones' relative lack of vim and verve. Yet the duet also emphasizes some of Jones' key assets: her good taste in collaborators, her comfort in bridging styles and her eagerness to embrace new challenges." Read it here. And the New York Post (here) said the CD "culminates" with the "terrific duet."
Another Good Cause Dolly is helping another charity. She is among several stars who are decorating firefighter helmets to benefit south California firefighters and D.A.R.E. America, a drug prevention program. Others among the group of 30 celebrities are Sharon Stone, Larry King, Darryl Hannah and Martina McBride. The helmets will be auctioned during the Feb. 26 Heroes and Heroines Gala in at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills honoring 15,000 firefighters who battled massive blazes last fall which charred more than 750,000 acres of land. Click here for more information on the event.
Feb. 10: Americana Album Update The Dolly tribute project Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton slips three more places on the Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart, with the former No. 1 album coming in at No. 10, it was announced Monday. It had 469 spins at reporting radio stations nationwide, compared with 498 the previous week. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly on her version of "Jolene," jumps up 13 spots to No. 13 with 391 spins, and the tribute Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, which includes a Dolly number, inches up one notch to No. 16 with 316 spins.
'Creepin' In' Continues Critical Notice Dolly's contribution to Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, which drops Tuesday, continues to please the critics. In stories Monday, south Florida's Sun Sentinel (here) called the pair's duet "entrancing" and said the cut, "Creepin' In," showed Jones is "a strikingly intuitive country singer." New York Newsday (here) gives the CD an "A-" and says Dolly's "gorgeous harmonies complement [Jones] perfectly" and that Jones' stepping aside at the song's conclusion is gracious, allowing Dolly "to let loose, using her vocal power in a way that Jones would never do." The Houston Chronicle (here) offers a "B+" for the album and says of the song: "The back-porch jam is pure Nashville and offers further proof that Jones may evolve into a showy front woman as well as a dreamy lounge singer." And Rolling Stone (here) terms the song a "credible excursion into country two-step." Order the CD here!
Kudos For Krauss Frequent Dolly back-up singer Alison Krauss' three awards at this weekend's Grammy Awards not only give her the most wins for a country artist, passing Vince Gill by one for a total of 17, she also now holds the most gramophone trophies for any female artist, besting Aretha Frankin's 16 awards, CMT.com reported Monday.
Feb. 9: Grammys: Dolly Loses One, Wins One (Sorta) The late June Carter Cash's "Keep On The Sunny Side" bested Dolly's "I'm Gone" from Halos & Horns for the Best Female Country Vocal Performance Grammy at Sunday's awards show. Dolly, who has earned 41 career nominations and won seven Grammy Awards in the past, also faced Patty Loveless' "On Your Way Home," Martina McBride's "This One's For The Girls" and Shania Twain's "Forever And Always."
The tribute project Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, on which Dolly sings one song, won Best Country Album. Dolly, however, doesn't get credit for the win, since it was honored as "various artists." (Those participating on "various artist" albums only receive credit if the album wins the award show's overall Album Of The Year category. In individual genre categories, only the producer is credited with a win.) The project was nominated alongside Faith Hill's Cry, Lyle Lovett's My Baby Don't Tolerate, Willie Nelson and Ray Price's Run That By Me One More Time, Nelson's Live And Kickin' and Twain's Up.
Although the awards had previously announced that both the male and female country awards would be handed out on air, only the female was presented live. On the male side, Vince Gill took home his 16th career Grammy with a win for "Next Big Thing," and Ricky Skaggs won his ninth Grammy when he picked up Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal with his band, Kentucky Thunder, for "A Simple Life." Other winners in country-related categories were:
Best Country Collaboration With Vocals -- James Taylor and Alison Krauss
"How's The World Treating You"
Best Country Instrumental Performance -- Alison Krauss and Union Station, "Cluck Old Hen"
Best Country Song, Jim "Moose" Brown and Don Rollins, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere"
Best Bluegrass Album -- Alison Krauss and Union Station, Live
Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album -- Randy Travis, Rise And Shine
Best Traditional Folk Album -- June Carter Cash, Wildwood Flower
Best Contemporary Folk Album -- Warren Zevon, The Wind Country winners in non-country categories included Johnny Cash's "Hurt" for Best Short Form Music Video (his 12th win) and Tony Bennett and k.d. lang for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album with A Wonderful World.
