Aug. 31: 'Better Day' Could Be In UK Top 10 Dolly's Better Day appears to be heading for a major bow on the British albums charts next weekend. Mid-week sales data currently have Monday's release at No. 9 for the all-genre U.K. pop albums chart, according to Music Week, which would also make it No. 1 country. If it holds onto a top 10 position overseas, it would mark just her second entry on that list, following her 2007 compilation The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1, which made it to No. 8 in 2007 thanks to a Sony advertising campaign on television and a European tour to become her first-ever platinum album in the U.K., recognizing sales in excess of 300,000 copies. The overseas performance of her new album is in stark contrast to disappointing sales on this side of the Atlantic, where it debuted back in July at No. 51 pop and No. 11 country, not even breaking the top 50 overall album sales here or the top 10 country sales, and No. 17 Canadian country, not even making the top 100 pop albums up north. In related news, British promotions for the album continued with an interview in Big Issues Scotlandhere and what is really a very insightful and entertaining interview with The Quietushere that examines topics such as her thoughts on many of her contemporaries passing away, why she doesn't consider her appearance to be a role model for others and a few other lofty issues that she doesn't normally cover in interviews.
Documentary Gets More Coverage The Lane Twins' Hollywood To Dollywood documentary garnered an interview in Chicago Pridehere on Tuesday.
More Library Expansions Reported Several communities this week are celebrating Dolly's Imagination Library coming to town. The Mineral Daily News Tribune in Keyser, W.V., covers its Mineral County start here while WAND in Springfield, Ill., reports on its launch in Sangamon County here. And in Bristol and Washington County, Va., The Washington County News noted here that local officials were sorting through 2,000 books from the program donated by SD Professionals, the program's database manager and IT company, and Direct Mail Services, the program's mailing house, in response to tornadoes that hit the community earlier this summer.
Aug. 30: Chenoweth Loves Her Some Dolly Tony winner Kristen Chenoweth gushes again about Dolly in an interview released Monday by Pride Sourcehere. She's promoting her upcoming album, Some Lessons Learned, which will be released Sept. 13 and features a cover of Dolly's "Change" as well as Chenoweth's original tribute to her idol, "What Would Dolly Do?"
Another U.K. Review Posted Dolly's Better Day, which hit British stores on Monday, has snagged another mostly positive review this week, with The Scotsman giving it three stars here.
Aug. 29: World Tour Promotions Continue
Installment Five of the promotional videos being released in advance of the Australian leg of Dolly's Better Day World Tour hit the web on Sunday. Watch it in the media player above or by clicking here. In related news, The Guardian offered a positive review here Sunday of her recent show in Nottingham, England. After a few days in Scandinavia, the tour returns back to the British Isles on Wednesday.
'Very Best' Back Again Down Under With the impending release of her new CD Down Under on Monday, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 re-enters the top 20 Australian country albums chart this week to stand at No. 14 in its 80th chart week.
Aug. 27: British, Aussie Reviews Coming In Friday's release of Dolly's Better Day CD in Australia and Monday's upcoming release in the U.K. have spawned several reviews, mostly positive again and usually giving the collection four out of five stars. Check them out from The Sydney Morning Heraldhere, Yorkshire Posthere, Female Firsthere and The Expresshere. Meanwhile, the European leg of Better Day World Tour rolls into Stockholm, Sweden, on Saturday and Gothenburg, Sweden, on Sunday before returning back to England again next week.
'Access Hollywood' Talks To Dolly Syndicated entertainment news program Access Hollywood announced on Friday that an interview with Dolly will air on the program's Aug. 31 episode. Since it is syndicated, you will need to check local listings for times and stations.
Irish Chart Update After a week back on the top 100, the Dolly compilation A Life In Music Ultimate Collection fell back off the Irish pop albums chart this week, down from No. 97 in its fifth chart week.
HOF Features Porter Show You'll be able to catch some classic Dolly TV this weekend at the Country Music Hall of Fame, The Tennesseean revealed here Friday. The Museum will screen two episodes of The Porter Wagoner Show featuring Chet Atkins from the 1970s, presumably with Dolly as well, at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Aug. 26: New Florida Show Added To Tour Another Better Day World Tour stop in the Sunshine State was announced Thursday: Oct. 18 at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Fla. Dollyite pre-sales began Thursday with public sales starting Friday.
