Feb. 28: Dolly And Brad Fall To No. 2 As was predicted here last week, Dolly and Brad Paisley will slip to No. 2 this week when the March 11 Billboard country singles chart is released publicly Thursday, the magazine confirmed Monday, making way for Josh Turner's "Your Man" to take the top spot. As you will recall, "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Paisley with Dolly last week became her record-breaking 25th career No. 1 country single and her first chart-topper in nearly 15 years. For the past week, airplay of the song was down, resulting in its losing more than 300,000 listeners to come in with a weekly audience of 34.0 million people. Turner's tune, on the other hand, gained 1.5 million to reach 35.0 million. As was also predicted here, Kenny Chesney's "Living In Fast Forward" advances one to No. 3 with a 1.4 million-listener jump to 31.3 million. Press reports also state that Turner will overtake "Going" on the competing Radio & Records chart which will be released Wednesday. The songs remain fairly close in airplay, so it is remotely possible, although fairly improbable, that Dolly's collaboration could regain the top spot in coming weeks if stations are inundated with requests, but I wouldn't hold out too much hope for that happening. More likely, it might stick out one more week at No. 2 before starting a more pronounced descent down the charts. Elsewhere on the Billboard country tally, "I Still Miss Someone" by Dolly and Martina McBride will inch up one to No. 50 for the week.
Dolly Readies For Oscars Dolly was working with the Academy Awards Monday, rehearsing her nominated song, "Travelin' Thru," for the Oscars in Hollywood. Dolly will perform the tune live on the Oscar telecast Sunday night on ABC. Check out an Associated Press photo of her singing here. In other Oscar news:
MSNBC on Monday offered its run-down of the Best Song nominees, noting that if the rumored "Brokeback backlash" exists, Dolly could suffer due to the alternative lifestyle theme of Transamerica, the film which contains her song. However, its writer notes: "Underrated outside the country music community, Parton is one of the great American songwriters. Taking home an Oscar may imbue her with the respect she deserves." The author opines that her favorite nominee, "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" from Hustle & Flow, is unlikely to win because of its subject matter and that the third nominee, "In The Deep" from Crash, doesn't deserve a win. Read more here.
I'm told the March 9 Rolling Stone hit subscribers' mailboxes this week with its Oscar predictions, saying Dolly is the clear front-runner for most-likely winner but warning that "Pimp" could prove a spoiler with an outside chance of taking home the gold. Read the story's online version here. Thanks, Sheldon!
The film soundtrack rises two this week to No. 21 on the Americana Music Association's national radio survey, based on the limited airplay which Dolly's song is receiving. (Remember to enter here to win your copy of the soundtrack from Dollymania and Nettwerk Records.)
'Naomi' Airing Move Confirmed As was noted here Friday, some media outlets have begun to list a March 19 airdate for the Hallmark Channel's Naomi's New Morning starring Naomi Judd for her interview with Dolly on "secrets and confessions" which was first announced here last week for a March 12 broadcast. Producers for the program confirmed on Monday that the air date has, in fact, been pushed back one week to 10 a.m. Eastern Sunday, March 19. Image at left from the program courtesy The Hallmark Channel. Used with permission.
Maybe She'll Get An Ad Out Of It A new survey finds Dolly still among the 10 most-beloved female celebrities in America, according to a piece in Monday's New York Magazine. The story focuses on the new Davie-Brown Index, which surveyed 1.5 million Americans on more than 1,500 celebrities for their appeal, notice, trendsetting, influence, trust, endorsement, aspiration and awareness, as a research tool for advertisers seeking spokespersons, endorsers and stars for their commercials. The story notes that Tom Hanks is No. 1 overall and Oprah Winfrey is No. 1 for women, No. 2 overall, followed by Bill Cosby, Michael J. Fox, Michael Jordan, Robin Williams, Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery and Tiger Woods. While the article didn't say exactly where Dolly is on the overall list, it did single her out for being in the top 10 for women. Read more about it here.
Dolly In 'CW' Dolly shows up several times in the March 13 issue of Country Weekly on newsstands starting this week. There's a mention of her participation in Brenda Lee's yet-to-be-titled gospel duets album which she hopes to have out toward the middle of the year, a photo with a fan in the magazine's reader-submitted shots, a three-and-a-half-star review of the Transamerica soundtrack, a cute Dolly statuette accompanying a sidebar on her Oscar nomination and a brief story from Storme Warren noting several Dolly quotes from his interview with her currently airing on Great American Country (GAC) in its Country Music Across America series discussing "When I Get Where I'm Going."
Dolly On CMT.com CMT.com columnist Hazel Smith gives Dolly two mentions in her weekly news recap Monday, noting both her Oscar nomination and her No. 1 collaboration with Brad Paisley on "When I Get Where I'm Going." Read her column here. The site's main page also featured Dolly in its daily poll, asking that given the success of "Going," what other Dolly or Paisley duets do they prefer. As of Monday evening, his song "Whiskey Lullaby" with Alison Krauss led the pack with 60 percent, followed by "Islands In The Stream" by Dolly and Kenny Rogers at 29 percent, "Rockin' Years" by Dolly and Ricky Van Shelton at 5 percent, "Just Someone I Used To Know" by Dolly and Porter Wagoner at 2 percent and "I don't know" at 2 percent. Thanks, Sheldon!
Tribute In Chi-Town Fans in Chicago will want to check out the Old Town School of Folk Music on North Lincoln Avenue next week as staff and students at the school join guest performers for a "Tribute To Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn." Tickets are $10-$12 for the 7:30 p.m. show next Friday, March 10. Call 773-728-6000 for tickets. Thanks, Wiley!
Orlando Stampede May Unionize The Orlando branch of Dolly's Dixie Stampede dinner theatre could become the first of her businesses to unionize, according to a story Monday in the Orlando Business Journal. The paper reports here that the 60 people on staff in its serving and beverage departments will vote Friday on whether or not to join the United Food and Commercial Workers union. At least 50 percent of workers plus one must vote in favor to authorize the union to represent them.
Stella Plays Nashville If you're up in Nashville on Tuesday, check out Dolly's little sis Stella serving as that day's performer for "Lunch with the Legends" at the famous Nashville Palace on Music Valley Drive near the corner of McGavock and Briley Parkway. The show runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Feb. 27: 'Days' Debuts In Top 40 In U.K. Thanks to her previously-taped and remote television and radio appearances from the U.S. which aired in Europe over the past couple of weeks, Dolly's covers CD Those Were The Days sees a very good debut across the pond in the U.K. this week, it was announced Sunday. The disc enters at No. 35 pop and No. 2 country on the British albums charts. For comparison, the disc went to No. 48 on the U.S. pop chart and No. 9 country here. It marks her first showing on the British albums tally since the U.K. version of the one-disc compilation Ultimate Dolly Parton landed there at No. 1 country and No. 17 pop in 2003. It's her first studio album on the charts there since 2002's Halos & Horns went to No. 37 pop and held the No. 1 country spot for 10 weeks. Down Under, Dolly's CD falls back out of the top 20 country discs, down from No. 15 the previous week, its 14th, and 21 Number Ones by Kenny Rogers, featuring "Islands In The Stream," slips one to No. 20 in its third week.
Dolly was great on Friday night's The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson on CBS, exhibiting a very playful chemistry with the host. The show presented the first-ever-seen clips from Dolly's upcoming video for "Travelin' Thru," and the pair talked about the Oscar nod, the film's message of tolerance, her wardrobe (he asked at one point if she'd ever seen a piece of clothing or jewelry and thought it was too gaudy for her, and she said never), Dollywood and the upcoming special edition DVD of 9 To 5 (including that yet-to-be-announced special LA-area screening with the film's stars toward the end of March). At one point, the host mentioned how well-known she is worldwide, making the hilarious observation that she is similar to "Coca-Cola with breasts!" When he said he thought she would win the Academy Award, she replied simply that regardless of the outcome, "I'm a winner either way." He did, however, fail to include last week's new No. 1 in her total of chart-toppers, mistakenly saying she had 24 instead of 25.
If you're catching this update early enough on Sunday evening, CNN announced over the weekend that Sunday night's Larry King Live repeat will be the transgender episode from a week ago focusing on the film and including a Dolly interview in its last few minutes. It airs at 9 p.m. Eastern Sunday with repeats at midnight and 3 a.m. Monday morning.
And you still have time to get your entry in to win a free copy of the film soundtrack courtesy Dollymania and Nettwerk Records, which is distributing the CD. Enter here! (Limit one entry per person; U.S. residents age 13 and over only.)
CMT Notes CMT over the weekend noted in its online news coverage last week's rise to No. 1 of "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Dolly and Brad Paisley, explaining it is his fifth No. 1 and her first since 1991 but neglecting to include that it marks her 25th No. 1. Read the brief here.
Dolly In Print Dolly's upcoming 40th wedding anniversary made Gannett newspaper insert USA Weekend Sunday, with a reader asking if she's been married to anyone other than the elusive Carl Dean. The response also mentioned her Oscar nomination. Read it here (although the photo which appears in the print edition is omitted online).
Feb. 25: Oscars: Dolly Party, Craig Interview, & More Here's today's round-up of Oscar-related items concerning Dolly's nomination for Best Song for "Travelin' Thru" from Transamerica:
Dolly on Wednesday hosted a party at one of her Los Angeles-area homes, according to New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams. Adams reported Friday on an interview with the film's fellow nominee, Best Actress hopeful Felicity Huffman, who was on her way to Dolly's. "She's having a party and she invited me, and I'm so excited," she said. "I'm a fan, and I've always admired her. I'm dying to meet her." Read more about their interview here. (Longtime Hollywood reporter Army Archerd, however, posted on his blog here that the party was held at the restaurant Drago and was hosted in Dolly's honor by pal Reba McEntire.)
If you're catching this update early enough, remember to watch Dolly on CBS on The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson. The program airs at 12:35 a.m. Eastern Saturday (11:35 p.m. Central Friday) in most markets.
Entertainment Weekly critics say the race for Best Song is too close to call. Although they say they think it possible that "In The Deep" will take home the prize, the magazine noted here that any of the three has pretty much an equal shot in their eyes of winning.
The Nashville City Paper gave the film a great review here this week, adding that it features "wonderful" music throughout, including Dolly's tune.
Dolly pal and 9 To 5 co-star Lily Tomlin was announced Thursday as a presenter on the awards.
Voting members of the Academy have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to get their completed final ballots turned in for tabulation for the March 5 awards. No word yet on any last-minute Dolly appearances prior to next week's deadline :)
Minor Chart Action On the minor charts, Dolly's "Both Sides Now" from Those Were The Days rises two to No. 3 on this week's unofficial Indie World Country independent label country singles chart, and cable's Great American Country sees "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley gain three to No. 3 in its seventh week on the viewer-voted chart. Cast your ballot for that video (and The Grascals' "Me and John and Paul") here. The channel removed the voting space this week for Dolly's "Imagine."
Naomi Appearance Gets Coverage Dolly's upcoming appearance on the Hallmark Channel's Naomi's New Morning with Naomi Judd got some notice Friday, with a plug on the Country Weekly Web site here and a photo released by the network here. Both note that the two friends will have a discussion on the subject of "secrets and confessions." As was first reported here a few days ago, Dolly filmed her interview for the program last weekend. Producers had originally announced it would premiere March 12, but the two stories Friday had a March 19 date instead. Look for a notice here once the final date is confirmed.
