Oct. 31: Chicago Welcomes Dolly, Tour Continues "The Vintage Tour" breezed into Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee over the weekend. While the latter one had yet to begin at the time of this update, I'm told the sold-out crowd in Chicago just loved Dolly to death. As has been the case at most dates on this year's tour, she received multiple standing ovations from a very enthusiastic audience. One attendee said the crowd at this concert seemed particularly impressed with the songs off the new CD, noting especially that massive applause followed the line "How many deaths will it take 'til we know that too many people have died" from "Blowin' In The Wind." Dolly Parton Central also posted a review and some pics from the show over the weekend. The Wisconsin State Journal on Sunday said her show Saturday night in Madison was spectacular, with the reviewer raving how she was able to merge her multiple personas into one on stage throughout the evening (gifted singer-songwriter, purveyor of slick pop tunes, serious bluegrass banjo picker, over-the-top entertainer) in what would have been a "train wreck" for other performers but works "winningly" for her. He put the crowd at 3,200 and lamented that it wasn't larger, chiding "She's a legend, people, where were you?" Even the songs he thought were misfires ("PMS Blues" and "These Old Bones") were said to "only make her more endearing." Read the full review here. The tour next heads to Evansville, Ind., on Tuesday, and it's then on to Kansas City on Friday, Sioux City Saturday and Rochester, Minn., on Sunday, tickets for all of which remain available at Ticketmaster.
Special thanks to reader Amber Eads for sending in some great shots from Dolly's Danville, Ky., concert from last week, including the one at upper left. They've been added to that section of the site here.
Down One Down Under Dolly's new CD, Those Were The Days inches down one notch to No. 7 in its third week on the Australian country albums chart, it was announced Sunday.
Billboard Digs Duet Billboard over the weekend predicted Dolly will win some Vocal Event Of The Year honors next year for her duet with Brad Paisley on "When I Get Where I'm Going," offering its review of the single, currently in the top 30 of the country charts. The magazine said here that the song from Paisley's CD Time Well Wasted is "sublimely beautiful and emotionally uplifting" on its own but that Dolly's "sweet, shimmering vocals provide the icing on an already delicious treat."
Another Celebrity Fan Another up-and-coming songstress has named Dolly as one of her prime influences. Martha Wainwright, who released her debut album earlier this year and is the daughter of folk legends Loudon Wainwright and Kate McGarrigle of the McGarrigle Sisters (and brother of one of your webmaster's favorite singer-songwriters, Rufus Wainwright), said in an interview with U.K. Web site EDP24: "I am influenced by other songwriters, those who write classic songs, and women who sing with feeling - Edith Piaf, Nina Simone, Dolly Parton - big singers who sound like they're about to throw themselves off a cliff." Although she's never worked with Dolly directly, there are some connections. Her mother and aunt are close friends with Dolly's Trio partners, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, who've over the years performed on several tracks with them, which have occasionally included Martha on harmony vocals, and her mother wrote "I've Had Enough," which Dolly recorded on 1987's Trio. Read the interview here.
In the Paper A few folks wrote in to advise me Sunday that Dolly was interviewed in this weekend's Parade newspaper insert in a James Brady article titled "In Step With . . . Dolly Parton." Thanks!
Overseas Cover Of Dolly Cover Irish boy band Westlife has put their stamp on the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet, "When You Tell Me That You Love Me," as a recording with the song's original performer, Diana Ross, and I'm told it's considered to be the favorite for the annual U.K. Christmas No. 1 single this year (which is a real big deal over there) with a release scheduled for the holiday. The band's "You Raise Me Up" debuts at No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart this week. Thanks, Steve!
Oct. 29: Tour Rocks Detroit, Ticket Updates Dolly's "Vintage Tour" is back in full force. She played Detroit on Thursday night in a show which The Detroit News on Friday said was so good that Dolly "nearly out-shined" the venue she played, which itself is often called "the crown jewel of Detroit." The reviewer gushed about all aspects of the show with the exception of her novelty tune "PMS Blues," which she found "so cheesy it was almost surreal." Read the full review here.
The tour moved over to Chicago on Friday night in what was apparently a sell-out crowd. Just a few hours before the show only a few dozen tickets remained available in the 3,600-seat theater, so I suspect they sold out to walk-ups before Dolly took to the stage. (Anyone who attends is encouraged to send recaps and photos here. Thanks!)
My friend Christian over at Dolly Parton Central is a Chicago boy who was to be on the front row for Friday's concert. He asked that I announce his site will feature reviews and photos over the weekend.
Tickets went on sale to the public Friday morning at Ticketmaster for Dolly's Dec. 1 engagement in Dallas. As of Friday evening, the venue's fairly large pit level was completely sold out and its lower level nearly half sold out. Tickets also remain available on the site for Saturday in Madison, Sunday in Milwaukee and future dates on the tour.
Ticketmaster on Friday also added order pages for her Dec. 9 and 10 shows at the Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, La. The pages announced that the $75 per person tickets will now go on sale at 2 p.m. Central time Thursday, Nov. 3, a change from the previously-published for-sale date of Nov. 4. As has previously been reported, although she had already been scheduled to perform at the casino for Dec. 10, the show on Dec. 9 was added to replace her canceled concert in New Orleans that night after the theatre she was to play in the Big Easy was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. She announced last week on CNN Headline News that the two concerts will serve as fund-raisers for the Humane Society's hurricane relief efforts.
Kudos For The Grascals Congratulations to Dolly pals The Grascals for taking home two trophies Thursday night from the 16th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards in Nashville. The band won Emerging Artist Of The Year and also picked up Song Of The Year with songwriter Harley Allen for their recording of "Me And John And Paul." Their CD, The Grascals, which contains their duet of "Viva Las Vegas" with Dolly, was nominated for Album Of The Year but lost to Larry Sparks's 40. The band opened Dolly's "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour last year and performed with her on The Grand Ole Opry and CMA Music Festival earlier this year. On her "Vintage Tour," they opened her New York concert and will also open her Florida concerts in Orlando, Boca Raton and Clearwater next month. In accepting the newcomer's honor, the band thanked Dolly for her support.
Label Plugging 'Days' Single Sugar Hill Records this week added Dolly's version of "Imagine" to the streaming audio available from the main page of its Web site here to promote Dolly's Those Were The Days CD. Visitors may also continue to hear her cover of "Where Do The Children Play" on the site as well.
Library On TV Honolulu TV station KHON on Friday picked up the story of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program's expansion to the Kalihi community in the island state. If the initial pilot program there is successful and funds are raised to provide it in other communities, it will expand throughout the state. Read the story here.
Broadway Baby As she is composing the score for the Broadway adaptation of the hit film, it's only appropriate that Dolly's "9 To 5" will make an appearance at a fund-raiser featuring country singers and stars of the Great White Way next month to celebrate the one-year move of the Country Music Association's annual awards to New York. The list of some of the songs being performed at the event has been released, including news that Tony-nominated actress and singer Marin Mazzie will perform the tune at the Nov. 12 concert at Lincoln Center to benefit the Actor's Fund and American Red Cross, CMT reported here Friday.
A Real Smoochfest Dolly's smooch with Tony Danza on his talk show led Brad Schmidt's "Celebrities" column in Friday's The Tennessean. Read it here.
Happy Halloween In the spirit of this weekend's holiday, reader Shannon Harper sent in a real cute photo of her daughter dressed up as Dolly for her trick-or-treating. Take a look on the site's "Fan Antics" page here! Thanks!
Oct. 28: 'We're A Movin' On Up, To The Top' Dolly's single with Brad Paisley, "When I Get Where I'm Going" from his CD Time Well Wasted, seems poised to continue its trek toward the top of the charts, making nice gains on both major singles listings this week. In Billboard, the song gains four spots to come in at No. 26 on the Nov. 5 country singles chart in its fifth week. Over at Radio & Records magazine, the tune jumps up six notches to No. 27 on its country singles tally.
'Days' Has Respectable Sophomore Week Those Were The Days, Dolly's new covers album, slips seven spaces to No. 16 in its second week on the Billboard country albums chart, the magazine announced in its Nov. 5 numbers Thursday. On the pop side, the disc tumbles 30 places to No. 78, the same location to which it falls on the comprehensive albums chart. However, over on the independent labels albums chart, it rises one notch to No. 2, but it falls out of the 25-position Internet sales chart, down from No. 25 the previous week. Up in Canada, the CD inches down just two digits to No. 10 country and remains steady at No. 94 pop. As was previously reported, Martina McBride's covers collection, Timeless, with Dolly on her version of "I Still Miss Someone," debuts at No. 1 country and No. 3 pop based on sales of 185,000 copies in its first week. The disc also debuts at No. 6 for Internet sales and No. 3 comprehensive in the U.S., and in Canada it's No. 2 country and No. 41 pop. Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with its Dolly appearances, loses three to No. 13 country and No. 62 pop and comprehensive for its 10th week. It's down six to No. 18 country in Canada. George Jones's Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't, featuring the Dolly duet "The Blues Man," loses four to No. 33 country in its sixth chart week. It falls off the top 200 pop tally, down from No. 198 the previous week, and inches down two to No. 20 on the independent labels albums, but it gains three to No. 9 country in Canada and a whopping 35 spots to No. 87 pop up north. Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, featuring her cover of "Little Sparrow," remains steady at No. 6 on the blues albums chart in its fourth week. The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches and Highways, with a Trio recording, falls five to No. 72 country in its 13th week, and Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, which includes her live cover of "Jolene," loses three to No. 8 in its 33rd week on the bluegrass albums chart. Billy Currington's Doin' Somethin' Right debuts at No. 2 country, No. 11 pop with 54,000 units moved in its first week. The American Idol finalists' cover of the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" gains three to No. 37 on the pop singles sales chart in its 28th week.
Tour Continues, Pics From Ky. "The Vintage Tour" headed to Detroit Thursday night, making the night's "Entertainment Best Bet" from The Detroit Newshere. A few tickets remained available at Ticketmaster as of Thursday night for her nearly-sold-out engagement Friday in Chicago. Saturday's show in Madison, Wis., made that city's Capital Timeshere, and the tour then continues in Evansville, Ind., on Tuesday and Moline, Ill., on Wednesday, tickets for all of which are sold at Ticketmaster.
Special thanks to Dawn for sending in a few shots from Tuesday's Danville, Ky., show. They've been posted to a gallery here, including the picture at upper left. (She also tells me she ate at Cracker Barrel the next morning and crews were bringing back the rocking chairs that had made up the first two rows of the orchestra seats in the concert Tuesday complete with the concert seat numbers still attached, so the ones Dolly had joked about coming from the restaurant literally were borrowed from there!) And anyone attending any of her concerts who wishes to send in photos and their recaps of the show, please do so here!
