May 31: 'Barbie' Tour Gets Detroit-Area Show Dolly's coming to the Motor City! Detroit radio station WYCD on Friday morning was the first to announce her Aug. 13 concert at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in nearby Clarkston. Thanks, Ron! Later in the day, Dolly's management released the date to concert listing service PollStar. Tickets go on sale to the public a week from Saturday, so I would expect a Dolly-ite pre-sale to be announced in a few days.
CMT Chart Update The video for "Jesus & Gravity" by Dolly manages this week to hold onto the No. 2 spot on the Pure 12 Pack countdown on CMT's digital channel, Pure Country. It marks the video's fifth week on the chart there. Vote for it in the regular CMT countdown here and 12 Pack here.
Dolly Among Wainwright's Idols Martha Wainwright, singer-songwriter and member of the famous Wainwright musical family (dad is Loudon Wainwright III, brother Rufus arranged Dolly's "My Blue Tears" for a friend's recent album and mother Kate McGarrigle is a frequent Emmylou Harris collaborator), admires Dolly as one of the three top musical influences in her career. "Performance-wise, I guess I've always looked up to someone like Dolly Parton who is just such a great singer," she tells Music OMHhere. Her other vocal influences are Chrissie Hynde and Edith Piaf. For songwriting, her hero is Bob Dylan.
May 30: Cook Up, Dolly Down In Charts Although Dolly's chart performance this week as a singer is down, her numbers as a songwriter are on the rise, thanks to American Idol. The show's champion, David Cook, lands multiple entries on the various singles charts in the first week that the program allowed sales figures on its contestants' recordings to be released. Among the tracks is his version of "Little Sparrow" from the season's episode in tribute to Dolly. The song debuts at No. 66 for digital downloads, No. 1 on the Bubbling Under The Hot 100 list (essentially meaning No. 101 for the all-genre song chart), No. 79 on the pop 100, No. 74 Canadian digital singles sales and No. 96 on the Canadian Hot 100 in the June 7 Billboard numbers released Thursday. Dolly's Backwoods Barbie album drops seven to No. 36 country in its 14th week and falls off of the 50-position independent labels albums chart, down from No. 30 in its 12th week. The disc also falls out of the top 50 in the Canadian country tally. Elsewhere on the charts, her 16 Biggest Hits dips one to No. 42 U.S. country albums in its 33rd chart week. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, featuring "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Dolly, inches down one to No. 16 on the country catalog albums list, and the compilation, God Bless the USA, with her "Color Me America," falls one to No. 60 country in its fourth week. The self-titled debut album by Dancing With The Stars star Julianne Hough debuts at No. 1 country, No. 3 pop with 67,000 copies sold in its first week, while the self-titled debut CD from Taylor Swift remains steady at No. 2 country and loses one to No. 12 pop in its 83rd week.
Dolly's Head Heads Exhibit If you received a priceless collection of more than 150 original photographs, many depicting the world's top cultural icons, all taken by one of America's most celebrated pop artists, whose image would you choose to represent the bunch? Dolly, of course! Valparaiso University's Brauer Museum of Art selected a Polaroid of her taken in 1985 for Andy Warhol's portraits of her as the one piece from its new Warhol collection to show in a "New Acquisitions Exhibition" on display through Aug. 4, according to The Munster Times in Indiana here. A larger selection of the Warhol items will be shown in a new exhibit slated to run Dec. 13 to March 22, but until then, Dolly's is the one shot up for viewing.
Mind Your Ps and Qs Thanks to Gerard for alerting me to a "fab" Q&A with Dolly in the new issue of British music magazine Q. In addition to the usual questions, she discusses the positive effects that a lack of sunbathing has had on her skin and jokes that she threw her back out (and postponed her tour) picking up a lucky penny.
Reynolds Talks Of Her Own 'Triple Ds' Debbie Reynolds was on hand this week in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., to celebrate the "topping off" ceremony at the construction site for the future Belle Island resort. Reynolds will place her multi-million dollar collection of Hollywood memorabilia in a permanent museum at the facility a little ways from Dollywood and couldn't resist making some breast comparisons between herself and Dolly while in town. Read what she had to say in The Knoxville News-Sentinelhere.
Another Who Says Dolly Serves As Example Rissi Palmer, who has garnered a lot of attention over the past year as an African American female trying to make it in country music, says the career she would most like to emulate is that of Dolly. "She is hands on with everything that she does," Palmer explains to Country Stars Centralhere. "She writes all of her music, she's a personality, she's an actress, and she's everything. She is still very real, and true to who she is!"
Library Chapter Celebrates Sullivan County, Tenn., celebrated the milestone this week of distributing its 150,000th book to a local child as part of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. Read more about it from the Bristol Herald Courierhere.
May 28: Porter Collection Track Listing Announced RCA Victor Europe has released the track listing for the upcoming compilation Duets with Porter Wagoner. Also, the release date for the CD has been moved back. Originally slated to come out June 2, it is now scheduled for release June 16 (although Amazon U.S. shows a June 10 release, apparently in error). While other albums in the label's "Duets" series have featured 16 tracks, this one will have one extra for a total of 17. The tracks are:
The Last Thing On My Mind
Holding On To Nothin'
We'll Get Ahead Someday
I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby
Just Someone I Used To Know
Tomorrow Is Forever
Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man
Better Move It On Home
The Right Combination
Burning The Midnight Oil
We Found It
Say Forever You'll Be Mine
If Teardrops Were Pennies
Please Don't Stop Loving Me
Tour List Updated Dolly's official music website, DollyPartonMusic.net, on Tuesday updated its tour itinerary, adding the Aug. 4 Sacramento concert reported here on Friday (as a reminder, Dolly-ite pre-sales begin Wednesday morning). The website's concert listing also finally added her June 25 Belfast show and scheduled meet-and-greet contest entry times for it, nearly four months after the concert was announced.
May 27: New Dallas Pictures Posted Thanks to Paige for sending in some shots from Dolly's recent Dallas concert. Check them out here!
'Hannah' Learns From Dolly Little Miley Ray Cyrus continues to sing the praises of godmother Dolly. In an interview posted with DNA India, she commented: "It was really awesome for all of us to get to watch Dolly Parton and see how she treats people. She is the nicest person you will ever meet. She's had such an amazing success, She's from Tennessee too, so it's good to see her success, knowing that that can happen to a small-town girl is awesome." Read the interview here.
Library Happenings Up North, Way North The governor of Alaska may not think much of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, or maybe it's pork politics that have her goat, because she nixed $90,000 from the state budget which had been earmarked by local legislators for the Anchorage chapter of the program. It was part of a large, 10 percent cut from the budget which impacted mostly projects inserted by local lawmakers for their hometowns. Read about it here from The Anchorage Daily News. On the other hand, Fairbanks, a few hundred miles away in the state, officially kicked off its participation in the project over the weekend. Read about that from The Fairbanks Daily News-Minerhere. And few thousand miles away, The Memphis Daily News touts the program's success in that community and statewide in Tennessee with a profile here.
