www.dollymania.net                News                          February 2005

Feb. 28:
See Dolly Get Award Tuesday In Nashville
You'd think giving an award to Dolly and featuring a special performance by Martina McBride would sell out a joint, but there are still a few tickets left for the Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame ceremony and dinner Tuesday to kick-off this week's Country Radio Seminar at the Nashville Convention Center, organizers say. As was previously reported, the celebration will include the presentation of the Country Radio Broadcasters Artist Career Achievement Award to Dolly and a special tribute performance in her honor by RCA superstar McBride and newcomer Catherine Britt. The $75 tickets for the ceremony are no longer being sold online or by phone, but the few that are still available will be offered on a first-come basis in person at the registration desk in the convention center starting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday for the 6:15 p.m. event.

Stewart Back Off British Tally
Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, with Dolly on "Baby It's Cold Outside," falls back out of the 75-position U.K. pop albums chart, down from its previous week's standing at No. 72 in its 17th chart week, it was announced Sunday. Down Under in Australia, the CD drops two spots to No. 20 pop in its 18th week, and The Great American Songbook Collection, an Australian-only release of all three CDs in the album series of standards, loses two places to No. 16 in its second week on the Australian pop albums chart.

One Character's Dolly Fantasy
London's The Guardian included a Dolly-centered tale in its "short short story" series on Saturday, featuring Dave Eggers' brief narrative about a man's infatuation with her. However, it appears to have been written a couple of years ago because it focuses on her having just turned 57, and she's now 59. Read it here.

Dolly In 'CW' Collectors' Publication
My attention was drawn over the weekend by a reader to a recent publication from the editors of Country Weekly which includes Dolly. The "TV Guide-sized" magazine, titled Legends Of Country Music: Stars Of Today, Yesterday And Tomorrow, features a three-page, three-photo story on Dolly in addition to a shot of her (and several others, including Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Loretta Lynn and Faith Hill) on its cover. If you don't find a copy in a store near you, I'm told they are available for $4.95 (including shipping and handling) from NFW Fulfillment, P.O. Box 6460, Jacksonville, FL 32236-6460. Thanks, Solomon!

Comparing And Contrasting Dolly, Willie, Lee Ann, Others
The return of Lee Ann Womack to traditional country with her retro-release There's More Where That Came From after a dalliance with pop led Dallas Morning News reviewer Mario Tarradell to compare her experience with that of several other country artists, including Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Dolly and more. He praises Dolly's first pop effort, Here You Come Again, and her 1989 return to country with White Limozeen but slams her 1988 pop album Rainbow. Read the full article (and some sidebars on the specific CDs mentioned) from North Carolina TV station WCNC here.

Feb. 26:
Dolly And Sandra On The Screen
Dolly has a cameo in the upcoming film Miss Congeniality 2: Armed And Fabulous, it has been confirmed. Rumors of Dolly's participation in a minor role had been reported here six months ago, but it was noted that they could not be confirmed at the time (although it was confirmed in the partial cast list then available that the Sandra Bullock sequel included at least one Dolly female impersonator). This week, Warner Brothers released the complete cast list for the movie, which opens nationwide March 24, confirming that, indeed, Dolly appears as herself. Since her name is near the end of the credits, her screen time would be very limited.

'Bluegrass Unlimited' Loves Dolly Duet
Randy Kohrs' current CD, I'm Torn, gets a great review in the new issue of Bluegrass Unlimited, with the reviewer calling it "an excellent collection" and singling out the disc's duet with Dolly on "It Looked Good On Paper" as one of its two best tracks. He notes that the song "hearkens back to some of the great vocal pairings in country music." The reviewer's only complaint about the song is that the fiddle and viola instrumentation was a bit much for "a song whose raw emotion, both in writing and singing, are more than enough to make this a powerfully effective performance." Read the full review here.

And Speaking Of Films
An upcoming 90-minute "docu-drama" about the life of Christ by North Carolina filmmaker Earl Owensby apparently includes some Dolly. According to a story in Friday's Charlotte Observer, the film, which will use the director's collection of Christian artwork rather than live actors to represent the life of Jesus, has "got music by Dolly Parton." Read the story here.

How About Some Dolly With Your Food
Dolly now has her own entry in restaurant chain Cracker Barrel's series of music CDs. The disc, part of the American Music Legends series and just released on BMG Special Products with the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Music Catalogue imprint, contains "9 To 5," "Jolene," "But You Know I Love You," "Coat Of Many Colors," "Two Doors Down," "The Right Combination" with Porter Wagoner, "I Will Always Love You," "Here You Come Again," "Heartbreaker" and "Wings Of A Dove." It is available at Cracker Barrel restaurants. It is not yet available on the store's Web site. Thanks, Solomon!

Library News
Three more Tennessee counties are gearing up to adopt Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. The Elizabethon Star reported this week that Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.) will on March 4 formally announce the program's kick-off in Carter, Washington and Unicoi Counties. The Carter County kick-off celebration will take place that day at the Storytelling Center in Jonesboro, Tenn. Read the story here.

Feb. 25:
Grascals Disc Still Doing Well
The Grascals' debut CD, The Grascals, is still enjoying good sales, dipping three points to No. 6 on the bluegrass albums charts in its second week, according to the March 5 Billboard tallies released Thursday. The CD's first single, a bluegrass cover of "Viva Las Vegas" with Dolly, gets a ninth week on the country singles sales chart slipping one place to No. 9. Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, and its hit with Dolly, "Baby It's Cold Outside," inches down one to No. 50 pop and comprehensive in its 18th week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with Dolly on "Creepin' In," finds a major post-Grammy boost taking it up a whopping 22 spots to No. 50 pop and comprehensive in its 54th chart week. Kenny Rogers' 42 Ultimate Hits, with "Islands In The Stream," drops a dozen digits to No. 67 country in its 38th chart week. Kenny Chesney's Be As You Are moves back up one to No. 1 country but falls eight places to No. 16 pop in its fourth week while Gretchen Wilson's Here For The Party enjoys a post-Grammy rise of three spaces to No. 2 country and three points to No. 23 pop in its 41st chart week.

Gone In Canada
After eight weeks on the Canadian country albums chart, Dolly's Platinum And Gold Collection falls out of the top 50, down from No. 43 the previous week, it was announced Thursday. Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III tumbles five spots to No. 32 in its 18th week on the Canadian pop albums chart, but Jones' Feels Like Home jumps a huge 29 points to No. 46 pop in its 55th week.

