The controversy over Dollywood's asking the group to remove the park's trademarked logo and name from its materials gets coverage (and a photo of Dolly in an Elvis-style outfit from a few years back) in the June 8 issue of the gay and lesbian newsmagazine The Advocate on newsstands this week.
Less Controversial Dollywood News
Southern Living magazine's annual "Kitchens On Tour" exhibit will be on the grounds of Dollywood Wednesday through Saturday, the Tennessee Star Journal reports. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the latest in kitchen design as well as access recipes to take home and try out. Entries will also be accepted for the "Cook-off 2004" contest to win a $100,000 grand prize next year (you may also enter online here). A $100,000 check will be presented to the winner from last year's contest on the Food Network at 9 p.m. Eastern on Saturday.
Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly on "Jolene," loses three more spots to reach No. 14 on the Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart released Monday with 369 spins at reporting stations nationwide, down from 397 the previous week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with a Dolly duet, loses three notches to No. 39 with 173 spins.
Sugar Hill Contest
Sugar Hill Records over the weekend made 10 lucky fans very happy, giving them free tickets to the June 9 CMT 100 Greatest Love Songs taping featuring Dolly and several other artists performing the top 12 songs on the countdown in concert in Nashville. An e-mail went out late Saturday afternoon to their mailing list, with the first 10 to respond receiving free tickets to the event. Unfortunately, some of the e-mails went out without the photo showing the details of the contest, so not all who were invited to enter were able to do so. Thanks, Bridget, Christian and Solomon!
Overseas Jones Numbers
Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring Dolly on "Creepin' In," continues to lose popularity in its 15th week on the foreign charts, it was announced over the weekend. The disc falls seven points to No. 23 pop in the U.K. In Australia, it drops five notches to No. 17 pop, but in Germany, it inches up one to No. 2.
'Gay Day' Occurs At Dollywood
The second annual unofficial "Gay Day" held Saturday at Dollywood went off without a hitch, according to published reports. The Associated Press reported Saturday night that organizers met their expected crowd of 5,000 participants at the park. Various reports put the number of Ku Klux Klan members protesting outside the park's property (sans the white sheets) between half a dozen and two dozen, largely outnumbered by police present. No incidents were reported with either of the two groups, and no arrests were made. Read the AP story on 365 Gay here, a report from Sunday's Knoxville News-Sentinel here and a Saturday brief from Knoxville television station WBIR here. Both the "Gay Day" event and the KKK protest were unsanctioned by Dollywood and had no official affiliation with the park.
Dolly's First Video On DVD
Dolly's first music video is finally available on DVD! BMG released a DVD titled Country Superstars: Video Hits last month which contains Dolly's "Potential New Boyfriend" from 1983. Others in the budget-priced ($10) 10-video collection include Martina McBride's "Wild Angels," Alan Jackson's "Chattahoochee," Keith Whitley's "I'm No Stranger To The Rain" and Clint Black's "When My Ship Comes In," among others. Order it here! Thanks, Solomon!
"Welcome Home" from For God And Country moves up two more spots to No. 4 on this week's unofficial IndieWorldCountry independent country singles chart, it was announced Friday.
Legend Event Delayed
Without giving its reasons, cable network Great American Country (GAC) announced this week that its Dolly special from her U.S. Library of Congress Living Legend Award ceremony last month in D.C. will be delayed. The show, to feature her concert performance at the event in addition to a montage overview of her career and interviews with her famous friends, will now debut on June 19, according to the channel.
'For God' Falls Back Off Chart
After 10 weeks on the Billboard country chart, Dolly's patriotic and spiritual collection For God And Country falls out of the 75-album tally in the May 29 numbers, Billboard announced Thursday, down from No. 67 the previous week. The CD had peaked at No. 23. Ultimate Dolly Parton, in its 39th chart week, inches down one point to No. 70 country. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring the Dolly duet "Creepin' In," slips six places to No. 14 pop and comprehensive in its 14th chart week and loses one to No. 3 for Internet sales. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly guest harmony on "Jolene," gains one to No. 18 in its 16th week on the independent labels albums chart. With strong sales thanks to this week's No. 1 country single "Redneck Woman," Gretchen Wilson's Here For The Party is the biggest debut this week on either the country or pop side, coming in at No. 2 pop and No. 1 country with 227,000 copies sold and knocking Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down to No. 2 country after 13 weeks at No. 1, and his CD loses three to No. 16 pop.
Jones Holding On Up North
Jones' Feels Like Home drops three spots but remains in the top 10 at No. 10 on the Canadian pop albums chart, it was announced Thursday.
