And brief reports from Knoxville TV stations WVLT here and WATE here.
Living Legend Award Special Recap
Although I didn't see it, I'm told Dolly's U.S. Library of Congress Living Legend Award ceremony broadcast on Great American Country Saturday was indeed great. Dolly opened the show with a performance of "Red, White And Bluegrass" from her patriotic CD For God And Country. She joked that receiving a Living Legend Award "sure beat getting the 'dead legend award'" before discussing her childhood some and singing "Coat Of Many Colors." Event host Bill Cody questioned her about her early days singing as a child on Cas Walker's local television show back home and her work on The Porter Wagoner Show in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She sang the "Black Drought" theme song, about the laxative that made one "smile from the inside out" that she and Porter had to sing on commercials for the show, before performing a medley of "9 To 5," "Here You Come Again," "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You." She sang "Welcome Home" from the new CD and discussed the recent star-studded tribute album and how honored she was to have influenced so many great young artists. She ended her concert set with an upbeat version of "Color Me America" and a few more lines of "Red, White And Bluegrass." The show was filled with her usual wise-cracks and jokes. When she was presented with the actual award toward the end of the program, Librarian of Congress James Billington said, "I'm sorry, but I've been waiting all night to do this. Can I hug you?" Of course, Dolly said yes. Thanks, Bridget! The special repeats several times on GAC. Check out the TV listings on the right-hand side of this page.
CMT: 'Romeo' 38th Sexiest
Dolly's video for "Romeo" came in at No. 38 on CMT's 40 Sexiest Videos countdown which premiered on Saturday. Show hostess Roseanne commented that Dolly never looks any older as she ages, and other people interviewed about the video noted, of course, her amazing body and her self-depreciating humor about her appearance as well as criticized video co-star Billy Ray Cyrus for his mullet. The special has many repeats through coming weeks. See TV listings on right-hand side of this page.
Hanging In There On U.S. Charts
Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring Dolly on the CD's new single, "Creepin' In," slips two spots to No. 19 pop and comprehensive in its 18th chart week and moves down three to No. 6 in Internet sales, according to the June 26 numbers released by Billboard on Thursday. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly on her version of "Jolene," gains three notches to No. 17 in its 20th week on the independent labels albums chart. Kenny Rogers' 42 Ultimate Hits, featuring "Islands In The Stream" with Dolly, falls six places to No. 12 country and 37 spots to No. 76 pop in its second chart week. Gretchen Wilson's Here For The Party remains steady at No. 1 on the country albums chart for a fifth week and falls one to No. 4 pop. She Daisy's Sweet Right Here debuts at No. 2 country, No. 16 pop with 42,000 copies sold in its first week. The magazine also noted that while the No. 10 position of Reba McEntire's new single "Somebody" in the June 26 country singles chart puts her in the top 10 of the country artists with the most top 10 singles, she's still behind Dolly. It was pointed out that Dolly, who is No. 8 overall, is still the No. 1 female with a total of 55, compared to Reba's 53. Reba is now tied with Waylon Jennings in 10th place overall. The complete top 10 are Eddy Arnold with 92, George Jones with 78, Conway Twitty with 75, Merle Haggard with 71, George Strait with 65, Ernest Tubb with 58, Red Foley with 56, Dolly with 55, Webb Pierce with 54, and Reba and Waylon with 53 each.
And Outside The U.S.
Jones' Feels Like Home gains one spot to No. 15 in its 18th week on the Canadian pop albums chart, it was announced Thursday. The CD also gains two to No. 27 in its 19th week on the U.K. pop albums chart, it was announced over the weekend. It falls two notches to No. 24 pop in Australia and goes down nine places to No. 15 in Germany.
Single Getting Airplay
Although it has yet to debut on any official charts, I'm told Dolly's duet with Norah Jones, "Creepin' In," is getting some airplay. The tune has been added to WGAR's play list in Cleveland, was No. 21 on WUSN's station chart in Chicago last week and came in at No. 13 on L.A.'s KZLA-FM's station chart last week as well. Thanks, James!