'Better Day' Drops More On Chart Dolly's Better Day continues its chart slide this week, losing another four places to No. 51 in its eighth week on the country albums chart, the Sept. 3 Billboard numbers showed. Elsewhere on the tallies, The Grascals' Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, featuring three Dolly guest spots, slips one to No. 14 bluegrass albums in its 29th chart week and Rhonda Vincent's Taken, with Dolly on a track, re-enters the 15-position bluegrass list at No. 9 for a 29th chart week. Overall, Luke Bryan's Tailgates and Tanlines remains steady at No. 1 country and loses two to No. 4 pop, while Jason Aldean's My Kind of Party regains one spot to No. 2 country and No. 5 pop in its 42nd chart week.
Another Great 'Better Day' Review Meanwhile, Britain's Digital Spy gives Dolly's CD a positive review, awarding four out of five stars here.
More On Holiday Recording Already reported here, Taste Of Country on Thursday covered Dolly's upcoming guest spot on Chicago's holiday CD, Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Three. In the article, here, they note she was just in a neighboring studio in the building and popped over to say hi when they invited her to sing on the track.
Dolly Film Fest Gets Coverage Also already reported here, Saturday's all-night Dolly film marathon by Cinefamily in Los Angeles snagged some coverage Thursday from The Los Angeles Timeshere and NBC Los Angeleshere.
New York Gets '9 To 5' Another theatre has scheduled a local production of Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical, where it will play The Merry-Go-Round Theatre in Auburn, N.Y., June 27-July 18 next year, according to The Auburn Pubhere.
Aug. 25: UK Producers Seek Dolly Fans For Show London television production company Knickerbockerglory tv is seeking Dolly's No. 1 U.K. fan for a show about celebrities and their fans. Those interested should contact producers here and tell them a little about yourself, your love of Dolly and any memorabilia you own (they'd love pictures).
Dolly Helps Put Louvin CD Together Music blog NME reports here that Dolly is participating in an upcoming Louvin Brothers compilation called Handpicked Songs: 1955-62 where musicians selected their favorite songs by the classic duo. Dolly chose "Cash On The Barrelhead," noting: "I love all the Louvin Brothers songs and used to sing them all growing up… still do. I suppose the one I would single out is 'Cash On The Barrelhead', as it is my husband's favourite and a song that I recorded for my bluegrass album 'The Grass Is Blue'. I especially love the mandolin turnaround in that one."
Tour Continues Across Europe Dolly's Better Day World Tour hits Copenhagen, Denmark, Thursday night. I'm told that the set list was similar in Nottingham, England, as to her Glasgow shows. "Light Of A Clear Blue Morning" was missing, and "Baby I'm Burnin'" was in place of "Better Get To Livin'." "White Limozeen" opened the second half of the show, and "Two Doors Down" was the first selection of her encore, keeping the audience lively after "9 To 5." Thanks, Richard!
Aug. 23: Better Day World Tour Rocks Scotland Dolly's back-to-back sold out nights in Glasgow, Scotland, have earned perhaps the best reviews of her Better Day World Tour, snagging five stars from The Scotsmanhere, four stars from The Heraldhere and four stars for a "flawless" show from The Telegraphhere. I'm told she changed up her set list slightly, replacing "Better Get To Livin'" with "Baby I'm Burnin'" and "White Limozeen" with "Two Doors Down." She also added "Country Is As Country Does" to the show. Thanks, Graeme! The tour moved into Nottingham, England, Monday and next hits Copenhagen, Denmark, on Thursday before moving to Sweden a few days later. In related news, a group of Swede singers who were featured in a documentary I Am My Own Dolly Parton about their shared fandom for Dolly are putting out their own tribute album to her called Dollycamp ("Dollykollot" in Swedish). The project features about half original songs and about half Dolly covers. Check out their Facebook page here. The album is on Sweden's iTunes.
Dolly Duets With Chicago For Holidays Dolly will be featured on the first track of the band Chicago's upcoming holiday album Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Three, coming out Oct. 4. She performs a duet on "Wonderful Christmas Time." Also appearing with the band on the Phil Ramone-produced set are America, Bebe Winans and Steve Cropper. Reserve your copy here! Thanks, Mike!
