www.dollymania.net                News                          August 2008

Aug. 30:
Dolly Heading To Jacksonville
Dolly has added another Florida date to the fall leg of her Backwoods Barbie World Tour, it has been revealed. Although as of press time it had not been confirmed elsewhere, Jacksonville's Florida Times Union reported Friday that she will perform a concert at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on Oct. 21, with tickets to go on sale Sept. 5 via Ticketmaster. Read the brief here.

Even More Dollywood Shots
Another selection of reader-submitted photos from Dolly's recent Dollywood concerts has been added to that section of the website here thanks to Susan.

Latest On '9 To 5'
Variety on Friday plugged Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical with a piece focusing on producer Robert Greenblatt and theatre artistic director Michael Ritchie, but both gentlemen focused on Dolly. Greenblatt recounted how the show came to be, and how everyone involved said they would only do it if Dolly said yes. And it was Melissa Etheridge who put the two of them in contact to cut the deal. The show has put together $15 million in investments, with two separate investment groups organized to fund it (one for next month's LA run and a separate one for the New York run). Also, offers have been received for the show to be produced in the U.K., Australia, Canada and Scandinavia after it opens on Broadway, and five different record companies have made overtures toward releasing the cast album, although no deals have been worked out yet. Ritchie says Dolly is the key: "The music is signature Dolly Parton -- pop-infused country -- but she understands the Broadway idiom so organically. I have no idea how she made that leap, but I was blown away by the music." Read the full article here.

Perez Gets 'Shinola'
After getting its private premiere online Thursday night for Dolly-ite members at Dolly's record company website, DollyPartonMusic.net, the music video for Dolly's "Shinola" received its public online premiere Friday on gossip maven Perez Hilton's site here.

Maybe He Should Have Chosen Dolly?
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain on Friday announced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate on Friday in Dayton, Ohio, naming a woman with one Dolly connection, albeit not a positive one. Back in May, the highly conservative Palin vetoed a bill passed by the Alaskan state legislature allotting $90,000 in state funding to support a chapter of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program in the city of Anchorage. (There was even a bit of a connection to your webmaster, as to try and keep her identity secret for as long as possible, the campaign flew Palin in late Thursday night to the airport a couple of miles up the street from my house and had her spend the night in the same building where my office is located for my "day job." They then drove her to Dayton on Friday.)

Aug. 29:
'The Book Lady' Coming To Festival
A documentary about Dolly's international literacy program, the Imagination Library, will premiere next month at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, N.S., it was announced this week. The Book Lady will be shown on Sept. 20 at the Canadian festival. The film, which features interviews with Dolly, Miley Cyrus, Keith Urban, Sarah Harmer, Justin Rutledge, Natalie MacMaster and Robert Munsch, focuses on the expansion of the program north of the border into Canada. The documentary has been pre-sold for television broadcast in Canada to CBC, Bravo! and Book Television. "We are thrilled to include The Book Lady in our program this year," said Atlantic Film Festival Programming Manager Andrew Murphy. "It is a sincere, sweet and engaging take on a serious issue."  Image from Dolly's Canadian launch of the program in November 2006 is by Guntar Kravis and is used with permission. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version.

'Shinola' Gets New Video
Dolly's record label website, DollyPartonMusic.net, on Thursday unexpectedly released a music video for her current single, "Shinola," available for online viewing by members of the website's Dolly-ites online fan community. The footage is pieced together from various appearances on her European tour which were filmed for a future DVD release. (Visit the site and click on "Media" then "Videos.")

'Barbie' Dips Again
After a few weeks of regaining ground on the country albums charts, Dolly's Backwoods Barbie this week takes another tumble, falling 16 spots back to No. 60 on the Sept. 6 chart in its 27th week. Her 16 Biggest Hits loses five to No. 43 country in its 46th week, while Playlist: The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, falls back off the 75-position country chart, down from No. 75 in its fourth week on the tally. In addition, another one of her shows makes the magazine's BoxScore concert tabulations this week: Aug. 11 in Omaha, Neb. Although just 1,706 of the 3,885 seats that were offered were filled (less than 45 percent sold out), the evening grossed nearly $123,000. The country chart's Hot Shot Debut for the highest debut position of the week is Burn Your Playhouse Down by George Jones, a disc of his previously unreleased duets, including an unreleased version of "Rockin' Years" which he recorded with Dolly before she re-recorded it with Ricky Van Shelton. The collection also debuts at No. 79 pop. Emmylou Harris' All I Intended To Be, featuring Dolly on "Gold," falls eight to No. 40 country in its 11th week and drops off of the 200-position pop albums chart, down from No. 192. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," inches up one to No. 5 on the country catalog albums list. 21 Number Ones by Kenny Rogers, featuring "Islands In The Stream," rises two on the country catalog albums list to No. 19. Sugarland's Love on the Inside remains at No. 1 country in its fifth week but loses three to No. 8 on the pop chart with 56,000 copies sold, while Taylor Swift's self-titled debut remains steady at No. 2 country and drops 10 to No. 15 pop in its 96th week.

More Pictures From Dollywood
Special thanks to Judy Ferguson for sending in a wonderful selection of photos from Dolly's rose planting ceremony in memory of gospel legend Dottie Rambo with her husband, Larry Ferguson, Rambo's manager who was seriously injured in the bus accident which claimed Rambo's life. View them in two galleries added to the section of the website here dedicated to Dolly's recent Dollywood appearance.

Simpson Duet Gets Leaked
Listen to it while you can, because it's likely to be removed at any time :) Someone leaked the entire Jessica Simpson country CD Do You Know via YouTube on Thursday, including the full-length version of the Dolly-penned title track duet with Dolly. Take a listen to the song here and find out what Dolly meant when she said the two ladies sing their "asses" off at the end. The full CD hits stores on Sept. 9. Get your copy here!

F. Hart Speaks
Want some more insight into Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical opening next month in Los Angeles? The show's Frank Hart, Marc Kudisch, speaks with The Ventura County Star about the musical here.

Still Not Dead, Thank You Very Much
The number of searches for whether Dolly died over the weekend put her atop MSN.com's "A-List" for most popular searches in recent days. Thanks, Sheldon!

Aug. 28:
Last Reader Shots Shared
What are (for now, at least) the final reader-submitted galleries from Dolly's recent Dollywood appearances have been added to that section of the website here. Thanks, again, to all who sent them in! And if anyone else has some to share, you are also invited to e-mail them as attachments here.

'9 To 5' Delayed
The Ahmanson Theatre late Wednesday announced that the world premiere of Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical will be delayed by three days. The first staging of the musical at the Los Angeles theatre will take place Sept 6, with the previously-planned Sept. 3, 4 and 5 performances cancelled. Officials blamed "unforeseen technical demands" as causing the delay. "This is not only one of the biggest, but also one of the best and most spectacular productions we have ever presented at the Ahmanson," Michael Ritchie, the company's artistic director, explained. "But the technical demands are enormous and we must afford the creative team and cast the time to develop the show to the level of quality that it, and our audience, deserve." In the release announcing the delay, Dolly added: "Oh, what's two to three more days on a project that we've worked two to three years on? The sets and the technical end of things are more involved on this musical than they were on the movie! And it's going to look fantastic." Ticketholders will be allowed to exchange their seats for later performances. The news quickly spread with several items based on the press release, including one from Playbill here. The show will preview in LA Sept. 6-19 before its official opening there Sept. 20, with the West Coast run ending Oct. 19. It moves to New York for Broadway previews beginning March 24 in advance of its official opening in April.

Aug. 27:
More Reader Photos Available
Another set of galleries of Dolly pictures at Dollywood sent in from readers have been posted in that section of the website here. And, yes, more are to come! Thanks, everyone!