CW Covers Dolly Past And Present
The current issue of Country Weekly has several Dolly appearances. There's a photo of her with Rhonda Vincent (at left courtesy Upper Management) from last month's U.S. Library of Congress Living Legend ceremony in Washington, D.C. Vincent said of the event: "It's an honor to just be here on such a wonderful night, commemorating the work and career of my dear friend and mentor, Dolly Parton." She also appears with Toby Keith from the CMT Flame Worthy Video Music Awards, and there's a shot of her and Porter Wagoner from 1973 inducting Jeanne Pruett into the Grand Ole Opry. It's on newsstands now.
Chester County, S.C., was celebrating this week the arrival of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, The News And Reporter reported. Dolly's nationwide program, operated by her Dollywood Foundation, provides one free book per month from birth to age 5 for every child whose parents sign up in a participating community. Recently, the Miss South Carolina organization adopted promotion of the project as the official platform for all of its contestants. Read more here.
Smith In The Press
CNN had a great story on recent Dolly protégé Mindy Smith Thursday. Catch it here.
'It Looks Just Like Skinny & Sweet!'
From what seems to be News Of The Weird, a Broward, Fla., woman's conviction on attempted poisoning of her boss, which she said was inspired by a scene in Dolly's classic film 9 To 5, was overturned by an appeals court on Wednesday because the crime of "attempted poisoning" does not appear on the state's law books. She was warned, however, that she could be tried again on a straight "poisoning" charge for putting rat poison in the coffee of her superior at the local Wal-Mart, the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported.
On The Air
If you're Down Under in Australia and happen to be in Queensland on Monday morning, tune in for the statewide broadcast of Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio system (612 ABC Brisbane) for the 5 a.m. breakfast show to hear your webmaster discuss Dolly and Dollymania.
New Dolly Show Probably Not Tour
The stage show currently in development for Dolly apparently will not be for a tour, according to a spokesperson for the company designing the presentation. The representative from Molyneux Entertainment confirmed that rather than a formal tour, the show is being put together for Dolly to use "for special occasion type events." They said the company could not release any additional information on the project. Molyneux earlier this month held auditions for dancers to appear in the new production Hello, I'm Dolly to star Dolly herself. Very little information has been released since then regarding the show. Dolly announced via Dollymania in January that her schedule for 2004 had caused her to cancel plans for organizing a tour this year but added that she does "hope to do some concerts in the future." We'll keep you posted! Thanks!
Dolly Rocks 'Ellen'
Dolly had another great TV appearance Wednesday, this time on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Ellen seemed genuinely thrilled to talk with Dolly as they discussed her image, cosmetic surgery, songwriting, weight and more. Dolly had a slight "wardrobe malfunction" at the show's start, popping a button from her top, but she joked about it ("You will not see a nipple ring. It'll be more like a hoola-hoop!") and corrected the problem during commercial. She performed her new single, "Light Of A Clear Blue Morning," and sang "9 To 5" with guest vocalists Ellen herself and viewer Margie Ann Spearman, who was selected for the show's first "Oh, Yes, You Can" dream-fulfilling segment. A photo of the trio was moved by the Associated Press on Tuesday night and is available on Yahoo here, and Voice Of An Angel has posted video of Dolly's performance on that site here.
KKK Protest Gets Press
The planned Ku Klux Klan rally in opposition to the unofficial "Gay Day" event being held at Dollywood on Saturday reported here almost a week ago made it into Nashville's daily newspaper on Wednesday. According to a story in The Tennessean, organizers expect about 20 Klansmen to protest, albeit without their trademark robes or hoods. Police plan to step up patrols, and Dollywood will not allow them to demonstrate on its park grounds, it was noted. Read the full story here. Reports based on that story also were posted Wednesday on the gay news outlets Gay Financial Network here and 365 Gay here. After publication of the story, organizers of the unsanctioned "Gay Day" event issued a statement saying the protest will not deter their plans. "We are still moving forth with the event and its going to be a fun day had by all at the park," said a statement from the event's executive board which also claimed the event has received hostile reactions from conservative Christian religious organizations. The statement concluded: "Our purpose is to promote unity, visibility, and self esteem among the GLBT community. Also to promote a positive image of the GLBT community here in East Tennessee and throughout the United States. We are looking forward to a wonderful day at the park on Saturday and hope to flood the park with a sea of red shirts to Stand Up! Stand Proud! and Stand Together!"