Fan Doc Wins Award In Calif. Over the weekend, the Lane Twins' Dolly documentary Hollywood To Dollywood won its first two awards: Best Documentary Feature and Director's Choice Award from the Sacramento Film and Music Festival. The film, about their cross-country road trip to get a script in Dolly's hands, is currently making the festival circuit.
Dolly Music On TV Dolly's music had some interesting appearances on TV in the last couple of days. A cover of her "Jolene" by male contestant Samuel on Oxygen's The Glee Project won him the competition Sunday night. He receives a seven-episode arc on the FOX hit Glee as Sue's new arch-nemesis. Then on Monday night, the contestants on Logo's RuPaul's Drag U had their "final dragxamination" dance routine set to her original recording of "9 To 5."
Aug. 22: New Aussie Dates Added To Tour
Dolly fans Down Under have reason to celebrate this week as two additional dates have been added to the Australian leg of her Better Day World Tour. A third consecutive night has been added to her Brisbane run at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre with a Nov. 27 show, while a third non-consecutive night has been added Dec. 1 at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, where she plays two consecutive nights prior to moving to Brisbane. She had said in interviews that additional Australian dates would be coming and that the Aussie portion of the tour would likely extend into December, and these are the first new dates to be added. Dollyite fan club pre-sales run from noon Tuesday to noon Wednesday, while Visa cardholders will have pre-sales available noon Thursday to 5 p.m. Saturday prior to public sales starting 9 a.m. next Tuesday, Aug. 30. In addition, the fourth installment of the tour promoter's web series in advance of the tour premiered Sunday and is viewable in the media player above or by clicking here. The episode on her as an icon focuses mostly on her large gay fan base and drag queens with a little discussion of her film career as well. In related tour news, the European leg kicked off this weekend in Glasgow, Scotland, where she made an appearance to celebrate her Imagination Library literacy program in the country. Read more from the UK Press Association here. The Scotman covered the ticket scam that may have taken in some fans here. Finally, British paper The Guardian had a very detailed and pretty in-depth interview over the weekend (albeit with a bit more editorial comment than American journalists usually interject) here.
Gone From Chart Down Under After a few weeks' return, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 falls back off the top 20 Australian country albums chart this week, down from No. 20 in its 79th week.
Collection Show Airs With Dolly Fans My Collection Obsession on TLC premiered Sunday night saving the best for last. Following segments on a shoe collector, vacuum cleaner collector and doll collector, Dolly fans and Dollymania.net correspondents Harrell Gabehart and Patric Parkey were shown with their massive collection and surprise visit from Dolly herself. Check out a segment about the show from ABC's Good Morning Americahere and catch repeats at midnight Monday morning, 7 p.m. Thursday, 2 a.m. Friday morning, 10 p.m. Aug. 29 and 1 a.m. Aug. 30.
Aug. 20: TLC Show With Dolly Airs Sunday
The TLC special My Collection Obsession featuring Dolly fans Harrell and Patric with their massive collection and a visit from Dolly herself premieres Sunday night at 10 p.m. Eastern, and the network on Friday released footage from the show, which is viewable in the media player above or by clicking here.
European Tour Kicks Off Saturday The European leg of Dolly's Better Day World Tour starts in Glasgow, Scotland, on Saturday, but The Herald reports here that thousands of ticket buyers may have been taken in by a £1 million scam for a website, ticketindex.net, that is being investigated on fraud allegations of taking money for tickets and never delivering them.
Report: Boomsday Announcement Will Have Lasers TV station WBIR reported here Friday on the work to prepare for Boomsday on Sept. 4, the fireworks show that will culminate in announcement of Dollywood's new ride. The story adds the news that the announcement will feature lasers.
Dolly Back On The Irish Charts The Dolly compilation A Life In Music Ultimate Collection has re-entered the Irish pop albums chart at No. 97 for a fifth chart week, it was revealed Friday.