Auction Yields Results Nashville's GuitarTown charity auction took place in Music City Thursday night, and the 69 guitar statues, each of which stands 10 feet tall, sold for nearly $245,000, raising money for the Country Music Hall of Fame, the city's local United Way, The District and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The butterfly-themed piece inspired by (and autographed by) Dolly went for $3,500, which was the average per-guitar price for the auction. Once ticket sales and other proceeds are added to the auction money, the event is expected to pass the $500,000-mark for cash raised.
British Site Returns Paul over at fan site Ultimate Dolly U.K. asked me to let everyone know his site has returned after being gone for a few weeks. Look for him to be posting additional pages as he gets everything back up and running.
Feb. 24: No. 1 Coverage Dolly's return to the top of the country singles charts with "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley got some coverage on Thursday. Billboard chart expert and weekly columnist Fred Bronson led off this week's "Chart Beat" section with the news, noting that not only did Dolly extend her lead on the most No. 1 singles for a female country artist, but she also regained the spot for the longest span for No. 1 hits. You may recall she used to have the record at 20 years and three months between "Joshua" and "Rockin' Years," but Reba McEntire beat that a couple of years back with a 21-year-seven-month split between her first, "Can't Even Get The Blues," and "Someday." Now, Dolly is back on top with a span of 35 years and one month, a record Reba can't touch until 2018, he noted. Read his column here. (His column was also picked up by the news wires and posted on several newspapers' sites later in the day.) Also, Brad Schmidt, celebrities columnist for Nashville's The Tennessean, led off his column Thursday with news of the hit. Read that one here. As was previously noted, the song gains one in the March 4 Billboard country singles to take the No. 1 position, Dolly's 25th time there, in its 22nd week. Over on the all-genre Hot 100 pop chart, though, the song dips one to No. 40, also slipping two to No. 27 for Hot 100 airplay. On the pop-genre Pop 100, the title remains steady at No. 73. On CMT's Top Twenty Countdown, the video for the song rises one to No. 11. As was also previously noted, "I Still Miss Someone" with Martina McBride gains five to No. 51 country in its third week.
Today's Oscar Round-Up Dolly was having a great time on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday plugging her Academy Award-nominated tune. Although the pair did an opening skit about her song "9 To 5" which really didn't work very well, her brief interview was stellar, covering songwriting, her birthday, cosmetic surgery, the Oscars and the film in which her nominated song appears. She also performed her song, discussed the 26th anniversary of 9 To 5 and revealed that the cast will be reuniting once again for a yet-to-be-announced red carpet event for the special edition DVD being released in April. The episode repeats at 11 p.m. Eastern March 2 on the Oxygen network, and don't forget to catch her on The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson on CBS Friday night (actually, the show airs 12:35 a.m. Eastern Saturday morning).
In other news on her Oscar-nominated "Travelin' Thru" from Transamerica:
Dolly got a brief mention Wednesday night on Showbiz Tonight on CNN Headline News, I'm told. The show briefly discussed her Oscar nomination, played a 30-second clip of the song and then played a clip from her Tonight Show appearance the previous night. Thanks, Sheldon!
Even that Leno appearance was recapped in the Northwest Indiana Times Thursday. See it here.
The Tennessean on Thursday offered a slightly longer version of the story on the song which appeared in USA Today (and was linked from here Wednesday night). Take a read here.
Thanks to Joe for passing along another Dolly radio appearance overseas. The BBC's Steve Wright Show on Wednesday night included a brief comment from her on being nominated. Take a listen here (forward the program by two hours and 10 minutes to hear it).
She's Baa-aack! Although it fell out of the top 75 country CDs last week, Dolly's Those Were The Days makes its way back in the March 4 numbers released Thursday, re-entering at No. 73 for its 18th chart week. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, which contains "When I Get Where I'm Going," slides one to No. 15 country, six to No. 69 pop and seven to No. 70 comprehensive in its 27th week. Up north, it remains steady at No. 10 on the Canadian country list. Martina McBride's Timeless, featuring "I Still Miss Someone," remains steady at No. 24 country, dips four to No. 109 pop and three to No. 112 comprehensive in its 18th chart week stateside, remaining steady for another week at No. 8 country in Canada, where it rises nine to No. 88 pop. After 22 weeks on the chart, George Jones's Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't, including his Dolly duet of "The Blues Man," falls out of the 75-position country albums chart, down from No. 70 the previous week. Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, featuring "Islands In The Stream," remains steady at No. 19 country in its fourth week, inching up one to No. 88 pop and No. 89 comprehensive. It tumbles 13 to No. 33 Canadian country. The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches and Highways, with one Trio track, re-enters the country chart for a 16th week, coming in at No. 75. Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, with "Little Sparrow," remains steady at No. 10 in its 21st week on the blues albums chart. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, with her cover of "Jolene," remains steady at No. 13 in its 50th week on the bluegrass albums chart, while former Dolly backing band and opening act The Grascals see their self-titled debut, The Grascals, with Dolly on "Viva Las Vegas," earn a 20th chart week, slipping three to No. 15 bluegrass. Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts remains at No. 1 country in its 14th chart week, its 12th at the top spot, gaining four to No. 7 pop with sales of 87,000, while Josh Turner's Your Man rebounds one to No. 2 country and slips one to No. 17 pop.
GAC Program Airs The episode of Country Music Across America on Great American Country (GAC) featuring its Dolly interview mentioned here last week premiered Thursday night on the cable network. Dolly supposedly discussed her recent birthday, her Oscar nomination, her hit with Brad Paisley and why the two didn't perform it together on last year's CMA Awards (producers would only let her perform once and chose to pair her with Sir Elton John rather than Paisley). The show repeats throughout the next two weeks. See the TV schedule at left.
Next 'CW' Cover Questioned I'm told members of the Country Weekly readers' panel received a new request for votes Thursday. However, the new proposed covers didn't give Dolly the whole thing but rather included a smaller photo of her for the interview on her 60th birthday. As was previously reported here, voters in the panel had earlier approved two Dolly covers for the story, but a third vote resulted in the magazine choosing Sugarland for the front of last week's edition. Thanks!
Feb. 23: 'Going' Up In U.S., Down In Canada As was noted here Tuesday night, in addition to topping the Billboard chart, Dolly and Brad Paisley's "When I Get Where I'm Going" gains one to make it to No. 1 on the Radio & Records country singles tally this week as well. Up in Canada, the Radio & Records country chart sees the song fall, however, down from No. 2 to No. 4. The Canadian pop charts also see it dip, down two to No. 33 for the week, but the Power Source Christian country singles chart out Wednesday sees the tune inch up one to No. 2 in its 14th week there. Elsewhere on the Radio & Records list, "I Still Miss Someone" with Martina McBride re-enters the country top 50, coming in at No. 48 for a second chart week. Meanwhile, "Going" co-writer Rivers Rutherford gets a write-up on his success in his hometown paper, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. Read Wednesday's story here.
Dolly Laughs It Up On Leno Dolly was as cute as ever on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Tuesday night, gushing over her Academy Award nomination. She said when she wrote the song "Travelin' Thru" for Transamerica, "I just wanted to write a song about tolerance and love and understanding." As the film deals with the issue of gender reassignment surgery, Leno asked her if she ever wanted to be a man, to which she replied no, "there'd be nothing to lift and separate!" He asked about her dresses, her "sextieth" birthday, her 40th wedding anniversary this May and Dollywood opening for its 21st season in April. She repeated that she visited her doctors for her "100,000-mile tune-up" for her birthday and said they told her everything was in perfect working order and that she's in fine health, looking forward to her next 60 years.
USA Today on Wednesday night offered a great interview with Dolly on the song and its meaning. She discusses how she accepts all people and encourages tolerance of differences. She also mentions she is considering including the song on a gospel album as well as putting out a dance club remix. Read more here.
GLBT newsmagazine The Advocate in its Oscar preview out this week notes: "Look for Dolly Parton to steal the show when she performs Best Song nominee 'Travelin Thru' -- and to steal it again when she wins." The issue also features a story from director Duncan Tucker's transgender former roommate who helped inspire the film and a piece on how actors are transformed physically into characters that look very different from their normal appearance, including Best Actress nominee Felicity Huffman in the picture.
Dolly did not sing on the Leno broadcast Tuesday, but she is scheduled to perform her Oscar-nominated tune on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday (check local listings for stations and broadcast times) before appearing on The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson on CBS Friday night.
Govt. Plugs Dolly Prog. The U.S. government is trying to get some publicity for Dolly's nationwide literacy program, The Imagination Library. The Washington File, a PR product of the Bureau of International Information Programs of the State Department (which works to get stories published outside the U.S. which are positive about the nation), profiled the project in a press release here issued Wednesday. In the story, Dolly says the success of the program, which distributed nearly 2 million books last year, has surprised her. "I believe that all things happen when they are supposed to happen," she continued. "Everything has just fallen into place, and most importantly, all of the leaders out there have really been moved by the idea. They see what a community can do for its children, and I'm just blessed to be a part of what's taking place. . . . While the Imagination Library cannot do everything, it can eliminate one of the reasons why parents do not read to their children – the availability of quality books in the home."
More Praise For 'Days' Over in the U.K., Nottingham's Evening Post gave Dolly's covers disc, Those Were The Days, four out of five stars Wednesday, saying the collection "adds to her remarkable story" as an entertainer, noting "Blowin' In The Wind" as a stand-out selection. Read the full review here.
Auction Reminder Don't forget that the GuitarTown charity auction to sell off the 10-foot guitar statues, including Dolly's, for Nashville-area non-profit organizations takes place in person in Music City Thursday night, and you may place online bids for her piece here.
Feb. 22: 'Going' All The Way To No. 1, Dolly's 25th! Dolly will score her record-breaking 25th country No. 1 single this week when the March 4 Billboard charts come out Thursday, the magazine revealed Tuesday afternoon, as "When I Get Where I'm Going" rises one digit to the pole position in its 22nd chart week. Also, Brad Paisley's official Web site reports that the song has reached the top spot as well on the competing Radio & Records country airplay singles chart, which will be released publicly on Wednesday. Elsewhere on the Billboard country tally, "I Still Miss Someone" by Martina McBride with Dolly gains five places to No. 51 in its third chart week.
What This Means Her collaboration with Paisley from his CD Time Well Wasted extends her lead as the female artist with the most No. 1 singles on any major genre chart. (Only Madonna has more, with 34 chart-toppers on one of the minor charts, Hot Dance/Club Play. Reba McEntire follows Dolly with 22 country No. 1s, and Aretha Franklin is next with 20 on the R&B chart.) Dolly also becomes the only artist, male or female, to have logged a country No. 1 in each of the past four decades. (While Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers both made it to the top in the '70s, '80s and '00s, neither one scored a No. 1 in the 1990s.)