Dolly's 'Death' Statement Comes Out
Although she originally declined to release a statement confirming she was, in fact, alive following the weekend's rumors of her fictitious demise, Dolly changed her mind and before she left Music City this week issued a statement to Nashville entertainment reporter Brad Schmidt of TV station WKRN, saying: "I'm fine. I did about have a heart attack when I found out I was dead. But I am feeling better than ever." See a report where he reads her statement here. In addition, The Los Angeles Times late on Tuesday confirmed here that she had arrived in Los Angeles to attend rehearsals for 9 To 5: The Musical and "she's fine," according to the theatre's spokesperson. Finally, attention on the rumor launched Dolly to No. 2 on Yahoo's list of the Internet's most popular searches Tuesday. Thanks, Chris.

'Very Best' Still On U.K. Tally
The last 25 titles on the British pop albums charts came out on Tuesday (a day late) and showed that The Very Best Of Dolly Parton Vol. 1 sticks around for a 10th week this year. The disc dips 30 spots to No. 91 pop and remains the No. 2 country disc.

'Do You Know' Garnering Attention
Dolly's contribution to Jessica Simpson's debut country CD, the title track to Do You Know, continues to get noticed. A CMT.com critic on Tuesday predicted based on Simpson's Monday performance of the song at a California concert that out of the album's songs, it has one of the strongest potentials for crossing over to be a pop hit. "Somehow it delicately treads the line between being sensual and just a little bit dirty," he noted. "The melody is all Dolly, but Simpson sells it, wailing like a diva at the end." Read the full review here.

Look-A-Likes Sought
If you're in Maine and think you resemble Dolly, head out to Dixfield's Countryfolk Music Theatre, which ends its ninth season over the weekend with a Dolly look-a-like contest. Read more here.

Aug. 26:
New Reader Pics Posted
The next galleries of reader-submitted photos from Dollywood are now available in that section of the website here. As before, keep coming back over the next few days as more are added! Thanks for sending them in, y'all!

Rumors Of Her Demise Greatly Exaggerated
The untrue rumors of Dolly's passing continued to snag notices across the Internet on Monday, with a handful of websites mistakenly repeating the erroneous story that she had died and others forwarding the weekend's refutations of that tale. A couple of note included the blogs at CMT.com here and FOX News (often cited as the fictional "source" of the original hoax report) here, which quoted Dollywood Foundation President David Dotson as questioning even the previous report that the rumor apparently started at a high school football game on Friday night.

Library Happenings
The expansion of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program into Tarrant County, Texas, earned coverage Monday from The Ft. Worth Business Press with a piece here. The program, active in nearly 900 communities across the U.S., Canada and U.K., provides one free, expert-chosen, age-appropriate, hardcover book every month from birth to age 5 to every child whose parents sign up in a participating community. It distributes in excess of 5 million books each year.

Don Gets His Own Space
A new MySpace page launched this month for the legendary Don Warden. The original Wagonmaster played steel guitar for Porter Wagoner, sang harmony on his recordings and headed up his road team for many years before he headed off with Dolly as her road manager when she left Wagoner's show. He remained in that position, including overseeing each of her tour bus constructions and often driving the bus himself, until his recent retirement. Dolly will be among those inducting him this weekend in the national Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in a ceremony in St. Louis. Take a peak at his MySpace page here.

Aug. 25:
First Posting Of Reader Shots
The first reader-submitted images from Dolly's recent Dollywood appearances have been added as new galleries in that section of the website here including the one at left courtesy Chris Goff. Look for more over the next several days! Thanks to all who have sent them in! And if you have some you wish to share, please e-mail them as attachments here. In related news, another press report from last weekend made its way out this weekend, this time an interview she did with The Chattanooga Times Free Press while in town. She covers her upcoming Broadway musical, her songwriting process and her connections to the city in the southeast corner of Tennessee. Read the piece here. (In addition, Larry Ferguson thanks those who have sent images of him with Dolly at their rose planting ceremony honoring Dottie Rambo. If anyone else has shots to share with him, he's willing to purchase them. Mail them to 4120 Oriole Pl., Nashville, TN 37215.)

'I'm Not Dead Yet!'
Years prior to Tammy Wynette's passing, there was a Saturday Night Live sketch of a Natalie Cole impersonator singing with footage of "other" dead celebrities following the success of the duet "Unforgettable" with her late father, including "Stand By Your Man" with a Wynette impersonator who kept insisting she was not dead (to which the Cole impersonator continued to sing her protests of "I'm not dead yet" to the song's melody). Well, that could have been Dolly over the weekend. Apparently, a local East Tennessee high school mistakenly announced during a Friday night football game that she had passed, sparking the rumor mill which quickly reached several fans nationwide who have friends in the area. Locally, frantic calls were made to media outlets, prompting them to report that Dolly was, in fact, still live & well, to borrow the title from her most recent concert CD. The incident reminded many of when a hoaxer launched a website in August 2006 reporting that she had died and called into a regional radio show in the D.C. and Virginia area to say that FOX News had reported her passing, resulting in another fan panic with media outlets in the area receiving calls and having to issue reports that she was fine. Read coverage of the latest hoax from Knoxville TV stations WBIR here and WVLT here. Terry Morrow of The Knoxville News-Sentinel touched on the topic Saturday in his blog here, noting Dolly was eating dinner in Nashville on Friday night when she learned of the rumor.

U.K., Aussie Chart Updates
Dolly's second run on the British albums charts may be over for last year's The Very Best Of Dolly Parton Vol. 1. The CD, No. 61 last week, its ninth this year on the U.K. pop albums tally, this week falls out of the top 75. The full top 100 will be out on Monday and we'll see if it manages to hang on in those bottom 25 spots or not. On the other side of the world, however, the CD is at No. 17 on the Australian country albums chart released Sunday.

Catch Dolly On LOGO
LOGO, the LGBT cable network which aired the television premiere of the Dolly fan documentary For The Love Of Dolly last year, engages in another American Dolly first in a couple of weeks, offering the U.S. premiere of the BBC special Jake's Adventure In Dollywood, where Scissor Sisters lead singer Jake Shears interviews his idol, Dolly. Although it's been known for several weeks that the network had bought the rights to air the show, its airdate had not been announced. It is now known that it will first air at 8 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 6.

Urban Auction Ends Soon
Fans don't have long to try and get their hands on Dolly's shirt in Keith Urban's auction to benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. The charity auction ends about 4 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday. As of press time Sunday evening, Dolly's shirt was the second-highest-ticket item of the entire auction at $605, beaten thus far only by one of Urban's autographed shirts at $5 more. Get bids in here!

Simpson Harps On Dolly Duet
Jessica Simpson's Dolly love continued to flow in an interview posted Sunday by The Buffalo News. "I believe it's one of the best songs I've ever recorded in my life," Simpson gushed here about Do You Know, the Dolly-penned title track of her upcoming debut country CD which also features Dolly's harmony vocals. "And I just adore her. She is an inspiration to me. She helped me through a really hard time, and my life has come full circle because of her. She's so angelic, she took me under her wing and helped with my introduction into the country market; I'll be forever grateful to her."

Warhol Pic On Display In Music City
Wanna see Andy Warhol's Polaroid of Dolly he took on which to base his portraits of her? The print will be on display Thursday through Oct. 10 in an exhibit at the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, The Tennessean reported Sunday here.

Aug. 23:
Final Dollymania Galleries Up
The last of your official Dollymania galleries from Dolly's Dollywood appearances last weekend have been posted in that section of the website here, finishing up the shots from her 7 p.m. Saturday show. Up next week will be several galleries of pictures sent in by readers! Thanks, everyone! In related news, Terry Morrow of The Knoxville News-Sentinel interviewed Rebecca Romijn during her visit to the park to see Dolly and offers more from that conversation in a piece posted Friday here.

Denmark's Chart Update
Across the Atlantic, Dolly's Backwoods Barbie continues its slow slide on the Danish pop album charts. The disc falls another six to No. 23 in Denmark this week, its sixth on the charts, it was revealed Friday.

