Sept. 28: 'Blue Smoke' Dips From U.K. No. 1 Spot After more than an entire year atop the British country compilations albums chart, Dolly's Blue Smoke on Friday was knocked out of its pole position. A new greatest hits collection from James Taylor takes over the No. 1 spot, and a Carrie Underwood collection gains one to No. 2, pushing Dolly's CD down two to No. 3 in its 68th chart week overseas, after 67 weeks at No. 1. Elsewhere on the same tally, Emmylou Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony) gains one to No. 10, Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) slips two to No. 12, and Ronstadt's own Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) inches down one to No. 18.
New Porter & Dolly Compilation Coming Out Sony Music has announced a new Porter & Dolly collection coming out on Friday. No word on whether any physical CD versions will be released, but Amazon will have a digital download available for The Essential Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton. The 40-song collection features at least one song from each of their 14 albums together plus the single released after the public breakup of their duo.
Kenny Announces Touring Retirement Aside from Porter, Dolly's most worked with and most identified with duet partner is Kenny Rogers, who last week announced his retirement on NBC's Today. He revealed his 2016 world tour, dates for which will be announced in coming months, will be his last. Check out the announcement here.
Library Expands To Nothern Ireland Dolly's Imagination Library early childhood literacy program has expanded into yet another country in the United Kingdom. After already launching in England, Scotland and Wales, the program reached its first community in Northern Ireland last week, Belfast Live reported here.
Southern Gospel & Harvest Fest Comes To Dollywood Dollywood's National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration kicks off Friday and continues through the end of October with several gospel headliners throughout the month. In a statement, Dolly said: "Some of my earliest memories of singing come from the days when my family would stand up on the stages of those little churches here in these beautiful mountains. I'll always remember how it felt when the trees were painted in those bright colors and the sounds of Southern gospel music echoed through the hills. I'm glad we're able to recreate that for our guests thanks to these talented artists during my National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration. I love to see—and hear—Dollywood during this time of year!" In addition, more than 40 visiting artisans will join the park's permanent craftsmen to provide daily demonstrations, and special autumn food items will be featured.
Sept. 25: Opry Releasing New Anniversary Book With Dolly The Grand Ole Opry has announced the Sept. 29 release of a new book, Family Album, to celebrate the institution's 90th anniversary this year. The tome features 400 exclusive photos and stories of "signature Opry moments" including Dolly's final performance of "I Will Always Love You" to Porter Wagoner shortly before his death. Pages also celebrate all of the current 60 Opry members, including Dolly. The book will be sold at Opry.com and Opry retail locations in Nashville.
Dolly Gets Good Marks For Henley Duet Reviews are coming in for Don Henley's Cass County, with particular praise being given to Dolly. The New York Times said here that Dolly "is sterling even while underdelivering on a cover of the Louvin Brothers' 'When I Stop Dreaming.'" And The Guardian said Dolly "lights a fire under" Henley on the song here.
RCA Studio A Opens To The Public Want to tour the famous RCA Studio A, where "Jolene" was recorded? The recently saved Nashville studio will open to the public for tours between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3. Read more from The Nashville Scenehere.
Sept. 23: 'Everything's Beautiful' 1966 Track Available For Download The original 1966 solo recording of "Everything's Beautiful" by Dolly has become available for download for the first time. Amazon added the album Historia del Country, Vol. 2 for sale Tuesday, which features several classic country recordings including four Dolly tracks from her Monument years: "Everything's Beautiful," "Fuel To The Flame," "Daddy Won't Be Home Anymore" and "I'm Not Worth The Tears." Other artists on the collection include Kenny Rogers and Waylon Jennings. The specific Dolly classic was one of her final recordings for Monument but was not released until 1982 when it was mixed with Willie Nelson vocals for the label's Winning Hand project. The solo version then appeared on a couple of overseas budget cassettes and CDs but has been out of print for decades. (A different previously unreleased version from her RCA recordings came out on the Dolly boxed set in 2009.) Download the new album here!
