www.dollymania.net                News                          March 2011

March 31:
More Park Pictures Posted, Sept. Ride Reveal
Your official Dollymania.net coverage of Dolly's weekend appearances at Dollywood to open the park for the 2011 season continues tonight with a series of photo galleries added to that section of the site here. Still to come are more pictures over the next several days and a video news report! In related news, the park announced Tuesday that its 2012 ride reveal will come during the Boomsday fireworks extravaganza the Sunday of Labor Day weekend in Knoxville. The largest fireworks event in the Southeast, it attracts up to 400,000 people. Officials repeated the promise that the announcement will be in a way no other attraction has ever been announced in the past (so my guess is they're going to display the ride's name or its design or logo or something in fireworks).The 2011 Boomsday will take place from the railroad bridge over the Tennessee River in downtown Knoxville with a music festival called Boom in the Park before and after the Sept. 4 fireworks, reports Knoxville television station WBIR, which noted the Dollywood announcement toward the end of its story here. Photo at left is copyright © 2011 T. Duane Gordon/Dollymania.net and may not be reproduced without prior written permission.

Meet-And-Greet Makes eBay
For the first time ever, the folks at the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation are making Dolly's auction item available for online bidding. With the minimum starting bid of $1,500, this year's prize is available on eBay through April 6 here. It is a pair of meet-and-greet passes and photograph with Dolly for the winner and his or her guest at the June 3 opening of Dolly's Pirates' Voyage in Myrtle Beach, S.C., including a pair of tickets to the opening show at the renovated venue. Transportation and lodging are not included, and the prize may not be moved to a different date or location. The meet-and-greet was donated by Dolly to the Foundation for its April 9 Las Vegas Night fund-raiser. The Foundation, for which Dolly serves as honorary co-chair, assists with health care in her native Sevier County.

Pre-Sales Going Fast For Summer Shows
As was reported here Monday night, pre-sales through Dolly's official record label website, DollyPartonMusic.net, began for all online visitors on Tuesday evening, following the 24-hour pre-sale for members of its Dollyites online fan community. As of Wednesday night, all pre-sale tickets for the Dallas, Knoxville and Prior Lake concerts were sold out and all premium ticket pre-sale packages for her Atlanta-area show were sold out, although regular pre-sale tickets remained available for that gig. Tickets for those shows will once again be available when the regular seats go on sale to the general public, as only a very small number of seats are released early for pre-sales. Regular tickets go on sale Friday in Knoxville, Grand Prairie, Prior Lake, Durham and Alpharetta, with later public sale dates in the other cities: Rosemont, April 4; Concord, April 8; Hollywood, May 7; Albuquerque and Wallingford, TBA (Wolf Trap is already on sale).

Dolly's Grammy Record Noted
Here's an interesting little tid-bit I stumbled upon this week. Did you realize that Dolly is the most-nominated vocalist in Grammy Awards history? Her 45 career nominations put her in fourth place overall and first among all women, but the only people with more Grammy nominations are non-singers: producer and instrumentalist Quincy Jones with 79, classical conductor Georg Solti with 74 and jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea with 54. Behind her rounding out the top 10 for most nominations are Beyonce and Jay Z tied with 42 each, Barbara Streisand with 40, composer/conductor John Williams with 39 and Allison Krauss and Aretha Franklin tied with 38 each.

Library Expands In Minnesota
Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program launched this week in the Milaca School District of Minnesota, the city's Mille Lacs County Times reported here.

March 29:
Dollywood Pics, Audio Coverage Begin
Your Dollymania.net coverage of Dolly's weekend appearances for the season opening of Dollywood continues tonight with the first photo galleries – of her park tours on each day – and audio files from her various appearances with the addition of that section of the site here. Still to come is a Dollymania Video News Report and multiple other photo galleries. You may also watch a video report via Facebook here from the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative. In related news, the park's Smoky Mountain Christmas festival is up against Disney World's holiday festival for the reader-voted Theme Park Insider Tournament. Vote for it before noon Tuesday here. Thanks, Zac! Photo at left is copyright © 2011 T. Duane Gordon/Dollymania.net and may not be reproduced without prior written permission.

More Concert Pre-Sales Start
Members of the Dollyites online fan community of Dolly's official record label website, DollyPartonMusic.net, were able to begin pre-sales Monday for the remaining dates of the first U.S. leg on Dolly's Better Day World Tour. The pre-sales, including the premium ticket packages previously reported here, will be open to all online visitors to the website starting Tuesday afternoon. Only limited numbers of tickets in each section are made available in the pre-sales, and the pre-sale seats for both Knoxville and Wolftrap are sold out (but tickets will be available once they go on sale to the general public later).

'First Dog' Headed To DVD
The independent film First Dog, about a boy who finds the president's lost dog and features original songs by Dolly, is scheduled to be released on DVD from Gaiam on May 3. And thanks to Bet for alerting me that one of the songs from the picture, "Somebody's Missing You," may be the same as "Missing You" on Dolly's upcoming Better Day CD. We'll have to wait and see!

