\Dollymania: The Online Dolly Parton Newsmagazine. Your premier resource for Dolly Parton news and information

www.dollymania.net                News                          March 2007

March 31:
Dolly Charms The Irish
I'm told Dolly was stunning at her first show Friday night in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She got into the local color for the second half of the program, donning an bejeweled emerald green suit jacket and skirt. She also removed "Smoky Mountain Memories" from the set list of the first half and replaced "Turn, Turn, Turn" from the second half with "We Irish." Otherwise, the show was the same as her other recent U.K. gigs. Thanks, Kelly! One fan, though, wrote in to complain that the big screens on the sides of the stage weren't used at all (throughout the tour thus far a common complaint has been that although the screens at other shows had been used, they didn't offer any close-ups of her) and that he thought she talked too much.

  • Also in Ireland, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton remains steady at No. 6 on that nation's pop albums chart, it was announced Friday.
  • Some reviews of the U.K. concerts have shown up on fan site Rare Dolly, the webmaster of which tells me he so wishes Dolly would add "God's Coloring Book" or "Puppy Love" back into the set list. He also sent in a shot of Dolly from her Sheffield concert here. Thanks, Andrew!
  • The European tour continues Saturday in County Cork, Ireland; Monday in Dublin and then back to Belfast for its final night Tuesday.

    Auction Raises $35K
    The auction to meet Dolly, get your photo taken with her and be in the group of the first official riders on the new Mystery Mine coaster at Dollywood closed Friday with 70 bidders vying for the prize. A total of 48 winners will pay $625 for each of the 56 seats available for the first ride, translating to a total of $35,000 raised to benefit Dolly's international Imagination Library literacy program. Congratulations to all of the winners! And speaking of the new addition to the park, thanks to Jason for sending in some updated photos of the completed ride taken a few days ago, such as the one at left. View them here!

    Dolly And Bill Cut Duet
    Dolly and "Whisperin'" Bill Anderson have cut their first duet, the legendary singer/songwriter revealed on his website Friday. The track, "My Perfect Reason," which Anderson wrote, will appear on his first-ever bluegrass collection, a yet-to-be-titled, 16-song package to hit stores in June from IMI Records. Additional guests on the project appearing on other songs include Willie Nelson and Vince Gill.

    Party Organizer Discusses Event
    Ever wonder what kind of insane person would try to put together something as wild as "The Night Of 1,000 Dollies?" Well, here's a profile of the guy behind the project, artist Christopher Hamblin, and what he says he hopes to accomplish. Don't forget the big party to celebrate all things Dolly at The World Grotto in Knoxville on April 14! Learn more about the event here!

    March 30:
    Still In Top 2 In Sweden, Denmark
    "Dolly fever" is still strong in Sweden, although she's no longer the top of the pops there. After one week with the No. 1 album on the Swedish pop charts, Dolly falls to No. 2, it was announced Thursday as The Very Best Of Dolly Parton slips one spot for the week. Over in Denmark, the album remains steady at No. 2 on that country's pop albums list, while in Norway it gains one to No. 3 pop. On our side of the Atlantic, the disc falls out of the top 50 country albums in Canada, down from one week at No. 44 up north.

    Dolly Finishes English Leg
    I'm told Dolly was in top form for her final English show Wednesday night in Birmingham before she heads over to Ireland to close out her European tour. The performance was described as "stunning" and full of energy. Her set list did not deviate from other recent U.K. stops on the tour, although she discussed her parents' deaths before singing "Coat of Many Colors" and "Smoky Mountain Memories," something she did not talk about at previous shows. She also led the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" for several crew and band members with upcoming birthdays. Thanks, Gerard, Wayne and Sandra!

    Auction To Meet Dolly Nears End
    Don't forget it's your last chance to get your bid in to be among the first to take a ride on the new Mystery Mine roller coaster at Dollywood when it opens in two weeks. The charity auction for the 56 spots on the first ride ends at 11 a.m. Eastern Friday. The winners not only get to ride the coaster and take home a prize pack of goodies, but they'll get to meet Dolly and have a photo taken with her, so it's certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. All proceeds benefit her Imagination Library literacy program. Participate in the auction on eBay here!

    Paisley Disc Back Out Of Top 10
    The CD with Dolly's most recent U.S. hit, the No. 1 duet "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley, falls back out of the top 10 country albums chart in the April 7 numbers, Billboard announced Thursday. The disc, Paisley's Time Well Wasted, slips two to No. 12 in its 84th chart week. It falls 17 to No. 87 pop, 18 to No. 88 comprehensive and one to No. 24 Canadian country. Martina McBride's Timeless, featuring Dolly harmony on "I Still Miss Someone," rises five to No. 63 country in its 75th chart week. Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, which includes "Islands In The Stream," inches down one to No. 47 country in its 62nd week. After 43 weeks on the bluegrass chart, Rhonda Vincent's All American Bluegrass Girl, with Dolly on "Heartbreaker's Alibi," falls out of that 15-position tally, down from No. 13 the previous week. Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts remains steady at No. 1 country and slips five to No. 15 pop in its 71st chart week, while Gary Allan's Greatest Hits remains steady at No. 2 country and falls 11 to No. 27 pop in its third week.

    Fonda Fawns Over Dolly
    "She has a laugh like a cascade of wind chimes." That's one of the kind things Jane Fonda had to say about her 9 To 5 co-star in an interview which aired Thursday on Turner Classic Movies. Fonda reminisced about her experiences with several of her top films in the hour-long episode of Private Screenings, including discussing working with Dolly in that film and touring Appalachia with her in preparation for Fonda's Emmy-winning role in The Dollmaker, which she said was her favorite character she has ever played.

    March 29:
    'A Dolly Good Show'
    There wasn't word yet as of the time of this update Wednesday night how Dolly's concert in Birmingham, England, went, but I'd expect to hear from folks soon :) The press, though, began its coverage of Tuesday's engagement in Cardiff, Wales. The Western Mail said here that Dolly "took the audience on a mesmerising journey." It spoke of her amazing voice and talent, often overshadowed by her appearance, and how even her well-rehearsed banter sounds "genuine, charming and self-deprecating." Similar praise came from South Wales Echo, which opined here that the night was "truly a once-in-a-lifetime moment" and called her "a true star."

  • The Irish World prepared audiences there for her upcoming shows by providing a review of last weekend's Wembley concert in London. Read it here.
  • A few more tickets were released Wednesday for the previously-sold-out shows in Belfast on Friday and Tuesday from Ticketmaster, and some seats remain available for Saturday's concert in County Cork, Ireland, although Monday night in Dublin remains sold out as Dolly approaches the final four dates on the tour.

    March 28:
    Dolly Wails In Wales
    I'm told Dolly had the crowd "spellbound" Tuesday night for her sold out show in Cardiff, Wales. The set list was the same as her other recent U.K. shows, and the audience went wild as usual. They were stunned into silence at "Little Sparrow" and offered a well-deserved standing ovation after the final performance, "He's Alive," although some did complain of the no-camera policy. Thanks, Kevin!

  • Dolly's last English date is Birmingham on Wednesday, after which she crosses the sea over to perform in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Friday; County Cork, Ireland, on Saturday; Dublin, Ireland, on Monday and back to Belfast for the tour closer on Tuesday.
  • The tickets that had become available Monday for her two Belfast shows were gone on Tuesday, leaving the only night with seats open Saturday in County Cork. Get them from Ticketmaster.
  • Check out a photo of her with her Wembley Square of Fame piece from The Harrow Times here.
  • Champion Newspapers had nothing but good things to say about Dolly's recent stop in Manchester. Take a read here.

    'For The Love Of' LOGO
    For those who don't get cable/satellite channel LOGO, the network has posted the complete fan documentary For The Love Of Dolly on its website in eight parts for streaming video. Watch it here! Thanks, Arelis!

    March 27:
    Dolly: 'Barbie' Pushed To Autumn
    Thanks to Gerard and Lucy to alerting me that Dolly told the audience at Sunday's London concert that she hopes to have her next CD, Backwoods Barbie, out in early fall. That marks a delay from the project's originally-planned release in early summer but makes sense, since there were reports of her being in the studio still recording tracks for it as late as the week before she left for this month's tour of Europe. As has been previously reported, Dolly has said in published interviews that she has recorded about 24 tracks for possible inclusion on the disc, including the title track, "I Dreamed About Elvis," "Country Is As Country Does," "Just A Wee Bit Gay," "Put It Off Until Tomorrow," "She Drives Me Crazy" and "Tracks Of My Tears."

