www.dollymania.net                News                          April 2003

April 30:
Splash Country Opening Soon, Kodak Comes To Dollywood
A couple of Dolly-related press releases came out on Tuesday. The first, concerning the third season opening of Dolly's Splash Country water park adjacent to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., in a couple of weeks, touts the park's first major expansion since opening: the $1.5 million, two-acre Raintree Hollow, first reported here in August. The addition features an "old time" lumber camp theme with Soaker Springs for kids and the "aggressive" rated Mountain Twist three-slide complex. In the release, Dolly said: "We've had two really good seasons at the waterpark and I'm very proud of that. Folks have had such a great time and families have had so much fun enjoying all the Smoky Mountain water adventures at Splash Country that we knew it was time to give them more to shout about. Both of our parks are all about fun and family, and Raintree Hollow will just add to that." Read it here. The park's new season starts May 10. The second one announced that Eastman Kodak has signed an exclusive agreement with Herschend Family Entertainment Corp., Dolly's partner in Dollywood and several of her other business ventures, to offer photographic services at several Herschend-affiliated parks, including Dollywood. In addition to products for sale to park visitors, Kodak will soon add Kodak Picture Maker Digital Station kiosks in the park so guests may print their digital photos on site or e-mail them directly from Dollywood to friends and family. Read that release here.

April 29:
No Chicks On 'Jolene'
Sugar Hill Records is still not releasing much information on the upcoming Dolly tribute CD, but they did confirm to Dollymania on Monday that Mindy Smith and not The Dixie Chicks will be contributing the song "Jolene" for the project, tentatively slated for a Sept. 9 release. Rolling Stone had on Friday paired Smith with the song in the first published track listing for the album, but the Knoxville News-Sentinel had on Sunday incorrectly reported that The Dixie Chicks would be performing the song instead. As you may recall, the Chicks were cited early on as likely participants for the project, but the group was absent from the Rolling Stone track listing. No word yet on whether the 2004 all-male tribute disc also reported in Sunday's News-Sentinel is correct. (Scroll down for the report containing the full track listing.) Thanks, Rob! Meanwhile, news of the CD's track listing made Country Now on Monday here and the Canadian site Chart Attack here.

Dolly On CMT Tammy Special
CMT is reporting Dolly has been interviewed for another Inside Fame episode. This time, the subject is the late Tammy Wynette, with whom Dolly was a close friend for years. The episode premieres at 9 p.m. Eastern May 10. Let's hope she's actually in this one, because CMT had previously listed her as appearing in their episode dedicated to Shania Twain, but there was no Dolly to be seen in the version which aired.

No GLADD For Graham
This is a few weeks old, but I haven't seen it posted anywhere, so here it goes: Dolly's appearance on So Graham Norton did not take home the Outstanding Talk Show honor at the 14th Annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Awards. Winners in some categories (including this one) were announced earlier this month in New York and some more a few days ago in Los Angeles, with the remainder to be presented in June in San Francisco. Taking home the talk trophy was Rosie O'Donnell for an episode of her show focusing on gay adoptions. The third nominee was an episode of Phil Donahue's show on gay athletes. Norton's cheeky interview with Dolly, which originally aired on British television in 2001, was used to premiere his show on the cable network BBC America last summer. He was so enamored with Dolly that he filmed a Christmas special with her at Dollywood which aired in England in December 2001 and on BBC America in December 2002.

A Stampede Note
Dolly's new Dixie Stampede in Orlando, Fla., set to open in June, got a mention in a travel story in Monday's Chicago Tribune. The article noted that, unlike most Orlando attractions, there will be no alcohol sales at the Stampede. Read the story here (you must register for the site to access the story). The Orlando branch of Dolly's trick-riding animal-themed dinner theater will be the fourth and largest one to open. The venue also operates near Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Branson, Mo.

Another Review For Dolly Revue
And speaking of the Chicago press, Stephen Rader's cabaret act comprised of Dolly songs titled Dolly Would! is continuing to earn great reviews. The Gay Chicago Magazine recently raved about the show: "Rader sets off on a journey down Parton's country roads that plots a roadmap of her long and richly hued musical world . . . With all the hoopla over new Broadway shows culled from campy films, Rader's suggestion of 'Dolly: The Musical' not only seems like a plausibility, it seems like a natural extension of the woman's life and work that he bookends with a rollicking 'Joshua' and rafter-raising 'Jolene' . . . Those who think Dolly Parton equals 'Nine to Five' will probably head from the cabaret to the closest record store to begin discovering what Stephen Rader already knows: The songwriting Parton is one of American music's most underappreciated treasures. And with her as their muse, Rader and company deliver one the year's most electrifying hours." The show runs at 10:30 each Saturday night through May 31 at Davenport's in Chicago.

April 28:
More Tribute News
A little more tribute news and a conflicting report came in Sunday's Knoxville News-Sentinel. The newspaper reported that an all-male tribute to Dolly will be recorded and released next year as a companion to the all-female disc coming out in September. However, the paper also reported that The Dixie Chicks will be performing "Jolene," not Mindy Smith, as had been reported in the track listing published by Rolling Stone on Friday. Read the brief at the end of a story here.

And A Dollywood Story
The paper on Sunday also had a story on Dollywood's Festival of Nations, with Dolly noting: "You have to give people something that will lift them up, get their minds off things. It's the reason people go to the movies during troubled times. They need to know not everything is terrible in the world." Read the story here.

Another Gospel Chart
And on the new European Christian Country Chart for May, Dolly and Dottie Rambo's duet "Stand By The River" drops three spots to No. 26 in its fourth month on the countdown, it was announced over the weekend.