May 24: Dolly To Hit Sacramento Although I haven't seen any mention of it yet from DollyPartonMusic.net, Ticketmaster on Friday revealed the date and pre-sale information for the next show to be announced for the second U.S. leg of her 2008-2009 Backwoods Barbie World Tour this fall. She will play ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif., on Aug. 4. Members of the website's online fan club, the Dolly-ites, will get pre-sale access beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific time Wednesday, with tickets going on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Pacific time next Saturday. Also, thanks to Toni for sending in "Mom's" shots from Dolly's Atlantic City concert (here and here) and New York City (here, here and here).
'Jesus' Off Christian Chart, Up On CMT Digital After four weeks on the PowerSource magazine Christian country singles chart, Dolly's "Jesus & Gravity" falls out of the 20-position tally this week, it was revealed Friday. The track dropped from No. 18 the previous week. However, over on CMT's digital channel, Pure Country, Dolly's video for the song gains nine places to No. 2 in its fourth week on the Pure 12 Pack, the network revealed Friday. Vote for it in the regular CMT countdown here and 12 Pack here.
CMT Talks Dollywood CMT.com just loves it some Dollywood! The website raves about the park and its recent additions in a news story posted here Friday.
May 23: 'Barbie' Gone Again From Pop Charts Although it made a brief re-appearance last week, Dolly's Backwoods Barbie CD is once again gone from the pop tallies in the May 31 numbers released Thursday, down from No. 168 pop in its ninth week on that list and No. 196 comprehensive in its eighth week on that chart. The album slips one to No. 29 country in its 13th week and falls 10 to No. 30 in its 12th week on the independent label albums chart. (The Canadian charts weren't updated on Thursday.) Elsewhere on the charts, her 16 Biggest Hits rises two to No. 41 U.S. country albums in its 32nd chart week. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," gains one to No. 15 on the country catalog albums list, and the compilation, God Bless the USA, featuring Dolly's "Color Me America," holds steady at No. 59 country in its third week. Toby Keith's 35 Biggest Hits remains steady at No. 1 country but falls seven to No. 9 pop with 41,000 copies sold in its second week, while the self-titled debut CD from Taylor Swift rebounds one to No. 2 country and remains steady at No. 11 pop in its 82nd week.
Site: Get Meet-And-Greets In Europe Dolly is offering meet-and-greets for the European leg of her 2008-2009 Backwoods Barbie World Tour, her official music website, DollyPartonMusic.net, announced on Thursday. Members of the website's online fan club, the Dolly-ites, will be able to register for a chance at backstage passes starting next week. In addition, members may enter a separate contest for a chance to win tickets to a concert in June or July on the tour. Presumably, the meet-and-greet contests will work the same as the ones for the first U.S. leg of the tour, where fans had 24 hours to submit an entry, with two winners randomly chosen for each concert. It is worth noting, however, that the website appears to continue to be unaware of Dolly's second date in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is part of the tour. Although the official promoters of the Irish segment of the tour announced the date three and a half months ago, and tickets went on sale three months ago, DollyPartonMusic.net has yet to add it to its site's tour itinerary and consequently does not include the June 25 show in its meet-and-greet application schedule or the contest to win tickets. In other news, the site appears to have corrected whatever coding error was causing most fans to be unable for the past week to access its front page.
Dolly: See You At Park In Fall, Winter Dolly has confirmed she will not be at Dollywood this summer but does plan to likely make appearances again in the fall and winter. The comments were made during an interview via satellite Thursday on Nashville's Talk Of The Town program on NewsChannel 5. In the segment, she also talked of the new CD, her world tour, the upcoming Broadway musical, American Idol and her PSA commercials for the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Watch the interview online here. (Be sure to have pop-ups unblocked to for it to open.)
May 22: Paper Updates Status Of Rambo's Crew The celebrities column in Wednesday's The Tennessean updated the status of those injured in the bus accident which claimed the life of Dolly's friend Dottie Rambo. Dolly pal Larry Ferguson, Rambo's manager, will be released from the hospital and back home in Nashville later this week to continue his recuperation, the paper reported. As was previously noted, his wife Judy and their sons, Christian and Pierce, had previously been released from the hospital and suffered only minor injuries. Remaining hospitalized are bus driver Ronnie Meadows, in critical but stable condition following several surgeries, and Ferguson's assistant, Chris Barnes, in critical condition. Read the item here.
Dolly In Print I understand the recent Dolly homecoming at Dollywood is covered with several photos in the new issue of Country Weekly magazine. Run out and get one today!
May 21: 'Jesus' Doesn't Return This Week Dolly's current single, "Jesus & Gravity," will not return to the country singles chart this week, the early data from Billboard show. The track, which has logged just five weeks on the tally and reached only No. 56 on the 60-position chart, fell back off again last week, down from No. 57 the week before. Although it appears from other radio tracking services that airplay increased slightly last week, it wasn't enough for the song to get back into the top 60.
'9 To 5' Gets Press LA.com covers the upcoming premiere of 9 To 5: The Musical with a story here Tuesday. Read what Dolly, the producer and the actor playing Mr. Hart have to say about the show.
'Starting Over' Story Told Ever wonder how Dolly came to record Donna Summer's "Starting Over Again" back in 1980? Well, Summer tells the story in an interview from PopMattershere of how she and her husband came to write the true story of her in-laws' divorce and how Dolly was exposed to it even though it had never been recorded.
Dottie Remembered The Tennessean reported Tuesday on the celebration of the life of Dolly's friend Dottie Rambo at her memorial service Monday in Nashville. Read the story here.
Mountain Soul Winners Announced For the first time, two locals won the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition, the national talent show in Dolly's native Sevierville, Tenn., which features only songs written by Dolly. Gabrielle Ambrose, 16, of Seymour, was named first place in the 13-and-up division for singing "High And Mighty." Willow Osborne, a Pigeon Forge 7-year-old, won first place in the under-12 category with "Applejack," for which she accompanied herself on the banjo. Both girls won a season pass to Dollywood and a guitar autographed by Dolly herself. Ambrose also won recording time in a Nashville studio and $500, while Osborne received $100. Read more from The Seymour Heraldhere.
New Dollywood Images Another set of galleries from contributing photographer Jason Worley covering Dolly's Dollywood appearance last month have been added to that section of the site here, and, no, we're still not done yet!
