June 29: Paisley Debuts Big, 'Wasted' Sees Increase Dolly's most recent duet partner got a big debut this week on the July 7 Billboard charts, it was revealed Friday, as Brad Paisley's latest, 5th Gear, enters at No. 1 country, No. 3 pop, with 197,000 units sold in its first week. His CD before that, Time Well Wasted, featuring the No. 1 Dolly duet "When I Get Where I'm Going," enjoys some coattail sales, rising four to No. 18 country in its 97th chart week, even though it slips a dozen digits to No. 105 pop and 14 to No. 111 comprehensive. The album inches up one to No. 29 Canadian country. Martina McBride's Timeless, featuring "I Still Miss Someone" with Dolly, gains six to No. 69 in its 88th week. Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, with "Islands In The Stream," moves up four to No. 66 country in its 75th week. Rhonda Vincent's All American Bluegrass Girl, with Dolly on "Heartbreaker's Alibi," inches down one to No. 6 on the bluegrass albums chart in its 51st week. Last week's No. 1, Toby Keith's Big Dog Daddy, slips one to No. 2 country and three to No. 4 pop with 73,000 copies moved in its second week.
Fan Doc In Twin Cities Those in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., area may want to check out the Dolly fan documentary For The Love Of Dolly this weekend as it shows at the Walker Art Center as part of the "Queer Takes: Standing Out" film series. The movie screens at 4 p.m. Saturday. Read more from The Pioneer Presshere.
Library Goes Down To Georgia The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer in Georgia on Thursday profiled the launch of a local campaign in support of a new local chapter of Dolly's Imagination Library. Take a read here.
June 28: Dolly Interview On GAC Thrs. Dolly is interviewed about her recent Pioneer Award from the Academy of Country Music in the new episode of Country Music Across America on the Great American Country (GAC) cable and satellite network, the channel announced Wednesday. The show premieres at 9 p.m. Eastern Thursday with repeats over the next two weeks. But that's not the only Dolly-related programming coming up. Thanks to Michael for alerting me that the Food Network on July 7 will premiere Amusement Park Eats with host George Duran, who filmed part of the program at Dollywood during last September's Bluegrass & BBQ Fest. No word on whether Dolly herself makes an appearance on the program, which airs at 9 p.m. Eastern that night with repeats the following couple of days.
Down A Bit In Norway Dolly's recent hit European compilation disc, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, remains in the top 20 another week on the Norwegian pop albums chart, falling two to No. 18 for the week, it was revealed Wednesday.
Tribute Show Planned In LA Hilarious musical act The Boofont Sisters will be taking on Dolly next month in the tribute show Dolly Wouldn't written by Joe Greene and backed by the all-female bluegrass group The Dime Box Band. The performances are scheduled for 9 p.m. July 27-28 and Aug. 3-4 at The Cavern Club Theater at Casita Del Campo restaurant in Silverlake, Calif., a section of Los Angeles just east of Hollywood. Tickets will be $20 at the door or $15 online. (Click on the image for a larger version.)
Ex-Employee Gets Nine Years A former Dixie Stampede employee accused of fondling child actors above their clothing at Dolly's dinner theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., pleaded no contest to the charges on Wednesday and was sentenced to nine years in prison, according to published reports. Armando Martinez Gonzalez, an undocumented Mexican national, will be deported after serving at least three years of the sentence, according to the Knoxville News Sentinelhere.
June 27: See Reader Pics Check out three new galleries of reader-submitted shots of Dolly from her recent Dollywood appearance which have been added to that section of the site here. Thanks Chris, Whitney and Dawn!
'Biography' Game Online Again Thanks to Marcos for alerting me that the kitschy "Dolly For A Day" game that had premiered on the British Biography Channel's website nearly a year ago in honor of the U.K. premiere of her episode of Biography has relocated stateside on the U.S. Biography Channel's website here. (Her edition of the series airs on the cable network on Monday night.)
Carrie Loves Dolly Dolly made her way into In Style this week, sort of. Several leading ladies of music's young set were asked to name the five songs which most inspire them in their music, and Carrie Underwood included two Dolly tracks: No. 4 "Jolene" and No. 5 "9 To 5." For her photo shoot for the piece, she is surrounded by albums on the floor, and the only ones you can see on top of the stacks are Dolly: The Great Pretender, New Harvest . . . First Gathering and Heartbreaker. Underwood's top two choices were Patsy Cline classics ("Crazy" at No. 1 and "Walkin' After Midnight" at No. 2) with Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" at No. 3. In concert, she usually performs "Jolene" immediately before her own smash hit "Before He Cheats." See the photo here. Thanks, Bridget!
Down A Tad Down Under Dolly's hit compilation CD The Very Best Of Dolly Parton continues to bode well for her on the Australian country albums chart. The CD slips just one spot to No. 5 this week Down Under.
