www.dollymania.net                News                          May 2013

May 31:
Another Video From PBS 'NewsHour'

On Wednesday night, we provided the full, unedited interview with Dolly on which the PBS NewsHour segment on her Imagination Library literacy program was based, and tonight the much shorter segment as it was broadcast on television is available for online viewing in the media player above or by visiting the network's website here. The piece also spawned coverage from Raw Story here and The Christian Post here.

U.S. Chart Updates
Dolly's Joyful Noise soundtrack dips another five places this week on the June 8 Billboard gospel albums chart to No. 37 in its 72nd week on the list. Her Cracker Barrel exclusive CD/DVD An Evening With . . . Dolly regains one digit to No. 39 in its 39th week on the music DVD chart. George Jones's Hits I Missed And One I Didn't, with Dolly on "The Blues Man," inches up five spots to No. 161 pop in its 12th chart week, loses one to No. 28 catalog albums in its fifth week there and holds steady at No. 9 country catalog albums in its fifth week there. Straight No Chaser's Under The Influence, with Dolly guesting on a cover of her classic "Jolene," tumbles 95 spots to No. 169 pop in its third chart week, way down from its peak at No. 28 two weeks ago, also losing 66 to No. 138 current albums and seven to No. 19 Internet sales. I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston, with the late singer's version of Dolly's title track, falls seven to No. 48 R&B/hip-hop albums in its 28th week. Overall, Darius Rucker's True Believers debuts at No. 1 country, No. 2 pop with 83,000 units moved, while George Strait's Love Is Everything slips one to No. 2 country and six to No. 8 pop with 43,000 copies sold in its second week.

Houston Cover Gets New Gold, Platinum Awards
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which certifies gold and platinum records, recently changed its policies regarding streaming audio and video, resulting in a Dolly-penned track getting three new awards. Previously, digital single awards were solely for paid digital downloads of a song. Now, every 100 online streams of the song from an authorized streaming service by an Internet user in the United States including watching the song's official music label-released music video on YouTube (but not user-generated videos) will count as the equivalent of one paid download in issuing gold and platinum digital awards. For example, an official YouTube music video for a song that is viewed by Americans 50 million times will allow the song to receive a gold digital single award as if it sold 500,000 copies even if the song did not sell a single paid download. Alternately, if it is viewed on YouTube 15 million times, streamed on Rhapsody 10 million times and sells 250,000 paid digital downloads, it would also receive the 500,000-unit gold award. Among those honored in this first crop of awards in the new system was Whitney Houston's cover of Dolly's signature composition, "I Will Always Love You." The song received simultaneous gold, platinum and double-platinum digital single awards on May 9. It sold somewhere around 1 million paid digital downloads in the year following Houston's death, so it earned the gold and possibly the platinum award on regular downloads, but its YouTube and streaming audio service plays must have totaled more than 100 million in the U.S. to push it past the 2 million award level (the official music video has 55 million YouTube views, although certainly not all of those are in America). Previously, the song had already received a quadruple platinum award for physical CD single sales in January 1993 exceeding 4 million copies, but the record label has not had it re-certified for physical CD single sales since then.

May 30:
PBS 'Newshour' Features Dolly Interview

The PBS program NewsHour on Wednesday featured a Dolly interview via Learning Matters on her Imagination Library early childhood literacy program. If you missed the piece, the full interview footage is available from YouTube here or in the media player above.

More Dollywood Pictures Posted
After taking a few days' break from adding new photos, your webmaster is back at it! Two more galleries from correspondent Harrell Gabehart's lens at Dolly's recent Dollywood appearances have been added to that section of the site here. Still more to come!

'Whorehouse' Getting DVD Re-Issue
Dolly's second movie, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas with Burt Reynolds, is getting a DVD re-issue, it has been announced. The title is coming out as part of a "Best of the Decade" series from Universal Studios. It will represent the 1980s alongside Sixteen Candles, The Last Starfighter, The Breakfast Club and Scarface when the five DVDs are released on July 9. (Some are also being issued on Blu-Ray that day, but it does not appear at this time that Dolly's film is among those getting the HD treatment in the series.) The film came out in 1982 and was first released on DVD 10 years ago, getting its first DVD re-issue in 2010. Order your copy here!

