June 21: Dolly Returns To 'Today,' Doc Screenings Coming
NBC's Today this week featured additional footage of Dolly from her Dollywood interview with Jenna Bush Hager at the Wildwood Grove opening, this time for Hager's literary segment, "Open Book." Hager asked Dolly about her reading habits, favorite authors, what she'd bring to a desert island and her own impact on reading as "The Book Lady" for the Imagination Library. Watch the segment here or in the media player above. In related news, the Library's coordinators from around the world were meeting in Pigeon Forge this week and I understand they caught a preview of The Library That Dolly Built, the upcoming documentary about the program, and noted it will be made available soon to local affiliates of the program to screen in their communities.
June 19: Dolly Chats Housewares, 'Heartstrings,' Christmas Flick The Knoxville News-Sentinel on Tuesday posted a new interview with Dolly about her upcoming merchandise line, which she said could include "perfumes, cosmetics, wigs, housewares, whatever" and that she'll promote each new line when it comes out and then let them sell themselves thereafter. She noted she's been in meetings where the brand experts have been researching what to launch first and getting her input. She also noted that her upcoming Netflix Heartstrings series will highlight a different area of Dollywood in each episode's opening introduction that she filmed throughout the park, and that she has about 18 songs in her musical Christmas On The Square that she is currently filming and hopes to be on the network this holiday season. Read the full interview here.
Post Malone Wears Dolly To Festival Post Malone appeared at Tennessee's Bonnaroo music festival over the weekend donning a custom-made suit covered with two circa 1976 Dolly headshots over the entirety of his shirt and pants, leading Dolly to comment "Love the outfit!" via her social media accounts. Check out a picture of the outfit in a story from Billboardhere.
June 17: Australian Chart Updates Down Under, the "gold series" re-issue of The Very Best Of Dolly Parton (Australian Tour Edition) regains one spot to No. 26 in its 404th chart week on the Australian country albums chart since its original 2007 release, it was revealed Saturday.
June 15: Dolly Repeats DreamMore Resort Expansion, No Upcoming Tours Another Pirates Voyage grand opening interview from last week was released on Friday, this time from Bristol, Va., television station WCYB, and it repeats her announcement she made in last week's Huntsville interview that the next major expansion to Dollywood will be addition of a second resort hotel thanks to the success of DreamMore (and, alas, she also repeats that she won't be touring anytime soon but expects she'll eventually get back on the road again sometime in the future). Watch the new interview here.
Trio Slips On British Charts The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe by Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt slips one to No. 5 on the British country compilation albums chart in its 144th chart week, it was revealed Friday. Also on the U.K. country compilation albums chart, 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 Ronstadt) falls two to No. 14, while Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) re-enters the top 20 at No. 20 and Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) falls out of the top 20, down from No. 18.
June 14: Dolly Gets Three Songs On PBS Doc Soundtrack PBS on Thursday announced the track listing for the massive soundtrack to the upcoming Ken Burns documentary Country Music and that it will feature three Dolly tracks. Disc Four of the five-CD Deluxe version of the soundtrack, which drops here Aug. 30, features her "Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel #8)" (one of four versions of that song on the collection alongside the Jimmy Rodgers original and covers by Bill Monroe and Rose Maddox), "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You." In addition, prior to the show's Sept. 15 premiere several other versions of the soundtrack will drop on Sept. 13 including the digital download of the five-CD deluxe version here, a two-disc abridged version digitally here or on CD here or on LP here which includes "Jolene," as well as a Wal-Mart exclusive one-CD version that features "I Will Always Love You" and a Barnes & Noble exclusive of the LP set that is on red, white and blue vinyl. The DVD and Blu-Ray, available for pre-order here, hit on Sept. 17. PBS will air a preview of the special nationwide at 10:30 p.m. Eastern this Friday. Dolly's three entries put her in the top dozen artists of the genre featured on the 105-track collection, which is led by five songs each from Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson; four songs each from Merle Haggard and Jimmy Rodgers; and three songs each from Dolly, The Carter Family, Roseanne Cash, George Jones, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Waylon Jennings and Emmylou Harris.