CD, DVD Reminders Don't forget that the second installment of the current SonyBMG Dolly compilation series hits stores in Europe on Monday and will be available very soon thereafter as an import from U.S. retailers that stock import titles. The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 2 follows the massive success of Vol. 1 in the series, which became Dolly's first-ever full-length album on the top 10 British pop chart and also became a top 10 pop hit in several other nations on the continent. Order it from Amazon in the U.S. here! Also hitting stores stateside this week is the DVD collection Hannah Montana: Pop Star Profile, which features Dolly's first guest spot on the Disney Channel tween series. (She has filmed a second one to air sometime in the current second season, although the exact air date has yet to be announced.)
'Very Best' Down In Sweden, Ireland After returning to the chart for a week after a little absence, the greatest hits album The Very Best Of Dolly Parton is back off the Swedish top 60 pop albums chart, down from No. 56 last week, it was announced Friday. Also on Friday, the charts came out in Ireland, where the CD falls 10 to No. 55 pop.
ACM Stories, Photos Published Coverage continued Friday of Dolly's Pioneer Award ceremony for the Academy of Country Music this week. The daily Celebrities column in Nashville's The Tennessean devoted nearly its entire space to the event, starting with Porter Wagoner's playful banter with her over whether her famous chest played in any role in his giving her the big break of joining the cast of his national television show in 1967, and a sizeable section is offered with Ashley Monroe discussing meeting her for the first time that night before going out to salute her by singing "But You Know I Love You" in the ceremony. Read more here. And Music City Update on Friday posted several great photos from the night's festivities. View them here! Photo by Aaron Crisler/GospelMusicUpdate.com.
Former Stampede Employee Trial To Begin Court TV reports that the first of four trials of former Dixie Stampede employee Armando Gonzales begins in Sevier County next week. Gonzales is charged with sexual battery, accused of inappropriately touching four children over their clothes as they prepared to perform in the Christmas show at Dolly's dinner theatre in 2004. Gonzales denies all of the allegations. The children's parents have filed separate civil suits seeking millions of dollars from the restaurant, which has denied any wrongdoing on its part. Read more here.
Academy Fetes Dolly Several stories on Thursday recapped Dolly's appearance in Nashville to accept the Pioneer Award from the Academy of Country Music. Ashley Monroe paid tribute to her by singing her 1981 No. 1 "But You Know I Love You," while bluegrass queen Rhonda Vincent brought the house down with her take on "Jolene." Longtime duet partner Porter Wagoner introduced her, explaining: "She was so different, so unique sounding and really and truly that's why I hired her for The Porter Wagoner Show. It wasn't because she had big boobs." During her award acceptance, Dolly countered: "And, yes, you did hire me because I had big boobs." She also got several laughs with her comment: "This is a great honor. Of course when they told me I was winning the Pioneer Award I thought, 'Well, how appropriate 'cause I remember when me and Porter came to Nashville in our covered wagon.'" A story from The Tennessean is available here, while CMT.com's coverage is here and a story in both written format and streaming video is offered by Nashville's WKRN here. In addition, gospel legend and good Dolly friend Dottie Rambo was present for the evening and has posted several backstage photos on her website here. (Visit Photos and choose "ACM Pioneer Award Ceremony").
Lunchbox Auction Ends Dolly's lunchbox auctioned off on CMT.com to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee was one of the big-ticket items of the event, it was revealed when the charity auction of 28 celebrity lunchboxes ended Thursday (11 more started a week later and will finish up next week). Dolly's was the third-highest fund-raiser for the organization with a winning bid of $335. Only Joe Nichols at $485 and Gretchen Wilson at $405 surpassed her. Hers was one of only nine to get more than $100 (with pal Porter Wagoner's going for $160). Last year, Dolly's lunchbox was the auction's most successful item, bringing in more than $800.
Little Movement On Charts The album which contains Dolly's most recent No. 1 single, Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, inches down one to No. 22 on the June 30 country albums chart, Billboard announced Thursday. The CD, which features "When I Get Where I'm Going," also dips four to No. 93 pop, gains eight to No. 97 comprehensive and loses eight to No. 30 Canadian country in its 96th chart week. Martina McBride's Timeless, with Dolly on "I Still Miss Someone," could be nearing the end of its chart run. The album, in its 87th week, falls four to No. 75 on the 75-position tally. Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, featuring "Islands In The Stream," also nears the bottom, falling four to No. 70 country in its 74th week. Rhonda Vincent's All American Bluegrass Girl, with Dolly on "Heartbreaker's Alibi," jumps up eight to No. 5 on the bluegrass albums chart in its 50th week, while former Dolly duet partner Porter Wagoner sees his Wagonmaster, which includes a cover of the Porter & Dolly-composed"My Many Hurried Southern Trips," fall off the country chart after one week at No. 72. Toby Keith's Big Dog Daddy debuts at No. 1 country and pop with 204,000 units sold in its first week, while Big & Rich's Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace inches down one to No. 2 country and six to No. 12 pop in its second week.
Report: Dolly And Amy To Meet British singer Amy Winehouse has been singing the praises of Dolly, her ultimate idol (such as the article here), and her comments have paid off, apparently. I don't know how much stock to put in the story because it comes from a U.K. gossip site, but Now Magazine reports that Dolly has invited Winehouse and her new husband to Dollywood to meet her and even sing with her. Read it all here.