Fan To Sing With Dolly On 'Ellen'
One lucky Georgia woman will get to sing with Dolly on her Wednesday appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show, it was announced this week. On Tuesday's program Ellen surprised the viewer as part of her "Oh, Yes, You Can" promotion, where ordinary people get to live out their extraordinary dreams on camera. The woman, named Margie, will be flown to Los Angeles to sing back-up for Dolly during her appearance. Ellen told her to brush up on "9 To 5" because she thought that's what she'd be singing with her. Dolly is also scheduled to perform her new single, "Light Of A Clear Blue Morning," according to Ellen's Web site. Check local listings for stations and times, as the show is syndicated. Thanks, Bridget!
Seacrest Recap, Footage Available
Several readers sent in their recaps of Dolly's appearance Monday on On-Air With Ryan Seacrest. The interview was taped during the season opening festivities at Dollywood last month, not the previous week as this site had originally been told. Donning her outfit from her For God And Country album cover, Dolly spoke of the park, her songwriting, her marriage to the elusive Carl Dean, cosmetic surgery and more. (Although they showed a photo of her with producer and longtime friend Steve Buckingham, apparently mistaking him for Carl!) She also gushed with pride when American Idol contestant Diana Degarmo was mentioned, since she started her career signing at Dollywood. Phil at Voice Of An Angel has posted the entire interview on his site. Visit it here. Thanks to everyone who sent in their notes to this guy who programmed his VCR for the wrong station. LOL!
KKK Reschedules Protest
Organizers of a planned Ku Klux Klan rally have apparently figured out they were going to gather on the wrong day to protest the unofficial and unsanctioned "Gay Day" event being held at Dollywood on Saturday. Although they had originally called for supporters to travel to the Tennessee park to protest on Sunday, they corrected the mistake this week in a posting on a white supremacist bulletin board. The announcement noted that while the exact location of the protest has not been determined, the hate group expects to rally near the main entrance from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Of course, like "Gay Day," the Klan event is unofficial and not sanctioned by the park.
After a couple of months in the top 10, Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly harmony vocals on "Jolene," loses two spots to come in at No. 11 on the Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart released Monday with 397 spins at reporting stations nationwide, down from 423 the previous week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring Dolly on "Creepin' In," gains three notches to No. 36 with 191 spins.
Stampede Is Still Hot
Travel agents say Florida families are staying close to home with high fuel costs but are still venturing out to local attractions, according to a story this week in Florida Today. One agent noted a popular spot to visit is Dolly's Dixie Stampede in Orlando, calling it "another fantastic thing people like to do" and "fun for everyone." Read the story here.
Dolly And Ryan
Unfortunately I missed the program's local broadcast here, but I am told Dolly did, in fact, appear for an interview on the syndicated On-Air With Ryan Seacrest on Monday.
Dolly Scheduled For 'On-Air,' Again
After having cancelled a scheduled appearance on the program a little more than a month ago, Dolly is on the calendar again for the syndicated program On-Air With Ryan Seacrest. A satellite interview recorded with her last week will be broadcast on Monday's episode. It is syndicated, so check local listings for time and station, but in most markets it airs at 3 p.m. And don't forget her other big TV appearances this week: Her interview and performance of "Light Of A Clear Blue Morning" on Wednesday's The Ellen DeGeneres Show (also syndicated; check local listings) and the premiere of her U.S. Library Of Congress Living Legend Award special on Great American Country Friday night.
'Home' Off GAC Tally
After one week at No. 18, Dolly's video for "Welcome Home" from For God And Country fell out of the fan-voted top 20 video countdown on the Great American Country (GAC) cable network, it was announced Friday. Visit their site and cast your vote for Dolly here!
Jones Overseas Update
Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with the Dolly guest appearance on "Creepin' In," slips a little in its 14th week on the foreign charts. The disc loses five points to No. 16 pop in the U.K. In Australia, it falls nine notches to No. 12 pop, but in Germany, it inches up one to No. 3.
Still Tickets Left For CMT Concert
If you haven't gotten your tickets yet and would like to watch Dolly and several other artists sing live at CMT's 100 Greatest Love Songs concert taping in Nashville on June 9, Ticketmaster still had a few seats on the main floor and several in the lower, club and upper levels available as of early Sunday evening. Visit their site here to order tickets. Fans who enter the promotional code DOLLY get $10 off the cost, which makes each one $40 for the main floor and $20 for the raised levels. The six-hour special, capped off with the hour-long concert of the top 12 songs, premieres on CMT at 4 p.m. Eastern June 13.
