March 29: Whitney Band Covers Dolly's 'Gonna Hurry' Demo
Chicago band Whitney this week released a cover of "Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can)," a song Dolly and her Uncle Bill Owens wrote and demoed for Monument's Combine Music around 1965 that was first released on the 2009 boxed set Dolly. The band's cover was released digitally on Monday in the U.K. and Tuesday in the U.S., and a 12-inch vinyl release will follow in June. Download the cover here and listen to the song on YouTube here or in the media player above.
'Christmas Of Many Colors' Wins Another Award Dolly is an honoree at the Christopher Awards for the second consecutive year, it was announced Tuesday. The honors celebrate "writers, producers, directors, authors and illustrators whose work 'affirms the highest values of the human spirit.'" Dolly Parton's Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle Of Love is one of six honorees in the TV/cable category. Last year, Dolly Parton's Coat Of Many Colors was one of five honorees in the same category. The 68th annual awards will be presented May 16 in New York.
March 27: Haskell Reveals Two New Dolly NBC Projects Sam Haskell, Dolly's production partner in her four-project NBC deal that included Dolly Parton's Coat Of Many Colors and Dolly Parton's Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle Of Love, announced on his official Instagram page Friday that he and Dolly have "sold two brand new projects to NBC that will be developed immediately! More details to be announced soon! We are so excited . . . . time to celebrate and be thankful!" No further details had been revealed as of press time. Dolly and Haskell had previously announced "Jolene" was being produced for a new movie this year and a Dolly Christmas variety special this year would conclude her four-project deal with the network, and she had also mentioned the possibility of the cast of the "Coat of Many Colors" films reuniting for a weekly television series, but these were teased as "brand new."
March 25: Vote For Dolly As Music Madness Winner Dolly has made it to the final two of the third annual Music Madness poll for Nash Country Daily (the successor of Country Weekly). Vote for her or Blake Shelton as the past year's top country artist here.
Catch 1977 Performance On Get TV Get TV has announced that Mac Davis' 1977 NBC special Sounds Like Home with Dolly, Tom Jones, Donna Summer and George Carlin Monday at 10 p.m. Eastern.
'Steel Magnolias' Origins Told Several folks involved in Dolly's classic 1989 film Steel Magnolias and the play it was based upon on the 30th anniversary of the play's premiere courtesy Garden and Gunhere.
U.K. Chart Updates The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe rises one to No. 4 on the British country compilation albums chart in its 28th week, it was announced Friday. On the same tally, Emmylou Harris' Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) holds steady at No. 13, Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) falls out of the top 20, down from No. 19, and Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) loses six to No. 17.
'Coat' Musical Coming To Dollywood Dollywood has announced that in its summer festival addition this year for the Penguin Players at the Little Engine Playhouse will be her own Coat Of Many Colors. Each year, Dolly writes a song for a new musical play based on an Imagination Library book to run for the summer. Learn more here.
Dolly Guest Spot On 'Grace & Frankie' Teased Again With season three of Grace And Frankie now on Netflix, talk of Dolly joining 9 To 5 co-stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda for the show has been resurrected. While not on season 3, the producer tells Deadlinehere that they're working on a Dolly guest spot but her schedule made it difficult. In a Sirius XM radio interview, Tomlin and Fonda echoed the plans here that she will be on "one of these seasons."
March 23: Name, Major Story Point Released For New Dinner Theater Dolly's revamped Lumberjack Adventure will re-open in May as Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner and Show and focus on a rivalry between the Parton and Owens clans prior to her parents' marriage. In a press release, Dolly explained: "Now that Jennifer Nettles and Rick Schroeder have made my parents famous, I thought it was time to tell a story about them before I was around stealing the spotlight. Things were a lot more exciting before I was born and you'll see it in this show! I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product in May after all the work we have put in this winter." The show will present "the magic and mystery of the Great Smoky Mountains" as the two families battle for the Pigeon Forge mill. Tickets will be available soon, the release noted. As was announced earlier this month, Dolly intends to open the venue while making her first visit to East Tennessee of the new season for her annual parade the weekend of May 5. The exact opening date for the dinner theater has yet to be announced.