Also of note, rockers The White Stripes, whose male-vocal cover version of Dolly's "Jolene" is regarded as the highlight of their live shows, won Best Rock Song for "Seven Nation Army" and Best Alternative Music Album for Elephant.
Dolly's Standing Unchanged Alison Krauss' honors on Sunday propel her past Vince Gill for the most Grammy wins ever for a country artist with 17. (Some would say she has 20, but three of those are for various artist projects where the individual artists are not officially credited with the award.) Of course, she retains her place as the most wins for a female country artist as well. Trio pals Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt remain second and third place country women with 11 and 10 wins, respectively (three of Ronstadt's trophies are for country categories). Dolly remains in fourth place tied with The Dixie Chicks with seven. Rounding out the top are fifth-place Naomi Judd with six awards; sixth-place Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Shania Twain, Wynonna Judd and June Carter Cash with five each; and seventh-place group Faith Hill, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John and k.d. lang with four each (two of lang's awards and one of Newton-John's are in country categories).
Smith On U.K. Chart While it didn't sell enough to make the top 40 pop charts, Mindy Smith's debut album One Moment More, featuring new Dolly vocals on the "Jolene" cover, debuts this week at No. 34 on the British independent label albums chart, it was announced on Sunday.
Another Jones Review The Los Angeles Times this week gave Norah Jones' Tuesday release, Feels Like Home, three-and-a-half stars, noting that "Creepin' In," her duet with Dolly, "sparkles." Read the full review reprinted in the The Wichita Eaglehere.
Another Fan Queer Eye For The Straight Guy fashion queen Carson Kressley is a Dolly fan, he tells New York Newsday. In an interview on Sunday, he notes that currently in his CD player are works by Dolly, Kylie Minogue and Ben Jelen. "Music is a huge inspiration and a motivation. The coolest thing about fashion shows sometimes is that even when the clothes aren't that good, the music is always amazing. I love so many different kinds of music," he tells the paper. Read his interview here.
Porter Talks Dolly I'm told that former Dolly duet partner Porter Wagoner appeared this week on a local Nashville show titled Words And Music and mentioned that Dolly made a recent visit to his home to listen to his latest recordings and told him that he was singing better than he ever did when they were together and that he was singing his "way to heaven." Thanks!
Feb. 7: Dolly's Category To Air Brad Schmidt of The Tennessean noted in his column here Friday that for the first time in many years, two country categories are currently scheduled to be announced on the air at Sunday's Grammy Awards: Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Male Country Vocal Performance. Dolly, with her 41st career nomination, is up for the female trophy for the single "I'm Gone" from Halos & Horns. The seven-time previous winner faces competition from June Carter Cash's "Keep On The Sunny Side," Patty Loveless' "On Your Way Home," Martina McBride's "This One's For The Girls" and Shania Twain's "Forever And Always." Awards will be handed out in Los Angeles Sunday with a live telecast on CBS beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern.
'Home' Getting Even More Press Norah Jones' CD Feels Like Home, featuring the Dolly duet "Creepin' In," continues to dominate music coverage worldwide as its Tuesday release draws near. Britain's The Guardian on Friday slammed the disc, giving it one star out of five but still offering praise for Dolly, who sings a duet on "Creepin' In." Reviewer Alexis Petridis criticized the amount of country influence on the album's arrangement, the lack of a stand-out melody in its songwriting and opining "Her voice has a husky intimacy, but it is oddly inexpressive, something she might have considered before calling upon Dolly Parton's services." He says Dolly's greater skill as a singer makes it sound "as if she has Jones pinned to the wall of the studio with the sheer power of her voice " Read the full review here.
The New Zealand Herald, on the other hand, gives it five out of five stars in Saturday's paper, calling it "a stronger, more musically engaging album than that arresting debut" and singling out "Creepin' In" as sounding like it written specifically for Dolly and the two's voices merging "like they were separated at birth." Read it here.
An interview in Australia's Courier Mail, writer calls the track a "standout country romp," and Jones notes: "Lee (Alexander) and I had been listening to a lot of Dolly's bluegrass albums, which is why the whole album has a lot of country influences," adding that she and Dolly developed a strong relationship after their duet on last year's CMA Awards. "She was so nice to us and insisted on taking us out for dinner," she recounted in what the interviewer termed her only outburst of "genuine enthusiasm" during their talk. Read the story here.
The Miami Herald on Friday called the duet "rousing" and one of the CD's highlights here.