Aug. 19: Dolly Tells 'CW' She Has 'No Regrets' Dolly is once again the cover girl for Country Weekly magazine, the publication announced Thursday. The issue is scheduled to hit newsstands nationwide on Monday, although many retailers put the new ones out as soon as they come in, which in some locations can be as early as Thursday or Friday. The cover story focuses on her new CD, career and "sense of serenity." The magazine says she explains she is humbled and amazed at the longevity of her career. "I don't remember ever doing anything that I don't think was the right thing to do at the time," she says in the interview. "So, no, I have no regrets. If you live with regrets, you never get anything done." She also talks about her new movie with Queen Latifah, Joyful Noise, coming out in January, and the issue includes a pull-out Dolly poster.
'Better Day' Plummets On The Charts Dolly's Better Day is no more on the overall genre album charts, reflecting a sharp fall-off in its already lackluster sales to coincide with the end of the first American leg of her tour. The CD slips off of the Top 200 "pop" albums list, down from No. 199 in its sixth week, but also falls off the 200-position current albums tally, which reflects sales from current releases only, down more than 37 places from the previous week's No. 163, its sixth on that list. On the country albums chart, the album plummets 18 places to reach No. 47 in its seventh chart week there. Elsewhere on the Aug. 27 Billboard charts, The Grascals' Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, with several Dolly collaborations, inches up one place to No. 13 bluegrass albums in its 28th chart week. Overall, Luke Bryan's Tailgates and Tanlines debuts at No. 1 country, No. 2 pop, while Eric Church's Chief slides one to No. 2 country and slips three to No. 5 pop in its third week.
Another 'Better Day' Review Released British blog Music OMH gives Dolly's Better Day three out of five stars in a mixed review this week. Read it here.
Maxim Chooses Dolly Over Faith Men's magazine Maxim this week compared 1980s divas to those of today, giving its editors' picks on the sexiest of their times, and they pitted Dolly against Faith Hill, choosing Dolly as the winner. See all of the match-ups here.
LA Film Club Plans Dolly Marathon Thanks to Greg for pointing out a great Dolly movie marathon in LaLa Land. Cinefamily will show three of her movies, 9 To 5, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and Rhinestone, at The Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles 9 p.m. Aug. 27-5 a.m. Aug. 28. All will be shown from the original 35mm reels. Admission is $12 for the general public, free for Cinefamily members.
'9 To 5' Will Also Play Utah Next Year Thanks to Tony for alerting me to another professional regional theatre engagement for Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical. The show will take up residence at the Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley City, Utah, Aug. 15-Sept. 29, 2012.
Aug. 17: Grascals Duet Yields Nominations "I Am Strong," Dolly's latest collaboration with her former backing band, The Grascals', has snagged her and the band a pair of nods for this year's International Bluegrass Music Awards, it was revealed when nominations were announced on Wednesday. The track came from the band's Cracker Barrel exclusive CD Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin and is up for Song of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year for them with Dolly. The band is also nominated for Entertainer of the Year. The awards will be presented Sept. 29 in Nashville.
'9 To 5' Coming To Wisconsin Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical may have completed its first tour, but the show still goes on! It has been announced that a professional production of the musical using Equity union actors has been contracted for March 8 through May 6 at The Fireside Theatre in Ft Atkinson, Wis., about halfway between Madison and Milwaukee. The theatre is described as a "motorcoach attraction" that draws tens of thousands of audience members on tour busses to the town throughout its season. Auditions for the booking's lead roles have been announced for Sept. 12 at Nola Studios in New York City. Learn more from Playbillhere.
Collectors' Special Profiled On GMA This weekend's TLC program My Collection Obsession, which features Dolly and two of her biggest fans, snagged a mention on ABC's Good Morning America Wednesday. Read the story here.
Park Plays Up Announcement Dollywood on Wednesday issued a press release touting the Sept. 4 announcement of its 2012 ride addition and the contest previously reported here to text its name when announced to 87654 for a chance to win a meet-and-greet with Dolly, the first ride on the new attraction at grand opening next year and lifetime passes to the park for members of the winner's household. In the release, Dolly said: "Anticipation has been building for months, and I think Boomsday is the perfect occasion to unveil Dollywood's biggest plans ever. I'm as tight-lipped as can be but I will tell folks one thing: keep an eye toward the sky on Sept. 4 because we're going to light it up with my big secret in a very explosive fashion." The ride's name will be announced during the Knoxville fireworks show. Dolly's pre-recorded voice is reportedly to be heard during the announcement, although the release noted she will not be present in person due to her Better Day World Tour. In related news, the park is suing a local hotel company over alleged improper use of the trademarked Dollywood name, including adding it in the hotel's name and website URL, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported here and Volunteer TV reported here.