'CW' Works On Dolly Story Country Weekly appears to be readying a Dolly cover story for a recent interview with her. The magazine this week sent out a survey to its readers' panel asking them to choose between two covers, both of which feature the same publicity photo of Dolly from a couple of years ago and one of two headlines. The first reads: "Exclusive: 'I've Been Blessed' Dolly Parton on stardom's ups and downs, her unusual marriage, inspiring faith, and those famous assets!" The second reads: "Exclusive: The Dolly Phenomenon, 40 years on top! Dolly Parton shares secrets about showbiz, her unusual marriage, faith, plastic surgery and more!" Generally, a version of the cover close to the one which gets the most votes from readers shows up on newsstands a few weeks after the survey, although that isn't always the case. For example, in one fairly recent instance a Dolly cover was selected by readers in two separate surveys but the magazine took the unusual step of asking for a third vote, and it lost to a cover story on the slimming down of Sugarland from a trio to duo. Dolly's interview instead ran on the inside a few issues later. Thanks!
ACM Ceremony Wednesday Night Dolly was in Nashville Wednesday night to be honored by the Academy of Country Music with its highest award, the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award. The ACM's equivalent to the Country Music Hall of Fame induction at the Country Music Association Awards each year, the honor used to be profiled fairly prominently on the annual televised awards show but was relegated this year to just a scroll across the bottom of the screen as an award announced prior to broadcast. Instead, a non-televised, private reception honoring this year's winners was held Wednesday night at the Tennessee State Museum in Music City. Marty Stuart served as host recognizing Pioneer Award honorees Dolly and Don Williams and the late Waylon Jennings and Harlan Howard. In addition, the late Buck Owens was recognized for the Jim Reeves International Award and former Columbia/Sony executive Jack Lameier for the Mae Boran Axton Award. Read a story, see photos and watch video from WTVF here.
Almost Steady In Norway Although the collection is falling out of the top 75, top 50 and even top 20 charts all across Europe, Dolly's massive hit compilation album The Very Best Of Dolly Parton is still hanging on in Norway. The CD slips one there to No. 16 pop this week, it was announced Wednesday.
'9 To 5' Update Broadway industry publication Playbill on Wednesday offered an update on the two planned private staged readings of Dolly's 9 To 5 musical planned for June 28 in New York. The only new information in the piece is it identifies the roles being taken on by some of the previously-revealed actors: The West Wing's Allison Janney will read Violet, Bebe Neuwirth of Cheers takes on Roz and Marc Kudisch becomes Mr. Hart. It had previously been reported that Megan Hilty plays Dolly's role of Dorolee and Stephanie J. Block has been cast as Judy. Read more here. No premiere date has been set yet for the show, which is being directed by multiple Tony winner Joe Mantello, but Dolly revealed last weekend that she expects it could be another full year before it officially premieres.
'Central' Updates My pal Christian at Country Stars Central asked me to let everyone know he will have a new contest later this month and invites all to see the new photos he has posted and the new forum which has opened on his site, which features a great deal of Dolly.
'Next Best' Dolly Thanks to Chad for alerting me that a "Dolly" has made it to the semi-finals on ABC's The Next Best Thing. Sandy Anderson will compete in the next round as Dolly.
Dolly In Print There's a good bit of Dolly in the new Country Weekly on newsstands this week. Open the cover and she has the entire page to herself with two large photos from the hospital groundbreaking in Sevierville back in May. Then turn to Hazel Smith's column and she recounts Dolly's appearance that weekend on The Grand Ole Opry. A few pages over, the tale from her autobiography about nearly being swept out to sea during an Australian storm while on a boat with former manager Sandy Gallin makes the magazine's list of the top 10 near-death experiences of the stars, and another story profiles the traveling exhibit of country music photos by Jim McGuire, including his classic shot of Dolly, which recently finished its run in Nashville and opened Tuesday at the East Tennessee Historical Society Museum in Knoxville, where it will remain through Sept. 16.
Little Dolly On Paisley Project Although I've seen one press report which mentions Dolly being on the new Brad Paisley disc 5th Gear, thanks to reader Al for letting me know her only vocal on the CD is the line "Hello boys! Looking for these?" in a little recap of "previously on Kung Pao Theater" introducing Paisley's next installment of the comedy series.
Emery Petitions For RFD Dolly is among those who are lending a helping hand to Ralph Emery's plea to get Comcast to carry RFD-TV in Nashville. The cable network is presently only available in Music City to satellite subscribers and airs Emery's current talk show as well as classic music programs such as The Porter Wagoner Show, on which Dolly was a cast member from 1967 to 1974. Dolly, Barbara Mandrell and others have written letters in support of the effort, according to The Tennesseanhere.
Killen Honored In Nashville Dolly's longtime producer Steve Buckingham offered some comments on her respect for the late Buddy Killen, who helped sign the teen-aged singer to Mercury Records, in a WKRN story Tuesday about a street on Music Row named after the industry icon this week. Read more here.