Knoxville TV Stations Look At Coaster, Resort Knoxville TV station WATE updated viewers on Tuesday on the construction of Dollywood's Lightning Rod roller coaster here and WBIR provided an overview of the park's new DreamMore Resort here.
Kenny Talks To Dolly's Website About Concert Kenny Rogers recently conducted an interview with Dolly's official website, DollyParton.com, about his relationship with Dolly and this Sunday's concert at Dollywood to benefit her Imagination Library literacy program. Read it here and get tickets here!
Sept. 21: Dolly Has Six CDs On 'Taste Of Country' Top 100 Taste Of Country has released its list of the 100 best country albums of all time, and Dolly dominated with six separate entries on the tally: No. 90 Jolene, No. 81 Honky Tonk Angels, No. 48 Halos & Horns, No. 30 Little Sparrow, No. 18 The Grass Is Blue and No. 2 Coat Of Many Colors. In addition, other titles with Dolly connections included Merle Haggard's Mama Tried at No. 75 (with its cover of "In The Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)") and Emmylou Harris' Blue Kentucky Girl at No. 49 (with Dolly and Linda Ronstadt on "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues"), Pieces Of Sky at No. 33 (with a cover of "Coat Of Many Colors") and Roses In The Snow at No. 11 (with Dolly on "Green Pastures"). See the full list here.
Henley Says Dolly Was Hospitalized Don Henley last week angered and worried Dolly fans by joking in a Nashville Q&A that Dolly "got out of the hospital bed" to shoot their recent music video for the duet "When I Stop Dreaming." He claimed she called him to say she had a "medical issue" but was determined to make she shoot, after which he assumed she went back to the hospital. When a Nashville TV station looked into the story, Dolly's publicist declined to comment on whether or not she was hospitalized at the time of the music video shoot and instead noted simply that she was at the current time traveling on her tour bus from Los Angeles to Nashville and then to New York to publicize her upcoming NBC project Dolly Parton's Coat Of Many Colors. Read more from WKRN here.
The Band Perry Raises $75,000 For Library The Band Perry's weekend concert at Dollywood raised $75,000 for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, Dolly's official website DollyParton.com reported here. The trio even threw in a cover of Dolly's "I Will Always Love You" for the crowd. Kimberly said: "We are big believers in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. With Imagination Library specifically, the three of us grew up loving, loving to read. It was one of the greatest loves that we remember and some of the earliest memories that we remember." Neil added: "You never know how it will influence you in life. For the three of us and our writing, it was a big, big factor in the way we write our songs. You never know what reading a book will do to change your life. It's a really great thing and we're glad to be a part of it." Dolly observed: "I'm so proud to know that my Imagination Library has had such a positive influence on Kimberly, Reid and Neil, and I appreciate them coming to Dollywood to show their love and support!" Kenny Rogers' concert next weekend closes out the Showcase of the Stars series to benefit the program. In related news, the Knox County, Tenn., affiliate of the Library recently celebrated passing the 2 million book mark for local distribution, and The Knoxville News-Sentinel posted photos here. Also, Dolly is among the celebrities participating in public television's American Graduate Day. The 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 3 broadcast aims to spotlight America's high school graduation rate and features 50 nonprofit organizations working to improve education in America, profiles of individuals working to keep students in school, and interviews with celebrities. Dolly is one of the celebrities to be interviewed for the project and her literacy program is one of the 50 charities profiled.
'Blue Smoke' Still No. 1 On U.K. Tally Dolly's Blue Smoke holds on to the No. 1 spot on the U.K. country compilations albums chart for a 67th consecutive week, Friday's charts confirmed. Elsewhere on the same tally, Emmylou Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony) gains two to No. 11, Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) rises seven to No. 10, and Ronstadt's own Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) dips two to No. 17. The Very Best Of Dolly Parton this week falls back off the Australian top 40 country albums chart, down from No. 33 in its 355th chart week, Saturday's chart Down Under showed.
Jewel Celebrates Dolly Collaboration With 'Billboard' Jewel talks again about working with Dolly on "My Father's Daughter" from her new CD Picking Up The Pieces in an interview posted over the weekend on Billboard. Read it here.