'9 To 5' Tid-Bit
Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical got a mention Friday from The New York Daily News. In profiling several Broadway productions' websites, it points out here that Dolly's appearance on the site for her show will give you a smile.

More From Simpson
Jessica Simpson continues to plug Dolly's appearance on her upcoming CD as a highlight of her life. She tells The Winnipeg Sun here: "Dolly wrote the perfect song and the lyrics are breathtaking. Just being able to sing on a song with my idol, there's no better opportunity. There's nothing I'm more proud of that I've done musically than Do You Know. At the end of the song I just get to sing my heart out and have that emotional moment with my voice." Her album with Dolly's duet on the title track, Do You Know, drops Sept. 9.

'A Vote For Me Is A Vote For Me'
Voting has begun for the annual People's Choice Award from the BT Digital Music Awards. For the past several years, Dollymania has been ranked by the awards' voters as the best website on the Internet dedicated to a country music artist, and we're aiming with your help to repeat that distinction for 2008. Last year, the site sat as the 29th best unofficial music website worldwide in all genres, according to the awards. Vote for it as your favorite here or by clicking at the icon below. As the old saying goes, "Vote early, and vote often." Or, to borrow Dolly's quote from her Dolly for President poster last weekend: "A vote for me is a vote for me!" Thanks, y'all!

BT DMA07 People's Choice Nominee - Vote for me!

Aug. 22:
Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That?
The first Dollymania galleries from Dolly's 7 p.m. Saturday concert at Dollywood have been added to that section of the website here. Look for more soon as well as reader-submitted galleries soon, too! (I have a Bob Dylan concert to attend Friday, so I'm not sure if I'll have the opportunity to update Friday night or not.) In related news, the publisher of Georgia's McDuffie Mirror on Thursday had a real cute piece detailing his trip to the park with his wife, an avid Dolly fan, including the concert and interaction with other fans in town. Take a read of it here. Also, Dottie Rambo's former manager, Larry Ferguson, who was at the park although he is still recuperating from the injuries sustained in the bus accident which took Dottie's life, asked that I put out the request that he would greatly appreciate if anyone who captured images of him and Dolly planting the rose in Dottie's memory on Sunday would please send him a copy at 4120 Oriole Pl., Nashville, TN 37215.

'Barbie' Shoots Up More On Chart
Backwoods Barbie continues its nice resurgence on the charts this week, earning the country albums tally's "Pace Setter" designation in the Aug. 30 numbers released Thursday for the largest leap of any title on the chart this week. The collection gains seven spots in its 26th week to come in at No. 44. Dolly also sees her 16 Biggest Hits remain in the top 40, dipping one to No. 38 country in its 45th week and another compilation, Playlist: The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, re-enter the 75-position country chart at No. 75, garnering it a fourth chart week on the list. Meanwhile, another one of her shows is included in the magazine's BoxScore concert tabulations this week: Aug. 4 in Sacramento, Calif. Although just 4,633 of the 11,752 seats that were offered ended up selling (less than 40 percent sold out), the evening grossed nearly $175,000. Emmylou Harris' All I Intended To Be, with Dolly on "Gold," loses two to No. 32 country in its 10th week and two to No. 192 pop. The album also falls three to No. 29 the Canadian country. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, featuring Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," dips one to No. 6 on the country catalog albums list and re-enters the top 50 Canadian country albums list at No. 44. 21 Number Ones by Kenny Rogers, with "Islands In The Stream," enters the country catalog albums list for the first time at No. 21. Sugarland's Love on the Inside remains at No. 1 country in its fourth week but falls two to No. 5 on the pop chart with 67,000 copies sold, while Taylor Swift's self-titled debut regains two to No. 2 country and five to No. 11 pop in its 95th week.

Dolly Fun In Nashville This Weekend
If you're in Music City this weekend, check out a community picnic complete with a screening of the Dolly fan documentary For The Love Of Dolly co-sponsored by the Nashville Film Festival and the city's new LGBT cultural center, Out Central. The event takes place at St. Ann Episcopal Church on Saturday at 6 p.m. for a suggested donation of $5 per person.

A Dolly Artist Gets Noticed
Columbus, Ohio, artist Paul Richmond is profiled in that city's The Other Paper working on a piece, The Dollypop Guild, he is finishing for next month's Dolly Pop show at the World Of Wonder Gallery in Los Angeles. Get a sneak peak at the painting here.

Aug. 21:
New Galleries Available
The second half of Dollymania galleries from Saturday's 2 p.m. concert during Dolly's recent appearances at Dollywood have been posted in that section of the website here. Look for shots from the 7 p.m. show next, followed by reader-submitted images. In related news, actress Rebecca Romijn, who took in the concerts last weekend, told In Touch Weekly magazine that she plans to name one of her twins with hubby Jerry O'Connell after Dolly. "I have been a Dolly fan all of my life," she tells the magazine in an interview out this week. "She's a wonderful woman. I really connect with her music. I can't think of a better role model for my children." Romijn also met Dolly over the weekend. Read more here. Image is copyright © 2008 T. Duane Gordon/ Dollymania.net and may not be reproduced without prior written consent.

More Dolly Celebrations
Broadway World reports here that in celebration of the LA test run of 9 To 5: The Musical next month, Upright Cabaret in the city will host a Dolly tribute show. Billed as an all-star production with "artists from stage, record and screen," the performances of "Hot Diva Nights: Dolly Parton" are planned for Sept. 12 and 13 at Mark's Restaurant in West Hollywood.

Aug. 20:
CMT: 'Vivacious' Dolly Shines, More Photos
Another set of Dollymania galleries from Dolly's weekend appearances at Dollywood have been added to that section of the website here. These images focus on her 2 p.m. Saturday concert at the park and include the shot at left. More galleries of this concert and others will be added shortly. In addition, CMT.com on Tuesday offered a review of her Sunday performance here complete with a gallery of images from the concert. The writer noted she was a "vivacious entertainer" and that she "kept up the momentum throughout the two-hour concert." Image is copyright © 2008 T. Duane Gordon/ Dollymania.net and may not be reproduced without prior written consent.

Dolly In Print
Thanks to Michael for alerting me that Dolly gets a mention in the recent book This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science Of A Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin, who argues that complex musical compositions have the ability to strengthen mental abilities. Among the multiple examples of how complex songs by talented composers utilize both major and minor chords to project melancholy is Dolly's "Jolene."

Aug. 19:
Dollywood Galleries Added
Several galleries of your official Dollymania images from Dolly's weekend appearances at Dollywood, such as the photo at left, have been added to that new section of the website here. These are from her Chasing Rainbow Award presentation and two parades. Shots from her concerts will be added soon, followed by reader-submitted galleries (if you'd like to send in your pictures, please e-mail them as attachments here). The Mountain Press covered her concerts here and had a brief interview here in which she discussed her plans to head back to 9 To 5: The Musical rehearsals once she finished up at the park last weekend. She noted that when she heard her songs performed for the first time by the cast in New York rehearsals, she thought her heart was going to stop. "It was just amazing," she said. "It was one of the biggest thrills of my life." And Terry Morrow of The Knoxville News-Sentinel notes here at least one famous face was in the crowd for the shows: Ugly Betty actress Rebecca Romijn (I realized after reading the piece that I saw her walk by while I was waiting for the parade and passed her after the parade in the Emporium without realizing that's who it was). Image is copyright © 2008 T. Duane Gordon/ Dollymania.net and may not be reproduced without prior written consent.

Canadian Ticket Reminder
Don't forget for those traveling up to Ontario to see Dolly at her Nov. 9 and 10 engagements at Casino Rama, tickets go on sale to the public at noon Tuesday following a pre-sale which has now closed for members of the casino's Players Passport Club. Dolly's record company website, Dolly Parton Music.net, as of Monday still had yet to announce the concert, so no pre-sales were offered for members of its online fan community, the Dolly-ites. Tickets, $69-$86 Canadian (roughly $65-$81 U.S.), will be sold via Ticketmaster.