Dolly's "Welcome Home" from For God And Country falls out of the top 40 in this week's unofficial IndieWorldCountry independent country singles chart, it was announced Friday. The tune, which had been No. 1 two weeks ago, dropped from No. 19 last week.
Dolly In CMT's 'Sexy' Cut
Dolly apparently made it into the new CMT 40 Sexiest Videos countdown premiering Saturday. The network started promoting the two-hour special this week online noting Dolly as one of its "featured artists." You may recall it noted here last month that her video for "Romeo" was one of 46 contenders for the fan-voted countdown. The special is to be broadcast at 8 p.m. Saturday with repeats throughout coming weeks (see TV schedule on right-hand column of this page -- and speaking of television premieres, don't forget to catch Dolly's U.S. Library Of Congress Living Legend ceremony's first broadcast at 9 p.m. Saturday on Great American Country).
Womack: 'Just Someone' I Admire
Lee Ann Womack announced in a Q&A posted on CMT.com Wednesday that she has cut a cover of the classic Porter & Dolly duet "Just Someone I Used To Know." She also mentions her frequent performance of "Jolene" in concert and the influence Dolly had on her musical style, which has resulted in her singing in a similar voice, in the story here.
Meeting Dolly Fulfils Dream
Newcomer Julie Roberts, who took on Patsy Cline's "Sweet Dreams" in last week's CMT 100 Greatest Love Songs concert, had "a dream come true" when she met Dolly backstage at the event in Nashville, according to a press release (here) her record label issued on Wednesday. "We got our picture taken together and then she turned to me, held my face in her hands and said 'You are adorable,'" Roberts said. "I couldn't speak. Then before I took the stage for my performance there was a commercial break and the announcer said, 'When we come back, Julie Roberts and Dolly Parton.' I almost started crying."
Some Friendly Competition
Retired NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip announced this week plans to open his own tourist destination in Pigeon Forge, home of Dollywood. The $5 million Darrell Waltrip's Racing Experience, to open in spring 2005, will include a theater, racing simulator, pit crew area, remote control cars and an exhibit of winning race cars, according to a report here.
Some Goofing Around
I'm told there's a bit of a Dolly reference in the new Garfield movie. In a scene with the fat cat's owner, John, he's singing "9 To 5" in the shower. Thanks, John!
A Brief Hiatus
And you may recall that the cat himself celebrated his 25th birthday at Dollywood last year for the inaugural Kids Fest event. While he won't be there this weekend, Barney the Dinosaur will be making a special appearance for a few days only, but several performers children will love will be at the park throughout the festival, which concludes Aug. 8, including the return of VeggieTales, ASA extreme sports shows and kids' karaoke as well as the addition of the Perondi's Extreme Canines Show and Smoky Mountain Bear Jam Show. There will be no site updates at Dollymania for a few days, as your webmaster will be at the park covering the events for you. Look for a full recap upon returning!
Helping More Charities
CMT has added a couple other Dolly items to its charity auctions, I was informed Monday. To benefit the music scholarships and music education programs of the Recording Academy (the people who give out the Grammy Awards), the network is auctioning tickets to the 2005 Flame Worthy Video Music Awards in Nashville plus a 2004 poster from the event autographed by Dolly and a handful of other artists from this year's program. As of Monday evening, bidding was up to $810 on the item (here) that closes July 6. And in the Leadership Music auction, for which an autographed and photo of Dolly were sold last week, a promotional lunchbox with several items from her Hungry Again album release is up for bids here, with the price as of Monday evening up to $50. That one closes on Friday. Thanks, Jonathan!
Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly harmony vocals on "Jolene," moves down five more spots to No. 28 on the Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart released Monday with 243 spins at reporting stations nationwide, down from 269 the previous week.
Dolly was awesome on the CMT 100 Greatest Love Songs concert Sunday, offering a performance of the countdown's No. 1 tune, "I Will Always Love You," that brought the house to its feet several times. She often performs the song in a somewhat understated tone, allowing its poetic words and haunting melody to carry the story, but on the show, she gave such a passionate rendering of the final chorus that her whole body was involved in presenting the emotion of the song to the crowd. Introducing it, several other artists lauded the song's beauty and lasting impact as well as Dolly herself (although several interview segments had been taken from previous CMT specials). The show repeats throughout the next several days -- see TV listings on right-hand side of the page.
