March 31: More Details Emerge On Trio Project CMT.com on Monday gave a little more information from its Dolly interview where she mentioned new Trio recordings coming out. She explained she and Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris had planned to put out the unreleased recordings they had "in the can" plus repackaging the two existing albums, and that Harris had especially been working on it. The set had originally been scheduled for release in 2012 as a boxed set for the 25th anniversary of their first album, but that was shelved. Read more here.
Dolly Song Singing Contest Deadline Nears The deadline is approaching April 8 for entries in the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition, Local 8 Now in Knoxville reports here.
Evans And McBride Do 'Jolene' Video from PBS's Front And Center April 18 episode featuring Sara Evans and Martina McBride, on which they sing Dolly's "Jolene," has been released. Check it out here or in the media player below.
March 30: Dolly: 'Trio 3' Coming Later This Year
During her CMT Hot 20 Countdown interview that premiered Saturday to promote the 30th anniversary opening of Dollywood, Dolly revealed for the first time that a third installment of her supergroup albums with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris as The Trio will soon be released. Although the final release date has yet to be set, she said it is expected to come out later this year. She noted that they thought the project was to have been released two or three years ago, but it was delayed, although she just very recently received word from Harris and Ronstadt that everyone had signed off on its release. It isn't known whether the album is "new" material recorded prior to Ronstadt's 2011 retirement (similar to how their second album was recorded about four years prior to its eventual release), if it is a gathering of the various unreleased tracks that they recorded over the years, or some combination of both. Although both Dolly and Harris remain active, Ronstadt's last studio album was released in 2006, followed only by two individual tracks on others' albums in 2007 and 2010 prior to her full retirement from music in 2011 and the 2013 revelation that she had been diagnosed with Parkinson's and the disease had progressed to the point where she could no longer sing. The Trio met in the mid-1970s when Dolly learned both other artists, who were relative newcomers, idolized her. They appeared on Dolly's syndicated television show together and recorded several tracks for an album which never came to be. After appearing on each other's albums in guest roles, the three managed to record and release a full album in 1987 which went to No. 1 country and No. 6 pop, garnering a Grammy Award and platinum status, while their follow-up came out in 1999 and went to No. 4 country and No. 62 pop, garnering a Grammy Award and gold status. In other Dollywood season opening news, check out your Dollymania.net video news report is available in the media player above or at YouTube here. (Please forgive the shaky camera work. This is a "raw" video, meaning unedited, and there are a couple of points where your webmaster was moving while filming.) The park also posted to YouTube its 30-year recap video that had previously been embedded here via Vimeo. Check it out here. Also, WDBJ has a news report here.
British Chart Updates Revealed Dolly's Blue Smoke this week remains at No. 1 for a 42nd consecutive week on the British country compilation albums chart, Sunday's tallies showed. The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 falls off the top 100 pop albums list, down from No. 67 in its 33rd chart week, while The Real Dolly Parton regains 18 spots to No. 82 in its 13th week in the pop top 100. Elsewhere on the U.K. country compilations list, Emmylou Harris's Original Album Series, Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony) rises five to No. 9 while her Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) drops four to No. 11 and Ronstadt's own Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) slips seven to No. 15.
March 28: New 'People,' CMT Footage From Dollywood Released
Coverage continued Friday from last weekend's Dolly appearances at Dollywood to open it for the 30th season. People magazine issued another couple of teasers for its Dolly interview in its current issue with another story here about her feelings on Taylor Swift and a video interview here or in the media player above on how opposites attract and her relationship of 50 years with her husband. CMT revealed her interview from the weekend will air on this weekend's program, premiering at 8:55 a.m. Eastern on Saturday (and with an apparent second part of the interview airing the following weekend as well) and teased it with a clip of her talking about her past looks. Watch it here or in the media player below. Finally, the final gallery of Dollymania.net images from the weekend have been added to a gallery in that section of the site here. Our video report and photos from one of our correspondents are still to come!
March 27: Dollywood Coverage Continues: Wigs Coming, 'People' Marvels
Dolly Parton has some exciting news! See it below and hear more Saturday at 9a/8c on a NEW #CMThot20.
