Miley Cyrus on Saturday covered Dolly's bluegrass-inspired arrangement of The Beatles' "Help" for an international concert against social injustice and to fight COVID-19, "Global Goal: Unite For Our Future." She performed in an empty Rose Bowl Stadium wearing a flowing blue outfit which she told Voguehere was inspired by the band's oversized blue shirts on the original album cover art as seen through a glam lens of David Bowie with a splash of Dolly, on whose 1979 cover version she added hers was based. Watch the performance on YouTube here or the media player above.
June 27: 'Peace Train' Dance Remix Available Online The 1997 house music remix of Dolly's cover of the classic Cat Stevens song "Peace Train" by DJ Junior Vasquez was released for digital download and streaming for the first time at midnight Friday. Thanks, David and Greg! Producer John Michael Di Spirito shared the story behind its re-issue on Facebook: He was working with exercise company Peloton to create four Dolly playlists released this week in its Artist Series and asked her management why the tracks weren't available. They didn't know and contacted the label, which said the masters had been lost years ago in a fire (presumably the infamous Universal Studios fire of 2008 which it was revealed a decade later destroyed more than 500,000 masters of songs in the Universal family of labels including undisclosed Dolly tracks, although she had only recorded a handful of projects for Universal labels, including this collection). Well, Di Spirito happened to have copied the master files when he worked with Vasquez prior to the fire and still had them in his collection, so he provided them to Dolly's management, which forwarded them to the label, which released them this week.
The original release made it to No. 19 on the Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart (or No. 119 pop), No. 23 dance club play songs, and No. 4 dance singles sales. That version included one Junior Vasquez remix (Junior's Arena Anthem) and additional remixes by three other DJs. A second Junior Vasquez remix was included in 1999 when the songs were reissued on the Walking On Sunshine EP. The new version features seven Vasquez remixes of the song, five of which have never before been released. Download it from Amazon here or stream on Spotify here.
The track listing is:
1. Junior's Arena Anthem with Reprise (13:43)
2. Junior's Tribal Beats (2:38)
3. Junior's 7" (4:43)
4. Junior's Instrumental (12:32)
5. Junior's Riff Dub (5:50)
6. Junior's Arena Dub (7:40)
7. Junior's Arena Anthem (12:32)
More Emmys Chatter At 'Gold Derby' After Dolly spoke with Gold Derby this week about Emmy possibilities for Heartstrings, her co-producer Sam Haskell interviewed remotely with them as well. Watch his chat here.
Dolly Recording With Billy Ray Cyrus Thanks to Chuck for alerting me that Billy Ray Cyrus shared on Instagram Thursday that he apparently was in the studio with Dolly that day. He posted here: "Best day in a long time. Got to sing with Dolly today! Can't wait for you to hear it!"
Dolly Writing New Music For '9 To 5' Documentary The documentarians behind the upcoming film Still Working 9 To 5 announced on Facebook Friday that both Dolly and musician Shane McAnally are creating new music for the project, which is expected to be released sometime after coronavirus lessens.
U.K. Chart Updates The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe holds steady at No. 3 on the British country compilation albums chart, it was revealed Friday, while Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) also stands still at No. 13 on the same chart and Emmylou Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) gains two to No. 14.
Music Video For Spanish 'Jolene' Released A music video for the new Spanish-language cover of Dolly's "Jolene" by Chiquis and Becky G. was released this week, The artists filmed it in COVID isolation, according to Billboardhere. Watch it on YouTube here or in the media player below.
June 24: 'Goldderby' Interviews Dolly On Emmys
Award watching site Goldderby on Tuesday released a new interview with Dolly here about her Netflix series Heartstrings (as the "These Old Bones" episode has been submitted to the Emmys for consideration as a possible Best TV Movie nominee), losing Kenny Rogers, why Mac Davis should be in the County Music Hall of Fame, and re-opening Dollywood. Check it out on YouTube here or in the media player above.
Dolly To Participate In Netflix Pride Netflix has announced Netflix Pride will start at 4 p.m. June 30 on Netflix YouTube featuring "digitally programmed moments of reflection" to celebrate queer artists and performers and to motivate viewers to take further action for the LGBTQ community. Dolly, Tituss Burguss, Goldie Hawn, Chaka Khan, the Queer Eye guys, Trixie Mattel and more are scheduled to appear. The event benefits OutRight, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and Trans Justice Funding Project.
U.S. Chart Updates Dolly's duet with Zach Williams, "There Was Jesus", gains two to No. 15 Christian airplay, holds steady at No. 2 Christian digital single sales and No. 13 Hot Christian Songs while debuting at No. 24 Christian streaming songs.
June 23: Dolly Narrates Inspirational Nashville Tourism Video
A new promotional video premiered late last week from the Nashville tourism bureau, Visit Music City, under the title "Nashville's Next Hit." The inspirational piece features a voiceover by Dolly reading a script about her adopted hometown and its resilience through disaster and disease with the theme of Nashville Strong as Tim McGraw's "Humble & Kind" plays in the background. Watch the moving tribute to Music City here or in the media player above.
'Songteller' Audiobook Date Changes Amazon on Monday updated its audiobook listing for Dolly's upcoming song-autobiography on 175 of her compositions, Songteller to show it will be released Nov. 17 just like the hardcover and kindle versions instead of the previously-announced October release for the CDs.