Aug. 16: European Meet-And-Greet Entries Open Dolly Records' official website, DollyPartonMusic.net, on Monday opened up the meet-and-greet contests for the European leg of her Better Day World Tour. As in the U.S., entries will be accepted from Dollyite members until two days before each concert, when between two and 10 winners for that city will be chosen and notified. In related news, British paper Metro published an interview with Dolly here.
TLC Special Coming Sunday It's less than a week before TLC premieres My Collection Obsession, which includes Harrell and Patric and their Dolly collection (which is getting larger thanks to their $15,000 recent purchase of her Dollywood apartment bedroom suite from her charity eBay auction) plus an appearance by Dolly herself. Check out a review from BlogCritics here. The show airs Sunday on the cable network.
CMT Radio Interview Available The current issue of Country Weekly has a full-page story by CMT Radio's Cody Alan based on her recent radio interview with him that is available online here.
Latest Library Stories The Grand Junction, Colo., affiliate of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program recently celebrated distributing its 10,000th book after three years of operating, TV station WJCT reported here. Also, the Ionia, Mich., chapter is profiled by The Sentinel-Standardhere.
Aug. 15: Down Under Chart Update, Next Tour Video
The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 loses one digit on the top 20 Australian country albums chart this week, slipping to No. 20 in its 79th week. In related news, the next installment of the video series to promote the Aussie leg of her Better Day World Tour was released over the weekend by the tour promoter and is viewable in the media player above or by visiting YouTube here.
News From U.K. Press As Dolly prepares to take her Better Day World Tour across the pond to Europe in a few days, she chatted with The Daily Mail about her life and career. Check out the story here. In another tale from the U.K., a Dolly impersonator there tells The Expresshere of being mistaken for the real Dolly and her image used on pirated eBay products from China.
Vinyl 'Better Day' Reminder Don't forget that the vinyl edition of Dolly's current CD, Better Day, hits stores on Tuesday, marking her first vinyl album release in two decades. Reserve your copy here!
Dolly Radio Petition Started Some Dolly fans have started another online petition to try and get Dolly back on radio. Sign it here.
Aug. 12: 'Better Day' Near Bottom Of Pop 200 Chart Dolly's Durham, N.C., show is the first sell-out on her Better Day World Tour to be reported to the Billboard Boxscore chart for concerts. The engagement comes in at No. 98 on Thursday's list for the week with a gross of $200,070 and 100 percent of the 2,634 seats sold. Elsewhere on the Aug. 20 charts, Dolly's Better Day marches toward the bottom of the all-genre Top 200 "pop" albums chart, ranking No. 199 with a 29-spot drop in its sixth week and likely falling off next week. On the country list, it inches down one to No. 29 in its sixth chart week, while over on the current albums tally, it falls 21 points to No. 163. Elsewhere on the charts, The Grascals' Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, with three Dolly guest spots, re-enters the 15-position bluegrass albums list at No. 14 in its 27th chart week. Overall, Eric Church's Chief gets another turn at No. 1 country and slips one to No. 2 pop with 53,000 units sold in its second week, while Trace Adkins' Proud to Be Here debuts at No. 2 country and No. 3 pop with 47,000 copies moved in its first week.
Aug. 11: Opry Adds Dolly For Sept. 24 The Grand Ole Opry has revealed on its website that Dolly will be its guest for its 7 p.m. Sept. 24 show. Tickets are available via GaylordTickets.
Park Preps For Bluegrass Fest Dollywood's Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival returns this month for two and a half weeks of music and food at the park. "Of course, everybody knows I love bluegrass music," Dolly said in a press release issued Wednesday. "The more folks asked me about bringing back my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival, I realized Dollywood fans have a real hunger for bluegrass music and great tastin' barbecue. Since I aim to please, I'm proud to say Barbeque & Bluegrass is back and better than ever at Dollywood!" Things kick off Aug. 19 and 20 with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Other artists playing through Sept. 5 include J.D. Crowe and the New South Aug. 24 and 31, The Grascals Aug. 24, Riders in the Sky Aug. 26 and 27, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage Aug. 28 and 29, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver Aug. 31, The Gibson Brothers Sept. 2 and 3 and Marty Raybon Sept. 4 and 5.