'Dolly Deathstar' Gets Noticed Check out a cute story about a sci-fi convention attendee's Dolly-inspired Star Wars costume Dolly Deathstar and how this year it had an added feature due to her pregnancy. The piece was published in Chicago Nowhere.
Sept. 17: Band Perry At Park This Weekend, Resort Dedication Cancelled The Band Perry is pleased to have an opportunity to help Dolly raise money for her Imagination Library early childhood literacy charity, performing Saturday at Dollywood in the Showcase of Stars concert series to benefit the program. "Causes that benefit younger people have always been important to us as a band," Kimberly Perry said in a statement, "and we are thrilled to have our performance help Dolly Parton's Imagination Library with its great work towards increasing literacy for children around the world." Dolly's four sold-out shows in August to kick off the series raised more than $500,000. Kenny Rogers closes out the series Sept. 27. Get tickets for both shows here. In other park news, a planned media event featuring Dolly on Sept. 25 at her DreamMore Resort has been cancelled due to an unexpected scheduling conflict.
Reviews Appearing For Jewel's CD With Dolly Duet Digital Journal this week gives Jewel's Picking Up The Pieces, featuring a duet with Dolly on "My Father's Daughter," five out of five stars in a review this week here, while Vulture calls the song "a natural collaboration that makes you wonder why it took them until now to do it. Their voices quiver in perfect harmony as they take turns singing about growing up, family, and their love of music." Read more here.
Vincent Tells Tale Of Recording 'Twelve Days' For New CD You may have seen a report here last week announcing that Dolly was among several guest artists participating in a new recording of "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" on Rhonda Vincent's upcoming holiday album, Christmas Time. This week, Vincent issued a press release on the project that detailed how the recording came to be. She said: "It was a dream of mine to create this celebrity version of the 'Twelve Days of Christmas.' As I started sharing my vision with family and friends, my bandmate Mickey Harris, began sharing his ideas, relating the line to specific artists. When I told him I had invited Dolly, he suggested she sing the line 'Eight Maids A Milking.' It was then I set to work to match artists with specific lines, and taking on the task of contacting each artist. Dolly was the first to respond, and the first to record. From there, it became a chaotic coordination of schedules, and a victory celebration with the completion of each artist's contribution. I appreciate every artist that joined me in making this incredible dream come true!" The album is released Oct. 30. Get your copy here!
Actor Sings Dolly For Chickens Thanks to Brad for alerting me that the new Lorene Scafaria film The Meddler starring Susan Sarandon features J.K. Simmons as a farmer who serenades his chickens with classic Dolly songs.
Sept. 14: Dollywood Takes Home Three Golden Ticket Awards Dolly's Tennessee theme park over the weekend received three first place Golden Ticket Awards, known as the "Oscars" of the amusement park industry. Dollywood won Friendliest Park for the fourth consecutive year, Best Shows for the seventh consecutive year and Best Christmas Event for the eighth consecutive year (continuing its streak the only park to win this award since it was created). Awards were handed out by industry publication Amusement Today at New York's famed Coney Island. The park also ranked No. 4 on the list of the world's best parks behind second-time No. 1 Europa-Park in Germany, No. 2 Cedar Point in Ohio (which had reigned as No. 1 for 17 of the past 19 years) and No. 3 Knoebels Amusement Resort but ahead of No. 5 Disneyland. Last year, it was No. 3. The park also placed in six additional categories: second place for Cleanest Park and Best Food (for which it had won first place last year for the third consecutive year), third place for Best Water Park (Splash Country), fourth place for Best Water Ride (Mountain Sidewinder) and fifth place for Best Wooden Coaster (Thunderhead) and Best Landscaping. The park tied the all-time record it set last year of having top-five finishes in 10 categories at the awards. In addition, Wild Eagle ranked No. 31 on the list of the world's best steel coasters. In a statement released Sunday, Dolly reacted: "Every time they announce the Golden Tickets results, I am so proud to hear how much folks love and respect Dollywood. This is our 30th anniversary season, and if you would have told me all those years ago that we would win all these awards, I'm not sure even I could have dreamed it! I truly am thankful for all of the guests who have continued to support us and for all the new folks who visit us each year! I also am grateful for the dedicated team at my Dollywood Company for providing our guests a memorable experience when they come see us." And park public relations director Pete Owens added: "As a park, it is always gratifying to be honored by your peers and experts. We are particularly proud of the designation as friendliest park. That goes to what Dollywood is also about and why we encourage our guests to love every moment with their families." Check out coverage from Dolly's official website here and Knoxville station WBIR here.