Underwood Mash-Up To Be Released As Download
That's not the only Dolly release heading to stores soon. The authorized mash-up of the Carrie Underwood song "Two Black Cadillacs" with Dolly's original version of "Jolene" by Nashville artist Dee Jay Silver, which was released to radio as a single back in March, will become available as a digital download starting June 2. Get it here. Take a listen on YouTube here.

U.K. Tour Of '9 To 5' Gets Good Marks In Leeds
The U.K. tour of Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical has moved into Leeds, where it received more rave reviews, this time from Entertainment Focus here and A Younger Theatre here.

Duo Covers 'My Blue Tears' On CD
Country performers Nell Robinson and Jim Nunally have covered Dolly's classic "My Blue Tears" on their new collection, House & Garden. Check out a Billboard interview with the duo here and get your copy of the album here!

May 28:
Eagle Storybook With Dolly Audio Reading Released
Dolly has provided the voice for a new storybook about Dollywood's most famous winged resident, the bald eagle Challenger. Born To Be Challenger's Story: America's Famous Free Flying Eagle was written by Sally Moorer and Al Cecere and illustrated by Mike Lambert. It contains a CD of the story narrated by Dolly featuring songs written and performed by James Rogers. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit American Eagle Foundation, which operates the eagle sanctuary at the park. Order your copy for $25 from their website here.

'Evening' Passes 57,500 Copies
SoundScan numbers on which last week's charts were based showed that the Cracker Barrel exclusive An Evening With . . . Dolly sold 189 copies the previous week to bring its cumulative sales total since release to 57,518.

'Year Dolly Was My Mom' U.K. Review
British blog So So Gay gives a positive review to the Canadian film The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom, which features a Dolly voice-over and covers of several of her classic songs. The movie was recently released in the U.K. with an altered title, changing "Mom" to the more commonly-used British term "Mum." Read it here.

May 27:
'Jolene' Cover Debuts In Australia
The performance of Dolly's classic "Jolene" by a contestant on the Australian version of The Voice has propelled that cover to the top 20 singles this week Down Under. Celia Pavey's version of the song debuts this week at No. 15 on the Australian pop singles chart thanks to nearly 9,000 downloads following her performance of it on the television program. Also Down Under, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 regains three spots to No. 26 in its 272nd week on the top 40 Australian country albums chart.

Dolly's Songwriting Talents Explored
Dolly the Songwriter is highlighted by The Knoxville News Sentinel in a piece on her composition craft by arts reporter Wayne Bledsoe here.

'9 To 5' U.K. Tour Continues
Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical continues its trek across the U.K. The Tamworth Herald offered a review of a recent performance here, while The Daily Record speaks to actress Amy Lennox prior to the show's travel to Scotland here.

Amazon Lends Library Helping Hand
Amazon is helping out Dolly's Imagination Library. It recently donated $25,000 to be split among the four Tennessee counties surrounding its distribution center in the state, The Daily News Journal reports here.

May 24:
'Joyful,' 'Evening' Lose Chart Ground Again
Dolly's Joyful Noise soundtrack loses four digits this week on the June 1 Billboard gospel albums chart to No. 32 in its 71st week on the list. Her Cracker Barrel exclusive CD/DVD An Evening With . . . Dolly dips six spots to No. 40 in its 38th week on the music DVD chart. George Jones's Hits I Missed And One I Didn't, featuring Dolly on "The Blues Man," tumbles 19 places to No. 166 pop in its 11th chart week, 10 to No. 27 catalog albums in its fourth week there and one to No. 9 country catalog albums in its fourth week there. Paul Anka's Duets, with the Dolly duet "Do I Love You (Yes, In Every Way)," falls off the top 25 Canadian pop albums chart, down from No. 22 in its fifth week. I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston, featuring the late singer's cover of Dolly's title track, dips 10 to No. 41 R&B/hip-hop albums in its 27th week. Overall, George Strait's Love Is Everything debuts at No. 1 country, No. 2 pop with 125,000 copies moved, while Lady Antebellum's Golden inches down one to No. 2 country and four to No. 5 pop with 56,000 units sold.