How It Happened Billboard bases its charts not on how many times a song is played but rather on how many people hear a song played. Consequently, although Josh Turner's "Your Man" was actually played 10 "spins" more than "When I Get Where I'm Going" was last week, his song reached a smaller audience, resulting in it advancing to No. 2 instead of No. 1. "Going" increased 116 spins for the week to 4,619 but that translated into an audience increase of 1.2 million listeners to a total of nearly 34.4 million, pushing it to No. 1. Turner's song increased 422 spins to 4,629 and gained 3.4 million listeners to 33.5 million, not enough to move his single past Dolly's. Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take The Wheel," which had reigned for six weeks at the top, dips two to No. 3 by losing 357 spins to 4,268 and dropping 2.75 million listeners to a total of 31.6 million. Given the great strides Turner's song has been making over the past few weeks, I would expect it very likely to take over the No. 1 spot next week, probably pushing "Going" back down to No. 2. (I suspect Kenny Chesney's "Living in Fast Forward," at No. 4 this week, would then advance to No. 3.)
As Time Goes By This marks Dolly's first return to the top of the country chart since "Rockin' Years" with Ricky Van Shelton went to No. 1 in May 1991, nearly 15 years ago. The hit comes more than 35 years after her first No. 1, "Joshua," in February 1971, and more than 39 years after her first credited entry on the country charts, the No. 24 single "Dumb Blonde," which debuted in January 1967. It marks Paisley's fifth No. 1, coming just five years and three months after his first.
Dolly Talks To Naomi Producers for Naomi Judd's weekly Sunday morning talk show on the Hallmark Channel, Naomi's New Morning, confirmed this week that Dolly taped an interview with her longtime friend over the weekend. The episode is scheduled to premiere at 10 a.m. Eastern March 12. The series aims to "translate faith and values, medical knowledge, humor, common sense and wisdom into practical and universal stories." Formerly half of the mother-daughter duo The Judds, Naomi retired from music in 1991 after a diagnosis of Hepatitis C. Her show on the Hallmark Channel premiered in November.
Smith Discusses Dolly's Oscar Nod Gossip columnist Liz Smith talked to Dolly about her Oscar nomination in her column Monday, raving over her talent and enthusiasm. Dolly discusses again how she came to write the song and her plans for the March 5 Academy Awards telecast. "You know, 26 years ago, when I was nominated for the song 'Nine to Five,' Sissy Spacek won the Oscar for playing Loretta Lynn. But I lost. This year I'm nominated again and Reese Witherspoon is up for Walk The Line. I wonder if this is a sign - a bad sign?" she joked. Read more here.
Praise From Israel Israel's Jerusalem Post gives a positive review this week to the compilation album The Essential Dolly Parton, saying the two-disc collection proves why Dolly is as important as Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons as one of the few artists responsible for "bridging the gap between country, rock & roll and pop." The reviewer concludes: "As an American singer-songwriter treasure, Dolly Parton holds few peers, and Essential shows why." See the full piece here.
TV Reminders If you're reading this update early enough Tuesday night, don't forget to catch Dolly on the special "Olympics edition" of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on NBC. Shown half-an-hour later than usual (12:05 a.m. Eastern Wednesday, 11:05 p.m. Central Tuesday), Dolly shot the episode earlier in the day as part of her round of promotional spots to influence last-minute Oscar voters. See some photos from Reuters here! And remember her other previously-announced appearances this week on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday (check local listings for the syndicated program) and The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson on CBS Friday night.
A Correction In Monday night's brief noting that if Dolly wins the Oscar next month for "Travelin' Thru" from Transamerica she would become the first country artist to win an Academy Award and is the only country artist to have ever been nominated other than Willie Nelson and Allison Moorer, the 1941 nomination of Gene Autry and Fred Rose for "Be Honest With Me" was inadvertently omitted from that list, although they didn't win. Whenever a mistake on the site is pointed out, it is promptly corrected. I apologize for the error.
Feb. 21: UPDATE: DOLLY HITS NO. 1 "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Dolly and Brad Paisley will be the new No. 1 country song in the U.S. this week, Billboard confirmed Tuesday, giving Dolly her 25th No. 1 single. More details in Tuesday night's news update.
'Trans,' 'Days' Tunes See Some Movement The Transamerica soundtrack, featuring Dolly's Oscar-nominated "Travelin' Thru," gains two to No. 23 on this week's Americana Music Association chart, it was revealed Monday. And over on the European CMA charts, Dolly's "Imagine" from Those Were The Days debuts at No. 9 on the French country singles airplay countdown and No. 7 on the same chart in Spain, it was announced Monday. The CD's title track falls out of the top 20 in Germany, down from No. 12 the previous week, while "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley comes in at No. 20 in that country. Other nations chose to focus on some older material, with 1971's "Coat Of Many Colors" reaching No. 13 this week in Denmark's country singles airplay and two even older numbers, 1967's "Fuel To The Flame" and 1969's "Mama Say A Prayer," making it to No. 11 and No. 19, respectively, in Malta.
Martina On 'GMA' Martina McBride performed her version of "I Still Miss Someone" Monday on ABC's Good Morning America, so I'd suspect the tune (which features Dolly harmony on the album and single versions from her Timeless disc) should get a bit more airplay this week. She talks about how great it was to work with Dolly in a story posted on the Great America Country (GAC) cable network's news page here Monday, saying "she was in that vocal booth just putting everything she had into it and it was so inspiring to watch her." Also, don't forget that you may cast a ballot once per day for videos in GAC's weekly reader-voted top 20 countdown. And since you may select up to five videos, be sure to vote for Dolly's "Imagine" and her collaboration on "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley. You may also wish to vote for "Me and John and Paul," the very moving tune by Dolly's former backing band and opening act, The Grascals, to encourage the network to play more bluegrass. Vote here!
Hazel Just Loves That Dolly! CMT.com's Hazel Smith mentioned Dolly's guest appearance with Keith Urban in her column Monday, saying it was Dolly who stole the show at last week's Country Radio Seminar. Read what she had to say here.
More From Overseas The News And Star in Carlisle, Cumbria, in the U.K. on Monday offered a profile of local Dolly fan Joe Skelly's successful efforts to get his employer, retail chain WHSmith, to carry Dolly's Those Were The Days CD nationwide. Take a read here.
Feb. 20: Hanging On In Aussie Chart Although it was released Down Under four months ago, Dolly's Those Were The Days earns a 14th chart week on the Australian country albums tally, it was announced Sunday. The album slips two spots to No. 15 on the 20-position chart, which also includes Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, featuring "Islands In The Stream" with Dolly, down four places to No. 19 in its second week.
Countdown To Oscar The LA Daily News on Sunday offered a great Dolly interview, largely about the Oscars, where she is nominated for Best Song. The best part is that the paper has posted online several audio clips from the interview which are available for listening. Read and hear the story here. "I never worked so hard in life promoting anything," she says of the Oscar race, explaining that in country awards "you don't have to politic and work so hard." However, she admits, she has yet to listen to the other two nominated tunes and reveals she might wear even a third outfit for the awards show (a pastel pink gown for the red carpet, possibly a white tuxedo top for her performance of the song and maybe a third one for when she returns to her seat after singing). This site even gets a mention in the article's introduction :) She also talks about her upcoming Broadway work, which resulted in Broadway World posting its own story focusing on the fall 2007 anticipated premiere of her stage musical adaptation of 9 To 5. Read it here. Finally, critic Roger Ebert has released his Oscar predictions, and he says he thinks Dolly will win. Read his entire list here. Thanks, Tim!
U.K. Promos Continue Don't forget that Those Were The Days hits store shelves Monday in Europe, where it is being released via EMI Records.
The Sunday Times had a great interview on the cover of its "Cultures" section, and it's available online here. Most of the information is not new, although Dolly does reveal she spent her birthday last month at the cosmetic surgeon getting her "100,000--mile tune-up." The interviewer chooses to write many of her quotes in dialect, depicting her Appalachian drawl on certain words, which provides for an engaging read. She discusses religion, her childhood, the new album, her avoidance of political discussions, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) and more.
The entire week's worth of BBC Radio2's Ken Bruce Show remain available for listening with Dolly's CD as the Album of the Week, but they'll disappear throughout coming days as the weekly archive is updated with this week's programs instead. Visit his site here and click on the appropriate day under "Listen Again." In addition to Monday and Tuesday's appearances, I'm told that Wednesday featured "The Cruel War" at 1:42 into the program, Thursday "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" 26 seconds into the show and "Imagine" on Friday 1:50 into the show. Thanks, Joe!
CMT Recap There weren't any surprises in Dolly's interview for CMT's Insider program this weekend reacting to her Academy Award nomination for "Travelin' Thru" from Transamerica. She told Katie Cook, "I don't expect to win, but it'll be fun just to walk the red carpet and be a part of that whole deal." She added that she wants to meet actor and fellow nominee George Clooney and repeated her joke that since she once played a madam on film perhaps she should perform the competing rap song "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp." The episode also included some shots of her with Keith Urban and this week's Country Radio Seminar in Nashville singing "Jolene" together and telling her joke about imagining her husband is the Aussie star, which is a line or two longer than the way it was re-told in the printed press after the Wednesday concert. (And if you want to check out another brief clip of her and Urban on stage, TV station WSMV in Nashville has posted entertainment reporter Jimmy Carter's report of the appearance online here. Scroll down that page to find the direct link to the video.) If you missed it, CMT's show repeats at 2 p.m. Monday. And in a related note, a reader alerted me late Friday that CMT's daily online poll that day was whether Dolly and Urban should record a duet together -- the response was an overwhelming "yes," but I guess the network completely missed that they did "Twelfth Of Never" on her Those Were The Days last year. Thanks, Sheldon!
TV Reminders Dolly will be on the tube a great deal stateside this coming week, so be sure to set the VCRs! Mostly as part of the promotions for the Oscars, she'll be on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on Tuesday, The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday and The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson Friday. Due to the Olympics, NBC will air Leno's show a half-hour later than usual in most markets, placing her on at 12:05 a.m. Wednesday Eastern (11:05 p.m. Tuesday in the Central zone), although she is not expected to sing (the show's Web site says there will be no musical performances this week due to the Olympics). Ellen is a syndicated program, so its broadcast stations and times vary by market (click here to visit the show's official site and see when and where she airs in your city). She is slated to sing "Travelin' Thru" on the show. And CBS shows Ferguson's episode at 12:35 a.m. Eastern Saturday (11:35 p.m. Central Friday) in most markets, although some stations place a syndicated program between David Letterman and Ferguson, making his show air half-an-hour or an hour later than usual. So, as with all shows, check your local listings to verify the correct times in your area!
Feb. 18: Two Days Until 'Days' Hits U.K. The British press continues to rally around the European release of Dolly's Those Were The Days overseas on Monday via EMI Records. Among the highlights:
GMTV's LK Today with Lorraine Kelly has announced Dolly's appearance on its program with an interview to air in two segments: one on Wednesday and one on Thursday. The show airs at 8:35 a.m. British time. Thanks to Paul from Ultimate Dolly U.K. for the tip!
London's The Guardian reviewed the set Friday, giving it four out of five stars and noting Dolly is the only artist who "could take an album of moth-eaten 1960s protest songs, dress them up in old-fashioned bluegrass and end up sounding more modern than ever." Read it here.
I'm told the The Sun also reviewed it Friday, giving three out of five stars and saying some of the song choices "are too obvious" and vocal delivery "too forced" but concluding she provides a "pleasant enough overall" album. Thanks, Mark!
The BBC profiled Mary Hopkin's involvement in the title track with an article here Friday.
