www.dollymania.net                News                          June 2020

June 13:
'Dolly Parton's America' Wins Peabody Award


Dolly Parton's America was one of four podcasts to be named this year's Peabody Award winners for excellence in entertainment and journalism this week. Also honored were BBC's Have You Heard George's Podcast, American Public Media's In The Dark: The Path Home and Auricle's Threshold: The Refuge. Dolly congratulated the show's host and producer Jad Abumrad with a video The Peabodys posted here.

Dollywood Shows Off Covid Precautions
With Dollywood opening to passholders Monday and Tuesday and then the general public Wednesday, media were given a preview of new social distancing measures Friday. Check out a story from The Knoxville News-Sentinel here. Also, while Dolly's Pigeon Forge Stampede has yet to release an opening date, Ozarks First reports that the Branson venue in the chain will open prior to month's end here.

'New York Times' Wants You To Watch '9 To 5'
The New York Times is hosting a 9 To 5 viewing party this week where readers are encouraged to watch the film and comment on a story here about how the story and politics fare after 40 years. Comments remain open through Monday.

British Chart Updates
The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe stays at the No. 1 spot on the British country compilation albums chart, it was revealed Friday, while Essential Dolly Parton falls out of the top 20, down from No. 20, on the same chart, Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) gains two to No. 11 and Dolly Parton: Gold re-enters the top 20 at No. 20.


June 10:
'When Life Is Good Again' On Digital Sales Chart
Dolly's COVID-19-inspired new single, "When Life Is Good Again," debuts this week on the June 13 Billboard charts, coming in at No. 11 for country digital song sales and No. 31 on the all-genre digital song sales chart. However, once streaming listens and airplay were added, the song failed to break the top 50 Hot Country Songs chart or all-genre Hot 100 chart, Her duet with Zach Williams, "There Was Jesus", continues to climb, as it rises one to No. 17 Christian airplay and one to No. 2 Christian digital single sales.

Dolly Congratulates Local Grads
Dolly had a special message this week to the graduates of each of the high schools in her native Sevier County, Tenn., which appears at the end of each school's virtual graduation ceremony available here.

Hall Of Fame Shares 'Porter' Episode Online
The Country Music Hall of Fame this week is profiling Dolly in its weekly series of historic video from the vault, looking to her as "Music Is Hope" and sharing a 1973 episode of The Porter Wagoner Show with Chet Atkins on which she sings "I Can't Stop Loving You," "Where No One Stands Alone" and a bit of "Poison Love." Watch it here.

Dolly's Comedy Barn Opening Friday
Another of Dolly's recently-acquired dinner theatres is re-opening in Pigeon Forge, they've announced on their Facebook page: Comedy Barn will open Friday. That just leaves Dolly's Stampede as her final Pigeon Forge property yet to announce an opening date (her Smoky Mountain Opry will remain closed through the end of the year due to the impossibility of adequate social distancing in that venue). DreamMore opened Tuesday, Pirates Voyage opens Wednesday, and Dollywood and Splash Country open Monday for season passholders. Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Theatre and Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Restaurant opened in May.


June 8:
'AdWeek' Names Dolly A Top 100 Creative
The new issue of AdWeek features its Creative 100 list for 2020 of the most creative entertainers and influencers in the world, and Dolly made the list of the top 10 (really top 11 since one of them is a couple) "A-list" celebrities on the top 100. See what they had to say about her here.

Knoxville Exhibit Opens
RALA Gallery in Knoxville has opened its Dolly-themed exhibit. Check out a story on it from WBIR here.

Pirates Voyage Opens Wednesday
Dolly's Pirates Voyage dinner theatre will re-open in Pigeon Forge on Wednesday, the restaurant announced last week on its Facebook page. It has been closed since March due to coronavirus.

U.K., Aussie Charts
The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe stays at the No. 1 spot on the British country compilation albums chart, it was revealed Friday, while Essential Dolly Parton drops two to No. 20 on the same chart and Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) falls four to No. 13. Down Under, the "gold series" re-issue of The Very Best Of Dolly Parton (Australian Tour Edition) gains two to No. 8 its 455th chart week on the Australian country albums chart since its original 2007 release.


June 4:
Dollywood Opens June 15, DreamMore June 10
Dollywood on Wednesday announced its plans for opening for its 2020 season with the same restrictions guests are seeing implemented at all other theme parks across the country as coronavirus stay-at-home orders are lifted. Dollywood's DreamMore Resort will re-open June 10, although the spa, playground, fitness center, business center, valet parking, and indoor pool will remain closed and the restaurant will no longer feature a buffet. Dollywood Theme Park and Dollywood's Splash Country Water Park will open June 15 and 16 for season passholders only and to the public on June 17.

In a press release, Dolly said: "We are excited to get open and to welcome families back to the Great Smoky Mountains. Brighter Days are here! We have been blessed to work with some incredible experts at Covenant Health and with the State of Tennessee as we have navigated this extraordinary situation. Their advice and teamwork has provided untold help to make sure we are doing the right thing."  

Dollywood President Craig Ross added: "As Dolly said, we are now ready to reopen and get back to the business of 'Making Memories Worth Repeating' for our loyal and passionate guests to both our parks and resort. The team has faced this challenge head on and they have made numerous operational changes we believe will help with the safety of our guests and hosts as we continue to deal with the coronavirus. Safety is—and always will be—one of our highest priorities."

