May 31: S.C. Library Chapter Going Strong Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program is going strong in Beaufort, S.C., where more than 600 children have registered for the free monthly book project since it came to town there about four months ago, The Beaufort Gazette reported here Monday. Nationwide, the program will distribute more than 2.2 million books this year across 40 states.
Dollywood Does Well In '04 Although most tourist attractions in Tennessee saw a drop in attendance last year, Dollywood was the exception, a report this week by the Knoxville News-Sentinel found. Dollywood's annual attendance of 2.25 million for 2004 was up 50,000 over the previous year, compared to sizeable drops at most other attractions. Read the story here.
Dottie, Lily Share Some Laughs I'm told two Dolly pals got together over the weekend for some fun. Gospel legend Dottie Rambo, with whom Dolly had a hit with the song "Stand By The River" a couple of years ago, hosted the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree live radio show in Nashville, and Dolly's 9 To 5 co-star Lily Tomlin, also a friend of Dottie's, dropped by to perform some of her famous characters, including Edith Ann and Ernestine. (See photos here!) Thanks!
The Sincerest Form Of Flattery Curious to see and hear a Dolly impersonator? Well, Nags Head, N.C., has one on tap for the city's Dare Day next weekend. According to the Outer Banks Sentinel Gail Williams will sing live "as" Dolly in the city's annual Dare Day festival on Saturday. Read more here.
'Viva,' 'Paper' Rise On Bluegrass Tally Bluegrass Unlimited on Friday released its June bluegrass charts, and Dolly-related projects are doing well. Her duet with The Grascals on "Viva Las Vegas" gains nine spots to No. 20 for the month, while her duet with Randy Kohrs on "It Looked Good On Paper" rises one notch to No. 27. The CD The Grascals moves up four places to No. 7, while Kohrs' I'm Torn falls four to No. 10, down from its peak at No. 6 in May.
Order 'Essential' CD Today Amazon.com on Friday added a page where you may reserve your copy of the June 28 two-disc compilation The Essential Dolly Parton. As has previously been reported, the 37-track release contains 20 of her record 24 country No. 1 singles and spans from her first Monument hit from 1967 through her Grammy-winning cover of "Shine" on Sugar Hill Records from 2001. It focuses, however, mostly on her nearly two decades at RCA Records with just one song from the Trio project on Warner Brothers and two from her eight years on Sony's Columbia label. Get the set here!
May 27: 'Viva' Remains For 21st Week Dolly and The Grascals' "Viva Las Vegas" gains one more spot to No. 8 in its 21st week on the country singles sales chart, according to the June 4 numbers released Thursday by Billboard. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, which includes a cover of "Jolene," dips one notch to No. 3 bluegrass in its 11th chart week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with Dolly on the duet "Creepin' In," is down 11 places to No. 166 pop and 17 digits to No. 192 comprehensive in its 67th chart week. Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, featuring Dolly on "Baby It's Cold Outside," falls out of the top 200 pop albums and comprehensive albums charts after 30 weeks on each, down from No. 176 pop and No. 200, respectively, the previous week. Toby Keith's Honkytonk University debuts at No. 1 country and No. 2 pop with 283,000 copies moved in its first week, while Cowboy Troy's Loco Motive debuts at No. 2 country, No. 15 pop, with 51,000 copies sold. The American Idol finalists' cover of the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" remains at No. 1 for pop singles sales in its fifth week but falls out of the Hot 100 pop singles chart for sales and airplay, down from No. 69 last week, its fourth on the chart.
Duet Still On European Tally Dolly's duet of "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" with Roy Rivers rebounds one spot to No. 2 in the May 13 European CMA country singles chart, reflecting airplay through May 1. The song had peaked at No. 1 for four weeks. In individual countries, the duet slips 13 places to No. 17 for country singles airplay in Belgium, inches up one to No. 10 in Germany and re-enters the Holland top 20 at No. 19. For overall continental straight airplay, it jumps seven places to No. 10. It falls out of the top 20 in Spain and Austria, down from No. 11 in each. Get the CD here! Arly Karlsen and Pat Roden's former six-week No. 1 cover of Porter & Dolly's "Please Don't Stop Loving Me" falls out of the top 100, down from No. 90 the previous week.
Dolly On Another CMT Show Dolly is listed as one of the artists profiled in the second episode of CMT's new series, Class Of, the network announced Thursday. The first episode, focusing on 1990, premieres Friday, June 3, and the one slated to include Dolly, which profiles events from 1975, premieres at 8 p.m. Eastern a week later, June 10, with repeats throughout the following week. While Dolly's segment hasn't been announced, other profiles include Charlie Rich's burning of John Denver's winning envelope at the CMAs, the divorce of George Jones and Tammy Wynette and Conway Twitty offering a Russian recording of "Hello Darlin'," among other occurrences.
Stampede Makes List Dolly's Orlando Dixie Stampede dinner theatre makes the updated list of Embassy Suites Hotels' kid-approved list of attractions in the city, it was announced Thursday. The hotel company's list of the most fun sites as tested and chosen by children in various cities added Orlando this year, where Dolly's animal-themed performance space was chosen alongside the Blizzard Beach water park at Disney World and Wonder Works fun house. Take a look at the list for all 20 cities in a press release here.
Dolly On Strange Pairing List Readers of MSN's online magazine Slate were recently asked to send in their ideas of the most odd cinematic pairings ever, from which the best submissions were published this week. Dolly made two, although neither one was a jab at her: one for working with Sylvester Stallone in Rhinestone, which the reviewer said was because of Sly, and with James Woods in Straight Talk, which a reader said had nothing to do with either actor's natural abilities, just that it was like mixing Haagen-Dazs and Tabasco. Read the full article here.