May 20: Stern Apologizes . . . Kinda, Sorta In his first broadcast since Dolly released a statement condemning his joke at her expense using doctored audio of her voice to create a vulgar, sexual, racist commentary on his radio program, Howard Stern told audiences Monday that he feels "weird" that Dolly is upset about the incident. That's as close as he came to an apology, though. "It's an absurd bit. It's obviously parody and it's funny as hell," he said. "I like the woman. I don't have any malice towards her. But I am sure she didn't hear this. If she did, you would go 'It's patently absurd.' She's had this long career and I always thought she was kinda hot. She's a doll. I'm even complemented that I would be on her radar and that she knew my name." He added that she's welcome to sue him, but he doesn't think she has an "actionable case," explaining how his lawsuit over doctored photos that placed him in a sexual pose was thrown out on the grounds that they constituted parody. He ended by saying she'd be welcome to come on the show anytime, they could play her the tape and he thinks she would laugh. After a pause, he added, "Well, maybe she wouldn't." I'm told that normally when celebrities who are the butt of his jokes criticize his humor, he continues to torment them on the air, and when a segment from his show makes the news, he almost always replays the segment to give that day's listeners context of what they're discussing, but in this instance, he did neither, a departure from his usual routine. AOL covers the development here. Thanks to Al for several details from the broadcast that weren't included in AOL's report. Meanwhile, another Tennessee newspaper has called to mind the formerly ubiquitous YouTube clip on Britney Spears with its editorial calling on Stern to "leave Dolly alone!" Read this one, from The Jackson Sun, here.
Rambo's Services Held Gospel legend Dottie Rambo was laid to rest Monday in Nashville with a public memorial service and private entombment. Public visitation was offered over the weekend, and I'm told that attendees were able to view a beautiful large arrangement of white and pink flowers with butterflies sent by close friend Dolly with a brief statement of sympathy. It was displayed adjacent to an arrangement sent by their mutual friend Lily Tomlin. Thanks, Ryan.
Get Your Orders In! Two Dolly-related titles are now available for advance ordering from Amazon.com. Judy Collins' self-produced tribute CD, Born To The Breed, is here for a July 15 release (for some reason, Amazon is showing it as an import, but it should be available as a U.S. release as well) and the upcoming George Jones collection Burn Your Playhouse Down, with a previously-unreleased Dolly duet from the vaults, will hit stores July 8 and is available here. Thanks, Tony!
May 19: More Dollywood Shots Available Now that Dolly has finished up the first leg of her tour and is on a bit of a break, there's time to continue coverage of her stop last month at Dollywood! Check out new galleries from contributing photographer Jason Worley in that section of the site here!
Latest On Stern Nashville's The Tennessean on Sunday offered a column warning Howard Stern to leave Dolly alone. "What do Dolly Parton and Howard Stern have in common?" the writer asked. "Nothing. She is class. He's an ass." The columnist continued to say that he had no excuse for using Dolly in his joke because "she's done nothing on God's earth but good." Read more here.
Musical's Website Updates The website for the upcoming production 9 To 5: The Musical has been updated to include streaming video footage of Dolly singing the title track during her House of Blues preview party for the show (click on "Video") in addition to a video message from Dolly that plays on its main page. (And if you click on "Tickets" to visit the theater's website for its L.A. premiere, you can listen to a new version of the song by Dolly re-written as an advertisement. Tickets have been on sale for season subscribers for a couple of months and go on sale to the public for single events on June 3.) Visit the site here!
May 17: ACM: No Dolly This Weekend Dolly will not make it to Sunday's Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards in Las Vegas, an ACM spokesperson has confirmed to Dollymania. The reason given for her pulling out of the program was "she had a conflict." The ACMs had announced a month ago in a press release that Dolly would be one of the night's performers, repeating that in a subsequent April 22 press release. It was later learned that she intended to sing her current single "Jesus & Gravity," on the program. You may recall that on Sunday, Dollymania was the first media outlet to speculate that she may be a no-show for the awards after noticing that her name was missing from the list of performers in a May 8 ACM press release. Now, the ACMs have confirmed she is, in fact, not going to appear.
Emmy Song Revealed Dolly's contribution to Emmylou Harris' upcoming CD, All I Intended To Be, is now known, thanks to Mix magazine. The publication notes she and Vince Gill sing harmony on the Harris-penned track "Gold," which is described as a stripped-down, three-chords-and-the-truth country tune. Harris also tells the magazine here that Dolly so loved the microphone they were using in the studio that she and her producer, Brian Ahern, decided to let her take it home as a gift. The CD hits stores June 10 on Nonesuch Records. Thanks, Tony!
Down On Pure Country After one week at No. 1 on the countdown for CMT's digital channel, Pure Country, Dolly's video for "Jesus & Gravity" tumbles 10 spots to No. 11 in its third week on the Pure 12 Pack, the network revealed Friday. Vote for it in the regular CMT countdown here and 12 Pack here!
Music Website Having Trouble Several fans have contacted Dollymania over the past couple of days expressing problems accessing Dolly's official music website, DollyPartonMusic.net. It appears that something on the site's main page is coded incorrectly and therefore conflicting with the latest Windows update of Internet Explorer, resulting in an error message and refusal of the program to load the page. If you enter the site by visiting one of its inside pages, such as the news page, there aren't any problems. Hopefully, the company that operates the site on behalf of Dolly's management will correct the problem soon.
May 16: 'Backwoods Barbie' Rises On Charts Dolly's Backwoods Barbie saw a slight sales bump last week which allows it to re-enter the top 200 pop albums chart after several weeks below the No. 200 cutoff. The album comes back at No. 168 for a ninth chart week on that tally, also returning at No. 196 on the all-genre comprehensive albums chart, earning an eighth week there. On the country albums side, the CD holds steady at No. 28 in its 12th week. It gains nine to No. 20 in its 11th week on the independent labels albums chart. It re-enters the top 50 Canadian country albums chart, rising nine to No. 47 in its 11th week on the top 100. As was previously reported here, the project's second single, "Jesus & Gravity," falls back off the 60-positon country singles tally after returning the previous week at No. 57 for a fifth week. However, the song rises two to No. 18 on the PowerSource magazine chart of Christian country singles. In other chart developments, her 16 Biggest Hits slips four to No. 43 U.S. country albums in its 31st chart week, while The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 falls out of the top No. 50 country albums list in Canada, down from No. 50. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, which includes the Dolly collaboration "When I Get Where I'm Going," bumps up two to No. 16 on the country catalog albums list. The compilation, God Bless the USA, with Dolly on "Color Me America," holds steady at No. 59 country in its second week. Toby Keith's 35 Biggest Hits debuts at No. 1 country, No. 2 pop with 103,000 units sold in its first week, while Dierks Bentley's Greatest Hits: Every Mile a Memory debuts at No. 2 country, No. 9 pop with 43,000 copies in its first week.
Tour Numbers Continue To Grow Billboard's BoxScore concert tracker has three more Dolly dates in the list this week. It states that her two-night engagement in Chicago May 8 and 9 was 85 percent sold out and grossed $524,378. The April 29 concert in Atlanta was 90 percent sold out and grossed $309,791. And May 7 in Minneapolis was just 65 sold out and grossed $199,400. Cumulatively, the seven reported dates thus far out of the 13 total for this first tour leg total 24,500 audience members and a gross of $1.9 million.