If you didn't take advantage of the pre-sale which ran on Thursday, don't forget tickets for Dolly's Dec. 1 Dallas show go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Central Friday via Ticketmaster.
'Days' Still Hot With Critics Dolly's Those Were The Days continues to earn raves from the critics, with a couple more weighing in this week. The November issue of Interview magazine, on newsstands this week, says that while you'd expect her song choices to "lead to some unbearably saccharine moments," and her arrangements on the disc are "about as radical as a wedding band's," the "sheer, weathered authenticity" of her vocal interpretation of the tunes makes it a disc very much worth owning. The reviewer adds: "Like a flash of quicksilver in a sea of purple emotions, her vocal instrument remains as supple, honeyed and tremulous as ever. Even when singing 'Where Have All The Flowers Gone' she manages to cut through smarmy sentimentality with the precision of a surgeon and lend the hippie lament an air of dignity and sad relevance." And D.C.'s Metro Weekly on Thursday says here that Dolly has "failed to garner the recognition she deserves as one of the most talented musicians working in pop music today" because she minimizes her own achievements. The reviewer laments that even though the new CD is "one of the best of her career," it likely won't change peoples' minds about her, saying they may see a covers disc as "a quick and easy way to churn out another album" but Dolly "has managed to generously and studiously season each track" with "her significant contributions to re-imagining these songs."
'Ti Amero Per Sempre' That's "I Will Always Love You" in Italian, if you didn't know :) Welsh opera sensation Katherine Jenkins has recorded Dolly's classic (albeit the Whitney Houston vocal arrangement) in her broad soprano with orchestral accompaniment and translated into Italian. The song is the lead single from her new Universal Records album, Living A Dream, which is being released in Europe on Monday. Visit her official Web site here to hear the song or watch the music video. She explained to newspaper The Caernarton Denbigh Herald this week: "I have always loved the Whitney and Dolly Parton version but I thought it would be good to give it a classical touch. I had it translated into Italian and my record company approached Dolly. Their first answer was 'Don't count your chickens'. I recorded it and she loved the version and I am the first person in the world to sing it in a foreign language. It is such an honour. I can't believe she's heard my song!" Read the full story here.
Library Update A couple more Tennessee counties are reading themselves to join Dolly's nationwide Imagination Library literacy program. The Nashville City Paper says the project will begin sending out free books to children in Williamson County in November, and The Shelbyville Times-Gazette reports that fund-raising efforts are well underway in Bedford County to kick it off there. And I'm told that The Slayersville Independent reports that Magofflin County has become the first in eastern Kentucky to join the program. Thanks, Jonathan! The program is currently active in more than 530 communities across 41 states and U.S. territories. In Tennessee, where each county benefits from state funding covering half of the local share of the program's costs, it is in 76 counties, with the governor hoping to have it in all 95 by year's end. The program is shipping more than 2.5 million books a year nationwide, one per month to children from birth to age 5 in participating communities.
Oct. 27: Dolly Does Danville Dolly's appearance to a sold-out house in Danville, Ky., on Tuesday night is getting rave reviews. The Lexington Herald-Leader on Wednesday praised her performance here (with a photo), noting how the spangles and glitter matched her flashy personality, adding: "But nothing shined more onstage than Parton herself. The sheer cheer of her stage persona was positively blinding . . . Only a Scrooge would frown on such grand country charm." TV station Action News 36 posted a text version of its story about the concert and interview with Dolly here. I'm told the audience was prohibited from taking pictures, but hopefully a few folks sneaked a couple and will send them in :) Those who have written in with recaps thus far say the curtain was back to almost not dropping, forcing members of the crew to give it a tug at the show's start. Dolly discussed her filming last weekend of the video for "Imagine," the first single from her new CD, explaining it was shot in various locations around New York that were important to the song's composer, the late John Lennon. Also of note, the first two rows in the venue consisted of rocking chairs instead of the standard theatre seating, which seemed to tickle Dolly to death. She joked that those sitting in them were "the Cracker Barrel people" because the seats were similar to those in the restaurants, and she pretended to be a waitress at other times asking for their order or whether they preferred smoking or non-smoking. Thanks to those who wrote in!
The tour next moves to Motor City on Thursday, Chi-Town on Friday (which had only the very back few rows of the balcony left available there for the past few weeks, although a few really good floor seats opened up on Wednesday), Madison, Wis., on Saturday and Milwaukee on Sunday. Get tickets for those shows from Ticketmaster here!
Don't forget the Ticketmaster pre-sale for Dec. 1 in Dallas starts at 10 a.m. Thursday!
And Dolly Kisses Danza Dolly was very relaxed and charming on The Tony Danza Show Wednesday, chatting with her longtime friend with whom she once shared an adjoining office in Los Angeles. She spoke of how much easier she found it to write for the musical of 9 To 5 than standard songs (although she said you'd laugh if you saw her doing it because she would act it out in each character), sang her first song ("Little Tiny Tasseltop"), discussed recording her first single as a child, and even kissed Danza, much to the audience's and his amusement. He asked about her recent bout with laryngitis, to which she said someone told her it was "Heaven's way of telling me to shut the hell up!" She performed "Imagine" and "9 To 5" for the enthusiastic crowd. Although it aired this week, the portion with Dolly was actually filmed last week (and Danza's closing segment was filmed on Tuesday).
One So-So Review In one of the very rare reviews that found Those Were The Days mediocre, Florida's St. Petersburg Timeshere on Wednesday slammed "Both Sides Now," "Crimson And Clover" and "Imagine" while finding redeeming her performances of "Blowin' In The Wind" and "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" and giving the overall project a "C."
McBride To Debut High Billboard revealed Wednesday that another product with Dolly ties will top the country charts when the Nov. 5 tallies are released later this week. Martina McBride's covers collection, Timeless, which includes Dolly harmonies on her version of "I Still Miss Someone," sold 185,000 copies in its first week and will debut at No. 1 country and No. 3 pop, the magazine said. (I'm also told that a special behind-the-scenes DVD accompanying the CD at Wal-Mart features footage of Dolly recording her vocals. Thanks, Sarah!) And perhaps it was because Dolly was missing, but Rod Stewart's fourth installment in his "Great American Songbook" series, Thanks For The Memory, opens at only No. 2 pop with 193,000 units in its debut week. The third CD in the series, last year's Stardust, which featured the No. 2 adult contemporary hit duet with Dolly on "Baby, It's Cold Outside," had debuted at No. 1 pop with 240,000 copies sold in its first week. The magazine noted that it has sold 1.5 million since its release, more than any of Stewart's previous "Songbook" entries.
Oct. 26: New New York Galleries Posted Thanks to a couple more readers, a few more galleries from Dolly's Those Were The Days CD signing in New York have been added to that section of the site here. Thanks!
The CD remained at No. 2 on the Music World store national sales chart in Canada last week, the Canadian Press reported Monday night. Last week's No. 1 disc sold in their stores was Timeless by Martina McBride, which features Dolly harmony on one track.
Dolly's "Vintage Tour" was scheduled Tuesday night to roll into Danville, Ky., for a sold out engagement. Any attendees are encouraged to e-mail recaps from the show (and pictures if you get any) here. Thanks! The tour next heads to Detroit on Thursday and Chicago Friday and then on to Wisconsin for the weekend (tickets available at Ticketmaster).
Don't forget to tune in Wednesday to see Dolly on the syndicated Tony Danza Show!
Last Chance For Music Fest The final days are approaching to take in the shows at Dollywood's National Music And Harvest Celebration. Wednesday brings performances from Jessi Alexander, Old School Freight Train and Angela McKeithan. Michael Combs sings Friday. Country music icon Pam Tillis rocks the stage at DP's Celebrity Theatre Friday and Saturday, the same day newcomers Old Crow Medicine Show entertains at the Festival Amphitheatre. Tony Gore takes over the Showstreet Palace Theatre on Saturday. All concerts are free with park admission and conclude the five-week music festival.
Oct. 25: No Concert For N.C. Groundbreaking A spokesperson for Randy Parton's development company confirmed Monday that contrary to published reports in local newspapers about his Roanoke Rapids, N.C., entertainment development, there are no plans for a concert to celebrate the new theatre district. Instead, the only event will be a public groundbreaking from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 11. A formal announcement via press release is expected to come out in another week or so with more details. Those announced in the local press as participating in the groundbreaking ceremony include Randy, his wife Deb, Dolly and Stella and Grand Ole Opry stars Ray Pillow, Jeannie Seely and Billy Walker. Thanks!
'Going' Enters Top 30 Billboard finally got its Oct. 29 country singles charts updated late Monday, and the new numbers find Dolly's duet with Brad Paisley, "When I Get Where I'm Going" from his CD Time Well Wasted, rising two notches to No. 30 in its fourth week. "Viva Las Vegas" with The Grascals falls back out of the 10-position country singles sales chart after re-entering at No. 10 the previous week for a 34th week.
Opening Act For Several Dates Revealed Guitarist Tim Sparks has been announced as Dolly's opening act for many of the Midwest dates on "The Vintage Tour." Sparks will open her concerts in Madison and Milwaukee, Wis.; Evansville, Ind.; Moline, Ill.; Kansas City, Mo.; Sioux City, Iowa; Rochester, Minn.; and Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.
There's no word on any opening act for Tuesday night's sold-out engagement in Danville, Ky., or Thursday and Friday's performances in Detroit and Chicago, or the shows after her time with Sparks (other than the previously-announced dates with The Grascals opening in Orlando, Boca Raton and Clearwater, Fla.).
Ticketmaster on Monday finally added a sale page for Dolly's Dec. 1 night in Dallas at Nokia Live, tickets for which go on sale at 10 a.m. Central time Friday, as had previously been announced. However, the page revealed a pre-sale will also kick-off starting at 10 a.m. Central Thursday for House of Blues members in the area and the venue's free AllAccess membership program.
Mixed Review In Chicago Suburban Chicago's Pioneer Press newspaper has weighed in on Dolly's Those Were The Days CD in advance of her concert there later this week. The reviewer gives the disc three stars and hails it as a mix of successes and failures. He says "Crimson And Clover" and "The Twelfth Of Never" both "induce winces" but that she "more than offsets this with brazen gusto" on other tracks including "Where Do The Children Play" and "Me And Bobby McGee," which the reviewer calls "stunning." Read more here.
European Chart Update Dolly's former five-week No. 1 of "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" with Roy Rivers remains steady at No. 84 this week on the European CMA country singles chart, it was announced Monday. The song re-enters the top 20 country airplay chart in Italy this week at No. 10. Get the CD featuring the track here.