CMT Ticket Reminder
If you're heading to Nashville June 9 and want to see Dolly perform live at CMT's 100 Greatest Love Songs concert singing one of the countdown's top 12 selections, don't forget to order tickets starting at 10 a.m. Saturday from Ticketmaster here (or access it from CMT's page here). And CMT is offering a $10 per ticket discount for Dolly fans who enter the code DOLLY when prompted during the ordering process! If you can't make the show, you will still be able to watch it as the last hour in a six-hour special premiering at 4 p.m. Eastern June 13.
'Home' Getting European Airplay
According to the new European CMA charts, Dolly's doing well across the pond. Her single "Welcome Home" from For God And Country sits at No. 10 on the U.K. country airplay chart and No. 147 for overall European airplay. Shania Twain and Alison Krauss' cover of her "Coat Of Many Colors" featuring uncredited Dolly harmonies from the Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton tribute CD comes in at No. 7 on the U.K. country airplay chart, No. 14 on the one in Holland and No. 43 continent-wide. And the song's popularity pushed Dolly's original of the song onto the country airplay chart in the small nation of Malta, with it reaching No. 19.
"Welcome Home" also inches up three spots to No. 6 on this week's unofficial IndieWorldCountry independent country singles chart, it was announced Friday.
Porter & Dolly On Weekly TV Again
Porter & Dolly are back on TV! RFD-TV, which is carried on the DISH Network and DIRECTV satellite systems as well as Mediacom and NCTC cable systems, has started airing repeats of the classic The Porter Wagoner Show, which co-starred Dolly from 1967 to 1974. An episode premieres each Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, repeating at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. Sunday and 1:30 p.m. Monday. The shows are courtesy the Willie Nelson Act IV Library, which owns the rights to the programs. The network, which aims primarily at the rural American market, is available in 21 million homes nationwide. Thanks, Bob!
Do Ya Think It's Sexy?
Dolly's video for "Romeo" is among 46 finalists for CMT's 40 Sexiest Videos, a new special premiering on the network June 19. Fan votes will help determine the 40 that get in the countdown and their rankings. You may vote for up to five videos each time you cast a ballot. Vote here!
KKK To Protest At Dollywood
I debated over whether to report this, but since this site's mission is to cover any legitimate news item relating to Dolly, her career, or her business interests through a journalistic eye regardless of whether it is positive or negative, I decided to post it, even though it will likely be upsetting. The whole "Gay Day" debate over the unofficial event to be held next weekend at Dollywood may be getting even more controversial. An East Tennessee branch of the notorious racist group the Ku Klux Klan is attempting to organize a protest at the park in opposition to the unsanctioned event. A Klan representative placed a notice on a white supremacist Web message board last weekend soliciting individuals to join a Gay Day protest at Dollywood on May 23, the day after the event is to take place, complete with driving directions to the park. It did not note whether they intend to protest outside or inside the park. The hate-group monitoring organization the Southern Poverty Law Center also reported on one of its Web sites this week that the KKK is recruiting people for the protest.
UPDATE: Get Discounted Tickets
CMT is offering readers of Dollymania the opportunity to save $10 off your ticket to attend the network's June 9 taping of its 100 Greatest Love Songs concert featuring Dolly. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m., and all of the site's readers can get this special discount by special arrangement with CMT. Simply go to Ticketmaster here (or access the same page through CMT's main page for the concert here) starting Saturday, and enter the discount code DOLLY when prompted. It's that simple! Thanks, CMT!
Dolly To Sing In CMT Special
Dolly will perform a song live at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9, during the CMA Music Festival (formerly known as "Fan Fair") as part of the CMT concert featuring the top 12 of the network's upcoming countdown of the CMT 100 Greatest Love Songs of country music, it was announced Thursday. Other artists scheduled to appear include Brad Paisley, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Sara Evans, Lee Ann Womack, Joe Nichols, Dierks Bentley and Lonestar and the night's musical director, Raul Malo of the Mavericks. Tickets for the event, at which cameras will not be allowed, go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster Online, via phone at 615-255-9600 or at the Gaylord Box Office (it's likely there will be some special news on that front here soon, so check back!). The 60-minute concert will cap off the six-hour countdown, set to premiere on CMT at 4 p.m. Eastern on June 13. No word on what song Dolly will perform, but my money's on "I Will Always Love You" being near or at the top of the tally. VH1 last year chose Whitney Houston's cover of the Dolly-penned classic the No. 1 love song of all time, and competing cable music network Great American Country in 2001 named it the No. 1 country song of the 20th century. On CMT's own 100 Greatest Songs of the country genre last year, it came in at No. 16. Other possibilities include since Dolly and Kenny are both on the program, their smash hit "Islands In The Stream" could be in the top 12 (it was No. 80 on VH1's list), or Dolly could be performing another artist's song.