May 15: 'Gravity' Loses Its Power, Again A week after returning to the charts again, Dolly's single "Jesus & Gravity" is once again gone. The song will fall back off the 60-position country singles chart dated May 24, Billboard revealed Wednesday. The previous week, the song had stood at No. 57 in its fifth chart week. That week, it logged 67 spins at reporting radio stations for an audience of 477,000. However, for the week of May 5-11, it ranked below the No. 60 song, which had 53 spins and an audience of 463,000. Meanwhile, the CD containing the track, Backwoods Barbie, will get its official European launch on June 9 in advance of the portion of her world tour there, it was announced Wednesday. The album has been available from most retailers there as an import since its February U.S. release. Check out a story from NMEhere.
Dolly 'Devastated' By Stern Prank Shock jock Howard Stern got on the wrong side of the Iron Butterfly this week, sparking Dolly's ire over a comedy sketch on his Sirius satellite radio program. The segment, which actually aired last week, started making rounds this week on YouTube, and the attention prompted Dolly to issue a statement condemning it. In the segment, Stern's staff took words and portions of words from the audiobook version of her 1994 autobiography My Life And Other Unfinished Business and spliced them together to create a profanity-filled rant with racist overtones in which several negative remarks were made about her friends. The Tennesseanhere characterized the skit as: "We're not talking mildly upsetting, either. This stuff is filthy. So nasty that we can't even paraphrase it for you." Even one of Stern's own co-stars on his radio program found the comments too vulgar to repeat when asked about them later, according to E! Online here. Dolly's statement earned a tremendous amount of press on Wednesday, such as the item from Billboard magazine here, which includes a link to the YouTube posting. (Fans have asked how to register their displeasure over the incident. The Howard Stern Show may be e-mailed at SternShow@HowardStern.com and contacted by phone at 1-888-927-7465. Satellite service Sirius may be contacted through its website here.) Dolly's complete statement on the matter was as follows:
"I have never been so shocked, hurt and humiliated in all my life. I cannot believe what Howard Stern has done to me. In a blue million years, I would never have such vulgar things come out of my mouth. They have done editing or some sort of trickery to make this horrible, horrible thing. Please accept my apology for them and certainly know I had nothing to do with this. If there was ever going to be a lawsuit, it's going to be over this. Just wanted you to know that I am completely devastated by this."
Dottie Funds Created Two funds have been established in the wake of Sunday morning's bus accident which claimed the life of close Dolly friend and gospel music legend Dottie Rambo. The first, the Dottie Rambo Memorial Fund, is accepting gifts in Rambo's memory. Checks may be mailed to P.O. Box 50508, Nashville, TN 37205. The second, created to assist the crash's victims with medical expenses, is accepting gifts at Citizens National Bank, ATTN: Marsha Henry, 3212 South Glenstone Avenue, Springfield, MO 65804. Checks to the second fund should be made payable to the Larry Ferguson Fund. Ferguson, who was Rambo's manager, was one of the others in the vehicle who suffered injuries. The others were his wife Judy, their sons Pierce and Christian, driver Ronnie Meadows and Chris Barnes, Ferguson's assistant. The children were released from the hospital on Tuesday morning, according to a statement from their mother which was posted on Rambo's official website here. Her ministry has also established a website here for fans to post memories and comments about her.
Radio Dolly This hasn't been confirmed, but I'm told that Dolly reportedly will have an interview on Indianapolis station WFMS 95.5 FM around 7 a.m. Friday. Check out the station online here to listen. Thanks, Dawn!
Splash Country Opening Soon Get ready to get wet! Dollywood's Splash Country water park opens for its 2008 season on Saturday with the new $1 million SwiftWater Run addition this year. The 35-acre park adjacent to Dollywood is kicking off its eighth season.
May 14: Dallas Photos Posted Special thanks to Harrell for sending in several galleries of great shots from Dolly's Dallas concert over the weekend, including the image at left. Take a look at them here, here, here and here. In addition, the Ft. Worth Star Telegram reviewed the show here. and said it was the best way to spend Mother's Day. Her classic were called "beloved hits" and her new tracks "fresh selections." Although the reviewer thought her early stops and starts due to storytelling between songs was a bit uneven, she soon settled into a good rhythm which "provided an intimacy you don't often feel from artists of her caliber." He thought, though, that her pop leanings ("the whiz-bang fluff") could have been replaced by more of the "earnest, uncluttered work" of her more natural music.
Rambo Services Set Dolly friend Dottie Rambo's arrangements have been made, according to Singing News. A public service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at Christ Church in Nashville. Tentative visitation is scheduled Saturday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home in Nashville. A private visitation for close friends and family will take place at the church prior to the service, and private entombment at the Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Memorial Park mausoleum will take place for family only afterward. Meanwhile, additional friends are offering their remembrances. The Lexington Herald-Leader in Rambo's native Kentucky quoted Wynonna Judd here calling her "the Dolly Parton of gospel music." Lily Tomlin, a close mutual friend of both hers and Dolly's, told the newspaper: "You can imagine how shocking it is to lose her this way. She was just such a bright presence in our lives." Rambo was close friends with Tomlin's mother in Nashville, visiting her often in her final days and singing at her funeral when she passed away. As was previously reported, Rambo, the gospel legend, died Sunday morning in a bus accident in Missouri.
Dolly On TV Check out a cute little interview with Dolly on Knoxville's TV 8 posted here Tuesday, which includes the note that she's planning to work later this year on a sequel to her autobiography.
Jo Dee Loves Dolly Who are Jo Dee Messina's musical influences? In an interview with Country Stars Central this week, she tells my friend Christian that it was Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Dolly and Tammy Wynette. "I love singer/songwriters," she explained. Read her entire interview here.
May 13: Triumph In Dallas The Dallas Morning News on Monday said Dolly's show wrapping up the first leg of her new world tour was phenomenal, asking here how in the world could anyone not enjoy a Dolly concert. I know one fan who certainly enjoyed it very much, as Kerry Williams Brown was one of the winners of backstage passes to meet Dolly at the show through her online fan club, the Dolly-ites. Special appreciation for her sending in her photo at left (click on it for a larger version), and thanks as well to Tim Diamond for sending in his shots from backstage at Thursday's Chicago show here and here. Also, check out a commentary about the Chicago concert noting a belief that Dolly was just "born gifted" with her musical talent from the CMT blogs here. Look for more great images from Dallas coming soon, too!
'Jesus' Hits No. 1 On Pure Country CMT.com on Monday finally updated its online listing of the 12 Pack countdown on its Pure Country digital channel, showing that Dolly's video for "Jesus & Gravity" gains two to reach the No. 1 spot in its second week on the tally. Vote for it in the regular countdown here and 12 Pack here!
Stamp It! Wanna see Dolly get cancelled, literally? Well, the Post Office would be glad to take care of that for you. Thanks to Lemar for letting me know that the General Store at Dollywood has added a new treat for fans: Dolly stamps. The actual postage stamps bear Dolly's headshot taken from the current publicity picture at left and are being sold for about $10 per sheet. And if you want to use them, they're real postage!