Chenoweth Recruits Dolly For Next CD Kristin Chenoweth this week repeated to Hollywood Life her desire to play Dolly in a Broadway adaptation of her life story and revealed Dolly is among the guest artists on her upcoming album, For The Girls, which also features Ariana Grande, Reba McEntire and Jennifer Hudson. Read more here.
Keanu Reeves Photo Spurs Discussion A photo from a few months back of Dolly meeting Keanu Reeves went viral this week when fans noticed in all of his pictures with women he is very careful not to be photographed touching them, instead allowing his hands to hover just off of their bodies. Some speculated this was to avoid any accusations of sexual misconduct while others said they believed it was showing respect to women's bodily autonomy. (Regardless, he grew up around Dolly because for a brief time in the late 1970s his seamstress mother sewed her stage costumes, including her famous 1978 Playboy bunny costume which his mother kept and allowed him to wear as a Halloween costume when he was 16 years old.) Read more on the photo phenomenon here.
'9 To 5' Touring Cast Announced The touring casts for Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical UK version were revealed on Thursday and Louise Redknapp, who is currently playing Violet in the West End production, will reprise that role for all dates on the tour. About half of the dates will also see Amber Davies, who is currently playing Judy, in that role, and one show on the tour will see Brian Conley, currently playing Mr. Hart on the West End, reprise his role as well. The cast for the West End extension run, which will play the same time as the tour this fall and into next spring, has yet to be announced.
'Younger' Opens Season With Dolly's '9 To 5' The TV Land series Younger on Wednesday night opened its sixth season with its lead cast belting out Dolly's entire song "9 To 5." Check out the story of the song on the set here and watch the performance here or in the media player below.
June 10: 'Very Best' Moves Up A Little Down Under Down Under, the "gold series" re-issue of The Very Best Of Dolly Parton (Australian Tour Edition) regains five places to No. 27 in its 403rd chart week on the Australian country albums chart since its original 2007 release, it was revealed Saturday.
June 8: Pirate Dolly Opens Pigeon Forge Pirates Voyage Theatre
Dolly officially opened her Pirates Voyage dinner theatre in Pigeon Forge on Friday, welcoming invited guests and media to a special show Friday morning. She returned in the evening to greet fans at the VIP Premiere show as well. Live Facebook video feeds of the morning media event include WBIR's here or in the media player above, WVLT's Kyle Grainger's here or in the media player below and WLOS 13 here. Coverage included WBIR here, The Knoxville News-Sentinelhere and WATE here. Additional satellite interviews from Thursday that were posted included Fox and Friendshere and Roanoke, Va., station WSLS here. She noted in her remarks that she would be heading back to Atlanta following Friday evening's appearance to continue filming her upcoming holiday musical, Christmas On The Square.
Trio Remains Steady On U.K. Compilation Chart The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe by Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt holds steady at No. 4 on the British country compilation albums chart in its 143rd chart week, it was revealed Friday. Also on the U.K. country compilation albums chart, 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 Ronstadt) slips one to No. 12, while Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) loses three to No. 18.
June 7: Dolly Promotes Pirates Voyage Opening
Dolly is back in Pigeon Forge this week for Friday night's Grand Opening of her Pirates Voyage dinner theatre, which she promoted on Thursday with several satellite remote interviews from the restaurant with regional television stations including Cincinnati's Local 12 here or in the media player above, Huntsville's WAFF here and Fox 5 Atlanta's Good Day Atlantahere or in the media player below. Most of the interviews were much the same as usual but in the Huntsville spot she revealed that her next major expansion will be a new resort at her Dollywood DreamMore Resort Hotel and Spa as Dollywood's "next big project." Also, according to social media fan photos, while in town she popped in unexpectedly at her Frizzle Chicken Farm House Café, which she purchased in January as part of the deal to buy all of Fee/Hendrick Entertainment Group's Pigeon Forge properties including The Comedy Barn, Hatfield & McCoy Theatre and Smoky Mountain Opry, which had planned to become its own pirate-themed dinner theatre this year.