Concert On Billboard Chart, Album Not Another date from Dolly's Pure & Simple Tour has shown up on Billboard's Boxscore chart this week. Her Nov. 30 engagement at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans is listed at No. 89 for the week with a gross of $617,545 from 93 percent of the venue's 9,662 available tickets being sold. Unfortunately, the April 1 charts released Tuesday see the tour's album, Pure & Simple, fall back off the charts, down from No. 48 country albums in its 27th chart week there and No. 21 Americana/Folk Albums in its 28th week there.
Record Store Day Reminder The full list of Record Store Day releases came out this week, and it confirms the previously-announced limited-edition re-mastered vinyl single of "Puppy Love" will be Dolly's only participation this year. The 2,500 copies of the 45 picture sleeve will be available in record stores April 22.
March 20: Dollywood Opens For 2017 Season Dollywood opened for the 2017 season on Saturday, albeit without Dolly's usual appearance (she was in Los Angeles). Her Chasing Rainbows Museum added her costumes from Dolly Parton's Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle Of Love and an exhibit from her 50th wedding anniversary renewal of her vows featuring her dress and Carl's suit and a reproduction of their cake. At a media event, park officials said a new study showed the park had increased its economic impact from $1.1 billion a year four years ago to $1.53 billion, increased jobs (both direct and indirect) from 12,400 to 19,285 in that time frame and taxes generated from $64.2 million to $118 million. In the park's "Year Of The Family," the Festival of Nations runs through April 9, followed by Spring Break with Tokyo dance company enra April 10-22, Barbeque & Bluegrass May 26-June 4, Summer at Dollywood June 17-Aug. 6, Rock the Smokies Labor Day weekend, Harvest Festival featuring the Southern Gospel Celebration and Pumpkin LumiNights Sept. 29-Oct. 28 and Smoky Mountain Christmas Nov. 4-Jan. 1. Coverage is available from The Times Newshere and Knoxville News-Sentinelhere.
Dolly Gives More Words On Don Warden Last week, Dolly posted to her official website a longer version of her statement honoring longtime road manager Don Warden upon his passing, including announcing she plans a tribute to him when she makes her first Dollywood appearance of the season in May. The full statement is: "I feel like a piece of my heart is missing today. Certainly a huge piece of my life is gone. I've known and loved Don Warden since I joined The Porter Wagoner Show in 1967; and we've been inseparable since that time. Don has either managed or co-managed me for the last 50 years. He and his beautiful wife Lois Ann have been such a big part of my life and success in so many areas and in so many ways. Don was like a father, a brother, a partner and one of my best friends. There was nothing I couldn't go to Don for. I'm planning to do a memorial tribute to Don at Dollywood in May to pay homage to one of the greatest men that's ever lived. Don had millions of friends. Everyone loved and trusted and respected him; and I'm sure they are all as heartbroken as I am. My love and sympathy go out to Ann, his son Charlie and Charlie's family. Rest in peace Don and know for sure that I will always love you."
U.K., Aussie Chart Updates The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe rises one to No. 5 on the British country compilation albums chart in its 27th week, it was announced Friday. On the same tally, Emmylou Harris' Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) holds steady at No. 13, Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) loses three to No. 19 and Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) holds steady at No. 11. Down Under, My Dear Companion: Selections From The Trio Collection by Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt gains two to No. 12 on the Australian country albums chart in its 27th week, it was announced Sunday.
'9 To 5' Still Relevant 37 Years Later Dolly's "9 To 5" was profiled by The Financial Timeshere Sunday in its weekly "story of a song, from its origins and early recordings through cover versions good and bad" as well as a story from Billboard of the 10 most progressive songs in the history of country music here.
Dolly Anniversary Gets Noticed The Dolly Statue 30th anniversary exhibit in Sevierville was profiled by Local 8 Now News in Knoxville here.
'Dumplin'' Heading To Film A film adaptation of the Julie Murphy novel Dumplin' is coming and will star Jennifer Aniston as the lead character's mother, Yahoo noted here. The lead character is an overweight Texas girl obsessed with Dolly.
March 15: 'Pure & Simple' Back On Country Chart A 20 percent sales increase for the week to 600 units moved and 113,500 cumulative copies sold since release in the U.S., Dolly's Pure & Simple re-enters the country albums chart this week at No. 48 to log a 27th chart week, also gaining four to No. 21 in its 28th week on the Americana/Folk Albums chart, it was announced Tuesday in the March 25 Billboard tallies.