More On Dottie Memories of gospel legend Dottie Rambo continued to be heard Monday following her untimely passing in an automobile accident on Sunday morning. Gene Higgins, president of the Christian Country Music Association, noted: "Her legacy will go on. Her songs will continue to minister until Jesus returns." Michael W. Smith told The Tennesseanhere "I look at it as we really lost a legend," while Gospel Music Association CEO John Styll told the paper she was "one of the most prolific songwriters the gospel music community has ever seen." Watch the music video for her duet with Dolly, "Stand By The River," here. In addition, the complete text of Dolly's statement on her death is posted below:
"Dottie was a dear friend, a fellow singer-songwriter and entertainer, and, as of late, my duet singing partner. Dottie, stand by the river and wait for me. I will always love you. I also want to send my prayers and thoughts to her manager Larry Ferguson, the children, families and everyone involved in this terrible tragedy."
May 12: In Memoriam: Dottie Rambo Dottie Rambo had sung of Heaven for decades as the grande dame of Southern gospel music, and this weekend she saw the Pearly Gates first-hand when God called the songstress home. Rambo, 74, died in an automobile accident after her tour bus veered off the road, struck a guardrail and slammed into an embankment just after midnight Sunday morning. She was pronounced dead on the scene. According to reports, manager Larry Ferguson, his wife Judy and their two sons Pierce and Christian all sustained moderate injuries while bus driver Ronnie Meadows and product manager Chris Barnes, formerly of the fan site Dolly On-Line, suffered serious injuries. Dolly and Rambo have been friends since the 1960s, and Rambo was a frequent performer during the annual gospel concerts at Dollywood. In 2003, they joined voices to record the duet "Stand By The River," which hit No. 1 on the Christian country singles chart and earned Dolly her first-ever Dove Awards nomination for Christian music. In a statement, Dolly said: "I know Dottie is in heaven in the arms of God right now, but our earth angel will surely be missed. Dottie was a dear friend, a fellow singer, songwriter and entertainer, and as of late my duet singing partner." Read more from the Associated Press story Sunday here. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Dottie's friends and family during this difficult time. Image of Dolly and Rambo in the studio by Mark Burgess Images. Courtesy Dottie Rambo Ministries. Used with permission.
Tour Wraps Up In Dallas Thanks to Dustin for telling me that Dolly and the crowd were both equally "rowdy" in Texas Sunday night for the closing engagement for the first U.S. leg of her 2008-2009 Backwoods Barbie World Tour. The audience was so rambunctious that Dolly even asked at one point if they were drinking a lot and if so to pass it up to the stage for them to partake. As in other cities, multiple standing ovations, some lasting through several songs, were the norm. Thanks, also, to Robby Holmes for sending in photos of him with Dolly (and Judy Ogle) backstage here.
Chicago also loved Dolly in her back-to-back concerts there Thursday and Friday. Check out glowing reviews from The Chicago Tribunehere and The Chicago Sun Timeshere. Thanks also to Christian for getting permission to send in some shots from Tammy that have been posted here, including the one at left.
Finally, thanks as well to Sheldon Olson and Jason Denton for sending in images from last week's Minneapolis engagement, which are available here and here.
The tour next heads to Europe next month for several shows before returning to the States for a second U.S. leg this fall.
Station: Dolly To Sing With 'Hannah' In Film Nashville television station WKRN reports that as had previously been speculated, Dolly will appear in the upcoming Hannah Montana film. At least part of her return as Aunt Dolly, Hannah's godmother, will involve performing in concert at a carnival with Hannah. Disney is slated to film the concert at an undisclosed location on June 3, the station noted here. Dolly has appeared in the role twice on the Disney mega-hit television series starring her real-life goddaughter, Miley Cyrus, and pal Billy Ray Cyrus (Miley's dad).
PowerSource Chart Update Dolly's "Jesus & Gravity" could be nearing the end of its run on the PowerSource magazine chart for Christian country music. Over the weekend, the new charts showed it fall five to No. 20 on the 20-position tally in its third week on the chart.
ACM Appearance In Doubt Will Dolly still perform on next Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards from Las Vegas? While no formal announcement has yet come that she has pulled out from the show, the most recent press release late last week from the ACMs had her name conspicuously absent from the current list of performers for the program, while all other artists who have been announced as performing thus far were listed on the release. In addition, while CBS, which will broadcast the ceremony live, still has her listed as a performer on its roster available online here, the ACM official website no longer lists her as performing. She was announced in mid-April as a performer, and it was later confirmed that she would sing her current single, "Jesus & Gravity," on the program.
Ain't Nothin' Like The Real Thing The U.K. will have a competing "Dolly show" this summer when Dolly is in Europe for the next leg of her tour. Dolly: A Celebration of the Leading Lady of Country is a tribute program with singers, dancers and musicians which will be making its rounds through Britain this summer with about 15 dates on the itinerary thus far. Read more about it here.
Library News Oshkosh, Wis., is the latest community to sign on for Dolly's international literacy program, the Imagination Library. Learn more about their new chapter from The Northwesternhere.
May 9: 'Barbie' Stays In Place On Chart Dolly's current CD, Backwoods Barbie, holds on at the No. 28 spot on the new May 17 country albums chart, Billboard revealed Thursday for its 11th week on the tally. The collection rises five to No. 29 for its 10th week on the independent labels albums chart. As was previously reported here, its second single, "Jesus & Gravity," re-enters the 60-positon country singles tally for a fifth week, coming in at No. 57. On other charts, her 16 Biggest Hits gains two to No. 39 U.S. country albums in its 30th chart week, while The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 slips one to No. 50 country in Canada in its 31st week. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, featuring the Dolly duet "When I Get Where I'm Going," falls five to No. 18 on the country catalog albums list. A new compilation, God Bless the USA, featuring Dolly with "Color Me America," debuts at No. 59 country. Tim McGraw debuts at No. 1 country, No. 10 pop with 29,000 copies sold of the Wal-Mart exclusive re-issue of his two best of collections as Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2, while Taylor Swift sees her self-titled debut remain steady at No. 2 country but lose two to No. 11 pop in its 80th week.
Twin Peaks In The Twin Cities Thanks to Michael and Skip for filling me in on the amazing job Dolly did in Minneapolis Wednesday night. Michael called the performance "fantastic" and reports that the standing ovation when she took the stage lasted through three entire songs. Also, she changed her closing number. Thus far on the tour, she has used "Jesus & Gravity" as her encore, but on Wednesday she played it earlier in the second half, closed with "9 To 5," then returned to perform her traditional encore, "I Will Always Love You." He called it the best of the many Dolly concerts he's attended. Skip says from the front row she looked genuinely "on the spot" while answering the questions supposedly submitted by local radio listeners (although I think the questions have been pretty much the same in each city on the tour). He said the night was "amazing to say the least." The St. Paul Pioneer Press offered a very positive review, calling her the "polar opposite" of artists who play and sing well but seem cold and distant in concert. Her performance, jokes, storytelling and mix of songs were all praised. The reviewer even noted that while she appeared to use "vocal enhancements" on a handful of tunes, she remained "an engaging companion, more genuine jewel than glittery rhinestone." Read that review here. Neighboring Minneapolis Star Tribune gave a more mixed review here, but still found her charming and intimate with the audience. Minneapolis TV station WCCO posted video online of a few seconds from several of Dolly's songs in her concert. Check them out here.