March 28:
Dolly Pops In At Park On Saturday

Dolly concluded her first appearances of the year at her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Saturday to wow fans who gathered there on the first day it was open to the general public, which followed appearances the previous day for its season passholders' preview. On Saturday, she popped in at the end of Festival of Nations headliners Samaia from the Republic of Georgia and Nova Scotia percussion group Drum! to greet the crowds. She explained that due to her arrival at the park late in the week because of finishing up the filming earlier in the week of Joyful Noise, her upcoming movie with Queen Latifah, she did not have an opportunity to work up a song to perform with either group. The expected rains held off long enough to allow the annual Festival of Nations Parade through the park, featuring the Sevier County High School Marching Band, the various international visiting performers at the park for the festival and Dolly, who rode in her antique Dewitt car. Her next expected appearances in the area will be for her 2011 Homecoming Parade through Pigeon Forge on May 6.
Additional coverage came from Knoxville TV station WBIR with the video above from Saturday and text version here, Gather here, blog The Examiner here and The Knoxville News Sentinel, which provides a story, photos and video from Friday here. Your full Dollymania coverage continues over the next several days with numerous photo galleries, a video report, audio files and more. Stay tuned! Photographs are copyright © 2011 T. Duane Gordon/Dollymania.net and may not be reproduced without prior written permission. Click on them for larger views.

'Straight Talk' Heading To Blu-Ray
The first Dolly feature film to be released on high definition disc is coming! Mill Creek Entertainment has announced a May 10 release date for the Blu-Ray version of her 1992 movie Straight Talk. Reserve your copy here! Thanks, Jeff!

'9 To 5' Loved In Spokane
Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical ended its week-long run in Spokane, Wash., Sunday, earning a rave review from The Spokesman-Review here, which called it a "guaranteed good time" and an "amusing mélange of feel-good music, memorable characters and campy '70s nostalgia," singling out Dolly's score as her "diverse composition of country, '70s pop, down-home blues, jazz and swing-era melodies mesh superbly with her lyrics of substance and sentiment." The touring company takes a little break this week and next moves to Seattle for a nearly three-week engagement April 5 through 24.

Library Gets High Marks In North Dakota
North Dakota First Lady Betsy Dalrymple wants to expand Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program in the state, she told blog Inforum here.

March 26:
Dolly Sings At Park, Says Tour Expanding In Fall

Dolly enchanted audiences at Dollywood Friday for season passholder's preview day, kicking off the 2011 season by opening the Barnstormer ride. At a chilly morning event, she greeted the press, family members and fans as she and members of her family band played "My Mountains, My Home," "My Tennessee Mountain Home," "Applejack" and "Daddy Was An Old Time Preacherman." After taking questions from members of the media (including her polite and humorous rebuffing of a question from your webmaster to divulge any more details on the park's 2012 attraction addition), she flipped a ceremonial switch to start the new handicapped-accessible ride swinging in the new Owens Family Farm area of the park, formerly Dreamland Forest.
Next, she popped in for a brief appearance to welcome the crowd after a performance by Festival of Nations headliner Samaia from the former Soviet republic Georgia before making a park tour. She started the day with interviews on ABC's Good Morning America -- in which she announced she will do a second American leg of her Better Day tour in October prior to heading to the Australian leg in November (see video below) – and FOX News' Fox & Friends (watch that interview here or in the second media player below). She is expected to make a couple of show appearances on Saturday, the park's first day of the season open to the general public, and participate in the 3 p.m. Festival of Nations Parade, weather permitting. However, the forecast is for a steady rain, which will likely force cancellation of the parade. Look for complete coverage of Dolly's weekend appearances, including photo galleries, a video report and audio files, on this website over the next several days. Immediate coverage was available from WBIR with a story here and interview video above and a piece from WVLT here. Photographs are copyright © 2011 T. Duane Gordon/Dollymania.net and may not be reproduced without prior written permission. Click on them for larger views.

March 25:
Dolly Appearing At Dollywood
Dolly will make her first appearance of the season at her Dollywood theme park on Friday for its season passholders' preview day, followed by appearances on Saturday, the first day it is open to the general public for the 2011 season. Although, as usual, park staff is tight-lipped on when and where she will pop in throughout either day, witnesses report that she was seen Thursday rehearsing "My Tennessee Mountain Home" and "Applejack" on a stage set up by the new Barnstormer ride, so presumably she will perform those during festivities at the ride either Friday and/or Saturday. Thanks! Given that the main media day is Friday, my bet is that is when she will do those there. It was also announced on FOX News' Fox & Friends Thursday morning that she will appear on that program via satellite Friday morning. Thanks, Michael! In addition, ABC's Good Morning America revealed she will guest there as well that morning, and that show is taking questions for her for the program here. In related news, The Mountain Press on Thursday offered a few more details on the 2012 ride addition at the park including its location in a story here.

Imagination Library Honored By UT
The University of Tennessee College of Education on Thursday inducted five individuals and Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program into its Hall of Fame, Knoxville television station WBIR reported here. The Library has distributed more than 33 million books worldwide since inception, with more than 1 million being distributed in Knox County alone.

Grascals Still On The Chart
Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, the Cracker Barrel exclusive album by The Grascals' with Dolly on three tracks, slips three more spots to No. 72 on the 75-position country albums chart, the April 2 Billboard numbers showed for its 10th week. The CD also dips one to No. 4 bluegrass, where Rhonda Vincent's Taken, with a Dolly duet, falls two to No. 14 in its 26th week. On the overall charts, Sara Evans' Stronger stays at No. 1 country and loses 11 to No. 17 pop in its second week, while Jason Aldean's My Kind of Party holds steady at No. 2 country and No. 18 pop in its 20th week.