The Western Mail also discussed Dolly and Hopkin collaborating on the CDs title track, but its article was full of errors (for instance, saying that she performed with "Peter" Wagoner instead of Porter, that "Dumb Blonde" went to No. 6 instead of No. 24, that she's sold 20 million albums worldwide instead of more than 100 million, plus other mistakes). Take a look at it on IC Waleshere.
Another 'Transamerica' Tale The Hollywood Reporter Friday did a wonderful job recounting how the Transamerica film came to be, including some unique insights. Dolly only gets a one-line mention for her contribution of the song "Travelin' Thru," its nomination for an Oscar and her being director Duncan Tucker's date for the awards show, but the behind-the-scenes story on the film is quite interesting. Read it here.
Indie, GAC Chart Updates On the minor charts, Dolly's "Both Sides Now" from Those Were The Days gains one to No. 5 on this week's unofficial Indie World Country independent label country singles chart, and cable's Great American Country sees "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley rise one to No. 6 in its sixth week on the viewer-voted chart. Cast your ballot for that video and Dolly's own "Imagine" here.
CMT Reminder Don't forget to tune in to CMT Insider this weekend to hear Dolly talk about her Oscar nomination. The show also had a crew at Keith Urban's CSR concert in Nashville this week which featured special guest Dolly, so I suspect we'll see a clip of her from there as well. The program premieres at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and repeats Sunday and Monday.
Feb. 17: Dolly: Time Delay Caused Comment On CNN Ed. Note: Dolly asked on Thursday that the following comments about her appearance on CNN Wednesday night be posted for her fans to read: If anybody watched the "Larry King Live Show" last night, it was taped a few days ago and aired last night. I was on a satellite feed from Nashville and it was hard for me to hear because there was a slight delay. The last thing I had heard Larry say was "Have a good time at the Oscars." I responded, "I will". I did not hear him say, "I hope you win". Because of the delay it came across like he said "I hope you win" and I said "I will". I would never be so presumptuous as to say that I would win. There's no way to know that anyway. I responding to his first comment and I didn't want somebody to think I was that arrogant. That was a total miscommunication due to the delay. I'll see you at the Oscars!
Dolly Snags Eighth Top 40 Hit Although she's been recording for nearly five decades and had 111 career chart singles, this week Dolly earns just her eighth top 40 pop hit as "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley enters the upper echelon of the music charts by gaining four spots to No. 39 on the Feb. 25 Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart, it was announced Thursday. For Hot 100 airplay only (as the regular Hot 100 combines airplay with sales of singles), the tune rises four to No. 25. On the "Pop 100," which only tracks songs on "pop" radio stations, the song slips one to No. 73. It falls out of the 75-position digital download singles chart after one week at No. 68. The collaboration dips one to No. 31 on the Canadian pop singles chart, but its video inches up two stateside to No. 12 on the CMT Top Twenty Countdown. As was previously reported here, "Going" remains at No. 2 for a second week on the magazine's country singles chart and "I Still Miss Someone" with Martina McBride slides three on that same chart to No. 56 in its second week on the chart.
Bye-Bye 'Days' I suspect the CD will return in a couple of weeks after her slate of television appearances between now and the Oscars, but for now Dolly's covers project, Those Were The Days, is gone from the charts. The album falls out of the 75-position country albums charts in the Feb. 25 tally announced Thursday, down from No. 65 in its 17th chart entry last week. It had peaked with an October debut at No. 9 to become Dolly's record-breaking 41st top 10 country album. The CD will be released in Europe on Monday. In other chart developments, the Transamerica soundtrack, featuring Dolly's Oscar-nominated "Travelin' Thru," didn't move enough copies in its first week out to debut on any charts, even the top 25 soundtrack list. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with "When I Get Where I'm Going," rises two to No. 14 country and is up six No. 63 pop and comprehensive in its 26th week. In Canada, it dips one to No. 10 country. Martina McBride's Timeless, with "I Still Miss Someone," loses three to No. 24 country, 11 to No. 105 pop and a dozen digits to No. 109 comprehensive in its 17th chart week. In Canada, the CD remains steady at No. 8 country but loses 10 to No. 97 pop. George Jones's Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't, featuring "The Blues Man," remains steady at No. 70 in its 22nd week on the country albums chart. Kenny Rogers's 42 Ultimate Hits, with "Islands In The Stream" with Dolly, also falls off the 75-position country albums chart, down from No. 75 last week, its 49th. His latest compilation, 21 Number Ones, which also has "Islands In The Stream," drops eight to No. 19 country in its third week, tumbling 34 places to No. 89 pop and 35 spots to No. 90 comprehensive. It remains steady at No. 20 Canadian country. Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, featuring her take on "Little Sparrow," slides one to No. 10 in its 20th week on the blues albums chart. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, with her cover of "Jolene," slips five to No. 13 in its 49th week on the bluegrass albums chart, while Dolly pals The Grascals return to the bluegrass list with their debut CD, The Grascals, which features Dolly on "Viva Las Vegas," as it gets a 19th chart week, coming in at No. 12. Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts spends its 11th week at No. 1 on the country chart (its 13th chart week) but falls three to No. 11 pop, while Ron White's You Can't Fix Stupid debuts at No. 2 country and No. 14 pop.
CSR Laughs With Keith As was previously noted here, Dolly was one of a few special guests joining Aussie hunk Keith Urban at the Country Radio Seminar's Music City Jams private concert for country DJs Wednesday in Nashville. CMT.com reported she joined Urban on stage for "Jolene" (which he sings an abbreviated version of in his live concerts), and the two offered a duet version of her pop hit "Two Doors Down." All outlets covering it picked up on Dolly's joke that she keeps her marriage fresh after 40 years by a unique method: "I just make out with my husband and pretend it's Keith Urban," adding "And there's nothing you or your long-legged girlfriend can do about it" in reference to Urban's current flame, Nicole Kidman. See photos from the show and read more from CMT.com here, "Celebrities" columnist Brad Schmidt of The Tennesseanhere and Nashville's NewsChannel5 here.
USA Today Thursday night offered a story on the three nominated songs, including a joshing Dolly saying she should sing "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" because she once played a whorehouse madam. The paper reveals that in addition to Dolly's performance, Bird York will perform her "In The Deep" and Memphis rap group Three 6 Mafia will do the "Pimp" number because the actor who rapped it in the film says he's too out-of-practice to do it live. Read the article here.
The New York Times has launched its public Oscar poll, which as of Thursday night saw Dolly second in a close race with 34 percent of the vote. "In The Deep" was first with 39 percent, while "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" was third with 27 percent. Vote here.
GLBT newspaper The San Francisco Bay Times reported Thursday on the SF Equality Awards at City Hall over the weekend during which the film's writer and director, Duncan Tucker, was presented the Equality Entertainment Award for the picture. Read coverage here.
The Associated Press commented Thursday on the contributions of several country artists to alternative-lifestyle-themed film soundtracks this year, most notably Dolly and Willie Nelson. Read that piece here, although it contains at least one error on Dolly.
'Days' Talk Overseas The publicity wagon continues to roll through Europe in anticipation of the release of Those Were The Days over there on Monday.
London's The Independent on Friday reviews the disc, giving it three out of five stars. Interestingly, the reviewer's favorite tracks are those least liked by most American reviewers and his least favorite ones are the ones most liked by many American reviewers. Read the piece here. The paper also offers a sidebar here on what a coup it was for Dolly to get retired singer Mary Hopkin back in the studio to provide harmony on the album's title track.
And The Telegraph features a fairly in-depth profile of Dolly's life and career, which is available online here. Thanks, Gerard!
Dollywood 'Survivor' Booted Off Former Dollywood performer Melinda Hyder has been booted off the CBS reality program Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island, and TV Guide spoke with her this week about the show, and her association with Dolly, here. "She's very cool," the contestant said of her former boss.
Pinmonkey Cover Confirmed The final track listing for the Pinmonkey release Big Shiny Cars has finally come out, confirming that "Down" is indeed the Dolly track they cover on the March 7 release. Reserve your copy here!
Stella In Alabama Dolly's sister Stella got some real good press Thursday in The Decatur Daily about her upcoming appearance this weekend at the Alabama State Fair Association's convention. Read it here.
Feb. 16: 'Going' Still Rides High Dolly and Brad Paisley's "When I Get Where I'm Going" remains in second place for the week on the Radio & Records U.S. country singles chart's Feb. 17 edition, it was announced Wednesday. Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take The Wheel" remains at No. 1 and Josh Turner's "Your Man" rises to No. 3. However, Underwood's song lost more than 1,000 points for the week, while "Going" gained nearly 350 and Turner's gained nearly 600. As is true on the Billboard chart, which uses a different methodology for compiling its numbers, if this trend continues into next week (which depends entirely on radio programmers' decisions and listener requests), "Going" would reach No. 1, Underwood would slip to No. 2 and Turner would remain at No. 3. We'll just have to wait and see what happens then (and everyone should still call and request the tune on their local radio stations). On the Canadian side, "Going" rebounds one spot to No. 2 country for the week. Also on the Radio & Records U.S. country singles, "I Still Miss Someone" with Martina McBride falls out of the 50-position chart, down from No. 50 in its debut week.
Dolly Up For Four CMT Awards Dolly has snagged four preliminary nominations for the CMT Music Awards, the network announced Wednesday. She's up twice in both Collaborative Video of the Year and Most Inspiring Video of the Year. "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley competes in each category, while her solo cover of "Imagine" is in the Inspiring line-up and "The Blues Man" with George Jones is in the Collaborative list. Other preliminary nominees for Collaborative are "I Am a Worried Man" by Willie Nelson featuring Toots Hibbert, "I Play Chicken With the Train" by Cowboy Troy with Big & Rich, "Jackson" by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, "Like We Never Loved At All" by Faith Hill with Tim McGraw, "Live Forever" by Billy Joe Shaver with Big & Rich and "Who Says You Can't Go Home" by Bon Jovi with Jennifer Nettles. Competing against her for Inspirational are "Believe" by Brooks & Dunn, "Drugs or Jesus" by Tim McGraw, "Jesus, Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood, "Live Forever" by Shaver with Big & Rich, "Somebody's Hero" by Jamie O'Neal and "You're Gonna Be" by Reba. First-round voting began Wednesday and continues through 11:59 p.m. March 9. Registered users of CMT.com may vote once during the preliminary round, selecting their four favorite nominees in each category. Final nominees will be announced March 15 and winners revealed on CMT April 10. Click here to vote.