Latest On Library Check out coverage of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program coming to Uniontown, Pa., from Tuesday's Uniontown Herald Standardhere.
An Eagle When She Flies Dollywood and The American Eagle Foundation (AEF) on Monday released a new promotional photo of Dolly with AEF President Al Cecere and bald eagle Challenger to recognize the first-ever American Eagle Day on Wednesday, which is being held on the bicentennial of the bird's selection as the national emblem. The AEF's 30,000-square-foot aviary on the park's grounds houses the nation's largest collection of non-releasable bald eagles, many of which participate in a breeding program which has released several dozen young eagles into the wild of the Great Smoky Mountains. Click on the thumbnail at left to view a larger version of the image (courtesy Business Wire). In related news, Bay Area TV station KGO reported Monday that the bald eagles housed at the San Francisco Zoo which have been part of a captive breeding program in California for several years are being shipped to the park to join the AEF's collection of breeders as the Zoo shuts down its program. Read more here.
HOF, Label Ink DVD Deal Some vintage Dolly footage could be coming to DVD soon, as Video Business reported Monday that Shout Factory has signed a partnership agreement with the Country Music Hall of Fame to cull the HOF's archives of television programs for DVD collection creation. No exact titles for release have yet to be announced from the archives. In addition, the article noted that the documentary Shakespeare Was a Big George Jones Fan, a collection of home movies by Cowboy Jack Clement which includes a Dolly appearance or two, will be released by the label on DVD in October. Read more here.
RIAA Adds Dolly Award The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the folks responsible for certifying and issuing gold and platinum awards, began Monday updating its online database of certifications, including correcting the June 15, 2006, listing for "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Brad Paisley and Dolly to add Dolly's name to the gold award for the digital single. You may recall after the listing was posted on the organization's website last year, an inquiry by Dollymania about the absence of Dolly's name resulted in the RIAA's discovering that a clerical error had caused them to mistakenly certify the award as a solo project in Paisley's name only when the record label had asked that it be certified as a duet in both names. The online listings were still being updated as of Monday night, so several of Dolly's 26 career awards had yet to be added to the new database. (For comparison, Elvis Presley, who holds several dozen gold and platinum awards, was shown with only 14 as of Monday.)
Dollywood Ride Experiences Problem This weekend wasn't a good one for several guests on Dollywood's Timber Tower ride, the $6.5 million topple ride which opened last year. The ride's safety system engaged while 38 people were on it at its highest point Saturday evening and would not disengage. Fire trucks had to be called to remove them from the ride, a process which took several hours, according to published reports. See a story, which includes several photos, from Knoxville TV station WVLT here. According to the report, the ride will remain closed until an outside investigation is completed.
'Very Best' Gone From U.K. After 14 weeks on the chart and an impressive top 10 debut, her only album to ever reach the single digits on the British pop albums charts, the compilation CD The Very Best Of Dolly Parton this week falls off the 75-position tally across the pond, down from No. 63 the previous week, it was announced Sunday. Although it may not be that long until she's back on the list, with the release one week away for the second installment in the series, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 2. Next door in Ireland, the collection tumbles nine to No. 45 pop. Down Under, the disc dips one to No. 4 on the Australian country chart, while in Norway it falls seven to No. 15 pop. In Sweden, the collection re-enters the top 60 pop chart at No. 56 for the week.
U.S. Chart Updates Most Dolly-related projects take a dive on the June 23 Billboard charts released last week. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with its No. 1 Dolly duet "When I Get Where I'm Going," falls two to No. 21 in its 95th week on the country albums chart, losing 10 to No. 89 pop, eight to No. 105 comprehensive and three to No. 22 Canadian country. Martina McBride's Timeless, featuring "I Still Miss Someone" with Dolly, drops three to No. 71 country in its 86th chart week. Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, with "Islands In The Stream," dips five to No. 66 country in its 73rd week. Rhonda Vincent's All American Bluegrass Girl, with Dolly on "Heartbreaker's Alibi," re-enters the 15-position bluegrass albums tally at No. 13 for a 49th week, while former Dolly duet partner Porter Wagoner debuts at No. 72 with Wagonmaster, which features a new solo recording of the Porter & Dolly-penned "My Many Hurried Southern Trips" (although the magazine had originally erroneously reported, and it was repeated here, that the version on the CD was a new duet -- it was not). Wagoner is now tied with Johnny Cash for the longest span on the country albums chart, as both have discs on it this week and both were on the first chart when it premiered back in 1964, which was 43 years, five months and two weeks ago. Big & Rich's Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace debuts at No. 1 country, No. 6 pop with 103,000 units moved in its first week, while Jason Aldean's Relentless falls one to No. 2 country and 11 to No. 15 pop.
Dolly Record Broken In N. Ireland Dolly managed to hold the record take for Belfast's Odyssey Arena for less than two months, according to press reports. The media reported over the weekend that a match for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization Saturday night brought in 603,600 pounds, or the equivalent of $1.19 million U.S., which was the first event at the venue to surpass Dolly's record box office receipts for her spring appearance there, although the exact figure of her show was not noted in the stories (although it would have likely been quite close). An article from Canada's Yahoo here quoted UFC president Dan White saying: "If we didn't beat Dolly Parton, man I was going to kill myself."