March 24:
'Better Day' Includes Old Songs
In a contradiction to previous reports from her management that her new CD Better Day would consist entirely of new compositions that have never before been heard by fans, the track listing released Wednesday announced that several older Dolly originals are included, although they will be her first released recordings of them in her own voice. The 12-song CD will be released in either June or July, as its final release date has yet to be scheduled. Four of the songs come from Dolly's Tony-nominated score for 9 To 5: The Musical, while an additional track first appeared on the CD One On One by Alabama frontman Randy Owen in 2008. The complete track listing is:

  • In the Meantime
  • Just Leaving
  • Missing You
  • Together You & I
  • Country Is
  • Holding Everything (previously recorded by Randy Owen)
  • The Sacrafice
  • I Just Might (previously recorded by the cast of 9 To 5: The Musical)
  • Better Day
  • Shine Like the Sun (previously recorded by the cast of 9 To 5: The Musical)
  • Get Out (presumably "Get Out And Stay Out," previously recorded by the cast of 9 To 5: The Musical)
  • Let Love Grow (previously recorded by the cast of 9 To 5: The Musical)
    In a press release e-mailed Wednesday morning to fans by her record label, she said: "I wanted to do an album that would be very uplifting and positive, as well as inspirational. Times are hard all over. I think people need to feel better and I thought Better Day was a perfect title because it says 'hope.'" Coverage based on the press release made it in several media outlets, including Perez Hilton here and AOL's country music blog The Boot here.
    The release also included the following Dolly Q&A:
    Q: Can you describe what sets apart Better Day from your recent albums?
    A: "Well, I always think every album is better than the last one...at least I strive for that. I wrote all the songs for this one; plus, I think it may be a little more contemporary than what I usually do."
    Q: Since Better Day will mark the fourth release on Dolly Records, can you talk about the freedoms associated with making and releasing records on your own terms? (Ed. Note: While it is the label's fourth "general release" album, it's technically its sixth overall release, as Dolly Records was the label of record that released her 2007 compilation CD that was given away as a newspaper insert to promote her European tour that year as well as 2009's Sha-Kon-O-Hey soundtrack fund-raising CD for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.)
    A: "It's always best to be your own boss since you can do what you think is right. It's also nice knowing what a nice person the boss really is and that you can pretty much get away with anything! Seriously though, I'm proud Dolly Records has done so well."
    Q: With your return to the road in 2011 in North America, Europe and Australia, what can fans expect from your performances and stage show?
    A: "I'm very excited, first of all, to be going back on tour at all. But I love the fans and I miss the live stage shows. With the new stage show I hope to have a lot of new things for the fans, especially all the new songs from the Better Day CD and some new and different segments in the show with a lot more fun things as well. Of course, we will always be doing our biggest and most popular songs. We're looking for a good time for ourselves as well as for the fans."

    Site: No More U.S. Dates Coming
    Although the album's press release refers to the previously-announced U.S. and European concert dates for her Better Day World Tour as "initial," suggesting that more could be scheduled later, her official record label website, DollyPartonMusic.net, indicates that the new shows reported here Tuesday night are the last American ones that will be added to the tour, stating on its main page that "all US and European tour dates" have been revealed. Dates for the Australian leg of the tour are "to be announced shortly." Assuming the statement is correct that all North American concerts have been announced, this would constitute her shortest North American tour since she returned to the road nearly a decade ago. Her 2002 club tour featured 15 dates, while 2004's graduated to larger venues and 39 concerts, 2005's increased to 44 and 2008's inched up to 45 in North America. (While she did not have a formal tour in 2006 or 2007, she did play a handful of shows in late 2006 and early 2007 which totaled 13). Just a dozen concerts in North America are on her current Better Day tour itinerary. In addition, a press release from The Dollywood Foundation on Wednesday confirmed that the tour opener on July 17 in Knoxville will go on sale to the general public on April 1 (knoxvilletickets.com or via phone at 865-656-4444 or 877-995-9961) at $59.50, $49.50 and $39.50 and be a fund-raiser to assist with operations of her Imagination Library literacy program. In that release, she noted: "It's been a long time since I played Knoxville, so I am thrilled to launch my Better Day tour right here on the banks of the Tennessee River. Since this tour is all about hope and looking forward to better days, I thought it would only be right to donate the proceeds of this concert to my Imagination Library. It will be a special night and I am really looking forward to it."

    Dollywood, Here I Come!
    Your webmaster is headed to Dollywood to cover Dolly's appearances Friday and Saturday in the park for its season opening. Be sure to check back for updates! (You may also friend me on Facebook here to follow me chasing Dolly!)