TV Reminder Don't forget to catch Dolly on The Tony Danza Show Wednesday morning. The episode was taped last week but won't air until this week. The show is syndicated, so check local listings for broadcast stations and times. A list of stations and times is available from the show's producers here.
Oct. 24: Latest New York Pics Added Thanks to several additional great readers who attended Dolly's CD signing last week in New York, a few more galleries from that event have been added to that section of the site here. Thanks, guys!
CD Updates Dolly's new CD, Those Were The Days remains steady in its second week Down Under, coming in once more at No. 6 on the Australian country albums chart, it was announced Sunday.
The Santa Fe New Mexican on Friday offered its opinion of the CD, with the reviewer basically saying he loved everything about it except "Imagine," "The Cruel War" and "Where Do The Children Play," but only because he never liked those songs before Dolly recorded them and her versions didn't change his mind. He singled out "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" and "Turn, Turn, Turn" as gems, chimed that "Me And Bobby McGee" sounds so good for her that "it's a wonder she's never recorded it before" and said even her bluegrass take on "Crimson And Clover" works very well, but it was her fun version of the title song that he thought was the best. Read the full review here.
And Chicago's Sun Times over the weekend also reviewed the disc, giving it three stars and pointing out that her most recent studio album had patriotic songs (which some took as pro-war) that pleased those on the right, and this collection features what Dolly has called "peace" songs (and many take as anti-war) which please those on the left. The reviewer calls her versions of many of the 60s and 70s most popular folk hits "heartfelt" and opines that her "oversize personality and impressive vocal control make even her most bizarre musical excursions worth hearing." Read the full review here.
Heading To Kentucky Dolly's "Vintage Tour" picks back up again on Tuesday with a sold out show in Danville, Ky., followed on Thursday by her concert in Detroit and Friday in Chicago. Tickets for those latter two remain available at Ticketmaster.
Paisley Single Rises On 'R&R' Even though the official Billboard country singles charts still have yet to be released (due to what the publication terms a technical glitch -- they promise they will be coming soon), competitor Radio & Records magazine has released its charts for the week ending Oct. 21, and "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Brad Paisley with Dolly gains three more spots on its country singles tally to No. 33.
Library Enters Hawaiian Communities Dolly used to have a house there, and now her Imagination Library literacy program is headed to the island paradise of Hawaii. The Honolulu Advertiser reported here over that the program launched there in several areas of the state with kick-off events over the weekend.
Oct. 22: In New York, A Good Time Was Had By All A big "thank you" goes out to several more readers who on Friday sent in some amazing images of Dolly from her Those Were The Days CD signing at New York's new Best Buy. Several new galleries have been added to that section of the site here as well as a really cute and special story about the event from Paul about Dolly and his pants, complete with photos. It was also pointed out to me by a reader that the outfit she had one was the same one she wore at her Sunday night concert during the Harvest Celebration opening last month. Thanks! Image at left courtesy John J. Osborn; two full galleries of his pictures published exclusively on Dollymania are available for your viewing pleasure. And if anyone else has shots they'd like to send in, please do so here!
Another Stunning Review The Dallas Morning News this week gives its opinion on Dolly's Those Were The Days and Martina McBride's Timeless (which contains Dolly harmony on "I Still Miss Someone"). The reviewer finds both collections worth buying, noting that Dolly "makes her disc timely but not preachy," explaining that while she selected many "protest songs," her voice "gently caresses the tracks. She sounds more intent on letting the lyrics speak for themselves, rather than putting specific emphasis on them." He adds that all of the guest vocalists work nicely with Dolly, "whose effervescent personality is always welcome on CD." On McBride's own collection of covers, he says many listeners will be surprised by her "spunk" and the "achingly beautiful" rendition of the songs on that disc. He concludes: "Without question, Ms. Parton and Ms. McBride prove that good songs fit seamlessly with good voices, no matter the genre or gender." Read the full review here.
Passing Her Own Record A reader was kind enough to remind me that I had neglected to note in Thursday night's news update that the No. 9 debut of Those Were The Days gives Dolly the clear title for most top 10 country albums with 41 (not counting the tribute project Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, which includes Dolly on just two tracks and would put the total at 42). Previously, she had been tied with fellow trailblazer Loretta Lynn at 40. The legendary Merle Haggard is third with 39. Thanks, Cleve!
'Country Weekly' Girl Dolly pops up several places in the new issue of Country Weekly on newsstands now (Nov. 7 edition). The magazine provides its list of the "25 greatest country songs" of all time and the "amazing" stories behind them -- although it doesn't appear to rank them in any particular order. Dolly's "I Will Always Love You" is the first one discussed, although the story's writers seem to have tried to stoke some controversy by saying Dolly's fans "like to think" that she wrote it about Porter Wagoner, "and she doesn't deny it," adding that she insists it's about their "longtime friendship, not romantic love." (In truth, Dolly has always been very open that she wrote it as her way of telling her longtime duet partner and producer that she'd always love and appreciate him but that she couldn't stay under his thumb any longer.) The issue also reviews Those Were The Days, giving it three-and-a-half out of five stars and saying: "Some of the selections are protest songs, but, as with God And Country, Dolly stops short of hammering home a statement about current events." (McBride's Timeless is also reviewed and gets three-and-a-half stars.) And a great vintage shot of her with Kenny Rogers leads off the "Flashback" page in recognition of "Islands In The Stream" topping the chart the week of Oct. 29, 1983.
'Strike A Pose, Vogue' I also picked up the November issue of Vogue while in the bookstore today. In a feature focusing on Walk The Line star Reese Witherspoon, it shows one Annie Leibovitz shot of Dolly with fellow musician Steve Earle while Witherspoon and co-star Joaquin Phoenix stand with them dressed as Johnny and June Carter Cash from the film. The story's lengthy first paragraph tells the detailed story of the actress's enthusiastic meeting with Dolly at the photo shoot, revealing how big of a fan she is of the singer. "I don't know how I came to be so lucky," she gushed. "I got to play June Carter and meet Dolly Parton."
Auction To Meet Dolly Passes $1,700 The auction to meet Dolly at her Nov. 4 Kansas City concert ended Friday afternoon with a winning bid of $875 per ticket, which comes to $1,750 for the pair of front row seats and admission for two to her exclusive meet-and-greet. Congratulations to the winners!
Dolly Gains Overseas The folks that put together the European Christian Country singles chart announced this week they're ceasing its monthly compilation, but Dolly makes a couple of appearances in its final tally. The November list finds the title track from Halos & Horns gaining six spots in its third month to No. 14 and the CD's cut "John Daniel" remaining steady at No. 13 in its fifth month.
Douglas Talks Up Dolly Dobro king Jerry Douglas was interviewed in Friday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Dolly came up in the conversation. The interviewer asked his opinion on artists such as her and Patty Loveless returning to bluegrass and mentions Those Were The Days. Douglas talks about working with Dolly on her bluegrass recordings but notes he wasn't able to play on the new one and hasn't heard it yet. "Dolly always says she's not going to plow the same ground twice," he said. Read the interview here.
Dollywood Announces 2006 Auditions Wanna sing and dance or pick and grin at Dollywood next year? Well, the park has revealed its schedule for entertainment auditions for the next season. They will be in Atlanta on Jan. 7, Asheville, N.C., Jan. 8 (for musicians only), Nashville Jan. 14 and for musicians only on Jan. 15, Cincinnati Jan. 21 and the park itself Jan. 28 and 29. Get more information here.
Oct. 21: 'Days' Shows Up At No. 9 Country, No. 3 Indie As was expected, Those Were The Days, Dolly's collection of '60s and '70s cover songs, debuts at No. 9 on the country albums chart, Billboard announced in the Oct. 29 figures released Thursday. The CD also enters at an impressive No. 3 on the independent labels albums chart and ekes in at No. 25 on the 25-position Internet albums sales chart. As was reported here Wednesday night, the CD debuts at No. 48 pop (the same position it reaches on the comprehensive albums chart). The magazine's "Chart Beat" column led with the story Thursday that this position was Dolly's highest album debut in her entire career (she's had other albums reach higher positions on the pop chart, but they debuted at lower places and worked their way up). The column notes she now has a 36-year, seven-month period on the pop albums chart and 37-year, 11-month span on the country albums tally. Read the full column here. In Canada, the collection debuts at No. 8 country and No. 94 pop. Unfortunately, several of the week's singles charts, including the country ones, were not updated on Thursday, so the new positions are unknown at this time for her duets with Brad Paisley on "When I Get Where I'm Going" (the previous week's No. 32 country single) and with The Grascals on "Viva Las Vegas" (the previous week's No. 10 country sales single). Elsewhere on the charts, Paisley's Time Well Wasted, which contains his Dolly collaboration, inches up one notch to No. 10 on the country albums list in its ninth week but loses three to No. 59 pop and comprehensive. It slips two to No. 12 country in Canada. George Jones' Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't, with its Dolly duet of "The Blues Man," falls two spots to No. 29 country in its fifth chart week. It's also down 18 places to No. 198 pop, falls off the 200-position comprehensive chart (down from No. 190), drops seven to No. 18 on the independent labels albums, tumbles six to No. 12 country in Canada and falls out of the top 100 pop albums up north, down from No. 79. Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, with the R&B legend's cover of "Little Sparrow," inches down two to No. 6 on the blues albums chart in its third week. The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches and Highways, with one Trio track, loses one to No. 67 country in its 12th week. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, featuring her version of "Jolene," rebounds nine to No. 5 in its 32nd week on the bluegrass albums chart. Gary Allan's Tough All Over debuts at No. 1 country and No. 3 pop on sales of 97,000 copies in its first week, while Gretchen Wilson's All Jacked Up remains steady at No. 2 country and falls five to No. 9 pop in its third week with 57,000 units moved. The American Idol finalists' cover of the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" drops six to No. 40 on the pop singles sales chart in its 27th week. Released Tuesday, Billy Dean's holiday CD, The Christ (A Song For Joseph), featuring a duet with Dolly on "Silent Night," didn't sell enough copies in its first week to chart.
