Jesus and Gravity
Reserve Boxed Set With Exclusive 'Live' CD
Thanks to a partnership with Sony Music/Legacy Recordings, Dollymania is pleased to offer you a special link here to order the upcoming Dolly boxed set featuring the label's direct-order exclusive bonus disc. As this site was the first anywhere to report, the Sony direct release will feature a limited edition of Dolly's 1970 A Real Live Dolly concert on CD for the first time and not available in stores. The bonus disc will include four songs performed in the concert that were not included on the original album, two of which are previously unreleased (and are in addition to the seven previously unreleased tracks on the 99-song boxed set). The Sony direct version will cost the same $50 that most stores are charging for it plus postage, and it is slated to arrive at your home on the Oct. 27 release date. Get yours here!
Another Dolly DVD Coming
Another classic Dolly special is heading to DVD for the first time later this year. Amazon is taking orders for Country's Greatest Stars Live Vol. 1, a Country Music Hall of Fame release which captures the January 1978 television special 50 Years of Country Music that was hosted by Glen Campbell, Dolly and Roy Clark. Dolly hosts the second hour of the show, opening with "Here You Come Again," later joining Bill Monroe for "Mule Skinner Blues," soon thereafter offering "The Cowgirl and the Dandy," and then closing her segment with a medley of "The Seeker," "All I Can Do," "Jolene," "Two Doors Down" and "I Will Always Love You." At the end of the third hour, she joins Campbell and Clark for a medley of Hank Williams songs to close out the show. The release will hit stores Dec. 1 from Shout! Factory. Reserve your copy here. Thanks, Solomon!
Cumming Honors Dolly
Scottish actor Alan Cumming's debut album as a singer came out Tuesday featuring his version of Dolly's "Here You Come Again" mixed with his cover of fellow Dolly fan Mika's "My Interpretation." He's been performing the tunes as a cabaret act touring the country for a few months. Get your copy of the CD, I Bought A Blue Car Today, here.
Dolly Gets Jim Reeves Honor
Dolly should be in Nashville on Tuesday to accept her Jim Reeves International Award from the Academy of Country Music (ACM). You may recall it announced back in March that Dolly was this year's honoree for the award, the recipient of which is chosen by the Academy's board to recognize contributions to expanding country music's audience around the world. It marked her ninth career ACM win. Dolly's name appeared on the screen during April's ACM ceremony telecast, but the trophy – like those for the Pioneer Award and the musician honors – was not presented on stage. Until last year, these "off camera" honorees received their awards in a brief ceremony with a few performances and speeches in the summer (that's how it was when Dolly received her Pioneer Award in June 2007, which happened to be the last public appearance she made with Porter Wagoner prior to his death later that year), but last year they turned it into a huge production and re-named it the ACM Honors. It was announced in August that Dolly devotee Lee Ann Womack had been tapped to host the ceremony, a private event held in Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center. As was reported back in March, others being honored include Merle Haggard and Harlan Howard with the Music Poets Award for songwriting and Randy Travis, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Reed and frequent Dolly duet partner Kenny Rogers with the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award in addition to the musician honorees and the Toby Keith movie Beer For My Horses with the Tex Ritter Award.
Dolly Hangs On Down Under
Sony's compilation collection from two years ago, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1, holds steady at No. 13 in its 40th week on the Australian country top 20 albums, it has been announced.
Library Launch In Ark.
Saline County, Ark., is getting Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported over the weekend here.
'Real Live' Has Two Unreleased Tracks
The first-ever CD release of the 1970 A Real Live Dolly concert, first revealed by Dollymania earlier this week, will feature four deleted bonus tracks from the show, two of which have never been released before, Sony has announced. The disc, which will be a label-website-only exclusive bonus item for purchasing the Dolly boxed set directly from Sony, will feature both the "Just Because I'm A Woman" and "Coat Of Many Colors" live tracks that previously appeared as bonus cuts on the label's 2003 re-issue of Just Because I'm A Woman plus two additional previously unrealeased concert selections: "Daddy Come And Get Me" and "He's A Go Getter." These will be in addition to the seven previously unreleased tracks contained in the boxed set. The special bundle will be available online from the label for the same $50 price tag that most stores will charge for the boxed set alone (plus about $10 postage) for delivery on its Oct. 27 release date. Unfortunately for overseas fans, though, the offer will only be available to U.S. customers. Look for ordering information here soon.