As video of Dolly's Make A Wish visit with a Down syndrome child continued to go viral throughout the week (with appearances on The Huffington Post and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's official Facebook feed, among others), additional coverage surfaced from Dolly's stop at Dollywood last weekend to open the park for its 30th season. CMT posted a video from an interview conducted last weekend for the CMT Hot 20 Countdown in which she revealed she will once again be launching a wig line soon. Watch it here or in the media player above. Also, People magazine had her pose on the park's carousel wearing the same yellow top she donned for their cover story in 1986 on the park's opening, incredulously asking how she looks "the same" 30 years later. Check that out here. Finally, the next gallery of photos from your Dollymania.net coverage of the weekend has been added to that section of the site here.
Vegas Remembers Dolly Performance The Vegas News is counting down the historical highlights of the Las Vegas Riviera Hotel and Casino as it nears its May scheduled closing, and this week they celebrated when Dolly signed a three-year deal in 1980 to perform at the casino starting in 1981 for $350,000 per week, making her the highest-paid Vegas entertainer in history at that time. Read more here.
Rapper Azalea Wants Dolly Duet Rapper Iggy Azalea would love to collaborate with Dolly on a duet, she told Vogue magazine, as was retold by several media outlets, including Bustlehere.
Cooper Guesses Dollywood On TV Bravo's Andy Cohen recently put CNN anchor Anderson Cooper to the test with "Adventures with Anderson," where he had to guess the background behind him based only on clues given by Ellen Barkin. He got Dolly's theme park from the clue Sandy Gallin, her former manager and business partner. Watch the game in the media player below.
March 23: Dollywood Opening Weekend Coverage Continues
One of Dolly's activities over Dollywood's 30th season opening was her regular breakfast with children facing serious illnesses and their families, usually in connection with the Make A Wish Foundation and similar organizations. Although she never publicizes the private event, occasionally parents will release photos or videos, as occurred with a young man with Down's Syndrome who met her this weekend. Gage Blackwell has a Facebook fan page on which his family shared several videos from the breakfast, including the one viewable in the media player above. Click here for more videos. In related news, your Dollymania.net coverage continues with the posting of the weekend's audio files for your listening enjoyment here. Finally, Knoxville television station WBIR continued its coverage with a story on 30 years of memories here and a web-exclusive interview with Dolly here.
'Blue Smoke,' 'Very Best' Fall On Overseas Charts After 40 weeks in the British top 100 pop albums chart, Dolly's platinum-selling Blue Smoke, the highest-charting British album of her career with its No. 2 peak position, has fallen off of the 100-position tally, down from No. 64, Sunday's update revealed. However, the CD remains at No. 1 for a 41st consecutive week on the British country compilation albums chart, and Dolly keeps two albums in the pop top 100: The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 dips 28 to No. 67 for a 33rd chart week, while The Real Dolly Parton drops 48 places to No. 100 in its 12th week. Down Under, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 falls back off the top 40 Australian country albums chart, down from No. 39 in its 349th chart week since release. Elsewhere on the British country compilations list, Emmylou Harris's Original Album Series, Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony) slides seven to No. 14 while her Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) gains two to No. 7 and Ronstadt's own Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) jumps up five to No. 8.
Dolly Party Makes Toronto List Toronto's Blog To on Sunday picked the five best "tribute music nights" of the year in the city and included "Steers And Queers: Night Of A Thousand Dollys," which takes place at the Gaystone Hotel during June's gay pride festival with burlesque performers, look-a-like contests, a Dolly choir and more. See the full list here.
See Dolly Fan Art At Knoxville Exhibit A Dolly-themed art exhibition opened Thursday at Pioneer House in Knoxville. "Tease it to Jesus" will travel to Athens, Ga., April 4 and Dallas later in the year. The show was highlighted on The Huffington Post this week here and prints of the pieces contained in the show are available online here.
Herschend CEO Leaving For SeaWorld Joel Manby, CEO of Dollywood parent company Herschend Family Entertainment, surprised the business world on Thursday with the announcement that he is leaving Dolly's partners in the park to helm SeaWorld as the new CEO of that scandal-plagued company. Read more here.
March 19: Dollywood Season Opening Weekend Approaches Dolly will be on park at Dollywood on Friday for the season passholder preview day and Saturday for the park's official opening day for the general public of the 2015 season, and as was previously reported here she is expected to make some major announcements that morning. You'll be able to watch the announcement live via online streaming video Friday morning at 10:10 a.m., the park's has revealed. A link to the Livestream feed will be posted to the park's Facebook page here Friday morning. Your webmaster will also be in attendance for the event and will be reporting over subsequent days here and live blogging via my personal Facebook page here during the event.