Dolly Thrills Fans At Signing Several readers wrote in Thursday with their recaps from Dolly's CD signing in New York that day. I'm told the first few folks started lining up around 5:30 in the morning, but most showed up around 7 or 8 a.m. for the 11 a.m. event at the new Best Buy Midtown. Dolly was described as "gracious" and "glamorous," decked out in a glittery pantsuit which some called peach and some a shade of beige and some light yellow. Those in line said they were told by store personnel that the goal was to get 400 through people there in a two-hour period, so they kept contact to a minimum. Each person got just a few seconds to speak with her and get an autograph (of whatever you brought to be signed -- you were only supposed to get one, but I'm told she did sign two things for a few folks). Photos with her were not allowed due to the time constraints (you could shoot pictures of her while waiting in line, though). I'm also told that several members of the press showed up to cover the event, but after a brief photo session for them, she asked that they leave because some members of the press corps wouldn't stop shouting questions at her. Everyone who wrote in said something along the lines of even though it only lasted a few seconds, the brief encounter was well worth it. Special thanks to Pierro for sending in the shot at left and another, larger versions of which are available here. And thanks to everyone who wrote in, and anyone else who got pictures while in line is encouraged to send them here!
The Associated Press posted several photos from before the signing here on Thursday.
CMT.com started offering an online listening party for the CD here this week.
Tour Update Although it had three or four tickets remaining for a few days, Tuesday's Danville, Ky., show, where "The Vintage Tour" resumes, officially sold out on Thursday. Tickets remain (although not many) for Thursday's Detroit concert and next Friday's Chicago engagement at Ticketmaster.
Special thanks to Aaron for sending in some shots from Dolly's Denver concert earlier this month, which have been added to those galleries here.
And don't forget that the auction to meet Dolly at her Nov. 4 Kansas City concert ends at 5 p.m. Central time Friday. Place bids, which were up to $1,200 for the pair Thursday evening, here.
Library In Virginia The expansion of Dolly's Imagination Library into Herndon, Va., made both the Herndon Connection and Observer News newspapers there on Thursday. The literacy program kicks off there this weekend in the city with about 2,000 children of the eligible age to receive the free books. Read more from the Connectionhere and the Observerhere.
Head To Dollywood For The Weekend! Dollywood's National Music And Harvest Celebration continues this weekend with concerts by The McKameys, Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top X-press on Friday and Saturday, Jedd Hughes Friday and Tuesday, John Anderson Saturday and Sunday and both the Chuck Wagon Gang and Wildfire on Sunday and Monday. Regular concerts, which are free with park admission, continue through Oct. 29.
Oct. 20: CD To Debut At No. 48 With reported final sales in excess of 21,000 copies in its first week on store shelves, Dolly's Those Were The Days will debut at No. 48 on the Oct. 29 pop albums chart, Billboard revealed Wednesday. That level should also place it somewhere between No. 8 and No. 10 on the country albums chart and near the top of the independent labels albums chart, both of which will be announced Thursday.
Don't forget if you're in New York City Thursday to line up early at the corner of 44th and 5th Avenues for Dolly's only scheduled CD signing for the album. She'll be at the new Best Buy Midtown from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Any "rules" for the event weren't available beforehand except that each person in the first-come-first-serve line who gets to meet her is limited to only one autograph. (Those who attend are encouraged to e-mail their photos and recaps here. Thanks!)
Sacramento-area GLBT magazine MGW ("Mom Guess What") profiled the CD here this week.
Dolly Gives 'View' Girls Her Faves Dolly offered the women of ABC's The View Wednesday a few of her favorite things. Asked her favorite food, she replied potatoes, noting they have been her downfall on every diet she's ever been on. Favorite films: Harold and Maude and Doctor Zhivago. Favorite albums: the Cat Stevens records that contain the two songs of his which she has recorded, Teaser & The Firecat (with its original version of "Peace Train") and Tea for Tillerman (featuring the original "Where Do The Children Play"). In her talk with the ladies, she discussed husband Carl (on their earlier topic of "poly-amorous relationships," she joked if she tried that with Carl, "He'd kick my ass up between my shoulders!"), drag queens who dress up as her, the soon-to-be-Broadway adaptation of 9 to 5 and said that the song she hopes to die on stage to while performing (many, many years from now) would probably be "I Will Always Love You." Joy Behar embarrassed herself by saying her favorite Dolly song is "I Hope You Dance," to which Dolly said that's Lee Ann Womack, not her, and the audience laughed. (You wouldn't believe how many people write this site asking where they can get that Dolly song, so she's not alone!) And Dolly performed her version of "Me and Bobby McGee."
In part two of her CNN Headline News Showbiz Today interview, Dolly on Wednesday spoke of the great diversity of her audience, adding "I am all those people!" She said getting to sing other artists' songs on the road has made this one of the most fun tours she's ever done, and she explained that before she heads out she prepares several home-cooked meals, places them in containers and fills up the three or four refrigerators on her tour bus. Finally, she confessed she doesn't have e-mail, an iPod or a laptop, leaving all the technical gadgets for use by her staff and family instead of herself personally. Her interview from Tuesday's episode is available online from Yahoo here. (On a related note, readers alerted me that Comedy Central on Wednesday removed her Monday night interview from its Web site's streaming video. Maybe it'll return soon!)
I missed Tuesday/Wednesday's edition of Extra (thanks to our local station that used to run the show but stopped airing it recently), but I'm told Dolly appeared briefly. It noted that she participated in an Annie Leibovitz photo shoot with Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix to promote their film Walk The Line. Dolly is shown with the two actors (who are in character as Johnny Cash and June Carter) in the photo spread which appears in the new issue of Vogue magazine on newsstands Thursday. Thanks, Jeff!
Auction Watch The auction to meet Dolly at her Kansas City concert crept past the thousand-dollar mark Wednesday, increasing to $530 per ticket, or $1,060 for the pair. The auction continues here through 5 p.m. Central Friday.
Site Honored Overseas Thanks to your votes, Dollymania was ranked No. 108 in the annual BT Digital Music Awards' People's Choice Awards category, which honors "the best music sites on the web in the past year." Out of the thousands and thousands of music-related sites available online, Dollymania was the highest-rated one dedicated to a country music performer, it was revealed Wednesday. The official sites for Coldplay and Westlife ranked at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, with a Depeche Mode fan site coming in at No. 3. The fan-voted awards show takes place each year in the U.K. and is sponsored by phone and data network BT (British Telecommunications).
Oct. 19: Dolly Helping Hurricane Animals In La. Dolly was part laughs and part serious on CNN Headline News's Showbiz Tonight Tuesday evening. The biggest news from the interview was an announcement that her December concerts in Louisiana will be benefit shows for the Humane Society to help animals impacted by Hurricane Katrina. She is scheduled to play the Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, La., Dec. 9 and 10 (tickets go on sale Nov. 4). She told the story again about being mistaken for a prostitute in New York, was asked if she'd ever run for president (she said she wouldn't, noting, "We've had enough boobs in the White House!"), said she'd like to see a female president and believes we'll have one someday, said she saw the recording of anti-war protest songs during a time of new war as "a way of expressing what we feel" about war and peace but added that in a time of war Americans must support our troops and our president regardless of their opinions on the war itself, spoke of her charitable work and said those who become successful and famous have a responsibility to give back to their communities, and said as she approaches her 60th birthday she feels "as young and alive and inspired" as ever. The interview repeats at 11 p.m. Eastern Tuesday (if you're reading this update early enough), and part two of the interview airs on the program Wednesday at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern.
Monday night found her on Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, where the host seemed in awe of his guest. Donning a red leather jacket and black leather skirt, she said producers assured her Stewart wouldn't "get political" with her, joking: "I don't know anything about it (politics). I'm kinda like George -- Bush -- the president. I don't know what to say." (A reference to the president's stumbling over prepared questions to a group of military personnel in Iraq in a scripted photo op from Friday that was lampooned earlier in the program.) Stewart said everyone in the world likes Dolly, and no one ever says bad things about her, adding that this showed in how many people she got to participate on the new CD, Those Were The Days. He was particularly impressed by the participation of Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), and Dolly spoke of the interaction they've had over the years, although when asked if anyone turned her down she admitted Bob Dylan did but was quick to point out that she didn't hear from him directly, only his "people," so she doesn't know if he turned her down or someone who worked for him did. The complete interview is available via streaming video on the show's Web site here.
Dolly shot an interview for TV show Extra on Monday which was scheduled to begin airing Tuesday night. The program is syndicated, so broadcast times and stations will vary by city. See where it's airing in your area here.
The promotional tour continues Wednesday with an appearance on ABC's The View, which airs live at 11 a.m. Eastern in most markets. Her CD signing is 11 a.m. Thursday at Best Buy Midtown New York, and her Tony Danza Show appearance taped Tuesday will air Oct. 26.
'Days' High In Canada, U.S. HITS Magazine on Tuesday released its final CD sales chart for the week, and while it always varies slightly from the official tally used to calculate the Billboard numbers, it's usually fairly close. Their chart had Dolly's Those Were The Days selling nearly 19,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week to debut at No. 50 pop and No. 9 country. If the Billboard numbers bear out the same, the CD would be her highest-charting pop entry since Honky Tonk Angels with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette went to No. 42 a dozen years ago but would be her highest-charting country entry only since Halos & Horns, which made it to No. 4 three years ago. That title also moved just under 19,000 in its debut week. Thanks, Zlatko!
According to the Canadian Press here, the album was the second-best-selling country CD of the week at Music World, one of that nation's largest music retailers with nearly 100 stores coast-to-coast, so that indicates the album could open quite huge up North when the official charts come out later this week.
Back in the States, The Salt Lake Tribune this week gives the collection a "B," saying Dolly's song choices and guest selections on the project offer "a winning combination that proves Parton's pipes can stand up next to anyone's."
Paisley Duet On Another Chart While the Billboard charts are considered the music industry "bible," they aren't the only major charts reviewed each week by musicians and labels. The second-biggest one is Radio And Records magazine, while has issued its charts for the week ending Oct. 14. The country tally finds Dolly's duet with Brad Paisley, "When I Get Where I'm Going" from his CD Time Well Wasted, gaining six spots to No. 36 for the week, compared to its position at No. 32 country on Billboard. Thanks, Tony!
Dallas Sale Date Announced House of Blues Concerts on Tuesday announced an Oct. 28 ticket sale date for Dolly's Dec. 1 concert at Nokia Live in Dallas. Tickets are expected to be available via Ticketmaster.
Dollywood Tops TN List Again Once again, Dolly's theme park was the top-visited man-made attraction in the state of Tennessee, the state's Department of Tourist Development has announced in the new annual statistics just released. Dollywood saw 2.4 million visitors in calendar year 2004, a nearly 10 percent increase over 2003's numbers, to rank at No. 1. The nearby Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg remained at No. 2, although it saw a 6 percent decrease in attendance last year with 1.6 million visitors. Dollywood Splash Country saw an 8 percent increase to 325,000 customers last year, moving it up three notches to No. 21 for the year. Dolly's park has been No. 1 on the list since almost the time it opened two decades ago.
Tenn. Library Update Madison County, Tenn., has become the latest to sign up for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, according to Monday's Jackson Sun. And its efforts in Carter County, Tenn., were profiled by NewsChannel 11 here this week.