And the Minneapolis Star Tribune praised the disc but criticized the coupling of Dolly and Jones as sounding "forced, pairing a no-fuss, low-volume introvert with a glamtastic, high-pitched super-extrovert." Read that review here.
Hear Janis And Dolly Janis Ian's Web site unveiled the final installment Friday of its six-week online preview of her new album, Billie's Bones, which features Dolly vocals on the track "My Tennessee Hills." Among items in the final week are the project's cover art, rejected photos for the album, rough cuts of several songs (including the cut with Dolly), final mixes of several songs (again, including Dolly's) and more. Visitors may also click on a link for the site's store to buy the album now. It will be released to other stores on Feb. 24. In other Ian news, the Dolly-related items up for auction to benefit Ian's education charity ended early Friday morning, raising more than $600. The biggest-ticket item was Ian's vocal chart used in the recording session and autographed by both singers going for more than $200. Dolly's vocal chart from the session autographed by her was next at more than $150. Visit her site here for more.
Feb. 6: Smith Debuts, 'God' Returns Mindy Smith's debut CD, One Moment More, featuring new Dolly vocals on her version of "Jolene," makes a fair showing on the Feb. 14 Billboard charts released Thursday. The album debuts at No. 6 on the independent labels albums chart, No. 143 pop and No. 155 comprehensive. Oddly, it apparently was not categorized as a country recording, as it does not appear on the country albums chart. Had it been added to the country tally, however, the disc would have debuted at No. 18. The tribute CD Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, which features the same song (but without Dolly), falls two points to No. 39 country in its 16th chart week and five spots to No. 18 on the independent labels albums chart. Ultimate Dolly Parton falls of the 75-position country chart after logging its 27th week at No. 74, but Dolly's patriotic and spiritual collection, For God And Country, re-enters the tally at No. 75 to get a fifth week after a nearly two-month absence from the chart. Johnny Cash's boxed set, Unearthed, featuring two versions of a Dolly cover, loses 22 places on the country chart to No. 67 in its 10th chart week. The tribute album Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, featuring Dolly on "The Angels Rejoiced," inches up two spots to No. 53 country in its 10th week. Toby Keith's Shock'n Y'all, remains at No. 1 country for its 13th week and loses one to No. 7 pop, while Alan Jackson's Greatest Hits Volume 2 remains at No. 2 country in its 25th chart week and No. 39 pop.
And In Our Neighboring Nation The Dolly tribute CD slips one place to No. 14 country in its 16th week on the Canadian charts, it was announced Thursday.
'Jolene' On The Chart And I missed the airing but am told that Mindy Smith's video for "Jolene" from Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, which features Dolly appearing but not singing, debuted on the CMT Top 20 Video Countdown on Thursday, coming in at No. 20. Thanks, Jaclyn!
Jones-ing Some Press In advance of her new CD, Feels Like Home, hitting the streets on Tuesday, Norah Jones is getting a lot of publicity. A review of the disc in the Dallas Observer on Thursday (here) says: "Going out on a limb here: This is gonna be huge."
In an interview with CNN, the singer discusses her duet with Dolly on the CD, "Creepin' In," explaining: "I've idolized her my whole life. She's one of the best musicians around, and I sang with her at the Country Music Awards. And it was so fun and she was so sweet to me, and I fell in love with her. She was going to be in New York when we were recording, so we asked her to come in and sing on this song -- this country song that we weren't sure should go on the record. But we just thought if Dolly wants to come in and sing on it, it will be fun anyway ... and it was." Read the story here.
Canada's National Post offered a piece on Thursday questioning whether Dolly's appearance was just a publicity-seeking gimmick, but the critic decided: "What it boils down to, even if it doesn't fit the rest of the set, is a great song getting the full treatment." Read the review here.
And the Dallas Morning Newshere featured an interview Thursday in which Jones said she feared the track might "jump out and scare people who were having a mellow moment," but decided to include it, "because I wanted some variety. I didn't want to make a record that only had one slow mood. I didn't want to make the same record again."
Grammy Talk The Tennessean weighed in on the Grammy contest Thursday, with critic Peter Cooper and columnist Brad Schmidt offering their opinion on the category in which Dolly is nominated, Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Schmidt predicts Patty Loveless will get a win, calling it perhaps the best female country song of the decade. Cooper agrees that it is a very good performance but notes that Grammy voters often go instead for the biggest name in a category over the best artistic recording, adding, "No one has bigger, uh, names than Dolly Parton." Read the column here.