Gone From CMT, Up In Ireland
As was expected, Dolly's "Change It" music video dropped off the CMT Pure Country Pure 12 Pack countdown this week, down from No. 9 in its third week on the chart. The video disappeared from the dozen-song tally because it was removed from the ballot for fan votes last week. It had debuted at No. 1 and remained in the top 9 each week that fans were allowed to vote for it. Overseas, her Sony compilation CD from two years ago, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1, climbs five more to No. 60 in its 89th week on the top 100 Irish pop albums chart, Friday's numbers showed.
'Jolene' Is Loved
The blog Flavorwire recently issued its list of the 50 essential women in music albums, and they chose Dolly's 1974 classic Jolene as the ninth-most influential CD by a woman in music history. Read more here.
Dolly's Imagination Library was profiled Friday in two different Nebraska papers: The Freemont Tribune here and The Columbus Telegram here. And down in her native Tennessee, The Jackson Sun covered a fund-raising event for it here.
'9 To 5' Falls Off Charts
After just eight weeks on the charts, the original Broadway cast album for Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical this week falls off the 15-position cast albums chart, the Sept. 26 Billboard tallies revealed Thursday. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, featuring a Dolly appearance, holds steady at No. 2 in its 30th week on the bluegrass albums chart. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with a Dolly duet, gains three to No. 8 country catalog and dips one to No. 45 Canadian country. Tim McGraw's new single, "Southern Voice," which mentions Dolly as "gracing" the sounds of the South, debuts at No. 49 on the country songs chart. Brooks & Dunn's #1s ... And Then Some debuts at No. 1 country and No. 5 pop, while Taylor Swift's Fearless drops one to No. 2 country and No. 10 pop in its 44th chart week.
Miley Mentions Dolly On 'Leno'
Thanks to Aaron and Chris for alerting me that Dolly got a mention on Wednesday night's Jay Leno Show. In a satellite segment with Miley Cyrus, Leno asked who her idol was growing up, and she replied Dolly, to which he said: "Wow. Me, too!" Catch a clip here and read about the interview on Access Hollywood here.
Library Week Nearing End
Tennessee has been celebrating Imagination Library Week this week in communities around the state. As part of the festivities, Gov. Phil Bredesen visited a school in Murfreesboro to promote Dolly's literacy program, according to The Tennessean here.
London Collection Coming In November Now
You may recall it reported here a little over a month ago that an e-mail blast from Dolly's official record label website, DollyPartonMusic.net, noted that her upcoming Dolly: Live From London DVD and CD would be coming out in October, a month earlier than the previously-announced November release date. Well, it has apparently been delayed back to the original planned time period. The latest e-mail blast, received by fans on Tuesday, noted a "near mid-November" release is now expected. No reason was announced for the change, although it noted that pre-order packages would be offered by the website starting in October. The CD and DVD are available exclusively as fund-raising premium items for PBS stations through September 30, although many stations have a four-to-six-week waiting period before delivery, meaning many fans who made charitable pledges in exchange for the releases may have them by late September or early October but still significantly earlier than the retail release in November.
Celebrity Dolly Dog
The Hills star Heidi Montag received maltipoo puppy from her husband for her 23rd birthday, People magazine reported here Tuesday. The couple named the white dog with black ears Dolly in honor of Dolly Parton, according to the magazine.
'A Real Live' CD Coming
Coming coincidentally the same month as the release of her fourth live album (Dolly: Live From London, which should be out in October on Dolly Records), Sony will be making Dolly's first live recording available on CD for the first time as a bonus companion disc for her upcoming boxed set, Dolly. Her 1970 concert, taped in Sevier County High School, will be produced in a limited edition CD to be bundled with the Oct. 27 boxed set in exclusive direct-to-consumer ordering with Sony Music, meaning the combo will have to be purchased from the label itself and not a retail store somewhere else. More information on how to order the special bundle should be available soon from Dollymania, so keep watching for it.