Dolly Wows Larry CNN's Larry King always seems to be a bit smitten with Dolly when she appears on his program, and Wednesday night was no different. The episode was dedicated to the subject of transgender individuals thanks to the film Transamerica. It opened with that motion picture's Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Huffman, moved to interviews with four transgendered people, one of them's twin sister and a psychotherapist, then on to Dolly for the last five or six minutes of the program. She discussed how director Duncan Tucker came to invite her to write and record the song "Travelin' Thru" for the film and how she found the movie in which Huffman plays a male-to-female transsexual "very touching . . . very emotional" and very "tasteful." When asked how she felt being nominated for an Oscar for Best Song, she replied: "I was shocked! . . . I just about fell over." She contrasted this nomination with her nod 25 years ago for "9 To 5," saying she wrote that tune on the set and was involved with the movie from start to finish, while with this one she wrote it at the last minute, and editors barely had enough time to drop it into the ending credits before the prints were to be distributed. She did note that when she performs the song on the Oscar telecast next month that she has been asked to trim it to between two-and-a-half and three minutes, since the original version runs a whopping five minutes. She also touched on that Tucker will be her date and that she will walk the red carpet at the awards. King asked about her long-standing interest in the GLBT community, and she replied that she didn't have a specific interest in sexuality itself but tries to be accepting of everyone regardless of differences. "I believe we're all God's children and believe we should all be who we are," she explained. In closing, King told her "Go get 'em girl!" to which she replied, "Oh, I will." King then said, "I hope you win." (However, due to a slight time delay in the feed between his studio and where she was appearing via satellite, her answer to his first comment came after his second one, making it sound when broadcast like she was predicting she was going to win, which I'm sure she wasn't trying to do.) If you missed the original airing Wednesday night, it repeats at midnight and 3 a.m. Thursday morning.
Another TV Appearance Announced In her continuing publicity tour out in California next week, Dolly has been added as a guest next Friday night/Saturday morning on The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson on CBS, the network revealed Wednesday. The show airs at 12:37 a.m. Eastern Feb. 25, 11:37 p.m. Central Feb. 24. And for those overseas, I'm told her appearances on GMTV in the U.K. are scheduled for both Wednesday Feb. 22 and Thursday Feb. 23, although those have yet to be independently confirmed.
Oscar Talk Here's the latest chatter on Dolly's Oscar-nominated song, "Travelin' Thru," and her appearance on next month's awards show:
The Miami New Times reviewed the track here Wednesday, saying while they found it a stretch for her to combine transgender surgery with religious rebirth, the tune's rhythm and her performance of it reminds everyone "that Dolly stands for the real deal."
A reader sent in a link to the official Web site for Dolly's personal designer, Robert Behar, who will come up with her outfits for Oscar night. Take a look at samples of his work (for Dolly but mostly for others) here. Thanks, Christopher!
The Los Angeles Times joked here Wednesday about what if Dolly runs into Donatella Versace, calling the blonde country diva the "doppelganger" of the blonde fashion diva.
And the Associated Press Oscar Blog on Wednesday said there should be a category for Best Soundtrack, specifically lauding the country and roots-strong Transamerica CD, which features Dolly's nominated track. Read that here.
Dolly Cover Party In Portland Wanna hear a bunch of local singers in Portland, Ore., belt out some Dolly tunes? Well, that's the plan Sunday night at Mississippi Pizza on North Mississippi Avenue with "Dolly Parton Hoot Night." Several groups will be singing Dolly numbers as a fund-raiser for Siren Nation, a women's music, performance art and film festival planned for fall 2007. The show starts at 7 p.m.
Feb. 15: Behar Does Dolly Oscar Duds Dolly has tapped longtime personal designer Robert Behar to come up with her outfits for next month's Academy Awards, The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. In an interview here, Dolly revealed because it's the Oscars she will walk the red carpet (a rare feat for her feet -- as she usually arrives late and leaves early at awards shows to avoid the crowds) and wear two different gowns that night -- one on the red carpet and another when she performs her Best Song-nominated tune, "Travelin' Thru," on the March 5 telecast. She confirmed that Duncan Tucker, director of Transamerica, the film in which her song appears, has agreed to serve as her date for the evening and walk her down the red carpet (she had previously said she was going to ask him). She also joked that Behar has instructed her she has to wear real diamonds, not her usual costume jewelry, and she added that she's asked him to design an entire week's wardrobe so she may change before parties and other events in Hollywood that week. Remember to catch Dolly and the film's star, Felicity Huffman, talking with Larry King on CNN Wednesday night!
Fan Documentary Headed For Nashville Premiering in Miami the day before Dolly learns whether she'll win an Oscar, the Dolly fan documentary For The Love Of Dolly has been accepted at this year's Nashville Film Festival, the director confirms. The festival takes place April 20-26 in Music City. The actual date and time of the showing will be announced later. The film's world premiere is March 4 at the Miami International Film Festival. Learn more about it in the Dollymania special section dedicated to the picture here.
Dolly TV Shuffle Dolly's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno appearance next week has moved. Instead of taping the show next Thursday for broadcast Friday morning in the east (Thursday night central), she'll join Leno for next Tuesday's taping. The show is now scheduled to air on NBC at 11:05 p.m. Central Tuesday the 21st, 12:05 a.m. Eastern Wednesday the 22nd. In addition, it was announced Tuesday that she is scheduled to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday of next week. Although broadcast times and stations vary by market, most show it at around 9 a.m. Eastern. She had to cancel previously-scheduled appearances on both shows last fall due to a bout with laryngitis.
If It's Good Enough For Dolly An interview by Dolly pal Kenny Rogers on The Insider included a mention of how cosmetic surgery champ Dolly has reacted to the 67-year-old's own frequent trips to the plastic surgeon. "Dolly used to laugh," he said. "She's like, 'Oh my God! Kenny's gone to Jiffy Suck again.'" Read a story about the interview here.
Feb. 14: Dolly: Thanks For 60th Birthday Wishes Hey Fans,
Since most of you seem to check this website, I asked Duane if he would post this note for me.
I just wanted to thank you all for my birthday cards, presents, flowers and cake. I was trying to forget this birthday, but you wouldn't let me. (Ha!) Seriously, I have the greatest fans in the world and I truly appreciate you.
I will always love you,
'Going' Misses No. 1 This Week "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Dolly and Brad Paisley will not hit country's top spot this week, but there's still hope for it to become Dolly's 25th No. 1 single next week, according to the numbers revealed Monday. Billboard magazine released its preliminary country singles charts showing that Carrie Underwood will remain in the pole position for a sixth week with "Jesus, Take The Wheel," while Dolly and Paisley will remain at No. 2 and Josh Turner's "Your Man" will rise one to No. 3. The chart reflects airplay through the past weekend and will be officially released to the public on Thursday with a chart date of Feb. 25. The good news is that Underwood's tune fell enough in airplay to have lost 2.8 million listeners for the week, coming in with a total listening audience of 34.4 million, while "Going" gained 500,000 to 33.2 million and Turner gained 2 million to 30.2 million. If that trend were to continue for another week, Dolly's track would be No. 1 next week, followed by Turner at No. 2 and Underwood at No. 3. However, whether that happens will depend on radio programmers' decisions this week and listener requests. Elsewhere on the chart, Dolly's collaboration with Martina McBride on "I Still Miss Someone" will dip three places to No. 56 in its second chart week, the preview confirmed.
Urban Concert Details Revealed The Academy of Country Music and Country Radio Seminar (CSR) on Monday announced what Dolly will be doing with Keith Urban this week to which she had alluded in an interview broadcast in Australia a few days ago. Urban is headlining the Music City Jam, a concert which kicks off the 37th annual convention of country radio disc jockeys in Nashville Wednesday night, and guests Dolly, Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn and Pat Green were announced Monday as additional performers. Only registered convention participants may attend the private event. Urban performs a duet of "Twelfth of Never" with Dolly on her Those Were The Days CD, and Dolly was an honored guest at last year's CSR in Music City, receiving that year's Radio Hall of Fame Artist Career Achievement Award. View the announcement here.
The King And Dolly Dolly will be one of the interview guests on Wednesday's Larry King Live, CNN announced Monday. The episode focuses on the film Transamerica and will include interviews with Dolly (Oscar nominee for Best Song for the movie's closing number, "Travelin' Thru"), Felicity Huffman (Oscar nominee for Best Actress for the film's lead role) and real people who have had transgender operations (since the movie is about a male-to-female transsexual). It premieres at 9 p.m. Eastern Wednesday with a repeat broadcast at midnight Thursday. Thanks, Robbie! (Image courtesy CNN.)
Dolly: 'I Wanted To Sing With Brad' At CMAs Cable channel Great American Country (GAC) reported Monday that Dolly wanted to sing "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley at last year's CMA Awards, but producers would only let her appear once on the program -- with Sir Elton John. In comments the network said were from an interview for an upcoming episode of its Country Music Across America program, Dolly explained what happened and said she thinks the show's decision may have been the wrong one, saying no one was "particularly excited" about her performing with John. "And I love Elton," she admitted, "but we just didn't shine…but I would have shined with Brad. It just didn't seem right that I didn't sing with him. I remember recording the song and tears were streaming down my face. It was very inspiring." Read more here. While the brief didn't specify on which episode the interview will air, a new program in the series premieres once every two weeks, with the next one coming on Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern. Image at left of Dolly and John at the awards show by John Russell/CMA. Provided by Country Music Association. Used with permission.
More U.K. Appearances Known More details have come out about Dolly's tentative appearances overseas in coming weeks to promote next Monday's European release of Those Were The Days. Reported stops include the following:
BBC Radio 2's Ken Bruce Show is featuring Dolly each morning between 9:30 a.m. and noon selecting "the tracks of my years" and offering her commentary between each (with the release being its "Album Of The Week.")
The Sunday Times is expected to publish a front-cover interview in its Culture section Sunday.
She is expected to appear on GMTV, although the date has yet to be settled, and an appearance on VH2 Americana is expected to be announced.
BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright Show is scheduled to air an interview Monday, Feb. 27, and several other shows on the network are playing tracks from the CD. Thanks, Joe!
No 'CW' Cover This Week The Feb. 27 issue of Country Weekly started hitting newsstands nationwide Monday, and Dolly wasn't on the cover. Instead, a cover story on the trio Sugarland becoming a duo graced the front page. As was previously reported here, members of the magazine's readers' panel were asked to vote three times on Dolly covers for this issue, selecting her for the first two ballots but, as we now know, going with the developing Sugarland news for the third one. Members of the panel said this was the first time they could recall ever being asked to vote more than twice on a cover. However, since the Dolly interview on her turning 60 wasn't published in this edition, I suspect they'll bring it out as a cover story in a future issue, possibly the next one (which will come out in another two weeks). The current edition also includes a brief on the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) public service announcements featuring Dolly, Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris.
More Minor Chart Updates "When I Get Where I'm Going" gains one to No. 3 this week on the Power Source Christian country singles countdown, it was announced Monday. And on the Americana Music Association's weekly list, the Transamerica soundtrack debuts at No. 25 thanks to airplay of Dolly's "Travelin' Thru," it was also revealed Monday.
Bid On Guitar For those who can't be in Nashville in person a week from Thursday to bid on the Dolly guitar in the GuitarTown Project fund-raiser, eBay announced Monday it will be taking absentee bids for the auction. Dolly's guitar, a butterfly-adorned piece by artist Katherine Falk autographed by Dolly, is available for bidding here. The auctioneers estimate it will sell for between $6,000 and $9,000. Dozens of the 10-foot-tall fiberglass Gibson guitar models representing various music celebrities have been on display throughout Nashville for several months and will be auctioned off next week to benefit the Country Music Hall of Fame, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, United Way of Nashville and The District.
Dolly On E! I'm told Dolly got a few mentions in the new countdown of the 50 Greatest Chick Flicks from cable network E!. Steel Magnolias made the top 10, (Beaches was No. 1). In the coverage of Dolly's 1989 blockbuster, Alanis Morisette commented that her favorite line from the often-quoted film was Dolly's comment that "laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." The show repeats Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern. Thanks, Jonathan!