Helping Out Another Good Cause
Dolly has donated an autographed fiddle for the 11th Annual Buds-n-Suds charity concert taking place Tuesday, Aug. 26, in Nashville to benefit the Tennessee chapter of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. The item is one of several celebrity contributions to be featured in a silent auction during the event, headlined by Darryl Worley. Tickets are available here.

Aug. 18:
Dolly Gets Dollywood Crowd On Its Feet
Dolly certainly was a busy gal over the weekend, zipping around for multiple events at her East Tennessee Dollywood theme park. As was previously noted here, she discussed the park's upcoming additions on Friday with a select few local media representatives. Then on Saturday she had her Make A Wish breakfast with terminally ill children who want to meet her, took lunch with a contingency of Red Hat Society members, presented the annual Dolly Parton Chasing Rainbows Award from the National State Teachers of the Year Organization (to this year's recipient, art teacher Susanne Frensley of Hillsboro Comprehensive High School in Nashville, shown with Dolly at left), performed two sold out concerts and offered fans a glimpse of her in a tour around the park. On Sunday, she took another park tour, held her third sold out concert and planted a rose in memory of longtime friend Dottie Rambo.
        In accepting the teacher award, which is given to a former state Teacher of the Year who has overcome significant personal obstacles to have a major impact on the lives of children in the classroom, Frensley told Dolly of her work with children and thanked her for what she does to further education. "I long for a society where the preciousness of all children is cherished," she told Dolly. Dolly listened intensively during their semi-private encounter surrounded by family and friends in the Chasing Rainbows Museum, thanking Frensley for her efforts in the classroom and singling out her children to say: "I bet these girls are proud to have a mama like you!"
        Dollywood Foundation President David Dotson introduced her concerts, which raised money for her Imagination Library literacy program. He noted that combined with her British shows on the tour (a portion of the proceeds from which was donated to the program for the hiring of a U.K. coordinator), the concerts raised more than $500,000. He also stated that the program is now reaching 500,000 children a month across 875 communities in the U.S., Canada and U.K., singling out the efforts in the past year to take it territory-wide in the Yukon of Canada thanks to a partnership between Rotary International and the territorial government. (Dolly also announced that her upcoming children's book, I Am A Rainbow, will also be a fund-raiser for the program.)
        Dolly took to the stage for each show to thunderous applause, giving perhaps what were the most energetic performances I've seen her offer. She was full of vigor, making the jokes she's told at every concert thus far on the tour sound new, the stories she's told on stage for decades now from her life remain fresh and the songs flawless and entrancing. She noted that Larry Ferguson, Dottie Rambo's manager who was seriously injured in the bus accident which claimed her life in May, was in the audience at Saturday's 7 p.m. show and wished him and the others recovering from the accident well. (Chris Barnes, formerly a Dolly fan site webmaster who had worked the past few years as Rambo's merchandise staff person and Ferguson's assistant, was also seen at the park. Both appeared to be well on their way to recovery from their wounds.)
        The highlight of the show was without a doubt her chilling rendition of "Little Sparrow" nearly a capella. Not a whisper could be heard during that number at her 2 p.m. Saturday show (although a child's cry interrupted the crowd's silence a few times during it at the 7 p.m. performance). Closely following in impact was the other a capella number, "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind." She kept the energy up for nearly two full hours, not taking the usual intermission/costume change she's been doing on the tour.
        The shows had some spontaneous moments, too. At the 2 p.m. Saturday engagement, a young fan (Bryce) ran up to the stage and gave her a large teddy bear with a Dolly shirt on it. During the 7 p.m. show, she singled out a woman who was apparently taking professional photos for the park, telling her she thought she'd taken enough pictures and joking about her long lens.
        The full set list was:

  • Two Doors Down
  • Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That?
  • Jolene
  • Thank God I'm A Country Girl
  • Backwoods Barbie
  • Drive Me Crazy
  • Shattered Image
  • Coat Of Many Colors
  • Only Dreaming
  • Gospel medley
  • Better Get To Livin'
  • Shinola
  • The Grass Is Blue
  • Great Balls Of Fire
  • Puppy Love
  • Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
  • Little Sparrow
  • Here You Come Again
  • Islands In The Stream
  • 9 To 5
  • I Will Always Love You
  • Jesus & Gravity (encore)
            (Click on any of the photos accompanying this story to see a larger version. Many full galleries will be posted over the next several days, and fans who took photos from any of her appearances are encouraged to submit them to Dollymania for posting later in the week. Just e-mail them as attachments here! Thanks! Images are copyright © 2008 T. Duane Gordon/ Dollymania.net and may not be reproduced without prior written consent.)
            Dolly previewed the weekend's concerts with a conversation with The Knoxville-News Sentinel's Terry Morrow, video of which was posted online here.
            And coverage continued over the weekend of the new attraction announcement. A press release went out on PR Newswire here, and stories were made available by Knoxville TV station WBIR here (with video) and The Knoxville News-Sentinel here.

    Chart Updates
    Dolly has garnered at least one more week on the British charts, as her Very Best Of Dolly Parton Vol. 1 loses three places to No. 61 in its ninth week this year on the U.K. pop albums charts, retaining its spot as the No. 2 country album there. The collection peaked in the pop top 10 last year when it was originally released. Stateside, her video for "Jesus & Gravity" goes out with a bang on CMT's fan-voted Pure 12 Pack countdown on its digital cable channel, Pure Country, rising two to re-take the No. 1 spot. The video has been removed from the list for voting for next week's chart, indicating it has been "retired."

    Hear Dolly/Jessica Preview
    Thanks to Jeremy for passing along a clip he came across on YouTube previewing Dolly's duet with Jessica Simpson, the title track from her upcoming country CD, Do You Know. The clip, available here, appears to have been posted by a Portuguese Simpson fan site. The CD comes out Sept. 9.

    Aug. 16:
    Backstage, On Stage, Dolly's A Treat
    Well, we got several meet-and-greet winners to share their photos tonight :) In addition to Jason at left (see a larger version of his photo from St. Louis here), we have Darrick here and Melissa here, both at her Detroit concert. Thanks, guys! And congratulations! I'm told she was stunning in St. Louis on Thursday night. She noticed a little boy named Ben in the front row and she even tried to collect a butterfly he drew for her, but she couldn't reach it, so a band member had to step forward and retrieve it. She commented on fan Nick who wore his Porter Wagoner-inspired rhinestone suit, telling him she liked it and laughing in the middle of a song and saying "Hi" back to him when he flashed the inside panel to show where it was engraved with "Hi" the same as Porter's, then dedicating "9 To 5" to him. She also mentioned Jason's shirt of many colors that he wore to meet her backstage. I'm also told that the concert was being advertised that night as having sold out. The Riverfront Times offered a cute photo gallery with some shots of Dolly on stage and some of fans at the concert here as well as a blog featuring the set list and review here in which it was noted that she charmed the crowd and singled out about "Little Sparrow": "the crowd quietly hung by the silver thread of her voice and the cold, lonely glow of those lyrics." The St. Louis Post Dispatch said here that she was "larger than life." Darrick tells me in Detroit, two drag queens happened to be on the front row in the same outfit: their versions of the cover art for Dolly's current CD. This prompted Dolly to tell them: "I have something to say to you two" before launching into "Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That?" and dedicating the "drag queen" line she sometimes adds to "Jolene" to them. And the city's Pride Source covered the concert here and commented on the drag queens, her corny factor, her talent and the jokes. And The Knoxville News-Sentinel prepped for her weekend dates back home with an article here noting several of the recent wonderful reviews the show has been receiving. Thanks for the recaps, everyone!

    Catch Dolly On Leno
    Dolly will tape NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Sept. 19 to perform her current single, "Shinola," her record label website, Dolly Parton Music.net, announced on Friday.