Ross The Intern Meets Dolly
Dolly made an appearance Wednesday on the syndicated entertainment news program Extra. Ross the Intern of The Tonight Show fame is featured in a segment called "You Boss Ross" in which he works for the day for a different celebrity, and when Dolly stopped by to film an upcoming episode of Reba earlier this month, it was her turn. The ultra-excited and flamboyant Ross called meeting Dolly "a dream come true," and when he asked if there was anything he could do for Dolly or Reba, Dolly joked: "You can do my hair. I'll leave it in your trailer!" Thanks, Chad and Lynette!

Another TV Mention
I'm told Dolly also got a mention on Thursday's Live With Regis And Kelly. Regis explained that his former producer first came up with the idea of the "red carpet interview" in the 1970s, and photos were shown of him talking with Robert Duval, Richard Pryor and Dolly. He also mentioned that she did a movie with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, and Kelly reminded him of its title, 9 To 5. Thanks, Bridget!

More Grascals Coverage
The Grascals continue to get some great coverage this week, with a profile in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch in advance of their performance at a festival there this weekend. Read it here.

Sisters Love Dolly
I've seen this mentioned several times in reviews of this band's performances, but I don't believe I've noted it on the site before, so I thought I'd let fans know that if you take in the campy Scissor Sisters concert, you get to hear some disco Dolly. The band, which contains many serious Dolly fans, enters the stage to a recording of Dolly's late '70s dance club hit "Baby I'm Burning," and in interviews, band members have expressed a strong desire to cut a song with Dolly herself and lead singer Jake Shears has referred to Dolly as "a saint." Read a review of a recent show from the Sydney Star Observer down in Australia here.

Feb. 24:
Dollywood Announces Performers
Although the list was released to season passholders in a brochure a couple of weeks ago, Dollywood's Web site on Wednesday posted the line-up of non-gospel artists for its new National Music and Harvest Celebration this fall. A total of 18 country, bluegrass and Americana acts will perform at the park between Sept. 23 and Oct. 29, including Hal Ketchum, Pam Tillis and Rhonda Vincent, who kicks off the festival on its opening day (soon followed by Dolly's Sept. 24 and 25 benefit concerts). Read the full list here. The park had previously posted the list of the gospel groups who will also participate in the festivities. A total of 21 Southern gospel acts will perform during the same period, including the Chuck Wagon Gang, the Fairfield Four and the Crabb Family. Read the full list of those artists here. The park kicks off its 2005 season with its annual Festival of Nations starting with the season passholders' preview on March 25 before being open to the public March 26, 28, 30 and 31 and April 1. Dolly's annual parade through Pigeon Forge will be at 6 p.m. Friday, April 1, and she is expected to make appearances around the park during its official "season opening" celebration on Saturday, April 2.

A Treehouse Invasion?
And speaking of Dollywood, could small treehouses be coming? Well, a press release issued on Wednesday from Blanchard Wood Sculpture says that officials there are considering adding its tiny village of miniature treehouses to the park grounds. Read the release here.

More Library Stories Make The Rounds
Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program continued to get great coverage on Wednesday of this week, with several press mentions. In a story profiling a new Miami, Fla., program providing newborns with books on tolerance, the reporter mentions that nearby Miami Lakes recently became the first community in the state to sign up for Dolly's separate program. Read it in The Miami Herald here. The Chattanoogan announced that Marion County, Tenn., on Feb. 28 will host its official kick-off of the program. Read that article here. And Savannah, Ga., television station WTOC profiled the program in the nearby South Carolina "low country" here. The library, a project of the Dollywood Foundation, provides one free book per month from birth to age 5 to all children in a participating community whose parents sign up. It's currently active in about 400 communities across 39 states.

Feb. 23:
Library Kudos
Dolly's Imagination Library has been getting some good coverage this week. Savanna, Ga., TV station WSAV profiled the literacy program's efforts in nearby Hilton Head, S.C., in a story available online here. And on Tuesday, Springfield, Mo., paper The Springfield News-Leader offered a column by children's author David Harrison endorsing bringing the program there (it currently is operated in several counties in the state). Read his plea for the program here.

'Grand' Grascals Performance
The Grascals on Tuesday added April 23's Grand Ole Opry to the band's concert schedule, indicating they plan to return to the Opry for Dolly's performance that night. As you will recall, she was scheduled to host the show earlier this month and introduce and perform with the band, which opened her fall concert tour and includes a duet with her on their debut CD, but the flu forced her to cancel. Now, the band apparently will join her for the re-scheduled performance. Tickets are still available here.

Kohrs Finding Success
I'm told the March Bluegrass Unlimited bluegrass charts will find former Bluenique Randy Kohrs' recent CD, I'm Torn, entering the top 10 albums chart at No. 10 for March, up from No. 12, while the set's title song gains five spots to No. 18. Dolly guests on her former bandmember's album performing a duet on the song "It Looked Good On Paper" available here. Thanks!

Feb. 22:
Dolly Reportedly Visits Stampede
Although it's not independently confirmed, a couple of readers tell me some members of their church group were at Dolly's Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., over the weekend and that Dolly herself made a brief, unannounced appearance there Friday night to talk about the equestrian-themed dinner theatre and Dollywood. Thanks, Karen and Everett!

Survey: '9 To 5' Boss Like A Lot Of Real Ones
In celebration of next weekend's Academy Awards, employment site CareerBuilder this week unveiled the results of a movie-themed survey of workers, which included a question of what movie character most resembled their boss. The fifth most popular answer: Dolly, Lily and Jane's "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" employer Franklin Hart from 9 To 5. The rest of the top five were Coach Norman Hale from Hoosiers, Bill Lumberg from Office Space, Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars and most popular answer Andrew Shepard from The American President. Others in the top 10 included Dr. Evil and Cruella De Vil -- would hate to work there. Whom do workers most want their bosses to be like? Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather. Read the press release announcing the survey here.

Feb. 21:
Dolly Gets German No. 1
Dolly's got another overseas hit, with her cover of "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" with Roy Rivers taking the top spot on the German country singles airplay chart released last week, German site Country Music News reports. Released on his own label in the U.S. last year, Rivers' CD featuring the duet, Thank God I'm A Country Boy (available from his Web site here), was issued in Europe on AGR/Universal about a month ago and he toured the continent for a couple of weeks, including a performance on the German equivalent of the CMAs, to promote it. Thanks!

More From Overseas
Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, featuring its Dolly duet "Baby It's Cold Outside," moves up three spots to No. 72 in its 17th week on the U.K. pop albums chart, it was announced Sunday. Down Under in Australia, the CD loses three places to No. 18 pop in its 17th week, and The Great American Songbook Collection, an Australian-only release of all three CDs in Stewart's series of standards issued this month to coincide with his tour Down Under, debuts at No. 14 on the Australian pop albums chart.