New Shots From Dolly's Parade Posted
Coverage continues tonight from Dolly's recent Dollywood appearances with the first couple of galleries from Dollymania.net correspondent Harrell Gabehart from Dolly's annual Pigeon Forge parade. They've been added to that section of the site here, with more to come. In related news, read an interview with Dolly from The Knoxville News Sentinel here this week about her new show at the park, My People, as well as her habits when she visits her old Tennessee Mountain Home. And the park's Barbeque & Bluegrass festival kicks off Saturday with headliner Ricky Skaggs, who'll also perform on Sunday. Other performers include Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike this weekend, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage June 2-3, Marty Raybon May 31-June 1, Dailey & Vincent June 2-3, Riders in the Sky June 7-8, The Willis Clan June 1-9, Breaking Grass June 1-4, and more. Check out coverage from WCYB here. Finally, Dolly's Dixie Stampede Pigeon Forge a few days ago posted a new commercial to YouTube. Watch it here or in the media player below.

May 22:
Dollywood Coverage Returns To Site
Your official Dollymania.net coverage of Dolly's most recent Dollywood appearances returns tonight with additional galleries added to that section of the site here. Still more to come!

Dolly Gnome To Debut At Chelsea
Dolly is among more than 100 celebrities, including Elton John, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, who have decorated garden gnomes for the Royal Horticultural Society in Britain to recognize that organization's lifting of its 100-year-old ban on the decorations at this week's annual Chelsea Flower Show, the world's most prestigious flower show, The Guardian reports here.

May 20:
'Very Best' Dips Down Under
The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 loses four places Down Under this week to No. 29 in its 271st week on the top 40 Australian country albums chart.

Dollymobile Makes The Press
"Dollymobile" driver Paul Woodal and his car were profiled over the weekend in The Washington Post, which re-posted an article from the Associated Press that had been in The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown, Md. Read it here.

May 18:
Latest Dollywood Pics, Watch GAC's 'Top 20' With Dolly
The next Dollymania.net photo galleries of Dolly from last weekend's Dollywood appearances have been posted to that section of the site here. More to come! In related news, this week's Great American Country Top 20 Country Countdown features host Nan Kelley hanging out with Dolly for a day at the park while counting down the week's top 20 videos. It premiered Friday night with repeats Saturday through Tuesday.

May 17:
Remastered 'Heartbreak Express' To Get Digital Release
It looks like Dolly's 1982 album Heartbreak Express will be coming to digital download music stores next month. Sony Music Entertainment's Legacy Recordings imprint on Thursday formally announced its new program to make monthly digital music releases from its back catalogue available based on online voting. They've quietly been collecting votes from the public for the past three months, and although no single title as of this week had more than 100 votes, they chose from among the top vote-getters four titles from Waylon Jennings, Willie Nile, Tammy Wynette and Flatt & Scruggs that were released for downloads on Tuesday as the first in the program. They also revealed that albums by Dolly, Johnny Otis, Jessi Colter, Graham Parker, Ronnie Milsap and Libby Titus would be released on June 11. While the press release did not specifically reveal the titles coming out in June, the link placed with Dolly's name in the announcement took one to the nomination for Heartbreak Express, which ranked No. 20 in voting as of Thursday. (Her 1975 collection The Bargain Store was No. 24 and 1974's Love Is Like A Butterfly ranked No. 45.) Her only solo studio albums from the 1974-1989 period not available for download are those three titles plus 1975's Dolly, 1977's Here You Come Again and 1984's The Great Pretender. Only a handful of her releases prior to 1974 are available for download and only a handful released between 1990 and 2005. Released in 1982, Heartbreak Express reached No. 5 on the Billboard country chart and No. 106 pop, spawning two country top 10 singles: the title track and "Single Women." It also featured her first solo recording of "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind," which for years had been a popular song in her stage show and which she had previously recorded as a duet with Chet Atkins, and new recordings of "My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy," which she had first released in 1969, and the country classic "Release Me," which she had first covered in 1963. Also of note was the song "Hollywood Potters," inspired by the negative experience she had filming The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas the previous year. You may visit Sony's website at LegacyRecordingsVault.com to vote for the three Dolly albums already nominated or to suggest your own Dolly set (or those by other Sony artists) for future release.

Dolly Photos, Stories, TV Interview Posted
Your Dollymania.net coverage of Dolly's weekend appearances at Dollywood continues tonight with another photo gallery added to that section of the site here (due to time limits it's a small one, but stay tuned because there are several from her Friday morning media appearance yet to come from your webmaster plus coverage of her Friday evening Pigeon Forge parade thanks to correspondent Harrell Gabehart). In related news, check out stories from the amusement industry blog Behind The Thrills on My People here and RiverRush here as well as stories on RiverRush from The Knoxville News Sentinel here and The Cleveland Daily Banner here. Finally, watch a television interview that aired Thursday on Roanoke, Va., station WDBJ here.

'Joyful Noise' Continues Chart Rebound
Likely due to its return to limited broadcasts on HBO this month, Dolly's Joyful Noise soundtrack continues to climb back up the gospel albums chart, the May 25 numbers from Billboard revealed on Thursday. The set gains three places to No. 28 in its 70th week on the tally. George Jones's music also continues to increase sales in the weeks following his death, and his Hits I Missed And One I Didn't, with Dolly on "The Blues Man," shoots up 24 spots to No. 147 pop in its 10th chart week, 12 to No. 17 catalog albums in its third week there and two to No. 8 country catalog albums in its third week there. Paul Anka's Duets, featuring the Dolly duet "Do I Love You (Yes, In Every Way)," falls back off the top 200 pop albums chart, down from No. 187 in its third week, also dropping off the top 200 current albums list, down from No. 151 in its fourth week. The set loses nine to No. 22 Canadian pop in its fifth week. I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston, with her version of Dolly's title track, inches up three to No. 31 R&B/hip-hop albums in its 26th week. Overall, Lady Antebellum's Golden debuts at No. 1 country and pop with 167,000 units sold, while Pistol Annies' Annie Up debuts at No. 2 country, No. 5 pop with 83,000 copies moved.

Dolly's Library Adds New Penn., N.D. Counties
Dolly's Imagination Library literacy project kicked off in Stutsman County, N.D., this week, and one of its biggest advocates in the state, First Lady Betsy Dalrymple, was on hand to celebrate. Read more from The Jamestown Sun here. The program is also expanding to Erie County, Penn., it was announced this week at the local United Way's annual meeting, The Erie Times-News reported Thursday. Read more here.

May 16:
New Pictures, Stories From Dollywood Weekend
Coverage continues tonight from Dolly's recent Dollywood stop with more pictures posted to that section of the site here. Look for much more to come! In related news, while on park over the weekend she also recognized Kansas teacher Don Everhart with the Chasing Rainbows Award for outstanding educators, The Republic reported here. And Cincinnati's FOX 19 is promoting its sit-down interview with Dolly, filmed over the weekend and scheduled to air on the channel's 10 p.m. report this coming Sunday, as "Another Side of Dolly Parton" here.

New York City Drops Imagination Library, For Now
Although New York City Public Schools had announced more than two years ago that it had selected Dolly's Imagination Library literacy project as part of its official pre-kindergarten education program and would make the program available to all 500,000 children in the city under 5, the program in Gotham recently shut down due to lack of funding, leaving the 20,000 children it had enrolled without books. The Wall Street Journal reported on the development here this week. Using a state grant, the city piloted the program in certain zip codes to target lower income neighborhoods but planned to take it citywide once funding became available. In the fall, the city ceased the program without warning when its grant ended and the program was turned over from the city government to a new nonprofit that was established to operate it but has yet to raise the funds to be able to do so.

More British '9 To 5' Reviews Released
The U.K. tour of Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical continues to march along, and it gets two raving reviews this week. The Birmingham Mail said here it is "a show packed with humour, emotion and excellent songs delivered by a cast who all have outstanding voices. You can't fail to enjoy it from start to finish." Likewise, The Burton Mail opined here that it is "glittering, feel-good, full of heart and warmth but also fierce and empowering."

'IWALY' Singer Kicked Off Plane
Don't go about belting Dolly songs on an airplane or you could get booted off, as one woman found, and a video of her, um, performance, went viral this week. Check out a story from The Los Angeles Times here.

May 14:
Dolly Photos, Audio From Friday At Dollywood Posted
Your official Dollymania.net coverage of Dolly's weekend visit to Dollywood continues tonight with the first photo galleries and audio files from her Friday appearances, which have been added to that section of the website here in addition to the video news report posted Sunday night. Other coverage on Monday included a story and picture in The Knoxville Daily Sun here and parade photos in The Huffington Post here. More to come!

May 13:
Dolly Opens 'My People,' RiverRush Ride

Dolly made her annual "homecoming" visit to Dollywood this weekend, appearing first at Dollywood's Splash Country on Friday morning to open the water park's first water coaster, RiverRush (a mobile app game of the ride also premiered Friday). After appearing on stage during the park's season passholder preview day to welcome the crowd, she headed down to the ride's station for a media appearance, then back to the stage for closing remarks. Afterward, she took photos with each of the 25 "VVIP" charity auction winners who paid for special access to the event.

         Then Dolly headed across the street to the theme park to cut the ribbon at its new Dreamsong Theatre and attend a preview showing of the new show she wrote for her family members, My People. She introduced the show, sat in the audience during its performance, then headed back on stage for the closing number of "9 To 5." The show opens with a new recording of her recitation "The Letter" and then invites her family members and a few non-relatives to perform several of her classic songs and a few newly written for the production, all with Dolly watching over them on a big screen overhead, often singing along (sometimes lead, sometimes harmony).

         The interaction with the pre-recorded Dolly caused a few timing issues with dialogue at the preview, but that should be worked out with more practice. The show is very entertaining and at times quite moving. The only problems are that it sometimes seems a bit odd to see Dolly above them "watching" the performances and reacting to them, and it might be a bit uncomfortable for audience members to see "Islands In The Stream," complete with the "making love with each other" line, performed by father-daughter duo of Randy Parton and Heidi Lou Parton (although Heidi is by far the most talented vocalist in the cast). The show officially opened to the public on Saturday.

         Dolly wrapped up Friday with a park tour and her annual Pigeon Forge parade, where she donned a lifeguard outfit to ride her RiverRush float. On Saturday, she returned to the park to perform three songs ("Two Doors Down," "Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That?" and "I Will Always Love You") with the new Great American Country Show and for a second park tour.

         Your complete Dollymania.net coverage begins tonight with the news video report available in the media player above or by visiting YouTube here. Additional coverage, including photo galleries and audio files, will be added over coming days. (Your webmaster had to leave before the Pigeon Forge parade on Friday and missed Saturday's appearances due to his parental responsibilities over the weekend, so any readers who wish to submit images to share with everyone are encouraged to do so. E-mail them here.)

         Additional coverage is available from Britain's Daily Mail here, Sevier County's The Mountain Press here, Kingsport's Times News here, Fox and Friends here, The Knoxville News Sentinel here and Knoxville TV stations WATE here and WBIR here.

'Very Best' Rises A Bit Down Under
The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 rises three spots Down Under this week to No. 25 in its 270th week on the top 40 Australian country albums chart.

May 10:
Dolly Does Interviews For Splash Country

Dolly was "on park" Thursday at Dollywood's Splash Country, promoting via satellite on local news programs nationwide the water park's Saturday opening and Friday's launch of its $6 million RiverRush water coaster at season passholder preview day. In an interview with Virginia This Morning on WTVR here, she noted that August would see the announcement of Dollywood's next addition and the reveal for "what our next big, big, big move is." She told Nashville's News Channel 5 here that even though she pulled out of Gaylord Entertainment's planned water and snow park in Music City she intends to eventually expand her attractions to the city. She also spoke with Kentucky's WEHT/WTVW here and My Fox Atlanta here. Finally, in an interview with The Knoxville News Sentinel, she wept as she remembered their recently deceased entertainment reporter Terry Morrow. Watch that interview in the media player above or by visiting their site here. Check back in a few days for your full Dollymania.net coverage of her Friday appearances.

'Joyful Noise' Moves Back Up The Chart
Dolly's Joyful Noise soundtrack saw a major boost in sales last week, jumping 50 percent to 392 copies, according to SoundScan data. The increase, which moved its cumulative total to 134,723 units since release, allowed it to shoot up 19 spots to No. 31 gospel albums in its 69th week on that chart in the May 18 Billboard numbers released Thursday. Although not in the top 40 music DVD sales chart, her Cracker Barrel release An Evening With . . . Dolly sold 197 units for the week, bringing its cumulative total to 57,089 copies as the week's 45th best-sellign music DVD. Elsewhere on the chart, George Jones' Hits I Missed And One I Didn't, which features one of his Dolly duets, "The Blues Man," gains a dozen digits to No. 171 pop in its ninth chart week, its second week in its return to the charts following his death, also snagging a second week on the catalog albums chart, where it advances eight to No. 29, and the country catalog albums chart, where it inches up one to No. 10. Paul Anka's Duets, with his Dolly duet "Do I Love You (Yes, In Every Way)," re-enters the top 200 pop albums chart at No. 187 for a third week, also rebounding 28 to No. 151 in its fourth week on the current albums list but sliding 10 to No. 13 Canadian pop. I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston, featuring the late singer's cover of Dolly's title track, drops one to No. 34 R&B/hip-hop albums in its 25th week. Overall, Kenny Chesney's Life On A Rock debuts at No. 1 country and pop with 153,000 units sold, while Blake Shelton's Based On a True Story dips one to No. 2 country and remains at No. 6 pop with 35,000 copies sold in its sixth week.

May 9:
Dolly Wardrobe Headed To Fan Fair 2013
If you haven't been among the lucky to tour the Dolly home of Harrell Gabehart and Patric Parkey, which contains the largest private collection of Dolly-worn clothing in the world, you will be able to see its Dolly contents next month in Music City. The couple has been cleared to announce that their entire Dolly wardrobe collection will be displayed in a special exhibit by the Country Music Hall of Fame in its new Music City Center convention facility adjacent to the main Hall of Fame building. They currently own about 45 Dolly outfits, all of which will be either on display or worn by Dolly look-a-likes at the June 6-9 exhibit being held as part of CMA Fest, formerly known as Fan Fair. Also on display will be several pairs of her shoes, her original "Applejack banjo," an autographed guitar and dulcimer, the complete bedroom suite from her former Dollywood apartment and a Dolly pinball machine. Their collection was featured in the fan documentary For The Love Of Dolly as well as on the premiere episode of TLC's series My Collection Obsession, which brought Dolly out to their house unannounced for a surprise tour.

May 7:
Friday, Saturday Park Tours Planned

Dolly will have park tours at Dollywood on both Friday and Saturday of this week, the park has announced. Weather permitting, Friday's park tour is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. and Saturday's for 5 p.m. She is also scheduled to open the new RiverRush ride at Dollywood's Splash Country on season passholder preview day Friday and to cut the ribbon at Dollywood's new Dreamsong Theatre in addition to Friday evening's annual Pigeon Forge parade at 6 p.m. Check out ride POV animation from the new water coaster in the media player above or by clicking here and check out a preview of it on WBIR from Monday here.

'Hollywood' Closing Knoxville Film Fest
The Knoxville Film and Music Festival on Monday announced its 2013 line-up for June, and the Dolly fan documentary Hollywood To Dollywood will be the closing picture to the festival on June 15. In addition, 20 percent of every ticket to the screening will be donated to the Imagination Library. Stars Gary and Larry Lane and Leslie Jordan will be present to host the screening and participate in a Q&A.

Straight No Chaser CD Comes Out This Week
Don't forget that Straight No Chaser's new album, Under The Influence, hits stores on Tuesday featuring the a capella group's collaboration with Dolly on her "Jolene." Other guests on the project include Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Seal, Rob Thomas, Jason Mraz and Sara Bareilles.

May 6:
Dolly Flowers From Jones Funeral Garner Attention
Nashville's FOX 17 included in its coverage of George Jones' funeral services last week a special segment on Dolly's chosen flower arrangement for the occasion. Since she was unable to attend, she requested something special related to butterflies, and the station interviewed the florist who put it together for her. Watch it here.

'Very Best' Almost Steady Down Under
The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 inches down one digit this week Down Under to No. 28 in its 269th week on the top 40 Australian country albums chart.

Dollywood's Penguin Players Touring Again
Dollywood's Penguin Players are on the road again, performing Dolly's musical adaptation of books from her Imagination Library literacy program. The Asheville Citizen Times reports on the troupe's travels May 13-17 to Buncombe County Public Libraries in North Carolina here to perform Toni Buzzeo's One Cool Friend.

May 4:
Fan Doc To Be Part Of Library Conference
Twins Gary and Larry Lane say they are heading back from LA to Dolly's back yard. The stars of the fan documentary Hollywood To Dollywood along with Emmy winner Leslie Jordan, who is also featured in the film, will be part of the biennial conference for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy project in Pigeon Forge next month. They intend to present to the Dollywood Foundation the first year's donation from the film's profits 10 percent of each DVD sale is donated to Dolly's charity and screen the film for the conference attendees. They also expect an announcement on Monday about a separate event in the area that will involve the film as well.

'Joyful Noise' At 134,000 Copies
SoundScan data on Friday showed Dolly's Joyful Noise soundtrack sold 261 copies the previous week, down 22 percent for the week, bringing its cumulative total to 134,331 units. Since as it was reported here Thursday it's at the No. 50 spot on the 50-position gospel albums chart, this could be one of the final weeks we could get sales numbers on it.

May 3:
Imagination Library Starts In Australia
With about 50 million books distributed in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain since inception, Dolly's Imagination Library early childhood literacy program this week officially added a fourth nation and third continent with registration of the first three dozen children Down Under in Australia. The expansion is thanks to a partnership with United Way Australia, and the first community to sign up is in Queensland. Visit the new Aussie website here and read the program's blog entry about the expansion here. In related news, the program is also expanding into Greene County, Mo., Ozarks First reported here.

Jones Disc Returns To Chart, 'Evening' Falls Back Off
Country legend George Jones was laid to rest in Nashville on Thursday, and that same day the music charts reflecting sales for the first three days following his passing came out to reflect a 1,000 percent increase in his overall sales from the previous week. His titles returning to the charts on the May 11 Billboard tallies include the 2005 release Hits I Missed And One I Didn't, which features a Dolly duet, "The Blues Man." With 3,000 copies sold for the week, a 200 percent increase over 1,000 the previous week, that collection re-enters the top 200 pop albums chart at No. 183 for a eighth week and debuts on the catalog albums chart at No. 37 and the country catalog albums chart at No. 11. Elsewhere on the charts, the Cracker Barrel release An Evening With . . . Dolly falls back off the 40-position music DVD chart after returning for one week at No. 40. SoundScan data showed it sold 193 copies for the week to be the 43rd best-selling music DVD of the week, pushing its cumulative sales total to 56,892. Paul Anka's Duets, featuring the Dolly collaboration "Do I Love You (Yes, In Every Way)," falls off the top 200 pop albums chart, down from No. 148 in its second chart week. The set dips 50 spots to No. 179 current U.S. albums in its third week but gains five places to No. 3 Canadian pop. Dolly's Joyful Noise soundtrack could soon fall off the charts, losing eight digits to No. 50 on the 50-position gospel albums tally in its 68th week. I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston, with her cut of Dolly's title track, rises nine numbers to No. 33 R&B/hip-hop albums in its 24th week. Overall, Blake Shelton's Based On a True Story holds steady at No. 1 country and dips two to No. 6 pop with 37,000 copies sold in its fifth week, while The Band Perry's Pioneer stays at No. 2 country and slides eight to No. 14 pop in its fourth week.

'9 To 5' Heads To More Communities
Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical is heading to a few new places. Barrie, Ont., Canada got to see it at the Mady Centre for the Performing Arts starting Thursday courtesy the Kempenfelt Community Players, Simcoe.com reported here. In Delaware, Clear Space Theatre Company in Rehoboth Beach will have their opportunity beginning Friday, Cape Gazette reported here. And the British tour of the show continues, with The Salisbury Journal reviewing it, saying here: "This isn't one of the greatest musicals ever made, but it does have a certain feel-good factor."

Splash Country's Opening Nears
We're just one week away from Dollywood's Splash Country's season passholder preview day next Friday when Dolly will be on hand to open RiverRush, the state's first water coaster. Then she'll pop over to Dollywood to open the new Dreamsong Theatre and her My People show. Splash Country then opens to the general public on Saturday, May 11.

May 1:
Hear Dolly's Straight No Chaser Collaboration On 'Jolene'
Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday posted streaming audio of next week's release Under The Influence by a capella group Straight No Chaser, and the album is simply stunning. The top performance is "Jolene" featuring Dolly backed up by tight harmonies of voices imitating the song's signature guitar lick. All of the songs are stellar, but other standouts include covers of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and a mash-up of fun.'s "Some Nights" and "We Are Young." Take a listen here and order your copy of the album, hitting stores next Tuesday, here!