The tour rolled into Chicago for the first of two concerts Thursday night. As of press time, several tickets remained available for Friday's show there (including some front row seats that were released on Thursday afternoon!). The spring U.S. leg ends Sunday in Dallas before she heads to Europe for the summer and back to the States in the fall for more dates here.
Meanwhile, Billboard's concert tracker BoxScore reports this week on three dates on this first U.S. leg of Dolly's 2008-2009 Backwoods Barbie World Tour. Her sold out May 1 Radio City Music Hall date racked up gross ticket sales of $466,728. Her 79 percent sold Fairfax, Va., engagement on April 28 garnered $260,647 (slightly more than 1,000 seats were empty), and the 99 percent sold out engagement in Hershey, Pa., (there were just 14 unsold tickets) brought in $150,762.
Latest Library News Dolly's Myrtle Beach Dixie Stampede on Saturday sponsored its fifth annual Children's Festival Reading Celebration to promote its local chapter of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. Read all about it from the local Sun Newshere. And The Marion Chronicle-Tribune reports here that Grant County, Ind., is signing up for the program.
In Memoriam: Eddy Arnold Condolences to the friends and family of Country Music Hall of Famer Eddy Arnold, who died Thursday at the age of 89. In a statement to The Tennesseanhere, Dolly commented: "Eddy Arnold and his wife were friends and neighbors of mine. We have lost one of the major influences in the music industry. Eddy Arnold, the Tennessee Plowboy, took country music into the mainstream as he not only had hits in country music but he had some of the biggest pop records of all times. He was a dear and fine gentleman who will be missed and thought of fondly and often."
May 8: 'Jesus' Jumps In Listeners The statistics were released Wednesday on the chart return of Dolly's "Jesus & Gravity" from Backwoods Barbie. As was previously reported, the song will re-enter the country singles chart this week at No. 57. According to Billboard, it registered 67 spins at reporting radio stations for the week of April 28-May 4. That translated to an audience of 477,000, an increase of 131,000 over the previous week, but that was still 60,000 fewer listeners than it saw two weeks ago.
Watch For New Imports Next Month A couple of new Dolly compilations will soon be heading to stores in Europe. Thanks, Tony! SonyBMG's U.K. division will put out Duets, a collection of tunes she recorded with Porter Wagoner, on June 2. Although the track listing has not been released, an earlier disc featuring the songs of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash had 16 songs, and an upcoming version with George Jones and Tammy Wynette will also include 16 tracks. Porter & Dolly's will be available as an import from Amazon here. A second set, timed to coincide with the European leg of her 2008-2009 Backwoods Barbie World Tour, will hit shelves on June 9, apparently trying to recapture the success of last year's tour-timed CD, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1, which became her first-ever top 10 album on the British pop charts. This new collection The Tour Collection is a four-CD boxed set of 80 songs. The tracks, many of which have never before been released on CD and span her time at BMG's RCA label and Sony's Columbia in addition to some recent guest appearances, are divided into individual discs for love songs, cover songs, Smoky Mountain music and duets. The set, available as an import from Amazon here, features extensive liner notes and what the label describes as "lavish packaging" in addition to the following songs:
DISC ONE: Love
Love Is Like A Butterfly
Cowgirl And The Dandy
Love, You're So Beautiful Tonight
But You Know I Love You
Most Of All Why
Falling Out Of Love With Me
Fool For Your Love
I Will Always Love You (original version)
Because I Love You
Sweet Music Man
Real Love (with Kenny Rogers)
I'll Make Your Bed
Love With Me
Sweet Summer Lovin'
Tie Our Love (In A Double Knot)
DISC TWO: Covers
(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher
Life's Like Poetry
Boulder To Birmingham
Once In A Very Blue Moon
In the Ghetto
Harper Valley PTA
Games People Play
Put A Little Love In Your Heart
Starting Over Again
Even A Fool Would Let Go
Great Balls Of Fire
Time For Me To Fly
Save The Last Dance For Me
Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On
The Carroll County Accident
Wings Of A Dove
DISC THREE: Mountain Memories
Just The Way I Am
In The Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)
What Will Baby Be (with Maura O'Connell and Carl Jackson
Daddy's Working Boots
My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy
Daddy Come And Get Me
Take Me Back
My Tennessee Mountain Home
Chicken Every Sunday
Mama Say A Prayer
I'm Doing This For Your Sake
Early Morning Breeze
Green Eyed Boy
Daddy's Moonshine Still
Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man (with Porter Wagoner)
Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No.8)
DISC FOUR: Duets
Romeo (with Mary Chapin Carpenter, Billy Ray Cyrus, Kathy Mattea, Pam Tillis and Tanya Tucker)
I Really Don't Want To Know (with Willie Nelson)
Islands In The Stream (with Kenny Rogers)
Full Circle (with Rodney Crowell and Lari White)
Rockin' Years (with Ricky van Shelton)
Whenever Forever Comes (with Collin Raye)
When You Tell Me That You Love Me (with Julio Iglesias)
Do I Ever Cross Your Mind (with Chet Atkins)
I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby (with Porter Wagoner)
Everything Is Beautiful (In It's Own Way) (with Willie Nelson)
Lovesick Blues (with Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn)
I Still Miss Someone (with Martina McBride)
I Feel The Blues Movin' In (with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris)
Love Is Strange (with Kenny Rogers)
Baby It's Cold Outside (with Rod Stewart)
When I Get Where I'm Going (with Brad Paisley)
More Where That Came From (with Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Marty Stuart, Jo-El Sonnier)
Hush-A-Bye Hard Times (with the Osborne Brothers)
A Violet And A Rose (with Pam Tillis)
Jeannie's Afraid Of The Dark (with Porter Wagoner)
Porter To Be Honored The Academy of Country Music announced Wednesday that Dolly's former longtime duet partner and mentor, the late Porter Wagoner, will be one of this year's Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award recipients. The Pioneer Award, roughly the ACM's equivalent to the Country Music Hall of Fame, is noted during the ACM telecast by their names scrolling along the bottom of the screen, with a ceremony held separately to formally recognize the recipients. Last year, Wagoner was the person on hand to present Dolly with her Pioneer Award trophy. It marked the duo's final public appearance together prior to Wagoner's unexpected passing in October. The date for this year's ceremony has yet to be finalized. Given that last year's ceremony was announced on the same day as the recipients' names, I suspect the ACM may be attempting to schedule it for a time when Dolly may attend, since she will be in Europe touring for most of the summer. This year's other recipients are Brenda Lee, the Oak Ridge Boys and the late Conway Twitty. Other honorees are Dick Clark for the Jim Reeves International Award and Bill Anderson and the late Fred Rose for the first-ever Poet's Award for songwriting.