    March 23:
    Eight New Dolly Concerts Announced
    Eight additional stops on Dolly's U.S. leg of the Better Day World Tour were revealed on Tuesday, starting with a "hometown" concert in Knoxville, Tenn., on July 17 in the University of Tennessee's Thompson Boling Arena. That show was announced in an e-mail from her official record label website, DollyPartonMusic.net, to members of her Dollyites online fan community about three hours prior to a Dollyites members-only pre-sale beginning. Word quickly spread through social media such as Facebook and Twitter before making its way onto some fan websites and eventually the mainstream local media, with The Knoxville News Sentinel reporting that general public tickets would be available sometime next month and that proceeds from the show will benefit the Imagination Library. Regular tickets are $59.50, and as in the previous pre-sale for the tour's Wolftrap show, the silver, gold and platinum VIP packages were offered for premiums of an extra $60, $80 or $100 (best seats, Better Day and Live From London CDs and commemorative laminate with a t-shirt and autographed poster added to the second package and that plus a vinyl edition of Better Day added to the third package). By late Tuesday, DollyPartonMusic.net had added that concert plus seven more to its tour page. For sale dates in the other cities have yet to be revealed, and it is unknown whether these 12 concerts (the four previously announced and the eight from Tuesday) will be her only ones on the U.S. portion of the tour or if more dates are to be announced. Her European dates have been known for weeks, but her Australian concerts for the fall have yet to be announced. The new shows are:
    • July 17, Thompson Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tenn.
    • July 20, Sandia Casino, Albuquerque, N.M.
    • July 24, Concord Pavilion, Concord, Calif.
    • July 27, Mystic Lake Casino, Prior Lake, Minn.
    • July 28, Rosemont Theater, Chicago, IL
    • July 30, Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, Conn.
    • Aug. 2, Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham, N.C.
    • Aug. 3, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater @ Encore Park, Alpharetta, Ga.

    'Better Day' First Single For Ellen
    In other news, DollyPartonMusic.net also revealed on Tuesday that the first single from Better Day will be "Together You & I," which Dolly will premiere May 26 on The Ellen DeGeneres Show the same day it is shipped to radio and shortly before its music video is released. Since the site had previously announced that the album would consist of entirely new compositions, presumably this is a different song from the tune of the same title she wrote and recorded on 1973's Porter & Dolly album.

    Report: Dollywood Gets Big Coaster Next Year
    I'm told that WATE Channel 6 in Knoxville on Tuesday night reported that Dollywood's 2012 addition will be a new roller coaster that will take up three acres of the park and tower over it with a 110-foot high track. The Pigeon Forge Planning Commission gave approval Tuesday. It was public record that plans for the new ride were being considered by the city on Tuesday, but details were being kept secret. The Mountain Press reported here prior to the meeting that three buildings will have to be relocated in the park to make way for the addition, more information would be revealed after the park's opening this weekend and that a formal announcement would be made during the summer in a very unique manner like no other theme park ride has ever been announced before. Thanks, Steve! In related news, the park's press release for this year's Festival of Nations, which opens Saturday, came out Tuesday and is available here.

    Vote For Dolly!
    CMT has announced Dolly is one of the women to appear on its What's Your 20? series' episode "20 Greatest Women, 20 Years," looking at the 20 women who have had the greatest impact on country music over the past two decades. However, the final order of appearance will reportedly be determined by fan voting here. The other women in the top 20 wil be the Dixie Chicks, Sara Evans, Emmylou Harris, Faith Hill, Allison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Patty Loveless, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Jennifer Nettles, LeAnn Rimes, Hillary Scott, Taylor Swift, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, Lee Ann Womack, Wynonna and Trisha Yearwood. Voting ends April 18, and the show premieres May 7.

    'Joyful Noise' Finishing Shooting
    Filming wraps up this week on Dolly's movie Joyful Noise with Queen Latifah, Atlanta's The Patch reported here in a piece about Latifah's trip out to take in a drag show in the city on one of her days off from the project. The movie, about Dolly and Latifah fighting over the direction for their gospel choir as it competes for a cash prize to keep it afloat and while Dolly's grandson dates Latifah's daughter, is set to open in January 2012.

    March 22:
    Mountain Soul Deadline April 15
    Organizers have announced an April 15 deadline to enter the seventh annual Mountain Soul Vocal Competition. Audition tapes must be received by that date to be considered for the in-person competition during the Bloomin' Barbeque andBluegrass festival in Sevierville, Tenn., May 21 on the Sevier County Courthouse lawn near Dolly's statue. A total of 20 finalists in the 13-and-older category and 10 finalists in the 12-and-under category will compete live, with a grand prize of $500 and a Nashville recording session at Sound Wave for the first place older class winner ($300 second prize and $200 third prize) and $100 grand prize and two season passes to Dollywood for the younger class winner ($50 and two day passes to the park for second place and $25 and two day passes for third place). Contestants must sing a song written by Dolly – other than her two most popular compositions, "I Will Always Love You" or "Jolene." Contestants are asked to review the Dollymania.net list of all recorded and released songs written by Dolly here to confirm she composed their selected number. Applications are available from www.BloominBBQ.com.

    Dolly Is Mermaid Queen In New Show
    Dolly's pre-recorded role in her new Dolly's Pirates' Voyage in Myrtle Beach, S.C., will be both as a female pirate and queen of the mermaids, according to a story on pre-show auditions in The Sun News here. The new show, featuring music she wrote especially for it, replaces her Dixie Stampede dinner theatre in that city in June.

    March 21:
    Dallas Date Added To Tour
    Word of another U.S. concert on Dolly's 2011 Better Day World Tour has leaked out: July 19 in the Dallas area. She'll play the Verizon Theatre that evening in Grand Prairie, Texas. The venue was formerly known as Nokia Live, where she performed on her 2005 and 2008 tours. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Central time April 1, but members of the theatre's All Access e-mail service (register here) will have access to a pre-sale starting 10 a.m. March 31. Tickets will start at $45 and go up to $115 and be available via Ticketmaster. Thanks, David! Dates have previously been announced by individual venues in Los Angeles and in Virginia, but the balance of her American and Australian concerts on the tour have yet to be revealed. The tour's European leg has been announced and is currently on sale.