Dolly On CMT
CMT premiered its new two-hour Americana/bluegrass/alt-country show Wide Open Country Sunday with two Dolly appearances, one in her video for "Shine" and one in Mindy Smith's video for her cover of "Jolene."

On Newsstands
Although there's not an online version of the story available on its Web site, the issue of OUT magazine featuring a two-page article on Dolly fans and frequent Dollymania contributors Harrell and Patric is on newsstands now -- complete with several shots of their massive Dolly collection in their home outside of Dallas.

TV Watch
Just in time for the first-ever DVD release of Rhinestone on March 8, A&E will next month premiere a new Biography on Dolly's co-star in the movie, Sylvester Stallone, which will include segments from an interview with Dolly herself. The two-hour episode premieres at 10 p.m. Eastern March 2 with repeats March 3 and 6 and will also include interviews with President Bill Clinton, Elton John, Bruce Willis, Kevin Costner, John Travolta, Sharon Stone, James Caan, Julianne Moore, Melanie Griffith and more.

More Good Grascals News
The Grascals' debut CD gets another positive review in Sunday's The Day in New London, Conn., with the reviewer singling out their duet with Dolly on "Viva Las Vegas," noting: "her taut, tiny vocals and their arrangement swing with as much energy as the original performer's hips." Read the review here, and get their self-titled album here.

Feb. 19:
Opry Tickets Going Fast
Tickets sales appear to still be brisk for Dolly's re-scheduled hosting gig at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on April 23. The floor for the 6:30 p.m. performance is sold out except for a few single-seat tickets, and the first balcony (mezzanine) is about 90 percent sold out, but there are plenty of tickets left for the upper balcony. The floor appears to be between two-thirds and three-quarters sold out for the 9:30 p.m. portion of the show. Dolly was forced to cancel her appearance on the country music institution earlier this month due to the flu. Get tickets here!

Good News For Dolly's Guys
The Grascals get another stunning review for their debut CD in Friday's Lexington Herald-Leader. The reviewer says they're "a band to be reckoned with" and gives the disc three stars. The group opened Dolly's fall concert tour, constituted the core of her stage band and play on her upcoming Blue Smoke album expected out later this year. She sings "Viva Las Vegas" on their debut release available here. Read the full review here.

Another Tenn. Community For The Library
Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program gets a profile in The Expositor in Sparta, Tenn., this week, with White County officials working to bring the project to their home. Read it here.

More 'Reba' Pics
Chris over at fan site Dolly On-Line on Friday posted some great, exclusive shots of Dolly meeting the cast and crew of Reba from her guest appearance on that show taped earlier this week. View them here.

Feb. 18:
Grascals Get Big Bluegrass Debut
The Grascals' CD, The Grascals, debuts at No. 3 on the bluegrass albums charts, although it didn't sell enough copies in its first week to register on the top 75 country albums chart, according to the Feb. 26 Billboard numbers released Thursday. The CD's first single, the cover of "Viva Las Vegas" with Dolly, re-enters the country singles sales chart at No. 8 for an eighth week. Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, with its Dolly duet "Baby It's Cold Outside," rebounds 18 places after its Grammy win for Best Traditional Pop Album to No. 49 pop and comprehensive in its 17th week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring Dolly on "Creepin' In," gains six spots to No. 72 pop and 10 spaces to No. 72 comprehensive in its 53rd chart week. Kenny Rogers' 42 Ultimate Hits, with "Islands In The Stream," falls six notches to No. 55 country in its 37th chart week. The compilation CD Totally Country Vol. 4 debuts at No. 1 country and No. 5 pop with 98,000 copies sold in its first week, while Kenny Chesney's Be As You Are slides one to No. 2 country and is down four to No. 8 pop in its third week with 89,000 copies sold.

More On The Grascals
Speaking of The Grascals, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Thursday provided a great and very lengthy profile of the band in advance of their appearance at Tacoma's 12th annual Wintergrass Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival, including a lengthy discussion of how they came to record their cover of the Elvis classic with Dolly and how she became involved. Read the story here.

Steady Up North
Dolly's Platinum And Gold Collection remains steady at No. 43 in its eighth week on the Canadian country albums chart, it was announced Thursday. Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III also remains steady at No. 27 in its 17th week on the Canadian pop albums chart, while Jones' Feels Like Home drops seven spots to No. 75 in its 54th week on the same chart.

'Reba' Notes And Pics Available
Reba McEntire's official Web site on Thursday posted a story offering a few more details on Dolly's appearance in Los Angeles Tuesday night to film an upcoming episode of the show, including notes on the audience's massive reaction to Dolly and the laughs they got. Read it here. And Getty Images has posted several shots from the taping available on its Web site here.

The Sincerest Form Of Flattery
The Sydney Star Observer Down Under had a cute little profile on female impersonator who named herself after Dolly, explaining: "I was named after Miss Parton who I adore, but Dolly really is her own woman although I have been known to channel Liza. Let's face it, there's a little bit of Dolly or Liza in all of us." Read the full article here.

Feb. 17:
'Reba' Reactions
A few readers wrote in on Wednesday with their reactions to Tuesday night's taping of the WB sitcom Reba with special guest star Dolly. While no one wanted to spoil the plot by giving details, I'm told that a handful of fans camped out and spent the night in line to ensure a place inside, but everyone who go there by about four hours or so before taping began was able to get a seat. Reba was visibly excited to have her idol appearing on her show, and Dolly appeared to be having a great time, smiling and waving at the audience between takes, walking around the stage so she could talk with the crew members and other actors when not filming, having her hair and make-up adjusted and hanging with best pal Judy Ogle when not on camera. I'm also told there were some hilarious bloopers, so perhaps those will show up on one of those blooper shows in the near future. An air date for Dolly's appearance has not been announced, but some published accounts have said it will likely be in May. Thanks!

No CMT Noms For Dolly
CMT on Wednesday announced its initial nominees for the 2005 CMT Music Awards, but there wasn't a nod for Dolly among them. Last year, when the show was called the Flame Worthy Video Music Awards and Dolly served as hostess, she snagged two preliminary nominations but neither made it into the final list of nominees.

Feb. 16:
Dolly On Overseas Chart
Dolly's duet with Roy Rivers on "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" from last year is getting some airplay overseas. The song debuts at No. 18 on the German country singles airplay chart this week from the European CMA and makes it to No. 53 on the survey of the most-played country songs on radio continent-wide in the past week. You may order the CD Thank God I'm A Country Boy from Rivers' Web site here. Meanwhile on the overall European country singles chart, Arly Karlsen and Pat Roden's former No. 1 cover of Porter & Dolly's "Please Don't Stop Loving Me" gains 17 spots to No. 38 for the week.