Jones' Mixed Results Overseas
Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring Dolly on the song "Creepin' In," loses three spots to No. 29 in its 18th week on the U.K. pop albums chart, it was announced over the weekend. The CD moves up two points this week to No. 22 pop in Australia and inches down two to No. 8 in Germany.
Columnist: Dollywood 'Makes Sense'
I came across an interesting commentary piece from the Anderson Independent Mail in Georgia Sunday where an African-American country music fan described how white fans often make her uncomfortable at music events, staring and asking why she's there. However, she noted that she experienced no such ostracizing as an outsider when she and her husband visited Dollywood recently. She concludes her piece with: "I'm going back to Dollywood, where things make sense." Read the full story here.
'100 Greatest' Reminder
If you're reading this update when it was first posted on Sunday afternoon, remember CMT's 100 Greatest Love Songs special premieres that day with Dolly's performance of its No. 1 selection, "I Will Always Love You," rounding out the two-hour concert portion counting down the top 12 tunes starting at 8 p.m. Eastern and repeating at 10 p.m. The concert repeats several additional times throughout the month (see TV listings on right-hand column of this page).
Photos From Nashville
My good friend Debbie sent in several shots she took of Dolly at Wednesday night's CMT 100 Greatest Love Songs concert in Nashville. See them here! Thanks, Debbie! And don't forget to tune into CMT on Sunday starting at 4 p.m. Eastern to watch the full countdown. The two-hour concert portion with performances of the top 12 begins at 8 p.m. Eastern, with Dolly finishing the show off with its No. 1 selection, "I Will Always Love You."
Dolly's "Welcome Home" from For God And Country falls 18 places to No. 19, down from last week's No. 1 song, in this week's unofficial IndieWorldCountry independent country singles chart, it was announced Friday.
It Can Be A Drag To Be Dolly
Everyone knows Dolly is one of the most popular subjects for female impersonators to impersonate, and she herself often jokes had she not been born a woman she'd have been a drag queen. Well, down in Australia, where Sydney is often known as the Drag Capital Of The World, a new show launched in the city last week using nothing but Dolly drag queens. I'm told the cast of the show, called "Dollypops," consists of some of the best impersonators in Australia. Click on the image at left for a larger view. Thanks, Scott!
Comedian Lewis Black may work the recent unofficial "Gay Day" at Dollywood, and the corresponding Ku Klux Klan protest, into his comic routine while in the area. He mentioned the flap in an interview with the Knoxville News-Sentinel which ran Friday in advance of his Saturday show in Knoxville and Sunday show in Nashville. Read what he jokingly said here.
'I Will Always Love You' Coverage
Dolly's taking of the No. 1 spot on CMT's countdown of the 100 greatest country love songs of all time got lots of press on Thursday. CMT posted its coverage of the Wednesday night concert here complete with a photo of Dolly from the show and promising that its TV premiere Sunday night will offer "a passionate and feisty performance" of the No. 1 track, "I Will Always Love You," by Dolly. Most other coverage was based on the Associated Press story (here), and the AP also released a photo of Dolly from the concert stage available here.
Little Movement On The Charts
Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring Dolly on its second single, "Creepin' In," inches up three to No. 17 pop and comprehensive in its 17th chart week and moves up two to No. 3 in Internet sales, according to the June 19 numbers released by Billboard on Thursday. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly guest vocals on her cover of "Jolene," loses one spot to No. 20 in its 19th week on the independent labels albums chart. Gretchen Wilson's Here For The Party remains steady at No. 1 on the country albums chart for a fourth week and moves up one to No. 3 pop. Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down moves up one to No. 2 country and up three to No. 18 pop in its 18th chart week. The week's big debut comes from frequent Dolly duet partner Kenny Rogers, whose 42 Ultimate Hits compilation, which features "Islands In The Stream" with Dolly, bows at No. 6 country for the Hot Shot Debut designation and No. 39 pop with 28,000 copies sold in its first week.