    'Mom' Filmmaker Says Holiday CD Coming
    Could Dolly be working on a new holiday collection? An interview with the filmmaker behind The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom suggests so. In remarks to Monsters and Critics, she says she hopes to set up a private screening for Dolly of the film between her wrapping up shooting with Queen Latifah on her own movie in Atlanta, her upcoming tour and "doing another Christmas CD." Not sure if the comment is correctly transcribed for readers, though, as the interview includes other mistakes, such as quoting her as referring to Rufus Wainwright appearing on the film soundtrack when it is his sister, Martha, who sings on it. Read the interview here. Also, check out another review, this one giving it two out of four stars from The Globe and Mail here.

    Park Opening Approaches
    We're now less than a week away from Dolly's season opening appearances at Dollywood, where she is scheduled to be "on park" for season passholders' preview day Friday and the public opening day for the season on Saturday making various appearances around the park and a park tour on Saturday, weather permitting. However, for fans who want to ride Timber Tower, it appears that ride is down for the time being – it has been removed from the park's list of attractions on its website and from the park map for the 2011 season.

    March 18:
    Grascals Dip On The Chart
    Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, the Cracker Barrel exclusive album by The Grascals' with Dolly on three tracks, could be nearing the end of its run on the country albums chart, the March 26 Billboard numbers indicated. The collection tumbles 21 spots to No. 69 on the 75-position country in its ninth chart week, while it falls two to No. 3 bluegrass, ending a seven non-consecutive week run at No. 1 on that list. Rhonda Vincent's Taken, featuring her own Dolly duet, rises three to No. 12 in its 25th week. On the overall charts, Sara Evans' Stronger debuts at No. 1 country and No. 6 pop, while Jason Aldean's My Kind of Party holds steady at No. 2 country and loses four to No. 18 pop in its 19th week.

    Lots Of Talk About 'Mom' Film
    The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom appeared on Thursday to dominate Canadian arts coverage, with interviews with the director in The Toronto Star here and The Toronto Sun here. In addition, reviews came out from Canoe (giving it three-and-a-half out of five stars and saying it is "engaging . . . with three-dimensional characters" and "terrific" performances here), The Toronto Star (giving it two-and-a-half out of four stars and saying mother Macha Grenon is the best in the picture with "a finely nuanced performance, bolstered by well-written dialogue that allows her to express a range of conflicting emotions" here), Eve Weekly (which gives it two out of five stars and criticizes Grenon's character as "underwritten," forcing her to struggle "to wrest some pathos out of" the script here), NOW Magazine (which gives it two out of five stars and says it has "a few good moments" but too many "distractions" here) and The National Post (three stars here).

    March 16:
    Q-Bots Get Three-Year Renewal
    Dollywood patrons will be able to rent Q-Bots to reserve scheduled spots in the best rows for entertainment shows and at the park's best rides for the foreseeable future, as a three-year extension to the service provider's contract was announced Tuesday. Lo-Q, which manages the "virtual queuing system" that was first introduced at the park in 2006, revealed the three-year agreement in a press release available here.

    Memphis Library Gets Big Gift
    United Healthcare Community Plan, Tennessee's largest Medicaid organization, on Tuesday announced a two-year, $250,000 contribution to the Memphis-area chapter of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, The Memphis Daily News reported here.

    More On 'Joyful Noise' Filming
    The Citizen offered an insider's account of the time extras spent Monday on Dolly's Joyful Noise filming with a piece here on Tuesday.

    Another 'Mom' Movie Interview Posted
    The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom got another great interview published this week with the film's creator, Tara Johns, which you may read here from The National Post.

    Latest '9 To 5' News
    Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical received a rave review from Vacaville, Calif., newspaper The Reporter here Tuesday. It continues through Sunday in Sacramento before moving to Spokane, Wash., March 24-27 and then Seattle April 5 through 24, a run profiled on Broadway World's Seattle section here.

    March 15:
    Dolly Auctions Self For Charity
    Dolly is giving herself away again for a good cause, it was announced Monday. She has offered a meet-and-greet and photograph for the annual Las Vegas Night live auction next month to benefit the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation. Attendees at the April 9 event at the Music Road Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., will bid on the prize – typically, her auction meet-and-greets go for several thousand dollars. With Dolly's prize and other auction offerings such as spa packages, photography packages and attraction tickets, organizers hope to raise $15,000 to purchase a bi-pap machine for respiratory therapy, a laboratory megafuge and "low beds" for LeConte Medical Center. Dolly is the honorary chairperson for the Foundation, which is named after the doctor/minister who delivered her in exchange for a sack of cornmeal 65 years ago. It raises funds for Sevier County healthcare and specifically the LeConte Medical Center, which features a Center for Women's Services named after Dolly. Tickets to the evening, which include dinner and drinks, are $50 each and available from the Foundation at 865-446-9628. Read the press release here. Thanks, Amanda!