'Mom' Flick Hitting DVDs In Canada The Canadian film The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom will be released on DVD up north on Tuesday, although there's no word on any plans to release it in the U.S. Thanks, Mark!
Aussie Video Blog Continues The second installment of Dolly's Australian tour promotion series debuted this week via YouTube. Watch it here or in the media player below.
Aug. 10: Houston Concert Revealed For October Dolly has added another date to the fall American leg of her Better Day World Tour, it was revealed on Tuesday. An Oct. 11 show at Houston's Verizon Wireless Theatre will bring her back to Texas for a third date in the Lonestar State on the tour. Presales for the show begin via Live Nation on Thursday with public sales starting Friday. That date may look familiar to some because a couple of weeks ago a previously announced Oct. 11 concert in Biloxi's Mississippi Coast Coliseum was moved to a day earlier, Oct. 10. In related news, another gallery from the tour opener in Knoxville has been added here. After completing its first American leg, the tour next heads to Europe, where the album it is promoting is slated for release via Sony Music on Aug. 29 -- no word on whether that release might be delayed due to a massive fire that destroyed Sony's primary U.K. storage facility during rioting Monday night into Tuesday morning.
More Dollywood Contest Detail When the new Dollywood ride is announced at Knoxville's Boomsday fireworks on Sept. 4, it will be to Dolly's voice, an e-mail from the park revealed on Tuesday. The message also provided the number to which the ride's name is to be texted that evening to enter a contest "for your chance to win the prize of a lifetime." The number is 87654. As was previously revealed here, the prize will be a Dolly meet-and-greet, to be the first to ride the new attraction at the park's 2012 grand opening and lifetime passes for up to eight members of the winner's household. Watch for hints to the ride's secrets here.
Dolly Book Gets Mentioned The new Dolly tome The Words and Music of Dolly Parton got a big thumbs up this week from country music historian and journalist Hazel Smith in her CMT.com weekly "Hot Dish" column, calling it "wonderful." Check out what else she had to say about the recently-released book here.
New York Library Coverage It's a big week for coverage centering on Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program in New York State. A study finding positive results of the program's first several months in Syracuse, N.Y., was lauded with an editorial by The Syracuse Post-Standardhere (also check out the executive summary of their study here), and the New York City Public School System's ambitious plan to register every child in The Big Apple for the project as a key component of the city's official pre-school program snagged mentions in The New York Daily Newshere and Patch.comhere.
Aug. 8: New Tour Pics Posted To Site With Dolly's Better Day World Tour on hiatus for a couple of weeks, hopefully your webmaster can catch up with the backlog of photos submitted by readers of the tour's first American leg and get those images posted before she makes her way to Europe. In that attempt, here's another gallery from Dollymania.net correspondent Harrell Gabehart from the Knoxville tour opener.
'Better Day' Gets U.K. Review The Guardian, one of Britain's leading papers, over the weekend reviewed Dolly's new Better Day CD, giving the collection three out of five stars here. The collection, released last month in the U.S. on Dolly's own Dolly Records and distributed through Warner Brothers Nashville, will come out Aug. 29 via Sony Music in the U.K. and Aug. 26 via Universal Music in Australia.
Aug. 6: New Ride Contest For M&G, Lifetime Park Pass A big Dolly contest will coincide with next month's announcement of Dollywood's new ride, Dollymania.net has learned. The ride's name will be announced in the sky – presumably in fireworks – during the annual Boomsday fireworks display in Knoxville on Sunday, Sept. 4. The event will be simulcast on WBIR television and online through the station's website. A number will also be announced to which fans may text what they see appear in the sky for the ride announcement, and if their text is correct, they will be entered into a contest for a Dolly meet-and-greet, to be the first to ride the new attraction at 2012's grand opening and LIFETIME passes to the park for up to eight members of their household. With the teaser line "the sky is not the limit," the park has been quite tight-lipped about next year's addition other than to say it will be the first of its specific ride type in the United States and that one element could set a world record, although the coaster enthusiast blogosphere has gathered some pretty compelling evidence to suggest it may be the first American "wing rider" roller coaster that hangs the riders on wings extended to the sides of the track rather than inside a car on the track itself. It is also rumored to be a "terrain coaster" that hugs the ground and follows its hills up and down in addition to inversions and loops.