Play Explores Dolly Music A new play Down Under is exploring Dolly's lyrics as the soundtrack for a troubled woman's life experience. Hope Is The Saddest recently premiered at Blue Room Studio in Perth, Australia, and is reviewed in this weekend's Sunday Timeshere.
June 14: Porter: Duets Album Probable In a new interview released Wednesday night by Toronto's NOW Magazine, former longtime Dolly duet partner Porter Wagoner says the pair will likely record a new duets album within a year. "Dolly and I have talked about doing another duets album, and we probably will in the next year or so," he told the publication. "The reason our duets worked so well is because we thought a lot alike and we had a good harmony blend. We sounded like what you get when a brother and sister learn to sing with each other, rather than, say, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, who always sounded like two people singing solo together." Read more here.
Library Store Giving Back To Communities Although the store has been live online for nearly a month now, the merchandise center for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program was formally announced in a press release out this week. The one new development on the store is that 10 percent of each purchases will be rebated to the Library's local chapter in the community where the seller lives. Online donations may also be made to the project from that section of the site. In a press release, Dollywood Foundation Executive Director David Dotson explained: "The Imagination Library knows that giving the gift of reading at an early age is one of the greatest opportunities one can offer a child. And we're thrilled that Dolly's Imagination Library can now go one step further by giving others a chance to support their local community by donating and purchasing merchandise from our Website." Visit the store here. Dolly's project, active in 650 communities across 44 states and several Canadian provinces, provides one free, age-appropriate, hardcover book each month to every child living in a participating community whose parents sign up. It expects to distribute more than 5 million books in 2007 alone.
Sharon Sends In More Pics Thanks again to reader Sharon for submitting some more photos from Dolly's fund-raiser concert last month . View her final gallery in that section of the site here.
On The Road Again Your webmaster is off to Tennessee to cover Dolly's appearances at Dollywood on Friday in celebration of the Imagination Library's annual homecoming, the kick-off of the park's annual KidsFest and for her being honored by the Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council with a lifetime membership in the Girl Scouts. Look for complete coverage here in coming days (and I hope to do some brief updates while out of town to keep everyone informed!)
June 13: ACJ: Dolly Could Teach Disney A Thing Or Two "Disney could take some cues from Dolly," opines a critic for The Atlanta Journal Constitution who this week reviews Dollywood for the newspaper, giving it excellent marks all around. Take a read here, and you may leave your own impressions of the park on the paper's website here.
Second Harvest Offers Second Dolly Lunchbox Dolly has once again signed a custom lunchbox to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, a charity which helps feed the hungry. Her lunchbox, as well as 29 others signed by other Nashville stars, are up for auction on CMT.com here through June 21. Last year, Dolly's lunchbox was the biggest-ticket item of the charity auction, bringing in nearly $800 while most of the others went for less than $100 each.
Another Gallery Added Many thanks to Sharon for sending in a few more great shots of Dolly from her recent concert in Sevier County, Tenn., to benefit the construction of the new Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center in her hometown. View her additional gallery in that section of the site here.
Latest On The Library Check out news of Dolly's Imagination Library expanding into Morgan County, Ind., from Martinsville's Reporter-Timeshere, and learn how officials in Galdwin, Mich., are planning to host a quilt show to raise funds for their local chapter of her international literacy program from the Galdwin County Recordhere.
June 12: New Pics Posted For your viewing pleasure, please find reader-submitted additions to the Grand Ole Opry galleries here and Smokies Stadium concert galleries here. Thanks, Sharon and Mark!
Dolly Not Talking About Paris New York Daily News reported Monday that Dolly spoke of being a good role model but declined to comment on Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan's recent behavior when interviewed for her Johnny Mercer Award presentation prior to last week's Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony. "You need to be yourself. Stay true to yourself, and be aware of the stuff you say and the stuff that you do," she said. "I always try to be true to me, and be true to my music." When the reporter inquired about the young starlets in trouble today, she offered: "I have nothing to say about those things. Everyone's got their own life to live and their own mistakes to make. And that's just life."
GAC Plugs Dolly Honors Cable and satellite channel Great American Country (GAC) has some Dolly on its website this week, recapping the recent news of her being honored with a lifetime Girl Scout membership at Dollywood Friday when she's there to open this year's KidsFest, adding some quotes from the Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony as well. Read the piece here.