Dolly Barbeque Comment, Pic Released
"It was truly an evening spent visiting with old friends, just swapping stories," Dolly said in a release Monday about her Sept. 3 barbeque at her Tennessee Mountain Home for auction winners from this year's Dr. Robert F. Thomas Evening of Excellence fund-raiser. "We just might have talked all night long if I hadn't had to get up and cook a big breakfast the next morning for Tabby and Sabrina!" Tabitha Hall and Sabrina Taylor of Gatlinburg were the big winners at the event, getting not only a barbeque dinner and mini-concert from Dolly at her private retreat/childhood home but also inviting 10 friends, who also went in on the $75,000 cost, along to enjoy the festivities. Just Tabby and Sabrina got to stay the night, though, and enjoy breakfast with Dolly. (Check out their audio interview with Dollymania about the experience here.) The Foundation, named in honor of the missionary doctor who delivered its honorary chairperson, Dolly, assists in health care programs in her native Sevier County. Image of the barbeque-goers is by Curtis Hilbun and provided courtesy the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation. Click on it for a larger view. Used with permission. From left are Jeremy Brown of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Tabitha Hall of Gatlinburg, Tenn.; Eric Chiang of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Sabrina Taylor of Gatlinburg, Tenn.; Billy Christian of Barboursville, W.V.; Dolly; Jeannette Williams of Los Angeles, Calif.; Scott McClelland of Port Neches, Texas; Robin Jones of Los Angeles, Calif.; Jonathan Brashier of Greenville, S.C.; Mark and Diane Blount of Riceville, Tenn.; and seated in front, Bill Pavao of Boston, Mass.
Dollywood Takes Home The Gold
Amusement Today this week released the full list of winners from last week's annual Golden Ticket Awards at Legoland California, and Dollywood walked away a big winner, as usual. The park earned its first-ever first place trophy for Best Shows among all theme parks worldwide and also repeated the first place honor for Best Christmas Event with its Smoky Mountain Christmas festival. It also earned third place for Friendliest Park and Cleanest Park, fourth place for Best Food and Best Water Ride (Mountain Slidewinder) and fifth place for Top Wooden Roller Coasters in the World (Thunderhead, which was No. 2 in 2008 and 2007 and No. 1 in 2005 and 2006).
Chattanooga's Imagination Library fifth anniversary celebration on Sunday snagged additional coverage Monday with pieces from TV station WDEF here and The Chattanooga Times Free Press here. Also, the program's chapter in St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes in Louisiana made The Daily World in Opelousas here.
Dolly Slips A Tad Down Under
Sony's compilation collection from two years ago, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1, loses two more places to No. 13 in its 39th week on the Australian country top 20 albums, it has been announced.
A Few More Shots Added
Thanks to Teddy and Helena for sending in a few more shots from Dolly's Smokies ceremony, which have been posted to that section of the site here. Also added are a few publicity images from the Department of the Interior.
Chattanooga Celebrates Library, Ala. Starts It
The United Way of Greater Chattanooga on Sunday had a big blow-out to recognize the fifth anniversary of Dolly's Imagination Library in their community. Read more from TV station WRCB here. And in Alabama, the Junior League of Mobile is picking up the program there, according to The Press Register here.
CMT, Irish Chart Updates
It looks like Dolly's music video for her single "Change It" may have ended its run on the Pure 12 Pack countdown on CMT's digital cable service Pure Country. The track slips two spots to No. 9 in its third week on the tally, it was announced Friday, but the video is now missing from the show's online ballot, so unless it's a mistake and they correct it in the next few days, you can't vote for it for next week's chart here. The video, available for downloading from iTunes here, debuted at No. 1. Overseas, Dolly's 2007 Sony compilation disc The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 inches up four places to No. 65 in its 88th week on the top 100 Irish pop albums chart, it was also revealed Friday.