Another Trivia Contest My pal Christian over at Dolly Parton Central has kicked off his next Those Were The Days contest. Visit his site and click on the page dedicated to the album to see four trivia questions -- you must answer all of them correctly, and the first three to do so get a window cling and promo card from the album, plus one of those will also receive a CD promo pack. Winners will be announced next Tuesday.
Oct. 18: Ky. Sold Out, Dallas Confirmed, Ind. Meeting When Dolly returns to the road on her "Vintage Tour" next week, it will be to a packed house. On Monday, the tour's next show essentially sold out. Only three or four single-seat tickets scattered throughout the venue remained available for the rescheduled Oct. 25 show in Danville, Ky. The tour's next night, Detroit on Oct. 27, is about two-thirds sold out (only about a row or so remains available on the main floor, but the balcony levels are almost completely unsold), and her Chicago engagement on Oct. 28 is about 90 percent sold out, with only about the back half of the rear balcony available. Those last few Danville tickets are available at Tickets.com, while Detroit and Chicago seats are for sale at Ticketmaster.
Although the ticket for-sale date has yet to be announced (I would expect word on that in the next few days, most likely), House of Blues Concerts on Monday finally confirmed Dolly's Dec. 1 Dallas area concert at Nokia Live will, in fact, take place as planned. Tickets will run $19.50 to $65.50 and be sold via Ticketmaster.
If you want to meet Dolly at her Nov. 1 Evansville, Ind., show, local radio station WKDQ has announced it is selling two pairs of tickets as a charity fund-raiser for the city's ARK Crisis Prevention Nursery. A donation of $500 gets you two tickets to the show at a VIP table just off the stage with wine and cheese service throughout the concert plus two of the elusive backstage passes for Dolly's meet-and-greet before the show. They are to be sold on a first-come-first-served basis by e-mailing Jon Prell at email@example.com. (So, in other words, I expect Dollymania readers will have sent in e-mails to buy the tickets within a few minutes of it being posted here tonight.) Thanks, Amber!
And speaking of meeting Dolly, the auction for one pair of passes to meet her at the Nov. 4 Kansas City concert kicked off here Monday, and as of Monday evening the price was already up to $400 each, or $800 for the pair. Bidding continues through 5 p.m. Central on Friday.
Another Great Review The Rainbow Network raved Monday over Dolly's new CD, Those Were The Days, with the reviewer giving it four-out-of-five stars and saying that listening to the CD in his car was "the most fun I've had driving home from work in a long time." Read more here. (And if you're catching this update early enough Monday evening, don't forget to see Dolly promote the album on Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart at 11 p.m. Eastern Monday, with repeats throughout the day Tuesday. Then she'll film Tony Danza Tuesday, although it won't air until next week, followed by Showbiz Tonight on CNN Headline News Tuesday and Wednesday, ABC's The View Wednesday and Thursday's 11 a.m.-1 p.m. CD signing at New York City's Best Buy Midtown.)
'Opry' Memories Last weekend The Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 80th birthday in style, and while Dolly wasn't there (contrary to one syndicated report that showed up on several Web sites Monday) she did have something to say about it. She was among several artists who spoke to Nashville TV station WKRN about the famed country music institution in a story posted online here Monday. "There was a circle of friends, and a circle of performers, and a circle of love at the old place," she said. "I used to feel so proud to be there with what I thought at the time were where the legends and heroes has stood and had sung. And I've been in the business so long, I've almost become one of them. So it's like I'm standing in my own footsteps."
Chapman Digs Dolly Who knew Tracy Chapman was watching Dolly on Conan :) The singer referenced Dolly and guns in her Chicago concert Saturday and had to explain to the audience afterward about Dolly's story told the night before on the NBC program about being mistaken for a prostitute in New York and pulling a gun on a potential "customer." Read more here.
Library News Tennessee's Bristol Herald Courier this week profiled the successes of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program in the county there, where 40 percent of eligible children have signed up over the past 18 months. Read the story here.
What A Trip! I missed it, but I'm told that on Dateline NBC over the weekend, Melissa Etheridge recounted how her wife, Tammy, supported her through her cancer treatments and when that was over she told her she wanted to take her anywhere in the world, and Tammy chose a cross-country RV trip which included a day-long stop at Dollywood. Thanks, Jonathan!
Martina Reminder Don't forget that Martina McBride's covers album, Timeless, featuring Dolly harmonies on her version of the Johnny Cash classic "I Still Miss Someone," hits stores Tuesday. Reserve your copy here!
Oct. 17: CD Promos In Full Gear, 'Imagine' Video Coming The promotional efforts to plug Dolly's new CD, Those Were The Days, have kicked off, with television appearances and more. The album sees a respectable debut on the Australian charts this weekend, and Dolly is to shoot a video in coming days for the set's first single, "Imagine." Here's a recap of the most recent developments:
Reuters posted a great story over the weekend on the project, apparently from an upcoming issue of Billboard magazine. In it, it is announced that Dolly will shoot a video for "Imagine," the collection's first single, this month, and the song will be promoted to country, bluegrass and adult contemporary radio. Yoko Ono, the widow of the song's composer, John Lennon, told the magazine the time is right for Dolly's version, explaining: "The scope of the lyrics (is) increasing. This shows the timelessness of John's prophetic, visionary songwriting." And Dolly, again, repeats this is not a political protest album. "For me, these songs are not really political, but more a sign of the times," she tells the publication. "I see them as songs of hope, songs with strong messages, songs that take on a new relevance today." Read the full article here.
Dolly was great on Late Night With Conan O'Brien Friday night. She told several of her favorite stories -- such as losing a Dolly look-a-like contest, being asked not to sing "Me and Little Andy" at the Mirage casino in Vegas because the managers thought it was too depressing for their customers and being mistaken for prostitutes with best friend Judy Ogle when they were on their first trip to New York. Wearing the green tie-dye outfit from some dates on the tour, she performed "Me And Bobby McGee" from the new album. The show's other guest, Las Vegas star Molly Sims, said she fulfilled a dream by meeting Dolly and added that being from Kentucky, Dollywood is "like Hollywood" to the people from her neck of the woods. (And thanks to Paul over at Ultimate Dolly U.K. for telling me the show will air in Britain for Dolly's fans there Wednesday on the U.K. version of cable channel CNBC.)
The album has a strong debut Down Under in Australia, coming in at No. 6 on that nation's country albums chart, it was announced Sunday, although it wasn't high enough to land it in the top 50 pop albums tally there. We should learn of its U.S. debut position in a few days.
The CD is also doing well on legal downloads, too. I'm told it has been the No. 1 country album on Apple's iTunes service for several days, over the weekend standing as high as No. 13 for overall albums -- the only country title in their top 25. Thanks, Christian!
Don't forget that this week starts off with Dolly on Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Monday, followed by Showbiz Tonight on CNN Headline News Tuesday and Wednesday, ABC's The View Wednesday and a filming Tuesday of the syndicated Tony Danza Show to air Oct. 26. As has been previously reported, she'll wrap up the week Thursday with an 11 a.m.-1 p.m. CD signing at the new Best Buy Midtown in New York.
European Charts Updated Although it hadn't been updated for about three weeks, the European CMA singles charts returned over the weekend and saw Dolly's former five-week No. 1 of "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" with Roy Rivers falling another 27 places to No. 84. Get the CD featuring the track here.
Auction Reminder Also don't forget that the next auction to meet Dolly on her "Vintage Tour" starts here at noon Central on Monday. The auction, for two front row seats and meet-and-greet passes for her Nov. 4 Kansas City concert, ends at 5 p.m. Central Friday.
They're Coming To Dollywood The Providence Journal offered an interesting column over the weekend of one fan's pilgrimage to Dollywood. Read it here.
Oct. 15: Auction Details Revealed Ticketmaster released more information Friday on the next auction to meet Dolly. It will feature just one set of two front row seats to the show and two passes for Dolly's very exclusive meet-and-greet at the concert. Bidding begins here at noon Central on Monday and concludes at 5 p.m. Central next Friday and, as has previously been reported, is for her Nov. 4 Kansas City show. The listing doesn't state any benefiting charity, so there may not be one for this event. Previous auctions for the meet-and-greet passes have all supported either Dolly's Imagination Library program or Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Another Critic Falls For Dolly's 'Days' Yet another newspaper is offering glowing praise for Dolly's new CD, Those Were The Days. The Miami Herald on Friday gave the set three stars and noted that "rather than slavish imitations of the originals, Parton and her guests re-imagine and enliven oft-heard protest songs," adding that the disc ranks alongside her recent roots-inspired releases as among the best recordings of her career. The paper contrasts her collection with Martina McBride's covers album, Timeless, which hits stores Tuesday. That CD got only two-and-a-half stars, with the reviewer finding that while she's "finally applying her strong voice to worthy material" she unfortunately "hasn't the imagination or personality of Parton" to raise the project higher. It notes that Dolly joins her on "I Still Miss Someone" on the disc. Read the full review here. The Associated Press also offered its thoughts this week on McBride's album, calling it a "wonderful compilation of classics" and lauding the retro-country production style it entails. It also singles out Dolly's contribution, saying the cover of The Man In Black's tune features "more lilt than Johnny Cash ever envisioned." Read that review here.
TV Reminders Don't forget to stay up (or set your VCRs or DVRs) to catch Dolly on NBC's Late Night With Conan O'Brien at 12:35 a.m. Eastern Saturday morning if you're catching this update early enough. And as has been previously reported here, next week's promotional appearances for the new CD kick off Monday on Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and will continue with Showbiz Tonight on CNN Headline News Tuesday and Wednesday, ABC's The View Wednesday and the syndicated Tony Danza Show Oct. 26 (although her episode is filming on Tuesday).
Got Dolly? 'Radio Dolly,' That Is Would you be interested in a weekly Internet radio show of all Dolly music? If so, let Voice America Network know. Laura Mills-Alcott, who hosts a book talk show on the network, is soliciting listeners who would subscribe to such a service. The proposed show would be a weekly one-hour program consisting of Dolly music from all periods of her lengthy career. The show would be commercial-free and feature 15-20 tracks a week plus contests and a monthly listener-requests episode. You would be able to listen to it on Windows Media Player, Real Player, iPod and other media devices several times a week. You would have to subscribe, however, paying between 38 and 48 cents per week to cover production, song royalty and broadcast costs. If you believe you would be willing to subscribe to such a program, e-mail the network at Questions@booktalkradio.net and let them know. Only if enough fans are interested could such a program be offered. Thanks!