Library Makes Syracuse News The Syracuse, N.Y., affiliate of Dolly's Imagination Library was profiled Friday by television station WSYR. Check out the report here.
Aug. 5: Clips, Shots From Atlanta Surface
Dolly's closer on the first American leg of her Better Day World Tour was as highly rated as the rest, according to another rave review, this time from Patch.comhere. Photos from the evening showed up on Creative Loafinghere. And check out some brief clips from the concert courtesy WSBTV here or in the media players above and below.
Charts: Chicago Grossed $300K Dolly's Chicago-area stop on the tour saw receipts of $305,163 to be the 51st highest grossing date reported to Billboard for its Boxscore chart this week, the numbers released Thursday confirmed. The show sold 91 percent of the venue's 3,500 seats. Elsewhere on the Aug. 13 charts, Better Day continued its slide in its fifth chart week, losing six spots to No. 28 country, 41 digits to No. 170 on the all-genre Top 200 "pop" albums chart and 22 places to No. 142 on the current albums tally. Overall, Eric Church's Chief debuts at No. 1 country and pop with 145,000 copies moved in its first week, while Jason Aldean's My Kind of Party remains steady at to No. 2 country and moves up four to No. 4 pop with 42,000 units sold in its 39th week.
Reserve U.K. Reissues Amazon has added pages to advance order two Dolly reissues from overseas slated to be available as imports on Tuesday. Her 2002 British Greatest Hits and a five-CD version of Original Album Classics featuring Rainbow, White Limozeen, Eagle When She Flies, Honky Tonk Angels and Something Special.
Library Praised Overseas Check out a blog post for the U.K. National Centre for Social Research endorsing Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program here.
Lesbian Shirt Story Goes On It was just a matter of time before some unsavory folks latched onto the lesbian t-shirt controversy at Dollywood's Splash Country to promote their own agenda. Conservative news blog One News Now reports that Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, which is classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, is criticizing Dolly's apology for the incident, saying it proves that the water park "promotes homosexuality." This isn't the Dollywood Company's first run-in with a hate group. The historically more violent Ku Klux Klan had peacefully protested Dollywood several years ago after a private group organized an unofficial and unendorsed "gay day" at the park.
Aug. 4: Tour Break Begins, Europe Is Next The first American leg of Dolly's Better Day World Tour wrapped up Wednesday night in the Atlanta area, and rave reviews continued to pour in, with critics weighing in on her Chicago show here from The Windy City Times and Tuesday's Durham, N.C., stop from Hit Fixhere. Also, check out a Cambio video of her chatting with some fashion bloggers backstage here.
Auction Goes Live, Gets Noticed The charity auction for the complete bedroom suite from Dolly's former Dollywood apartment announced here Monday night is now live on eBay. Bids will be accepted here through Aug. 12. The minimum bid is $15,000 plus $3,000 shipping. The sale proceeds will benefit the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation in Sevierville, Tenn. News of the auction made AOL's The Boot blog on Wednesday here as well as The Tennesseanhere.
Fan Collection Show To Air Aug. 21 Cable network TLC on Wednesday announced the premiere date for its new My Collection Obsession program featuring Dollymania.net correspondents Harrell Gabehart and Patric Parkey giving Dolly herself a tour of their massive collection from her career. The show will air at 10 p.m. Eastern Sunday, Aug. 21, and will also feature a shoe collector, a 16-year-old vacuum cleaner collector and a doll collector.