Defending Dolly Gospel queen Dottie Rambo appeared on Chicago's TLN Live this week, I'm told, in which the video for her Dolly duet, "Stand By The River," was played. One caller to the show suggested that Dolly and other country performers don't live as righteous lives as gospel singers do, to which Rambo replied that the people with whom she has worked over the years, including Elvis Presley, Dolly and Barbara Mandrell, live better lives than many she knows in gospel music and that she loves all of these good people dearly. The host also called her "Dolly" by mistake, to which she replied was a great compliment. Click here to find stations in your area which carry TLN's programs. Thanks!
Send A Note Of Thanks Dolly fans Michelle and Rachael have come up with an idea to thank Dolly. They will be collecting e-mails from fellow fans at email@example.com to send to their favorite diva. "We have decided that since Dolly is always giving us gifts everyday with her great talents, and beautiful personality, we are giving you the opportunity to give Dolly a great gift in return," they explained. They ask that fans send in brief notes of appreciation to the e-mail address to be "as unique and thoughtful" as possible, but remain brief and do not include your phone number or mailing address. If all goes well, they plan to collect and send the messages with a thank you card signed "all of your adoring fans" every six months. They also operate a Yahoo group dedicated to the project here. Thanks!
Ian Reminder Remember, you may begin ordering Janis Ian's new CD, Billie's Bones, featuring Dolly on the cut "My Tennessee Hills," on Friday from her Web site here, when the final installment of the six-week preview of the disc begins (and if you haven't checked it out, click on "Stage 5" of the preview for all of the Dolly-related items). The album hits other stores on Feb. 24. And if you're reading this update on Thursday evening, you have just a few more hours to bid on the Dolly items from the recording session up for auction on ebay for charity. They are: copies of the lyric drafts autographed by Janis here, handwritten lyrics to the song autographed by both Janis and Dolly here, Dolly's vocal chart from the recording session autographed by her here, Janis' vocal chart for the recording autographed by both here, a photo of the two together autographed by both here and a color prototype of the CD booklet autographed by Janis here. The auctions end at about 1:30 a.m. Eastern on Friday!
Feb. 5: 'Welcome Home' Debuts Dolly's video for "Welcome Home," the first single off of For God And Country, was added Wednesday to CMT's playlist. Dolly appears at a Navy pier in the red white and blue dress from the album's cover while families welcome home their sons and daughters, and she appears in her camouflage outfit on stage singing for soldiers. Although the network no longer makes public a schedule showing when specific videos will air, you may view the full-length streaming video on its Web site here (scroll down to "videos"). You may also vote for it on MWLhere (click on "Vote For Your Videos").
Debbie Talks Of Dollywood Debbie Reynolds' Hollywood memorabilia museum isn't just in the works to possibly locate in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., she told the Los Angeles Newspaper Group this week, but is in fact in negotiations to become part of Dollywood itself. "We're now making a deal with Dollywood, and it looks like it's going to have to go down there," she said. "I can't seem to make it happen here in Hollywood, as hard as I've tried, and I'm finally going to have to give up and go where the people are. And the people are there." Reynolds has tried for years to open her museum in Los Angeles without success. Read the full story here.
Grammy Predictions CMT.com critics also offered their Grammy picks on Wednesday, with no one choosing Dolly to win in Sunday's awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "I'm Gone." Two said Shania Twain will likely win, while the other two said the late June Carter Cash will take home the trophy. Three said they believed Patty Loveless' "On Your Way Home" was the best cut nominated but is unlikely to win. Read their full list here.
Crisler Review Aaron Crisler, who duets with Dolly on her "High And Mighty," has a review of the CD on the site So Gospel Newshere, which calls the track from his debut album In Good Hands "energetic." The site also has a feature article on the album and Dolly's participation here. Thanks, Aaron!
Library News Union County is trying to become the second location in Kentucky to take on Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, according to a story in the Union County Advocate on Wednesday. Read it here.