More From Tennessee
The next reader-submitted shots from Dolly's stop in Tennessee last week have been posted to that section of the site here. Unless some other readers send in their photos, this should wrap-up your Dollymania coverage of the events. Thanks!
Dolly For Most Beautiful
She's the current issue's cover girl, and from this week through Sept. 21 you can vote for Dolly as Country's Most Beautiful Woman from Country Weekly magazine. The results of the online poll, in which you may vote once a day per e-mail address, will be announced in the Nov. 2 issue on sale Oct. 26. Cast your ballot here! Thanks, Leigh!
Drew Likes Her Some Dolly
Drew Barrymore has chosen a Dolly track in her mostly punk and alt-rock soundtrack for her directorial debut film, Whip It. Her classic "Jolene" finds a place in the story of a young woman joining a roller derby team in Austin, Texas. The soundtrack, available here, hits stores Sept. 29 in advance of the film's October opening.
Michigan Library Noted
Check out a shot of a child with his Imagination Library book from Dolly in the Albion School District in Michigan here from The Battle Creek Enquirer.
'9 To 5' Up A Little
The original Broadway cast album for Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical inches up one spot to No. 11 in its eighth week on the 15-position cast albums chart, the Sept. 19 tally released Thursday by Billboard revealed. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, with its Dolly duet, loses the top spot on the bluegrass albums chart, slipping one to No. 2 in its 29th week. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, featuring Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," rises three to No. 11 country catalog and slides one to No. 46 Canadian country. Taylor Swift's Fearless recaptures the top spot on the country tally, up two from the previous week, and holds steady at No. 9 pop in its 43rd chart week, while The Zac Brown Band's The Foundation shoots up four to No. 2 country and three to No. 13 pop in its 42nd week.
Wanna see some Dolly fans with huge smiles on their faces? Knoxville News Sentinel columnist Terry Morrow on Thursday posted a few images from Dolly's recent Tennessee Mountain Home picnic with the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation charity auction winners. Check them out here.
Fan Shots Available
The first reader-submitted images from Dolly's appearances last week have been added to that section of the site here. Thanks! More to come!
Another community out west is signing on for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, The Amador Ledger-Dispatch in Amador County, Calif., announced Thursday. Read more here.
Next Dollywood Galleries Are Up
Your next set of galleries from Dolly's Dollywood stop on Friday are now available that section of the site here. In related news, Knoxville News Sentinel columnist Terry Morrow on Wednesday posted a longer story from his interview with charity auction winners Tabby and Sabrina that had been noted in his blog last week. Read it here (and listen to their interview with Dollymania available in the audio files from that day at the park here). Photo is copyright © 2009 T. Duane Gordon/Dollymania.net. May not be reproduced without prior written consent.
'9 To 5' Goes Out On High Note
Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical ended its Broadway run with one of its best weeks ever, the Sept. 1-6 grosses released Tuesday showed. The show's final eight performances saw its fifth best week of attendance in its 22-week run since previews began, its largest crowd in three months and its best gross ticket sales in a month. The show's percent of tickets shot up from its lowest ever, 60 percent, the previous week to a respectable 84 percent. Its audience, 10,763, exploded 39 percent although the per-ticket average price was down 14 percent to $64.09, resulting in a 19 percent increase in gross to $689,795. It rose three places to No. 13 for the week's biggest Broadway gross and gained five to No. 8 for biggest audience. The musical's 148 performances and 24 previews grossed a total of $15,231,441 and sold 218,823 tickets. Given published reports of its per-week operating costs, the gross likely broke even with its expenses but did not earn producers back any of their reported $14 million investment to get the show off the ground, although they hope to recoup some of that loss when the production goes on national tour in September 2010.
More Dollywood Photos Available
The next set of images from Dolly's appearance at Dollywood last week has been added to that section of the site here. Look for a few more Dollymania galleries over the next day or two, to be followed by reader-submitted photos. (If you'd like to send any shots in, attach them to an e-mail here. Thanks!)