    'Barbie' Down In Denmark
    Overseas, Backwoods Barbie dips another two spots on the Danish pop albums list this week to No. 17 in its fifth week on the charts there, it was revealed on Friday.

    Huff And Puff For Dolly
    The Huffington Post is encouraging readers this week to download Dolly's "I Will Forever Hate Roses" from Backwoods Barbie and visit her Imagination Library website. Read the blog about it here.

    Love For Dolly And George
    Billboard praises the new George Jones CD of previously unreleased duets, Burn Your Playhouse Down, with a review here. The set, which hits stores Tuesday, features the original recording of "Rockin' Years" Dolly did with Jones before her record label had her re-record it with Ricky Van Shelton (with the resulting new duet going to No. 1). Billboard says the song "takes on new life" with Jones.

    Dollywood Announces New Ride
    Greetings from Dollywood, where the park on Friday officially announced next year's Adventure Mountain addition. As was expected, the two-acre attraction will feature five different adventure courses, ranging from easy to expert and each taking from 15 minutes to an hour to complete. It will include 150 different rope features and ziplines mounted more than 40 feet off the ground. See sketches and read more about the project here. Dolly also held a small media gathering at the park on Friday to talk about future projects, noted WVLT in Knoxville here.

    Aug. 15:
    'Barbie' Inches Up Some More
    Dolly's current CD, Backwoods Barbie, this week continues its recent trend of climbing back up the charts after being in peril of dropping off a few weeks ago. The CD regains four spots to No. 51 country in its 25th week, the Aug. 23 Billboard numbers showed. Her 16 Biggest Hits, though, inched down one to No. 37 country in its 44th week. Two recent concerts made the magazine's BoxScore tabulation of shows: Aug. 3 in Los Angeles saw a 90 percent sold-out crowd of 4,698 at the Greek for gross ticket sales of $395,000, while Aug. 7 in Portland, Ore., brought in 2,884 fans (98 percent sold out) and a gross of $144,000. Emmylou Harris' All I Intended To Be, featuring Dolly on "Gold," falls four to No. 30 country in its ninth week and 35 places to No. 190 pop. The CD also dips nine to No. 26 the Canadian country. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," holds steady at No. 5 on the country catalog albums list and falls out of the top 50 Canadian country albums, down from No. 39. Sugarland's Love on the Inside holds on to the No. 1 country spot in its third week but loses two to No. 3 on the pop chart with 91,000 copies sold, while Heidi Newfield's What Am I Waiting For debuts at No. 2 country, No. 10 pop with 34,000 units moved in its first week.

    The Shirt Off Her Back For Kids
    Dolly has donated one of her shirts to pal Keith Urban for an online auction he is hosting to benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. Bidding on her shirt began here on Wednesday and continues through Aug. 27. As of press time Thursday, the bid sat at $50.

    Overcome In Omaha
    Monday's Omaha concert earned good points from The Reader here, with a review noting that the audience was small but Dolly proved herself to be "the most adorable human being, much less guru, I have ever seen in person." She was to play St. Louis Thursday night before heading over to Dollywood this weekend for her three benefit shows. See y'all there! (Remember, if you want last-minute tickets, a few will be available at the season pass exchange booth inside the park first thing Saturday morning, and I'm assured cameras are still allowed.)

    Aug. 14:
    First Canadian 'Barbie' Dates Confirmed
    The first stops of the Backwoods Barbie World Tour north of the border have been revealed, adding two more dates to the third North American leg of the tour. Dolly will play two back-to-back nights at Casino Rama in Orillia, Ont., Nov. 9 and 10. Tickets will go on pre-sale for the casino's Players Passport club members at noon Sunday, with public sales beginning at noon Tuesday. All ticketholders must be 19 years of age or older. No word yet on any Dolly-ite pre-sales. Dolly has proven quite popular at the venue about 80 miles outside of Toronto. She sold out three consecutive concerts there in November 2006 and previously sold out three consecutive nights in October 2004 as part of her Hello I'm Dolly Tour. Originally just two shows were scheduled in 2004, but ticket sales were so brisk for it that a third was added.

    More From Seattle
    Dolly gets some more positive marks from her Seattle concert this week with an item in Seattle Weeky praising her "precious knack for showmanship" and saying that even though the reviewer expected a great show, her stunning talent as a stand-up comedienne during the show was completely unexpected. Read the full review here. In addition, The Stranger was equally complimentary in a blog about the show here

    More From Jessica
    Jessica Simpson wants to emulate her idol, Dolly, according to the U.K.'s Showbiz Spy. The website quoted her here saying: "Dolly is awesome! I idolize her. And she is beautiful. I would love to be just like her. I have worked with her and it was great. It was really exciting - I am blessed, 100 percent." Simpson's first country CD, Do You Know, comes out Sept. 9 with the Dolly-written title track featuring harmony from the composer herself.

    Another Texas City Gets Library
    The Ft. Worth, Texas, area is welcoming Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, The Star-Telegram reported Wednesday. The program is coming to four zip codes in the community thanks to the United Way of Tarrant County. Read more here.

    Aug. 13:
    Tickets For Dollywood Shows To Be Released
    Although Dolly's three concerts at Dollywood have been sold out for a few weeks now, a handful of tickets for each of the shows will be offered for sale at the park's Season Pass Exchange Booth near the fountain at the end of Showstreet when it opens on Saturday morning, officials confirm. So if you don't have seats yet, or want to take your chance on some better seats, stop by. (There's no word where in the theatre the seats will be located, but historically the bulk of last-minute tickets offered for her concerts at the park are most often those turned in as unused by the major donors to her foundation for whom the first several rows are reserved.)
    In related news:

  • The park's website on Tuesday announced she will appear for two park tours over the weekend, weather permitting. They are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday and noon on Sunday.
  • As a reminder, park officials issued a statement on Monday that cameras will be allowed at the concerts, although rumors that they will be prohibited continue to circulate. If any contradicting information is confirmed, it will be reported here.

    Omaha Cheers Dolly On
    The crowd was sparse, but Dolly was angelic, Omaha World-Herald noted Tuesday reviewing her show in that city on Monday here. The critic said the two hours were "filled with all the hits from her lengthy career, and enough razzle-dazzle to make Liberace proud." It also noted that her outfit for the second half of the concert was so tight she had difficulty sitting at the piano to perform "The Grass Is Blue." The Backwoods Barbie World Tour's second U.S. leg continues Wednesday in Detroit and Thursday in St. Louis before wrapping up with her shows at the park this weekend.

    You Don't Know Downloading From 'Shinola'
    To promote her new single, "Shinola," Dolly has released the song to The New York Post as one of the paper's weekly free downloads. Visit here to download the song through Friday.

    Hospital Gets Name
    The new Sevierville hospital replacing the Ft. Sanders Sevier Medical Center in Dolly's hometown has a new name: the LeConte Medical Center, it was announced Tuesday. TV station WBIR covered the story here. Dolly donated $1 million for the hospital (half as a gift from her businesses and half from a fund-raising concert last year), and its Center for Women's Services will be named in her honor.

    LA Dolly Exhibit Coming
    In recognition of the Los Angeles opening of her 9 To 5: The Musical next month, World of Wonder in Hollywood will celebrate all things Dolly in a group art show in its Storefront Gallery. "Dollypop" will open Sept. 12 and follows previous successful shows "Dial 'M' For Madonna," "Warhol: Dead At 21," "Just Britney," "Golden Gals Gone Wild" and "depARTed." The exhibit is co-curated by E! Online columnist and Dolly devotee Marc Malkin with Steven Corfe. A champagne reception will kick things off  from 8 p.m. until midnight opening night with Dolly-inspired performances. Pieces from more than 40 artists will be on display, ranging from a portrait made from chewed bubblegum to a gouache by New Yorker illustrator Robert de Michiell and a painting by Bubbles the Artist. The show closes Oct. 8. "Dolly Parton is a true genius," Malkin said. "She is an American poet who, no surprise has had a career that has spanned decades. We all have our own image of Dolly and this show collects all those images, thoughts and inspirations into one big and well-deserved tribute to the goddess who we call Dolly Parton." Corfe explained: "The response to our Dolly Parton show has been phenomenal, We had no idea so many of our artist friends were closet Dolly-maniacs. The huge variety of styles is going to make this collection the art show equivalent of a coat of many colors!" Thanks, Gary and Larry!