CMT Formally Announces New Show
CMT on Tuesday offered some details on its new Wide Open Country program premiering Sunday. As was speculated here, the video show's focus will be alt-country, bluegrass and Americana. It doesn't say which Dolly video is to be shown during the hourlong program, which starts at 9 a.m. Eastern, but it will include world premieres of new videos "Rich Man's War" by Steve Earle (and directed by Hollywood hotshot Jonathan Demme), "Invisible Girl" by Minnie Driver, "Tell It To Me" by Old Crow Medicine Show and "Mists Of Down Below" by The Duhks.

Dolly On 'Reba'
Dolly was scheduled on Tuesday to tape an episode of Reba. As of the time of this update Tuesday night, the show had yet to complete filming. A reminder that the show was taping got a mention in Tuesday's Knoxville News-Sentinel here.

Feb. 15:
Dolly On New Show
CMT.com listed a new show on Monday, Wide Open Country, premiering at 9 a.m. Sunday. No further details were released except for a list of stars to be seen on it, including Dolly. Given the selection of performers to be included (such as Alison Krauss, Bruce Springsteen, Dwight Yokam, Mindy Smith, Minnie Driver, Norah Jones, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, Nickel Creek, Ryan Adams and more), it appears to be a show focusing on those artists who are considered on the fringe of mainstream country, be they modern bluegrass, modern folk or alt-country.

Get Bellamy CD With Dolly Appearance
Amazon.com on Monday began taking advance orders for The Bellamy Brothers' March 29 release, Angels & Outlaws, Vol. 1, which will feature the duo joining with Dolly for a new version of "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me)." Other guest artists on the project covering the brothers' classic hits include Alan Jackson, Montgomery Gentry, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Rhonda Vincent and more. Reserve your copy here. Thanks, Tony!

Dolly Slips On Grammy Tally
The win by The Dixie Chicks for Best Country Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group brought the band's total to eight career Grammy Awards Sunday night, pushing them past Dolly on the list of the female country artists with the most Grammy wins. Dolly, who earned seven awards in 1978, 1981, 1987, 1999, 2000 and 2001, moves down from fourth place to fifth place. Alison Krauss remains in first place (not just for country females but for all country performers and for all female artists in all genres) with her unchanged total of 17, with Dolly's Trio partners of Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt following in second and third places with 11 and 10 wins, respectively (three of Ronstadt's trophies are for country categories). The Chicks now come in fourth with eight, followed by Dolly at fifth with her seven honors. Below them are sixth-place Naomi Judd with six awards; seventh-place Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Shania Twain, Wynonna Judd and June Carter Cash with five each; and eighth-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). Loretta Lynn's two wins on Sunday night (she also got Best Country Album for Van Lear Rose after this site's update on Sunday evening) brings her total to three.

Grascals Party A Hit
The Grascals' CD release party for their debut collection, titled appropriately enough The Grascals, filled Nashville's Station Inn, CMT.com columnist (and proud mama to Grascal Terry Smith) reports in her weekly helping of news and food on Monday. The party, held last week for the album which includes their cover of "Viva Las Vegas" with Dolly, resulted in some fans being turned away at the door because the place had filled up, Smith said. The band opened Dolly's concerts on her recent tour and constituted the core of her backing band. Read Smith's full column here and get the CD here.

'Reba' Watch
Dolly is scheduled to film her appearance on Reba McEntire's WB sitcom Reba on Tuesday, and quite a few readers of the site have said they will be in attendance. The show's air date has not been announced, but it is expected it will likely be sometime in May. Anyone who goes is encouraged to pass along their reactions to the taping by e-mailing a note here. Thanks!

Feb. 14:
Dolly Doesn't Win, Rod Does
Dolly lost Sunday night's Grammy to friend Loretta Lynn, who took home the Best Country Collaboration With Vocals honor with Jack White for their song "Portland, Oregon," but another Dolly-inclusive project won one. Dolly had been nominated in the category with Norah Jones for their duet "Creepin' In" from Feels Like Home (and she also had a semi-nomination for an uncredited appearance on "Coat Of Many Colors" by Shania Twain with Alison Krauss and Union Station from the tribute CD Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton). The category's other nominees were "Hey Good Lookin'" by Jimmy Buffett, Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith and George Strait; and "Pancho And Lefty" by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Keith. The award marked just Lynn's second Grammy. She had won once before with Conway Twitty for "After The Fire Is Gone," besting Porter & Dolly's "Better Move It On Home" for Best Country Vocal Performance, Duo or Group, in 1972. She lost three of her other five nominations of the night, with her album Van Lear Rose still up for Best Country Album, the only country category to be presented on the televised portion of the awards show. Meanwhile, another Dolly-related project took home a trophy, with Rod Stewart winning his first-ever Grammy when Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III was named Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. The CD's biggest hit to date is the duet of "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Dolly. Other country winners in the pre-telecast were Gretchen Wilson, Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "Redneck Woman;" Tim McGraw, Best Male Country Vocal Performance for "Live Like You Were Dying;" the Dixie Chicks, Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "Top Of The World" (live version); Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Best Bluegrass Album for Brand New Strings; "Earl's Breakdown" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Featuring Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Vassar Clements and Jerry Douglas for Best Country Instrumental Performance; Randy Travis, Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album for Worship & Faith; Steve Earle, Best Contemporary Folk Album for The Revolution Starts...Now; and "Live Like You Were Dying," Best Country Song for writers Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman. Jay Newland, who engineered Jones' Feels Like Home, lost Best Engineered Album to the Ray Charles CD Genius Loves Company, and the CD lost Best Pop Vocal Album to the same Ray Charles release. Johnny Cash's boxed set Unearthed, which includes two different covers of Dolly's "I'm A Drifter," lost in both of its nominations, with Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1970 taking Best Historical Album and Talking Heads' Once In A Lifetime winning Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package. Jones' "Sunrise," which garnered a good bit of airplay on CMT from Feels Like Home, won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and her "Here We Go Again" with Ray Charles won Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals.

Rod Returns
Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, with the Dolly duet "Baby It's Cold Outside," returns to the 75-position U.K. pop albums chart this week at No. 75 to register a 16th chart week, it was announced Sunday. Down Under in Australia, the CD gains two spots to No. 15 pop in its 16th week.