June 6: Interview: Dolly Had Health Scare Last Year In a new interview from Dolly's February press junket in London published here this week by Clash Music magazine, she confided to the reviewer that the past year nearly "broke" her emotionally and that she faced a health crisis at the time. Although the piece doesn't include direct quotes of what she exactly said on the subject, it paraphrased that she said "she has never encountered an unconquerable challenge, although the last year, she says, in which she lost a brother and niece in close succession, and she and her husband faced serious health problems while trying to deliver a number of work projects including this musical and the soundtrack to Netflix's Jennifer Aniston-produced Dumplin', came close to breaking her." The year certainly featured many challenges. Her Stampede dinner theatre in Pigeon Forge saw protests and threats from white nationalists upset over her decision to remove the word "Dixie" from its name now that its Civil War themes had been entirely replaced over the years with Wild West themes, and it was announced just weeks after that decision that she would no longer serve as grand marshal for the annual spring parade in Pigeon Forge, from which she later joked she "was fired." In September, close friend and co-star Burt Reynolds passed away, followed in December by the death of her youngest brother, Floyd. (Her niece, Tever, actually passed the previous year, in March 2017.) And although she and Netflix lobbied hard for a nomination, she failed to receive an Oscar nod for her work on the Dumplin' Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. In February of this year while in London promoting the West End opening of her 9 To 5: The Musical, she first confirmed her husband's unspecified health problems which she said led her to plan more short-term projects this year where she would be away from him for a few days or weeks at a time instead of the months that it takes to tour. The new interview released this week is the first to add she had serious health issues of her own last year, but it was noticed at her recent Dollywood appearance that she was being followed at each of her stops by a paramedic, including having the paramedic walk behind her car in her park tour, which was not the case in the past. She normally does not release information about health issues she has faced, and the public usually only finds out about them much later, for example when the tabloids in October 2015 claimed she had stomach cancer and she put out a rare statement that she was just suffering from kidney stones and had them surgically removed a few weeks earlier. However, her sister Stella claimed in an interview six months later that she had actually been near death due to contracting sepsis in addition to kidney stones and that was why she was absent from the set of the first Coat Of Many Colors movie that filmed that summer and fall.
NYT Talks To Dolly About Wildwood Grove Another new interview on much lighter subject matter was also released this week by The New York Times, which covered the opening of Dollywood's Wildwood Grove expansion here.
Pirates Voyage Opening Nears And don't forget that after two weeks of preview shows/soft opening, the grand opening night for Dolly's Pigeon Forge location of her Pirates Voyage dinner theatre is Friday. WVLT noted the upcoming event, which Dolly is expected to attend, here.
June 3: San Diego Baseball Team Likes Dolly's Song Apparently the San Diego Padres have the past few games adopted "I Will Always Love You" as their theme song they sing in the dugout after certain plays. Check out the story from Yahoo here.
'Very Best' Loses More Down Under Down Under, the "gold series" re-issue of The Very Best Of Dolly Parton (Australian Tour Edition) falls eight spots to No. 32 in its 402nd chart week on the Australian country albums chart since its original 2007 release, it was revealed Saturday.
June 1: 'Smoky Mountain Rain' Heading To Radio As Single Although Ronnie Milsap: The Duets, the album containing the duet, was released back in January, Ronnie Milsap's management announced this week that "Smoky Mountain Rain" with Dolly will be officially sent to radio as the CD's first single on June 17, according to a story from Nash Country Dailyhere. As was previously reported here, an animated video for the song was released the previous week and is available on YouTube here.
Kenny Rogers: I'm Not Dying Yet Kenny Rogers' management on Friday released a statement contradicting tabloid reports this week that he was near death. Gossip site Radar Online posted a report, which was subsequently picked up by The National Enquirer, claiming Rogers was in Georgia on his death-bed from cancer, unable to stand for more than a few minutes, and that he declined Dolly's request during a farewell phone call with her to visit her in Nashville and write songs with her. In response, his management posted a statement to his official social media accounts calling the reports "wild misinformation and speculation" and explaining: "Kenny was recently admitted to a local Georgia hospital and treated for dehydration. He will remain there to complete some physical therapy to get his strength back prior to discharge. He appreciates the concern and well wishes he has received from his fans and can assure everyone he plans on sticking around through the years to come."
Trio Remains Steady On U.K. Country Charts The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe by Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt holds steady at No. 4 on the British country compilation albums chart in its 142nd chart week, it was revealed Friday. Also on the U.K. country compilation albums chart, 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 Ronstadt) gains five to No. 11, while Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) holds steady at No. 15 and Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) drops off the top 20, down from No. 13.