April 26:
UPDATE: Tribute Track Listing Released
Rolling Stone on Friday night posted the first reported track listing for the Dolly tribute album set for release Sept. 9, and there are a few interesting choices. Of note, Dolly herself provides her own cover version of the title cut, "Just Because I'm A Woman." Also, The Dixie Chicks and Aimee Man, who were mentioned early on as having expressed interest in participating in the project, were not on the track list published Friday, and Alison Krauss is recording a tune which Dolly herself has never recorded. As previously has been reported, Shania Twain is doing "Coat Of Many Colors," and Sinead O'Connor has taken "Dagger Through The Heart." The complete track listing for the CD, titled Just Because I'm A Woman: Celebrating The Songs Of Dolly Parton, is as follows:

  • Shania: Coat Of Many Colors
  • Sinead: Dagger Through The Heart
  • Allison Moorer: Light Of A Clear Blue Morning
  • Emmylou Harris (song yet to be determined)
  • Norah Jones: The Grass Is Blue
  • Paula Cole: The Bargain Store
  • Melissa Etheridge: I Will Always Love You
  • Joan Osborne: Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
  • Alison Krauss: About Suzanne
  • Shelby Lynne: The Seeker
  • Mindy Smith: Jolene
  • Kasey Chambers: Little Sparrow
  • Dolly: Just Because I'm A Woman
    In the Rolling Stone story, Chambers noted about "Little Sparrow:" "Her vocal on the original is amazing. I thought, 'I can't compete with Dolly Parton singing because it's really incredible.' But we made it different. It's got a different drum groove. There's no acoustic guitar on it. We used banjos for the rhythm guitar and no bluegrass guitar at all." O'Connor said: "Dolly was a huge inspiration to me as a child. A tiny woman with a huge voice, a beautiful high and free voice, glorious to hear, she has demonstrated for women the world over how much can be achieved by the power of the female voice." Read the full story here.

    Tribute Title, O'Connor Cut Reported
    The news of Sinead O'Connor's retirement has resulted in the trickling out of a little more information on Sugar Hill Records' tribute album to Dolly. MTV News reports O'Connor's track on the Sept. 9 album is a cover of one of Dolly's most recent songs, "Dagger Through The Heart." And Rolling Stone reports that the album's title will be Just Because I'm A Woman, which was also the title of Dolly's second RCA album (her first solo recording for the label) after leaving Monument Records, suggesting that someone is probably recording that song for the project as well. Coincidentally, that album debuted on the country chart 35 years ago next week. Scroll down to read more on O'Connor's retirement, reported here Thursday night.

    Down On The Gospel Chart
    "Hello God" from Dolly's Halos & Horns loses five more spots on the weekly Christian country countdown from Power Source to come in at No. 20, it was announced Friday. It previously spent three weeks at No. 1 on the chart.

    Under The Covers
    The White Stripes performed their male-vocals version of Dolly's classic "Jolene" on Wednesday night's Late Night With Conan O'Brien. (I had originally reported it was on Thursday's show, but it was Wednesday's. Sorry for the error.)

    April 25:
    U.S. Chart Updates
    Dolly's Halos & Horns loses two spots to come in at No. 8 on the May 3 bluegrass albums chart in its 40th chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. The Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, featuring Dolly's "Marry Me," loses one notch on the soundtrack albums chart to come in at No. 10 in its 28th chart week but gains 10 places on the pop albums chart to make it to No. 153. Darryl Worley's Have You Forgotten? debuts at No. 1 country and No. 4 pop with 214,000 copies sold in its first week, knocking The Dixie Chicks' Home down two spots to No. 3 country in its 33rd chart week; their CD also loses three places on the pop side to come in at No. 33. Toby Keith's Unleashed remains steady at No. 2 country and gains four places to reach No. 30 pop.

    Sinead Confirms Tribute Appearance, Retiring
    Irish vocalist Sinead O'Connor is retiring from music "to pursue a different career," but one of her final recordings will be a cut for the Sugar Hill tribute album to Dolly expected to be released Sept. 9. In a message she posted on a forum section of her official Web site, and which Billboard reported Thursday afternoon had been confirmed as authentic by her record label, O'Connor made the announcement and thanked her fans for their support over her 22-year career. About her immediate plans, she wrote: "The last recordings I will make will be (believe it or not) a track for Dolly Parton's upcoming tribute album and a track for Sharon Shannon's forthcoming album. These will be recorded in May . . . I wish here to thank everyone who has been a fan and or supporter of mine over the last twenty two years in the music business (first record at 14, deal at 17. Half o first album wrote when 15). As well as all the people whom I have had the honour of working with. Not least the great Dolly Parton herself!" O'Connor, who recorded for Sugar Hill sister label Vanguard Records, told The Advocate in November that she would love to record a duet with Dolly. She will release a live DVD in July. Several of O'Connor's European concert dates were cancelled earlier this month following diagnosis of a fatigue syndrome. As has been previously reported, O'Connor was one of several artists who were said to be appearing on the Sugar Hill tribute, for which Dolly herself is assisting in song selection and has said she may also provide vocals for some of the recordings. Shania Twain has said she will record "Coat Of Many Colors" backed by Alison Krauss and Union Station. Others who have expressed interest in the project include the Dixie Chicks, Norah Jones and Aimee Mann. Read O'Connor's full statement here and the Billboard story here.

    'Frank' Sees Cable Premiere
    Frank McKlusky, C.I., the cheesy comedy with Dolly playing the title character's overprotective mother which was released on video and DVD last year, has its television premiere next month, cable network STARZ announced this week. The film will premiere on the premium movie channel at 8 p.m. Eastern May 23, with repeats scheduled throughout the month. The movie follows Dave Sheridan's title character of an insurance claims investigator tracking down the crooked attorneys who shafted his daredevil father following an accident. The film spent a few weeks in limited release a year ago in Florida, where it performed poorly, resulting in its straight-to-video release in November. See the Dollymania page on the film here.

    April 24:
    Rambo Release Date Set
    Word Entertainment's new catalog has Dottie Rambo's new CD featuring her No. 1 gospel duet with Dolly, "Stand By The River," set to hit stores from Spring Hill Music on July 22. The album will apparently be titled Stand By The River. Also, preliminary ballots for the Christian Country Music Association Awards will be in the June issue of Power Source magazine, and the duo is eligible for Duo Of The Year, Video Of The Year and Song Of The Year. If you'd like to join the CCMA and obtain voting rights, memberships are $25 each. For more information, e-mail Henri@ccma.cc.