'Worst (Celebrity) Album Ever'
I'm told Dolly gets a mention in the new issue of Playboy, well, sort-of. The March edition features a countdown of the worst celebrity albums ever by people who don't make their living as singers. Well, actor Sylvester Stallone's lack of vocal abilities allows the Rhinestone soundtrack take the No. 1 spot for his turn as a New York cabbie-cum-country crooner in the Dolly film, which hits DVD on the first time March 8 (get your copy here). Thanks, Al!

'People' Notes
I'm told Dolly also gets a couple of mentions in the new (Feb. 21) issue of People magazine. In the "Picks And Pans" music section, they ask some celebrities what song gets them in the mood for romance, and John Stamos answers (next to a photo of Dolly singing "I Will Always Love You" at the CMT 100 Greatest Love Songs special): "'I Will Always Love You.' I'm talking about the Dolly Parton version, not Whitney (Houston)." She also gets a note in a review of Lee Ann Womack's new album, There's More Where That Came From, noting that the CD allows Womack to show "some positive signs of listening to a lot of George Jones and Dolly Parton, two influences she has credited for this collection." Thanks, Bridget!

Library News
Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program got some coverage over the weekend with a story in The Island Packet in Hilton Head, S.C., about Beaufort County's work with the program there since January. Read it here.

Feb. 12:
Newspaper Predicts Buffet Win
USA Today doesn't think Dolly and Norah Jones, or Shania Twain with Alison Krauss and an uncredited Dolly vocal, will take home the Best Country Collaboration With Vocals Grammy Sunday night. The newspaper predicts that Jimmy Buffet and "too many guests to list" will get the trophy for "Hey Good Lookin'," but its critics say Loretta Lynn and Jack White deserve to win for "Portland, Oregon." Read their picks for some other categories here.

Public Sales For Concert Scheduled
Dollywood announced on Friday that if season passholders don't buy up all of the seats for Dolly's four Sept. 24 and 25 benefit concerts, they will go on sale to the general public via telephone at 8 a.m. Eastern on April 26. Season passholders are allowed to order their tickets via mail through March 1. While last year's four concerts sold out before tickets were offered to the public, this year saw a six-ticket limit initiated, so perhaps some will be available.

Feb. 11:
Nashville Covers Dolly's Library
Nashville's The Tennesseean offered some great coverage Thursday to Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program with a story here. ''It's the most wonderful gift we could possibly give them. It inspires them," one local official in a Tennessee town told the newspaper of the national program's gift of one free hardcover book per month for all children in participating communities from birth to age 5. The story included two sidebars here and here with additional information. Also, Michigan's Grand Rapids Press on Thursday profiled the program's kick-off in Allegan County there with a story here.

Mixed Chart Results
Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, with Dolly on their hit "Baby It's Cold Outside," inches up two spots to No. 67 pop and comprehensive in its 16th week in the Feb. 19 Billboard charts released Thursday. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, and its Grammy-nominated Dolly duet "Creepin' In," loses three places to No. 78 pop but gains two to No. 82 comprehensive in its 52nd chart week. Kenny Rogers' 42 Ultimate Hits, featuring "Islands In The Stream," jumps up 10 spaces to No. 49 country in its 36th chart week. Kenny Chesney's Be As You Are remains at No. 1 country for a second week but slides three to No. 4 pop with 109,000 copies sold, while Shania Twain's Greatest Hits gains one to No. 2 country and loses one to No. 18 pop in its 13th chart week.

And In Canada
Dolly's Platinum And Gold Collection moves up one notch to No. 43 in its seventh week on the Canadian country albums chart, it was announced Thursday. Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III gains four to No. 27 in its 16th week on the Canadian pop albums chart, while Jones' Feels Like Home falls two to No. 68 in its 53rd week on the same chart.

Have A Laugh
With the news that the Scotch scientist who cloned Dolly the sheep and named her after Dolly the singer had gained permission to clone humans, satire site The Spoof wasted no time Wednesday night in launching a hilarious piece saying his plans are to clone Dolly herself. I just about fell out of my chair laughing at the "quote" from the scientist saying: "Christian zealots needn't be concerned these Dolly clones might somehow turn out to be an army of singing anti-Christs." They also managed to work in a deal with FOX for an all-Dolly-clone American Idol in 2020. Read the humor piece here.

No Dolly On CMT Show
Although CMT on its Web site promoted Dolly's inclusion in this week's CMT Insider Grammy preview, she didn't appear on the program, which neglected to profile the category in which she is nominated, Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for her duet of "Creepin' In" with Norah Jones (and the semi-nomination she also has in the same category for an uncredited appearance on "Coat Of Many Colors" by Shania Twain with Alison Krauss and Union Station). A couple of other Dolly-related projects have nominations as well, with Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III up for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album; Jones' Feels Like Home, up for Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) for engineer Jay Newland and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Jones for the track "Sunrise;" and Johnny Cash's boxed set Unearthed, which includes two different covers of Dolly's "I'm A Drifter," nominated for Best Historical Album and Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package. In her career, Dolly has been nominated for Grammy honors 42 times and walked away with a trophy for seven of those. Awards will be handed out in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Some Opry Seats Open Up
Several mid-level floor seats for the 6:30 p.m. performance of Dolly's re-scheduled hosting of The Grand Ole Opry on April 23 became available Thursday. Previously, the main floor for that show was almost completely sold out, with just a few single-seat tickets remaining. The first balcony (mezzanine) is about three-quarters sold out, while plenty of seats remain in the upper balcony. Sales for the show's 9:30 p.m. segment are going more slowly, with only about a third of the floor currently sold out. Get tickets here!

'Love' CD Mentioned Again
The discussion of Dolly's participation in Love Rocks, a fund-raising CD for the same-sex marriage efforts of gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign, has reached one of her hometown newspapers. The Mountain Press in Sevierville covered the story here this week, with the only new information being a reaction they received from Dollywood spokesperson Pete Owens, who told the paper: "She was asked to submit a song and she did. Dolly has been, is and will always be first and foremost an entertainer - a singer, a songwriter and actress. She chooses not to judge but rather entertain and uplift all who find comfort and solace in her talents, which she has shared with audiences for more than 50 years."

'Reba' Seating Note
I'm told that Audiences Unlimited, which handled tickets for Dolly's taping of the WB series Reba next Tuesday, sent out a notice this week to let ticket holders know that the episode is expected to host several special guests in the audience, which could limit the seats available. Therefore, not everyone with tickets may be able to be admitted to the show, so early arrival is highly recommended. Thanks!