May 7: More From The Road A very brief update tonight (your webmaster had a late session at the conference – this is completely unrelated to Dolly, but the session involved a screening of an amazing documentary, Traces Of The Trade, which I encourage you all to watch on PBS June 24) and has to get up early in the morning, so here are just a few notes for tonight:
Dolly played a triumphant show in Boston Monday night, and the local papers gave mostly positive but mixed reviews. The Boston Globe praised her singing and dialogue here but thought the band was bland. The Boston Herald offered a review here which likewise loved the songs and banter but thought some parts were a bit too showy and distracted from her music.
Another stunning review came out Tuesday from last week's New York City engagement, this time from The Village Voice. Read its critic's analysis of the show, which he found thoroughly entertaining and moving at the same time, here.
The date and venue for Dolly's Portland concert in the fall were released Tuesday as promised. She will be at the Rose Quarter's Theater of the Clouds Aug. 7. Dolly-ite online fan club members get pre-sales starting Wednesday, with public sales beginning Saturday.
May 6: 'Jesus' Comes Back To Chart Dolly's current single, "Jesus & Gravity" from Backwoods Barbie is resurrected on the charts this week. The tune, which had dropped off the 60-position tally the previous week (the second time it disappeared since debuting), will re-enter at No. 57 on the May 17 country singles chart, Billboard revealed Monday. More information on exactly how much airplay increased over the past week will be available on Wednesday. It marks the song's fifth chart week.
Backwoods Barbie Tour Continues Dolly's coming to Seattle, Wash., and Portland, Ore., according to a message sent out Monday to subscribers of the e-mail service through her official music website, DollyPartonMusic.net. Although the text noted that concerts in both cities have been added and that Dolly-ite online fan club pre-sales will begin at 10 a.m. local time Wednesday, it only gave the date of the Seattle show, Aug. 8. Presumably, the Portland show will be a day or two before or after her stop in Seattle (a second e-mail with more details is expected Tuesday). Neither show had been added yet to the official tour itinerary posted on the website as of the time of this update Monday night. Meanwhile, her 2008-2009 Backwoods Barbie World Tour continued Monday in Boston and heads over to Minneapolis on Wednesday and Chicago Thursday and Friday. The Philadelphia Inquirer reviewed Saturday's Atlantic City concert in its Monday issue here, giving the show high marks. And thanks to Luke for sending in his shot with Dolly backstage from that concert (click on it at left for a larger view)!
Dolly And George Together Again Dolly gets her third collaboration to be released with George Jones on his upcoming CD, Burn Your Playhouse Down, according to The Tennessean. Although which duet is there with Dolly has not been announced, nearly all tracks on the collection will come from the previously unreleased recording sessions for his 1994 release The Bradley Barn Sessions. That CD included the song "Where The Grass Won't Grow" with Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Trisha Yearwood, but most artists on the duets collection recorded multiple tracks with him, several of which were shelved. In 2005, Dolly and Jones teamed up again for "The Blues Man" on his Hits I Missed. Read more here.
May 5: Live From New York, It's Dolly! Thanks to Dolly-ite meet-and-greet winner Clayton Stacey for sending in his shot with Dolly backstage at New York's Radio City Music Hall show. Click on it at left for a larger version. The show continues to keep critics at odds with each other. The New York Post on Saturday slammed her humor and stories from home as taking away from her music. The review here called the concert a "belly-flop," said it "was tired, uncharacteristically flat and badly produced" and that fans "expect better from a performer of Parton's caliber." On the other hand, The Hollywood Reporter praised the appearance and her comedic wit here. The publication said the crowd was "adoring" and that she "displayed in equal parts her still beautiful soprano voice and a knack for comic shtick that makes her seem like a modern-day Minnie Pearl." The tour rolled into Atlantic City Saturday (which I'm told went wonderfully and featured the same set list as New York -- thanks, Dave, Mel and Toni!) and continues to Boston on Monday (check out a story from The Boston Phoenixhere. Thanks, Mark!).
New Dollywood Galleries Posted The next group of galleries from contributing photographer Jason Worley covering Dolly's recent Dollywood stops are now available in that section of the site here. More to come!
A Note From The Webmaster Just a little note to let you know that your webmaster is out of town at a conference, so updates for a few days may or may not be available depending on how much time I have available at the end of each day :)
May 3: Big Apple Tastes A Little Dollywood Dolly had the audience wrapped around her little finger, as the song goes, Thursday night with a sold out engagement at New York's famed Radio City Music Hall. Special thanks to Brendan, who sent in several shots, such as the one at left, which have been posted in three galleries here, here and here. Several photos are also posted on Getty Images here. Thanks to the many readers who wrote in with their recaps of the show. Added to the line-up was "Puppy Love," which she performed immediately prior to the '50s medley in an upper register to sound like her 11-year-old self when it was recorded. Still no "Me and Little Andy" or "Drives Me Crazy," I'm told, though. The audience was quite receptive, too, with dancing in the aisles and multiple standing ovations, although some said they didn't feel the crowd showed her the respect she deserved, with some chatter during soft songs and some behavior fueled by alcohol. One reader even got to say hi on the street as Dolly walked back to her bus before the show. Special thanks to Sam, Danny, Toni, and Michael. But the "experts" can't agree. The Wall Street Journal's blog featured a commentary here slamming the show as poor branding, saying there was too much corny humor and stories distracting from her music. Entertainment Weekly's blog, on the other hand, singled her out as having the best stage banter in the business, saying that her jokes remain funny no matter how many times she's said them and her stories from the Smoky Mountains enriching. Read that opinion here. Even the venerable New York Times gives her high marks in a review of the concert here.
The set list was as follows:
Two Doors Down
Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That
Thank God I'm a Country Girl
Eagle When She Flies
Coat of Many Colors
Gospel Medley (Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show/When the Saints Go Marching In/Old Time Religion/If I Be Lifted Up/Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man/Brother Love's)
Baby I'm Burning
Better Get to Livin'
Oldies Medley (Great Balls of Fire/Bye Bye Love/Johnny B Good/I'm Sorry/Wipe Out/
I Wanna Hold Your Hand/My Girl/Respect)
Here You Come Again
Islands in the Stream
9 to 5
I Will Always Love You
Encore: Jesus & Gravity
In other tour news: After Saturday's engagement in Atlantic City, Dolly's bus on Monday drives up to Boston, where both The Boston Herald on Friday offered an interview here and The Boston Globehere. Radio DJs tell The Globe that her not being on radio doesn't have anything to do with her age but rather is her "era," which they claim is different because her voice doesn't remind listeners of her age but instead reminds them of the time period in which she had her greatest success, the 1970s and 1980s, so they don't play her, they said.