    Another Helping Hand
    Dolly continues supporting good works across the country, the Birmingham Post-Herald reported Tuesday. She was one of 60 celebrities who donated their purses for an auction held Monday to raise money for the YWCA of Birmingham, Ala. Others sending in their bags included former first lady Barbara Bush and model Cindy Crawford. Read the story here.

    'Workin' 9 To 5'
    With national Administrative Professionals Day (formerly Secretary's Day) on Wednesday, Dolly got a nod as one of the five most memorable secretaries out there. Jennifer Jones of the Anderson Independent-Mail in Anderson, S.C., noted about Dolly's role of Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5: "Dolly Parton plays the secretary for a self-proclaimed 'sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical biggot' (played by Dabney Coleman) in this much-loved revenge comedy about three female office workers (with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda) in a giant corporation. After the three women befriend each other, they fantasize about overthrowing their boss but go into hysterics when their fantasies become reality. In the end, they all get their revenge when they kidnap their boss and re-organize their workplace. Her best movie quote? 'I'll change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot!' (to Mr. Coleman)." Read the full story here. And speaking of the film, it will be shown next Tuesday at the Community Television Studio in Santa Cruz, Calif., as part of the Second Annual Reel Work May Day Labor Film Festival, according to Metro Santa Cruz. And don't forget that Dolly, Dabney, Lily and Jane will reunite June 9 in Atlanta for a Retro Premiere of the movie as a fundraiser for Jane's charity, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (G-CAPP), as was reported here a week and a half ago. Tickets are $150 general admission ($100 of which is tax-deductible) or $500 reserved seating ($425 of which is tax-deductible), available from 404-475-6046 or here.

    April 23:
    Benefit Concerts Sell Out
    Tickets for Dolly's Christmas benefit concerts for the Dollywood Foundation sold out in a matter of hours on Tuesday. Apparently, season pass holders -- who are allowed first sales of tickets via mail in February -- sold out both Saturday shows and most seats at Friday's concert. The remaining tickets for the Friday show were all gone just a few hours after phone lines opened on Tuesday morning. Proceeds from the annual concerts benefit the Dollywood Foundation and Imagination Library literacy program. They will be held Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

    Order 'Ultimate Dolly'
    Amazon.com this week added a page where you can reserve your copy of the June 3 release Ultimate Dolly Parton from BMG. As has been previously reported, Dolly was very involved in the project, having final word on song selection, re-mastering quality and artwork. Scroll down to view the album's cover art and track listing, both of which Dollymania was the first Dolly site to provide. Order your copy of the CD here!

    More Auction Coverage
    The Rochelle Center auction on Thursday continues to get press this week, each time mentioning Dolly's donation of an autographed dulcimer at the fundraiser for the organization which assists adults with developmental disabilities and senior citizens with Alzheimer's. A story ran Tuesday in the Nashville City Paper here, and it made Brad Schmidt's celebrity column in Tuesday's The Tennessean here. The auction will be held Thursday night at BMW of Nashville. Tickets are $75 and $150 each. Call 615-254-0673, Ext. 268, for reservations.

    Cool Stuff
    A reader alerted me to some Dolly merchandise you can get from pal Loretta Lynn. Loretta's official Web site sells T-shirts featuring her, Dolly and Tammy Wynette with reproductions of their signatures from the Honky Tonk Angels album cover as well as an 8X10 photograph of the three ladies together. Visit Loretta's site here and click on "Loretta's Store" (then click on either "T-shirts" or "Pictures"). Thanks, Mike!

    April 22:
    Order Dolly DVD
    A friend overseas sent in some more information on the Most Famous Hits By Dolly Parton And Friends On The Country Train DVD mentioned here in Sunday night's update. First, the video does contain Dolly's 2001 Austin City Limits concert appearance plus a few songs by other performers, as was supposed here. Secondly, the release is not for European-coded DVD players only. Instead, it is a Code 0 disc, meaning it will play in all DVD players. It was released by A. Carinco AG about three-and-a-half weeks ago and was manufactured in Germany, but I haven't seen it for sale anywhere other than in the Netherlands. You may order it from NLStore here (click on "Bestel" to add it to your shopping cart). It costs 9.82 Euros (or roughly $10.70 U.S.) and I'm told out-of-the-country shipping is 6.95 Euros (or about $7.58 U.S. for a total price of a little more than $18). The cover art is the same as on Dolly's Columbia Records Greatest Hits collection from 1996. A photo of the disc itself is shown at left. Thanks, Thea!

    'Ultimate' Cover Art
    The new Dolly photo as the cover art of Ultimate Dolly Parton is amazing, shown at left. Click on the image for a larger version. The track listing for the new compilation CD was first reported to you here in Sunday night's update -- scroll down to read it. The CD, to be released June 3, features 19 of Dolly's 24 country No. 1 hits -- from her first, 1970's "Joshua," through her third-most-recent, 1989's "Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That" -- all digitally re-mastered. It includes 18 RCA cuts, one from Columbia Records and one from Warner Brothers Records. Dolly herself had final approval over track selection, sound quality and photos to be included in the liner notes.

    April 21:
    'Ultimate' Track Listing Announced
    BMG has released the track listing for Ultimate Dolly Parton, the new compilation CD coming out June 3. The 20 tracks include 19 of her record-setting 24 country No. 1 hits, and the label promises "exquisite" packaging and new photos will accompany the fully re-mastered songs. In addition to having final approval of the song selection and re-mastering, Dolly also approved all photos to be included. In a press release, Dolly said: "I'm as proud of this as anything in my whole career. In fact, it's like having my whole career summed up and wrapped in a neat little package. I hope you enjoy the joy and tears, the miles and trials that I've put into it." The press release also updates Dolly's worldwide record sales to more than 100 million. The CD is being touted as the "first ever career spanning release" for Dolly covering multiple labels (although this isn't entirely true -- the 25-track Time Life release on Dolly in its Country Music Hall of Fame Legendary Country Singers series in 1996, also issued by BMG, featured all but five of the numbers on this compilation plus one additional Columbia recording and her 1962 Mercury Records single "It's Sure Gonna Hurt"). The album is almost exclusively RCA material, only containing two songs from other labels -- one Trio recording on Warner Brothers and one Columbia release. Still, with Dolly's involvement, it's an important release to chronicle her career. The album is to be issued on BMG Heritage, a new label in the BMG company focusing on re-issuing older recordings from its vast catalogue, including RCA, Arista and Buddha Records. Read the full release here. Thanks, Ashley!