Tickets! Get Your Tickets! A few of the floor seats which became available Wednesday for the June 8 taping of the top 12 concert for CMT's 100 Greatest Duets countdown special remained available as of early Thursday evening. Get them here. Dolly will sing in the show. Tickets also remain available here for her June 9 performance in the CMA Music Festival's concert series and at 1-800-Dollywood for her Sept. 24 and 25 benefit concerts at Dollywood to support the work of the Dollywood Foundation.
May 26: Library Gets A Hand-Up Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program got a boost this week when the Tennessee General Assembly's House unanimously approved a $2 million appropriation to provide matching grants to counties starting up the project locally. The measure had previously passed the Senate. Read a brief about the bill, which goes into effect in the new fiscal year July 1, from the Knoxville News-Sentinelhere. The program also got some press this week in the Coalfield Progresshere about its expansion into the Norton, Va., area and in the Crossville Chroniclehere on last week's successful kick-off in Cumberland County, Tenn.
Floor Opens Up For Duets Show A handful of seats became available Wednesday in the back of the main floor for the June 8 CMT duets concert in Nashville which will feature Dolly, among several others, singing the top 12 songs from the countdown to air on the cable network in September. The floor had previously been sold out for a couple of weeks. Get your tickets here for that show and here for Dolly's performance at the CMA Music Festival concert the following night.
'Essential' Takes New Old Photo The cover art has been released for Dolly's June 28 compilation The Essential Dolly Parton (see image at left). As has previously been reported, the two-disc set is a re-issue of the 2003 two-CD version of Ultimate Dolly Parton which was sold only through mail/phone/Web orders at Music Space and not available in other stores. The only change -- other than it being sold in other stores for the first time and the different cover photo -- is the addition of a track from her past six years at Sugar Hill Records: the Grammy-winning "Shine."
A Blast From The Past The Capital Times in Madison, Wis., offered an interesting story this week about Phil Martin, a local college theatre program director there who once worked in Nashville. Although he later became a comedy writer for Nashville Now, he started off as a security guard, which resulted in his guarding Dolly for the Rhinestone premiere, a tale related in great detail in the story. Read it here.
Randy Not Performing This Year Fans of Dolly's brother, Randy Parton, who has performed in a highly popular show at Dollywood for several years, will have to wait to see him at the park again. The Mountain Press in Sevierville, Tenn., reported this week that he's decided to take some time off from performing and will not be offering his show this year. Read more here.
Baby Eagle Gets Dollywood Home A four-week-old bald eaglet from the Columbus, Ohio, Zoo and Aquarium has found a new home at Dollywood. According to a press release from the American Eagle Foundation, the baby bird has been adopted by Liberty and Justice, two adult eagles at the Foundation's facility at the park, the world's largest sanctuary for non-releasable eagles. The move was required because the eaglet's father had suffered a leg injury and could no longer properly care for it. "As soon as the eaglet was placed in its new nest, these great parents lost no time treating it like one of their very own," said Al Cecere, founder and president of the AEF. "It's a wonderful sight to see." You may watch the parents and adopted baby on the Foundation's Web site by clicking on the "Eagle Nest Cam" button.
May 25: Wisconsin Town Gets Dolly's Library Chippewa Falls, Wis., has signed on for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, The Chippewa Herald reports this week. The paper says the pre-school books program extends an existing project where one book was presented to each newborn in the city school district and about 200 children have registered in the past four months to participate. Read more here.
May 24: '9 To 5' Sequel Discussed Fans are a'hopin' following a report Monday in MSNBC's gossip column, "The Scoop," here touting rumors of a possible 9 To 5 screen reunion. The column cited an unnamed source as saying producers are optimistic following the success of Jane Fonda's return to acting that they might be able to convince her and co-stars Dolly and Lily Tomlin to reunite for the film sequel, something that has been discussed off and on for a quarter-century now. However, Fonda's representative warned that there have been no "serious conversations" about this or any other future project for the actress. Fonda's Monster-In-Law slips one spot to No. 2 for the weekend grosses in its second week of release with $14.3 million, beaten, of course, by the opening of Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith.
In Other Movie News Sandra Bullock's comedy Miss Congeniality 2: Armed And Fabulous, featuring its Dolly cameo, continues its slide in the American cinema market, falling another six spots to No. 28 for weekend box office grosses in the U.S., it was announced Monday. The film took in $123,000 for the weekend, which when combined with less than $100,000 during the week, raises its total U.S. gross since opening to $47.3 million. The film is doing a little better overseas, however, where it has grossed $49.9 million for a U.S. and international total of more than $97 million. Reserve your copy of the DVD, coming out June 21, with the film soundtrack here or without the soundtrack here.
Hazel Plugs 'Essential' CMT.com columnist Hazel Smith on Monday noted the upcoming release of the two-disc The Essential Dolly Parton on June 28, saying of the series' installments for Dolly and Marty Robbins, "They call it 'essential' because the music and artists are that." Read her full "Hot Dish" column this week here.
Library Delay In Tenn. Kids in one Tennessee county are going to have to wait a little while to start receiving books in Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. The Herald Citizen in Cookeville, Tenn., reported this week that a computer glitch kept the more than 1,000 Putnam County children from receiving books starting in May, as had been planned. Instead, their books will begin arriving in June. Read the full story here. Dolly's program, in more than 400 communities across 40 states, mails one free, hardcover, age-appropriate book per month to every child from birth to age 5 whose parents sign up in a participating community.
May 23: Dolly In 'Parade' I'm told Dolly also made this weekend's Parade newspaper insert. The Q&A section in the inside front cover finds a reader asking where Dolly's song "Hello God" is available. The magazine responds by offering a small photo of her from last year's "Hello I'm Dolly" tour, quoting the song's first few lines, explaining how Dolly wrote it in reaction to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and saying that it is available on her Halos & Horns CD. Thanks, Luke!