    More On The Tour
    I'm told that the Wembley concert Sunday was "divine," as expected, but that four songs had been cut from the set list when compared to her first concert at the venue nearly a week earlier ("Marry Me," "Applejack," "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Imagine"). I'm told she also mentioned TV host Graham Norton was in the audience that night and had come to see her backstage before the concert began, and the second half featured her wearing an amazing sheer black dress that "looked stunning." Thanks, Gerard! And Contact Music reported here that Dolly imprinted her hands at the venue's Wembley Square of Fame, its version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

  • Good news for Belfast fans! Ticketmaster on Monday released a few more seats for both her March 30 and April 3 concerts in the Northern Ireland city. Get them here while they last!
  • Her tour has resulted in not only getting a compilation CD to become her first pop top 10, but she also sees a former hit album return to the indie charts. Her 2002 collection Halos & Horns re-entered the British independent label albums chart last week at No. 21 and holds steady at that position this week, it was revealed Monday.
  • Thanks to Nathalie for sending in some more shots from Dolly's recent concert in Zwolle, Holland. Check them out here!
  • Check out a review of Saturday's Sheffield concert in Sheffield Today here.

    March 26:
    'Very Best' Falls From Top 10
    Dolly's first-ever foray into the top 10 pop albums tally in Britain only lasted two weeks, it turned out, as her compilation CD The Very Best Of Dolly Parton on Monday dips three to No. 11 in its third week.

    Tour Updates
    Dolly played Sheffield, England, on Saturday night in what I'm told was a "brilliant" show and her second night at Wembley Arena in London on Sunday, which I'm told was "amazing." In London, although I'm told the audience was seated for most of the first half of the program, they rose to their feet for singing and dancing all throughout the second half of the concert. Thanks, Jayne and James!

  • Although she played there several days ago, Sunday's London papers had a few new reviews from last week's show at Wembley. The Sunday Mirror opined here that Dolly certainly "lived up to expectations" and "went all out to ensure no one left disappointed." The Observer offered a detailed description of the show here, noting several of the show's cheesier moments with "You can take the girl out of variety TV shows, but you can't take decades of hamming out of the girl" and pointing out she is at her best when she "stops clowning and switches on her musical gifts," such as the "haunting" take on "Little Sparrow." And The Independent's review is here.
  • The Scotsman gave Friday's shows in Glasgow three stars in a review published here Sunday saying the show was "well worth her fans' money." And The Belfast Telegraph on Sunday previewed her upcoming engagement there with a story here (and a sidebar here on "I Will Always Love You" and Elvis).
  • The tour next continues on to Cardiff, Wales, on Tuesday; Birmingham, England, on Wednesday; Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Friday and next Tuesday (the tour closer); County Cork, Ireland, on Saturday (the only date with tickets remaining available here) and Dublin, Ireland, next Monday.

    'Night Of 1,000 Dollies' Coming
    The list of fun happenings planned for the big "Night of 1,000 Dollies" at The World Grotto in Knoxville next month continues to grow. The festivities kick off April 6 with the unveiling of a month-long exhibit of Dolly art at the gallery but things really get going with the big party April 14 during Dollywood's opening weekend. The gallery's resident artist, Christopher Hamblin will serve as host for a show featuring live music by Jenna and the Joneses, Christina Horn, mezzo-soprano Candra Marshall and Dolly's niece Rebecca Seaver as well as appearances by White Lightnin' Burlesque and Dolly impersonator Angel Collins. The look-a-likes will be judged by Jamie Howard and surprise Dolly kin, and organizers pledge that a portion of the night's overall proceeds (and all proceeds from a silent auction to be held that evening) will be donated to Dolly's Imagination Library. More information is available on a special page set up on Dollymania for the event here and at its My Space page here. Read a little blurb about it as well on Knoxville's LGBT publication Out & About here.

    Auction Reminder
    If you want to take the first official ride on the Mystery Mine roller coaster at Dollywood when it opens on Friday the 13th next month, you'll have to pay more than $500, as the charity auction on eBay now has all 56 bids in at or above that minimum opening offer, so you'll have to go higher now. All winning bidders will not only ride the coaster at its opening but also get to meet Dolly and have a photo taken with her as well as collect all sorts of goodies associated with the ride. Proceeds from the auction benefit Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, and the auction ends at 11 a.m. Eastern Friday. Bid here!

    Take A Survey
    Thanks to Peter for alerting me to his survey of favorite Dolly songs and albums to try and gague what fans want to be re-issued next. Take a look at it here.

    March 24:
    In The Scotish Spirit
    Dolly was certainly in Scottish spirits Friday with two sold out, back-to-back shows in Glasgow. For the first outing, which began at 5 p.m., she donned a sparkly green and blue tartan skirt and jacket set but was in more usual concert dress for the second show, which started at 9 p.m. As in the other recent U.K. shows, she didn't perform "Imagine" or "Applejack/Marry Me," and the audience was enthralled. She told them she had spent Thursday in the area taking in some sightseeing. I'm told there were several standing ovations. Thanks, Mairi, Kelly and Ally!

  • Thanks to Yonie for sending in a second set of photos from Zwolle and Eric for also submitting a few shots from the concert. Their new galleries have been added to that section of the site here. (Please feel free to send in your recaps from the concerts and photos if you get any here! Thanks!)
  • Another chart is out overseas, and The Very Best Of Dolly Parton rises one to No. 6 in its third week on the Irish pop albums chart.
  • Thanks to Jason for sending in a couple of shots from the Dolly exhibit at the London candy shop CyberCandy Artist Wayne Moraghan's selection of Dolly art will remain on display through the end of the month. Jason says he loved seeing the artwork as well as sampling the "Dolly Mix" candy they were selling inside. See his photos here and here.
  • Belfast Today previewed her upcoming shows there with a piece here Friday, and on the same day, IC Wales provided a piece here about her in advance of her Cardiff show. (Interesting piece of trivia: Cardiff is where the current Dr. Who series is filmed, and the BBC used Dolly's version of "The Star Spangled Banner" in its online announcement that the series had been picked up a couple of years ago by the SciFi Channel for broadcast in America.)
  • The sold out tour continues its march across the British Isles with shows in Sheffield, England on Saturday, a second stop at London's Wembley Arena on Sunday, Cardiff, Wales on Tuesday, Birmingham, England on Wednesday, Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Friday and County Cork, Ireland next Saturday.

    Lee CD Coming Soon
    You may now reserve your copy of Brenda Lee's upcoming CD, Gospel Duets With Treasured Friends, which will hit stores April 10 and include a duet with her pal Dolly. Get yours here!

    Michigan Library Profiles
    Efforts to bring Dolly's Imagination Library to Ionia County, Mich., were updated in The Grands Rapids Press here Friday. Dolly's international literacy program, active in more than 600 communities across 44 U.S. states and Canada, provides one free, age-appropriate, hardcover book each month from birth to age 5 for every child in a participating community whose parents sign up.

    Site Offers Contest
    The folks over at new fan site Extreme Dolly asked me to let everyone know they're offering their first contest for five winners to receive DVDs of various Dolly appearances at Dollywood. Visit their news page here for details.

    March 23:
    'Very Best' Tops The Chart
    Sweden's recent case of "Dolly fever" translated into some impressive CD sales, as The Very Best Of Dolly Parton jumps nine digits in its second week on the Swedish pop albums chart to claim the No. 1 spot in the March 23 edition, it was announced Thursday. Thanks, Hans! That same day, it was revealed that it holds onto the No. 2 spot on the pop albums chart in Denmark in its second week there. In addition, the Canadian version debuts at No. 44 on the country albums list up north.

    Newcastle Welcomes Dolly
    Thanks to pal Joe Skelly for filling me in on how Dolly's sold out show in Newcastle went Wednesday night. He described her performance as "faultless" and the crowd of more than 10,000 "captivated" by her. He said he has never seen a crowd hyped into the level of frenzy that Dolly caused in them and she seemed surprised by the reaction. The local press seemed to agree, with The Evening Chronicle calling it "a show and a half," pointing out that it was NOT lip-synched and that critics who have complained she talks too much between songs don't know what they're talking about because "that's what endears her to her fans so much." Read the full glowing review here. Dolly next heads to Glasgow on Friday, Sheffield on Saturday, back to London for a second Wembley date on Sunday and continuing to other sold out U.K. dates next week. (And thanks to several more readers who sent in images from some other concerts on Thursday. I didn't have time to post them in this update but promise to add them soon!)

    Paisley CD Back In Top 10
    The album containing Dolly's most recent No. 1 re-enters the top 10 of the American country albums chart, Billboard revealed Thursday. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, which features "When I Get Where I'm Going," inches up one to No. 10 country in its 83rd chart week in the March 31 edition, falling 15 to No. 70 pop and comprehensive and gaining 10 to No. 23 Canadian country. Martina McBride's Timeless, with Dolly guesting on "I Still Miss Someone," slips four to No. 68 country in its 74th chart week. Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, with "Islands In The Stream," dips five to No. 46 country in its 61st week. Rhonda Vincent's All American Bluegrass Girl, featuring Dolly on "Heartbreaker's Alibi," falls six to No. 13 bluegrass in its 43rd chart week. Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts rebounds one to No. 1 country and two to No. 10 pop in its 70th chart week, while Gary Allan's Greatest Hits slides one to No. 2 country and 11 to No. 16 pop in its second week.