Read Don Warden's Obituary Longtime Dolly road manager Don Warden's official obituary was published Tuesday in The Tennessean. Read it here.
March 14: Dolly Remembers Don Warden, 'Mr. Everything' Calling him her "Mr. Everything," Dolly on Monday paid tribute to the passing of her former road manager Don Warden via her official website. In a piece posted here, she said: "I've known and loved Don Warden since I joined The Porter Wagoner Show in 1967. He was like a father, a brother, a partner and one of my best friends. I feel like a piece of my heart is missing today. Certainly a huge piece of my life is gone. Rest in peace Don and know for sure that I will always love you." Her post about him garnered attention of the national press, with stories based on it announcing the 87-year-old's death appearing in The New York Daily Newshere, Entertainment Weeklyhere and Rarehere. Artist Jeannie Seely shared on Facebook Monday night that Christ Church Nashville will host Warden's memorial on Thursday with visitation at 1 p.m. and services at 2 p.m.
Dolly Statue Exhibit Opens Wednesday An exhibit honoring the 30th anniversary of Dolly's Sevier County Courthouse Lawn statue in Sevierville, Tenn., opens Wednesday at the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. A bronze 23-inch study for the statue, 10-inch wax-over-metal maquette of the statue, the autographed stool where Dolly sat to pose for the statue and other items used to create the monument are on display, on loan from the East Tennessee History Center. The exhibit will be open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
March 13: Don Warden Reportedly Dies
Although no official announcement had come as of press time to confirm, several fan reports came to light on Facebook Sunday stating that former Dolly road manager Don Warden had died on Saturday. His official Wikipedia page was also updated Sunday with the death date. A member of Porter Wagoner's Wagonmasters band, Warden stayed with Dolly when she left Wagoner's show in 1974 to break out on her own, and he served many years as her road manager and bus driver, retiring in the late 2000s. He broke out his steel guitar to back Dolly for the first time since she was part of Wagoner's show when Dolly arranged a tribute to Wagoner at Dollywood in April 2008 following Wagoner's 2007 death (photo above copyright 2008 T. Duane Gordon/www.dollymania.net). The event also provided her an opportunity to honor Warden, whom she presented with an Angel Award. He was a member of the Steel Guitar Players Hall of Fame.
See Girl Sing Dolly's Classic Signature Song A foreign singing impersonation show, Your Face Sounds Familiar recently had a contestant take on Dolly and her "I Will Always Love You." Watch a clip here
Sprout Animation Guest Spot Reminder Don't forget to catch Dolly as Noleen the chicken on Sprout's Lily's Driftwood Bay at 9 a.m. Eastern Monday!
March 11: Sprout Previews Dolly's Appearance As Noleen
Sprout on Friday released via Billboardhere the first look at Dolly as singing chicken Noleen from Monday's episode of Lily's Driftwood Bay, which it was reported here a few days ago will premiere at 9 a.m. Eastern Monday. Check out the clip here or in the media player above. A clip of Dolly talking about the character is also available here.
British Chart Update The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe this week holds steady at No. 6 on the British country compilation albums chart in its 26th week, it was announced Friday. On the same tally, Emmylou Harris' Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) falls three to No. 13, Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) drops one to No. 16 and Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) gains one to No. 11.
Dollywood Foundation Continues Recovery Efforts Dolly's foundation is thinking of its plans for helping the Gatlinburg area continue to recover from the wildfire once its promised six months of financial aid to those who lost their homes, according to a recent presentation covered by The Knoxville News-Sentinelhere and Knoxville TV station Local 8 Now here.
Pentatonix CD To Feature 'Jolene' A capella group Pentatonix on Friday announced an April 7 release date for their next CD, PTX Vol. IV: Classics, which will feature their Grammy-award-winning collaboration with Dolly on a cover of her "Jolene" as well as their new single, "Imagine." Remaining songs have yet to be announced, but Billboard reported on the upcoming release here. Reserve your copy here!
March 8: 'Pure & Simple' Back On Americana Tally Dolly's Pure & Simple last week sold another 500 copies, bringing its cumulative total to 112,800 units sold in the U.S. since release, enough to allow it to re-enter the Americana/Folk Albums chart at No. 25 for a 27th chart week, it was announced Tuesday in the March 18 tallies. Playlist: The Very Best Of Dolly Parton falls back off the 25-position country catalog albums, down from No. 24 in its second week.
March 7: New Dolly Family Show Replacing Lumberjack Adventure Dolly on Monday announced that her Lumberjack Adventure dinner theatre in Pigeon Forge will not re-open this season after operating just one season under Dolly's $25 million investment. The revised attraction, the name of which has yet to be released, will re-open later in the year and focus on Dolly's family. In a release, Dolly said: "This new story is very special to me. That is why during my first visit to the Great Smoky Mountains this year I will open a new show that celebrates my family before I was born. With the success of my family stories Coat of Many Colors and Christmas of Many Colors - Circle of Love over the last two years, I knew this was a story I wanted to tell and the theatre in Pigeon Forge near the Island is the perfect venue." The new show will premiere this spring and more details will be released soon, officials said. It was previously announced here on Dollymania.net Sunday night that Dolly would not be making her traditional season opening visit to Dollywood and instead would make her first appearance in May.
March 6: Dolly Will Miss Dollywood Season Opening Dolly will not be able to make her traditional appearance at her theme park's annual season opening, a Dollywood spokesperson has confirmed to Dollymania.net. Instead, her first appearance of the season will be in May, when her annual Homecoming features her parade through Pigeon Forge on May 5. Normally, she makes appearances on the season passholder preview day and opening day, but there is usually a new ride to open that weekend. This year, the three new additions – the 20-story drop tower Drop Line and junior coaster Whistle Punk Chaser plus Splash Country's TailSpin Racer – are all opening in the summer.
George Michael's Ex Got 'Sign' Via Dolly Song George Michael's former partner thinks he sent him a message from beyond the grave with a Dolly song. He was unsure about doing an interview about their life together when Michael's favorite song, "Jolene," played on the radio, which he took as a sign to go ahead with it. Read more from Metrohere.
MSNBC Calls Dolly A 'Genius' Cable network MSNBC on Friday included Dolly in its "7 Days Of Genius." Watch her "genius" profile here or in the media player below.
March 4: Dolly's Animated Chicken Coming To Sprout March 13 Dolly's guest spot as a singing chicken named Noleen on the Sprout animated series Lily's Driftwood Bay has been announced for a premiere at 9 a.m. Eastern Monday, March 13. Her luxury yacht beaches on the Bay in a storm.
Bronze Dolly Statue Turns 30 Dolly's bronze statue on the Sevier County Courthouse lawn in her hometown of Sevierville, Tenn., turns 30 years old this year, and Knoxville television station Local 8 Now reports on the anniversary here. They also report here on the annual Mountain Soul Vocal Competition honoring Dolly's songwriting, which is accepting submissions through April 7 for the May 20 live contest in Sevierville. Learn more here.
U.K. Country Chart Updates The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe this week loses two to No. 6 on the British country compilation albums chart in its 25th week, it was announced Friday. On the same tally, Emmylou Harris' Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) holds steady at No. 10, Harris' 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. 15 and Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) gains four to No. 12.
'Just Between You And Me' Comes Out Digitally Don't forget Dolly's second album, her first on RCA and first with longtime duet partner Porter Wagoner, 1968's Just Between You And Me, became available for download for the first time Friday. Get it here!
March 1: 'Pure & Simple' Gone From U.S. Charts After 26 weeks on the chart and about 112,000 copies sold since release in the U.S., Dolly's Pure & Simple this week ends its American chart run, falling off both the country album sales chart, down from No. 45 last week, and Americana/folk album sales chart, down from No. 19, the March 11 Billboard tallies revealed Tuesday. On the country catalog albums list, 2008's Playlist: The Very Best Of Dolly Parton re-enters the 25-position country catalog albums at No. 24 for a second week.
Dolly's My People Fund Update Knoxville television station WBIR on Tuesday updated the status of the work for Dolly's My People Fund to help the victims of the Gatlinburg-area wildfires. Read what they had to say here.
More Details On Mardi Gras Dolly Float A few days after the photos were linked here from Dollymania.net's News Page, Knoxville television station Local 8 Now shared images of the Dolly tribute float in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Check out their story here.