    March 14:
    'Joyful Noise' Moves To Next Big Scene
    Filming continues in Atlanta on Dolly's Joyful Noise movie with Queen Latifah. A major scene previously announced for filming on Monday at the Frederick J. Brown Amphitheater in Peachtree City, Ga., with Dolly and Latifah watching a performance by Kirk Franklin singing a song he has written for the film has been moved to Tuesday, according to The Times Herald here. As with last week's concert filming, extras will be eligible for multiple give-a-ways including t-shirts, gift certificates, DVDs and autographs from Dolly and Latifah. The project even now has an official Facebook fan page for its extras here in addition to the previous extras website here, both of which still state that filming takes place on Monday. And thanks to another attendee from last week's filming for writing in with details that Latifah also interacted with crowd members during shooting – Dolly talked with them more than she did, but Latifah also took photos with some audience members. Karen Peck sang "Mighty High" and emceed the festivities. Ivan Kelly led the children's choir with a cover of Billy Preston's "He Planned It." In Dolly's performance, her choir started with her composition "Not Enough Love," but when they realize it isn't moving the people at the competition, they move into a medley that includes Sly and the Family Stone's "Take You Higher," Usher's "Yeah" (with Dolly doing the robot!), the previously-reported Dolly cover of Chris Brown's "Forever" and Latifah closing with "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."

    '9 To 5' Lands In California
    Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical is in the middle of a two-week engagement in Sacramento, Calif., and it is getting some attention from the press. Over the weekend, The Sacramento Bee published a review here that praised Dolly's songwriting, saying "her lively score is one of the best things about the current musical derivation," although it found fault with other aspects of the show, while The Sacramento Press offered a raving review here, which also singled out Dolly's compositions, noting while she "is well known for her country songwriting ability, it is amazing how good she is at writing in the musical theater genre." The touring company continues there through next Sunday before moving on to Spokane, Wash., March 24-27.

    March 12:
    Hollywood Twins Talk Dolly And Reality Show
    Twins Gary and Larry Lane spoke recently with gay media blog After Elton about how financing their Dolly documentary From Hollywood To Dollywood was their inspiration for competing on and winning ABC's Winter Wipeout a few weeks back. Check out their story here.

    March 11:
    'Better Day' To Come In Vinyl, Va. Pre-Sale Starts
    Phonofiles rejoice – hidden within the details of ticket pre-sales announced for Dolly's July 31 Wolf Trap concert in Vienna, Va., was word that her next release, Better Day, will be her first full-length album in 20 years to be issued on vinyl (the most recent being a Columbia House music club-exclusive pressing of 1991's Eagle When She Flies, although her dance club remix single of "Peace Train" in 1997 also came out on vinyl). Her official record label website, DollyPartonMusic.net, announced Thursday afternoon that pre-sales for the Wolf Trap show would begin through the website that evening for members of its online fan community, The Dollyites, with special premium packages in addition to regular ticket sales. Regular tickets are $61. Add $60 more for a $121 total and you get premium-section seating, advance order a copy of Better Day on CD to be delivered on its yet-to-be-announced release date, a commemorative VIP laminate and a bonus DVD/CD of Dolly: Live From London. Go up to $141 and you add a tour-exclusive tee-shirt and autographed tour poster to the package. Go up to $161 and you get that package plus the limited-edition vinyl release of Better Day. Since they are already taking advance orders for the vinyl version, they should have to actually deliver on producing it this time – as many fans will recall that in January 2009 her management announced a limited edition vinyl release of Backwoods Barbie would soon be available through its website, but that one never materialized.

    Tidbits From 'Joyful Noise' In Atlanta
    Thanks to folks who've continued writing in with little notes from Dolly's Joyful Noise filming this week in Atlanta. They say the concert shoot with Queen Latifah and the choir was "AMAZING!!!!!" Songs performed by Dolly for the film include a gospel-style cover of Chris Brown's "Forever." Dolly also reportedly showed off a new dancing queen side with several heavily choreographed moves during the concert. For fun, she also led the audience in a chorus of "9 To 5" between takes after repeated prodding from fans in the crowd. She took time out of shooting to talk to one of the few children in the audience and was constantly chatting with people in the crowd when not on camera – the only member of the cast to do so. The director announced during shooting that the scheduled release date is Jan. 13.

    'Jolene' Makes Lesbian List
    She Wired is counting down the 100 greatest lesbian albums of all time – not necessarily music recorded by gay women but rather albums that have been "co-opted" by lesbians "to help provide aural snapshots of their lived experiences." They're releasing the list weekly in 25-album increments with the first this week, and Dolly's 1974 break-out solo collection Jolene came in at No. 95, with them writing: "This country legend and darling has been churning out mountain music hits for 40 years. Her ability to be at once fully self-aware and teeming with irony about her over-the-top appearance, combined with her stellar musical abilities and ardent support of LGBT rights lands Dolly in the enviable spot of being equally loved by lesbians and gay men. Her paean to the other woman 'Jolene' and her ultimate love song 'I Will Always Love You' off of the album Jolene are enduring classics." Check out the rest of the first 25 here.

    U.S. Chart Updates
    Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, the Cracker Barrel exclusive album by The Grascals' which features three Dolly guest appearances, holds onto the top spot on the bluegrass albums chart for a seventh nonconsecutive week, the March 19 Billboard lists released Thursday showed for the albums' eighth chart week. On the country side, the CD slips three to No. 48. Elsewhere in bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent's Taken, with a Dolly duet, falls four to No. 15 in its 24th week. On the overall charts, Aaron Lewis's EP Town Line debuts at No. 1 country and No. 7 pop, while Jason Aldean's My Kind of Party holds steady at No. 2 country and dips three to No. 14 pop in its 18th week.