    March 22:
    Dolly Continues To Roll Through Europe
    Special thanks to some of the site's readers for sending in photos snapped at Dolly's recent concerts. Yonie submitted a set here from Sunday's stop in Zwolle, Holland (such as the one at left). Justin sent in some here from Monday's concert in London. And Elaine's shots from Manchester Tuesday night are here.

  • I'm told the Manchester show went wonderfully Tuesday night, with Dolly singing "Happy Birthday" to a 9-year-old in the crowd whose mother brought him to the show and dedicating "Coat of Many Colors" to his mother. The sold out crowd of 16,000 was said to have entered a "frenzy" when she took the stage, which appeared to surprise her. "Little Sparrow" earned her a standing ovation (and she looked to get a kick out of the fact that the audience wouldn't quiet down afterward). They got "simply crazy" during "9 To 5," rushing the stage at one point (Dolly then ran offstage for a second and came back with a hand-held microphone). "Applejack" was cut from the set list, and "I Will Always Love You" was moved back to the end of the second half immediately before "He's Alive" (although she didn't leave the stage to make it a true encore as she has in other cities). I'm told that even though there were clear signs throughout the venue that Dolly did not want photographs taken, people ignored them, resulting in some arguments with security. And, as some press reports have noted in other recent concerts, the large screens on each side of the stage only showed full-body images of Dolly, no close-ups. Thanks, Richard, Mark, and Elaine!
  • Some newspaper reviews came from The Manchester Evening News here ("A tremendously adept musician, she's able to switch effortlessly from playing piano to harmonica, guitar, banjo, and fiddle –each instrument, like the set, coated in enough glitter to be seen from outer space") and This Is Lancashire here ("The living legend proved last night just what a professional entertainer she is with a truly fabulous show").
  • Check out another positive review from London's show here from The Guardian, which gave the night three out of five stars noting: "But despite the wilful tackiness and glutinous sentimentality, it is impossible to dismiss Dolly Parton as a mere purveyor of schlock. She is a fantastic multi-instrumentalist, switching from piano to lap steel guitar to autoharp to fiddle to banjo (indeed, it appears she can play pretty much anything as long as it is coated in six inches of glitter), while her voice, a husky, imploring quaver, is remarkable."
  • Thanks to Gerard for alerting me that British television program GMTV is celebrating Dolly's U.K. leg of the tour with a contest for its viewers here to win a deluxe trip for two to Dollywood. Entries will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. April 6.
  • Thanks to Kim for telling me that the compilation disc The Very Best Of Dolly Parton rises one this week to No. 3 on the Norwegian pop charts. (And thanks to Sheldon and Peter for confirming it was also released this week in Canada as well.)
  • The "is it live or is it Memorex" debate has cropped up again, with the Dutch press speculating that Dolly lip-synched at her recent concert there. One newspaper, Volkskrant, cited in its report here coverage from 2004 in The Minneapolis Star Tribune and Dollymania on the use of some pre-recorded vocals for her "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour that year.

    Bid On Dolly Package
    You still have plenty of time to get in your bids for the charity auction over at eBay to meet Dolly, get a picture made with her and be in the first group to ride the new Mystery Mine roller coaster at Dollywood when it opens next month. In the second day of the auction, the number of bidders grew from 13 people bidding on 14 seats to 27 people bidding on 32 seats. A total of 56 seats will be available, and opening bids start at $500 each. Proceeds benefit Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, and the auction ends at 11 a.m. Eastern March 30. Bid here!

    More On The Library
    Check out news of some very preliminary steps being taken in El Dorado, Kan., to bring Dolly's Imagination Library to the community in The El Dorado Times here.

    March 21:
    Charity Auction Live For 'Mine,' To Meet Dolly
    Bids began Tuesday on the chance to meet Dolly, get a picture taken with her and be among the first to ride Dollywood's new Mystery Mine roller coaster. Several readers wrote in early Tuesday saying they couldn't find the auction on eBay (you had to search for "Dolly Parton" and "Mystery Mine" in the item description), but the park had posted a direct link to it on its website by afternoon. As of Tuesday evening, 13 bids of at least the $500 minimum had been received for 14 of the packages. The 56 winning bidders will each receive one seat on one of the first seven ride cars for the first ride cycle of the new attraction on Friday the 13th of April. They will also get a photo with Dolly which she will autograph, admission for two to Dollywood that Friday and Saturday, participation in an VIP seating for the park's Media Day activities on Friday, a framed commemorative print featuring a ride photo and other exclusive Mystery Mine memorabilia.. All proceeds benefit Dolly's international literacy program, the Imagination Library. Place your bid, which will be accepted through 11 a.m. Eastern March 30, here! Image of the ride's construction as of December is courtesy Jason Worley and is used with permission.

    Dolly In London!
    Dolly apparently gave them one heckuva show in London Monday night at Wembley Arena, with attendees describing it as "amazing," "fantastic" and "incredible." The set list was similar to other recent shows, although she removed "Puppy Love" from the line-up. The energetic crowd stayed with her through it all, especially during "9 To 5" and "Here You Come Again." The Evening Standard gave the show four out of five stars here, with the reviewer noting that she even improved upon a song he doesn't care for (saying "even the ghastly 'Imagine' benefited from a gospel-tinged arrangement"). The Mirror offered here that the concert proved "another resounding victory for the backwoods Barbie." And The Telegraph gushed over her here, calling the performance "sublime" and Dolly "the hottest sexagenarian on the planet." Although he didn't enjoy her cover tunes, he said the audience loved them, and he said her version of "I Will Always Love You" restored dignity to the tune, leaving Whitney Houton's cover "dead." The Times, though, gave it an almost negative review (two out of five stars), saying it was too corny, her signature song "found new ways to match the terror of Whitney Houston's version" and that she did to "Imagine" what Whitney did to "I Will Always Love You." Read that one here. Thanks, Gerard and Justin! (Check out shots of Gerard with Dolly and Judy backstage in the Fan Antics section of the site!)

  • Fan reviews are offered by Rare Dolly here (and set list here) and Extreme Dolly here.
  • Special thanks to reader Arelis Dania for sending in some images from last weekend's Zwolle, Holland, concert. View them here!
  • Great American Country (GAC) reports on the European tour here in a brief that borrows from an English newspaper story linked here last week and adds a note about the ride auction on eBay.
  • Dolly was to play Manchester on Tuesday, although I had no reports from readers as of the time of this update Tuesday night. She moves on to Newcastle, England, on Wednesday, then Glasgow, Scotland, on Friday, Sheffield, England, on Saturday and a return to Wembley in London on Sunday.

    March 20:
    Win Ride on Mystery Mine, Pic With Dolly
    Wanna be the first to ride Dollywood's new Mystery Mine, meet Dolly and get an autographed photo with her? Well, the park is auctioning off the first 56 rides on the $17.5 million coaster next month for charity on eBay. The auction runs from 11 a.m. Eastern Tuesday through 11 a.m. March 30, and proceeds benefit Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. Bidders must be 18 years of age or older. The 56 winners will each receive one seat on one of the first seven ride cars for the first ride cycle of the new attraction on Friday the 13th of April. They will also get a photo with Dolly which she will autograph, admission for two to Dollywood that Friday and Saturday, participation in an VIP seating for the park's Media Day activities on Friday, a framed commemorative print featuring a ride photo and other exclusive Mystery Mine memorabilia.

    Latest Reports From Across The Pond
    Dolly was to play a packed house at Wembley Arena in London Monday night to kick off the U.K. leg of her European tour. Although no reports had been received on that show as of the time of this update Monday evening, I'm told Sunday's concert in Zwolle, Holland, was spectacular. Those who attended say the crowd may have been the most energetic on the north European portion of the tour, standing, singing and dancing along with Dolly more than had been the norm at other stops on the tour thus far. The set list was the same as in her most recent concerts on the tour with the exception of removing "Travelin' Prayer" and switching the places of "Train, Train" with "Marry Me/Applejack." As has been the case in recent shows, she chose to perform "Those Were The Days" and "Turn, Turn, Turn" instead of "Crimson And Clover" and "God's Coloring Book." I'm told there were a few sound problems but they were quickly corrected. I'm also told several Dutch celebrities were in the crowd of 5,200 fans. Check out a couple of reviews and some photos here and here. Thanks, Thea, Peter, Lulu, Dick and Niko!

  • I'm told her CD The Very Best Of Dolly Parton is not only a hit in the U.K. and Sweden, as has previously been reported, but all over Europe. Kim tells me the disc debuted in Norway at No. 4 pop and Claus says over in Denmark it debuted at No. 2 pop. Thanks
  • Dolly is back on the European CMA charts. "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley returns to the top 10 in France at No. 9 and Ireland at No. 3 this week, it was announced Monday.