Library Expands In N.C.
Dolly's Imagination Library literacy project is coming to Randleman, N.C., The Asheboro Courier-Tribune reported here Tuesday.
More From Dolly's Appearances
Your next sets of photos from Dolly's appearances in Sevier County last week have been added to that section of the site here. Still more to come! If you haven't seen them yet, Dollymania video reports from her two appearances were also posted there Sunday night, and for those who wish to watch the entire Smokies ceremony, it's available in the "On Demand" programming from The Smokies.tv. In related news, CMT.com's Hazel Smith mentioned Dolly's appearance at the event in her weekly "Hot Dish" column here Monday. Image is copyright © 2009 T. Duane Gordon/Dollymania.net. May not be reproduced without prior written consent.
Dolly On Cover Of New 'CW'
Dolly is once again cover girl for Country Weekly magazine this week. In the interview, she discusses the "battle of the sexes," taking charge of her life, her Broadway experience with 9 to 5: The Musical and her new children's book, I Am A Rainbow. The magazine is promoting the interview with a comment she gave about always maintaining a great and honest relationship with the men in her life: "I've had [men] try to tell me what to do, but they don't get very far for very long with that with me. I certainly can get in there and be one of the boys."
Dolly, Bill Plant Tree, Talk To Press
Dolly on Friday paid a visit to Dollywood to recognize her Uncle Bill Owens for his efforts to restore the American chestnut tree, which included planting a tree next to the Backporch Theatre. At the event, she took questions, including about her legendary banjo instructor Applejack, who she said was a combination of Bill's Uncle Phillip Owens and another pickin' neighbor they called "Sawdust," and the park's upcoming 25th anniversary, about which she said they have several surprises planned, some of which they'll be announcing soon. She corrected a report that had appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a few days earlier and repeated here that she had attended two games of the St. Louis Cardinals. "You know I wasn't at that game," she corrected your webmaster. "I wish I did have time to go to a ball game." She said it was a look-a-like and laughed when a fan who dresses in drag claimed from the audience that it was he. When this reporter asked Bill about being singled out two days before at the Smokies re-dedication ceremony for his work on the chestnut, he said simply: "Best day of my life . . . I was speechless." Dolly interjected: "Bill is kind of shy. He can talk a lot if he's performing, when he's singing. But he gets all flustered when somebody wants to acknowledge him and pay him any kind of accolades. But anyhow I'm proud of you and think it's wonderful work that you've done."
When your webmaster inquired whether she plans to tour in 2010, she replied: "I'd like to say yes but I'm not really certain yet. But eventually I'll get back out and do some things, but I'm taking off a little bit of time to write some stuff. I'm gonna write a musical of my own life. Course I had the great fortune to get to have '9 To 5' on Broadway. It's closing this weekend, actually, as far as the Broadway run, but it's gonna be going on tour next year, and I'm looking forward to that. And so I'm gonna take off some time and write some stuff and eventually do another tour." Dolly ended the day with a park tour. Audio files from the event, plus your Dollymania video reports, have been added to that section of the site here. Still to come are Dollymania photo galleries, followed by reader-submitted images (send yours here!) Check out a story on the chestnut ceremony from Knoxville's Volunteer TV here. Images are copyright © 2009 T. Duane Gordon/Dollymania.net. Click on the thumbnails for a larger view. May not be reproduced without prior written consent.