  • Joshua
  • Coat of Many Colors
  • Jolene
  • I Will Always Love You
  • Please Don't Stop Loving Me (with Porter Wagoner)
  • Love Is Like A Butterfly
  • The Bargain Store
  • Here You Come Again
  • It's All Wrong But It's All Right
  • Heartbreaker
  • I Really Got The Feeling
  • You're The Only One
  • Starting Over Again
  • Old Flames (Can't Hold A Candle To You)
  • 9 to 5
  • But You Know I Love You
  • Tennessee Homesick Blues
  • Islands In The Stream (with Kenny Rogers)
  • To Know Him Is To Love Him (with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris)
  • Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That.

    More Opening Weekend Shots
    Some wonderful new pictures of Dolly from Dollywood's 2003 Season Opening Weekend have been posted on the site, and they're some of the best ones yet! Access the three new galleries from that section's main page here, where you can also read the Dollymania review of opening events and see several other galleries of images from the weekend. Thanks, Kelly and Harrell!

    Dolly Scholarships Expanding
    The Dollywood Foundation's Dolly Parton Scholarship will be expanded this year to three additional Sevier County high schools in Tennessee, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported Friday. The Associated Press picked up the story and ran an abbreviated version in online newspapers across the country on Saturday and in many print editions on Sunday. The $15,000 scholarship, which has been awarded for the past two years to one graduating senior at Dolly's alma mater, Sevier County High School in Sevierville, will now also be awarded annually to a senior from each Seymour High School, Pigeon Forge High School and Gatlinburg-Pittman High School. In a written statement, Dolly said: "I'm inspired when I see kids from my hometown who try their hardest and reach for their dreams. I wanted to try to do something through the Dollywood Foundation that might help them continue their education. Who knows, this might take off just like my Imagination Library, and one day we'll have Dolly Parton Scholarships all across the country." This year's recipients should be announced in a few weeks. Read the News-Sentinel story here and the AP version here.

    Lending Another Helping Hand
    And continuing her charitable works, Dolly has donated an autographed dulcimer for the Celebrity Garage Sale to benefit Rochelle Center, a Nashville non-profit which works with adults who have developmental disabilities and senior citizens with Alzheimer's, The Tennessean reported Saturday. Other items up for bids include a suit from George Jones and a hammer from Toby Keith. The auction will be held Thursday night at BMW of Nashville. Tickets are $75 and $150 each. Call 615-254-0673, Ext. 268, for reservations. Read the story here.

    And Another
    And while still on her good works, the Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Saturday published an update on Dolly's Imagination Library, her national program which provides one free book per month for every child age birth to 5 in a participating community whose parents sign up. The story noted that about half of children of eligible age in that county are enrolled in the program, thanks in part to a booth that volunteers manned at the local Wal-Mart encouraging parents to sign up. The program is now operating in nearly 200 communities across 25 states and will distribute more than 1 million books this year. It is also to be expanded to nearly 100 Native American communities in a partnership with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Read the story here.

    Food TV Show Details
    The Knoxville News-Sentinel also provided a few details on Saturday about Dolly's appearance on the Food Network's The Best of Celebrity Tables, first reported here nearly three weeks ago and premiering at 10 p.m. Eastern Sunday (a few hours after this update is being posted). Dolly's segment was filmed at Dollywood last year, and she will take viewers on a tour of the park's major restaurants, explaining their histories and showcasing their specialties. Others on the show include Morgan Freeman (and his restaurant a few miles up the highway from your webmaster's house), Bill Murray, Jill Hennessy and Ryan Seacrest. The special will repeat throughout the month (see the TV listings on the right-hand column for dates and times.) Read the story here.

    'Hello God' Update
    Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns slips another five spots on the PowerSource weekly Christian country countdown, it was announced Friday, coming in at No. 15. It had spent three weeks at No. 1. The song also falls off the Indie World Country chart, down from No. 16. It had spent one week at No. 1 on that chart.

    New European DVD?
    I don't have any real details yet, but apparently Dolly's Austin City Limits appearance from a couple of years ago is coming to DVD in Europe. A listing on ebay offers a new, factory-sealed DVD titled Most Famous Hits By Dolly Parton And Friends On The Country Train. The DVD, which is readable only on European-coded players, lists as Dolly's songs those which she performed on Austin City Limits and in the same order. There are a few other appearances by other artists between Dolly's cuts on the disc. I haven't seen any information on this release on web sites for U.K. stores, so more as I find it out. (Note: This is NOT the Dolly Parton and Friends three-DVD set which MPI Video was to have released a couple of years ago and has been postponed indefinitely since then.)

    Get Your Tickets
    Remember that tickets for Dolly's annual Christmas concert fundraiser for the Dollywood Foundation go on sale to the general public on Tuesday morning. They were sold via mail to Dollywood season pass holders from early February through April 1. Tickets are available at the $75, $50 and $35 level, depending on seat location. Typically, most if not all of the $75 and $50 tickets are purchased by the pass holders prior to opening sales to the public. $15 of each ticket price is a tax-deductible contribution to the Foundation. The concerts will be held Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, tickets for the two Saturday shows sell out within a few hours after their public offering, with tickets for the Friday night show selling out a few days later. Although I haven't seen an official number listed for ordering, the lines usually available for ticket purchases are 1-865-428-9620 and 1-865-428-9630. If either of those numbers is incorrect, the general information number for Dollywood is 1-865-428-9488. Likewise, I have not seen a time posted for them to go on sale, but in previous years they've start taking orders at 8 a.m. Eastern time.