    What A Date It Would Be
    Check out a cute little story from The Mountain Press in Sevier County here about a Naval Academy cadet who invited Dolly to their famous Ring Dance and what her reaction was.

    Dolly A 'Milestone' Act
    Thanks to Larry and David for alerting me that Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 countdown was taking a poll last week on country's "milestone" acts, and Dolly ranked fourth. Conway Twitty had the most votes with 20 percent, followed by Johnny Cash at 16 percent. Elvis Presley just edged by Dolly with 11 percent to her 10 percent, which put her in a tie with Patsy Cline. In fifth place were Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson with 8 percent each.

    March 19:
    Dolly Disc Rises Overseas
    The new compilation disc The Very Best Of Dolly Parton on Monday strengthens its hold as Dolly's biggest-ever British album hit. The collection inches up one to No. 8 on the U.K. pop albums chart in its second week, it was announced. As was previously noted, the CD marks her first-ever top 10 full-length album on the British pop tally. I'm told the CD has debuted at No. 10 pop in Sweden as well. Thanks, Hans!

    Tour Finishes In North Europe
    Dolly's phenomenally successful European tour was to head into Zwolle, Holland, Sunday for a sold out engagement at the Ijsselhalle. As of the time of this update Sunday night, word of how the show went had not been received, but thanks to the team at Weblog Zwolle for alerting me to their posting here of photos from the concert. Now it's off to the U.K. Dolly plays Wembley Arena in London Monday, The Evening News Arena in Manchester Tuesday, The Arena in Newcastle on Wednesday, all in England; then it's off to Glasgow, Scotland, for two shows on Friday and back to England for The Arena in Sheffield on Saturday and a return to Wembley in London next Sunday. All of the shows are sold out except for a handful of seats left open for Monday from Ticketmaster and Monday and Wednesday's shows from See Tickets.

    Library Covered Across The Country
    Dolly's Imagination Library international literacy program is soon to come to Elmore County, Ala., The Montgomery Advertiser reported here Saturday. And efforts in Ionia County, Mich., were noted in Sunday's Lansing State Journal. Read more here.

    March 17:
    Oslo, Stockholm Get Dolly, Press Irked
    Dolly played Stockholm Friday to yet another sold out crowd, and I'm told the city has been welcoming her with open arms as newspaper headlines have proclaimed "We can't wait!" and "The Goddess is here!" English-language Swedish paper The Local outlined some of the Dolly frenzy in a piece here, noting that some newspapers have gone so far as to print guides for readers planning "Dolly parties" in honor of her arrival, and even a tribute show to her music, called "Heartbreak Express" in Stockholm, sold out as well. Reports also said that tickets that originally sold for the equivalent of about $80 U.S. were on the local black-market this week for the equivalent of nearly $400 U.S. each. And Swedish Television profiled her in a story available online here. (I'm told that in addition to the usual rundown of her career highlights, the experts cite how her appearance can be very deceiving as she is a brilliantly intelligent woman with many leanings most would consider to be feminist.) One of the nation's largest newspapers, Dagens Nyheter, offered a mostly positive take on the engagement here, saying Dolly creates intimacy despite all of her glitter. The reviewer didn't seem to like "I Dreamed About Elvis" or "Islands In The Stream" but gave kudos to "Here You Come Again" and "9 To 5," concluding "The audience is caught in her spell." Aftonbadet reported that 250 extra tickets went on sale Friday morning and were snapped up in 15 minutes. Before the concert, a Dolly look-a-like was being filmed, and some folks thought it was Dolly herself. See an image here. Thanks, Anna, Terje, Oeyvind and Gosia!

  • I'm told Thursday's sold out concert in Oslo was the best thus far on the tour, due at least in part by the most engaged audience so far. Oslo's Aftenposten reviewed it here, offering the show five out of six stars and likening Dolly to a talk show host, guest and featured musical act all rolled into one. "Despite the fact that there are 11 musicians and singers on stage, and that Dolly herself glitters like a lit Christmas tree, the concert is amazingly down to earth and mellow," the reviewer said. The reviewer even found "I Dreamed About Elvis" (which all other reviewers on the tour have universally panned) "hysterically funny."
  • But the tour has also seen Dolly ruffle the feathers of the local media. Although their coverage of her has been almost entirely glowing, you may recall it noted here that some in the press had commented a bit unfavorably on photography restrictions (after a couple of newspapers mentioned it in a line or two of their reviews). Oslo's Aftenposten on Friday went very public with its complaints in an English-language piece posted here. The paper reported that Dolly's staff took the highly unusual step of requiring photographers to agree to allow them to review all photos taken at the concerts in Norway and delete from their cameras any images they deemed to be unfavorable. Many in the press compared the demands to censorship and the Association of Norwegian Editors urged all member newspapers to refuse to accept the terms, the paper continued. As a result, the nation's largest newspaper, Verdens Gang , refused to review the concert at all, instead just running an article here about celebrities -- including Crown Princess Mette Marit -- who attended. And one photographer for another newspaper interviewed for the piece said Dolly's staff deleted every close up shot of Dolly from her digital camera. While it has become common in the U.S. at her recent concerts for members of the press to be required to shoot images from the soundboard, which is usually located toward the middle or back of the main floor of an arena, there have been no problems using zoom lenses to capture close-up images and her staff has never asked that photos be reviewed for approval prior to publication, so if the newspaper's account is accurate, this would be a first for her.
  • After Sunday's sold out show in Zwolle, Holland, Dolly will head over to the Isles for the U.K. leg of the tour, which kicks off Monday at London's Wembley Arena (a few -- very few -- tickets are left for that show at Ticketmaster and See Tickets) before moving on to Manchester on Tuesday for another sold out engagement. In advance of her arrival in that city, The Manchester Evening News on Friday offered a great little profile outlining her many achievements. Take a look at it here!
  • Belfast fans are lucky, as Ticketmaster on Friday night released a handful of previously-unavailable seats for her March 30 engagement in the Northern Ireland city. Get them here!

    Fan Doc Airs Saturday
    Don't forget that the Dolly fan documentary For The Love Of Dolly gets its television premiere at 9 p.m. Eastern Saturday on the cable and satellite network LOGO. Check out the channel's page dedicated to the film here and the Dollymania page for it here! (And while watching, look for a couple of glimpses of your webmaster throughout and listen to my voice announce the start of the Dolly parade at the beginning and singing unseen from the back seat of a car at the end.)

    A 'Bargain' Of A Song
    The story of Dolly's classic "The Bargain Store" was chosen for Friday's "Now There Was A Song" column in The Texarkana Gazette and local radio there. Take a read here.

    March 16:
    'Smartest Blond' In Europe
    Dolly was scheduled to pack in a sell-out crowd at The Spectrum in Oslo, Norway, Thursday night, although no reports of the concert had been received as of the posting of this update. She moves over to Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday and Zwolle, Holland, on Sunday before her U.K. leg of the tour starts. In advance of her date in The Netherlands, AD offered a profile here which dubs her the "world's smartest blond." Thanks d. dollee!

    Mag Puts Dolly In Top 100
    Dolly ranks at No. 64 in a list of the world's "100 Greatest Singers and Their 1,000 Greatest Songs" in the new issue of U.K. magazine Q on newsstands now. She is just one of four country artists on the list (the others being No. 14 Johnny Cash, No. 53 Trio collaborator Emmylou Harris and No. 59 Hank Williams -- the other third of the Trio, Linda Ronstadt, didn't make the cut). The tally is topped by Elvis Presley, followed by Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Otis Redding and John Lennon. A few others include Stevie Nicks at No. 97, fellow 2006 Kennedy Center honoree Smokey Robinson at No. 95, Rufus Wainwright (one of my favorite singers) at No. 96, "Jolene" cover singer Jack White at No. 50, Neil Young at No. 65, David Crosby at No. 99 and "I Will Always Love You" chanteuse Whitney Houston at No. 98.

    New Charts Released
    Time Well Wasted, the Brad Paisley collection with his hit duet with Dolly, "When I Get Where I'm Going," falls out of the top 10 country albums after well over a year in the upper echelon of Billboard, the publication revealed Thursday. The album dips two to No. 11 country in its 82nd chart week in the March 24 edition, falling 10 to No. 55 pop and comprehensive and inching down one to No. 33 Canadian country. Martina McBride's Timeless, with her Dolly collaboration "I Still Miss Someone," rises one to No. 64 country in its 73rd chart week, falling out of the Canadian country top 50, down from No. 50 the previous week. Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, featuring "Islands In The Stream," drops two to No. 41 country in its 60th week. Rhonda Vincent's All American Bluegrass Girl, with Dolly on "Heartbreaker's Alibi," rebounds six to No. 7 bluegrass in its 42nd chart week. With 70,000 copies sold in its first week, Gary Allan's Greatest Hits debuts at No. 1 country and No. 5 pop, while Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts remains steady at No. 2 country and gains three to No. 12 pop in its 69th week.