    Another 'IWALY' Coming Out
    A British dentist who enjoys opera on the side will get his debut album released next month, and it includes a Dolly cover. Andrew Bain offers a classical take on "I Will Always Love You" on Andrew Bain Presents Modern Classics, hitting stores Sept. 8 from Sony BMG UK. Reserve your copy here and read about the project from The Guardian here.

    Aug. 12:
    Cameras OK At Dollywood Shows
    Fear not, shutterbugs traveling to Pigeon Forge this weekend! Several readers wrote in over the past few days inquiring about a rumor that cameras, always allowed in the past during Dolly's concerts at her Tennessee theme park, would be banned at this year's shows as they have been at all other engagements thus far on the Backwoods Barbie World Tour. Dollywood officials, however, confirmed on Monday to Dollymania that there will be no change in the park's existing policy. As has been the case in previous years, still photography will be allowed at her three sold out engagements Saturday and Sunday in the park's DP's Celebrity Theatre. Also as usual, video and audio recordings are strictly prohibited. Thanks! (Image from Dolly's most recent concerts at the park, held two years ago, at left is copyright © 2005 T. Duane Gordon/ Dollymania.net and may not be reproduced without prior written consent.)

    Dolly Hits Denver, Pre-Sales Announced
    Thanks to Holly for telling me Dolly was "amazing" and as "beautiful as ever!" Sunday night in Denver. Holly had an extra-special concert, though. She and her 5-year-old daughter, McKenzie, were on the front row, and when Dolly came out, she said there was the most beautiful little girl down there. McKenzie's mom then unrolled a poster she had drawn saying, "Thanks for the books Dolly!" Dolly was so thrilled that the child had participated in her Imagination Library literacy program that she threw her guitar pick down to her as a gift. She also was so excited to see the little girl awake and enjoying herself as the show continued that she dedicated "Puppy Love" to her.
    In related news:

  • Seattle Weekly posted a slideshow of pictures from her recent concert there on its website here Monday.
  • As was expected, Dolly's record label website, Dolly Parton Music.net, on Monday announced her Oct. 18 Orlando and Nov. 2 Mashantucket, Conn., concerts as well as their Dolly-ite online fan community member pre-sales. Both concerts, which have been reported on Dollymania for several days, will have pre-sales beginning at 10 a.m. local time Wednesday. Orlando's tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday (a change from its earlier planned Friday sale date) and Connecticut's tickets go public at 9 a.m. Friday. In addition, if you're not a Dolly-ite member, the Orlando venue will host its own pre-sale from 10 a.m. Thursday through 10 p.m. Friday. Look for the pre-sale code to be revealed here shortly. The site still hasn't announced her Oct. 31 New Jersey show that was also reported here.

    Paper: 'Hannah' Movie In May
    The much-anticipated Hannah Montana movie featuring "Aunt Dolly" will hit screens nationwide May 1 next year, according to an update on the film in The Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y., here.

    Collins CD Delayed Again
    The Judy Collins tribute, Born To The Breed, which was originally to have come out in July and then re-scheduled for this month, has been pushed back to a Sept. 16 release. The CD, assembled and produced by Collins herself, features Dolly taking on "The Fisherman's Song" alongside contributions from Rufus Wainwright, Chrissie Hyde, Nanci Griffith and more. Reserve your copy here.

    Aug. 11:
    Seattle, Portland Greet Dolly
    Dolly wowed the crowd in Seattle and Portland, their respective papers reported over the weekend as the Backwoods Barbie World Tour continued. The Seattle Times said here that Friday night's concert was "terrific" and that she showed her "bountiful talent," and The Seattle Post Intelligencer said here that the show stripped away much of Dolly's polished image to show fans the real artist underneath, leading the reviewer to note: "despite her near mythic qualities, it's best not to dismiss Parton as a phenomenon, or as she put it in song, 'Don't judge me by my cover, 'cause I'm a real good book.'" The Oregonian opined here that Thursday's concert proved she is "ferociously talented, disarmingly charming and one of the smartest women in show business" and that her voice was "strong, clear and expressive."

    'Very Best' Continues Overseas
    She's not gone yet! Britons continue to snap up copies of last year's Very Best Of Dolly Parton Vol. 1, which inches up one to No. 58 on the British pop albums charts in its eighth chart week this year, retaining its spot as the No. 2 country album in the U.K.

    Charity Auction Nearing End
    You just have a couple more days to get in a bid for the final front row, Dolly-autographed, pink rocking chair for her Oct. 25 Kentucky benefit concert. As of press time Sunday night, the bidding had reached $615. The charity auction ends here Wednesday.

    Another Opry Calendar On Its Way
    Thanks to Bryce for alerting me that a second Grand Ole Opry calendar with Dolly, this time in a solo photo on the cover, is coming out for 2009, too, although haven't seen anywhere where it is available for purchase other than a completed eBay listing.

    Aug. 9:
    Tour Marches On Through The Northwest
    Dolly continues to enjoy great press on her Backwoods Barbie World Tour's second U.S. leg. Gay Wired on Friday provided a shimmering review of last weekend's Los Angeles performance, calling her "the endlessly entertaining force of unadulterated light and life" and attesting that "the house was overflowing with Dolly's true believers." Read the full review here. As her Seattle show approached Friday night, The Seattle Times here profiled her and her career, and The Denver Post got fans ready for Sunday's engagement in their city with a set of facts on her here (although it repeats the erroneous statement of her mother being half-Cherokee). The show then continues on to Omaha on Monday, Detroit on Wednesday and St. Louis on Thursday before next weekend's sold out Dollywood shows. (I understand a group of fans plans to meet outside of Aunt Granny's between the 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday concerts to enjoy a 5 p.m. dinner if y'all want to join! I'm going to try and make it.)  And thanks to Scott for sending in his shot as a meet-and-greet contest winner in Berkley at left. Check out a larger version in the Fan Antics section here.
    In related news, the University of Central Florida Arena has added Dolly's Oct. 18 Orlando concert to its website, noting that tickets will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Eastern next Friday, Aug. 15, via Ticketmaster. And thanks to Al for alerting me that the local newspaper on Friday reported that tickets for her Nov. 2 Connecticut show will also go on sale next Friday but at 9 a.m. Eastern. I expect announcements of pre-sales shortly. There's no word yet on ticket sale dates for her other concert that was reported here but not elsewhere yet: Oct. 31 in New Jersey, but I would anticipate a sales announcement on it soon as well.

    New Opry Calendar Coming
    The Grand Ole Opry will in September release a new 16-month wall calendar for 2009, and it features a shot on the cover and over one of the months inside of Dolly with Porter Wagoner performing "I Will Always Love You," the signature song she wrote in his honor, during last year's tribute to him in observance of his 50th anniversary as an Opry member. Wagoner's health took an unexpected turn for the worse just four months later, and he passed away weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. Although a few advance copies of the calendar have popped up already, you may reserve your copy of the regular release here. Thanks, Serena!

    Holding On At Pure Country
    Dolly's video for "Jesus & Gravity" remains steady at No. 3 on the Pure 12 Pack countdown on CMT's digital cable channel, Pure Country, this week, it was announced Friday. Vote for it here.