Stella In Atlanta I'm told Dolly's little sis Stella was wonderful over the weekend in the Atlanta area, where she performed an acoustic set at Decatur's Eddie's Attic and a shorter set at a public meet-and-greet session in Atlanta furniture store Pergola. "This weekend has been a very special time for me," she said. "I could not have kicked off this 'new' acoustic show to a better crowd of very close loving friends and fans of all ages." Thanks!
Feb. 13: 'Days' Returns Down Under Thanks to her appearance on the national morning television program Sunrise last week, Dolly's Those Were The Days re-enters this week's Australian country albums chart, it was announced Sunday. The CD comes in at No. 13 for a 13th chart week after several weeks off the 20-position tally. Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, which features "Islands In The Stream" with Dolly, debuts at No. 15 country, while Brad Paisley's CD Time Well Wasted, with its Dolly collaboration on "When I Get Where I'm Going," falls back out of the top 20, down from No. 19 the previous week.
CMT No. 1 Prediction The folks over at CMT think Dolly might get to No. 1 in this week's charts. The site's online news over the weekend posted a story about last week's release of the new Billboard standings which saw Dolly's "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley make it to No. 2 and noted that both five-week No. 1 "Jesus, Take The Wheel" from Carrie Underwood and previous No. 2 hit "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" by Trace Adkins lost spins last week, which the writer said could indicate that either "Going" or perhaps Josh Turner's current No. 4 single "Your Man" could overtake American Idol winner Underwood and unseat her from No. 1 when the next tallies are released later in the week. Read more here, and remember to call your local stations and request "When I Get Where I'm Going"!
Dolly On Leno NBC has announced Dolly will perform on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on Feb. 23. Due to the Olympics, the show airs an hour later than usual (12:35 a.m. Eastern Feb. 24 in most markets, 11:35 p.m. Central Feb. 23) and will mix in-studio guests with reports from the Olympic games in Italy.
And Making Waves Across The Pond Dolly's apparently getting at least a little airplay overseas in advance of next week's release of Those Were The Days in Europe. The CD's title track debuted at No. 12 on the German country singles airplay chart last week, the European CMA announced over the weekend.
Vote For Dolly! Thanks to Christian at Dolly Parton Central to pointing out to me that Yahoo is asking readers to vote on their favorite nominees at the Academy Awards. After voting in all categories and submitting your ballot, you can see how your choices stack up against Yahoo's "Oscar Expert" and the overall voting of all Yahoo readers who have visited thus far. The site's "expert" predicts Dolly will walk home with the Best Song trophy for "Travelin' Thru," although as of the time of this update Sunday evening, the song was second with 32 percent of the public's vote ("In The Deep," which most critics seem to think has the least greatest chance of winning, was first with 41 percent, while "Hard Out Here For A Pimp," which most critics seem to think has the second-best chance of winning after Dolly, was third with 27 percent). Visit here to cast your vote. (And don't forget to enter the Dollymania/Nettwerk Records contest to win a CD of the film soundtrack here!)
Oscar Talk On CMT Thanks to Teddy from Dolly Online.net for alerting me that CMT Insider host Katie Cook announced on this weekend's show that next week's episode will feature an interview with Dolly on her Oscar nomination. The show premieres at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Saturday with repeats next Sunday and Monday.
The Grascals In Mass. Former Dolly opening act The Grascals continue to talk of their work with the superstar, this time in a profile from the Metro West Daily News on their upcoming appearance Feb. 18 at the Boston-area Joe Val Bluegrass Festival in Framingham, Mass. Read more here.
Feb. 11: 'Travelin' Thru' Video Coming No word yet on when it is to air, but Dolly has filmed a video for her Oscar-nominated tune "Travelin' Thru" from the transgender road comedy Transamerica, it has been reported. Dolly was featured Friday on Entertainment Tonight spin-off The Insider from the set of the video shoot. She talked about the song, getting to sing it on the Academy Awards telecast next month, her experience as a first-time nominee 25 years ago and more. She joked that she plans to be totally "overdone" in her appearance at the awards show and added that since her husband, the elusive Carl Dean, never attends these functions, she hopes to ask the film's director, Duncan Tucker, to be her date. Read an online text version of the interview, and see a clip of her talking about why she is so popular with gay fans, from the show's Web site here. (And if you're catching this update early enough Friday evening, check your local listings to see if the show has aired in your city yet tonight. As it is syndicated, broadcast times and stations vary by market.) Get the soundtrack here! Thanks, Adam!
Win The Soundtrack! And if you haven't run out yet and bought a copy of the soundtrack, which was released on Tuesday, Dollymania is teaming up with the label which produced it, Nettwerk Records, to offer readers a chance to win a free CD of it! Visit a page set up specifically for this contest here to enter. There is a limit of one entry per person, and you must be a resident of the U.S. (sorry, international readers) 13 years of age or older. In a few weeks, three lucky contestants will be randomly selected for a free CD! Thanks!
Dolly On The BBC In part of her continuing promotions via satellite and pre-recorded interviews in advance of the Feb. 20 release of Those Were The Days in the U.K., Dolly will appear on the BBC's religious-themed program Heaven And Earth this weekend, it has been announced. She'll talk with Hannah Scott-Joynt about turning 60, the importance of prayer in her life and more. In addition, she'll perform "Imagine" from the CD. The program airs Sunday at 10 a.m. British time on BBC 1. Thanks, Gerard!
On A Couple Of The Other Charts On the minor charts, Dolly's "Both Sides Now" from Those Were The Days advances two to No. 6 on this week's unofficial Indie World Country independent label country singles chart, and over on cable channel Great American Country, "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley moves back up one to No. 7 in its fifth week on the viewer-voted chart. Cast your ballot for that video and Dolly's own "Imagine" here.
Nixon: 'I Will Always Love' Dolly I'm told Dolly gets a mention in the "Chatter" section of the Feb. 20 issue of People magazine. Celebrities are asked what their favorite love song is, and Sex And The City star Cynthia Nixon replies: "'I Will Always Love You' does it for me, the Dolly Parton version. I like it in the context of the festive whorehouse." Of course, while Dolly first had a No. 1 on the song in 1974, she re-recorded it for 1982's The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, sending it to No. 1 again a decade before Whitney Houston's smash pop version. Thanks, Bridget!
Feb. 10: 'Going:' Dolly's Biggest Pop Hit Since 'Islands' Dolly now has her biggest pop hit in more than two decades, thanks to "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley. The song gains nine spots to No. 43 on the Feb. 18 Billboard all-genre Hot 100 pop chart, becoming Dolly's highest position on that tally since "Islands In The Stream" with Kenny Rogers went to No. 1 all the way back in 1983. Over on the Hot 100 airplay-only list, the tune rises two to No. 29. It also advances 10 to No. 72 on the genre-specific Pop 100, debuts at No. 68 for digital download singles and slips seven spots to No. 30 pop in Canada. The song falls out of the 25-position music video chart, down from No. 24 the previous week, while on CMT's Top Twenty Countdown, it inches up one to No. 14. As was reported here Wednesday evening, the duet moves up one on the Billboard U.S. country chart to No. 2 in its 20th chart week, kept from No. 1 by just Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take The Wheel," and Martina McBride's Dolly collaboration on "I Still Miss Someone" debuts at No. 53 country. Billboard chart watcher Fred Bronson says in his weekly "Chart Beat" column in the magazine's online edition this week that he expects Underwood "stands a good chance of fending off" Dolly and Brad from No. 1 next week, which would give her song a sixth week at the pole position. With five weeks at the top, she is currently tied with Dolly ("Here You Come Again"), Lee Ann Womack, Gretchen Wilson, Shania Twain, Martina McBride and Lynn Anderson for the third-longest country No. 1 for a female artist. Only Faith Hill's "Breathe" and Connie Smith's "Once A Day" lasted longer, at six and eight weeks, respectively.
No Movement For 'Days' This Week At least it's holding steady this week. That could be some comfort to fans watching Dolly's Those Were The Days slide down the charts. In its 17th week on Billboard, the CD remains at No. 65 in the Feb. 18 country albums tally, a long way from its debut-week peak at No. 9. Elsewhere on the chart, Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, featuring "When I Get Where I'm Going," also remains steady at No. 16 country and No. 69 pop and comprehensive in its 25th week. In Canada, it remains steady at No. 9 country but dips three to No. 108 pop albums. Martina McBride's Timeless, which contains "I Still Miss Someone," inches down one to No. 21 country and falls nine to No. 94 pop and 11 to No. 97 comprehensive in its 16th chart week. In Canada, the album slides one to No. 8 country and nine to No. 87 pop. George Jones's Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't, with the Dolly duet "The Blues Man," slips four to No. 70 in its 21st week on the country albums list. Kenny Rogers's 42 Ultimate Hits, with "Islands In The Stream" with Dolly, slides seven to the country albums chart's last position, No. 75, in its 49th chart week, while his latest compilation, 21 Number Ones, also featuring "Islands In The Stream," loses five points to No. 11 country in its second week, also falling 31 places to No. 55 pop and comprehensive. The collection falls off the 25-position Internet sales chart, down from No. 8 the previous week, and slides one to No. 20 Canadian country. Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, with "Little Sparrow," remains steady at No. 9 in its 19th week on the blues albums chart. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, featuring "Jolene," rises three to No. 8 in its 48th week on the bluegrass albums chart. After logging just its second chart week away from the top position, Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts returns to No. 1 on the country chart in its 12th week, but it loses one to No. 8 pop on sales of 74,000 units, while Josh Turner's Your Man dips one to No. 2 country and nine digits to No. 11 pop in its second week.
Down Under Dolly Dolly appeared this week on Australia's national morning show Sunrise via satellite from the U.S., and I'm told she was great. She discussed her plans to sing her nominated song "Travelin' Thru" on the Academy Awards telecast in March and said she hopes to make it to the land Down Under at some point to perform there again. With Keith Urban being one of the continent's biggest country stars ever, and her duet partner on "The Twelfth Of Never," she was asked what she thought of the marriage rumors of him and girlfriend Nicole Kidman. She said she was performing with him next week at a DJ event (which is a private function) and would ask him about it then. She added that she's hoping to convince him to do a television special with her and suggested that they might want to film it in Australia. Thanks, John!
Dollywood Review Speaking of Down Under, Dollywood got a mostly positive review in the travel section, "Escape," on Australia's News.com (part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, which in the U.S includes Fox News). The reviewer liked the park itself, calling it "enjoyable," even though he didn't care for the overtly patriotic aspects of it, but he passionately hated the kitschy surroundings of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Read the story here.
'Love Songs' Loved In its music picks for Valentine's Day next week, New York's Queens Chronicle included a Dolly selection, her BMG compilation Love Songs. Read a review, which lauds her talent as a superb songwriter and amazing singer, here.
Name That Tune, 2006 I'm told Dolly got mentioned at least three times last week on The Weakest Link. On one episode, a contestant was asked what TNN changed its name to, and he answered incorrectly "Dollywood." Another question last week was who wrote "I Will Always Love You," which was answered correctly. And, finally, another question was after whom was Dollywood named, which the contestant also got right. Thanks, Chris! But that wasn't her only game show/reality show appearance of sorts. On Thursday night, two of the contestants on ABC's Dancing With The Stars chose Dolly's "9 To 5" as the accompaniment for their ballroom dance.
Feb. 9: 'R&R,' 'Billboard': Dolly And Brad No. 2 Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take The Wheel" is still keeping it from the top spot, but Dolly's duet of "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley inches up one notch to No. 2 this week on the Radio & Records magazine U.S. country singles chart for Feb. 10, the publication announced Wednesday. On the Canadian side, the tune slips one to No. 3 country for the week, down from a two-week peak at No. 2. Over on Billboard, this week's Feb. 18 chart preview sees the song gain one there as well to No. 2 country, as Underwood's tune remains No. 1 there, too. Everyone call your radio stations and request "Going" over and over again and let's get Dolly back to No. 1!
Martina Track Debuts But that's not the only Dolly title on the charts. "I Still Miss Someone," credited as "Martina McBride with Dolly Parton," hits the country tallies this week. Billboard announced in its chart preview that the song will debut on its country singles list at No. 53 for the Feb. 18 charts. And in Radio & Records, the tune from McBride's covers project, Timeless, debuts at No. 50 country. It becomes Dolly's 105th chart country single and 111th career chart single.
Grammy Blues It wasn't a good Grammy night Wednesday for Dolly-related projects. Although Dolly herself wasn't up for an award this year (the first time in seven years that has happened), her pals The Grascals, who served as her opening act for most dates on last year's "Vintage Tour" as well as 2004's "Hello, I'm Dolly Tour" and play throughout Those Were The Days, were up for their first Grammy trophy, Best Bluegrass Album for The Grascals, which featured Dolly on "Viva Las Vegas." The category also included nominee Rhonda Vincent and the Rage's Ragin' Live, featuring her live cover of "Jolene." Unfortunately, both titles lost the award to The Del McCoury Band's The Company We Keep. The Grascals were profiled on CMT.com Wednesday for its Grammy nod, including their comment "Thank God for Dolly." Take a read here. In the Best Country Album category, Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, which includes his hit duet with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," lost to Alison Krauss and Union Station's Lonely Runs Both Ways, one of three trophies they took home Wednesday, bringing Krauss' impressive career total to 20. Other country-related winners were: Emmylou Harris in the female country category for "The Connection," Keith Urban male country for "You'll Think Of Me," Krauss and Union Station with country duo or group for "Restless" and country instrumental for "Unionhouse Branch," Faith Hill and Tim McGraw for collaboration for "Like We Never Loved At All," the songwriters of "Bless The Broken Road" (Bobby Boyd, Jeff Hanna and Marcus Hummon) for country song, Amy Grant for country gospel album with Rock of Ages and John Prine for contemporary folk album for Fair & Square.
Alison Still Tops So where does that put the country ladies with the most Grammy wins? Of course frequent Dolly harmony singer Alison Krauss remains in first place (for all country performers and for all female artists in all genres) with 20 awards, Dolly's Trio partner Emmylou Harris remains in second with a dozen trophies, followed by fellow Trio member Linda Ronstadt in third place with 10 awards (three of which are for country categories). The Dixie Chicks are fourth with eight, followed by Dolly at fifth with her seven honors. Below them are sixth-place Naomi Judd with six awards; seventh-place Faith Hill, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Shania Twain, Wynonna Judd and June Carter Cash with five each; and eighth-place group 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).
Sing Me Some Love Cable channel Great American Country (GAC) announced Wednesday that its survey of country fans on whom they would want to sing them a Valentine's Day serenade saw Dolly come in third of all female performers. The top three were close, with Shania Twain coming in first with 11.6 percent, Faith Hill second with 8 percent and Dolly next with 6.3 percent. On the male side, Tim McGraw was first with 13.4 percent, Kenny Chesney next with 9.3 percent and Alan Jackson third with 7.7 percent.
Feb. 8: Vincent Song Title Revealed Although I haven't seen an official announcement anywhere, a posting by one of Rhonda Vincent's biggest fans on her official Web site's message board lists five "confirmed" tracks for Vincent's upcoming All American Bluegrass Girl CD, including a note that the song on which Dolly performs is called "Heartbreaker's Alibi." Read the listing here. Thanks, Tony!
Braggin' On Dolly Ed Roland and Joel Kosche of Collective Soul were on Howard Stern's Sirius Radio program Monday, and the topic of Dolly came up. Her recent cover of their hit "Shine" made its way into the conversation, and a snippet of it was played. Roland commented on how much he loved her version and Stern said it wasn't too bad (Artie Lange didn't care for it, though), and it was mentioned that her recording of it won a Grammy. Stern added that he thinks Dolly is "still hot" for her age, and Roland said he thinks she just "oozes" sex appeal. Not bad for a 60-year-old! Thanks, Al!
Latest Library Happenings Nashville's NewsChannel5 reported this week that Humphreys County has become the latest in Tennessee to sign up for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. Read the brief here.
Park Announces 2006 Schedule And speaking of Dollywood, the park's season passholders have begun to receive this year's first brochure in the mail, announcing the 2006 festival schedule:
April 1 - May 7, Festival of Nations (which features the premiere of the new Timber Tower ride and a new Sweet Shoppe candy center on Showstreet; Dolly's seasonal "grand opening" events, however, aren't until the weekend of April 7)
May 13, the premiere of the new '50s and '60s musical Dreamland Drive-In in the Pines Theatre.
June 16-Aug. 6, KidsFest with Dirk Arthur and his Big Cats and Magic, the national premiere of the new Veggie Tales video and the return of Clifford the Big Red Dog's stage show, the SpongeBob SquarePants Turbo Action Ride and the live musicals from Dolly's Imagination Playhouse.
Sept. 15-17, new Bluegrass and BBQ event featuring concerts by Ricky Skaggs, Ralph Stanley, Del McCoury, Riders in the Sky, Marty Raybon, Cherryholmes and more.
Sept. 29-Oct. 28, National Gospel and Harvest Celebration featuring concerts by the Isaacs, Dottie Rambo, the Anchormen, Karen Peck and New River, the Perrys, Legacy Five and more.
Nov. 4-Dec. 30, Smoky Mountain Christmas featuring the premiere of the park's most elaborate, largest stage show ever: a full-scale musical production of Babes In Toyland.
Academy: New Rules Worked The Academy's music branch is touting the lack of nominees this year under its new selection process as proof that it worked by nominating only the cream of the crop. The chair of that division's executive committee told The Los Angeles Timeshere: "We absolutely achieved what we wanted." He said he expects to repeat the process next year, which required voters to listen to all eligible songs together in screening sessions and rate them, with only those scoring above a certain average score being nominated. Of course, Dolly this year snagged her second career Oscar nomination for "Travelin' Thru" from Transamerica. The film's soundtrack, available here, comes out Tuesday.
Check Out The Videos Thanks to Joe for passing along a cool link with lots of Dolly content. Go to www.youtube.com and type "Dolly Parton" in the search box to see several Dolly videos, both classic and recent.
Fashion Diva Even though her own sense of style often gets her chided by the fashion establishment as one of entertainment's "worst dressed," Dolly's music was front and center as New York's Fashion Week kicked off. Designer Diane von Furstenberg chose Dolly's "9 To 5" to lead off her show of women's wear inspired by the 1988 film Working Girl. Interestingly, von Furstenberg herself is mentioned in Dolly's song "Working Girl" from the 9 To 5 And Odd Jobs album. Read coverage of the show from London's Telegraphhere and The New York Daily Newshere.
Feb. 6: Oscar Watch Continues Although the Academy has yet to formally announce her as making an appearance, CMT's Insider on Saturday reported that Dolly will, in fact, perform her Best Song-nominated tune "Travelin' Thru" at the Oscars telecast on March 5. And don't forget the soundtrack for the song hits stores Tuesday. Get yours here! In related news, I'm told by several readers that the Feb. 10 issue of Entertainment Weekly, out now, has several Dolly items in its Oscar coverage. The publication takes a look at the past quarter-century of the awards show, including a great shot of Dolly and the dancers from her 1981 performance of "9 To 5" on the telecast, as well as a sidebar with the composer of "Fame," which beat her out for the award that year. In the stories on this year's nominees, Best Actress hopeful Reese Witherspoon is asked if she would like to play another country star on film, responding she'd love to portray Dolly but isn't sure she possesses the ability to do so adequately, and she also would like to see the love story of George Jones and Tammy Wynette brought to the screen. In the portion on this year's song nominees, they note Dolly's competition with "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp," saying the Academy will have to decide by March how to deal with the slew of vulgarity which that song contains, including Dolly weighing in with: "I could put a couple of cuss words in my song on live television just to be controversial," to which the magazine replies, "If that doesn't make you skip a bathroom break, we don't know what would!" (A Newsweek story behind-the-scenes of the nominations has the Academy's executive director jokingly suggesting Dolly sing the profane rap song. Read it here.) Thanks, Rodney, Darrick and Chad!
U.K. Single Hits Radio I'm told that EMI has shipped a CD single of Dolly's versions of "Where Do The Children Play" and "Imagine" to radio in the U.K. as a double-single from Those Were The Days, which is to be released in Europe on Feb. 20. Hopefully DJs overseas will be more friendly to the songs than those in the U.S. and give her a hit there! Thanks, Joe!
Paisley Back Down Under Likely due to publicity over its U.S. hit "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Dolly, Brad Paisley's CD Time Well Wasted re-entered the 20-position Australian country albums chart this week, it was announced Monday, coming in at No. 19. The album had previously spent just four week on the country tally Down Under in August and September, having peaked there at No. 11.
Meet Stella Wanna meet Dolly's sister Stella? Well, she has scheduled a meet-and-greet with the public from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. next Sunday at Pergola, a new furniture store on Piedmont Avenue in Atlanta. The event follows her acoustic show Saturday night in nearby Decatur at Eddie's Attic.
Feb. 4: Few Changes On Alternate Charts Dolly doesn't see much movement in the minor charts followed here this week. The video for "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley from Time Well Wasted slips one to No. 8 in its fourth week on the Great American Country cable channel's fan-voted countdown (cast your ballot for it and Dolly's "Imagine" here!). The tune holds steady at No. 4 this week on the Power Source Christian country music chart. And on the Indie World Country independent labels country singles chart, Dolly's "Both Sides Now" from Those Were The Days remains steady at No. 8.
Going For Another Record Dolly showed up again in this week's Billboard "Chart Beat Chat." A reader pointed out that if "When I Get Where I'm Going" makes it to No. 1, she'll be the only female soloist to have a country No. 1 in each of the four past decades. He also noted that Kenny Rogers this week saw his current single, "I Can't Unlove You," reach No. 39, placing him with only Dolly and Willie Nelson as artists who have made it to country's top 40 songs in each of the past five decades. Read his letter here.
More From Kenny Although he's told the story many times before, Kenny Rogers sat down with CMT.com this week to discuss how he came to record "Islands In The Stream" with Dolly. The interview is to promote his new greatest hits collection, 21 Number Ones, which features the song. He said producer and songwriter Barry Gibb's suggestion that she come in and join the recording session changed his vocal from sounding like one of the Bee Gees to a "totally different song." Read the interview here.
Latest Library News Enterprise Rent-A-Car recently made a two-year, $40,000 pledge to Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program for use to support the books project in 35 counties across Tennessee, the state's Governor's Books from Birth Foundation announced Friday. In other Library news, The Toccoa Record in reported here on the arrival of the first books in the program in Stephens County, Ga.