And In Nashville's Paper Dolly's addition to the CMT 100 Greatest Duets concert in Nashville next month earned a mention in Sunday's "Celebrities" column in The Tennessean. Columnist Brad Schmidt called Dolly a "favorite" but noted that CMT is refusing to reveal the exact pairing of who will be singing with whom and what they'll be performing, adding: "So if you like surprises and, well, any excuse to see Dolly Parton sing, get on it 'cause this event will sell out soon." Get tickets here, and read the full column here.
May 21: Dolly's Water Park Opens For 2005 Saturday is your first chance to get wet under the new $2 million Bear Mountain Fire Tower at Dollywood's Splash Country, as the water park adjacent to Dollywood opens for its fifth season. The new attraction, based on rural fire tours which dot the East Tennessee landscape, features a 1,000-gallon bucket at its highest level. Upon an alarm sounding, the bucket tips, spilling its water through several smaller buckets throughout the lower levels and soaking all standing underneath it. Also new this season is the Riverside Retreats, private pavilions available for renting by visitors for $100 per day. Each unit offers 200 square feet of shaded space, a 100-square-foot sundeck, secure storage, two lounge chairs, ceiling fans, a dining table with six chairs, privacy drapes, a 27-inch television and private phones for ordering food and drinks (at an additional charge). The Retreats are available for advance reservations at 1-800-Dollywood, but same-day reservations must be made at Splash Country itself. The water park is open through mid-September, while Dollywood is open through December.
Sept. Concert Tickets Still On Sale Tickets remain available for Dolly's annual benefit concerts this fall at Dollywood to raise funds for the Dollywood Foundation, park officials confirm. In the past, tickets usually either sold out before going on sale to the general public or in a matter of hours after they went on sale, due to the massive numbers ordered by the park's season passholders, who may purchase seats in advance. This year, a six-ticket limit was initiated on advance orders, leaving some still available a little more than three weeks after they went on sale. Call 1-800-Dollywood to purchase yours today. Dolly will perform four shows, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day Sept. 24 and 25. Thanks!
As Are Seats For Two June Events As was reported here in an update early Friday afternoon, tickets are on sale here (also by phone at 615-255-9600 or at your local Ticketmaster outlet) for CMT's taping of its top 12 concert for a 100 Greatest Duets countdown which, it was announced at noon that day, will include a performance by Dolly. As was noted here, since Kenny Rogers was a previously-announced singer on the bill, it is expected that their massive hit "Islands In The Stream" has made the top 12 and will be the number they will perform. Others on the June 8 show from Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center include Trace Adkins and Terri Clark, who will host, as well as Willie Nelson, Montgomery Gentry, Clint Black, Lisa Hartman Black, Lee Ann Womack, Joe Nichols, Shooter Jennings, Raul Malo, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Crystal Gayle, Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart and Rebecca Lynn Howard. The special is slated to air on the cable network sometime in September. Attendees are encouraged to "dress to impress in your casually hip attire." The floor and the first few rows raised level seats (both sections which sold for $50 each) are gone, but plenty of $30 seats remain in the rest of the house. Read the press release here. Tickets also remain on sale for Dolly's night at the CMA Music Festival the following evening. Dolly and The Grascals will perform a segment as part of the concert which also features Dierks Bentley, LeAnn Rimes, Julie Roberts, Sugarland, Keith Urban, Phil Vassar and Lee Ann Womack. Get $30 tickets for that June 9 show here, although the floor is also sold out for this one as well.
May 20: UPDATE: CMT Adds Dolly To Duets Show CMT announced Friday afternoon that Dolly will join its list of performers for the June 8 concert counting down the network's new list of the top 12 in its 100 Greatest Duets. You may recall she performed her original song "I Will Always Love You" last year as the No. 1 pick in the network's concert for its 100 Greatest Love Songs. Since Kenny Rogers is also on the program, I suspect their entry will be 1983's "Islands In The Stream," which is the biggest-selling country single of all time, so it will likely be toward the top if not No. 1 itself. Other performers in the show are newly-announced Willie Nelson and newly-announced co-host Terri Clark along with previously-announced co-host Trace Adkins and singers Montgomery Gentry, Clint Black, Lisa Hartman Black, Lee Ann Womack, Joe Nichols, Shooter Jennings, Raul Malo, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Crystal Gayle, Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart and Rebecca Lynn Howard. Tickets went on sale a couple of weeks ago at Ticketmaster here, so the floor is already sold out, but seats do remain in the raised areas. The concert is expected to air on CMT in September. It is being recorded the night before Dolly headlines a multi-artist concert in the CMA Music Festival in Nashville.
'Viva' Still In The Game "Viva Las Vegas" by Dolly and The Grascals inches up one notch to No. 9 in its 20th week on the 10-position country singles sales chart, according to the May 28 tallies released Thursday by Billboard. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, with her cover of "Jolene," remains steady at No. 2 bluegrass in its 10th chart week. Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, with Dolly on the duet "Baby It's Cold Outside," falls 63 places to No. 176 pop and 84 spots to No. 200 comprehensive in its 30th chart week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring Dolly on "Creepin' In," also falls for the week, down 34 digits to No. 155 pop and 51 spaces to No. 175 comprehensive in its 66th chart week. Dierks Bentley's Modern Day Drifter debuts at No. 1 country and No. 6 pop with 75,000 copies moved in its first week, while Van Zant's Get Right With the Man debuts at No. 2 country, No. 21 pop, with 41,000 copies sold. The American Idol finalists' cover of the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" remains at No. 1 for pop singles sales in its fourth week but tumbles 19 places to No. 69 on the Hot 100 pop singles chart for sales and airplay. In Canada, both Jones' Feels Like Home and Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III fall back out of the top 100 pop albums chart, down from No. 73 in week 66 and No. 95 in week 29, respectively, the previous week.
'Starstruck' By Dolly, Others Michael Joseph Gross, the author of the book Starstruck about fans (including several of Dolly's), is interviewed on Gay.com here this week and mentions the Dolly section of his book.
May 19: Dolly Talks Girlfriends On Biography Dolly gets a spot in another cable show counting down the "best" of something in America, it has been announced. The Biography Channel this week starts a new series titled Hollywood's 10 Best, which will list the 10 best films of certain genres each week featuring interviews with celebrities involved in them. Its first episode airs at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Thursday on the best wedding movies, and it has a Dolly connection: one of the interviewed celebrities is Steve Martin, listed in the episode description for his role in Father Of The Bride (which suggests it is on that week's list), a film produced by Dolly's Sandollar Films. Then next week, with the episode premiering at 11:30 p.m. Eastern on May 26, Dolly is listed as a featured interviewee in the 10 best "Girlfriend Movies" for her role in Steel Magnolias (again, suggesting that film will appear on the list that week). Others slated to appear on that show include Helen Mirren and Rosie O'Donnell.
Library Partnerships Highlighted Dolly's Imagination Library gets even more press this week. The Nashville City Paper offered a review of the program here Wednesday, profiling partnerships with corporations which are making available funds to assist Tennessee's poorest counties to start up the project. In another part of the state, The Elizabethton Star reported here on the first books in the program arriving this week in children's homes in Carter County, Tenn. Dolly's program provides one free, hardcover book per month mailed to the home of every child birth to age 5 in a participating community whose parents sign up. The program expects to distribute 2.2 million books to 500 communities across 40 states in 2005.
Canadians Get To See 'Hollywood Story' And if you're a Canadian television viewer, Star TV will be airing Dolly's episode of the E! True Hollywood Story for our neighbors to the north at 9 p.m. Eastern May 28 and 12:30 a.m. May 29. Thanks, Bob! Her show repeats on E! stateside at 10 p.m. Eastern May 26.
May 18: 'Lullaby' Takes ACM Trophy As was expected by most, Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss took home the Vocal Event Of The Year honor at Tuesday night's Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas for "Whiskey Lullaby," besting Dolly and Norah Jones' duet, "Creepin' In," from Jones' CD Feels Like Home. The category's other nominees were "Hey Good Lookin'" by Jimmy Buffet with Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith and George Strait; "Party For Two" by Shania Twain with Billy Currington; and "When The Sun Goes Down" by Chesney and Uncle Kracker. Dolly and Jones' duet had previously been nominated for the equivalent award at the CMAs (but lost to "Whiskey Lullaby") and the Grammy Awards (where it lost to Loretta Lynn and Jack White's "Portland, Oregon"). The nomination marked her 36th ACM nod, of which she's won five. Other big winners of the night were Paisley and Krauss, Video Of The Year, "Whiskey Lullaby;" Tim McGraw, Single Record Of The Year, "Live Like You Were Dying;" Keith Urban, Album Of The Year, Be Here, and Top Male Artist; McGraw and composers Craig Wiseman and Tim Nichols, Song Of The Year, "Live Like You Were Dying;" Gretchen Wilson, Top New Artist and Top Female Artist; Chris LeDoux, Pioneer Award; Rascal Flatts, Top Vocal Group; Brooks & Dunn, Top Vocal Duo; Neal McCoy, Humanitarian Award; Kenney Chesney, Entertainer Of The Year.
'Essential' Is 'Ultimate' Re-Issue The track listing is out for the June 28 two-disc compilation The Essential Dolly Parton on BMG's RLG Nashville/BMG Heritage imprints and Sony's Legacy Recordings imprint, the first release since the merger of the two music corporate giants, and it is essentially a re-issue of the two-disc version of BMG's Ultimate Dolly Parton from two years ago with one important addition: Dolly's Grammy-winning cover of Collective Soul's "Shine," her first recording on such a compilation to come from indie Sugar Hill Records, which has released her albums since 1999. Thanks, Ash! However, the two-disc version of that earlier compilation was sold via only online and telephone orders with retailer Music Space, with a smaller, one-disc version sold elsewhere, so this will mark the first time the full set has been offered in other stores. It was the first such compilation for which Dolly had a hand in selecting the songs. The 37-track release will contain one cut from her 1965-1967 period at (now-Sony-owned) Monument Records, 32 from her 1967-1985 time at (now-BMG-owned) RCA, one from her 1987 Trio project on Warner Brothers, two from her 1987-1995 tenure at (Sony-owned) Columbia and one from her 1999-present recordings at indie label Sugar Hill. The collection features 20 of her record 24 No. 1 country hits (missing are her 1982 re-recording of "I Will Always Love You," 1985's "Real Love" with Kenny Rogers and "Think About Love," and 1989's "Yellow Roses"). The complete track listing is as follows:
Just Because I'm A Woman
My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy
Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8)
Coat Of Many Colors
Touch Your Woman
My Tennessee Mountain Home
Please Don't Stop Loving Me (with Porter Wagoner)
I Will Always Love You
Love Is Like A Butterfly
The Bargain Store
We Used To
All I Can Do
Light Of A Clear Blue Morning
It's All Wrong, But It's All Right
Here You Come Again
Two Doors Down
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
Islands In The Stream (with Kenny Rogers)
Save The Last Dance For Me (with The Jordanaires)
Tennessee Homesick Blues
God Won't Get You
To Know Him Is To Love Him (with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris)
Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That
Rockin' Years (with Ricky Van Shelton)
May 17: E! Covers Dolly's Life, Career Dolly's installment of the E! True Hollywood Story came and went Sunday night, with a very long and respected career boiled down into just one hour of television. The show focused mostly on Dolly's childhood (with stories from siblings Stella and Randy Parton), her early days in Nashville (with her talking about husband Carl Dean and interviews with Monument Records founder Fred Foster and longtime duet partner Porter Wagoner, two men often underrepresented in biographical portraits of Dolly through the years), and her embarking on pop and movie superstardom in the late 1970s through early 1980s (with commentary by film co-stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda). Her successful return to roots music in the late '90s and the operation of Dollywood were each briefly mentioned. The show repeats at 8 p.m. Eastern Wednesday and 10 p.m. May 26.
Duet Possibly On TV Soon Dolly and former Bluenique Randy Kohrs could soon be heading to The Late Show With David Letterman, according to a report. In the Rockabilly Hall of Fame's May news digest, available here, it is reported that the gap-toothed host has invited the pair on his show to perform their duet "It Looked Good On Paper," from Kohrs' current CD, I'm Torn. The site says a date has yet to be set as both performers work on finding one which fits both of their schedules. Thanks, Tony!
Another Compilation To Hit Stores While no further details are available yet, music powerhouse Sony BMG has announced its first Dolly compilation since the merger of the two labels which together own three-quarters of her life's recordings. Titled The Essential Dolly Parton, the two-disc set will be released June 28 through Sony's Legacy Recordings imprint and BMG's RLG Nashville and BMG Heritage imprints. No word on whether this will be a new, label-crossing collection (as the company holds her RCA, Columbia and Monument catalogues) or simply a re-packaging of BMG's previous releases The Essential Dolly Parton Vol. 1 from 1995 and The Essential Dolly Parton Vol. 2 from 1997 into one case. Thanks, Ash!
'Miss' Continues Fall Miss Congeniality 2: Armed And Fabulous, the Sandra Bullock comedy with a Dolly cameo, tumbles another six spaces to No. 22 for weekend box office grosses in the U.S., it was announced Monday. The film took in $256,000 for the weekend, which when combined with an additional $144,000 during the week, raises its total gross since opening to $47.1 million. Reserve your copy of the DVD with the film soundtrack here or without the soundtrack here. Monster-In-Law, the first return to film of Dolly's 9 To 5 co-star Jane Fonda in a decade and a half, opened at No. 1 with $23.1 million.
Library Gets A Helping Hand Dollar General Stores have partnered with the Governor's Books from Birth Foundation founded by Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.) and Dolly's Dollywood Foundation to help efforts to bring her Imagination Library literacy program statewide. The Tennessean reports here that the company has pledged $60,000 per year over the next three years to assist in support and training for counties in Tennessee working to establish the program there. About 85 percent of the state's 95 counties have either kicked-off the project or are in the organizational processes to implement it, most of which joined after the state set aside $2 million in matching grants for the program.
ACM Reminder Don't forget to tune in Tuesday night on CBS to see if Dolly takes home her sixth Academy of Country Music trophy when the 40th annual awards are handed out from Las Vegas. "Creepin' In," her duet with Norah Jones from the jazz chanteuse's multi-platinum disc Feels Like Home, is up for Vocal Event Of The Year, although my money is on rival "Whiskey Lullaby" by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss to take home the award.
May 16: It's E! 'THS' Time! For those catching this update early enough on Sunday evening, don't forget that Dolly's E! True Hollywood Story premieres at 8 p.m. Eastern on the cable network with an encore presentation at 11 p.m. The show will also repeat at 8 p.m. Wednesday and 10 p.m. May 26. The Knoxville News-Sentinel on Saturday offered a preview of the program here, calling it "highly candid" and saying it openly covers some subjects which Dolly and those close to her rarely publicly discuss.
Stewart Back Off Down Under After a brief reappearance, Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, with Dolly on their duet "Baby It's Cold Outside," falls back out of the 50-position Australian pop albums chart this week, down from last week's No. 47 in its 20th chart week, it was announced Sunday.
May 14: Latest Library Happenings Dolly's Imagination Library had a big weekend in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where her local Dixie Stampede dinner theatre sponsors the branch of her literacy program. The city's Sun News newspaper reported this week that "thousands" of families participated in the restaurant's second annual Family Reading Celebration. Read the story here. Also, news came this week of yet another Tennessee county signing on for the program. The Daily News Journal in Nashville suburb Murfreesboro reports that the Rutherford County Commission voted Thursday to join. Read that article here.
CMA Stop Gets Paper Mention Dolly's planned concert as part of next month's CMA Music Festival, formerly Fan Fair, earned a mention in Brad Schmidt's "Celebrities" column in Friday's The Tennessean. Read the note here, and get tickets here for the June 9 show.
Set Those VCRs Don't forget to catch the premiere of Dolly's E! True Hollywood Story at 8 p.m. Eastern Sunday on the cable network. E! will repeat the show later that night and again on Wednesday and May 26.
May 13: Floor Sold Out For CMA Fest Concert As was reported here around noon on Thursday, Dolly and The Grascals will headline the first in a series of nightly concerts for next month's CMA Music Festival, formerly known as Fan Fair. However, since the $30 tickets went on sale at Ticketmaster here about two months before Dolly was announced as a performer, the main floor has long been sold out, and apparently the only club level tickets remaining are part of four-day passes instead of one-night tickets. Plenty of seats do remain available in the lower level of raised seats, however. Other headliners announced Thursday were Alan Jackson for June 10 and Wynonna for June 11. In a press release issued Thursday and available here, CMA Executive Director Ed Benson said: "Alan, Dolly and Wynonna have always put their fans first, which makes them ideal artists to perform at CMA Music Festival. They all have a strong history with this event. We are excited to have them return this year." The 8 p.m. concerts take place at The Coliseum, home of the Tennessee Titans, and while still cameras are allowed, video cameras and audio recording are prohibited. Each night ends with fireworks. The full line-up for the shows is as follows:
June 9 -- Dierks Bentley, Dolly and The Grascals, LeAnn Rimes, Julie Roberts, Sugarland, Keith Urban, Phil Vassar, Lee Ann Womack
June 10 -- Sara Evans, Josh Gracin, Alan Jackson, Craig Morgan, Rascal Flatts, SHeDAISY, Blake Shelton, Travis Tritt
June 11 -- Trace Adkins, Miranda Lambert, Jo Dee Messina, Joe Nichols, Kenny Rogers, Wynonna, Trisha Yearwood
June 12 -- Big & Rich, Cowboy Troy, Diamond Rio, Andy Griggs, Sawyer Brown, Van Zant, Gretchen Wilson
'Viva' Remains In Top 10, Other Duets See Gains Dolly and The Grascals' duet of "Viva Las Vegas" loses two spots to No. 10 in its 19th week on the 10-position country singles sales chart, according to the May 21 numbers released Thursday by Billboard. The Grascals, the CD which contains the song, falls out of the 15-position bluegrass albums chart, down from No. 15 the previous week in its 10th chart week. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, featuring her concert version of "Jolene," remains steady at No. 2 bluegrass in its ninth chart week and falls back off of the 75-position country albums chart, down from No. 74 the previous week, its fifth. Pushed by Mother's Day sales, Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, featuring Dolly on "Baby It's Cold Outside," jumps up a massive 47 points to No. 113 pop and 62 places to No. 116 comprehensive in its 29th week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with Dolly on "Creepin' In," also sees good gains for the week, up 33 digits to No. 121 pop and 47 notches to No. 124 comprehensive in its 65th chart week. Jo Dee Messina's Delicious Surprise remains at No. 1 country for its second week and falls nine places to No. 16 pop, while Rascal Flatts' Feels Like Today gains two to No. 2 country and is up five to No. 22 pop in its 32nd week. The American Idol finalists' cover of the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" remains at No. 1 for pop singles sales in its third week but loses four spots to No. 50 on the Hot 100 pop singles chart, which combines sales and airplay. In Canada, Jones' Feels Like Home returns to the pop 100 albums at No. 73 in its 66th chart week, up from No. 107, and Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III also returns to the list at No. 95 in its 29th chart week, up from No. 137.
E! Provides 'THS' Preview As they prepare to premiere Dolly's episode of the True Hollywood Story, E! on Thursday posted a fairly long preview clip of the show, featuring comments from Dolly herself and several of her celebrity friends offering their insights. View it on the network's page dedicated to the program here. The episode premieres at 8 p.m. Eastern Sunday on E!.
More On The Library For the third time in three days, news has come of another Tennessee county gearing up to adopt Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. According to The Dickson Herald, Dickson County commissioners are expected to approve a resolution to sign up for the program at their meeting next week. Read the story here.
'Idol' Worship For those not watching American Idol on FOX, there was a Dolly connection on Wednesday night. Immediately before announcing who was getting voted off the program that night, all four remaining finalists joined in to perform "Islands In The Stream," Dolly's 1983 platinum duet with Kenny Rogers.
May 12: UPDATE: Dolly To Do CMA Fest Staduim Show Dolly will kick-off this year's CMA Music Festival, formerly "Fan Fair," in Nashville with a concert, it was announced Thursday. Look for more details in Thursday night's update, but Dolly will headline the June 9 show with a concert also featuring The Grascals at The Coliseum, stadium to the Tennessee Titans. Other acts who will perform that night include Dierks Bentley, LeAnn Rimes, Julie Roberts, Sugarland, Keith Urban, Phil Vassar and Lee Ann Womack. Tickets, $30 each, are on sale now here.
Duet No Longer No. 1 Overseas After four entries at No. 1 on the European CMA country singles chart, Dolly's duet of "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" with Roy Rivers dips two spots to No. 3 in the April 29 chart (reflecting airplay through April 17), it was announced Wednesday. The song also drops 13 places to No. 17 for overall continental airplay for the week but gains 10 spaces to No. 4 in Belgium. In Spain, Germany and Austria, it logs the No. 11 spot, which is a re-entry to the top 20 country singles airplay tallies in the latter two nations and a seven-point drop in the former. Get the CD here! Arly Karlsen and Pat Roden's former six-week No. 1 cover of Porter & Dolly's "Please Don't Stop Loving Me" falls 14 digits to No. 90.
Another Tenn. Library Expansion Another Tennessee county is ready to take part in Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. The Humboldt Chronicle reports this week that Gibson County's three chambers of commerce and adult literacy council have banded together to sponsor the program there, which will kick off next Monday. Read the story here.
Looking For A Few Good (Uninhibited) Dollies Shania, Faith and Dolly as boob-baring rockers? Well, a casting agent has put out a call for look-a-likes of the three country divas for a new Las Vegas topless stage show titled "Sexy Women of Rock." Others they are seeking include impersonators of Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Janis Joplin, Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Cher and Janet Jackson, among others. Read a brief about the show in Crystal Lake, Ill., newspaper The Northwest Heraldhere.
May 11: E! Rolls Out Dolly Publicity E! Online on Tuesday launched its page dedicated to Dolly's upcoming episode of its True Hollywood Story series, complete with a quiz on the star herself (although it gets one question wrong, saying the doctor who delivered her was paid with a sack of potatoes while Dolly has always told the story as a sack of cornmeal). Visit the page here. Thanks, Christian! The hour-long Dolly profile premieres at 8 p.m. Eastern Sunday on cable network E!, and a preview which aired over the weekend showed that it contains a new interview with Dolly herself. In addition, the program description notes it includes interviews with former duet partners Porter Wagoner and Kenny Rogers, siblings and fellow singer/songwriters Randy and Stella and film co-stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. It repeats at 11 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. next Wednesday.
Vilanch Talks Up Dolly In 'Advocate' The May 24 issue of The Advocate features two Dolly-related items. First, columnist and humorist Bruce Vilanch, who has worked with Dolly numerous times over the years including a stint as a staff writer on her 1987-1988 variety series, offers a piece which describes in length why Dolly is "probably the gayest thing to come out of Tennessee" before moving into a school project there involving the Holocaust and finally voters there going to the polls next year on gay marriage. Read it here. The issue also refers to frequent Dollymania contributors Patric and Harrell to open a brief review of the Michael Joseph Gross book, Starstruck, which focuses on the lives of über-fans, including several Dolly devotees.
Library News Yet another Tennessee county is gearing up to join Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. The Gallatin News Examiner reports that Sumner County officials are expected next month to authorize bringing the project there. Read the story here. The program, active in more than 400 communities across 40 states, provides one free hardcover book per month to every child in a participating community whose parents sign up. In Tennessee, $2 million in state funding provides matching grants for counties raising the required $27-per-child annual costs from local sponsors, while the Dollywood Foundation administers the program and covers the overhead costs.
May 10: McLean, Dolly Single Released To Country Radio Now that it has had a fairly successful run on the Christian country charts, Kim McLean's duet with Dolly on "Angels And Eagles" from her CD Happy Face is being released this week to mainstream country radio. The song made its major country debut on the nationally-syndicated Big D & Bubba show Monday and should be delivered to stations nationwide before week's end. The single is already gaining airplay in Indianapolis, Spokane, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Houston and Beaumont markets, I'm told, so you can probably call your local station in the next few days and request it. Thanks, Devon!
Dolly In Print The new issue of Country Weekly magazine is hitting newsstands this week, and -- as usual -- there are a few Dolly notes included. Her recent appearance on The Grand Ole Opry is mentioned in the Opry column, predictions for next Tuesday's Academy of Country Music Awards guess that Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss' "Whiskey Lullaby" will win Vocal Event Of The Year over Dolly and Norah Jones' duet "Creepin' In," and the flashback feature profiles a May issue from a decade ago featuring Dolly on the cover for the 10th season opening of Dollywood and premiere of its Jukebox Junction section.
'Miss' Falls For Weekend Sandra Bullock's motion picture Miss Congeniality 2: Armed And Fabulous, featuring a Dolly cameo, falls three spots to No. 16 for weekend box office grosses in the U.S., it was announced Monday. The film took in $531,000 for the weekend, which when combined with an additional $300,000 during the week, raises its total gross since opening to $46.7 million. Also, Warner Brothers has announced that the two-disc deluxe DVD set coming out when the film is released for purchase on June 21 will actually be one DVD and one CD featuring the movie soundtrack rather than an extra disc of special features. Reserve your copy here with the soundtrack and here without.
May 9: 'Little Miss Dynamite' Calls On Dolly For Duet Dolly is recording a duet with Brenda Lee, the diminutive singer tells the Lancaster, Pa., Sunday News. In a profile, Lee announced that her next project will be a CD of gospel duets with other artists including Dolly, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Travis Tritt, George Jones and Martina McBride. Dolly and Lee's voices appeared together on a couple of songs on the 1982 Monument album The Winning Hand, but the project used Dolly's vocals from her time on the label in the 1960s and new recordings by Lee and other artists to create duets, so this would be their first time to actually record together. Read the story here.
Catch Another 'Opry' Re-Run If you missed its original airings, cable and satellite music network Great American Country (GAC) has announced it will repeat its broadcast of Dolly's April 23 hosting duties at The Grand Ole Opry as part of its salute to the troops for Memorial Day Weekend. The show is set to air at 8 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, May 28. In addition to Dolly and The Grascals, Jo Dee Messina and Hanna-McEuen, the show featured special guest Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in the audience and servicemen and servicewomen live via satellite from Iraq to recognize the weekly Opry program being broadcast live on Armed Forces Television starting earlier that month.
Stewart Returns To Chart After a couple of months off the chart Down Under, Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, featuring Dolly on the duet "Baby It's Cold Outside," re-enters the Australian pop albums chart this week at No. 47 for a 20th week, it was announced Sunday.
Paper: Dollywood No. 1 The Bristol Herald Courier in Bristol, Va., over the weekend released its list of the region's top 10 "must-sees," and Dollywood came in at No. 1. Read the entire list here. However, the park may have some competition in future years. The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported Sunday that a group of Orlando-area investors have announced plans for a 114-acre development described as theme park-like in Pigeon Forge which promises to "immerse" visitors in the Smoky Mountains. Pigeon Falls Village would consist mostly of hotels and condominiums but also feature a water park, miniature golf course, retail stores and an "interactive entertainment facility," the newspaper reported here.
Dolly Pals To Be 'Canned' And a couple of Dolly-related acts will grace a soft drink can soon. Pepsi each year produces a special Mountain Dew can for the annual FiddleFest, the late-July concert festival in Roanoke, Va. This year's can will include The Grascals and Randy Kohrs. Of course, the former toured with Dolly last fall and include her on their debut single, "Viva Las Vegas," and the latter served as a member of Dolly's 2002 touring band The Blueniques and includes her on his current single, "It Looked Good On Paper" from his CD I'm Torn. Also appearing on the can will be Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time and Lou Reid and Carolina. About 1.5 million cans will be distributed in June throughout the Carolinas, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Kentucky. Thanks, Ryan!
May 6: 'Viva' Still In Top 10 "Viva Las Vegas" by Dolly and The Grascals slips one spot to No. 8 in its 18th week on the country singles sales chart, according to the May 14 tally released Thursday by Billboard. The CD on which the single appears, The Grascals, earns a 10th week on the bluegrass albums chart, falling three to No. 15 on the 15-position chart. Rhonda Vincent's concert CD, Ragin' Live, with her version of "Jolene," remains steady at No. 2 bluegrass in its eighth chart week and re-enters the 75-position country albums chart at No. 74 for a fifth week. Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, and its Dolly duet on "Baby It's Cold Outside," drops two digits to No. 160 pop and No. 178 comprehensive in its 28th week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with its Dolly duet of "Creepin' In," falls 11 places to No. 154 pop and 14 spaces to No. 171 comprehensive in its 64th chart week. Jo Dee Messina's Delicious Surprise debuts at No. 1 country and No. 7 pop with 99,000 copies sold in its first week, while Larry the Cable Guy's The Right To Bare Arms ends its four-week reign at No. 1 by slipping to No. 2 country in its fifth week but remains steady at No. 21 pop. The American Idol finalists' cover of the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" remains at No. 1 for pop singles sales in its second week but falls seven places to No. 46 on the Hot 100 pop singles chart, which combines sales and airplay. In Canada, Jones' Feels Like Home falls back out of the pop 100 albums, down from No. 96 last week in its 64th chart week there.