    Aug. 8:
    Dolly Sees Some Minor Chart Gains
    Dolly sees a few gains in the Aug. 16 Billboard charts that came out on Thursday. Backwoods Barbie increases its position by three places to come in at No. 55 country in its 24th chart week while her 16 Biggest Hits gains three to No. 36 in its 43rd week. Overseas, Backwoods Barbie falls out of the top 10 in the Danish pop albums tally after one week in the top 10, dropping nine to No. 15 in its fourth week on the charts there. Back home, Emmylou Harris sees her All I Intended To Be, with Dolly on "Gold," dip one to No. 26 country in its eighth week and nine to No. 155 pop. The CD holds steady on the Canadian country list at No. 17. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, featuring Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," rises two to No. 5 on the country catalog albums list and 10 to No. 39 Canadian country. The various artist compilation God Bless the USA, with Dolly's "Color Me America," falls off the 75-position country tally, down from No. 71 the previous week, its 13th. Sugarland's Love on the Inside holds on to the No. 1 country spot in its second week and moves up one to No. 1 on the pop chart as well with 171,000 copies, while Taylor Swift's self-titled debut regains one to No. 2 country and slips one to No. 13 pop in its 93rd week.

    Latest From The Road
    In preparation for Dolly's concert in Portland on Thursday night, The Portland Mercury opined that she was the "ultimate American," explaining that she stands as the top embodiment of the American ideal, the American dream. Read that analysis here. The Backwoods Barbie World Tour continues to Seattle on Friday, Denver on Sunday (resulting in a "60 Seconds With Dolly" interview in the Colorado Springs Independent here), Omaha on Monday (resulting in a concert preview with notes from several other papers' recent reviews in The Omaha World Herald here and a sidebar with readers' views about who is the Queen of Country Music here) and the Detroit area on Wednesday (resulting in a review of Backwoods Barbie in local LGBT publication Pride Source here). The San Francisco Examiner on Thursday revisited her Tuesday engagement in Berkley, adding several tid-bits in anticipation of the LA premiere of her 9 To 5: The Musical in a piece here. And Broadway World carried the formal announcement (already noted here) that she will headline the Nov. 1 Providence Performing Arts Center Gala with a story here.

    Fun In Brighton
    Thanks to Dion for sending in several shots from the recent Brighton Pride Festival in England, where a line of Dollys entertained the crowd. View them here.

    Aug. 7:
    Berkley Ripe For Dolly Cheers
    I understand that Dolly whipped the crowd into a frenzy Tuesday night in Berkley, Calif. The "pumped" audience sang along, danced, offered numerous standing ovations and caused Dolly to say as she left the stage for the final time of the evening, "I really hate to go." She dedicated "I'm Little But I'm Loud" to a little girl in the audience and instructed security to leave a female fan alone who tried to take off her jersey to give it to Dolly (who joked she thought the woman was trying to get naked). When some folks on the front rows couldn't see her high-heel shoes over a speaker at the foot of the stage, she lifted her leg to show them, causing her skirt to hike up a bit, to which she exclaimed: "I think they just saw my box office!" Unfortunately, due to time constraints she had to cut "The Grass Is Blue" and "Puppy Love" from the set list, but otherwise it was the same as she has performed in other cities over recent days, I'm told. Special thanks to Dolly-ite meet-and-greet winner Manny for sending in a few shots, including the one at left, which are posted here! The San Jose Mercury News said here that although the venue was nowhere near sold out, Dolly still brought a show "bursting with four decades of fantastic songs, loads of corny jokes, heart-tugging Smoky Mountain nostalgia, endearing stage patter, a pair of sparkly outfits and singing so spot-on it strained credulity," yet when she launched into "Little Sparrow," the reviewer found "there was no question the singing was live, real and magnificent." (Also check out his thoughts from immediately after the show in a blog posting here.) SF Weekly in nearby San Francisco said she showed with her unmatched storytelling skill just how bad most other performers are when they tell stories from the stage. Calling her "a master entertainer," the publication said here that she "gives a performance to be remembered, adding to her legacy with a history lesson that you don't forget." (And check out the paper's story about Backwoods Barbie from about a week ago here.) In related news, Variety has made available a gallery of shots from Dolly's Los Angeles show here. Thanks, Greg!

    The Sincerest Form Of Flattery
    Check out impersonator Leigh Shannon as Dolly (and keep an eye out for "Kenny," too!) on YouTube here!

    Latest Library News
    Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program is coming to Cadiz, Ky., thanks to the local Rotary Club, The Cadiz Record reported here Wednesday. Also, the first books have begun to arrive in Escambia County, Fla., North Escambia.com near Pensacola reported here.

    Go To Dollywood And Get Gas
    If you head out to Dollywood this month, get that season pass out to qualify for a contest to win free gas for a year! Each time you use your season pass at the turnstiles through Aug. 31, you'll automatically be entered for the $2,600 gas card, the park has announced.

    Aug. 6:
    Dolly Coming To Orlando, N.J., Conn.
    Three more new concerts have been added to Dolly's late fall/early winter itinerary for her Backwoods Barbie World Tour, according to the latest list from her Los Angeles-based publicist. She'll play the University of Central Florida Arena in Orlando on Oct. 18, the Izod Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., on Oct. 31 and the Foxwoods Casino MGM Grand Theater in Mashantucket, Conn., on Nov. 2. No ticket sales dates have been announced yet. Her Halloween date in East Rutherford marks her first return to the venue since her 2004 Hello I'm Dolly Tour, when it was called the Continental Airlines Center. She was most recently in Orlando for a sold out engagement at the House of Blues on 2005's Vintage Tour. Meanwhile, press for the tour continues to shine. The Sacramento Bee said here that her engagement in that city on Monday night showed the true Dolly is "a gifted songwriter armed with razor wit and old-school Nashville charm," although the reviewer noted that the venue was less than half full, compared to nearly completely sold-out shows last week in San Diego and Los Angeles. Variety praised Sunday's LA performance here saying she "delivered the combination of cornpone and heartfelt emotion in exactly the right proportions" and that her new material was "fresh" and fit in well with her classics. People noted here the behavior of some of her celebrity fans at the show, including Johnny Knoxville talking with fellow concertgoers. And special thanks to Dolly-ite Sacramento meet-and-greet winner Kenny for sending in his shots backstage (see at left) and a few others, which have been posted here.

    Dolly Remembers Roy Orbison
    Dolly contributes her memories of Roy Orbison to a new boxed set in his honor which her former label, Monument, releases next month. The four-CD set, Soul Of Rock And Roll, comes out Sept. 23 featuring 12 previously unreleased recordings plus testimonials about the singer written by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Neil Diamond, Tom Waits, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt and Dolly, Billboard reports here.

    Aug. 5:
    Another Benefit Announced, LA Pics/Reviews
    Dolly will headline the annual fund-raising Gala for the Providence Performing Arts Center in Rhode Island on Nov. 1, it was announced Monday on her music website, Dolly Parton Music.net. Tickets are available here in a pre-sale which includes Dolly-ite members and are expected to go on sale to the general public on Aug. 14. Last year's headliner was Liza Minnelli.
    In related news:

  • I'm told Sunday's Los Angeles concert was simply to die for. "She not only still has it, she's better than ever!" wrote one fan. "Puppy Love" returned to the set list, and "Jesus & Gravity" remained as the encore. She even autographed a photo for someone at the foot of the stage (something she never does) and interacted with a little girl when she mentioned her appearance on Hannah Montana. Thanks, Greg, Gary and Larry! Also, check out some shots from The Lane Twins posted here, including the one at left! The Los Angeles Times notes here that the show provides how she embraces the interplay of artist and performer, offering equal parts Cher or Bette Midler style over the top performance and the seriousness of her songwriting and powerhouse of her voice, as exemplified on "Little Sparrow," which the reviewer called "the emotional centerpiece of the evening's second half." E! Online reports here that celebs in the crowd included T.R. Knight, Vince Vaughn, Katherine Heigl, Josh Kelley and Rose McGowan.
  • The tour continued on Monday night in Sacramento, where The Sacramento Bee offered a story here from a telephone interview with her in which she touched on the tour, the musical, Porter and even Jessica Simpson, about whom she noted: "She's a very sweet, down-to-earth country girl – very much like myself. I'm compassionate toward her, and I think it's very unfair they give her such a bum rap. I think she sings her ass off, and I tried to sing my ass off with her." She heads over to Berkley on Tuesday night, Portland on Thursday and Seattle on Friday.
  • Dolly Parton Music.net on Monday confirmed, as was previously noted here as being expected, that there will not be any Dolly-ite meet-and-greet contests offered for her Dollywood concerts later this month. As was explained here at that time, the website's online fan community is not a traditional fan club and has no connection to her theme park or her charity organization which the concerts are benefiting, so it was highly unlikely that any meet-and-greets would be offered through the Dolly-ites.
  • As was predicted here Sunday night, the website also announced on Monday that pre-sales will begin Wednesday for her Oct. 20 engagement in Clearwater, Fla., and Ticketmaster posted a link for the concert as well.

    Aug. 4:
    Florida Concert Revealed
    The next Dolly show on the fall/winter leg of her Backwoods Barbie World Tour has been announced locally: Oct. 20 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Fla., part of the Tampa Bay area. She last played the venue with a sold out engagement in November 2005 as part of her Vintage Tour. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Eastern Friday, although pre-sales will be available for the Hall's upper-level members (producer and trouper levels) at 10 a.m. Wednesday and regular members at 10 a.m. Thursday. If the pattern seen thus far on the tour holds true, I would expect her music website Dolly Parton Music.net to announce the show via an e-mail to its mailing list on Monday or Tuesday with a Wednesday morning pre-sale for members of its Dolly-ite online community, although no word confirming that had been released as of press time Sunday night. Tickets will be sold via the venue's website here. Thanks, Johnny! Meanwhile, the tour resumed Friday night with a possibly sold-out show in San Diego (the concert had been sold out for a few weeks, but several rows of tickets were released in the last week before the concert, and some remained available until right before curtain time, so it's not known if all of them sold before the show started or not) and Sunday night's engagement in Los Angeles. No fans had written in with word from either show as of press time Sunday. (If you have reviews from the shows or photos, e-mail here!) Image at left from the 2005 Florida concert is courtesy Eljyn Reid.

    'Very Best' Still Hot In U.K.
    Dolly does well on a couple of charts this week. Very Best Of Dolly Parton Vol. 1 holds on at No. 59 on the British pop albums charts in its seventh chart week this year, also retaining its spot as the No. 2 country album in the U.K. Back home, her video for "Jesus & Gravity" inches down one to No. 3 on the Pure 12 Pack countdown on CMT's digital cable channel, Pure Country. Vote for it here.

    Another Concert Auction Starts
    The auction for the final front row seat in an autographed pink rocking chair you get to take home from Dolly's Oct. 25 charity concert in Kentucky hit eBay over the weekend. Place your bid here. The auction ends Aug. 13.

    More '9 To 5' Coverage
    If you see the new issue of LGBT magazine OUT on newsstands in coming days, you'll notice Dolly's name on the cover (alongside a photograph of Neil Patrick Harris). The issue includes a brief article on her Broadway adaptation of 9 To 5: The Musical.

    Reports: 'Adventure' Coming To Dollywood
    I haven't seen any first-hand information yet, so I can't vouch for its authenticity, but the theme park fansite message boards this weekend were sent abuzz over reports that a newsletter went out to Dollywood employees on Friday announcing that next year's ride addition will be Adventure Mountain, which allegedly will feature a waterfall gorge, rope trails, discovery cave, fire mountain and zip lines to soar through the treetops. An official announcement of next year's addition is expected within the next couple of weeks. Thanks, Tony!

    'Feud' To Have Dolly Look-A-Like
    If you catch The Family Feud next week, you might do a Dolly double-take. Celebrity impersonators will take over the show, and there will be a Dolly among the Elvis, George W. Bush, Whoopi Goldberg and others.

    Fan Site Reaches Anniversary
    Fan site Dolly On-Line on Sunday issued a press release touting the website's 10th anniversary. Congratulations to webmaster Chris Walls for finishing up a decade covering Dolly on the Internet. Check out the press release here. (And stay tuned in two months for Dollymania's own 10th anniversary observance!)

    Aug. 2:
    Playbill Radio Plays Dolly
    Dolly is scheduled for more talking about 9 To 5: The Musical on the online audio offerings from Broadway publication Playbill. The magazine says she'll be on PlaybillRadio.com again at 4 p.m. Eastern Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

    Dolly Gets Back To The Stage
    With her Backwoods Barbie World Tour resuming Friday night in San Diego, tickets for the formerly sold out show remained available as of press time a few hours before curtain time. Plenty of seats, many on the front of the floor, also remained available for most of the other concerts in the late summer leg of the tour via Ticketmaster. In addition, on Friday a few $120 floor seats opened up for her Oct. 25 Kentucky charity show, also being sold through the ticketing company, and I'm told one of the front row autographed rocking chair seats remains available. It will be sold via the website for St. Mark Catholic Church. (This is not the rocking chair noted on the church's front page as sold -- that was an auction for two of them -- this one will be added to the website later if not on there when you check it.)

    Aug. 1:
    'Barbie,' '16' Steady Here, 'Barbie' Up Overseas
    Dolly loses one but manages to hold on to two in the Aug. 9 Billboard charts released Thursday. With just over 1,000 copies sold nationwide for the week, Backwoods Barbie remains steady at No. 58 country in its 23rd chart week while her 16 Biggest Hits also remains steady at No. 39 in its 42nd week. Unfortunately, Playlist: The Very Best Of Dolly Parton falls off the top 75 country albums list, down from No. 68 the previous week, its third. Overseas, Backwoods Barbie continues to draw heat with the Danish people, rising five spots to No. 6 in its third week on the pop albums chart in Denmark. Thanks, Claus! Back in the U.S., Emmylou Harris' All I Intended To Be, featuring Dolly singing on "Gold," holds on at No. 25 country in its seventh week but dips 26 to No. 146 pop. The CD gains two to No. 17 country in Canada. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," continues to hold its own at No. 7 on the country catalog albums list and loses five to No. 49 Canadian country. The various artist compilation God Bless the USA, featuring Dolly's "Color Me America," inches up three to No. 71 country in its 13th week. Sugarland's Love on the Inside debuts at No. 1 country, No. 2 pop with 314,000 copies sold in its first week, while Taylor Swift's Wal-Mart exclusive EP/DVD Beautiful Eyes dips one to No. 2 country and No. 10 pop with 35,000 units moved in its second week.

    'Backwoods' Coming As Single
    The title track from Backwoods Barbie will be released as a single next spring to promote 9 To 5: The Musical, Dolly revealed in an interview posted Thursday by Billboard magazine. The musical, which includes the song on its score, opens on Broadway in March after this fall's Los Angeles test run. Dolly also told the magazine in the piece available here that the movie's original co-stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dabney Coleman will all be present at both the LA and New York openings of the musical, although on which dates is unclear (originally, the West Coast version was being touted as having previews Sept. 3-19 and the official opening Sept. 20, which is when the stars would most likely be there, but it is now being advertised as simply running Sept. 3-Oct. 19; Broadway previews begin March 24, with the official opening there April 23). She also said in the article that future projects include CDs and DVDs for children and possibly a gospel album or she "may wind up doing a dance record!" (Actually, according to several published reports which have previously been noted here, a remix dance album of her hits has been prepared for some time and is expected to be released in the near future.)

    Wanna Be In Print?
    Boyz, London's biggest gay-themed weekly magazine, is looking for Dolly fans to be profiled. Each week, a particular passion is featured, ranging from Hollywood divas to karate to basketball. The page would talk about why they love Dolly, their favorite songs and movies, and when they first heard her music along with a photo. Anyone who would like to be considered may e-mail Joseph here.