Fans Get Event Of A Lifetime
Also while in town, Dolly made good on her contribution to the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation auction and hosted fans Tabby Hall and Sabrina Taylor, who placed the winning bid for $75,000 at the Foundation's fund-raiser a couple of weeks earlier for her "5 To 9" prize package. They and 10 friends visited Dolly's Tennessee Mountain Home retreat Thursday night for a barbeque dinner and mini-concert with Dolly, and the two ladies were able to spend the night in Dolly's guest cottage and awake to a breakfast prepared and served by Dolly herself. "She was just like an old friend sitting there talking," Sabrina said. "She makes you feel like she's a part of your family," Tabby added. Dolly took the dozen fans on a walk over the entire property, pointing out each special place and what memories it held for her. They entered a schoolhouse on her land, and she had written each of their names on the blackboard and called each one up for a photo with "the teacher." One of the guests who joined them, Jonathan Brashier, noted: "For almost everybody in the crowd one of the highlights was right before we left she sang 'Tennessee Mountain Home' sort of a capella with the little three-piece band that was there. It just seemed to echo off the mountains and I don't think there was a dry eye in the crowd. I mean, we were standing there crying, and it just seemed like that song at that place with the person that we have spent all these years adoring just it couldn't get any better than that." After the guests left, Dolly came back to the guest cottage in a robe to match the ones provided Tabby and Sabrina and jumped onto the bed with them for a photo together, also prodding them to get into the tub with her (clothed, of course!) for a photo as well. She closed their blinds and lit their fireplace as they prepared for bed. Friday morning, she called to wake them and tell them to come over to the main house. She let them help her cook the food, and she sat with them to eat the huge country breakfast. Her other staff had gone, leaving just the three of them and Dolly best pal Judy Ogle. She also gave them several pieces of butterfly jewelry and sparkled sunglasses and took photos of the three of them wearing the matching jewelry and glasses. The Knoxville News Sentinel had a piece on the winners here. And audio of Tabby, Sabrina and Jonathan talking about the experience is in that section of the website here. Image of Sabrina and Tabby wearing their Dolly jewelry is copyright © 2009 T. Duane Gordon/Dollymania.net. Click on it for a larger view. May not be reproduced without prior written consent.
On The Charts
Dolly's music video for her single "Change It" lost the top spot on the Pure 12 Pack countdown on CMT's digital cable service Pure Country last week, it was announced Friday. The clip fell six places to No. 7 in its second week on the tally. Vote for it here. Overseas, her 2007 compilation disc, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1, dipped nine spots to No. 69 in its 87th week on the top 100 Irish pop albums chart and fell two to No. 11 in its 38th week on the Australian country top 20 albums list.
'9 To 5' Ends Its Run
Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical played its final show on Broadway Sunday afternoon, but you can re-live the New York premiere with the YouTube posting of Part 2 of the That's Kentertainment episode about the show. Watch it in three parts here, here and here. Playbill noted the closing Sunday here, and Broadway World re-posted its photo coverage of the show's opening night here. As was previously reported, the run ended after 148 performances and 24 previews, and a national tour (with a different cast) will kick off in Nashville one year from this week.
Sounds Of The Smokies
Your Dollymania coverage of Dolly's appearance Wednesday to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park continues tonight with the posting of the audio files from the event. Hear Dolly's remarks and hear what others had to say about her, including comments from the governor and park superintendent after the ceremony. Check them out here! Still to come will be a video report and several galleries! Additional coverage that came out Thursday included The Mountain Press here, The Asheville Citizen Times here (with a huge photo gallery here), The Cleveland Banner here, The Maryville Daily Times here and another story from The Knoxville News Sentinel here. Image at left of Dolly accepting flowers after her performance at the ceremony is copyright © 2009 T. Duane Gordon/Dollymania.net. Smiling next to her are Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Gov. Bev Perdue (D-N.C.). Click on the thumbnail for a larger view. May not be reproduced without prior written consent.
'9 To 5' CD Dips Again
The original Broadway cast album for Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical slips three places to No. 12 in its seventh week on the 15-position cast albums chart, the Sept. 12 numbers released Thursday by Billboard showed. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, featuring its Dolly appearance, holds on at No. 1 bluegrass albums for its 28th week. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with the Dolly duet "When I Get Where I'm Going," holds steady at No. 14 country catalog and loses four to No. 45 Canadian country. Reba's Keep On Loving You holds on at No. 1 country in its second week but falls five to No. 6 pop, while George Strait's Twang holds on at No. 2 country and also loses five to No. 7 pop for its third week.
Download 'Change It' Video
iTunes has made available Dolly's music video for her single "Change It" for downloading. Buy it for your computer or iPod here! (And remember to vote for it in CMT Pure Country's Pure 12 Pack countdown here.)