Tribute CD Gone From Charts
After 29 weeks on the Billboard country chart, the Dolly tribute CD Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton falls out of the 75-position tally in the May 22 numbers the magazine released on Thursday, down from No. 75 the previous week. The CD had peaked at No. 6 country, No. 55 pop and spawned one top 10 video on CMT for Mindy Smith's cover of "Jolene" and one song on the country singles chart, with Shania Twain, Alison Krauss & Union Station and Dolly coming in at No. 57 for "Coat Of Many Colors." Dolly's patriotic and spiritual collection For God And Country gets a 10th week on the country albums chart but falls five spots to No. 67. Ultimate Dolly Parton, in its 38th chart week, drops six notches to No. 69 country. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with Dolly on "Creepin' In," returns to the top 10 in its 13th chart week moving up three to No. 8 pop and comprehensive with 90,000 copies sold in the previous week. It also gains one to No. 2 in Internet sales. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly on her cover of "Jolene," drops four to No. 19 in its 15th week on the independent labels albums chart. Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down gets a 13th week at No. 1 country and moves up two spots to No. 13 pop while Lee Ann Womack gets this week's country "Hot Shot Debut" with her Greatest Hits collection coming in at No. 2 country, No. 28 pop.
Jones Moves Up In Canada
Jones' Feels Like Home also gains some ground to the north, moving up two places to No. 7 on the Canadian pop albums chart, it was announced Thursday.
GAC Special Air Time Announced
Great American Country this week finally released the broadcast time for Dolly's special on the cable network accepting her Living Legend Award from the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington last month. The May 21 show, which features a profile of Dolly's career as well as a special concert performance by Dolly herself, will premiere at 11 p.m. Eastern. Although the date had previously been announced, the air time had been unavailable until Thursday. The special is set to repeat at 3 p.m. May 22 and 11 p.m. May 23.
Putnam County, Ohio, has found a nice way to encourage children in the county participating in Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. According to a story in Thursday's Delphos Herald, the local United Way is asking them to illustrate posters based on their favorite story from the series of books for display at the county fair next month. They have 220 children enrolled in the program, which kicked off there less than a year ago. Dolly's national program, administered by her nonprofit Dollywood Foundation, provides one free book per month from birth to age 5 for every child in a participating community whose parents sign up and is expected to distribute more than 1 million books in 2004. Read story here.
'Our Country' Update
The IMAX film Our Country, featuring Dolly leading several singers in "Turn, Turn, Turn," hits the screen at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin on Saturday and remains on the big-big screen there through Sept. 10. The film is currently playing in Dallas and in Providence, R.I., and is scheduled to come by month's end to Indianapolis, Ind., make its way to Davenport, Iowa, in July, and on to Apple Valley, Minn., and Branson, Mo., in September. View trailers and clips from the film (including Dolly's appearance) here.
For The Guy Or Gal With Everything
Wanna own a piece of country music history? How 'bout a lot of pieces? Got, oh, a couple hundred thousand dollars to blow? Nashville's now-closed Country Music Wax Museum on Wednesday night put dozens of its wax sculptures and costumes up for auction on ebay in one large lot. With bids open for almost a full month, one wealthy person could buy the whole thing for $450,000, or if you're not that well-off, you could put in a bid, starting at $175,000. Included are wax figures of Dolly, Stella Parton and Kenny Rogers, among others, and their costumes (although Dolly's and Kenny's are not ones originally owned by either performer). View the items here.
Dolly Shot In 'Country Weekly'
Dolly is pictured with singer Michael Peterson in the current issue of Country Weekly on newsstands now. The vocalist best known for "Drink, Swear, Steal & Lie" recently completed work on a new album with producers Kent Wells and Tony Smith. Since the guys are friends with Dolly and produced her current CD, For God And Country, the magazine noted as an added bonus Peterson got to "hang out" with Dolly.
Slides On Americana Chart
Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly on "Jolene," loses two spots to come in at No. 9 on the Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart released Monday with 423 spins at reporting stations nationwide, down from 443 the previous week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring Dolly on the duet "Creepin' In," falls five notches to No. 39 with 185 spins.