June 11: Trio Tracks Revealed For Emmy Set Rhino Records has released the final track listing for the Sept. 18 Emmylou Harris boxed set Songbird: Rare Tracks and Forgotten Gems , revealing which Trio tracks with Dolly and Linda Ronstadt will be included. In addition to the previously-announced inclusion of Harris's cover of Dolly's "Coat Of Many Colors" and the unreleased 1978 Trio session on "Palms of Victory," the collection will feature an unreleased recording from their mid-'90s sessions for the Trio II project, "Softly And Tenderly." In publicity materials, Harris explains: "I was grieved that this [song] didn't come out. I think the singing is exquisite. When Linda goes up in that modulation you realize all over again why she is maybe the greatest voice of our time... and then of course Dolly was made to sing these old-timey songs... It was an unbelievable experience to hear those voices on the same song." (The notes also include the tid-bit that when the ladies were first working on the aborted Trio project in the late 1970s, they were calling themselves The Queenston Trio, a take on the folk group the Kingston Trio, and that "Palms" was their first session together for that album that didn't come to be.) Trio tracks that made it onto other issues and are included in the four-disc set are "My Dear Companion" from 1987's Trio, "When We're Gone, Long Gone" from Trio II and "The Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" with Dolly, Ronstadt, Vince Gill and Gail Davies from the 1984 Harris concept album The Ballad Of Sally Rose. Reserve your copy here!
Mixed Overseas Chart Results The compilation album The Very Best Of Dolly Parton is down across the pond this week but up Down Under. The CD falls 13 places this week to No. 63 on the U.K. pop albums chart but gains three to No. 3 country in Australia.
A Few More Reader Pics On The Way I haven't had time in the past few days to place them on pages and get them posted, but I do have a handful of additional reader-submitted images from Dolly's concert last month in Sevierville to add to that section of the site. I hope to get a chance to put them up in the next day or two. Sorry for the delay, guys!
June 9: Songwriters Honor Dolly Dolly apparently was the hit of the evening at Thursday night's Songwriters Hall of Fame celebration in New York. Accepting the evening's final honor, the Johnny Mercer Award, Dolly unveiled a new joke about her famous bosom, saying it may continue long after she is gone. "I can just see two big mountains growing up out of my grave, and people going around on mule rides to look at them," she joshed. She offered an energetic take on her classic "9 To 5," and Broadway's Idina Menzel offered her tribute with "I Will Always Love You." Read coverage from Reuters here and FOX News here. Photos of her arrival are available from Broadway Worldhere, and additional images have been posted on Yahoo here.
'9 To 5' Private Workshop Performances Set Dolly's Broadway musical version of 9 To 5 will see two private industry presentations in New York on June 28, Playbill reported Friday night. The workshop production will feature The West Wing star Allison Janney alongside previously-revealed cast members Stephanie J. Block and Megan Hilty, both Broadway stars in their own right, in the roles originated in the film by Dolly, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Additional performers in the workshop version, which has no bearing on whether or not they will appear in the final cast for the full stage musical, are Cheers actress Bebe Neuwirth, Marc Kudisch and Andy Karl. The show is still expected for a late 2007 or early 2008 official premiere, although no date has yet been announced. Read more here.
Sliding In Éire The European compilation CD The Very Best Of Dolly Parton loses nine places on the Irish pop albums chart, it was announced Friday, reaching No. 36 for the week.
Dollywood Readying For KidsFest It's now less than a week before magic returns to Dollywood for the opening of the fifth annual KidsFest celebration. The South's largest children's festival, KidsFest kicks off next Friday and continues through Aug. 5 with Untamed Illusions staring the Fercos Brothers, Yogi's Wild Ride, VeggieTales Live, Dolly's Imagination Playhouse and more. "I'm just a big kid myself, so I love the sounds of laughter and folks having fun all summer long at Dollywood," Dolly, who is expected to be on hand for the opening day Friday, said in a release. "From disappearing cats to talking vegetables, I can't wait to see what happens next myself!"
British Show With Dollywood Coming Attention U.K. readers: I'm told that Holiday Showdown, a British program which pairs polar-opposite families to take each others' dream vacations together, has scheduled its episode featuring a trip to Dollywood for 9 p.m. British time July 5 on ITV. Thanks!
June 8: Dolly: Weight Stories Are 'Bull****' Heavy fan discussion fueled by recent tabloid reports of friends being concerned with Dolly's weight prompted her to address the issue on celebrity entertainment newsmagazine Extra on Thursday, calling the reports "bullshit" and saying she is not too skinny. The interview also touched on her time in New York working on the musical adaptation of 9 To 5 and her recent stop in LA to film a repeat appearance on the Disney hit Hannah Montana, complete with video of a clip of her on the show (an air date has yet to be announced). See the story here. Thanks to Sheldon for alerting me that she also discussed the weight stories on Access Hollywood Thursday and is scheduled to talk about her classic "I Will Always Love You" on that program Friday.
Dolly To Become Girl Scout Next Week Dolly will become a lifetime Girl Scout next week when she's at Dollywood for the opening of KidsFest, it was announced Thursday. More than 1,000 Girl Scouts will participate in the ceremony. "While I was never a Girl Scout myself when I was a kid, I always wanted to be," she explained in a press release. "This great honor lets me live out a dream and to be part of an organization that stands for many of the same values I do and Dollywood does." At the event, Scouts from East Tennessee will join Dolly on stage to lead her in the Girl Scout Promise and present her with a lifetime membership pin. She will also give something out: presenting special gifts to each of East Tennessee's 28 Gold Award Girl Scouts for this year. Glenda McCarter-Johnson, board chair of Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council and a childhood friend of Dolly's, said: "Dolly realizes the importance of a program that helps girls grow into young women of courage and confidence. She wants to let these girls know just how much they are appreciated for the work they do for the community."