    In The Mood For Dolly?
    Chicago performer Stephen Rader has just opened a new cabaret act devoted to the music of Dolly. Titled Dolly Would, the show's first review this week by Cabaret Hotline calls it "one of the best shows I have seen all year . . . one rip-roaring evening that is non-stop fun." The reviewer adds that Rader gets to the heart of Dolly's lyrics, allowing the audience to realize she is "a pretty fine songwriter in her own right." Rader is an award-winning actor and cabaret performer who has been featured in several of Chicago's most popular theatrical troupes. The show runs every Saturday night through May 31 at 10:30 p.m. at Davenport's Piano Bar and Cabaret in Chicago. Cover charge is $15.

    One More Mention
    The Tennessean on Sunday carried a story on the popularity of country acts overseas and their tours there, including a few mentions of Dolly. Kurt Wagner of the band Lambchop noted: "People like Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton represent that period of time, when country was having an influence overseas. They remember these guys and would love to see them." And Jeff Walker, president of AristoMedia Group in Nashville, commented about seeing Dolly perform in London last year: "To see Dolly get that unconditional love from an overseas audience gives you goose bumps." Read the full story here.

    A Couple Of Final Notes
    A reader wrote in and asked me to let everyone know that AOL now has a Dolly icon available for its Instant Messaging service (go to "Outgoing Expressions: Other Music Artists" to access it) and that Dolly's sister Stella Parton has re-issued many of her older albums on CD, including several with Dolly-related songs. They're available from her web site, http://www.StellaParton.com. Thanks, Lee!

    April 18:
    U.S. Chart Update
    Dolly's Halos & Horns gains two spots to come in at No. 6 on the April 26 bluegrass albums chart in its 39th chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. Its gain, however, was not enough for it to re-appear on the 75-position country albums tally, where it had peaked at No. 4 but dropped off after 38 weeks last week. The Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, featuring Dolly's "Marry Me," loses two notches on the soundtrack albums chart to register at No. 9 in its 27th chart week and 16 places on the pop albums chart to reach No. 163. The Dixie Chicks' Home rebounds to the No. 1 country spot, up from No. 2 last week, in its 32nd chart week but loses 13 more places on the pop side to come in at No. 30. The self-titled album by Chris Cagle, which had knocked the Chicks off the top spot last week, falls four to No. 5 country, while Toby Keith's Unleashed moves up one on each the country and pop charts to capture No. 2 country and No. 34 pop.

    Celebrating Dolly
    The Daily Celebrations web site takes each day of the year to honor an inspirational figure on a day of significance to him or her, and Sunday is Dolly's day! In recognition of the 44th anniversary of the release of her first single, "Puppy Love," on the small Louisiana Goldband label, a special page dedicated to Dolly is available on the site and will serve as its main page on Sunday. The single was recorded two years prior to its release when Dolly was 11 and came out when she was 13. View the page here. Thanks, Leialoha!

    Updated Collectors' Page Coming Soon
    Prompted by a few reader comments that some of the listings on the Collectors' Connection page were outdated, I earlier this week contacted everyone who had something posted on that section of the site where fans can buy, sell or trade Dolly items. As a result, anyone who does not respond to the request to update their listings or whose e-mail was returned as undeliverable will be deleted to ensure all postings are current. So if you have something on there and your e-mail address has changed or you did not receive the update request, please e-mail me here. The revised page should be open by Sunday night's update.

    April 17:
    Corrected Number For Ordering G-CAAP Tickets
    Officials with the Jane Fonda's Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (G-CAPP) say they're received numerous calls from Dollymania readers about the organization's June 9 fundraiser where the cast of 9 to 5 will be reuniting since the item first appeared here three days ago, but they tell me that I had the wrong phone number posted. (OOPS!) The number which had been posted here had come from a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, so they got it wrong, too. The correct number is 404-475-6046. Tickets, $150 general admission ($100 of which is tax-deductible) or $500 reserved seating ($425 of which is tax-deductible), are available by calling that number or by visiting the organization's site here to fax or mail an order form back. Over the past eight years, Fonda's "retro premieres" have raised nearly $3 million for the organization which works to prevent adolescent pregnancies throughout Georgia. As was previously reported, Dolly, Lily Tomlin and Dabney Coleman will be joining Fonda for a showing of the film following a party and auction at the Woodruff Arts Center Atlanta Symphony Hall. Thanks, Linda!

    Another Good Deed
    And that's not Dolly's only current charitable activity. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports she has donated an autographed CD for a Thursday night fundraiser to assist local restaurateur Dean Newbury obtain a heart transplant. Other items donated include a drum head signed by Aerosmith, signed lyrics by Carol King, drumsticks used by Ringo Starr, and a guitar autographed by the Eagles. For information on the event, call 831-427-1795. To read a brief about it, click here.

    And Another
    English schoolgirl Carla Nicholls' dream came true this month when she flew across the Atlantic to meet Dolly at Dollywood's opening weekend, the Birmingham Evening Mail reported on Tuesday. As was reported here three months ago, the 10-year-old with an incurable muscular condition was recovering from a stroke when her family raised more than £7,000 to visit America for a meeting with Dolly. "It was wonderful to see the look on Carla's face after all she has been through. Meeting Dolly was the best pick-me-up she could have ever had," her mother told the newspaper. Apparently, she was part of Dolly's annual Sunday breakfast at Dollywood'spening weekend for children and adults fighting terminal disease who wish to meet her. Read the full story here.

    Come Up And See Me In The Fall, Maybe
    Dolly's Mae West bio-pic for ABC is back on track, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported Tuesday. The newspaper reported that Dolly said a new script has been completed and is awaiting network approval. If okayed by the ABC brass, shooting could begin in the summer with an anticipated air date during November sweeps. Read the brief here.

    'She'd Win Every Award'
    And speaking of acting, what does legendary camp director John Waters think of Dolly's film skills? Well, while hosting the Independent Spirit Awards earlier this year, he commented: "If Dolly Parton would get out of drag, take off her makeup and play an alcoholic, she'd win every award there is," according to a report here this week in Design In Motion.

    And One Final Note
    Here's a little tidbit brought on by the posting (here) of some shots of the set used in Dolly's The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas a week ago: I'm told that the new Rob Zombie film House Of 1,000 Corpses also shot in the old Chicken Ranch home from the movie, although the film was shelved for two years before its release last weekend. The structure even appears on the movie poster for the film. Thanks, Manuel!