    Another '9 To 5' Out
    A new British dance cover of Dolly's classic "9 To 5" has hit the clubs, according to a story here in The Nelson News which profiles the song's singer, Sally Jaxx.

    Library Update
    The Yakima-Herald in Washington state this week updated its reports on Dolly's Imagination Library chapter in their community. Read about the impact there of her international literacy project here.

    March 15:
    Dolly Rocks The Scandinavium
    There's more good press out of Europe as Dolly continues her wildly successful tour across the Atlantic. She played a packed house of 9,500 at the Scandinavium in Göteborg, Sweden, Tuesday night. I'm told the concert was amazing, yet the audience again was quite reserved, which seems to be the norm there -- although as has been noted at other shows in the region thus far, the crowd did get into "9 To 5" (getting out of their seats and dancing and singing along) even though it was fairly subdued for the rest of the concert. The newspaper Göteborgsposten gave the engagement three out of five stars, singling out "The Grass Is Blue" as the night's best performance but dissing "Imagine" as the worst. As other reviewers have noted, this critic also thought she talked a bit too much between songs (although I'm told that her banter was no more than what she does at U.S. shows). This reviewer, though, said he thought her cover songs were weak material and preferred when she sang her original, more bluegrass-inspired tunes. Read the review (of course, in Swedish) here. The newspaper also let fans who attended post their comments here, and I'm told one of them translated as "It felt as if Dolly was a dear friend who had invited us to her kitchen table!!! The final set was magnificent, magic." She also changed up the set list slightly, removing "God's Coloring Book" and "Crimson And Clover," replacing them with "Those Were The Days" and "Turn, Turn, Turn" (breaking a guitar string as she strummed along with the latter, joking that "you couldn't tell anyway"). Thanks Gosia and Anna!

  • Thanks to Sweden's TV4 for alerting me to a story on their website here about Sunday's concert in Karlstad, but the real draw for those of us who don't read Swedish is a great 13-minute interview shot in Nashville prior to the tour which aired on the network and includes not only some great Dolly comments but a couple of behind-the-scenes clips (such as her getting her wig adjusted a bit and offering to change clothes if they wanted her to since the interview was to air in two parts).
  • A couple of papers posted photo flip-books of Dolly through the years. Check them out from Aftonbladet here and Expressen here. Aftonbladet also posted an interview with her done in Nashville a few weeks back. Read it here.
  • And bootleg video from the tour continues to pop up on video sharing site YouTube. Clips of her performing "Little Sparrow" and "I Dreamed About Elvis" from Tuesday night's concert have already been posted, as well as two additional clips from the tour opener last week in Denmark: "9 To 5" and "I Will Always Love You."
  • Back in the States, her Valentine's Day concert in Santa Rosa, Calif., is featured in a page of photos with a very positive recap in San Francisco gay magazine Gloss. Visit the publication's website here to access a PDF of the edition. Thanks, Manny!
  • And the tour rolls on! Dolly and crew head to Oslo, Norway, on Thursday, followed by shows in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday and Zwolle, Holland, on Sunday, all of which are sold out.

    Life Can Be A Drag
    While looking at Dolly things on YouTube, I came across one other item of note. Sunday was the 20th anniversary Alternative Miss Ireland drag beauty pageant in Dublin, and female impersonator Panti, who has hosted the HIV/AIDS fund-raiser for the past 11 years, got a special surprise treat when a videotaped message from Dolly was played in which she congratulated Panti on her efforts on behalf of those living with HIV. See Dolly's comments, and watch Panti's reaction, here.

    March 14:
    More Pics, Tickets Overseas
    Wanna see some more photos from Dolly on her European tour? The tour's official website here has begun adding pictures from the various shows. Just visit the site and click on the name of each city on the tour to access the page dedicated to that night. Photos will appear at the bottom of the screen.

  • Ticketmaster on Tuesday released a few previously-unavailable seats for the March 31 County Cork and April 2 Dublin shows in Ireland. Get them here before it reaches sold out status once again!
  • Dolly was to be at the Scandinavium in Göteborg, Sweden, Tuesday night for yet another sold out night on the tour, although no reports of the concert had been received yet as of the time of this update. (E-mail them here!) The tour next moves to Oslo, Norway, on Thursday, Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday and Zwolle, Holland, on Sunday before hitting the U.K. next week.
  • Thanks again to Terje for forwarding another article on her, this time from Norway's Oslopuls in advance of the Oslo show. See it here.
  • Another British newspaper on Tuesday covered the recent closure of ticket re-seller Ticket Tout and its impact on fans who had used the service to pay for tickets to some of Dolly's sold-out shows. The article in The Manchester Evening News here quotes two Dolly fans who've lost out on tickets due to the scandal.

    New Fan Site Launches
    The folks who've put together the latest Dolly fan site, Extreme Dolly, asked me to let everyone know that the new site is up and running. They say they hope to pull together much of the published information on Dolly from books, documentaries, album liner notes and magazines into one online reference volume. Visit it here!

    March 13:
    Sweden Catches 'Dolly Fever'
    Dolly continues to capture the hearts and attention of concert-goers and reporters in Europe with a slew of great press following her sold out show Sunday night in Karlstad, Sweden, the fourth stop on her European tour. One attendee said the show was simply fantastic and that Sweden seems to be in the grip of a "Dolly fever" at the moment. Her set list remained the same as in Bergen (which itself had deviated from the Denmark set list only by switching "Imagine" and "I Will Always Love You" so that the former closed out her second half of the show instead of the first and the latter moved to close out the first half). "I have felt so much love here tonight," Dolly was quoted as telling the crowd. "God bless you." The reviewer for Expressen said here that "There are no limits to her talent," adding that when she sang "Little Sparrow" it "felt like she sang it just to me, only me. I forgot about all the other people in the room." Additional coverage, and photos, from the paper are available here and here. Aftonbladet agreed, saying it was impossible not to be impressed by her here, and publishing another tribute here which said that her songwriting has more power and energy than John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen or Blur. Göteborgs-posten gave it four out of five stars here. Also, Swedish Television (SVT) produced a brief story available here (click on "Förhoppningsfull väntan på Dolly") about a handful of fans' unsuccessful attempt to get her autograph as she made the walk from her bus to the venue. (She usually doesn't stop for autographs during that sprint in the U.S. either.) Thanks to Jenny, Anna, Gosia and Magnus for their reports, links and translations!

  • Catch a glimpse of her on stage in Bergen, Norway, on Friday night from the national news here. Thanks, Terje!
  • Unfortunately, some fans who purchased tickets through re-seller Ticket Tout in the U.K. will be left without seats, as the company went under. The firm was supposed to be what British audiences refer to as a "touter" but Americans would call a ticket "broker" (or, to use a less-polite term, "scalper"), buying up tickets for events expected to sell out and then re-selling them after the sell out at several times face value. London's The Guardian reported Monday here that the firm has been placed in administration as insolvent (similar to American bankruptcy) and will not honor ticket purchases of seats already paid for by several thousand customers for concerts such as The Police, Aerosmith and Dolly because they never secured tickets before taking people's money for them. The paper noted that there is evidence that the company's director formerly operated another ticket re-seller, Getmetickets, which the government forced to close last year as a scam. The newspaper speculated that the latest development may spur a ban in the U.K. on re-selling event tickets. One fan who had purchased seats from Ticket Tout for one of Dolly's Belfast concerts at The Odyssey e-mailed Dollymania over the weekend and said she called the box office and was told that "loads" of other ticket-buyers had called with the same situation but that there was nothing that could be done to help them.
  • And in one other piece of less-than-positive publicity, I'm told that some in the Scandinavian press have been complaining publicly that their photographers have not been allowed to shoot images of Dolly from close to the stage -- as is apparently the custom there -- instead being required to stand far from the stage back inside the arenas.
  • The tour rolls on for its next sold out engagements in Göteborg, Sweden, on Tuesday, Oslo, Norway, on Thursday, Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday and Zwolle, Holland, on Sunday before starting its leg on the British Isles the next week.

    DVD Earns Positive Review
    The recently-released DVD set Dolly Parton & Friends, featuring six episodes of her 1976-1977 television series, gets a review in the April issue of Blender magazine. The publication offers the two-DVD set four stars, calling the show "winningly tacky" but saying it "highlights her startling range as a performer." Thanks, Sheldon and Scott!

    Dolly On A Hog?
    Thanks to Sharon down in Jacksonville, Fla., for relating a story from Daytona Beach's Bike Week this weekend. She saw a biker who had secured a life-sized poster of Dolly from the hips up to the passenger seat on his motorcycle, attracting great cheers whenever he passed a crowd.

    Stampede Celebrates The Big 2-0
    Read a profile on Dolly's Dixie Stampede dinner theatre focusing on the 20th anniversary of its flagship location in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., from the local Mountain Press here. The story notes that the location down the street from Dollywood this year adds a new scene celebrating the Southern barbeque as well as a new belles scene featuring girls in lit-up dresses carrying lighted parasols.