HOF Honors Dolly The Songwriter Dolly was to be in New York Thursday night to accept the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award for career achievement from the national Songwriters Hall of Fame. Although no press reports from the evening were available as of the time of this update Thursday night, a preview story from the Associated Press was released a couple of days ago. Read it here.
Chart Updates The CD containing Dolly's most recent No. 1 hit, "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Brad Paisley, continues to fall on the charts. Paisley's Time Well Wasted loses two places this week to come in at No. 19 in its 94th week on the country albums chart, Billboard announced Thursday in the June 16 tallies. The CD gains three to No. 89 pop and two to No. 97 comprehensive, and it shoots up 10 to No. 19 Canadian country. Martina McBride's Timeless, with Dolly on "I Still Miss Someone," loses eight to No. 68 country in its 85th chart week. Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, which includes "Islands In The Stream," falls four to No. 61 country in its 72nd week. Jason Aldean's Relentless debuts at No. 1 country and No. 4 pop, while Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts slips one to No. 2 country spot and three to No. 11 pop in its 81st week.
Up In Norway Although the disc has been declining for several weeks overseas, the recent hit compilation CD The Very Best Of Dolly Parton sees a reprieve this week from its downward motion in Norway. The album rises six to No. 8 on the Norwegian pop albums chart, it was announced this week, putting it back into the top 10 there.
'RS' Plugs Re-Issues Thanks to Michelle for alerting me that the recent Dolly re-issues, Coat Of Many Colors, My Tennessee Mountain Home and Jolene, are reviewed in the new issue of Rolling Stone, which raves over the album cuts on Coat and bonus tracks on Jolene.
Thank You To all of the site's readers who sent in their condolences on the recent loss of my grandmother, I'd like to extend my deepest appreciation. Your thoughts, prayers and words of kindness in recent days have helped tremendously as I faced this very difficult week. I also want to thank you for your understanding in the lack of updates on the site this week as I dealt with this matter.
June 5: Reader Shots Available The first reader-submitted images from Dolly's recent appearances on The Grand Ole Opry and at Smokies Stadium in Tennessee to raise money for her hometown's new hospital have been added to those galleries. View them here and here, respectively. And if you have some you'd like to send along, please feel free to do so here. Thanks!
In Memoriam Please excuse if updates are sporadic this week, as your webmaster has suffered a death in the family. My grandmother, Dorothy Elizabeth Simpson, passed away on Monday morning. She was 73. She personified grace and was literally the nicest person I have met in my lifetime. She had been in and out of various hospitals and nursing homes for the past five months, and at each one the staff raved about how sweet she was. And perhaps more than anyone else, she could be thanked for this website's existence, for she was one of the prime supporters of her grandson's "Dolly habit." When I was a very young child, she worked as a clerk in a record store. A but of a Dolly fan herself, when she saw my adoration for Dolly as a baby, she began bringing me the store's promotional copies of her albums and other materials they would get on her. She also used her connections at the store to secure our entire family prime seats for my first concert -- when Dolly came to Jackson, Miss., when I was just under 4 years old (my mother carried me to the stage to present Dolly with a rose). Grandmama had been very sick for several months, and I consider myself fortunate to have been able to spend an hour or two with her every day since she took ill except for the two weekends in April and May when I was in Tennessee taking Dolly pictures for the site. Services will be held Wednesday at Chancellor Funeral Home (7225 South Siwell Road, 39272) in Byram, Miss. Your thoughts and prayers at this time (and understanding should updates be postponed a day or two) would be most appreciated.
June 4: Album Continues Slide Overseas The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, the compilation CD which became her biggest chart hit ever in several European countries, may not have much longer of a life in the U.K. The album falls nine more spots this week to No. 50 on the British pop albums chart, also dipping one to No. 6 country in Australia.
Latest Pics With Dolly A couple more shots with Dolly from winners from the charity auction to meet her at Dollywood's season opening have been added to that section of the site here and the Fan Antics pages here.
'Two Doors Down' Down Under It was a Dolly night Down Under with a huge party in tribute to the singer over the weekend in Melbourne, Australia. Read coverage in The Age in advance of the party here (offering a pretty good overview on Dolly) and a story and photo from the party itself here.
Rambo Profile Set To Air Cable and satellite channel The Inspiration Network, also known as INSP, has scheduled the premiere of The Inspirational Groundbreakers: The Dottie Rambo Story, a profile on the legendary gospel singer featuring an interview with Dolly, for 9 p.m. Eastern June 30. Thanks!