    April 16:
    More Opening Weekend Pics
    Thanks to Noelle Carpenter who sent in several shots of Dolly from opening weekend. Access her gallery from the Dollywood 2003 section here. Thanks, Noelle!

    Discounted Stampede Tickets
    The Orlando Business Journal on Tuesday reported that Dolly's Dixie Stampede in Orlando, Fla., set to open June 19, has teamed with AAA to offer discounted tickets to members of the travel organization through its offices in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Read the story here.

    HOF Ceremony Set
    The Country Music Hall of Fame party to recognize last year's inductees and present their official medallions has been scheduled for 5 p.m. May 4 at the Hall, CMT.com reported Monday. No word on whether Dolly will participate, but I wouldn't rule it out. She attended last year's ceremony to recognize the 2001 inductees, and this year's sole living honoree is former duet partner Porter Wagoner, whom Dolly herself inducted into the Hall during the CMA Awards last year. Dolly, currently the Hall's youngest living member, was inducted in 1999. Read the story here.

    Another Tribute Mention
    Dolly's all-star tribute CD, currently set for a Sept. 9 release on Sugar Hill Records, got another mention on Tuesday, this time on the Net Music Countdown. The brief focused on Shania Twain's participation, singing "Coat of Many Colors." Read it here.

    New Trading Post
    Paul over at Dolly Parton World asked me to pass along that he's created a new Dolly club on Yahoo specifically for buying, selling, and trading Dolly memorabilia. Visit it here.

    Meet Dolly Fans
    Phil at Voice Of An Angel suggested that all Dolly sites pass along the link to an online service which allows Dolly fans to meet up in person. If you're interested, the page is available here.

    April 14:
    '9 To 5' Cast Reuniting
    Dolly is reuniting with her cast members from the hit film 9 to 5 for charity, the Atlanta Constitution-Journal reported on Friday. The event will be a fundraiser for co-star Jane Fonda's Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. The June 9 gala is Fonda's annual "Retro Premiere" fundraiser for her organization at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta. The film will be shown following a party and auction, and along with Dolly and Fonda, co-stars Lily Tomlin and Dabney Coleman are scheduled to attend. Fonda told Star 94 radio that she's trying to get her hands on the film's wrap-party blooper reel, which reportedly contains several "raunchy" Dolly outtakes. Tickets range from $150 to $500. For more information, call 404-475-6046 or visit www.gcapp.org. Read the full story here. Thanks, Dennis!

    'Hello God' Update
    "Hello God" from Halos & Horns continues its slide down the charts. On the weekly unofficial PowerSource Christian country singles countdown, it drops three spots to No. 10, it was announced Friday. It had previously spent three weeks at No. 1 on their chart. On the Indie World Country independent label country singles chart, the single drops 15 spots to No. 16, down from No. 1 last week, it was announced Friday.

    More Opening Weekend Coverage
    The Mountain Press offered a brief story Saturday on Dollywood's opening weekend, with officials saying it was very successful. Read it here. And look for several more photos from opening weekend in coming days here at Dollymania! See the Dollywood 2003 section here (one shot added today to the Schmidlis' gallery thanks to Tabby Hall).

    And Some Old Pics
    A reader passed along the website of one of Dolly's bandmembers from the '70s and '80s, Tom Rutledge, with several pics of Dolly on there. Visit the site here (go to "Images" and see Dolly pics in the "Nashville," "Bands" and "This And That" sections). Thanks, Michael!

    April 11:
    'Halos' Off Country Chart
    Dolly's Halos & Horns falls off the 75-position country albums chart in the April 19 tally, Billboard announced Thursday. The CD, which had peaked at No. 4 country, No. 58 pop, No. 2 bluegrass, No. 3 independent labels and No. 11 Internet sales in July, spent 38 weeks on the country chart, last week at No. 75. The CD drops two spaces to No. 8 on the bluegrass albums chart in its 38th week there. The Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, with Dolly's "Marry Me," loses one notch on the soundtrack albums chart to register at No. 7 in its 26th chart week and 27 places on the pop albums chart to reach No. 147. The Dixie Chicks' Home drops one to No. 2 on the country albums chart and one on the pop albums chart to No. 17 in its 32nd chart week (18 of which were spent at No. 1 country) as the self-titled album by Chris Cagle debuts at No. 1 country and No. 15 pop.

    Now For The Great Pics!
    I've spent a lot of time with the scanner, so now the first batch of the best photos of Dolly from last weekend are available for viewing. They come from Harrell, who was kind enough to act as my assistant and co-photographer for the website during Dollywood's festivities (he had the big ole lens out!). Also, some other shots have been added to the opening weekend page courtesy of the Schmidli family. Thanks! Look for even more pics in coming days! You may access the new pages here! (And if you took any photos and want to send them in, please do! E-mail me here!)

    No More Sales Updates, Tribute Aims For Sept. 9
    A representative of Sugar Hill Records tells me that the label is no longer releasing sales information on Dolly's albums, but an outside source said last week that Halos & Horns had passed The Grass Is Blue and Little Sparrow in sales recently. If true, that would mean it's sold at least 205,000, which is where Sparrow stood as of the last sales update published here a little more than two months ago. At that time, Halos was past 153,000, and Grass was at 186,000. Also, I'm told that while no new details about the all-star tribute CD to Dolly are available yet as the line-up continues to be finalized even now, it is tentatively scheduled for release on Sept. 9, according to a label representative. Thanks, Rob!

    Dolly Chose 'Ultimate' Songs
    Billboard reports that Dolly herself helped select the songs for BMG's Ultimate Dolly Parton to be released in June, even having final approval over the newly-mastered cuts on the 20-song CD spanning her time at both RCA and Columbia Records. Read more in a brief published Thursday from the Associated Press here.