Steady Up North
Jones' Feels Like Home remains steady at No. 16 in its 17th week on the Canadian pop albums chart, it was announced Thursday.
Dolly and Dottie Rambo's duet "Stand By The River" comes in at No. 18 on the new Polish country radio airplay chart, it was announced Thursday in the European CMA's round-up. Dolly's other tracks on the tally from two weeks ago fall off the chart: "Hello God" from Halos & Horns down from No. 13 in Malta and No. 114 for overall continental airplay and her appearance with The Larkins on their cover of her "Steady As The Rain" down from No. 5 in France and No. 27 for overall airplay.
Another Charity Auction Announced
Dolly has contributed more possessions for auction, this time described as "costume items" for Renaissance 2004 at Rose Mont Plantation in Gallatin, Tenn., according to The Gallatin News Examiner. The auction takes place Saturday at Rose Mont. Read more here.
'I Will Always Love You' Takes Top Spot
As expected, Dolly's "I Will Always Love You," which she took the top of the country charts twice before Whitney Houston's smash pop cover version, has been named by CMT as the No. 1 country love song of all time, the network announced Wednesday night as Dolly and other stars gathered in Nashville to perform the top 12 from the 100 Greatest Love Songs special premiering over the weekend. Two years ago, the song had previously taken the No. 1 position in a similar list of the greatest love songs in pop music compiled by CMT's sister network VH1. The full list of 100 country songs is available on MSNBC here. Amazingly, "I Will Always Love You" is Dolly's only entry on the countdown (on VH1's list, "Islands In The Stream" with Kenny Rogers made No. 80, and she has had more country No. 1 love songs than any other female artist in history). The six-hour special reviewing all 100 tracks airs starting at 4 p.m. Eastern Sunday, concluding with the two-hour concert, but the top 12 are as follows:
12. "When You Say Nothing At All," Keith Whitley and later by Alison Krauss & Union Station
11. "That's The Way Love Goes," Merle Haggard
10. "Golden Ring," George Jones and Tammy Wynette
9. "I Cross My Heart," George Strait
8. "She Believes In Me," Kenny Rogers
7. "Amazed," Lonestar
6. "Unanswered Prayers," Garth Brooks
5. "Hello Darlin'," Conway Twitty
4. "Forever and Ever, Amen," Randy Travis
3. "Sweet Dreams," Patsy Cline
2. "You Were Always On My Mind," Willie Nelson
1. "I Will Always Love You," Dolly
Trisha Yearwood is the countdown's most frequent artist, with four entries ("How Do I Live," "In Another's Eyes" with Garth Brooks, "That's What I Like About You" and "She's In Love With The Boy"). Merle Haggard, Faith Hill, George Jones, Willie Nelson and Conway Twitty each make three appearances on the tally.
GAC Special Airtime Confirmed
Cable network Great American Country (GAC) this week announced the airtime for the June 19 premiere of Dolly's special recognizing her U.S. Library Of Congress Living Legend Award ceremony from April. The channel posted a 9 p.m. Eastern broadcasting time on its Web site Tuesday, noting that dates and times for repeats will also be announced soon. The network also placed a third-page ad in the new issue of Country Weekly on newsstands this week with a photo of Dolly and the airtime.
Speaking Of 'Country Weekly'
Dolly also shows up in a few other places in the new issue of Country Weekly magazine. In two articles accompanying the cover story on Faith Hill's role in the new Stepford Wives film, Dolly gets a paragraph or so in profiles of other country artists who have found success on the big screen, noting her status as the first female country performer to have a successful film career and offering a cast photo from 9 To 5. Toward the end of the magazine, there is also a brief outlining of the often-told story behind her writing the classic tune "I Will Always Love You," complete with a photo of her and the song's inspiration, former duet partner Porter Wagoner, to celebrate Tuesday's 30th anniversary of the song reaching No. 1 for the first time.