In accordance with CDC recommendations, guests age 3 and older will be required to wear masks except while eating, taking photos, and while riding water rides at Splash Country and certain coasters and water rides at the theme park. Masks will be provided if you fail to bring one. All guests will have touchless thermometers screen their temperatures prior to entry and anyone with a fever of 100.4 or higher and anyone who traveled in the same car with the individual will be denied entry. All guests, whether season passholders or single-ticket purchasers, will be required to make online reservations here for admission up to 45 days in advance due to capacity limitations, with season passholders limited to (at Dollywood) two Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays a month, three low-capacity or almost-full days per month, or three consecutive days at any time, and (at Splash Country) two Saturdays or Sundays per month, two low-capacity or almost-full days per month, or two consecutive days at a time. If you stay at DreamMore or Dollywood Cabins and purchase tickets for the parks, no additional reservation is required, but if you stay there and are a season passholder, you must make a reservation for admission.

High-touch facilities will be regularly cleaned and hand washing and hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout the park. Queue lines will be shortened to allow for social distancing and some rides will have empty seats to allow for social distancing. Indoor theaters and indoor play areas where adequate social distancing cannot be maintained will be temporarily closed but shows will be performed in outdoor theaters and midways. Remaining festivals will take place as planned: Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health, Harvest Festival presented by Humana and Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana. Restaurants and retail stores will be open but have reduced capacity, and buffets will be served cafeteria style.

A video greeting from Dolly was posted to the site's main page, and a page posted here with the general rules and a more detailed FAQ here. A posting making the announcement to the park's Facebook page had generated about 3,000 comments and 3,000 shares in just under 10 hours, most from customers complaining about the restrictions, a few angry about the limited number of reservations allowed per season pass but most upset at the mask requirement, often making medically-inaccurate claims about why they believe they can't wear masks and therefore won't be visiting the park. 

Dollywood will continue monitoring any changes in the CDC or state guidelines as operations begin and will make the appropriate adjustments to the guest experience.

Dolly Joins Debbie Allen's Dance-a-Thon
Choreographer Debbie Allen has announced a 12-hour digital dance-a-thon to raise money for dance charities across the country on Saturday, June 13, called "Dance To The Music" which will feature appearances by Dolly, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy Porter, Savion Glover and more. The event will stream on Allen's Instagram and Facebook feeds. Allen worked with Dolly on her upcoming Netflix film Christmas On The Square and the two were both represented for years at William Morris Agency by Dolly's film co-producer Sam Haskell.

U.S. Chart Updates
Dolly's duet with Zach Williams, "There Was Jesus", continues to climb the June 6 Billboard charts released Tuesday, as it rises two to No. 18 Christian airplay and five to No. 3 Christian digital single sales.

In Memoriam: Peggy Pope
Peggy Pope, the actress most recognized for playing "the old lush" in 9 To 5 who celebrated each of the main characters' leaving work early for a drink with an "Atta Girl!," has died. She was 91. Read her obituary here.

Final 'Goodnight With Dolly' Tonight
Thursday at 7 p.m. will see Dolly wrap up her 10-week-long coronavirus storybook reading series for Imagination Library, "Goodnight With Dolly," as she flips through Pass It On. Watch here or in the media player below.


June 1:
Dolly Makes Surprise 'RuPaul' Appearance In Finale


Dolly made a surprise guest appearance via video on Friday night during the socially-distant remote season 12 finale for RuPaul's Drag Race on VH1. She and last year's Miss Congeniality, Nina West, face-timed a routine featuring Dolly in drag-exaggerated make-up and wig along with pushed up "girls" and a robe borrowed from a real drag queen. The two chatted about how hard it is to be so nice all the time before West presented the award for this season's Miss Congeniality. Dolly's dressing room was adorned with little Easter eggs like a caulk gun marked "Botox," a wine glass mason jar and a "Dolly" wine bottle in a high-heel shoe bottle holder. She also joked that she's really Leslie Jordan in drag. Check out the clip from the show's Twitter feed here or in the media player above.

'9 To 5' Doc Gets Preview In U.K. Paper
Britain's Metro newspaper over the weekend featured an exclusive sneak peak from Dolly's interview for the upcoming documentary film Still Working 9 To 5 about the movie, television show, and musical as well as each version's impact today. Watch it here.

Dollywood Worker Predicts Re-Opening Changes
A Dollywood employee offered his observations for what changes he expects when the park re-opens eventually in a Knoxville News-Sentinel opinion piece here.

HBO Max Opens With 'Joyful Noise'
The new HBO Max app launched last week, and Billboard noted here the 25 best musical movies on the service at launch, with No. 20 being Dolly's film Joyful Noise.

New Spanish 'Jolene' Released
Mexican pop artists Chiquis Rivera and Becky G on Friday released a Spanish version of Dolly's classic "Jolene." Listen here or download it here. Their promotional materials claim it is the first Spanish-language recording of the song, but an earlier Spanish version was released by Stephanie Urbina Jones a year ago here.

Dolly Joins Virtual Thespian Festival This Month
Dolly is among the participants who will be addressing students in the Virtual International Thespian Festival June 22-26, Playbill reports here. The Denver School for the Arts will be performing their version of her 9 To 5: The Musical as part of the festival.

U.K., Australian Chart Updates
The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe stays at the No. 1 spot on the British country compilation albums chart, it was revealed Friday, while Essential Dolly Parton gains two to No. 18 on the same chart, Gold: The Hits Collection – Dolly Parton falls out of the top 20, down from No. 19, and Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) gains two to No. 9 as 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) falls out of the top 20, down from No. 6. Down Under, the "gold series" re-issue of The Very Best Of Dolly Parton (Australian Tour Edition) inches down one to No. 10 its 454th chart week on the Australian country albums chart since its original 2007 release.