Feb. 10:
Under The Covers
Rhonda Vincent, who will be the featured performer at the Dollywood National Music and Harvest Celebration's kick-off in September, has a couple of Dolly covers on her new live CD coming out in March. She performs Dolly's classic "Jolene" on the disc, titled Ragin' Live and set to be released March 8 on Rounder Records. She had first recorded the tune on her 2000 CD Back Home Again. In addition, the live set will include Vincent's version of "Muleskinner Blues." Originally a hit for its writer, Jimmy Rogers, more than a decade before Dolly was born, the song was first recorded by a female artist when Dolly did it in 1970, earning her first solo top 10 country hit. Reserve your copy of Vincent's CD here. Thanks, Bridget!

TV Reminder
Don't forget to catch the Grammy preview episode of CMT Insider premiering at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. As Dolly is nominated with Norah Jones for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for their duet "Creepin' In" from Feels Like Home, the duo will be profiled on the show. In addition, Dolly sings on another track nominated in that category, "Coat Of Many Colors" by Shania Twain with Alison Krauss and Union Station, but because she wasn't identified as a performer on the track listing of the CD Just Beacause I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton (only in the liner notes for her harmony on the verses and chorus), she is not included in the nomination. It will be interesting to see if the show notes her vocals on that entry. Winners will be announced from Los Angeles on Sunday.

More Memories Of Johnny
I'm told there's a new Johnny Carson tribute magazine on newsstands this week, and it includes a half-page photo with one of his all-time favorite guests, Dolly. Thanks, Jon!

Feb. 9:
The Grascals Have Landed
Well, the big day finally arrived for bluegrass newcomers The Grascals', whose self-titled debut CD (available here) hit store shelves on Tuesday. The disc, which includes their cover of the Elvis classic "Viva Las Vegas" with Dolly, is getting good reviews. The Washington Times on Tuesday had a profile and review, which singled out the track with Dolly as "the disc's shining moment" and "its penultimate track." Read that review here. The Philadelphia Daily News here gave the collection the grade of "B+." The disc contains a prominent sticker on its cover proclaiming Dolly's quote: "One of the greatest albums I've ever listened to," which is also repeated on the back cover art itself. A longer quote from Dolly about the band and the CD is found in the liner notes, where the band also thanks Dolly with the paragraph: "You have helped make our life long dreams come true. We realize you can have any musicians you want, thanks for letting us be a part of your music and your life. We love you!" Finally, the group, which opened for Dolly on her recent tour and comprised most of her backing band, this week opened up an online store on its Web site, and the selections include the autographed photo of Dolly with them for $5 each that was being sold on Dolly's tour.

Ticket Limit Explained
The new ticket limit for Dolly's benefit shows this year should help more fans see her live in concert, officials with Dollywood say. "The main reason is to ensure more folks have an opportunity to see her during the benefit concerts," park spokesperson Pete Owens tells Dollymania. Unlike in previous years, season passholders (who may order tickets for the annual charity shows at the park before they go on sale to the general public) are limited to no more than six tickets per passholder for all four shows combined Sept. 24-25. Last year, the concerts sold out to passholders before tickets could be offered to the general public. It is possible that this restriction could return a limited of number of tickets for public sale after the March 1 deadline for passholders to submit mail orders, although that isn't guaranteed. For current and former season passholders, if your brochure containing the order form for concert tickets (and pass renewal) has yet to arrive, it should be in your mailbox any day now. For those who wish to get their season passes, they are also sold via phone at (865) 428-9488 and online at Dollywood.com, but concert tickets must be ordered by mail only.

Honoring A Legend
The new Country Weekly on newsstands this week features a Dolly photo with Johnny Carson from 1978 in recognition of his passing. She also has a small mid-80s photo with the King of Late Night in a retrospective on his career in next week's TV Guide.

Feb. 8:
Ticket Limits This Year At D'W
Possibly attempting to prevent another sell-out to season passholders before tickets for Dolly's annual benefit concerts go on sale to the general public, Dollywood has apparently limited purchases to six tickets per passholder. Although yet to be confirmed by park officials, two separate readers say they received a brochure in the mail asking them to renew their season passes. The brochure contained an order form for the four concerts at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sept. 24 and 25 with a notation that a maximum of only six tickets may be ordered. Last year, tickets sold out to passholders before they went on sale to the general public. According to the order form, tickets will once again be $75, $50 and $35. Thanks, David and Jason!

Live Collection Returning To Stores
Dolly's second live album, 1994's Heartsongs: Live From Home, is being re-issued. Music Mill Records has slated the collection to come back on the market with slightly altered cover art (see left) on March 15. The 23-track concert, recorded at Dollywood a decade before her most recent live project, Live And Well, came out last year, features Dolly's sole recordings of many songs, including the haunting "Barbara Allen" and "Mary Of The Wild Moor" as well as the "Black Draught Theme," "Cas Walker Theme," "Heartsong," "Hold Fast To The Right," "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes," "In The Pines," "Longer Than Always," "Night Train to Memphis," "PMS Blues," "True Blue," "Walter Henry Hagan," "Wayfaring Stranger" and "What A Friend We Have In Jesus." Get your copy here. Thanks, Justin!

'Rhinestone' Cover Art Out
Anchor Bay Entertinment, which on March 8 will release Dolly's 1984 film with Sylvester Stallone, Rhinestone, on DVD for the first time, has released the new cover art for the DVD version. Seen at left, the cover uses a different image of the two stars than the original VHS (which had them arm wrestling) along with the caption: "Can she turn this New York cabbie into an overnight sensation?" Although considered by many to be a flop and pretty much panned by critics, the film grossed $21 million, which would be nearly $40 million at today's box office adjusted for inflation, so it was more of a modest success rather than a failure, and the soundtrack produced two hit songs for Dolly. Reserve your copy of the DVD release here.

Crossing Back Over
The release of Lee Ann Womack's retro country CD There's More Where That Came From, which features a cover of the Porter & Dolly hit "Just Someone I Used To Know," has resulted in many comparisons to the early work of Dolly, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, and at least one critic took the opportunity to offer a review of other artists who crossed over to pop before returning to country. Of course, the story, originally in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram here on Monday, discusses the pop move and country return of Dolly, but pleads with her to avoid future duets with Kenny Rogers :)

On The Big Screen
The Nashville Film Festival on Monday announced the first four films to be featured at the April 14-21 festival in Music City, including one that features Dolly. Cowboy Jack's Home Movies (or, Shakespeare Was a Big George Jones Fan) features producer Jack Clement's collection of 30 years of home movies and contemporary footage of the genre's stars, including Dolly, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, John Prine, Charley Pride, George Jones, Porter Wagoner and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others. Read the press release here.