Feb. 3: Dolly Scores 33rd Top Three Hit Continuing its slow trek up in its 19th chart week, "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Dolly and Brad Paisley sees a one-notch climb to No. 3 on the country singles chart in the Feb. 11 issue of Billboard, it was announced Thursday. In addition to its new peak there, it rises to new peaks at No. 52 on the Hot 100 pop chart, up five spots; No. 82 on the pop-genre-only Pop 100, an eight-point gain; and No. 31 on the Hot 100 airplay-only list, up four digits. On the top 25 video chart, it slips two to No. 24. Up north in Canada, the duet gains one to No. 23 pop for the week. And on CMT's Top Twenty Countdown, it advances one to No. 15. The song's entry into the U.S. chart's top trio prompted Billboard writer Fred Bronson to note in his weekly "Chart Beat" column that it marks Dolly's 33rd trip into the top three on the country tally. He explained of those 33 tunes, 24 went to No. 1, two stopped at No. 2 and seven went to No. 3, including the current position for "Going." Read his column here.
'Days' Nearing End Of Chart Run? In a less-successful run, Dolly's current album, Those Were The Days, is hovering dangerously close to the bottom of the country albums chart in its 16th chart week, sliding four places to No. 65 in the Feb. 11 Billboard numbers on the 75-position list. Brad Paisley sees his CD Time Well Wasted, which contains "When I Get Where I'm Going," rise one to No. 16 country and six to No. 69 pop and comprehensive in its 24th week. In Canada, it dips one to No. 9 country and falls back out of the top 100 pop albums, down from No. 87 the previous week. Martina McBride's Timeless, with Dolly harmony on its current single, "I Still Miss Someone," falls six to No. 20 country and drops 17 to No. 85 pop and 18 to No. 86 comprehensive in its 15th chart week. In Canada, the disc slips one to No. 7 country and 14 to No. 78 pop. George Jones's Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't, featuring Dolly on "The Blues Man," falls six to No. 66 in its 20th week on the country albums tally. Kenny Rogers's 42 Ultimate Hits, with "Islands In The Stream" with Dolly, drops four to No. 68 in its 48th chart week, but his new compilation, 21 Number Ones, which also includes "Islands In The Stream," debuts at No. 6 country, No. 8 Internet sales, No. 24 pop and comprehensive and No. 19 Canadian country. Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, featuring her version of "Little Sparrow," dips one to No. 9 in its 18th week on the blues albums chart. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, including a cover of "Jolene," loses four to No. 11 in its 47th week on the bluegrass albums chart. Josh Turner's Your Man, which includes a fictional encounter with Dolly in the track "Loretta Lynn's Lincoln," debuts at No. 1 country and No. 2 pop with sales of 102,000 copies, knocking American Idol alum Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts out of the top country spot, where it had remained for nine of its 10 previous chart weeks, pushing it down to No. 2 country and No. 7 pop with 11th-week sales of 74,000.
Latest On Oscar A few more critics are tackling Dolly's Oscar nomination for Best Song with "Travelin' Thru" from Transamerica this week.
In a Village Voice story focusing mostly on fellow nominees Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard, collectively known as Three 6 Mafia, for their song "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," the reviewer says the field is "wide open" for this year's contest among Dolly, Three 6 and Bird York's "In The Deep." However, he notes that Dolly's song "is a sparkling little country jam with gorgeous weeping fiddles and rippling congas and a typically perfect Parton vocal. I actively like it." Read the profile here.
An Associated Press column points out the great differences among the three entries, citing the profanity and vulgar language of "Pimp," the lost-soul lonliness of "In The Deep" and the references to life changes and Jesus in Dolly's tune. Read it here.
Warren, Ohio, paper The Tribune Chronicle found a reviewer here who pretty much hates all three songs. He said he had to Google Dolly's track to confirm in which film it had appeared because it didn't make an impression on him when he saw Transamerica.
And Michigan GLBT publication Pride Source on Thursday reviewed the film's soundtrack, out next Tuesday (order your copy here!), saying the track is "as fine a Parton song as any," even though they mistakenly say it was her first Golden Globe nomination instead of fifth. Read the review here.
Appearances Update The folks at Sugar Hill tell me that Dolly's previously-announced appearance on The Culture Show on the BBC 2 to promote this month's U.K. release of Those Were The Days has been cancelled. The episode had reportedly been planned for Feb. 16. Thanks!
Grascals Talk Up Dolly Dolly's favorite band, The Grascals, got a plug in The Clayton News-Daily in Jonesboro, Ga., Thursday. In discussing touring with Dolly, band member Terry Eldredge said: "She's the best. The best way to describe her is what you see is what you get. She's a true professional. There's no ego about her. She's just a really sweet lady." Read the full story here.
Feb. 2: Dolly: 'Walking On Sunshine' Over Oscar Nod Dolly's Best Song Academy Award nomination for "Travelin' Thru" from the film Transamerica was still the talk of many in the media Wednesday, and Dolly herself offered some additional reactions of her own to the honor.
Dolly told USA Today she wasn't expecting a nomination because the song hasn't gotten any radio airplay, and she watched the live announcement of nominees on television, which didn't include her category, while cooking breakfast. Then her assistant called her Malibu, Calif., beach house and told her the good news. "I started hopping around my kitchen, and I think I burned half my food. No matter how long you been at it, it's always exciting — like falling in love over and over again," she told the paper. Read her full quote here.
She explained to The Hollywood Reporterhere the hectic schedule for recording the song while she was on "The Vintage Tour" last year, calling it "a sidewinder." She explained she had just one day off near Nashville, went into the studio that day and recorded it, mixed it the next morning, then headed back on the road. "It was quick, and it was good," she added. She noted that it is a thrill to be honored for film work, as that's not her usual medium. "It's a different world than the one I normally live in. I've done a few movies, but I don't think of myself as an actress. This was just a great honor because it happened so quick. I just hurried up and wrote," she said.
The New York Daily News on Wednesday explained again why the Golden Globe-winning tune "A Love That Will Never Grow Old" from Brokeback Mountain was ineligible for the Oscars but gave Dolly a nod as the most likely winner, opining: "In the Deep" from Crash is so "torpid" it could put people to sleep, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from Hustle & Flow is "more of a chant than a song" with "filthy lyrics," and that Dolly's entry should win because of its "beautiful melody, sweet lyrics and — most appealingly — the gall to put transsexualism in the context of the most purely American music imaginable." Read the story here.
The Midland Reporter-Telegram in Texas has also already made its prediction, saying Dolly "should win this category." See more of their choices here.
The Los Angeles Times plugged the nomination in a column Wednesday touting some of the unusual aspects of this year's crop of possible winners, noting: "Her song is the first in Oscar history to deal, even obliquely, with issues of sexual reassignment surgery." Read the story here.
And CMT.com's daily poll on its front page Wednesday was: "Dolly Parton has been nominated for an Oscar for her song "Travelin' Thru," from the film Transamerica. Are you curious to hear it?" As of Wednesday evening, the results were: 40 percent "Yes, I love her singing and songwriting," 29 percent "No, I'm not into her style of music," 18 percent "Maybe, if it sounds like classic Dolly" and 11 percent "Don't know." Then within an hour Wednesday night, a slew of ballots pushed "No" to 66 percent and "Yes" to just 19 percent -- but when a drastic change like that happens on these polls, it's usually because a very small group of people (sometimes just one or two) vote over and over and over again. (Go to their site's front page and scroll down to the bottom right-hand corner to vote if you're reading this update early enough Wednesday night!)
'Going' Still Looking Toward No. 1, Doves "When I Get Where I'm Going," Dolly's hit duet with Brad Paisley, is holding steady at the second spot up north, according to the Feb. 3 Canadian country singles charts released Wednesday by Radio & Records magazine. In addition to remaining at No. 2 in Canada, the tune gains one spot to No. 3 in the U.S. country singles tally. And while it didn't make the top 50 this week, "I Still Miss Someone" from Martina McBride's own covers disc, Timeless, showed respectable first-week airplay nationwide on the publication's survey, where it is credited as "Martina McBride with Dolly Parton." Meanwhile, Dolly and Paisley have snagged a Gospel Music Association Award nomination for contemporary Christian music, better known as the Dove Awards. The duet is up for Recorded Country Song of the Year against Randy Travis's "Angels," Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take the Wheel," Bart Millard's "Mawmaw's Song" and Sawyer Brown's "They Don't Understand." It marks Dolly's second Dove nod. She had previously been nominated for the same category with Dottie Rambo in 2004 for their duet, "Stand By The River." The Doves will be handed out April 5 in Nashville.
'Days' Overseas Promos Coming Up Dolly's schedule is starting to come together to promote the delayed European release of her current CD, Those Were The Days. As was first reported here, the disc hits the shelves across the pond via EMI on Feb. 20 after Sanctuary Records backed out of a proposed October distribution deal with Sugar Hill Records at the last minute. Information site The Raft reported Wednesday that Dolly is slated to do an interview on the Ken Bruce radio show the week of Feb. 13, the BBC's Culture Show on Feb. 16 and then several U.K. appearances the week the album comes out, including GMTV, Nick Barraclough's radio program and Steve Wright's radio show. Officials with Sugar Hill say all appearances will be recorded stateside, and she is also expected to do spots for Germany's RTL TV and Australia's Sunrise (the CD came out Down Under on Shock Records back in October). More details on her appearances as they become available. Thanks!
Building Dolly's Library Expansion of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program in two Kentucky counties made the Lexington Herald-Leader Wednesday. A report announcing its introduction in Bourbon County was covered here, while registration in Scott County got a note here. Both programs are sponsored there by the United Way of the Bluegrass. The program is also offered in Fayette, Clark and Woodford counties in Kentucky. And further down south, The Franklin County Times in Russellville, Ala., described efforts here to bring the program to that community.
No Collectors Convention In 2006 Organizers of the Dolly Collectors' Convention, where fans gathered for several years at Dollywood's season opening to buy, sell and trade Dolly memorabilia, have confirmed that their event will not take place this year. Although the convention attracted large crowds for several years, attendance slipped off when Dolly moved her concerts to the winter season instead of holding them during opening weekend. The folks who put it together took off 2002 and 2003, returning with a well-attended convention in 2004. They decided afterwards to reinstate it as a semi-annual event, with the next scheduled for April of this year. However, organizers confirmed to Dollymania Tuesday morning (and later in the day updated their Web site to announce) that they were unable to recruit enough vendors for the 2006 convention and therefore have cancelled it. They plan to begin recruiting potential vendors in the fall for a possible 2007 convention. Thanks, Jeremy!
'9 To 5' Still Popular After All These Years Human resources consultants Business & Legal Reports on Tuesday announced the results of a new survey showing Dolly's 9 To 5 still maintains a solid fan base 25 years after it hit cinemas, with the film coming in a close second in a poll of voters' favorite workplace-themed movies. Gen X "work sucks" comedy Office Space from 1999 came in first with 37 percent of the vote, followed by Dolly's 1980 film debut with 30 percent. Working Girl from 1988 was third with 20 percent, followed by 1987's Wall Street at 12 percent. (Don't forget the 25th anniversary "Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical Bigot Edition" of the 1980 classic comes out April 4. Reserve your copy here!)