Dolly 'Opry' Top Choice According to Friday's Knoxville News-Sentinel, Dolly topped a recent survey by cable network Great American Country as the entertainer viewers most want to see perform on The Grand Ole Opry. Read more here.
Dollywood Festival Continues Dollywood's National Music And Harvest Celebration continues this weekend with performances Saturday by Mountain Heart, Guy Clark and Jerry and Tammy Sullivan and then shows Sunday by The Anchormen and Sunday and Monday by JD Crowe & the New South and Ricochet. The concerts wrap up Oct. 29. And a couple more galleries have been posted from the festival's kick-off last month with Dolly thanks to reader Amber. See those in that section of the site here.
Thanks For The Votes! This is your final weekend to vote in the BT Digital Music Awards, winners of which will be announced Tuesday. In previous years, Dollymania has ranked as high as close to No. 100 thanks to your votes out of the thousands of music-related Web sites available online worldwide. If you like what you see, please cast your ballot here or by clicking on the graphic below. Thanks to all who are supporting the site!
Oct. 14: 'Going' Gains On The Chart Dolly's single with Brad Paisley, "When I Get Where I'm Going" from his CD Time Well Wasted, gains six spots this week on the country singles chart, coming in at No. 32 in its third week, Billboard announced Thursday in the Oct. 22 charts. The CD which contains the track, along with one other Dolly appearance, falls three places to No. 11 country in its eighth week and is down four digits to No. 56 pop and comprehensive. In Canada, the album remains steady at No. 10 country. Her song with The Grascals, "Viva Las Vegas," re-enters the country singles sales chart for a 34th week, coming in at No. 10. George Jones' Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't, featuring Dolly on "The Blues Man," falls 11 places to No. 27 country in its fourth chart week. The CD also drops 54 to No. 180 pop, is down 61 to No. 190 comprehensive, loses three to No. 11 independent labels albums, and inches down one to No. 6 country in Canada but gains six spaces to No. 79 pop up north. In its second chart week, Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, featuring her version of "Little Sparrow," remains steady at No. 4 on the blues albums chart but falls off of the independent albums list, down from No. 44 the previous week. The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches and Highways, featuring Dolly on one cut, tumbles 11 to No. 66 country in its 11th week. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, with her cover of "Jolene," drops three to No. 14 in its 31st week on the bluegrass albums chart. Sara Evans's Real Fine Place debuts at No. 1 country and No. 3 pop on sales of 126,000 copies in its first week, while Gretchen Wilson's All Jacked Up slips one to No. 2 country and is down three to No. 4 pop in its second week. The American Idol finalists' cover of the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" loses three to No. 34 on the pop singles sales chart in its 26th week. Released Tuesday, Dolly's Those Were The Days should debut in the Oct. 29 charts which will be announced next week.
Next Backstage Auction Set Ticketmaster has announced the next charity auction for meet-and-greet passes to see Dolly backstage. These will be for two floor seat tickets and two passes to meet Dolly at her Nov. 4 Kansas City concert. Bids will be accepted here starting at noon Central time Monday. No word yet on when the auction will end, or which charity will benefit, although most of her previous auctions for backstage passes on this tour have been to help her Dollywood Foundation. Also, there's no word yet on whether the auction will feature five sets of two passes each, as most previous ones on the tour, or just one set.
Dolly Charms 'GMA' Crowd Dolly was gorgeous on ABC's Good Morning America Thursday. To get the crowd in the mood, those in the small studio audience -- both male and female -- were provided with blonde wigs to imitate the morning's guest. The show's hosts, especially Robin Roberts, gushed over Dolly, who performed her classic hit "9 To 5" and then "Imagine" from the new CD. For a couple of brief appearances early in the show, she wore the same outfit she had on at the media event at Dollywood's Harvest Celebration opening last month, and when she performed she had on the same costume as that weekend's Sunday afternoon concert. At the episode's conclusion, Dolly donated one of her personal Dollywood dulcimers -- which she said she had used to write songs and record demos -- and a photo to be auctioned off for the show's Hurricane Katrina relief efforts to assist Roberts' hometown of Pass Christian, Miss. She said everyone else who had appeared on the show's "Women Rule" concert series had donated guitars, and she wanted to be different. Read a note about her appearance from the show's Web site here. Don't forget to catch her Friday night on NBC's Late Night With Conan O'Brien. The show airs at 11:35 p.m. Central Friday/12:35 a.m. Eastern Saturday in most markets.
More Help For Hurricane And that's not the only help she's giving for the hurricane. Virgin Megastores and cMarket.com have teamed up for the "Rock 'n' Roll Relief Auction" to help survivors of the hurricane, and Dolly has donated an autographed "Vintage Tour" poster and autographed retro tour shirt for the auction. As of Thursday, there were yet to be any bids. The auction continues through 8 p.m. Eastern Oct. 31, and bidding starts at $25. Look at the item here!
More Dollywood Pics Posted Thanks again to Susan for sending in even more great shots of Dolly from her recent concerts at Dollywood. Additional galleries have been added to that section of the site here.
More Library Coverage The 75th county in Tennessee is gearing up to start Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, according to The Chattanoogan on Thursday, which reported here that Bledsoe County will kick-off its participation a week from Friday. Outside of Dolly's home state, Herndon, Va., has signed on for the free books program. Read more about efforts there in Leesburg's Times Communityhere. And The Daily News in Murfreesboro, Tenn., lauded the program this week, calling Dolly a "hero" in an editorial here and contrasting her outstanding efforts on behalf of children with what the writer saw as much less honorable attempts by closed-minded people around the nation to ban books with which they disagree from libraries and schools.
Stampede Sued Over Sex Allegation Dolly's flagship Dixie Stampede dinner theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is being sued over allegations that a former employee sexually assaulted a minor, The Mountain Press reported this week. According to the story, the unnamed girl's family filed a $10 million lawsuit last week claiming the 8-year-old child was molested while waiting to perform at the venue last November. Local authorities confirmed criminal charges have been brought against the accused molester, who is believed to have fled the country. A spokesperson for the theatre told the newspaper that they believe the charges are without merit and will "vigorously defend" the suit. Read more here.
Oct. 13: More Praise For 'Days' Those Were The Days is still picking up some positive spins from the nation's music critics. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says here that even though Dolly is calling it a "peace" album, that's just another way of politely saying "anti-war protest." Giving it a "B," the reviewer adds that Dolly's bluegrass-influenced arrangements work well with these songs, even something as psychedelic as "Crimson and Clover," and singles out "The Cruel War" as a highlight. Michigan's Pride Source notes here that the collection is "as timeless and timely as ever" and that Dolly doesn't "do cover songs," instead taking songs made famous by others and truly making them her own.
TV Reminder Don't forget to catch Dolly Thursday morning on ABC's Good Morning America, where she is expected to perform songs from the new CD in "GMA's" Times Square studio as part of the show's "Women Rule" concert series. One report says audience members have been encouraged by the show to dress as Dolly in tribute to her, but that claim could not be confirmed Wednesday. We'll have to tune in Thursday morning to see if it's true :) The appearance is the first in a two-week run of promotional stops in New York to plug the CD.
'Inside' Dolly Dolly appeared on The Insider Tuesday (or Wednesday morning in some markets, such as mine) for a "Yes or No" true/false session with Kathie Lee Gifford. Among the "trues:" that she met husband Carl Dean at the Wishy Washy Laundromat, that Dolly the cloned sheep was named after her and that she once lost a Dolly look-a-like contest. Among the "nos:" that her famous bosom is insured for $600,000 (Insider parent show Entertainment Tonight dispelled that rumor several years ago, but even so, several media outlets, including the usually-accurate ABC News just a couple of months back, continue to repeat the false information).
Library In The Press Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program was in several news outlets on Wednesday. The Herald News in Rhea County, Tenn., noted here that this weekend kicks off its participation as the 74th county in the state to sign up for the library, which is now being offered to three-quarters of the state's 375,000 children of eligible age and should be available to all 95 counties by year's end. Maryville's The Daily Times reported here that Blount County, Tenn., will start signing children up there for the program at this weekend's Foothills Falls Festival. The Chattanoogan said here that Hamilton County, Tenn., will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the program there on Sunday. And Ogden, Utah's The Standard-Examiner offered an editorial here urging parents to read to their children and calling Dolly's program there one of the key components to kids' future success in life. Active in more than 530 communities across 41 U.S. states and territories, the program offers one free, age-appropriate, hardcover book per month to every child birth to age 5 in a participating community whose parents sign up. It currently distributes more than 2.5 million books per year nationwide.
Oct. 12: CD Gets More Good Reviews Critics continued to have their say on Those Were The Days on the day it hit stores Tuesday. The Dallas Voice opined here that while the CD has "bright spots," too many songs don't lend themselves well to the bluegrass-inspired arrangements. The Orlando Sentinel, on the other hand, had the opposite thoughts, saying that other than a couple of numbers ("Crimson And Clover" and "Imagine") all of the tracks were originally anchored in folk music tradition when recorded in the 1960s and therefore a perfect fit for her bluegrass renditions. Its reviewer gave the collection four out of five stars, although the review here was not showing up online Tuesday evening, apparently due to technical problems. E-Online gave the collection a "B+" here. And the Associated Press called it "mostly appealing," singling out "Where Do The Children Play" and "The Cruel War" as stand-outs. Read that piece in The Detroit Newshere.
One More Gallery Thanks to Susan for sending in yet another awesome collection of shots from the National Harvest And Music Celebration, which have been added to that section of the site here.
Oct. 11: 'Days' Hits U.S. Stores, Not U.K.'s The big day is here, in America at least, with Tuesday's release of Dolly's 1960s-1970s covers album, Those Were The Days, but European fans will have to wait a while longer for the disc. Officials at Sugar Hill Records confirm they are still in negotiations for the album's release there following U.K. label Sanctuary's backing out a few weeks ago from plans to distribute it across the continent on Monday. Although a new release date has yet to be finalized, it is expected that it will not come out there until at least early 2006. However, many online British retailers will be accepting orders to import the collection from the U.S., so it should still be available to most fans across the pond. It was released Monday in Australia on Shock Records.
For those who just can't wait to get a listen, the folks over at AOL asked Dollymania to pass along that all week AOL Music is offering streaming audio of the entire CD. Click here to access. Thanks!
And positive reviews keep coming in. The Charlotte Observer notes here that while most cuts are superb, the reviewer doesn't think the originals of "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Both Sides Now" can be improved upon by anyone (the reviewer adds that the CD appears to have a "quiet anti-war" theme). The New York Times opines here that at first glance the song selections seem "a little beneath" an artist as talented as Dolly, but about half of the album is "sharper than you'd expect" thanks to that talent. About.com gives the collection five out of five stars, saying here that there's not a bad cut on the CD. And The Nashville City Paper offers a note about it here, calling it another "stunning" entry in her "run of exceptional tribute and concept works."