And Overseas
Arly Karlsen and Pat Roden's former No. 1 cover of Porter & Dolly's "Please Don't Stop Loving Me" loses five more spots to No. 55 on the continent-wide European CMA country singles chart, it was announced Monday.

Grascals Release Is Here
Don't forget that The Grascals' self-titled debut CD (available here) featuring Dolly on the track "Viva Las Vegas" comes out on Tuesday, with a release party and concert at The Station Inn in Nashville. Admission is $7 without buying a CD or free with $10 CD purchase that night. View an e-vite for the party here.

Feb. 7:
Benefit Concerts Announced
Although it's not confirmed elsewhere yet, a reader tells me his Dollywood season pass renewal mailer arrived over the weekend, formally announcing Dolly's annual Dollywood Foundation benefit concerts for Sept. 24-25. As in previous years, tickets will be available to season passholders via mail before going on sale to the general public, but last year they sold out to passholders before that time. You may recall that park officials confirmed nearly a month ago that the concerts were expected to take place that weekend, which starts the Music and Harvest Celebration festival, but at that time they had yet to be finalized. Thanks, David!

Stewart Off U.K. Chart
Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, featuring Dolly on "Baby It's Cold Outside," falls out of the 75-position U.K. pop albums chart this week, down from to No. 70 in its 15th chart week last week, it was announced Sunday. Down Under in Australia, the CD jumps up 19 places to No. 17 pop in its 15th week.

Why Dolly Went To Winston-Salem
According to a story in the Greensboro News & Record, the managing director at the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina turned down requests for the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour to perform there and Bette Midler's "Kiss My Brass" Tour last year because he feared both would flop, further increasing the deficit at the city-operated complex that lost $2.6 million last year. Although it's not mentioned in the article, Dolly went to nearby Winston-Salem's Joel Coliseum one county away for a show that was almost completely sold out, and Midler played a successful show in Raleigh about 150 miles away. Read the story here.

Well Wishes From The Ryman
Several artists on Saturday night's performance of The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville sent their best to Dolly, who was to host the show but became ill with the flu. Substitute host Brad Paisley even made a breast joke, saying he was there in place of "both of her." Lee Ann Womack commented, "No one is more disappointed that Dolly couldn't be here more than me," prior to singing her cover of the Porter & Dolly hit "Just Someone I Used To Know." The Grascals, whose debut CD (available here) comes out on Tuesday, sent a special greeting to Dolly, adding they hope she feels better soon. They performed a couple of songs to a great reception by the audience, including "Viva Las Vegas," which appears on the new CD as a duet with Dolly. (And don't forget The Grascals' CD release party is Tuesday night at The Station Inn in Nashville. Admission is $7 without buying a CD or free with $10 CD purchase that night. View an e-vite for the party here.)

Opry Seats Selling Well
Tickets are still going fast for Dolly's re-scheduled April 23 appearance at The Grand Ole Opry. As of Sunday evening, the main floor for the 6:30 p.m. performance appeared about 90 percent sold out, while the first balcony was more than half gone and the second balcony had only a few rows sold. For the 9:30 p.m. show, the floor is nearing half sold out, with plenty remaining in the balconies. Get tickets here.

Friends In Magazine
A couple of my Dolly pals and frequent Dollymania correspondents, Harrell and Patric, land in the March issue of OUT magazine (with The Rock on the cover), they tell me, with a two-page, nine-photo profile of the massive collection of Dolly memorabilia displayed in their home near Dallas. The issue should be on newsstands soon. Thanks, guys!

Praising The Library
An advisor to the Shelby County, Tenn., mayor (where Memphis is located) had a commentary in Sunday's Commercial Appeal in Memphis lauding plans to bring Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program to the county. It noted that the County Commission will be asked in coming weeks to approve the project, and a fund is being established at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis to accept donations to cover its costs. Dolly's program, active now in nearly 400 communities across 39 states, provides one free book per month from birth to age 5 for all children in a participating community whose parents sign up. It is currently distributing more than 1.2 million books annually nationwide. Read the column here.

Big Compilation Being Reissued
A reader alerted me that BMG will release a Dolly compilation called Legends in the U.K. on Monday. The three-disc set is the same except for a small change as the label's 2000 release Legendary, which made available for the first time since late 1977 the original album-cut version of "Two Doors Down" (the song was replaced with the re-recorded single version on the album and all subsequent compilations starting in early 1978). The only difference between the 2000 version and the new collection is one song has been removed from each of the three CDs: "Real Love" and "Islands In The Stream" with Kenny Rogers and "Heartbreaker." Get your copy of 47-song set in the U.S. here. Thanks, Solomon!

Feb. 5:
Grascals' Disc Earns Praise
Friday's Orlando Sentinel gives high marks to The Grascals' debut CD, The Grascals, which comes out from Rounder Records on Tuesday. The newspaper notes that the album "shows that cooking bluegrass bands are still around," singling out among the noteworthy tracks the band's cover of the Elvis classic "Viva Las Vegas" with Dolly. The reviewer says the tune "transcends its novelty status. Like the Grascals, it's genuine bluegrass, too." The band opened for Dolly on her tour last year and played as the core of her backing stage band. They also back her on her forthcoming Blue Smoke CD, which should be out later this year. The band makes its Grand Ole Opry debut this weekend, although, as has previously been reported, Dolly's plans to host two segments of the show on Saturday were canceled due to her coming down with the flu. She will perform instead on the Opry on April 23. Reserve your copy of the band's CD here, and read the full review here.

Library Celebration
Fayette County, Tenn., celebrated this week registering its 500th child in Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, The Fayette County Review reported. In operation in that county only slightly over three months, the program there already has nearly a third of all children under age 5 in the county participating. Read the story here.

Feb. 4:
Smith Off Indie Chart
After a full year on the charts, Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with its haunting rendition of Dolly's "Jolene" complete with Dolly providing harmony, falls off the independent labels albums tally in the Feb. 12 Billboard numbers, it was announced Thursday. The CD, which had peaked at No. 6 on that chart and No. 143 pop in February 2004, had been at No. 47 on the 50-position indie tabulation the previous week, its 52nd on the chart. Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, featuring the Dolly duet "Baby It's Cold Outside," tumbles 14 places to No. 69 pop and comprehensive in its 15th week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring Dolly singing on "Creepin' In," drops 13 spots to No. 78 pop and 19 places to No. 84 comprehensive in its 51st chart week. Kenny Rogers' 42 Ultimate Hits, which includes "Islands In The Stream," falls five digits to No. 59 country in its 35th chart week. Kenny Chesney's Be As You Are debuts at No. 1 country and pop with 311,000 copies sold in its first week, and LeAnn Rimes' This Woman debuts at No. 2 country, No. 3 pop with 101,000 copies moved in its first week.