The Brits Love Dollywood Dollywood gets a great little profile on the British travel site This Is Travel this week, including quotes from an interview the writer conducted with Dolly during the park's season opening this year. Be sure to click "next page" at the bottom to continue to the second page! Read it here.
And The Brits Love Dolly I'm told the new issue of British magazine Hello (May 12) contains a five-page spread about Dolly including three photos and an accompanying story. The publication's Web site doesn't provide the story or any shots from it, but it does note that its emphasis is that Dolly "talks candidly about staying sexy as she prepares to turn 60." Thanks, Suzanne!
May 5: 'Miss' DVD Coming In June In Four Versions Fans wanting to own Dolly's hilarious cameo in the current Sandra Bullock film Miss Congeniality 2: Armed And Fabulous will have many choices next month, as Warner Brothers has announced it will release four versions on DVD. While there aren't any details yet on what special features will be offered, the motion picture will be sold starting June 21 in a one-disc version in both standard screen size (reserve your copy here) and widescreen (reserve your copy here) as well as a deluxe two-disc version, again available in both standard screen size (reserve your copy here) and widescreen (reserve your copy here). The film is still in theatres.
Another Library Expansion Announced Yet another Tennessee county is ready to partake of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, and its biggest supporter in state government will be there to see them off. Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.) is scheduled to kick-off the library in Hawkins County on May 13 at the First United Methodist Church in Church Hill, Tenn., The Rogersville Review reported Wednesday. Read the story here.
Mandrell Leaving Pigeon Forge For eight years, a favorite non-Dollywood stop for visitors to Dolly's theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., has been the very energetic and very entertaining Louise Mandrell show at the Louise Mandrell Theatre in town, but fans will only have a few more months to catch the city's other resident diva live. The Associated Press reports this week that Mandrell has sold her theatre and will continue to perform there only through New Year's Eve. She is moving back to Nashville to care for her husband, John Haywood, who is fighting a rare disease, the report says. Read it in The Tennesseanhere.
Friend Talks Of Dolly In Paper My good friend Jamie Howard, who happens to be Dolly's second cousin, has a small profile in Tennessee's Out And About newspaper this month discussing growing up and working in Sevier County as part of Dolly's extended family. Visit their site here and click on "Current Issue" to open a PDF version of the publication. Jamie's story is located on page 34.
May 3: Hazel Talks Opry, Cyndi Sends Pics CMT.com's Hazel Smith dedicated most of her "Hot Dish" column this week to Dolly's appearance at The Grand Ole Opry. Read it here. On a related note, thanks to Cyndi for sending in a few more of her shots from the show, which have been added to that section here!
Grascals Get Magazine Cover The Grascals, Dolly's opening act and backing band from her fall tour, find themselves on the cover of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine for May with a feature story that includes several references to Dolly. Notably, band member Terry Eldredge gushes over their sometimes boss, saying: "Thank God for Dolly Parton. Man, she is so sweet. She cares. She's as real as a blue sky or a rainy day." He adds that she is "probably the greatest musician I've ever worked with. Most people think of a musician as someone who plays something, but a musician is songwriting, singing, playing, and arrangement—there are four or five categories. She hears stuff and she knows exactly what she wants, and it's right every time." Read the lengthy article here.
'Miss' Holds Steady Miss Congeniality 2: Armed And Fabulous, the Sandra Bullock film with a Dolly cameo, holds steady at No. 13 for weekend box office grosses in the U.S., it was announced Monday. The film took in $1.0 million for the weekend, which when combined with an additional $400,000 during the week, raises its total gross since opening to $45.9 million.
May 2: Dolly Rises 11 Places On Tenn. Power Meter Dolly's standing as one of the most powerful people in her home state has risen, according to the new list of the 100 most powerful people in Tennessee released recently by Business Tennessee magazine. Dolly, who came in at No. 47 last year, is listed at No. 36 for 2005, noting her as "Tennessee's triple threat: One of the state's most-recognized entertainers, leading tourism spokesperson and champion of children's literacy," in addition to her continued career as a singer, songwriter, actress and head of Dollywood. Last year's No. 1, Dolly pal Gov. Phil Bredesen, slips to No. 2 for the year, and 2004 No. 2 man U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist slips falls to No. 3. Federal Express founder Fred Smith comes in at No. 1 this year. Dolly is the only entertainer in the top 100.
Stanley Covers Dolly Song Bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley will be putting his stamp on a Dolly spiritual, it has been announced. "Shine On," which Dolly wrote and recorded a capella for her 1998 CD Hungry Again (she also performed it at Tammy Wynette's funeral that year, and it had appeared briefly the year before in the background of a scene in the film The Apostle) , will serve as the title track to his first collection of new recordings in three years, to be released June 7, according to Rebel Records. Stanley and Dolly recorded the song "Loving You Too Well" as a duet for his 2001 CD Clinch Mountain Sweethearts.
More Opry Photos Posted A few more shots from last month's Grand Ole Opry appearance have been added to that section of the site here thanks to the addition of the first gallery of photos from professional photographer Cyndi Hornsby, who promises a few more soon. Thanks, Cyndi!