June 2: Unreleased Trio Tracks Coming In Sept. Several previously-unreleased tracks by The Trio -- Dolly, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris -- will make it onto CD for the first time this fall, Harris told Billboard magazine in an interview posted online Friday evening. The cuts will be included in the Sept. 18 Rhino Records release of 80 of her songs on four discs tentatively titled Rarities Box. The CDs will feature "off-the-beaten-path studio work" which while serving as tracks on original albums have not been included in previous Harris compilation discs and have not been performed by her much in concert, including her 1975 recording of Dolly's "Coat Of Many Colors," which she said in the interview is "one of my favorite songs of all time," and her appearances on various tribute albums with songs she has not released on her own solo CDs. The discs will also contain several cuts which have never before been released. Among these will be what are described as "several" unreleased songs with Dolly and Ronstadt. She notes one of the songs is "Palms of Victory," a Carter family tune they had recorded when first trying to put together a Trio album in 1978. The version included is "just live off the floor," Harris explained. "There's not even a solo on it -- it's just the band and the three women singing." The article also notes that Harris "has recently recorded guest spots" for Dolly's next CD. While it has previously been reported that she and Rodney Crowell appear on a new version of "Put It Off Until Tomorrow," having the plural word "spots" suggests she sings on other tracks as well for Dolly's disc, Backwoods Barbie. (As was previously reported here several months ago, Rhino has not indicated whether or not any of the unreleased Trio tracks will be included on its two-CD The Complete Trio Recordings, expected for an August release.) Read the full interview here, and pre-order the Harris boxed set here.
More Winner Photos Added, Too A couple more images of winners from the charity auction to meet Dolly at this year's season opening of Dollywood have been posted to that section of the site here and the Fan Antics pages here.
HOF Posts New Interview Thanks to Tony for alerting me to a great little Dolly interview on the Songwriters Hall of Fame website here in advance of Thursday's program in New York presenting her with the organization's highest honor, the Johnny Mercer Award. As she has in the past, Dolly discusses why songwriting is her favorite part of her career, and she also touches on her upcoming album, Backwoods Barbie. (Tickets, starting at $1,000 each, remain available at 212-573-6933 for the ceremony.)
Up A Little In Ireland Getting a little bump this week on the charts, Dolly's hit European compilation disc, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, regains two spots on the Irish pop albums chart, it was announced Friday. The album comes in at No. 27 for the week.
Dolly In Print I haven't seen an actual copy yet to read the interview, but Dolly is profiled as the "Duchess of Dixie" in the new Playgirl in its annual country issue, complete with a small version of her most recent publicity picture on its cover. But Dolly's interview isn't the only country connection, as country singer Darryl Worley bares all for the publication, CMT.com reports. Dolly was previously interviewed in the magazine (famous for its nude male centerfolds) in 1978 and 1981. That's not the only magazine where she shows up, though, as Dolly gets a mention in the new Country Weekly magazine on newsstands now. Her original "I Will Always Love You" hitting No. 1 back in 1974 is the week's featured story in the Flashback section, complete with the telling of how she came to write it for then-duet partner Porter Wagoner.
U.S. Chart Updates Time Well Wasted, the Brad Paisley album containing his No. 1 Dolly duet "When I Get Where I'm Going," dips one more spot this week to No. 17 in its 93rd week on the country albums chart, Billboard revealed Thursday in the June 9 numbers. The album falls 17 to No. 92 pop and 21 to No. 99 comprehensive, although it inches up three to No. 29 Canadian country. Martina McBride's Timeless, featuring her own Dolly collaboration, "I Still Miss Someone," pushes up nine to No. 60 country in its 84th chart week. Kenny Rogers's 21 Number Ones, with "Islands In The Stream," rises one to No. 57 country in its 71st week. Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts rebounds one to recapture the No. 1 country spot and rises three to No. 8 pop in its 80th week with 51,000 units moved, while the self-titled debut by Taylor Swift gains one to No. 2 country in its 31st week, falling three to No. 16 pop.
And In Norway The hit European release The Very Best Of Dolly Parton continues its slide on the Norwegian pop albums chart, it was announced this week. The disc falls three to No. 14 in that nation's chart.
One More Auction Winner Another winner of Dolly's charity auction to meet her at Dollywood's opening weekend has been added that section of the site here and the Fan Antics pages here.
Dolly Song On Movie List Thanks to Rich for alerting me that Dolly's "9 To 5" was voted the 35th most "unforgettable movie song" of all time by AOL. Also on the list at No. 16 is Whitney Houston's cover of the Dolly-penned "I Will Always Love You," and resting just a few digits ahead of Dolly at No. 31 is "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp," which beat her out for the Oscar last year. See what they had to say about Dolly's 1980 working anthem here.
Pres. Didn't Like Dolly's Pot Scene And speaking of 9 To 5, President Ronald Reagan thought the movie was good but sent the wrong message when it came to drugs. In his recently-released personal journals which covered his years in the White House, The Reagan Diaries, he recalled calling some friends over to watch the film. "It was a comedy (Jan Fonda, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin) 'Nine to Five,'" he wrote. "Funny - but one scene made me mad. A truly funny scene if the three gals played getting drunk but no they had to get stoned on pot. It was an endorsement of pot smoking for any young person who sees the picture." Get the book here.