    'Here You Come' Writers Get Award
    Husband-and-wife songwriting team Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil are this year's Johnny Mercer Award recipients from the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, it has been announced. The award is the Hall of Fame's highest honor. Mann and Weil are best known for a series of rock classics including "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," but they also facilitated Dolly's cross-over into pop by writing her first million-seller, "Here You Come Again." Dolly herself won the Mercer Award in 2007. Read more from All About Jazz here.

    March 10:
    Swedish Dolly Fan Doc Premieres
    Thanks to Magdalena from Sweden for tipping me off to a new Swedish documentary that has premiered at a local film festival about several ladies' obsession with Dolly. jag är min egen Dolly Parton (which translates to "I'm my own Dolly Parton") focuses on five women, including The Cardigans singer Nina Pearsson. Magdalena translated the film summary as: "There is a strong and hopeful film about five women's friendship, dreams and life challenges, whether that be a woman in the middle of their careers and longing for children. And not least, a movie is framed by Dolly Parton's personality - a role model and idol, which unites the five." Check out the trailer on YouTube here and Swedish media website SVD here.

    March 8:
    GAC Readies To Show Kenny Special
    Dolly fans will want to be sure to tune to Great American Country (GAC) at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to check out the concert special Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years, which, as was reported previously, features multiple appearances by his most famous duet partner. The special was taped at a concert that took place at a Connecticut casino in April and features Dolly duetting with Allison Krauss on Rogers' hit "Sweet Music Man," a trio of Kenny, Dolly and Lionel Richie on "Through The Years" and an "Islands In The Stream" sing-a-long that closes the show with Kenny and Dolly and multiple other guest performers. Also on the program are Wynonna Judd and members of his First Edition for "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," Krauss with "But You Know I Love You," Chris Isaak with "Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town" featuring Linda Davis and Billy Dean on harmony, Smokey Robinson on "Morning Desire," a Rogers and Judd duet on "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer," a Rogers and Sheena Easton duet on "We've Got Tonight," a Rogers and Richie duet on "Lady" and Rogers with The Oak Ridge Boys on "The Gambler." Several previously videotaped performances were also shown at the concert and appear in the special, including tributes by Darius Rucker and Tim McGraw. GAC promoted the show with a story here, exclusive photo gallery here and preview commercial viewable online here. The program repeats at 12:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Sunday and midnight Monday.

    Atlanta Film Coverage
    I'm told Monday's Joyful Noise concert filming at the Atlanta Civic Center was a blast. In addition to Dolly and Queen Latifah, Karen Peck performed as did a children's choir with Ivan Jordan. Dolly was described as "ravishing in red," interacting with the audience with witty comments between takes, such as her oft-told joke about having small feet because things don't grow in the shade. She also told the crowd about how much she loves Atlanta and her plans to return later in the year for a concert there on her Better Day World Tour. Thanks, James! Producers are seeking additional extras for another concert scene being filmed next Monday at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheatre, according to local The Citizen, which says that shooting will include gospel legend Kirk Franklin. They note here that interested attendees should e-mail Joyfulaudience2@Gmail.com for tickets. They'll be expected to arrive at 7 a.m. and stay until 1 p.m. or 3 p.m., again with prizes given away throughout. A rain make-up day is scheduled for next Tuesday. Also, the recent filming of a food fight scene at Smyrna, Ga., restaurant Howard's is recapped in The Smyrna Patch here.

    Knox Library Passes 1 Million Books
    Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) and First Lady Crissy Haslam on Sunday presented the 1 millionth Dolly Imagination Library book in Knox County, Tenn., to a 4-year-old named Cara Kidd. She received an oversized copy of The Little Engine That Could autographed by Dolly. Check out a photo of the presentation here.

    'Hannah' DVD Hits Stores Tuesday
    Don't forget that the DVD collection Hannah Montana Forever: Final Season, The Ultimate Fan Experience is released Tuesday from Disney, featuring every final season episode of the program, including Dolly's third appearance as Aunt Dolly to real-life goddaughter Miley Cyrus in the show titled "Kiss It All Goodbye."

    March 7:
    Scotland's Kids In-Care Getting Library
    Scotland has become the first country in the world to make nationwide use of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, it was announced over the weekend. The project there will now be offered to all children under the age of 5 who are in the care of the government. In partnership with the national government and the Scottish Book Trust, this initiative will impact more than 3,300 youngsters throughout the country. Read more from The Press Association here, STV here, the BBC here and The Scotsman here and here. The Scotsman also produced an editorial here praising the program and noting: "There's always been more to Dolly Parton than meets the eye . . . If only such an example of practical, caring volunteerism could be copied by some of our own music celebrities."

    Big 'Joyful Noise' Scene Filming Monday
    Monday is the big day when the large choir concert scene for Dolly and Queen Latifah's film Joyful Noise is shot at the Atlanta Civic Center, with hundreds of extras (including many Dolly fans) in the audience. Please send your recaps of the day's events here for reporting on Dollymania.net. Any news would be most appreciated!

