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!)
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
'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.
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.
'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.
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.
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."
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!
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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!