    More Media Coverage
    Launch had a great story on Wednesday about Dollywood's Festival of Nations, with Dolly saying she hopes the event can bring people together. "Maybe they'll come a time whether in this lifetime or another one, you know, that we can all live together in peace," she said. "But in the meantime, life does go on and we're trying very hard, especially this year, to try to make people forget the troubles for a little bit. Not forgetting what's going on and certainly not forgetting to remember everybody in our prayers. You know, everybody that's affected by war." She added that she's been writing many spiritual and patriotic songs over the past few weeks and that she was filming a video for "I'm Gone" from Halos & Horns in Los Angeles this week. (Sugar Hill Records tells me the video shoot is scheduled for this weekend, but no release date has been set yet.) Read the full story here. Meanwhile, East Tennessee's WJHL on Thursday posted a transcript of its story about the Festival of Nations and Dolly's media day events at the park. Read it here.

    Take A Peek At The Ranch Today
    A Dollymania reader was working on the Universal Studios lot earlier this week and found the set of the Chicken Ranch from Dolly's The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. To see what the house looks like 22 years later (he comments, "Miss Mona would be VERY disappointed at the upkeep!"), click here. Thanks, John!

    Resting In Peace, But You Can Visit
    The stuffed body of Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal, was put on display this week at the Royal Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland. The sheep, which was cloned in 1996 from a mammary gland, was named after Dolly Parton due to her famous bust. The ewe died two months ago.

    April 9:
    More Dollywood Pics
    As promised, more Dollymania photos of Dolly from opening weekend festivities at Dollywood have been posted and are accessible here. Look for even more photos in coming days -- when you take more than 300 shots, sorting through them will take a while! (Also, later in the week, I'll begin posting some of the wonderful shots which Harrell Gabehart took during the weekend as well. Thanks for serving as my assistant and co-photographer during the events!) And anyone else out there who took pics themselves and want to send them in are welcome to do so. Simply e-mail them here. Thanks! The main Dollymania review of the events from the weekend is available here.

    Gospel Chart Updates
    Dolly's gospel recordings are continuing to do well, according to new charts that have come out. The PowerSource official April monthly countdowns show "Hello God" from Halos & Horns gaining two to come in at No. 2 for the month on the Christian country chart, while her former No. 1 duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," loses 10 spots to reach No. 34. "Stand By The River" drops 13 places to No. 50 on the month's Southern Gospel chart and 10 notches to No. 33 on the bluegrass singles chart. Dolly's other entries on the bluegrass chart are starting to slip as well. "I'm Gone" is down three to No. 13, while "Halos And Horns" falls six to No. 21. I'm also told that the Singing News chart for May, which was just released, sees "Stand By The River" moving up seven spots to No. 54, while it debuts at No. 86 on the Southern Gospel chart of U.S. Gospel News for April. Thanks, Robert, for the last two!

    Another Library Expansion
    Dolly's Imagination Library is continuing to expand, this time to Seymour, Mo., the Webster County Citizen reported Monday. The program, sponsored by the Greater Seymour Area Foundation, an affiliate serving Webster County for the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, will first be available to newborns in the area and will expand to all children up to age 5 by next year. The Foundation is asking residents to sponsor a child for three years by signing a pledge card that they will cover the $30 annual cost for one child to receive books. Dolly started the program in Sevier County, Tenn., and expanded it nationwide to provide one free book per month to every child from birth to age 5 in a participating community whose parents sign up. The program will distribute more than 1 million books this year to children in about 200 communities across 25 states.

    New Dolly Compilation
    According to a Rolling Stone brief on Monday, the new 20-track compilation CD Ultimate Dolly Parton will hit stores June 3.

    The Soaring Eagle
    Challenger, the star of the bald eagle sanctuary operated at Dollywood by the American Eagle Foundation, appeared on Good Morning America Monday morning to pay tribute to American troops in Iraq. The bird is on a national tour with a fly-over at Yankee Stadium in New York on Tuesday and the Texas Rangers' ballpark later in the week.

    Randy's Site Is Up And Running
    The new website for Randy Kohrs (of Dolly's Blueniques touring band last summer and whose next album will feature a Dolly duet) went "live" last week. You may take a look at it (and the shots it features of Randy and the rest of the band with Dolly) here. (And if you want to learn more about his fiancé, Shaunna Larkin, the site for The Larkins is here.)

    And For A Friend
    This is to promote something for one of my online Dolly buddies: Manuel Caneri, who operated a Yahoo discussion group here on Dolly's summer tour last year, will play the supporting role of Rod in Broadway By The Bay's production of Singin' In The Rain April 11-27 at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center in the San Francisco area. More information is available here.

    April 7:
    Dollywood Opening Weekend: A Festive Time
    Dollywood's season opening weekend brought thousands out to see Dolly. The weekend was filled with two full parades and one additional park appearance by Dolly, her induction into the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame, a collectors' convention, two film crews interviewing fans and a ton of fun for everyone involved. Read a full recap of the weekend's festivities and see several photographs here.
    In other coverage, the Knoxville News-Sentinel offered a story on Saturday about opening weekend, focusing on the documentary, Dolly's amazingly devoted fan base and more here. And Huntsville, Ala.'s WHNT News Channel 19 on Saturday had a feature on David Schmidli, often referred to in the fan community as "Dolly's No. 1 fan," here. And just what is Dolly's finger doing in your webmaster's mouth? You'll have to read on to find out. Start the Dollymania recap here!

    Down On U.S. Charts
    Dolly's Halos & Horns falls 11 spots to No. 75 on the April 12 country albums chart in its 38th chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. Since the country chart only contains 75 positions, the album will likely end its run on the chart in coming weeks. The CD drops one space to No. 6 on the bluegrass albums chart. The Songcatcher soundtrack, with the Dolly duet "When Love Is New," falls back off the bluegrass chart after 28 weeks, down No. 14 the previous week. The Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, featuring Dolly's "Marry Me," remains steady at No. 6 on the soundtrack albums chart in its 25th chart week and gains one place on the pop albums chart to No. 120. The Dixie Chicks' Home remains at No. 1 on the country albums chart but loses nine spots on the pop albums chart to move to No. 16 in its 31st chart week while Shania Twain's Up! drops two spots to No. 4 country and falls eight on the pop chart to come in at No. 47 in its 18th chart week. Toby Keith's Unleashed moves up one to No. 2 country, while Tim McGraw & The Dance Hall Doctors moves up two to No. 3.