Site: 'Rainbow' One Of Country's Sexiest Covers Taste Of Country this week celebrated country music's 10 sexiest album covers of all time, placing Dolly's 1987 Rainbow at No. 5. Check out the list here.
Grohl Talks Of Extended Dolly Chat On DVD Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl spoke with Billboard this week about the April 7 DVD release of their HBO series Sonic Highways, noting, as was previously reported here, that it features the extended interview with Dolly. He said: "There's additional interview footage, like the bulk of the conversation with Dolly Parton and President Obama and maybe Willie [Nelson]. That stuff is fun to watch, especially someone like Dolly, she's a great storyteller, engaging and fun and cool." Read the full interview here and get the DVD here.
March 16: 'Blue Smoke,' 'Very Best' Rise On Overseas Charts The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 this week re-enters both the British and Australian charts: re-entering the U.K. pop top 100 tally at No. 100 for a 32nd chart week and the top 40 country list Down Under at No. 39 for a 349th chart week since its 2007 release. Her Blue Smoke rebounds 35 spots on the British pop albums chart, its 40th week on the U.K. tally, coming in at No. 64, while the album maintains its No. 1 position on the country compilations album tally for a 40th consecutive week. The Real Dolly Parton shoots up 29 places to No. 52 British pop albums in its 12th week. On the U.K. country compilations chart, Emmylou Harris's Original Album Series, Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony) gains four to No. 7 while her Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) loses two to No. 9 and Ronstadt's own Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) falls five to No. 13.
'Coat' Makes U.K. Mother's Day List Mother's Day in the U.K. was this weekend (in the U.S. it's two months later), and The Guardian chose Dolly's "Coat Of Many Colors" among the top 10 best mother songs ever released. See the full list here.
Parsons' First Music Purchase Was Dolly LP The Daily Mail interviewed The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons for his first album purchase, and he replied Dolly's greatest hits on vinyl. Read the full interview here.
Reynolds Sang Dolly Music At Movie Photo Shoot Actor Ryan Reynolds recently tweeted that he had a photo shoot for the upcoming Deadpool X-men movie that featured a certain songbird in the background: "Curiously, the best thing about a #Deadpool photoshoot, is singing Dolly Parton songs full blast while heavily, HEAVILY armed. Unexpected." Read more here.
March 14: DreamMore Trolleys Unveiled At Dollywood
Employees at Dollywood on Friday were given a few tidbits of news about the new season, including word that the Backstage Restaurant will be returning to a full-service restaurant this season with a full menu including appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees and deserts. They were also shown images of the new trolley that will ferry guests from the new DreamMore Resort to the theme park and water park. While these new vehicles, seen above, are just for the resort, word is that plans are to replace the tram fleet for the regular parking lot next year.
British Actress Wants To Play Dolly British actress Sheridan Smith this week won the Broadcasting Press Guild award for Best Actress for playing singer Cilla Black in a biopic on ITV, and the media picked up on her desire to play Dolly. "If I had the breasts Dolly Parton would be one I liked to play, but I'd need a lot of padding," she said. "They'd have to do some work, big hair, talon nails, I'd love it. It would be camp. I'm a big fan." Read more here .
March 11: 'The Grass Is Blue' Vinyl Release Confirmed The 2015 Record Store Day release announcement came Tuesday confirming rumors (previously reported here) that Dolly's Grammy-winning 1999 project The Grass Is Blue will be released on April 18 for the national celebration as a vinyl album for the first time ever. The full list of RSD exclusives is available here and Sugar Hill Records shared the news on its Facebook page here. And while rumors that it would be released on blue colored vinyl persist, the official listing just says 12-inch vinyl instead of "colored vinyl," so the disc may not be blue after all.
DreamMore Resort Reservations Officially Announced Although the news had already been reported here nearly a week ago, Dollywood on Tuesday made the official announcement that reservations are being taken now for its DreamMore Resort for stays beginning Aug. 18. They are available at DollywoodsDreamMore.com or by calling 800-365-5996. The Resort's general manager, Kevin Osborn, said in a statement: "Our goal is to bring new visitors to the beautiful Smokies and have Dollywood's DreamMore Resort guests experience special privileges that aren't available anywhere else. With rooms starting at $179, these benefits give families more of what they want in a Dollywood vacation – more play, more time and more value." Guest privileges announced Tuesday include complimentary TimeSaver Passes to bypass attraction lines at the park, early entry on Saturdays, complimentary resort shuttles from the hotel to Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country, a resort guests-only separate entrance for the parks, complimentary to-room delivery of shopping purchases in the parks and more. The final opening date will be announced later in the spring, the press release noted, suggesting that it will actually be open sometime prior to Aug. 18.
GAC Celebrates Dolly Among Country's Best Women To celebrate Sunday's International Women's Day, Great American Country (GAC) on Monday chose the 10 most influential women in the history of country music, ranked roughly in the order of their rise to prominence: Maybelle Carter, Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline, Dottie West, Tammy Wynette, Dolly, Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, Reba and Shania Twain. Check out what they had to say about each one here.
ACM CD Track Listing With Dolly Released You may recall it reported here a few weeks back that Dolly was among the artists on the March 31 two-CD collection Now! That's What I Call ACM Awards 50 Years. The track listing for the project was revealed on Tuesday, and it features 50 songs – one for each year of the awards show. Dolly's entry represents 1983: "Islands In The Stream" with Kenny Rogers. Get the CD here!
'Dear Dolly' Song Getting Noticed Singer and fiddler Natalie Stovall recently released a great song paying tribute to Dolly called "Dear Dolly." Watch it on YouTube here or in the media player below.
March 9: Dolly Slides On U.K. Charts Dolly's Blue Smoke loses 18 places this week on the British pop albums chart, its 39th week on the U.K. tally, coming in at No. 99, while the album maintains its No. 1 position on the country compilations album tally for a 39th consecutive week. The Real Dolly Parton falls eight spots to No. 81 in its 11th week. On the country compilations chart, Emmylou Harris's Original Album Series, Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony) drops six to No. 11 while her Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) inches up one to No. 7 and Ronstadt's own Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) loses one to No. 8.
Billboard Looks At Country's British Popularity Last Year In related news, Billboard over the weekend posted a story here about how country music resurged in popularity last year in the U.K., taking 2.3 percent of the album market, its highest level in seven years there. They give a lot of various reasons why, mentioning near the end almost only in passing that Dolly's massively-popular Glastonbury Festival performance last year was also a contributing factor. While the story doesn't go into any further detail, Dolly's Blue Smoke was solely responsible for about 20 percent of the U.K.'s 2 million country albums sold last year, as it was the 13th best-selling album of the year in the U.K., the only country title to break the top 40 best-selling albums of the year list there and the only country title released in 2014 to be certified platinum in Britain last year.
March 7: Dollywood 30th Anniversary Kick-Off Coming
We're now just two weeks away from the start of Dollywood's 30th anniversary season, and it has been revealed that Dolly will kick off the celebration with a special Festival of Nations showcase in D.P.'s Celebrity Theater during the season passholder preview day on Friday, March 20. Doors open for the theater at 9:45 a.m. that morning and a free 30th anniversary commemorative mug will be given away while supplies last. Dolly is slated to make an "exciting announcement" during the performance. She is also scheduled to return for park appearances on Saturday, March 21, which is the first day the park is open to the general public this season. In addition, the park has released a promotional video viewable in the media player above or by clicking here.
Order Foo Fighters DVD With Dolly The Foo Fighters' HBO music series Sonic Highways has been added to Amazon.com for ordering as a home video release hitting shelves on April 7 and featuring an extended version of the interview with Dolly that appeared in the Nashville episode. Get it on BluRay here and DVD here.
March 6: Reports: 'The Grass Is Blue' Heading To Record Store Day Several lists of reported exclusive releases for this year's National Record Store Day state that Dolly's 1999 bluegrass masterpiece The Grass Is Blue will be released on vinyl for the first time ever as part of the April 18 event. No official announcement of the release has been made, so the lists are unconfirmed. Check one list out here.
First U.K. Imagination Library Closing News that Rotherham, England, the first U.K. affiliate of Dolly's Imagination Library, is shuttering the program made international headlines on Thursday. Active since 2008, the program has mailed 950,000 books to local children there, reaching 85 percent of the city's population under age 5. However, as officials announced £23 million in cuts from the city budget for next year (about $35 million U.S.), among the ended programs were Dolly's book project, which cost the city about £200,000 (about $300,000 U.S.) per year. In a statement, Dolly's charity said: "It is an honour and pleasure for us to serve the children of Rotherham so we are most disappointed about the proposal to cease the Imagination Library in Rotherham. The programme has been successful and we hope parents and caregivers who value the programme will share their feelings with the council. May all of Rotherham's children continue to have every opportunity to dream more, learn more, care more and be more." Dolly's literacy project has spread to 62 cities across the U.K. Read more from The Starhere, the BBC here and Yahoo U.K. here. (And in reading overseas coverage, keep in mind that in British English, "scheme" just means "project" or "plan" rather than the negative connotations that the word has in American English.)
March 4: DreamMore Resort Opens Aug. 18, Taking Reservations Dollywood's DreamMore Resort this week revealed that it will open Aug. 18 and began taking reservations for stays starting on that date. The hotel resort adjacent to Dolly's theme park and water park was originally scheduled for a May opening but suffered construction delays.
Clarkson, Fallon Sing Duet Classics Kelly Clarkson stopped by The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon this week and performed a "history of duets" with the host, including Kenny & Dolly's "Islands In The Stream." Watch the sketch here.
Canadian Paper Remembers Dolly Concert From 39 Years Ago The Edmonton Journal this week reprinted a Dolly concert review from 1976 which described her as "with her push 'em up bra pushing 'em up, her store-bought hair piled high on her head and her chubby little body packed into an almost-bursting-at-the-seams glass-studded jumpsuit, Dolly Parton cut an impressive figure at the Jubilee Auditorium. She looked like a truck driver's dream. Gone wild. A living, breathing kewpie doll from the top of her fake platinum blond to the tip of her open-toed, silver high heels ... she seemed to be a throwback to the days before women's lib when most assets were her obvious." Read more here.
Night Of 1,000 Dollys Welcomes Guest Performers Plans are coming together for May 2nd's Night of 1,000 Dollys, returning for the sixth year to Knoxville's Club XYZ. Venue owner Richard Cameron, also known as The Outrageous Raz, who hosts the evening, announced that professional Dolly impersonators Jason CoZmo and Cloe Richards will perform this year, as will XYZ cast members Vanity Love and Trixie Lynn. "Since 2010 we have delighted in celebrating our love of Dolly Parton," he added. "We will have our annual Best Dolly contest and Imagination Library Raffle." The event is not affiliated with Dolly Parton, Dolly Parton Enterprises or Dollywood, Inc. Click on the image below for a larger view.
March 2: 'Blue Smoke' Rises On U.K. Charts Dolly's Blue Smoke rebounds 11 spots this week on the British pop albums chart, its 38th week on the U.K. tally, coming in at No. 81, while the album maintains its No. 1 position on the country compilations album tally for a 38th consecutive week. The Real Dolly Parton re-enters the top 100 pop albums at No. 73 in its 10th week. On the country albums tally, the re-issue of her Dolly boxed set, falls back off the top 20, down from No. 18. On the country compilations chart, Emmylou Harris's Original Album Series, Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony) inches down one to No. 5 while her Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) holds steady at No. 8 and Ronstadt's own Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) holds steady at No. 7.
'Jolene' Makes Top Karaoke Songs Of Year Overseas Thanks to her Glastonbury appearance and the success of her most recent album, Dolly's "Jolene" was the 10th most-performed karaoke song in the U.K. last year, a new survey has found. "Let It Go" was No. 1. Read more from Entertainmentwisehere.
Dolly Named To Top 50 Living Musicians List The Best Schools has identified the 50 "most important living musicians," which includes Dolly. Read the list here.
Union Sings Dolly's '9 To 5' On 'The Tonight Show' Gabrielle Union was on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon last week and named Dolly's "9 To 5" as one of her go-to karaoke songs, treating the audience to her Dolly impersonation. Watch it here.
Stampede Makeover Gets 'Times' Coverage The renovations to Dolly's Dixie Stampede dinner theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., made The New York Times last week. Read the story here.
Miley Alters Dolly, Madonna Pictures Dolly goddaughter Miley Cyrus last week released photos of her face superimposed over the bodies of Madonna and Dolly. See her photoshop work here.