Don Henley Duet Video Deubts On CMT
Dolly's new music video for "When I Stop Dreaming" with Don Henley from his CD Cass County premiered on CMT's Hot 20 Countdown on Saturday. Watch it here or in the media player above and check out a review of the video from Digital Journalhere.
'Very Best' Re-Enters Aussie Top 40 Chart The Very Best Of Dolly Parton this week re-enters the Australian top 40 country albums chart at No. 33 in its 355th chart week, Saturday's chart Down Under revealed.
Dolly's Kenyan Popularity Explored Down Under It has been noted here before that Dolly and a few other country stars have an unusually high degree of popularity throughout parts of Africa, and the Australian Broadcasting Company explored one Kenyan artist's connection to Dolly and her music in a piece posted to YouTube here or in the media player below.
Sept. 12: Dolly Guests On Vincent Christmas CD Bluegrass queen Rhonda Vincent has a new holiday CD coming out Oct. 30, Christmas Time, which features Dolly and several other stars on "The Twelve Days Of Christmas." Other guests taking turns with their "special days" are Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ronnie Milsap, Gene Watson, Bill Anderson, Larry Gatlin, Jeannie Seely, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis and EmiSunshine. Reserve your copy here!
Jewel Talks To 'Time' About Dolly Collaboration Jewel is interviewed in the new issue of Time magazine and speaks about her duet with Dolly on "My Father's Daughter," explaining she looked up to Dolly and Loretta Lynn growing up because she had a similar upbringing in the Alaskan wilderness and their outspoken attitudes. She also described what it was like to work with Dolly in the studio, explaining she was: "well-prepared and looked amazing and was sarcastic and witty and everything you would hope Dolly Parton would be." Read the full interview here.
'Boston Globe' Writer Loves Dollywood Visit The Boston Globe on Friday published a great review of Dollywood. Check it out here.
Overseas Chart Updates Dolly's Blue Smoke retains the No. 1 spot on the U.K. country compilations albums chart for a 66th consecutive week, Friday's tally confirmed. Elsewhere on the same chart, Emmylou Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony) inches up one to No. 13, Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) loses two to No. 17, and Ronstadt's own Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) re-enters the top 20 at No. 15.
Get Aussie Dolly DVD From Amazon Amazon.com has added an import page for the Australian DVD release of the British behind-the-scenes Dolly special Platinum Blonde from her 2002 tour. Get it here.
Sept. 10: Henley Duet Video Premieres This Weekend
CMT will this weekend host the world premiere of Dolly's new music video with Don Henley for their duet "When I Stop Dreaming" from his CD Cass County. The video airs during the Hot 20 Countdown, which premieres at 9 a.m. Eastern Saturday. Watch a preview clip in the media player above or by clicking here.
Magazine Recognizes Genius Of 'I Will Always Love You' American Songwriter chose Dolly's immortal "I Will Always Love You" as its "Lyric Of The Week" this week, observing the simple lyrics are because Dolly "understood that she didn't need to get overly clever because she had written a melody that would carry a lot of the emotional weight. The way the song switches from the gentle verses, with chord changes as bittersweet as the memories the protagonist carries, to the soaring refrains, somehow triumphant and heartbroken all at once, represents with moving accuracy the way a conversation like that would likely transform from calm and collected to having the emotional floodgates blasted wide-open . . . no matter who sings it, it is still about the prettiest song you'll ever hear." Read more here.
Sept. 7: Paper: Carl Dean To Appear For 50th Anniversary British newspaper The Sunday Times over the weekend broke a story citing Dolly goddaughter Miley Cyrus as the source claiming that Dolly will hold a lavish 50th wedding anniversary celebration at her home outside of Nashville next May and that reclusive and seldom-photographed husband Carl Dean will appear with her on stage. The original story appeared here and was soon picked up by The Australianhere and The Daily Mailhere.
Dollypalooza Takes New York New York's Dollypalooza tribute night in Brooklyn took place Friday night and the organizer tells Dollymania.net that the evening was "a huge success!" The standing-room-only show sold out, silent auction items to benefit Dolly's Imagination Library came in from all over the world and there was a Dolly Mall of amazing fan art. Coverage is available on Facebook or Instagram under the hashtag #dollypalooza, and photos will be posted soon on their website here. You may also sign up for their e-mail list here to be notified of future events, as they hope to host another one in New York City and replicate the fun in Los Angeles as well. The Village Voice previewed the evening here.
'Blue Smoke' Still No. 1 Overseas Dolly's Blue Smoke once again holds the No. 1 position on the U.K. country compilations albums chart, logging a 65th consecutive week at the pole position, Friday's charts showed. Elsewhere on the tally, Emmylou Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony) slips three to No. 14, Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) drops five at No. 15, and Ronstadt's own Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) falls back out of the top 20, down from No. 16.
Sept. 3: Yahoo Gives First Look At 'Coat' Cast On Set Yahoo on Wednesday released the first image of the cast of Dolly Parton's Coat Of Many Colors, NBC's TV movie airing Dec. 10. Dolly's official social media and official website shared the photo. Check it out at left, see the Yahoo story here or on Dolly's official website here. As has been previously reported, the film tells the story of Dolly's ninth year when her baby brother Larry died and her mother made her a coat of from rags over which the other children at school teased her and was immortalized in her favorite song.
New Dolly DVD Released Down Under The 2003 BBC Dolly documentary Platinum Blonde got a DVD release in Australia on Wednesday. The hour-long special took a behind-the-scenes look at her 2002 Halos & Horns Tour and featured interviews with Dolly and several friends and colleagues. I have seen some reports that the disc is regionless, meaning it is viewable on DVD players worldwide.
Dolly Writes For Library Blog With the September delivery of her book I Am A Rainbow to all children turning 2 this year in her Imagination Library literacy program, Dolly was this month's guest blogger on the program's official blog, telling the story of how she wrote the book. Read it here.
News From Dollywood's DreamMore Resort Farmhouse Fresh recounted its partnership with Dollywood's DreamMore Resort's Spa in a piece in Gifts And Decorating on Wednesday here. In related news, The Kingsport Times News reviewed the resort in a story here.
Chenoweth Channels Dolly At Concerts Kristen Chenoweth is making her current tour a Dolly love fest, performing three of her idol's songs at most shows: "9 To 5," "Little Sparrow" and, as her encore, "I Will Always Love You." Check out a review of her Wolf Trap set from DC Metro Theater Artshere and an interview with Mass Live in which she's asked if she has a favorite song to perform, answering that "Little Sparrow" is "quickly moving up that ladder for me." Check out the full interview here.
Uproxx Opines On Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame Snubs On the 20th anniversary of the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame, Uproxx observed the institution's 20 biggest snubs, which includes Dolly. See the full list here.
Paper: Dolly For President! With the rapper Kanye West claiming he will run for president in a few years, British newspaper The Telegraph offered 10 American stars who should run for the nation's highest office, including Dolly. Read the list here.
Home Free Covers Dolly On New CD The Sing Off Season 4 winners Home Free have their third album coming out Sept. 18 and Country Evolution looks at the genre's classic tunes, including Dolly's "9 To 5." Get your copy here!
'Bates' Head To Dollywood For TV Show The UP Network's Bringing Up Bates show will feature a trip to Dollywood for its season finale, Breathe Cast reported here on Wednesday.