A Smile And An Autograph
CMT is auctioning off a mid-1980s photographic portrait of Dolly framed with an autographed index card to benefit Leadership Music, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing communication among the many different elements of the entertainment industry and to address day-to-day issues of importance to that business. The auction ends at 5:30 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, and as of Tuesday evening the bid was up to $80. See the item here. Thanks, Bridget!
'At The Carwash . . .'
If you saw a gaggle of Dollys in Lafayette, La., over the weekend, your eyes weren't playing tricks on you. I'm told a local charity had a car-washing fundraiser where all the women dressed up as Dolly, complete with wigs, high heels, outrageous clothing and stuffed bras to clean up cars while singing along to "9 To 5" and other tunes. Thanks, Miles!
A Salute To Soldiers
The American Eagle Foundation, a charity housed at Dollywood devoted to the care and breeding of unreleasable bald eagles to introduce their hatchlings to the wild, announced this week that it had received enough donations from local businesses, including Dolly's theme park itself, to offer its new specialty eagle license plate free of charge next year to several Tennessee residents in the 101st Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles" from Ft. Campbell, Ky., near Nashville. These will push the nonprofit organization over the state-required minimum pre-sales of 1,000 which it had to meet before the state would begin issuing the specialty auto tags, half of the proceeds from which directly benefit the charity.
Dolly Track For CMT Concert Announced
I don't know if they were supposed to let the cat out of the bag, but Sugar Hill Records on Monday confirmed our suspicions and disclosed in its monthly e-newsletter that Dolly will, in fact, perform "I Will Always Love You" in CMT's 100 Greatest Love Songs concert Wednesday night in Nashville counting down the top 12 tracks in that special, which premieres on the cable network Sunday night. No word yet on where in the top 12 Dolly's classic composition finds itself or what other Dolly cuts might be in Nos. 13-100. In related news, CMT announced Monday that pop singer-songwriter Michael McDonald has been added to the performance roster for the concert taping. Others singing that night include Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Lee Ann Womack, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Lonestar and more.
Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly harmony vocals on "Jolene," inches down one spot to No. 23 on the Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart released Monday with 269 spins at reporting stations nationwide, down from 287 the previous week.
Interesting Business Proposition
Wanna be a madam? Well, the brothel which inspired the Broadway musical and Dolly's 1982 hit film The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas is on the market. According to a press release (here) issued on Monday, the Chicken Ranch is for sale with an asking price of nearly $7 million. The whorehouse opened in La Grange, Texas, in 1844 and operated there until it was closed on order of the state governor in the early 1970s following a television exposť. It then moved to Nye County, close to Las Vegas, Nevada, the only state in the U.S. where prostitution is legal, and has operated there to this day.
Jones Falling Overseas
Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with Dolly on the track "Creepin' In," loses two spots to No. 26 in its 17th week on the U.K. pop albums chart, it was announced over the weekend. The CD also drops six points this week to No. 24 pop in Australia and inches down two to No. 6 in Germany. In related news, call your local radio stations and request the Dolly duet today. Capitol Nashville, in association with Blue Note Records, has completed shipping the single to country radio (radio CD single cover art work at left).
Lending A Helping Hand
Dolly's donation of one of her limited-edition autographed dulcimers for the "Hollywood 100" charity auction to benefit Project Angel Food brought in a winning bid of $1,000 on Sunday afternoon. The Los Angeles organization has for years provided free meals for HIV/AIDS patients and recently expanded to also offer its services for patients facing other life-threatening diseases including cancer, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis. The instrument was estimated in value between $1,000 and $3,000 and was one of several dozen celebrity items contributed for the project's annual auction.
New Screensaver Available
Now you can have your very own "Best Of Dollymania" screensaver for your computer. The free screensaver features more than 65 photos of Dolly taken by your webmaster over the past couple of years. Download instructions are available here!
'Welcome Home' Tops Unofficial Chart
Dolly's "Welcome Home" from For God And Country tops this week's unofficial IndieWorldCountry independent country singles chart, inching up one notch to take the No. 1 spot, it was announced Friday.