June 20: Dolly Teams With Drag Queen Nina West For Swag Dolly and last season's RuPaul's Drag Race Miss Congeniality winner Nina West this week announced a collaboration to sell a line of fundraising items promoting kindness. The "Kindness Is Queen" collection features that slogan along with cartoon images of Dolly and Nina as well as their signature logos. They appear on shirts for $35, tote bags for $25, and pins for $15. Half of all proceeds will support Dolly's Imagination Library and half will support The Nina West Foundation, which supports LGBTQ causes. In a press release, Nina noted: "When I approached Dolly with the idea for a collaboration between the Nina West Foundation and Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, I was looking for an opportunity to continue to spread my message of kindness while building on the work I've done through my foundation supporting LGBTQ+ youth and families. Dolly is the Ultimate Queen of Kindness and I am so thrilled that she agreed to this collaboration! We both want to spread the message that Kindness is Queen and that being kind is something that is desperately needed in our world right now!" The two also performed a skit together remotely on the finale of this season of RuPaul's Drag Race. Order the items here.
Stampedes Open July 1 In Mo,. July 3 In Tenn. Dolly's Stampede dinner theatres will open their Branson, Mo., location July 1, Ozarks First reported here, and their Pigeon Forge, Tenn., location July 3. In a press release for the Pigeon Forge opening, CEO of Dolly's World Choice Investments LLC, parent company of her dinner theatres, said: "We are excited to have our longest-running dinner show open on July 3 as our area celebrates the biggest holiday weekend of the summer and as we get back to entertaining families with this unique show. Like our other operations, we will be observing the guidelines provided by the Tennessee Pledge." Like Dollywood and other locations, the restaurant will be practicing social distancing and requiring patrons to wear masks except while eating and drinking. A video on the COVID-19 restrictions is available here.
Dolly On Platinum Single Music Row reported here this week that For King & Country have received a platinum digital single award for 1 million download equivalents of their single "God Only Knows," apparently including the remixes with Dolly and with Echosmith. There's no word if either remix artist was included on the certification, as the RIAA hasn't announced its June certifications.
'Christmas At Dollywood' Airing Next Month Hallmark Channel has announced its annual Keepsake Christmas movie marathon for "Christmas In July," which kicks off at noon Friday, July 10, with an airing of Christmas At Dollywood featuring Dolly herself. The movie repeats at 10 a.m. July 19 during the 17-day marathon.
Dolly Sings 'Try' For Netflix Dolly recorded a message of encouragement to customers of Netflix this week, performing her song "Try," which the network made available on Facebook here.
U.S., U.K. Chart Updates Dolly's COVID-19-inspired new single, "When Life Is Good Again," falls off the June 20 Billboard charts released Tuesday, after one week at No. 11 country digital song sales and No. 31 on the all-genre digital song sales chart. Her duet with Zach Williams, "There Was Jesus", holds steady at No. 17 Christian airplay and No. 2 Christian digital single sales while re-entering the Hot Christian Songs chart at No. 13. Overseas, The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe loses two to No. 3 on the British country compilation albums chart, it was revealed Friday, while Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) falls two to No. 13 on the same chart and Emmylou Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) re-enters the top 20 at No. 16.
Dolly Statue In Tennessee Proposed Even The New York Times this week picked up the story of a movement to replace Confederate statues in Tennessee with those of Dolly with a story here. . A Change.org petition here had 19,000 signatures as of press time. The movement was started months ago by a Republican state legislator who proposed replacing a statue of KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest in the State Capitol with one of Dolly but has gained newfound attention in light of the national outrage at institutional violence aimed at African-Americans.
'Songteller' Book Officially Announced Although all of the details of the book had been reported here a month ago, Dolly and Chronicle Books on Tuesday officially announced the upcoming release of her collection of 175 song lyrics, stories behind the songs, and never-before-seen photos written with Robert K. Oermann and called Songteller
. Pre-orders for the Nov. 17 tome are available for the hardcover copy here and Kindle version here. Amazon still shows the audio version coming out Oct. 6 here but that could change. Check out a video of the announcement on Facebook in the media player below or here.
June 15: Dollywood Opens Back Up Dollywood opens to passholders on Monday and then to the public for the first time this year on Wednesday with new health regulations in place. Since originally making the announcement that masks will be required, the park announced for media tours on Friday that "rest areas" have been added to the theme park where tables have been placed six feet apart under umbrellas so that guests may take a break without their masks on, although other than while eating/drinking or riding thrill rides, masks will remain required at the park for guests age 3 and up. Parks staff told media that they don't want to say hosts will be "enforcing" the mask policy but that instead each person caught not wearing their masks will be "reminded" and "encouraged" to put their masks back on or be escorted to one of the maskless rest areas. They did, however, change the mask policy at Splash Country, since masks were not required on any rides, to expand the maskless policy there to the entire park except for the few places where social distancing isn't possible such as the entrance area and food queue lines. They also announced that the health screenings including touchless temperature taking will be done at the parking lot's tram stops so that if anyone has a temperature of 100.4 or higher their party will know before entering the park and will be able to leave immediately with a raincheck (anyone who traveled in the same vehicle with a person with a fever is also denied admission that day).
'Cher . . . Special' Coming To DVD Time Life has announced that 1978's Cher . . . Special featuring Dolly and Rod Stewart, for which Dolly received her first Emmy nomination, is included in their new set The Best Of Cher available here. Two versions are being released: a 9-DVD version with 10 episodes of Cher, her two network specials from the 1970s, and two concert specials plus a documentary with her mother, and an 18-CD set featuring 18 additional episodes of Cher, a special on her years with Sonny Bono, and bonus appearances. The special featured Dolly performing "Two Doors Down" as well as an angel/devil medley with Cher and appearing in a skit with Cher where they spoke entirely in song lyrics. Thanks, Al!
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-Sentinelhere. 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.
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.