    'Hello God' Takes Another Top Spot
    Dolly's "Hello God" Halos & Horns moved up one notch to capture the No. 1 spot for the week on the Indie World Country independent label country singles chart, it was announced Friday. When the PowerSource weekly Christian country singles chart came out the same day, the song had dropped three spots to No. 7. It had held the No. 1 spot for three weeks earlier this year on their chart.

    In Another Book
    Although I haven't seen the book yet to know which album cover or covers are featured, Dolly is included in the new book Vinyl Hayride: Country Music Album Covers 1947-1989 by Paul Kingsbury and the staff of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The book contains album covers from dozens of artists (arranged in chronological order) taken from albums in the Hall's archives. Read a story on the book from the Hall's web site here.

    Car Talk
    The Tennessean reported that more than 200 people showed up for Saturday's auction of celebrity cars from the Music Valley Cars of the Stars Museum in Nashville. Although Dolly's car, a 1972 silver blue Cadillac El Dorado which was a gift from Porter Wagoner, was mentioned in the story, it didn't say what its final sale price was. Read the report here.

    Get Tribute Album

    Remember CMH Records' instrumental tribute CD to Dolly, Pickin' On Dolly Parton: A Bluegrass Tribute, hits stores on Tuesday. Reserve your copy here!

    April 3:
    Off To Dollywood!
    Your webmaster is off to bask in the warmth of the Pigeon Forge sun with Dollywood's opening weekend festivities this weekend. Look for a full recap here Sunday evening or on Monday. Below is a recap of some events planned for the opening weekend:

  • 6 p.m. Friday -- Dolly's Springfest In The Smokies Parade through Pigeon Forge
  • 9 p.m. Friday -- Blonde Butterfly Bash collectors' convention at the Green Valley Motel South, 4109 Parkway in Pigeon Forge. Come meet and talk with other fans, buy and trade Dolly memorabilia (yours truly will be there with a few rare items from my personal collection for sale for the first time ever), and meet Randy Kohrs (leader of Dolly's Blueniques touring band whose debut album later this year includes a Dolly duet), his fiancé Shaunna Larkin (whose debut album with her sister in July will feature Dolly guest vocals on a cover of her "Steady As The Rain") and the filmmakers behind the For The Love Of Dolly documentary on Dolly fans.
  • 9 a.m. Saturday -- Dollywood opens to the public
  • 11:15 a.m. Saturday -- Luncheon inducting Dolly into the East Tennessee Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame at the Blue Ribbon Pavilion. (Dolly will make an appearance to accept the honor. Organizers have confirmed all tickets for the luncheon are sold out. Several people are on a waiting list in case some do not attend.)
  • 1:30 p.m. Saturday -- Dolly's Parade of Nations through the park.
  • In addition, Dolly is expected to make several appearances in the park on Saturday, and be sure to catch all of the wonderful international performers throughout the park visiting for the Parade of Nations and sample food from their nations in the International Food Fair, new this year in Celebration Hall.

    Moby, Not Dolly, To Play Glastonbury
    Moby has been announced as the Sunday headliner for the Glastonbury Festival in England this June, it was reported Tuesday. However, as late as Tuesday morning, Sky News continued touting the rumor that Dolly was "said to be booked" for that date of the show, but by afternoon DotMusic and XFM were both reporting that Moby had been confirmed for the spot instead. The announcement came after all 85,000 tickets for the festival were sold in a 24-hour period. Following weeks of rumors in the British press of a supposed Dolly performance at the event, her producer told Dollymania that she was not planning to appear at the festival. After the denial was published here three weeks ago, several major British media outlets picked up the story and corrected their earlier reports of the rumor.

    Imagination Library Growing
    Boulder, Colo., is the next community considering signing up for Dolly's Imagination Library through her Dollywood Foundation, their local paper The Daily Camera reported Wednesday. The program, which is active in nearly 200 communities across 25 states, provides one free book per month to all children age birth to 5 whose parents sign up in a participating community.

    Dolly On Food TV
    Dolly is slated to appear on The Best of Celebrity Tables on The Food Network this month. In its promotional material for the show, the network touts: "Get ready for a star-studded celebrity celebration as Jill Cordes and Marc Silverstein take you on a journey to some of the country's best restaurants. Bill Murray, Morgan Freeman, Dolly Parton, Britney Spears, Jill Hennessy, and Mary Matalin and James Carville show you restaurants where its not just the food that sparkles!" The hour-long special premieres at 10 p.m. Eastern on April 20.

    Get Dolly's Car
    Wanna own one of Dolly's old cars? Well, Music Valley Cars of the Stars Museum in Nashville is auctioning off several stars' cars on Saturday. Among them are vehicles once owned by Dolly, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Elvis and Willie Nelson, among others.

    More Dolly Adoration
    Dolly's been covered by a Norwegian. Norse singer Sissel performed Dolly's "Marry Me" on her recent PBS special Sissel in Concert: All Good Things. She told the Associated Press: "I always wanted to do a country-and-western number, and when I heard her album, Little Sparrow, I immediately fell in love with the songs." Read the full story here.

    Can You Hear Her Sing?
    Dolly sings a newly recorded version of her classic "I Will Always Love You" in a new Verizon Wireless commercial. I haven't seen it air in my market, but I'm told it is airing on the West Coast. Thanks, Brian!

    April 1:
    PowerSource Chart Update
    Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns drops three spots to No. 4 on this week's PowerSource weekly Christian country singles countdown after its third week at No. 1, it was announced Monday.

    Get Dolly's Sig, Help A Worthy Cause
    Dolly has donated three items bearing her signature for the Nashville Chapter of the Recording Academy's 14th Annual FANtasy Auction. Bids will be accepted through Thursday on an autographed copy of Little Sparrow, autographed postcard promoting The Grass Is Blue and an autographed December 1999 issue of the magazine Bluegrass Unlimited featuring Dolly on the cover. Proceeds from the auction benefit the community outreach and music education programs of the parent organization to the Grammy Awards. Click here to participate in the auction.