Jones Sells Big
Norah Jones second CD, Feels Like Home, the second single off of which is her duet with Dolly, "Creepin' In," has been certified by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) as quadruple-platinum for having shipped more than 4 million units, Billboard reported on Friday. The disc, which spent six weeks at No. 1 on the magazine's pop albums chart, becomes the album with the highest certification to feature Dolly. Previously, that distinction was held by Linda Ronstadt's Simple Dreams from 1977, which included Dolly harmony on the No. 8 country single "I Never Will Marry." That album has been certified by the RIAA as triple-platinum for moving more than 3 million copies. (As a bit of trivia for you: The album with the greatest RIAA certification containing a Dolly song is The Bodyguard soundtrack, certified a whopping 17-times platinum. Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You" which appears on the disc has been certified quadruple-platinum itself for shipments of more than 4 million copies.)
Those heading down to Orlando, Fla., for the annual "Gay Days" week won't want to miss "The Showdownhoedown," a private, gay and lesbian family-themed event being held at Dolly's Dixie Stampede in town on Saturday night. Proceeds from the non-alcoholic party benefit Orlando's Joy Metropolitan Community Church. Visit their site here for more information.
'Ultimate' Gone From The Chart
After 40 weeks on the country albums chart, Ultimate Dolly Parton falls out of the 75-position tally in the June 12 numbers Billboard released Thursday. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring the Dolly duet "Creepin' In," remains steady at No. 20 pop and comprehensive in its 16th chart week but inches up one to No. 5 in Internet sales. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly harmony on "Jolene," gains four spots to No. 19 in its 18th week on the independent labels albums chart. Gretchen Wilson's Here For The Party remains steady at No. 1 on the country albums chart for a third week and steady at No. 4 pop. Lonestar's Let's Be Us Again debuts at No. 2 country and No. 14 pop.
Still Falling Up North
Jones' Feels Like Home drops two places to No. 16 in its 16th week on the Canadian pop albums chart, it was announced Thursday.
Dolly Fan In The Paper
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Thursday had a great profile of Dolly fan, poet, comedian and doctorate student Stephen Powers, his love for our favorite entertainer and his collection of Dolly-inspired poems he hopes to soon publish. Read it here.
Another Charity Auction
Although the article doesn't identify what item she donated, something from Dolly went up on the auction block in Hattiesburg, Miss., Thursday night to benefit the city's local AIDS hospice, 1-2-1 Haven House, which opened a few months ago. Other celebrities contributing to the "Reach For The Stars" auction included Tim McGraw and Keith Urban. Read the story from the Hattiesburg American here.
Dollywood will hold its annual Scout Days Friday and Saturday with tons of great events for Boy and Girl Scout troops from around the country, including railway history with the Dollywood Express steam train, leatherworking, wood carving and stained glass classes. Reservations and park admission are required; call 1-888-428-6789. And next door, Dollywood's Splash Country is planning its second annual Lazy River Float-A-Thon at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 12. The event is a benefit for the Knoxville Ronald McDonald House, which houses families of children seeking medical care at area hospitals. Last year's event raised $5,000 for the charity. Participants collect pledges based on the number of laps they can complete on the waterpark's Lazy River ride. Entry forms are available at area McDonald's, the park and local radio station 100.3 The River.
Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly on her cover of "Jolene," falls eight spots to No. 22 on the Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart released Tuesday with 287 spins at reporting stations nationwide, down from 369 the previous week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with her Dolly duet, falls out of the top 40, down from No. 39 the previous week.
'Gay Day' Makes Baptist News
The recent unofficial "Gay Day" event held at Dollywood got coverage this week in what some may think is an odd place, the Southern Baptist Convention's Baptist Press. Overall, the story is about as balanced as could be expected with the major exception of while it notes that no Baptists were known to have protested, it omits any reference to the small by very visible protest which took place and was organized by the Ku Klux Klan in association with an area white supremacist "Christian" church. The article also places attendance for the event at or below the 1,300 who participated last year, while mainstream media coverage estimated the crowd at or above organizers' goal of 5,000. See the online report, with several photographs, here.