Aug. 3: Latest T-Shirt Developments Following the public release of Dolly's apology to the lesbian couple offended recently by Dollywood's Splash Country's dress code policy, the story heated up again making several media outlets thanks to the Associated Press and again hitting numerous LGBT blogs (many of which contained inaccuracies such as saying the women were refused admission and that it occurred at Dollywood instead of the adjacent separate water park that Dollywood owns). Local media coverage shined a bit more light on the story, with The Knoxville News Sentinelhere and TV station WATE here both reporting on Tuesday that the park had offered to meet with the women to discuss the situation, but they declined to meet except under the condition that the park allow to participate in the meeting a representative from the gay rights advocacy group the Campaign for Southern Equality, which the pair said had been coaching them on the tactics used to complain to the park and promote the incident in the media including helping draft the letter they sent to the park and released to the press. The park responded that the advocate was not a customer who participated in the incident, and they would only meet with the customers themselves – leading to a they said/they said of the park taking the position that the couple therefore declined to meet with them but the couple arguing that the park therefore declined to meet with them. Regardless, Dolly's apology was presented to them prior to being released to the media, and the couple was being mailed a refund by the park for their admission under the park's policy that any dissatisfied customer is entitled to a refund.
More From The Tour Dolly was in Durham, N.C., on Tuesday night for her Better Day World Tour, which wraps up its first American leg on Wednesday night in the Atlanta area before heading to Europe later this month. In related news, PBS offered a review of the weekend's Wolf Trap concert here on Tuesday.
Aug. 2: Dolly Bed Charity Auction Expands After the initial charity auction to sell Dolly's bed from her former personal apartment at Dollywood failed to reach the reserve price on eBay, she went back and sweetened the deal by adding the entire bedroom suite, Dollymania.net is pleased to announce. "I first offered up my bed and lots of folks kept asking 'Got anything else?'," Dolly said. "Since it's for such a good cause, the Dr. Thomas Foundation, that's so near and dear to my heart, I started digging through stuff and thought, 'Why not just auction off the whole bedroom suite?'" The new eBay package to benefit the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation includes:
King-sized white painted cast iron bed, each piece features six brass vertical insets
Mattress and boxspring
Two autographed pillowcases in a king-sized set of white, lace-trimmed sheets
2 custom-made light pink sets of curtains with valances (satin-like fabric)
Light-pink colored, wood-framed chaise with throw pillows
Matching wooden side table
Two cast iron bedside tables, each with glass tops, which match the bed
Oval-shaped wall hanging featuring dried flowers and butterfly images
Round light pink-colored vanity stool (vanity is not included)
Tour Reviews Continue
Dolly's Better Day World Tour this week continued to earn rave reviews, with positive write-ups from The Washington Posthere and The Washington Bladehere, both of which gushed over her Wolf Trap set. Also, CMT's Hazel Smith noted here that her Hollywood Bowl show was attended by Kid Rock, who brought one security guard and flew there from North Dakota when his own concert that night was cancelled due to flooding. And Aussie promoter Chugg Entertainment began posting their weekly online series on Dolly's life and career leading up to her Australian leg of the tour. Check it out in the media player above, on YouTube here or on their Facebook page here. And here's another set of shots from the tour opener in Knoxville here!
'Country Pulse' Features Dolly, Dollywood A profile on the past 26 years at Dollywood complete with a photo page for each year headlines the new issue of online Country Pulse magazine. The publication also features several additional Dolly pieces throughout, and future editions will include reviews of a few of her current tour's concerts. Check it out here.
Dolly Apologizes To Lesbian Couple Dolly on Monday issued a formal apology to the lesbian couple who had gone public with their dissatisfaction over being asked to turn inside out a "marriage is so gay" t-shirt at Dollywood's Splash Country water park. In a statement to ABC News Radio, Dolly said: "I am truly sorry for any hurt or embarrassment regarding the T-shirt incident and Dollywood's Splash Country recently. Everyone knows my personal support of the gay and lesbian community. Dollywood is a family park and all families are welcome. We do have a policy about profanity or controversial messages on clothing or signs. It is to protect the individual wearing or carrying them as well as to keep down fight or problems by those opposed to it on park. We even offer free shirts in exchange for those who want to remain on park. I am and was on tour when this was brought to my attention and I am looking further into the incident and hope and believe it was more policy than insensitivity. I am very sorry it happened at all." The apology was noted on LGBT media site The Advocatehere.
Aug. 1: Better Day Tour Rolls On Dolly's Better Day World Tour continued through the weekend with dates in Connecticut and the Washington, D.C. area, giving an interview to The Washington Examinerhere. She next moves on to Durham, N.C., on Tuesday. Also check out a review of her Chicago show from The Northwest Indiana Timeshere. And here's another gallery from Knoxville here!