    Hazel Dotes On Dolly
    And speaking of Dollywood, the park's new addition, the $17.5 million steel roller coaster Mystery Mine opening in April, gets a plug in Hazel Smith's weekly "Hot Dish" column from CMT here.

    March 12:
    Dolly Scores Her Biggest U.K. CD Yet
    After several dozen compilation CDs overseas, Dolly snagged a big one with SonyBMG's The Very Best Of Dolly Parton. Released last week amid a flurry of promotion for her European tour and supported by a massive television advertising campaign for the disc, the album debuts Monday on the U.K. pop albums charts at No. 9, becoming Dolly's first-ever top 10 full-length album in Great Britain. Of course, it is also the No. 1 country album there on the chart as well.

    Dolly Rocks Bergen
    I'm told Dolly offered a wonderful show for the 7,200 fans who came out Friday in Bergen, Norway (although I'm told the crowd was quite "reserved," I was assured this is normal there). There were some sound difficulties, and the only major difference from her previous concerts is she switched the places where she sings "I Will Always Love You" and "Imagine." The newspaper reviews were very positive, attributing any problems to the venue and not to her (although some fans again thought she spoke too much between songs, which might just be due to the language barrier in nations where English is not the primary tongue). Check out reviews (in Norwegian, of course) from BA here (also click on "Les også" for some related stories including streaming video interviews with fans outside the show) and BT here -- this paper also has an entire little section of stories about Dolly here with fan profiles, video interviews with fans outside the concert, local singers giving their takes on a few of her songs, a minute-by-minute account from the show here and even a Dolly alphabet (which cited Dollymania as the source for most of its information about her) here. Thanks, Rebecca, Kim, Oeyvind and Arne! She was scheduled to play Karlstad, Sweden, on Sunday night for another sold out show (although as of the time of this update Sunday night there was no word how that one went). That concert is to be followed by additional sold out engagements in Göteborg, Sweden, on Tuesday, Oslo, Norway, on Thursday, Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday and Zwolle, Holland, next Sunday. Attendees are again encouraged to send their notes on the show here. Courtesy image.

    Contest Winners Revealed
    Congratulations to the winners of the latest Dollymania contest!

  • Helen Gouveia of Dover, N.H.
  • Ashley Bowers of Jacksonville, Ala.
  • Anamarie Catarelli of Brooklyn, N.Y.
    Thanks to SonyBMG UK and Stephen Munns, each has won a wonderful prize pack containing all seven CDs released by the label last week in the U.K. to celebrate the start of Dolly's European tour: All I Can Do/New Harvest First Gathering, Great Balls Of Fire/Dolly Dolly Dolly, Burlap & Satin/Real Love, Very Best of..., My Tennessee Mountain Home, Jolene and Coat Of Many Colours. The actual discs have yet to be received from overseas, but as soon as they arrive, they will be forwarded directly to the winners. Several hundred entries were received over the past week from readers in 48 U.S. states and territories and 16 foreign countries. Thanks!

    Dolly Exhibit Opening In London
    Some say Dolly is as sweet as candy, so she'll be right at home in a special exhibition later this month in London. Artist Wayne Moraghan will have a special showing of Dolly art March 19-31 at candy and soda mega-store Cyber Candy's flagship location in London's Covent Garden. The exhibit is titled "Dolly Mixture" and features pop art centered on her, such as the piece at left. According to the artist: "Dolly to me is like childhood, she is so fantastically over the top and free of inhibitions… she is like a cartoon come to life!"

    March 10:
    CMT Fans Impersonate Dolly
    You've just won CMT's Karaoke-Dokey. What are you going to do? "I'm goin' to Dollywood!" That's the phrase uttered by Marsha Marcom, who was named the winner of the premiere of the network's new talent series. As winner of an episode dedicated to Dolly's music, she will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Dollywood complete with a season pass to the park and a meeting with Dolly herself! The show had open auditions in Nashville, from which four contestants were selected. (Clips from some auditioners who didn't make the cut were shown between commercial breaks.) Marcom performed "Jolene" as the first singer of the night, followed by Arikah Nash with "Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That," Byron Rice with "Romeo" and Danielle Lauderdale with "I Will Always Love You." The judges ripped into Rice, who topped his head with a huge blond wig and wore a low-cut jumpsuit without shaving his chest. "Dolly ain't got no hair on her chest!" judge Hazel Smith bellowed before calling him the worst Dolly impersonator she'd ever seen. Lauderdale and Marcom were named finalists based on the judges' votes and traded verses on "9 To 5" for them to vote on the winner. Catch repeats of the show at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, 1 a.m. Monday, 4 p.m. Tuesday, midnight Wednesday and 10:30 a.m. Friday.

    A Couple More Tour Reviews
    Thanks again to Claus for providing a couple more reviews of Dolly's two concerts in Denmark which provided the opening to her European tour. Both from Jyllands-Posten and published in Dutch, he tells me that the first one (which gives the first night's show Tuesday five out of six stars) says a few technical problems with the sound impacted the start of the evening but that no attendee could have gone home disappointed after her performance. Read it here. The second story, covering the second concert on Wednesday, says here that the sound was perfect and that Dolly interacted with the crowd more. Dolly on Friday night was to play the third sold out engagement on the tour, Bergen, Norway, although I haven't heard from any attendees yet. That is to be followed by sold out Swedish shows in Karlstad and Göteborg on Sunday and Tuesday, respectfully.

    Wichita Library Launches
    Dolly's international literacy program, the Imagination Library, has entered The Lone Star State. The project kicked off its Wichita County, Texas, chapter Friday, which television station KAUZ reported is the first chapter in the state. Dolly's program, active in about 600 communities across the U.S. and Canada, provides one, free, age-appropriate, hardcover book every month from birth to age 5 for all children in a participating community whose parents register for it. In 2006, the program distributed more than 3 million books to children and since inception in 1996 has sent out more than 7 million books. See more from the TV station here and here.

    Contest Reminder
    Your last chance is fast approaching to enter the site's contest for one of three great prize packs from SonyBMG of the label's seven Dolly CDs released in the U.K. this week in celebration of her European tour. Entries (limit one per person) will be accepted through Sunday night here. Check back late Sunday night to see who won!

    March 9:
    Second Danish Concert A Blast
    A few more reports have come in from Dolly's second night in Denmark. One fan in attendance tells me the local press had given mixed reviews for the first show on Tuesday, saying she appeared to be a bit nervous and talked too much between songs, but he went to Wednesday's concert and said it was absolutely spectacular, even though the newspapers said the songs and banter had been exactly the same at both shows (although she appeared more relaxed the second night). Thanks, Claus! Thanks to Anna for directing me to DN, which had coverage here and here (again, though, in Swedish) and to Jenny for a Danish review (with several photos) here (the reviewer loved the first half of the show but wasn't as impressed by the second half) and the venue's site here, where they write (thanks to her translation): "After two fantastic concerts in Forum Horsens we all want to say THANK YOU to the legendary Dolly Parton. Dear Dolly, Come back soon again. You deserve to be heard by so many, many others." Friday night finds her at the tour's next sold out night, this time in Bergen, Norway, followed by two sold out Swedish dates: Karlstad this Sunday and Göteborg on Tuesday. Fans are asked to e-mail their recaps here. Thanks!

    Special Edition CD Released
    Dutch fans are getting a special treat, as SonyBMG this week personalized the Holland release of her Very Best Of Dolly Parton CD. I'm told the special version has "To Know Him Is To Love Him," "Tennessee Homesick Blues" and "Dumb Blonde" removed from the set and replaced with three of her songs which were among her biggest Dutch hits: "We Used To," "Heartbreaker" and the three-week No. 1 single "You Are," her biggest career hit there. Thanks, Peter!

    Fan Doc Page Added At LOGO
    Cable and satellite network LOGO, which as was previously announced here will offer the television premiere the Dolly fan documentary For The Love Of Dolly on March 17, has added a page dedicated to the project to its website. The section (which contains most of Dolly's music videos since LOGO is owned by the same parent company as CMT and MTV) must have been posted Thursday because several readers e-mailed to notify me about it that day. Take a look here! (And don't forget that the film will also come out on DVD from Wolfe Video sometime this year as well, although the final release date has yet to be announced.)

    Chart Updates
    Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, the CD featuring his No. 1 hit Dolly duet, "When I Get Where I'm Going," remains steady on the March 17 Billboard country albums chart, the magazine announced Thursday. The disc holds its own at No. 9 country in its 81st chart week, rising seven to No. 55 pop and comprehensive and 12 to No. 32 Canadian country. Martina McBride's Timeless, featuring her Dolly duet on "I Still Miss Someone," gains five to No. 65 country in its 72nd chart week, falling four to No. 50 Canadian country. Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, including "Islands In The Stream," inches up two to No. 39 country in its 59th week. Rhonda Vincent's All American Bluegrass Girl, featuring her Dolly duet "Heartbreaker's Alibi," holds steady at No. 13 bluegrass in its 41st chart week. The Dixie Chicks hold onto the country top spot with Taking The Long Way remaining at No. 1 country and rising one to No. 10 pop in its 41st chart week with 42,000 units moved, while Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts remains steady at No. 2 country and gains three to No. 15 pop in its 68th week.

    Jones Talks Up Dolly
    Jazz chanteuse Norah Jones says singing with Dolly was her most memorable musical collaboration. "Dolly's adorable and hilarious, and she just sings her butt off," she tells Time magazine. Read the interview here.

    Get Those Contest Entries In!
    There's still time to get your entries in for the Dollymania contest thanks to SonyBMG to win free copies of every Dolly CD which came out in the U.K. earlier this week. Although there is a limit of one entry per person and per address, entries will be accepted through Sunday here. Three lucky readers will receive prize packs containing all seven CDs: All I Can Do/New Harvest First Gathering, Great Balls Of Fire/Dolly Dolly Dolly, Burlap & Satin/Real Love, Very Best of..., My Tennessee Mountain Home, Jolene and Coat Of Many Colours. Several hundred fans have registered so far!

    TV Reminder
    Don't forget that CMT on Friday premieres its new Karaoke-Dokey series, the first episode of which focuses on Dolly's music. Catch it at 9:30 p.m. Eastern with repeats several times in coming days (12:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, 1 a.m. Monday, 4 p.m. Tuesday, midnight Wednesday and 10:30 a.m. next Friday). Catch some audition clips here.

    March 8:
    Set List, Review, Video From Denmark
    Since your webmaster couldn't be overseas covering Dolly's European tour, news from fans across the Atlantic is very much appreciated as she makes her way from one sold out concert to another. While I haven't heard anything yet from the tour's second night in Horsens, Denmark, on Wednesday, thanks to Anna for sending along the first review of Tuesday's tour opener there. The reviewer for the Swedish paper Afton Blade said here (be warned, it is in Swedish) that "Little Sparrow" was the night's biggest highlight. Also greatly enjoying the "epic" arrangement of "Smoky Mountain Memories," the reviewer, though, hated "I Dreamed About Elvis." Thanks to John for discovering in this YouTube world that even Dolly's concerts aren't immune to covert recording, as several snippets from the opening night have made their way onto the popular video sharing site including the concert's opening, "Jolene," "Travelin' Prayer" and "Applejack." Finally, a great big thanks to Catherine for obtaining the complete set list from the concert. If this tour is like any of her other recent ones in the U.S., she will deviate only slightly from this listing, perhaps removing/adding one song from city to city, but generally following this same set list:

  • Baby I'm Burnin'
  • Two Doors Down
  • Jolene
  • Puppy Love
  • The Grass Is Blue
  • Shine
  • Thank God I'm A Country Girl
  • Little Sparrow
  • My Tennessee Mountain Home
  • These Old Bones
  • Coat Of Many Colors
  • Smoky Mountain Memories
  • Train, Train
  • Imagine
    A brief break for a costume change
  • Travelin' Prayer
  • Marry Me/Applejack
  • God's Coloring Book
  • Me And Bobby McGee
  • Crimson And Clover
  • I Dreamed About Elvis
  • Islands In The Stream
  • Here You Come Again
  • 9 To 5
  • I Will Always Love You
  • Encore: He's Alive
    The big European tour next heads to sold out shows in Bergen, Norway, on Friday, Karlstad, Sweden, on Sunday and Göteborg, Sweden, on Tuesday. Courtesy image.

    Mystery Mine Nearing Completion
    Dollywood is readying the press to cover its major expansion this year, the $17.5 million Mystery Mine roller coaster. A press release went out Wednesday promoting the ride as the first of its kind in the U.S. and the park last year being named one of three finalists for the Applause Award, naming it basically one of the three best theme parks worldwide. In the release, Dolly commented: "I'm so proud of Dollywood and all we've accomplished through the years. Maybe I'm most proud of Dollywood being named one of the top three theme parks in the entire world. That's why I thought it was important to build a world-class roller coaster like Mystery Mine—it's got a world of surprises in store for folks." The park opens for its 22nd season on March 31, and the Mystery Mine makes its premiere on Friday, April 13, when Dolly will be on hand for this year's annual "grand opening" festivities. Read the complete release here.

    March 7:
    Dolly Across The Pond
    Although I haven't heard word from anyone yet who attended to say how it went (e-mail me here), Dolly's European tour was to have kicked off Tuesday night with a sold out show in Horsens, Denmark, to be followed by another sold out night there on Wednesday. And thanks to reader Jeff for alerting me that the re-issue titles which were released in the U.K. and Germany this week to celebrate her tour are now available for download from iTunes (with the exception of Burlap & Satin for some reason). And don't forget to enter here through Sunday (limit one entry per person, per address) for a chance to win a free copy of every Dolly CD which came out this week in honor of the European tour (All I Can Do/New Harvest First Gathering, Great Balls Of Fire/Dolly Dolly Dolly, Burlap & Satin/Real Love, Very Best of..., My Tennessee Mountain Home, Jolene, Coat Of Many Colours). Just a couple hundred entries came in during the contest's first 24 hours, so the chances of winning one of the three available prize packages are still very good!

    March 6:
    Europe Readies For Dolly
    The time is here for Dolly to unveil her big show in Europe with the opening night Tuesday for her European tour as she takes the stage in Denmark before a sold out crowd. Once again, attendees are encouraged to e-mail notes from the show here. She remains in Horsens, Denmark, on Wednesday for a second engagement, followed by a performance in Bergen, Norway, on Friday and Karlstad, Sweden, on Sunday. All four concerts have been sold out for weeks. In related news, it appears her U.K. re-issues are doing well. The three "2on1" discs which came out this week (Burlap & Satin/Real Love, Great Balls Of Fire/Dolly, Dolly, Dolly and All I Can Do/New Harvest . . . First Gathering) were each in the top 11 country CDs based on sales at British mega-site HMV, which also set up a special page dedicated to her on its website here. Courtesy image

    Singer: Dolly 'Brilliant'
    In an interview about back-up singers' pay, the bass singer for legendary harmonizers The Jordanaires took the opportunity to mention qualities about some of the folks with whom the group has worked over the years, including Elvis Presley, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline and Dolly. About Miss Dolly, he says simply that she "is brilliant." Read the full Charlotte Observer interview as reprinted in The Ft. Wayne News Sentinel here.

    Smith: Kellie Screams For Dolly
    CMT.com columnist Hazel Smith has a bit of fun with Kellie Pickler's enthusiasm and her meeting last week with Dolly in her "Hot Dish" column this week. Take a peek here.

    Stampede Adds Act
    Dolly's Dixie Stampede dinner theater has added a flying ballerina, The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C., reports. The paper states that the new aerial act, titled "Dreams Take Flight," is being added to the dinner show for 2007 and has the ballerina soar across the arena. Read the brief here.

    Fla. Library Promoted
    Efforts with Dolly's Imagination Library international literacy program in Wakulla, Fla., are profiled this week on Wakulla.com. Read more here about the program's expansion into the Big Bend Region of the Sunshine State.

    March 5:
    European Tour About To Begin, CDs Released
    The big moment has finally arrived for Dolly fans overseas, as Monday brought the release of several major Dolly products in Europe on the eve of her first major tour there in three decades including a U.K. release of the Dolly Parton & Friends DVD which came out in the U.S. last week (but there it has cover art shown at left to match the new The Very Best Of Dolly Parton compilation CD). The tour itself, which will include 21 concerts across 17 cities in Scandinavia and the British Isles, kicks off Tuesday with two consecutive nights at The Forum in Horsens, Denmark. Her concert there Wednesday night sold out in just seven minutes back in November, prompting the addition of Tuesday's show, which itself sold out in four days. The cities and dates for the tour were first announced to the world on Dollymania back in October, and today all of them are sold out with the exception of about three British dates that still have just a handful of seats available. Follow the tour on the site's tour page here and Dolly's own website set up specifically for this tour here. Also, attendees are encouraged to e-mail their recaps of the shows and photos to share with the readers of the site here.

    New 'Dollymania' Contest Starts
    As promised, you may now enter to win one of three wonderful prize packs from Dollymania and Sony BMG of all of the Dolly CDs which the label released in Britain on Monday:

  • All I Can Do/New Harvest First Gathering
  • Great Balls Of Fire/Dolly Dolly Dolly
  • Burlap & Satin/Real Love
  • Very Best of...
  • My Tennessee Mountain Home
  • Jolene
  • Coat Of Many Colours
    Simply visit the site's new page set up for the contest here and send in your entry! There's a one-per-person, one-per-address limit, and entries will be accepted through next Sunday. Thanks to Stephen for setting this contest up for the site's readers!
    In other news:
  • Thanks also to Stephen for alerting me that British music mega-site HMV is also offering digital downloads of the tracks from each CD if you just can't wait to buy the hard copy.
  • Thanks to reader and uberfan Joe Skelly for alerting me that the track listing for the disc that ended up in stores Monday for The Very Best Of Dolly Parton differed from what had been reported here. Although official word was as recently as last week that the disc would be the 21-song version originally reported here with tracks from Dolly's Sugar Hill Records recordings and her Oscar-nominated "Travelin' Thru," (and several retailers, including British sites HMV and Play.com, continued through Sunday night showing that track listing) the actual CD which was released contained 20 songs with no Sugar Hill tunes and no "Travelin' Thru." The final track listing is: 9 To 5, I Will Always Love You, Islands In The Stream (with Kenny Rogers), Jolene, Coat Of Many Colours, My Tennessee Mountain Home, Here You Come Again, Baby I'm Burnin', Love Is Like A Butterfly, The Bargain Store, Potential New Boyfriend, Everything's Beautiful (In Its Own Way) (with Willie Nelson), Silver Threads And Golden Needles (with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette), To Know Him Is To Love Him (with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris), Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That, Romeo, Tennessee Homesick Blues, Dumb Blonde, Applejack and Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle To You.

    Kellie Meeting Makes CMT
    Thanks to Sheldon for alerting me that some Dolly shots made CMT Insider over the weekend. American Idol's Kellie Pickler was interviewed about last week's surprise meeting with her personal idol, Dolly, arranged by RCA chief Joe Galante. In the brief interview, she gushed about how wonderful Dolly is and about a dozen photos from the event were shown. The show repeats at 2 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Eastern Monday.

    Q-Bots Returning In March
    Thanks to Solomon for calling my attention to reports that last week British technology company Lo-Q announced it had inked a three-year deal with Dollywood for use of its virtual queuing system at the park which had been tested last year. Q2Q, as the park called it, used "Q-Bots" from September through December to reserve spots for guests to attend shows at three of the park's theatres. Park officials said at the time that if the test run were successful, it would be expanded this year to cover other shows and be added to include high-traffic rides as well. Shares of the company rose nearly 9 percent last week on the London Stock Exchange following the announcement.

    Another Contest
    And speaking of contests, my friend Christian (whose Dolly site is in the process of changing from Dolly Parton Central to Dolly Parton United) has launched a new contest on his other site, Country Stars Central to give away a free copy of the promotional CD of new recordings which was distributed in a British newspaper a week ago. Visit his site here to enter through March 23. Thanks, Christian!

    March 3:
    Literacy Program Honored Once Again
    The James Patterson PageTurner Awards, a national effort to support programs which spread the joy of reading, has selected Dolly's Imagination Library as one of its winners this year. The program, which provides free books for children throughout the U.S. and Canada, will receive $10,000 as part of the prize. Read more about the awards in a press release here.

    European Site Adds Post-Concert Forum
    The website for Dolly's European tour on Friday added an additional section called the "Foggy Mountain Blog," which will allow registered users to post their thoughts on her concerts overseas after each show. Her tour across the Atlantic kicks off Tuesday in Demark. Take a look at the site here!

    Music City Paper Touts Re-Issues
    Nashville City Paper on Friday offered reviews of three upcoming Dolly re-issues: Coat Of Many Colors, My Tennessee Mountain Home and Jolene, coming out with several bonus tracks on April 3 in the U.S. and Monday in Europe. The writer calls them three of her "finest albums" and rates the previously unreleased bonus cuts as very strong. Read more here.

    March 2:
    More From Indio
    A very special "Thank You" goes out to reader Theresa for sending in some shots of Dolly from her recent Indio, Calif., concert, such as the image at left. They have been added to a gallery accessible here. Thanks, again!

    Chart Updates
    The CD which features Dolly's most recent No. 1, Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted with their duet, "When I Get Where I'm Going," slips two spots on the March 10 Billboard country albums chart, the magazine revealed Thursday. The disc comes in at No. 9 country in its 80th chart week, also dropping 13 to No. 62 pop and comprehensive and 14 to No. 44 Canadian country. Martina McBride's Timeless, with her own Dolly collaboration, "I Still Miss Someone," dips two to No. 69 country in its 71st chart week, gaining five to No. 46 Canadian country. Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, with "Islands In The Stream," rises four to No. 41 country in its 58th week. Rhonda Vincent's All American Bluegrass Girl, with the Dolly duet "Heartbreaker's Alibi," falls three to No. 13 bluegrass in its 40th chart week. The Dixie Chicks hold onto the country top spot with Taking The Long Way remaining at No. 1 country but losing three to No. 11 pop in its 40th chart week, while Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts remains steady at No. 2 country and drops five to No. 18 pop in its 67th week.

    Grascals Work With Dolly Again
    The Grascals, who worked with Dolly on her Hello I'm Dolly Tour and Vintage Tour as well as her CD Those Were The Days, are back at it again. The award-winning bluegrass band announced this week that they've recently been back in the studio with her to help out with her upcoming CD, Backwoods Barbie. Read the tid-bit here.

    More CBS Follow-Up
    Another local paper has profiled the Kentucky teen and the recent Dolly story for the "Magic Moment" segment on The Early Show for CBS. Read it from Thursday's The Anderson News here.

    Scissor Sisters Tout Dolly
    Campy pop supergroup Scissor Sisters are again talking up Dolly. Previously, band members have said she is the ultimate guest star with whom they'd love to work, and now they say she's the ultimate artist to record a cover of one of their songs. "'We love her audacity,'' band member Baby Daddy tells Metro Weekly here. ''We really connect to someone who on the surface is one thing, and deep down is an absolute master of their craft. You can see that in what we do -- taking ourselves seriously, loving what we do, and having a sense of humor about it.''

    March 1:
    New Porter Duet Due In June
    You may recall it first revealed on Dollymania nearly a year ago that Dolly had been in the studio recording her first full duet in more than a quarter-century with longtime duet partner Porter Wagoner and that the song would likely appear on a CD in 2007. (Wagoner told the site at the time: "It's always wonderful to sing with Dolly. Our voices blend together like family.") Well, Billboard magazine on Wednesday reported in its online version that the track they recorded was a new version of "My Many Hurried Southern Trips" and that it will appear on his Marty Stuart-produced project Wagonmaster, set to be released by Anti- Records on June 5. The song in question is one which Dolly co-wrote with Wagoner but she never recorded, although he released a solo version on his 1971 album Simple As I Am. Read more here. Image of the two at The Grand Ole Opry in April 2005 is copyright © 2005 Duane Gordon/Dollymania.net. May not be reproduced without prior written consent. Note: After publication of this item, Billboard corrected its story to read that the song was co-written with Dolly rather than her providing guest vocals on the new recording, which she does not do. We regret repeating their error.

    European CD Contest Coming
    Thanks to SonyBMG's U.K. division and Stephen Munns, project coordinator for Dolly's upcoming "2on1" re-issues overseas next week, Dollymania is pleased to let you know that in a few days details will be posted for readers to win some great prize packs featuring ALL of her European releases hitting stores there on Monday! Look for more on the contest in the next few days! The prizes will feature:

  • All I Can Do/New Harvest First Gathering
  • Great Balls Of Fire/Dolly Dolly Dolly
  • Burlap & Satin/Real Love
  • Very Best of...
  • My Tennessee Mountain Home
  • Jolene
  • Coat Of Many Colours

    Compilation Track Listing Finalized
    In related news, I'm told that the final, confirmed track listing for the British compilation Very Best of Dolly Parton is to be the 21-song version reported here a little over a month ago (with "Travelin' Thru"), even though Amazon is showing different songs along with preliminary cover art featuring the other track listing.

    More Kellie Coverage
    Dolly's meeting Monday with American Idol's Kellie Pickler made Beverly Keel's Celebrities column in The Tennessean Wednesday, including Dolly's reaction to being considered an inspiration by so many singers. Read it here.

    Tri-Cities Library Gets Ink
    The efforts of Dolly's international Imagination Library literacy program in northeast Tennessee and western Virginia are profiled in The Bristol News here.

    Rogers Honored In Nashville
    Maybe they should have all come on stage with him when this happened a couple of months back, but in thanking some of the folks who paid tribute to him as this year's Country Radio Broadcasters' Career Achievement Award recipient Tuesday at the 38th annual Country Radio Seminar, frequent Dolly duet partner Kenny Rogers worked her into a Vince Gill story. CMT.com reported here that he fondly recalled stories about each of the artists who honored him that evening, including seeing Gill perform "I Will Always Love You" in December at the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Dolly. He had already given his tribute (singing "Islands In The Stream" with Carrie Underwood), and so had Shania Twain and Alison Krauss as they all stood backstage watching Gill's performance, which was so moving that they all three found themselves singing harmony along with him. (Dolly was the CRS Career Achievement Award winner two years ago.)