Slipping To The North
Dolly's Platinum And Gold Collection inches down three places to No. 44 in its sixth week on the Canadian country albums chart, it was announced Thursday. Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III remains steady at No. 31 in its 15th week on the Canadian pop albums chart, while Jones' Feels Like Home loses 14 spots to No. 66 in its 52nd week on the same chart.

Flu Gets Mentions
Dolly's infection with the flu forcing the move of her Grand Ole Opry appearance from this weekend to April 23 was news enough to get on the Associated Press wire service Thursday as part of coverage of a viral epidemic which has struck Tennessee. Several school districts in East Tennessee, including Dolly's native Sevier County, and even a few schools in Nashville chose to cancel classes this week because too many students and teachers are out sick with the flu or a flu-like virus. Read a brief on Nashville TV station WKRN here. As a side-note, many fans wrote in to the site on Wednesday night and Thursday after news of Dolly's illness was released expressing their hopes for a speedy recovery. I'm sure she appreciates your well wishes.

Tickets Going Fast
Meanwhile, tickets for Dolly's rescheduled Opry appearance for April 23 are going fast. Nearly half of the seats on the floor for April's 6:30 p.m. performance appeared to sell out in the first 24 hours or so after the announcement was made of the date switch, and several seats went both the lower and upper balconies, although plenty remain there and toward the middle and back of the floor. Only about a quarter of the floor seats for the 9:30 show had sold as of Thursday evening. Get your tickets here.

In Defense Of Dolly
BuzzFlash, an apparently ultra-liberal news resource out of Chicago, on Thursday published a commentary piece by Dr. Teresa Whitehurst, a clinical psychiatrist and Christian lifestyle author, slamming the ultra-conservative Focus On The Family for chastising artists who participated in the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign's Love Rocks CD in support of same-sex marriage, including Dolly. The article, which was written in response to comments from a Focus official in a story on the CD published this week in The Baptist Press here, is addressed to Focus' director and is titled "Dr. Dobson, Be Advised: Don't Mess with Tennessee Women…Especially Dolly Parton!" Read it here.

More On 'Reba'
The Oakland Tribune on Thursday had a great profile of Reba and her WB sitcom, noting that Dolly's guest shot, which films Feb. 15 in Los Angeles, is likely to air in May, although a final broadcast date has not been scheduled yet. Read the story here. Thanks, Kurtis!

Feb. 3:
Illness Prompts Opry Move To April
Dolly's "down with that" -- the flu, that is, to use a phrase from Tim McGraw's song -- and the illness will keep her from hosting The Grand Ole Opry show from the Ryman Auditorium this weekend. The country music institution announced on Wednesday that Brad Paisley will step in for Dolly to host Saturday's 7 p.m. segment airing live on Great American Country and the 10 p.m. segment. Dolly has rescheduled her appearance for April 23 at the Grand Ole Opry House. Tickets for her April performance are available now through Ticketmaster here. Dolly's backing band The Grascals will still make their Opry debut Friday night and perform on Saturday night alongside Paisley, Lee Ann Womack, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and more. Artists to appear with Dolly in April have not been announced. On Tuesday, both Saturday segments of the Opry had sold out, leaving standing-room-only seats (general admission) available directly from the Opry box office only -- they had been available Tuesday via Ticketmaster, but Opry officials say that was in error as they are not supposed to be sold online. Opry officials confirm that tickets for Saturday's show may be exchanged for the April performances, which should open up some seats, but refunds are not available.

Dolly Remembers Johnny
Dolly is one of the frequent guests of the late Johnny Carson whom TV Guide contacted for comments on the legendary comedian's passing. In a story posted online Wednesday, Dolly says she understood how sensitive and caring Carson was immediately after he made one of the most famous comments of his career -- saying that he'd give a year's salary to peak under her blouse. "During a camera break, he leaned over, patted my hand and said, 'I really hope I didn't embarrass you — I didn't mean to,'" she told TV Guide. "He really seemed to care. I was crazy about him. I would never do [The Tonight Show] with a guest host; I heard that he loved knowing that." Read others' comments here.

Another Library Community In Mich.
Allegan County, Mich., officially kicked off its participation in Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program Monday. The effort there was spearheaded by the United Way and the public school district. Two local papers, The Kalamazoo Gazette here and the Allegan County News here, reported on the event. It is the sixth community in Michigan to sign up.

Feb. 1:
Dolly Not To Perform In Branson
Contrary to published reports, Dolly is not scheduled to perform at this summer's Vietnam veterans' celebration in Branson, Mo., she confirmed on Monday. "I truly appreciate and support our veterans but I have not been approached nor do I plan to attend this event," Dolly tells Dollymania. As you may recall, The Clanton Advertiser in Alabama recently published a story quoting the state president of the Vietnam Veterans of America stating that Dolly, The Eagles and the Oak Ridge Boys were to perform at the June "Welcome Home: America's Tribute To Vietnam Veterans" concert. That story was linked here a little more than a week ago with the notation that the event's Web site did not mention either Dolly or The Eagles as participants, indicating that the official's comments may not be accurate. Organizers of the event did not respond to repeated requests from Dollymania for information to confirm or deny Dolly's participation, and Dolly now tells us that the comments were incorrect. Even though she will not be performing in this celebration, Dolly has long been a strong supporter of our country's men and women in uniform, performing for the them at several locations over the years and recording the 2003 CD For God And Country, which featured numerous songs in honor of the troops.

Hometown Boy Done Good
The Versailles Republican/Osgood Journal in Indiana on Monday offered a great profile of hometown boy Jamie Johnson of The Grascals, whom you may recall as "Elvis" during Dolly's recent concert tour. Don't forget to catch the guys with Dolly this weekend on The Grand Ole Opry. Read the story here.

CD Gets Good Marks
And speaking of the band, their debut project, appropriately titled The Grascals, gets a B+ in the February CD reviews released this week by Knight Ridder Newspapers. The album, hitting stores Feb. 8, includes their duet with Dolly on "Viva Las Vegas." The story also mentions Dolly's participation in the Human Rights Campaign's fundraising CD Love Rocks. Read it here.

Redneck Takes Dolly's Job
For those who have been wondering whether Dolly will return to hosting duties for CMT's annual awards show this year, the network announced on Monday that Jeff Foxworthy will be at the helm of this year's celebration, to take place April 11 in Nashville and to be called simply the CMT Music Awards. Dolly hosted last year when they were titled the CMT Flame Worthy Video Music Awards. Tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster Feb. 19, and performers announced Monday include Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson.