May 12: Dolly's Little Chicken House Re-Opens Friday With the re-opening of several restaurants in Tennessee and this week's re-opening of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to visitors, The Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Café announced on Facebook Monday it will be the first of Dolly's properties to re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant, which her World Choice Investments (parent company of Dolly's Stampede and Pirates Voyage dinner theatres) purchased along with Hatfield & McCoy's and the Smoky Mountain Opry from Fee Hedrick Entertainment at the beginning of 2019, becomes the first of her attractions to re-open to the public. It will serve breakfast and lunch starting Friday, according to the announcement. Her other attractions, including Dollywood, remain closed indefinitely but industry observers expect that the other dinner theatres will open soon. Similarly, Disney announced its Orlando retail and restaurant complex Disney Springs will be the first of its properties to re-open on May 20.
May 11: Dolly Celebrates ETSU Graduation, Mother's Day
Dolly over the weekend released two celebratory videos. The first was to East Tennessee State University's graduating class for their virtual commencement ceremony, which is viewable from Facebook here and in the media player below. The second video on Sunday was in honor of Mother's Day and featured a performance of her 2016 recording "Mama," which appeared as a bonus track on the Wal-Mart version on her album Pure & Simple. The video is viewable here or in the media player above.
U.K., Aussie Chart Updates The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe sits atop the British top 20 country compilation albums tally, retaining its No. 1 position this week, it was revealed Friday, while Essential Dolly Parton falls eight to No. 14 on the same chart, Gold: The Hits Collection – Dolly Parton and re-enters the top 20 at No. 19 while Dolly's Greatest Hits falls off the top 20, down from No. 20, Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) slips three to No. 8 and Emmylou Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) loses three to No. 5. Down Under, the "gold series" re-issue of The Very Best Of Dolly Parton (Australian Tour Edition) holds steady at No. 5 its 451st chart week on the Australian country albums chart since its original 2007 release.
May 7: 'Dolly Parton's America' Nominated For Peabody The podcast Dolly Parton's America was nominated Wednesday for the prestigious Peabody Award for "the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and digital media during 2019." Half of the nominees will be named recipients of the award at a yet-to-be-determined date, since coronavirus has cancelled the traditional awards ceremony. The nominees for Podcast/Radio are "70 Million" (Lantigua Williams & Co.), "Dolly Parton's America" (WNYC), "Finding Fred" (iHeart Media), "Gangster Capitalism: The College Admissions Scandal" (C130 Originals), "Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul" (WXPN), "Have You Heard George's Podcast?" (BBC Sounds), "Headlong: Running From 'Cops'" (Stitcher), "In The Dark: The Path Home" (APM Reports), "Silencing Science" (Public radio, Reveal), "Stonewall OutLoud" (NPR), "The Catch and Kill Podcast with Ronan Farrow" (Pineapple Street Studios), and "The Refuge" (Montana Public Radio).
Dolly To Perform On May 18 Fundraiser Dolly was announced Wednesday as one of the lead performers for a streaming live fundraising concert to benefit Covenant House a week from Monday. "A Night Of Covenant House Stars" streams for free on Broadway on Demand at 8 p.m. May 18. Tony winner Audra McDonald and 60 Minutes correspondent John Dickerson will host. Headlining performers and speakers include Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Jon Bon Jovi, Dolly, Dionne Warwick, Stephen Colbert, Stephanie J. Block and Tony Shalhoub. The show will be produced by Jeff Calhoun, who started as a singing football player in Dolly's film adaptation of The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and took over as director for Dolly's national U.S. and U.K. tours and West End production of 9 To 5: The Musical. It will also stream on iHeartRadio Broadway, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube and Stars In The House. Additional performances and appearances are expected from Rachel Brosnahan, Martin Short, Charlie Day, Chris O'Dowd, Zachary Levi, Zachary Quinto, Robin Thicke, Deborah Cox, Quentin Earl Darrington, Ariana DeBose, Darius de Haas, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Eden Espinosa, Jordan Fisher, Stephanie Hsu, Randy Jackson, Capathia Jenkins, Jeremy Jordan, Ramona Keller, Alex Newell, Karen Olivo, Dawn O'Porter, Laura Osnes, Benj Pasek, Jodi Picoult, Shereen Pimentel, Andrew Rannells, Keala Settle, Jake David Smith, Will Swenson, Bobby Conte Thornton, Ana Villafane, Frank Wildhorn, and the Broadway Inspirational Voices choir. Proceeds will benefit Covenant House's work across 31 cities in six countries to provide housing, food, and healthcare to children and youth facing homelessness.
'There Was Jesus' Back On Charts Increased attention last week from release of its music video two weeks ago is reflected in the May 9 Billboard charts released Tuesday, as Dolly's duet with Zach Williams, "There Was Jesus", re-enters the Christian digital single sales chart at No. 5 and debuts on the Christian airplay chart at No. 33. Ultimate Dolly Parton falls off the 50-position country albums chart, down from No. 48, and her collaboration "Faith" with Galantis featuring Mr. Probz falls off the hot dance/electronic songs chart, down from No. 20.
Watch Dolly Read On Thursday Night Dolly's sixth installment of her "Goodnight With Dolly" series premieres Thursday night with The Last Stop On Market Street at 7 p.m. Eastern. Watch here or in the media player below.
RuPaul's Drag Race on Friday night shared to social media the footage from their celebrity show which featured Dolly. On Twitter here or in the media player above, you may watch Dolly's message to the contestants. Then on Facebook here or in the media player below, you may watch their Twerkin' 5 To 9 "Rusical" where Vanessa Williams imitated Dolly while lip-synching about "9 To 5," "Burning The Midnight Oil," and lines like "I grew up poor as dirt, now I'm running Dollywood. I love all God's children, except that red headed hussy Jolene. I taught Miley how to twerk, now all the gays love me."
May 2: Dolly Shows Up On 'Rupaul's Drag Race' Dolly made an appearance Friday night on RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race, showing up via video to wish contestants good luck and to give a play on Ru's famous catch-phrase by saying "Don't muck it up!" Then contestant Vanessa Williams, who won the episode, played Dolly in a "Rusical" parody of 9 To 5 called Twerkin' 5 to 9 with each contestant playing the actresses who appeared in the movie and singing lines about their respective careers.
Tenn. Sports Hall Of Fame Honors Dolly The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame this week revealed Dolly has been named its 2020 Tennessean of the Year for her significant contributions to society, strong character and high-profile leadership. Previous recipients include Vice President Al Gore, Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist, the 101st Airborne Division and Opry owners Gaylord Entertainment. In a press release, Dolly said: "This will come as a shock to most of you, but I'm not very athletic. Ha ha. I just couldn't find tennis shoes, cleats, or blades with five-inch heels, so I gave up and settled for music. Seriously, I have always been a proud Tennessee girl and have supported all our athletics through the years; so, of course, I'm thrilled to be honored by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame." The Hall of Fame said she was being honored for her historic mark on the music industry and her philanthropic work in Tennessee and worldwide. The award will be presented at a gala in Nashville Aug. 1. The release did not state whether Dolly is expected to be in attendance. Tickets, $250 each, are available at 615-418-9595.
U.K. Chart Updates The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe sits atop the British top 20 country compilation albums tally, retaining its No. 1 position this week, it was revealed Friday, while Essential Dolly Parton dips two to No. 6 on the same chart, Gold: The Hits Collection – Dolly Parton and Ultimate Dolly Parton both fall off the top 20, down from No 6 and No. 9, respectively, while Dolly's Greatest Hits debuts at No. 20, Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony gains two to No. 5 and Emmylou Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) rises one to No. 2.
'Very Best' Coming Out On Vinyl In June Sony's Legacy imprint has announced they will on June 26 issue in the U.S. a two-disc vinyl version of the 2007 British compilation (also later released in Australia) Very Best Of Dolly Parton Vol. 1, which became her first platinum album in the U.K. and a few years later her first platinum album in Australia. The 20-song track list will be the same as the CD, which focuses mostly on her RCA years but also includes two tracks from Monument Records, one from Warner Brothers, and three from her time at Columbia/CBS. Reserve your copy here.
Linda Perry Interview Available Again Online Linda Perry's We Are Hear video podcast show has finally posted her livestreaming interviews with Steve Summers and Dolly from earlier in the week for watching at any time. Check the footage out here or in the media player below.