My friend Christian at Dolly Parton Central asked me to let everyone know the winners of his contest for the CD's release have been posted on his site. He adds that he'll have a new contest soon. (E-mail him here.)
Dolly On TV, 'Danza' Air Date Announced Dolly's promotional appearances to plug the album are also about to get underway. A second part of Kathie Lee Gifford's interview with her from August premieres Tuesday on the syndicated Entertainment Tonight spin-off The Insider (thanks, Chad!). This is followed by a concert appearance on ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday, NBC's Late Night With Conan O'Brien Friday and Comedy Central's The Daily Show Monday. Later next week, she'll tape The Tony Danza Show on Oct. 18 (although it will not air until Oct. 26), have a two-part story on CNN Headline News's Showbiz Tonight Oct. 18 and 19, appear on ABC's The View Oct. 19 and host a CD signing at the new Best Buy Midtown in New York at 11 a.m. Oct. 20.
CMT Giving Away Dolly Trip CMT is giving away a trip to Orlando to see Dolly perform at House of Blues there Nov. 26. One winner will receive roundtrip airfare for two, two nights at the Doubletree Club Hotel, two tickets to the concert, dinner for two at House of Blues and an autographed Dolly CD. Entries are accepted through 11:59 p.m. Central time Oct. 28, with a winner selected around Oct. 29. Entries are limited to legal U.S. residents age 21 and over, and you may only enter once per day. Click here to place your entry!
Dean Holiday CD Out And Dolly's album isn't her only product out on Tuesday. Billy Dean's holiday album, The Christ (A Song For Joseph), also hits stores that day featuring a duet with Dolly on the classic "Silent Night." (And next week finds the release of Martina McBride's Timeless with Dolly on "I Still Miss Someone.")
Latest Pics Special thanks to Michael for sending in a few shots from Dolly's August Philadelphia concert, which have been posted here, and to Dollymania photographer Harrell Gabehart for three more spectacular galleries from Dolly's concerts at the Dollywood National Music And Harvest Festival last month, including the shot at left. They've been added to that section of the site here. That section also has two new gorgeous galleries thanks to reader Susan.
Dolly In 'CW' The new issue of Country Weekly is on newsstands, and there's a good bit o'Dolly in it. Early in the issue, there's a shot with George Jones on stage. The caption discusses their duet of "The Blues Man" from his new collection Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't. Interestingly, it notes that a video is supposedly scheduled to be filmed, but the photo used was taken at the actual video shoot. Elsewhere, she appears in a shot with The Grascals as part of a full-page photo-essay of their opening up her Radio City Music Hall show in New York in August, and an interview of Jones (by his daughter) also discusses the duet and talks about why he was dropped from being her duet partner on "Rockin' Years." (And don't forget to enter to win your own copy of Jones's new CD from Dollymania and Klew Media here!)
Patty Talks Porter & Dolly What did Porter and Dolly teach a young Patty Loveless when they took her under their wing as she was starting out in the music business? Find out in a Q&A she did with CMT.com here.
Oct. 10: Critics Continue To Love 'Days' Raves continue to roll in for Tuesday's release of Those Were The Days, Dolly's bluegrass-inspired collection of 1960s and 1970s cover tunes. Over the weekend the San Francisco Chronicle gave the CD its highest rating, "classic," the equivalent of five-out-of-five stars. The reviewer singles out the "cheery" title track and "Me And Bobby McGee" as stand-outs, calling the overall collection "marvelous." Read the review here. And U.S. News And World Report over the weekend also praised the collection, offering: "It might sound cheesy to record an album of hits from the '60s and '70s, but if 'Those Were the Days' ($19) had to be a dairy product, it would be the creme de la creme." The reviewer says "Where Do The Children Play" and other tunes given the Dolly treatment are "positively addictive." Read more here. The only negative review I've seen yet came over the weekend from Rupert Murdoch's conservative propaganda machine The New York Post, which sometimes attacks products viewed as having liberal political undertones regardless of their artistic merits. That publication offers one-and-a-half stars to the project, saying: "When an artist as important and influential as Dolly Parton puts out an album as hokey as her new cover collection 'Those Were the Days,' you wonder if she got too close to the back end of the mule," and noting that it consists of "'60s protest and love songs" recorded with "questionable" results. Read that review here. In other news:
The New York Daily News on Sunday posted a great interview with Dolly about the CD, her career in general, her image and her future. She notes she'd love to record a blues album, a "proper" gospel album and a "Dolly-ized" collection of pop standards and said that she's continuing to record a collection of mountain songs with her family. Read the full story here.
This weekend's CMT Insider plugged the disc by playing samples of "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" and "Me And Bobby McGee" while showing images from the CD booklet. Catch a repeat of the program Monday at 11:30 a.m.
I'm told the new issue of Entertainment Weekly with Cameron Diaz on the cover features a Q&A with Dolly about the album, why she no longer performs "Me And Little Andy" and why she'll never pose nude. Thanks, Al!
Denver Notes And Photos A couple of readers started writing in over the weekend with recaps from Dolly's Thursday night stop in Denver, saying the show was phenomenal, although they wished she would have played longer. One fan noted that some attendees were a bit rude (those who scream out in the middle of Dolly telling a story or who stand and block those behind them from seeing the stage), but said one woman got close to the stage to reach Dolly, and when security tried to stop her, Dolly said for them to let her say what she had to say. She told her that her mother had recently passed away and asked if Dolly could sing "Yellow Roses" for her. Although it wasn't scheduled to be in the show, Dolly and her band played the song's chorus for the fan. And one audience member managed to get some great photos from the concert and sent them in for you to enjoy. They are available here. Thanks!
Another Contest Martina McBride has teamed up with entertainment site Music Today to give away a fantasy spa vacation, and they've asked Dollymania to help get out the word. Those who advance order her upcoming CD, Timeless, are entered for a six-day vacation package from Red Mountain Spa. Other prizes include I-Pods and limited edition red vinyl 45s of the album's first single, "Rose Garden." McBride's covers CD hits stores Oct. 18 and features Dolly harmonies on her version of Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone." Click here or on the banner below to enter.
Oct. 8: Brisk Tour Ticket Sales In Some Cities Although Dolly is on a brief break from the road, sales for several dates on "The Vintage Tour" are still strong. The tour resumes on Oct. 25 in Danville, Ky., where only seats on the far left and right sides of the theatre remain available on the back four rows from Tickets.com. And while several rows toward the back of the floor remain available at Ticketmaster for the following show Oct. 27 in Detroit, the Oct. 28 engagement in Chicago is getting closer to being a sell-out. Floor, mezzanine and loge seats at the theatre are all gone, leaving only the back balcony available.
Tickets went on sale Friday for two more dates on the tour: Nov. 28 in Clearwater, Fla., (at Ticketmaster) and Dec. 15 in Charlotte, N.C. (at the venue's Web site). Only the back nine rows or so out of the 37 at the Clearwater concert have seats remaining, meaning it's already three-quarters sold out. In Charlotte, a few seats were still available Friday night in the back of the main floor.
Terry Morrow of the Knoxville News-Sentinel on Friday published a column where he had spoken with Dolly about her L.A. show from a few days ago, focusing on celebrity audience members Reese Witherspoon, Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz. Read his story here.
Billboard Loves 'Days' The reviews are starting for next week's release of Those Were The Days, Dolly's new covers album. Billboard on Friday posted its take on the collection, saying her voice is "put to great use" on the songs and that they're recorded "with the same spirit heard on her recent bluegrass albums," three of which have collectively sold more than 600,000 copies, the reviewer noted. Read the full comments here.
A couple of readers wrote in Friday to tell me that Borders Books is offering a preview sampler of the CD for 49 cents which contains a $5 off coupon for purchasing the disc when it is released on Tuesday. Thanks, Lee and Brian!
Don't forget the album's release will be noted on CMT Insider this weekend, premiering at 1:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday.
Win George's New CD! If you have yet to get your hands on George Jones' great new disc, Hits I Missed And One I Didn't, and its amazing duet with Dolly on "The Blues Man," Dollymania and Klew Media are giving away a few copies to some lucky readers! Click here through Nov. 5 to enter your information for a chance to win. Thanks!
A Few More Photos Thanks to Jeremy for sending in a few additional shots from Dolly's National Music And Harvest Festival kick-off appearances. They've been added to the galleries in that section of the site here.
A Little Suggestion A reader suggested that I pass along an encouragement for everyone to request "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Dolly and Brad Paisley at their local radio stations. I agree it's a good idea to nudge folks sometimes, so here it is :) Call or e-mail your local stations and ask them to play the song. It's already in the top 40 on the country singles chart in just its second week, so if we all help, perhaps it will get propelled to No. 1! Thanks!
Oct. 7: Heading Toward A Hit "When I Get Where I'm Going," Dolly's single with Brad Paisley from his CD Time Well Wasted, continues its trek toward the top of the country singles tally, shooting up a dozen spots to No. 38 in its second week on the Billboard chart, it was announced Thursday in the Oct. 15 numbers. So far, it's Dolly's highest-charting country song since "I Will Always Love You" with Vince Gill made it to No. 15 a decade ago. The CD which contains the track (as well as another Dolly appearance on the comedy skit "Cornography") slips two to No. 8 country in its seventh week and is down six spots to No. 52 pop and comprehensive. In Canada, the album is down four to No. 10 country and falls off the top 100 pop list, down from No. 90 the previous week. In its third chart week, George Jones' Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't, featuring the Dolly duet of "The Blues Man," inches down one to No. 16 country and No. 8 for independent label albums. The covers collection tumbles 47 places to No. 126 pop and 18 to No. 129 comprehensive, but up north it gains two to No. 5 Canadian country and eight places to No. 85 Canadian pop. Making its first showing this week is Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, with its R&B cover of Dolly's "Little Sparrow." That disc debuts at No. 4 on the blues albums chart and No. 44 on the independent albums chart. The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches and Highways, with one Trio track, remains steady at No. 55 on the country albums chart in its 10th week, and Kenny Rogers's 42 Ultimate Hits, featuring "Islands In The Stream," falls back out of the 75-position country albums tally after logging a 44th week last week at No. 72. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, which includes a cover of "Jolene," falls four to No. 11 in its 30th week on the bluegrass albums chart. Debuting at No. 1 on both the country and pop albums charts is "Redneck Woman" Gretchen Wilson's sophomore effort, All Jacked Up, which moved 264,000 copies in its first week and contains a reference to Dolly (and her beauty) in one song, and also new to the chart is Wynonna's Her Story: Scenes From a Lifetime, which debuts at No. 2 country and No. 25 pop. The American Idol finalists' cover of the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" inches up three places to No. 31 on the pop singles sales chart in its 25th week.