Dolly Celebrates Smokies
There were numerous dignitaries on the dais for the 75th anniversary re-dedication of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Wednesday on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, but it was Dolly outshining them all as the anniversary's international ambassador. Following her performance of "My Mountains, My Home" from her Sha-Kon-O-Hey! musical (the CD from which has raised more than $200,000 for the park, Superintendent Dale Ditmanson announced at the event), Ditmanson noted there are 391 units in the National Park Service and challenged any one of them to "beat that." Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar opined that Dolly had earned herself the title of permanent ambassador for the park, and many others commented on the perfect fit she brought to the role.
Dolly joked her invitation was not for being present at the FDR dedication herself 69 years ago, but seriously she explained: "Although this year I'm honored to be called the ambassador, I have always been an ambassador for the Smoky Mountains. Because I always will be because I tell everybody how beautiful these mountains are. And no matter where I go if you say something about the Smoky Mountains, even if people have not been here, they just smile because they seem to know about it." She also commended her uncle Bill Owens for his work to restore the American chestnut tree and noted she would be planting a chestnut tree at Dollywood with him on Friday. After other remarks from additional dignitaries, Dolly closed the ceremony with "Forever Home." At right, she chats with Acting Director of the National Park Service Dan Welk. Seated next to them are Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.) and Gov. Bev Perdue (D-N.C.). At left, she gets tickled at her own joke about talking out of both sides of her mouth like a politician, after correcting herself that she wasn't talking about any of the politicians there at the event. (Click on the photos for a larger view.) Over coming days, check back here for a video report, audio clips and tons of photos. Footage should soon be available on The Smokies.tv. Check out additional coverage from the Associated Press here, Volunteer TV here, WBIR here, WATE here and The Knoxville News Sentinel here. Images are copyright © 2009 T. Duane Gordon/Dollymania.net. May not be reproduced without prior written consent.
New York entertainment show That's Kentertainment this week posted online the first half-hour of its two-part program on Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical focusing on its Los Angeles premiere. Part 2, which has yet to be made available online, will feature its New York premiere. Watch a preview from YouTube in the media player above, and click here for the complete episode in streaming video!
Smokies Ceremony Arrives
Greetings from Pigeon Forge! Wednesday is the big day when Dolly headlines the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 75th Anniversary Re-Dedication ceremony. Check out coverage on this site Wednesday night! And read a preview story from Tuesday's The Asheville Citizen-Times here.
'9 To 5' Suffers More On Broadway
As Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical approached its last week of performances, there had not been a rush to the box office to see the show before it closes, the Aug. 25-30 grosses released Monday indicated. The musical once again saw its worst week ever, with the per-performance gross dropping to less than $73,000. The show's percent of tickets sold dropped to its lowest ever, 60 percent, the worst percentage on Broadway for the fourth week in a row. Its audience, 7,765, lost just over 2 percent from the previous week. Its per-ticket average price was up half a percent to $74.62, resulting in drop of just less than 2 percent in gross to $579,448. It held steady at No. 16 for the week's biggest Broadway gross out of the 20 current shows and gained one to No. 13 for biggest audience. Since opening for previews, the show has grossed $14.5 million and played for 208,060 people. The show closes on Sunday.
Heading To The Mountains
Your webmaster is off to Tennessee to attend Dolly's appearances Wednesday at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 75th Anniversary Re-Dedication and Friday at Dollywood, so updates may be a bit more brief than usual for the next few days. (And I understand that, in addition to your coverage here on Dollymania.net, The Smokies.tv will broadcast the Smokies event online Wednesday night or Thursday morning.)
'Whoa' That's Fun, Parton-er
For little cowboys and cowgirls, Dolly's Dixie Stampede and Food City will host their third annual stick horse riding "Whoadeo" Sept. 26. Coloring contests at Food City will earn a winner in each store a stick horse from Dolly's Dixie Critters, and anyone with a stick horse may come to the Stampede the morning of the event to register to participate.