    March 5:
    Grascals And Dolly Fall Off GAC Tally
    "I Am Strong," The Grascals' duet with Dolly from their Cracker Barrel-exclusive CD, has fallen off the Great American Country (GAC) chart again, it was revealed Friday. The song's video drops out of the Top 20 Countdown this week, down from No. 19 in its third non-consecutive week last week. Remember, you may cast your ballot daily in the fan-voted countdown by clicking here! (And speaking of the cable network, its upcoming Kenny Rogers 50th anniversary concert special with Dolly was profiled Friday in Country Weekly's online version here. As was previously reported here, that show premieres at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Tuesday night.)

    More On 'Year' Movie
    The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom received another great interview and profile in the Canadian press on Friday, this time from Macleans here, which for the first time I've seen details the filmmakers' battle to keep Dolly's voiceovers from being re-recorded by a French actress for the French version of the film – they won and her voice remained in the picture with subtitles.

    Broadway Star Chats About Dolly
    Van Hughes, star of the Green Day Broadway musical American Idiot, chats with Broadway.com here about his experience in that show and what it was like working with Dolly on her 9 To 5: The Musical.

    March 4:
    Grascals Hang On In Charts
    The Grascals' Cracker Barrel exclusive CD, Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, with three Dolly duets, earns a sixth week atop the bluegrass albums chart in the March 12 numbers Billboard issued Thursday, remaining steady on that list in its seventh chart week. The collection inches up two to No. 45 country. Also on the bluegrass chart, Rhonda Vincent's Taken, also featuring a Dolly collaboration, slips one to No. 11 in its 23rd week. On the overall charts, Lady Antebellum's Need You Now holds steady at No. 1 country but loses six to No. 10 pop in its 57th chart week, while Jason Aldean's My Kind of Party rises one to No. 2 country and five to No. 11 pop in its 17th week. Across the border, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 falls out of the top 50 Canadian country albums chart, down from No. 50 last week.

    Press Continues On 'Year' Movie
    The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom continues to get great press in advance of its Friday opening in Canada (it premiered last weekend at a film festival). The Montreal Gazette offered a rave review here, saying the title is "Nostalgic, innocent, funny, touching" and that the movie is "all of these things, and more." And The Montreal Mirror provided an interview with the filmmaker here. Also, thanks to Jason for pointing out a clip from the film on YouTube of the main character watching Dolly's 1976 variety show on television. Check it out here.

    Another Film Uses Dolly Song
    Dolly's music is used in another independent film, according to The Baltimore Sun. The newspaper profiles a local filmmaker here, noting that Dolly gave permission for him to use "I Will Always Love You" in his current movie Putty Hill for just a $5,000 donation to the Imagination Library.

    March 3:
    'Mom' Movie Makes Music City Fest
    The Canadian coming-of-age film The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom will be seen in Music City next month, it was revealed Wednesday with the announcement of the selections for the 2011 Nashville Film Festival. Although the date and time of the showing was not announced, the festival takes place at the Regal Green Hills Cinema April 14-21. Festival passes are on sale for $250, and tickets to individual screenings will be available starting April 7. The project, which features extensive use of Dolly's music and a voiceover by Dolly herself, will be featured in the festival's New Directors Competition.

    Online Dolly Casino Opens
    A British gambling company called Optimum Value LLC on Wednesday announced a Dolly-themed online gaming operation that it revealed to have developed and released "in association with Dolly Parton." The bingo and virtual slot machine website, DollyPartonBingo.com, is operated out of Malta.

    March 2:
    Notes From Atlanta Filming
    It was previously reported here that producers were seeking extras for next Monday's choir concert filming for Dolly's Joyful Noise movie at the Atlanta Civic Center, and Atlanta Journal Constitution entertainment blog Access Atlanta noted here Tuesday that now attendees will need to report to the venue by 7 a.m. that morning and expect to remain until around 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. Also, read about a local preacher's close encounter with Dolly from Atlanta blog The Citizen here.

    GAC Plugs Kenny Special
    Several days after word leaked about its scheduling and it was reported here, Great American Country (GAC) on Tuesday posted a page about the concert special Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years featuring Dolly, which as was previously noted will premiere at 8:30 p.m. Eastern next Tuesday. The page, available here, also lists the program's repeat schedule: 12:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. next Wednesday, 8 p.m. March 13 and midnight March 14.

    March 1:
    Bid On Dolly U.K. Meet-And-Greet
    Dolly has contributed a meet-and-greet for her British tour to be auctioned off Friday for a charity campaign. The second annual Have a Heart campaign is being operated by the Heart Radio Stations in Great Britain, with this year's selected charity being Children's Hospices U.K. The Dolly auction, noted on their website here, will feature two tickets to a U.K. date of the winner's choice this summer and backstage passes to meet her. Thanks, Aimee!

    Library Fund-Raisers Profiled
    Words gave two communities quite the miles apart some extra funding for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program over the weekend. An adult spelling bee raised money for the chapter in Ukiah, Calif., The Ukiah Daily Journal reported here, and a Family Fun Night centered around chickens was used in Fairbanks, Alaska, The News Miner noted here.

    Vote Daily For Grascals Video
    Did you know you may vote daily in favor of "I Am Strong" by The Grascals and Dolly being in the Great American Country (GAC) Top 20 Countdown? The band's publicist asked that Dollymania remind you of that and post the photo and links below to promote your right to cast a ballot every day for the video by clicking here!