Feb. 3: Tenn. Gov. Plans Library Movement Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen on Monday announced $2 million in his budget for the new fiscal year for Dolly's Imagination Library, according to coverage of his State Of The State Address Monday night on The Chattanoogan. The Democrat won election to the state's highest office in 2002 due in part to his pledge to use a partnership of public and private monies to take Dolly's literacy program statewide, but budget shortfalls since taking office in 2003 had prevented that from becoming a reality. Dolly has said frequently over the past year that she planned to keep the pressure on Bredesen to fulfill his campaign promise, joking recently that she helped him get elected and if he fails on his word, she'll make sure to "make him look bad in the next election. He won't get elected again!" The purpose of the newly announced funding, if approved by the Legislature, would be to provide matching funds to spur private fundraising initiatives to support the program. In his speech, the governor said: "I'm also asking for seed money to expand the Imagination Library. This is the innovative program started by our own Dolly Parton to place books … one book a month … in the hands of children from birth until they begin school. Books in the home are one of the sign posts of a child who will do well in school. And perhaps the greatest contribution we can make to a child is to help that child develop a true, lifelong love for reading." The program provides one free book per month from birth to age 5 for every child whose parents sign up in a participating community. It is currently active in more than 260 communities across 35 states, with all United Way chapters in South Dakota funding statewide participation there and the governor of Illinois currently lobbying his legislators to approve funding to use state monies to make it available to all 1 million children in his state. The Dollywood Foundation handles the administration of the program, including the ordering and mailing of books, while local sponsors pay approximately $30 per child annually to cover the costs of book purchases and shipping. Read the full story here.
Americana Chart Update The tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton falls two places this week on the Americana Music Association's chart to No. 7, it was announced Monday. The CD had 498 spins at reporting radio stations, compared to 542 the previous week. Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, featuring a Dolly duet, slips two to No. 17 with 325 spins. And Mindy Smith's One Moment More, released last week with the new Dolly vocals added to her cover of "Jolene," jumps 10 spaces to No. 26 with 261 spins. (And The Tennessean featured a positive review of the disc on Monday here.)
New Releases Lauded Previewing upcoming releases, the Colorado Springs Gazette on Monday gave Norah Jones' Feb. 10 disc Feels Like Home an "A-," calling her duet with Dolly on "Creepin' In" "delightful." The same article gave Janis Ian's Feb. 24 CD Billie's Bones a "B+," singling out three cuts as "worthies," including her piece with Dolly, "My Tennessee Hills." Read the full list here.
Jones Gets Press Jones also got a great profile in USA Today this week available here, and I'm told that BBC Radio 2's Terry Wogan played her Dolly duet on the air Monday, liking it so much that he immediately played the first two verses again and proclaimed: "You can bet we'll be playing that one again and again!" Thanks, Brian!
Another Review And the site Pop Matters weighed in on the Dolly tribute over the weekend, saying of Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton: "The extent of Parton's often underrated influence as a songwriter and vocalist is illuminated best by the more idiosyncratic, least country-ish renditions featured here." The reviewer gushes over the treatment of most songs, particularly liking Sinéad O'Connor's version of "Dagger Through The Heart." But the lack of risks taken on most performances and unevenness of the total package left the reviewer to say it was a bit of a let-down. Read the full review here.
Feb. 2: Dottie At Convention Gospel legend Dottie Rambo, with whom Dolly scored her first gospel No. 1 on the duet "Stand By The River," will be a special guest at the 2004 Dolly Collectors Convention, organizers announced on Saturday. Rambo will sign autographs and meet with fans from 9:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. during the event, which runs from 9 p.m. until midnight at the Smoky Shadows Hotel Convention Center on Friday, April 2. Visit their site here for more information or call 1-888-780-9208. Thanks!
Another Glowing Review Vancouver, Canada's North Shore News offered a raving review of the tribute project Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton on Saturday, giving the CD seven out of 10 stars. Reviewer John Goodman notes: "Parton has always had a fabulous sense of the dynamic spectrum of country music with her tunes ranging from the raw roots of Appalachia on through to the pop craft of Nashville. The new record album helps to set the record straight." Read the full review here.
More On Mindy The Tennessean on Saturday encouraged readers to go hear Mindy Smith based on Dolly's endorsement of the young singer, on whose debut album One Moment More she provides harmony for her cover of "Jolene." The newspaper noted: "When Dolly Parton says you're good, chances are you're good. And Dolly says Mindy Smith is good." Read the story here.
Dolly On CMT Look for Dolly in the CMT Grammy Nominee Report, premiering at 7 p.m. Wednesday with repeats throughout the week. Her "I'm Gone" is up against songs by Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Patty Loveless and the late June Carter Cash for Best Female Country Vocal Performance at the awards, which will be held next Sunday in Los Angeles. Dolly has amassed 41 career nominations and won seven Grammy trophies.