New Wallpapers Posted
For your viewing pleasure, three new exclusive, original Dolly wallpapers have been posted on Dollymania. These feature a more pop-art feel than the other four images which are currently available for downloading as backgrounds for your computer screen. Click here to access them. Enjoy!
'Welcome Home' Debuts On GAC Chart
Dolly's video for "Welcome Home" from For God And Country debuted on the cable network Great American Country's fan-voted top 20 video countdown on Friday at No. 18. The show repeats at midnight, 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday and at noon on Tuesday. This is the first "official" U.S. chart to feature the song. Cast your vote for Dolly on next week's countdown here! (The song remains steady at No. 9 on the unofficial IndieWorldCountry independent country singles chart this week, it was also announced Friday.)
Loses On U.S. Charts
Most Dolly-related recordings dip on the May 15 Billboard albums charts released on Thursday. Her patriotic and spiritual CD For God And Country receives a ninth week on the country albums chart but slides two spots to No. 62. Ultimate Dolly Parton, in its 37th chart week, falls five notches to No. 63 country. The tribute CD Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton drops nine places to No. 75 country, the chart's lowest available position, in its 29th chart week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring Dolly duet vocals on "Creepin' In," remains steady at No. 11 pop and comprehensive and gains one to No. 3 in Internet sales in its 12th chart week. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly on "Jolene," moves up one notch to No. 15 in its 14th week on the independent labels albums chart. The tribute album Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, which also features a Dolly duet, falls off the country albums chart, down from No. 69 in its 22nd chart week the previous week. Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down earns a 13th week at No. 1 country and moves up one spot to No. 15 pop.
Loretta Ties Dolly Record
Of course, perhaps the most surprising chart news of the week was Dolly pal Loretta Lynn's spectacular debut at No. 2 country, No. 24 pop with her Jack White-produced CD Van Lear Rose, earning it this week's country "Hot Shot Debut" designation. The high position ties the 70-year-old singer with Dolly for the most top 10 country albums in history with a total of 40 (Merle Haggard is second with 39 top 10s). The CD sold 37,000 copies in its first week, according to Billboard, or nearly half as many in one week as her most recent album has sold over the past three-and-a-half years. The debut position is Lynn's highest-ever position on the pop albums chart, with her most recent (and, until now, highest) entry on that side of the charts being her 1993 trio album with Dolly and Tammy Wynette, Honky Tonk Angels, which went to No. 42. On the country side, it's Lynn's first appearance in three years and her highest chart position in 27 years. The album also debuted at No. 2 country, No. 47 pop in Canada.
Jones Holding On Overseas
Jones' Feels Like Home continues to hold onto high marks in its 13th week on the foreign charts this week. The disc gains one to No. 11 in the U.K. and Australia it jumps up seven points to No. 3. In Canada, it loses three spots to No. 9, and in Germany, it inches down one to No. 4.
Dolly Surprise On 'Regis'
Being on vacation all week I missed it, but several readers wrote in to let me know Dolly made a surprise appearance on Friday's Live! With Regis And Kelly. As part of their "Mom's Dream Come True Celebration" in observance of Mother's Day, they found a viewer whose dream was to meet Dolly. To grant her wish, they had Dolly come out in a garden and sing "Light Of A Clear Blue Morning" to her, and she noted that the song is to be the second single from For God And Country! Thanks!
Dolly Supports MTV, CMT (And New Show?)
Dolly made an appearance Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in New York to promote MTV's family of networks, it was reported. MTV Networks owns the three major music channels -- MTV, VH1 and CMT -- as well as Spike TV (formerly TNN), TV Land, Nick at Nite and Comedy Central, among other cable outlets. The event was to celebrate each network's all-time high ratings and to pitch a new program to advertisers which will allow them to put ads on multiple channels in the MTV group for one lump fee. Dolly, chosen to represent CMT, was joined by several other celebrities, including Muhammad Ali, Paul Newman, Candice Bergen, Jessica Simpson and Walter Cronkite, and the evening included performances by Alicia Keys, Fleetwood Mac and the Sugarhill Gang. Read more here. In another article, the British Financial Times referred to Dolly making "a few remarks about her new show" but didn't elaborate as to whether this will be a new CMT series or if she had been noting her recent hosting duties at the network's Flame Worthy Video Music Awards. Read it here.
Dolly Among Royalty Pay Hold-Outs
Media all over the globe took note last week at New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's settlement with the world's major record labels over royalties not paid to many singers. The two-year investigation netted $50 million due singers with whom record labels claimed they had "lost contact" and chose to stop sending royalty checks. These included Dolly, David Bowie, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Gloria Estefan, Vince Gill, Dave Matthews, Liza Minnelli and the estates of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, as well as thousands of lesser-known acts. Half of the money due was paid out to performers during the two-year investigation with the other half to be paid in the near future. Companies participating in the settlement were Sony Music Entertainment (which owns Dolly's Monument and CBS/Columbia recordings), BMG Music (which owns her RCA catalogue), Warner Music Group (which owns the Trio's releases), Universal Music (which owns her Rising Tide and Decca CDs), EMI and the labels' affiliated music publishing houses. Although the labels claimed most artists did not receive payments because they moved and did not supply forwarding addresses, several stories over the past few days indicated that most "lost" royalties were due to the mergers of multiple labels into today's mega-corporations (such as Monument Records, which CBS/Columbia outbid Dolly in purchasing when the label where she recorded in the '60s went bankrupt in the mid-1980s; shortly thereafter, CBS/Columbia was purchased by Sony Music, which has ownership of both labels today). Apparently, the various accounting practices in the smaller labels were not assimilated properly into those of the larger labels when acquired over the years. According to a story in The Tennessean on Sunday, Dolly is owed about $17,500, which appears to be about average for the major artists on the list. Read more here.
Norton Disc Coming
The BBC has announced that its The Best of So Graham Norton DVD will be released in the U.S. and Canada on Aug. 10 to coincide with his new Comedy Central show to premiere this fall. The disc is slated to include appearances on his show by Dolly, Elton John, Orlando Bloom, Cher, Chris Rock, Ozzy Osbourne and more. A similar DVD titled For Your Pleasure, which also included his 2001 Dolly interview and most (if not all) of the others on this disc, was released in the U.K. two years ago. Reserve your copy here.
Leibovitz Exhibit Coming To Rock Hall Of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, has announced that Annie Leibovitz's new exhibit, American Music, featuring her recent images of some of the nation's best-loved artists, including Dolly, will be on display there May 27 through Sept. 6. The exhibit had premiered at the Experience Music Project in Seattle and then appeared at The Hospital in London.
Library Of Congress Special Air Date Announced
The cable network Great American Country (GAC) announced on Monday that Dolly's Library of Congress Living Legend Award ceremony from last month will premiere on the channel May 21. The broadcast time has not been released, but the special is slated to include a montage of Dolly's career, interviews with fellow stars and the full awards ceremony, which featured a mini-concert of bluegrass arrangements by Dolly herself. Thanks, Chad and Lynette!
More Dolly On TV
Dolly is reportedly scheduled to appear on the syndicated talk show The Ellen Degeneres Show on Wednesday, May 19. Check local listings for stations and broadcast times.
Even More Dolly On TV
I'm told Dolly was featured on this weekend's Wall Street Journal Reports, a syndicated financial news program, in a profile of her massive business empire. In next week's episode, a second installment is planned, focusing on Dolly's "spiritual side." Check local listings for broadcast times and stations. Thanks, Michele!
Possible Dolly On TV
According to a mention on Monday's Nashville City Paper in a story on the lack of television and film production facilities in the city, the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has been pitching a TV series idea recently starring Dolly and pal Barbara Mandrell in a The Golden Girls-style program but has yet to find a network willing to take on the project. Read the full story here.
A Few More Pics
My opening weekend assistant photographer Harrell sent in a few final shots of Dolly from those festivities which have been added to a 27th gallery in that section of the site here. Thanks!
Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly guest vocals on "Jolene," loses two spots to come in at No. 7 on the Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart released Monday with 443 spins at reporting stations nationwide, down from 521 the previous week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with Dolly guesting on the duet "Creepin' In," falls nine notches to No. 34 with 205 spins.
'Gay Day' Discussion
The media blitz of the last few days over the Gay Day event scheduled for May 22 at Dollywood has apparently died down, but people are still talking about it. See tonight's Letters To The Webmaster update here for a reader's opinion, a detailed statement from the event organizers and an editorial commentary from this site.
A Brief Hiatus
There won't be any updates for a few days, as your webmaster will be on a brief vacation. But look for a full recap of all events from the week upon my returning! Thanks!
Dance With Dolly
Dolly is seeking dancers to perform in her upcoming musical spectacle Hello I'm Dolly, according to an advertisement in this week's Nashville Scene newspaper, I'm told. The ad states the show, to star Dolly herself, is seeking a dozen men and women aged 18 or older "who have strong dance technique and are well versed in ballet, jazz, tap and musical theatre" as well as "speciality performers with exotic looks and ability to dance the above styles, but also be able to perform tumbling, contortion and stunt work." Auditions will be held on Friday and Saturday at the Molyneux Building (312 9th Avenue South in Nashville), with sign-in starting at 9 a.m. and dancing beginning at 10:30 a.m. Call 615-254-5411 for more information. The show is being assembled by Molyneux Entertainment, which focuses mainly on designing and casting productions for cruise ships but has also put together several national tours of Broadway musicals and created concert staging for other artists including Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Cher, Michael Jackson, Elton John and others, so I'd expect a pretty amazing show! No further details of the show have been released. (But a reader did find the full ad on the casting company's Web site here. Thanks, Kevin!)
State Names Imagination Library Director
Lady Jackson, a Nashville resident, has been appointed by Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen to oversee the state's program to provide $2 million in matching funds for communities in the state wishing to participate in Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, The Tennessean reported on Sunday. Bredesen announced at the first of the year that he was making good on his campaign promise to bring the project statewide with a combination of public and private funding, and already 10 counties have signed on to the partnership, the paper reported. Apparently, a major role in Jackson's new position will be to secure private sponsors to match the public funds in communities around the state. Dolly's program, started in her home of Sevier County in 1996, expanded nationwide in late 1999. Providing one free book per month from birth to age 5 for every child whose parents sign up in a participating community, it has distributed more than 1 million volumes in its first seven years and is expected to mail out more than 1 million more in 2004 in more than 300 communities across 40 states. The Dollywood Foundation covers all administrative costs and assembles the committee of national education and child development experts to select each year's books, while local sponsors contribute the $27 annual cost per child for book purchase and postage. Read the story here.
'Romeo' A Bad Song?
The music critic of The Charlotte Observer in North Carolina chose Dolly's "Romeo" as the worst country song of all time in Friday's edition, calling the tune "stupid" and the video "embarrassing." But Dolly wasn't the only artist slammed. The rest of his top 10 included songs that I believe most people think are pretty darn good: The Dixie Chicks' "Goodbye Earle," Hank Williams Jr.'s "America Will Survive," Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood's "In Another's Eyes," Shenandoah's "If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too)," Faith Hill's "Breathe," Mark Chestnut's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," Mindy McCready's "Guys Do It All The Time" and Ty Herndon's "Steam." Read his column here.
Jones Holding Up Overseas
Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with Dolly on "Creepin' In," is still selling well around the globe. It slips three points to No. 12 in its 12th chart week on the British pop albums chart. On the Australian pop albums chart, it drops one to No. 10, and in Germany, it inches down one to No. 3 pop.
Why NPR Loves Dolly
Longtime NPR Morning Edition host Bob Edwards, who retired Friday after nearly a quarter-century heading up the daily program, was interviewed on Saturday's Weekend Edition about his career in public radio. Shortly into the interview, host Scott Simon began a segment playing clips from some of Edwards' favorite interviews over the years and getting his reactions to them. The first one up was Dolly, with Simon asking: "Will you help me explain why we love interviewing Dolly Parton?" (Both broadcasters have cited Dolly as one of their favorite interview subjects.) Edwards replied explaining: "She does everything for you. You don't have to work at all. She will carry the interview, and besides that, she's just a brilliant talent." A clip played of Dolly joking about the extremes of the tabloid stories about her life in recent years, as music from Halos & Horns played in the background. Afterward, Edwards noted: "See, she's there with a punch line every time. And she's got 'em!" (Punch lines, that is.) Take a listen to the interview here.
More On 'Gay Day'
Coverage continued over the weekend of the May 22 Gay Days flap at Dollywood. The Friday front page story from The Tennessean was picked up by the Associated Press and made it into several other media outlets, including Australia's Big News Network here and the Knoxville News-Sentinel here on Saturday.
'Gay Day' Controversy Continues
Dollywood's decision to demand its trademarks be removed from a Web site and promotional materials for a Gay Day gathering at the park May 22 continued to gain press this week. Nashville's The Tennessean on Friday gave the story a below-the-fold spot on its front page. Longer and more detailed than the story linked here Thursday night from a Knoxville television station, it noted that the park has sent the same request out to about two dozen other companies, mostly tour operators and hotel chains, which had illegally used its trademarked name and logo without permission. The story continued to say that e-mails were being circulated in the gay and lesbian community urging attendance at the event in protest, and a spokesperson for Dollywood reiterated that the park welcomes all who wish to visit. Read the full story here.