More Dolly In Print Britain's The Guardian offers a very lengthy, wonderful piece based on several interviews spaced months apart between her and the writer both in the States and the U.K. Take a read here. And The Star Tribune in Minneapolis-St. Paul talks to her and the album art photographer for Backwoods Barbie about the project here, including a little Q&A here where she addresses her back, lip-synching, Broadway and goddaughter Miley Cyrus.
When Irish Charts Are Falling Well, the ride lasted more than a year, but it now appears to be over. After 54 weeks on the chart, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 fall out of the top 100 pop list in Ireland, down from No. 93 the previous week, it was announced Friday.
Even More From Dollywood No, the Dollymania coverage of Dolly's Dollywood Homecoming isn't over yet. Tonight, the first series of galleries by contributing photographer Jason Worley see publication in that section of the site here.
'Jesus' Makes Countdown Although the video for "Jesus & Gravity" didn't make CMT's Top 20 Countdown this week, the opus did debut at No. 3 Friday on the Pure 12 Pack countdown on the network's digital cable outlet, CMT Pure Country. Vote for it in the regular countdown here and 12 Pack here!
May 2: 'Barbie' Continues Fall Dolly slides two more spots this week to No. 28 in her 10th week on the country albums chart for Backwoods Barbie, the May 10 Billboard numbers released Thursday showed. Over on the pop side, the collection falls off the 200-position chart, down from No. 184 in its eighth week. It loses six to No. 34 in its ninth week on the independent labels albums chart, while it falls off the top 50 Canadian country albums list as well, down from No. 40 up north in its eighth week. As was previously reported, her song "Jesus & Gravity" falls off the 60-positon country singles tally, down from No. 57 in its fourth week there. However, the track rises two to No. 16 in its second week on PowerSource magazine's Christian country singles chart. Elsewhere, Dolly's 16 Biggest Hits inches down one to No. 41 U.S. country albums, while The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 re-enters the top 50 country in Canada to rest at No. 49 in its 30th week. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," moves up one to No. 13 on the country catalog albums list. Troubadour by George Strait rises one to No. 1 country but drops two to No. 8 pop with 29,000 copies sold in its fourth week, and the self-titled debut by Taylor Swift moves up one to No. 2 country and No. 9 pop with 27,000 units moved in its 79th week.
Tour Advances To Big Apple Dolly's 2008-2009 Backwoods Barbie World Tour headed into New York City Thursday, although no reports on how things went were received as of the time of this report Thursday night. She continues on to Atlantic City on Saturday. Tickets are still available.
Then she heads over to Boston on Monday. The Eagle Tribune in nearby North Andover talks to her about the new CD and tour here in preparation for that show, tickets for which also remain available.
And then it's on to Chicago, where she plays back-to-back dates in The Windy City next Thursday and Friday. A great little Dolly interview landed in Time Out Chicago Thursday which covers the new CD, her label, why she won't team up with a rock producer and a repeated promise to soon put out a dance CD. Read it here. And The Chicago Tribune continues its coverage leading up to her concerts, offering readers a pictorial history of Dolly from 1977 through present day. Take a look here. Tickets remain available for both nights, although her official music website, DollyPartonMusic.net, mistakenly shows the first engagement as sold out. (Her first night in Chicago was sold out prior to it being delayed due to her back injury. The re-scheduled concert has never been sold out.)
New Dollywood Pics Yes, coverage of Dolly's recent Dollywood appearances continues tonight with additional galleries by Dollymania photo correspondent Harrell Gabehart in that section of the site here.
Dolly In Print I haven't seen it yet, but I'm told Dolly has the cover photo and a multi-page interview inside the new issue of Country Weekly making its way to newsstands this week.
Wigtown Preps Dolly Project It's almost time for Dolly's international literacy program, the Imagination Library, to launch its first Scottish chapter, and The Stanraer and Wigtownshire Free Press reports on it here. (Remember that although in the States the term "scheme" has negative connotations, in the U.K. it simply means "plan" or "program.")
May 1: Several Images From Tour Available Reports from several readers came in Wednesday about Dolly's sold out show Tuesday night in Atlanta. Darryl and Kelly tell me the audience was on its feet for nearly half of the concert – her standing ovation when she took the stage lasted through all three of the first songs of the evening, standing ovations were offered when she left for the intermission and for three more songs when she returned, and then for the final five songs of the performance. Once again, "Me and Little Andy" and "Drives Me Crazy" were missing from the set list. Rick writes she was "simply amazing. The very, very best concert I have seen Dolly perform in 20 years!" And Crystal said "Dolly looked and sounded fantastic!" Top Dolly fan David Schmidli was in the audience, and Dolly saw him and said, "Hi, David," the only time in the show she called out someone's name. Check out some shots from the Schmidlis here, including the one at left. Thanks! And thanks to Jeff for alerting me that the Atlanta Journal Constitution has posted a gallery of images from the night here.
Speaking of photos, Robert Hodge sent in another group of shots from Monday's D.C.-area concert. Take a look at them here, and Dolly-ite meet-and-greet contest winner Jonathan Brashier sent in his backstage photo here. Thanks!The Washington Post on Wednesday offered a very positive review of the show. The piece, available here, said she "let her voice soar" and even when her humor was "at its scholckiest, Parton remained lovable." Reader Bridget said it was "the best Dolly concert I've ever seen. I mean, she's always great, but she was in rare form on Monday night!" Bridget also passed along a new joke Dolly told on stage that husband Carl Dean told her pulling her back earlier in the year was her own fault because she had purchased a memory foam mattress but sleeps on her stomach, so she left two big holes and hurt herself pulling Carl out of one of them.
Reader Rusty Rector was also a Dolly-ite meet-and-greet winner, getting backstage to see her in Uncasville, Conn. See his photo here. Thanks!
In advance of Chicago's two dates next week, The Chicago Tribune on Wednesday published some Dolly quotes. Take a look here.
'Jesus' Falls Back Off Top 60 After just four weeks on the 60-position country singles chart, Dolly's current single, "Jesus & Gravity," drops back off the tally this week in the May 10 Billboard numbers released Wednesday. The previous week, the song was at No. 57 with 72 spins and 537,000 listeners. However, for the week of April 21-27, it didn't register enough airplay to land in the top 60. As the No. 60 track had an audience of just 396,000, Dolly's song lost at least a quarter of its audience last week. And although it had been announced two weeks ago that Dolly would appear on this year's Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards in Las Vegas on May 18, The Knoxville News-Sentinel's Terry Morrow on Wednesday confirmed for the first time that she will, in fact, be performing the song on the program, so perhaps airplay will pick back up afterwards and it will get back on the charts. Read the note in his column here.
Stampede And Dollywood Hit MSNBC Dolly's businesses got several mentions Wednesday on MSNBC. Her Dixie Stampede dinner theatre made the network's list of the "top seven tourist traps you'll love" here, while Dollywood got coverage as one of the nation's most pet-friendly theme parks here and its gold season pass was noted in a story on extra park perks here.
More From The Park Additional Dolly shots from Dollywood by Dollymania photo correspondent Harrell Gabehart have been posted to that section of the site here.