Chuck Wagon Collaboration Detailed The Chuck Wagon Gang has revealed a little more information on their upcoming multi-guest-artist CD to celebrate the gospel group's 70th anniversary. Dolly is among several big-name guest performers who are slated to sing with them on the project, expected to be released in January. Dave Emery, bass singer and guitar player in the quartet, tells Dollymania that most artists are coming in over the next two months to lay down their vocals the project, Dolly will be among the last, most likely recording with the group in December (apparently her current tour and promotions for her new album are keeping her busy until then). They have tentatively selected "Down The Road" as the track on which Dolly is to perform. "We are quite excited and honored to have so many distinguished guest stars on the album," Emery said, adding how much he loved Dolly's performance of "I Will Always Love You" when he caught it recently on CMT's "100 Greatest Love Songs" countdown. "She can charm an audience like no one else," he noted. Thanks!
Dolly Attracts Huge Crowd To Festival The number of fans who experienced Dolly lighting up the crowd in San Francisco over the weekend has increased. Early figures had placed the audience at about 185,000 for the evening segment headlined by Dolly at Sunday's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, but The San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday in a profile of festival creator and funder Warren Hellman that police now estimate the crowd had swelled to more than 200,000 by the time Dolly took the stage. In related news, several artists at the festival signed an acoustic guitar to be auctioned off for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Along with Dolly, names on the instrument include Joan Baez, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs and Emmylou Harris. The guitar is part of a silent auction in conjunction with a hurricane relief fund-raiser concert to be held Sunday at the Digital Media Factory in Santa Cruz, Calif., according to The Santa Cruz Sentinel. Also, some wonderful shots from the concert have been posted on the site here courtesy Philip Liborio Gangi, including a larger version of the image at left. Thanks!
And more images from Dolly's appearances at Dollywood the previous weekend have been added to that section of the site here. Thanks!
In other tour developments, Dolly was scheduled to take the stage in Denver Thursday night before "The Vintage Tour" takes a break for her to promote Tuesday's release of the new album, Those Were The Days. The Denver New Times on Thursday offered a note about the show here. The tour picks back up Oct. 25 in Danville, Ky., tickets for which remain available (although not many are left) at Tickets.com. That show will be followed by dates in Detroit, Chicago and then Madison and Milwaukee, Wis., all of which are on sale at Ticketmaster.
Don't forget tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Eastern Friday for both the Nov. 28 Clearwater, Fla., concert via Ticketmaster and Dec. 15 Charlotte, N.C., performance at the venue's Web site. The Florida date had been on pre-sale for members of the venue for several days (selling more than half of the seats available), while Charlotte apparently offered an unannounced pre-sale through its venue Web site on Wednesday.
More Raves For 'Sparrow' Cover Yet another reviewer is heaping praise on Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise. The Illinois Times says: "Picking out highlights from an album so consistently brilliant is a fool's endeavor" but cites her covers of Dolly's "Little Sparrow" as one of the disc's best, turning her song into "a feminist cautionary tale that's funky, sinister, and improbably sexy." Read more here.
Win Some Dolly Stuff My pal Christian over at Dolly Parton Central asked me to let everyone know he's running a Dolly contest to win some cool prizes associated with the new CD. Visit his site and click on the "Those Were The Days" page for a contest. The first five people to e-mail him the correct answers to five Dolly trivia questions (between Friday and Tuesday only) will win prize packs.
Fun At The Park If you happen to be in East Tennessee this weekend, be sure to stop in at Dollywood for some great shows. As part of its continuing National Music And Harvest Celebration, bluegrass virtuosos Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver as well as former Dollywood performer Julie Roberts play shows at the park Saturday and Sunday. Gospel performers The Galloways take the stage Saturday, with Gold City singing Sunday. The festival concludes Oct. 29.
A Note Of Appreciation Mark wanted to give a "BIG thank you" to everyone who sent him photos of him meeting Dolly at last year's Huntsville, Ala., CD signing after he posted the request on Dollymania. He really appreciated it!
Oct. 6: Publicity Tour For CD Starts Soon Promoters for Dolly's "Vintage Tour" and next week's CD, Those Were The Days, this week confirmed she will be making several new media appearances in coming weeks to plug the album. In addition to the previously-announced stops on ABC's Good Morning America on Oct. 13, NBC's Late Night With Conan O'Brien on Oct. 14 Central/Oct. 15 Eastern and Comedy Central's The Daily Show Oct. 17, Dolly is soon to tape a spot for CNN Headline News' Showbiz Tonight, which is scheduled to air in two parts on Oct. 18 and 19. She will appear live on ABC's The View the morning of Oct. 19, and in the next two weeks she will also tape The Tony Danza Show, which will air toward the end of the month, and Extra, an air date for which has yet to be set.
Chuck Wagon Dolly Dolly will sing on gospel legends The Chuck Wagon Gang's 70th anniversary album, according to a story this week in Solid Gold Gospel. The publication reports that the band, which recorded its first song in 1936, will release the project, tentatively titled The Chuck Wagon Gang Celebrates 70 Years With A Little Help From Their Friends, in January. Those said to have recorded songs with the group for the disc include Dolly, Willie Nelson, the Oak Ridge Boys, the Gatlins, George Jones, Ricky Skaggs, Bill Anderson, John Conley, Merle Haggard and more. Read more here.
DVD Being Reissued The Nashville Sound, regarded by many as the "Woodstock" film of country music, is being re-issued on DVD, it has been announced. The film, taped during Fan Fair 1969 and released in 1972, follows several of the genre's legends, including a Grand Ole Opry performance of "My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy" by Dolly and a clip of her and Porter singing together on stage as well. It was issued on DVD for the first time three years ago by Pro-Active Entertainment, and this offering on disc is coming Oct. 18 from St. Clair Entertainment. Reserve your copy here.
Dolly By The Bay Dolly's San Francisco appearance is popping up a few places. The San Francisco Chronicle mentions her Hardly Strictly Bluegrass performance this week here, pointing out her wonderful version of "Me and Bobby McGee" and her quote: "The sun's hittin' my face. There's nothin' like bein' hit by God's spotlight." The San Francisco Bay Guardian puts her at No. 1 of this week's list of cool events, "The Mix," here. And reader Philip Liborio Gangi sent in a link to some awesome shots he took from the show. View them on his site here. Thanks!
Another Library Story The efforts of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program in Bedford County, Tenn., were profiled in the Shelbyville Times-Gazette this week. Take a read here.
Oct. 5: Two More Ticket Dates Set, Fla. Pre-Selling Well While Dolly was gearing up for Tuesday night's sold out show in Santa Rosa, Calif., word came on two of the final ticket sale dates for "The Vintage Tour." Officials at the Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, La., confirm that tickets for Dolly's Dec. 9 and 10 shows there are scheduled to go on sale Nov. 4. And Charlotte's Bobcats Arena announced tickets will go on sale for her Dec. 15 concert there at 10 a.m. Eastern time Friday. Tickets ($75, $55 and $45) will be available online at the venue Web site here or at House of Blues.com, in person at the venue box office or via phone at 1-800-495-2295. In other ticket news, a friend told me he ordered tickets for the Nov. 28 Clearwater, Fla., show today, and even though the nearly 2,200 seats are only on pre-sale to members of the Tampa Bay-area venue, they're already about half sold out. Tickets will go on sale to the general public for that performance starting at 10 a.m. Eastern Friday via Ticketmaster. Thanks!
Kathie Lee Talks To Dolly Kathie Lee Gifford interviewed Dolly from backstage at August's Radio City Music Hall concert, and the piece aired Tuesday on the syndicated Entertainment Tonight spin-off program Insider. A story based on the interview, and a 90-second streaming video excerpt from it, are available on Yahoo here. Thanks, Brian!
Transcript Posted The complete text of Dolly's remarks to the audience and Q&A with the press from the National Music And Harvest Celebration kick-off last month at Dollywood has been posted. It is accessible in that section of the Web site here, which also features a total of 29 individual photo galleries from the weekend's festivities.
Oct. 4: Stewart To Interview Dolly Dolly has scheduled her first-ever appearance on Comedy Central's "news" program The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, it was announced Monday. Dolly is scheduled to be the show's guest for its Monday, Oct. 17, program as part of her promotions for next week's release of Those Were The Days. The show premieres Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. Eastern with repeats throughout the next day.
The CD is also to be profiled on Saturday's CMT Insider as part of a look into the following week's new albums, the network revealed Monday. That show premieres at 1:30 p.m. Saturday with repeats Sunday and Monday.
Another Round Of Shots Some more images from Dolly's appearances at Dollywood have been added to those galleries here as well as a gallery of shots from backstage at her Los Angeles show this weekend, which are available here. Thanks!
More On West Coast Shows Dollymania started getting the first reports from San Francisco Monday, and fans say Dolly's appearance there Sunday was "flawless." Dolly was said to have "bounced" on stage in a turquoise dress before the crowd, described as "full of hippies, gay men, lesbians and families . . . Definitely a San Francisco group." There were apparently a couple of minor technical glitches, but Dolly had the audience in the palm of her hand, even joking that she could smell from the stage whatever it was they were smoking (joshing before "Crimson And Clover" that it wasn't clover she was smelling, and then before "Blowin' In The Wind" that the wind was blowin' her way, so she was probably getting high off of it). Additional readers also wrote in about her Las Vegas and Los Angeles shows from over the weekend, continuing to offer raves about each. From a couple of folks who attended both, they said the atmosphere at the LA show was much more lively, as the crowd's average age was a bit lower than in Vegas, but people from each show called it the best concert they've ever seen. At the Gibson Amphitheatre, I'm told the audience reacted the most to her new covers, while in House of Blues Las Vegas, their strongest cheers were for her older material. The stage was a bit smaller in Vegas, which caused her to bump into things a couple of times, and a small number of people in the crowd were too rambunctious (calling out things to Dolly at inappropriate times). "Coat Of Many Colors" was dedicated to a wheelchair-bound fan named Alva whom Dolly had met prior to the show, telling the audience how much she reminded her of her own late mother. And in introducing "Imagine," she again called for all people to love one another regardless of religion, race, sexuality or other differences and to seek a world without war, prejudice or hate. After a lengthy standing ovation and the peace signs at the song's conclusion, an obviously heartfelt goodbye made one attendee say, "It was as if she hugged the entire audience with her words." I'm told that a trio of tourists from London who were at the show were so impressed that they cancelled the second half of their trip, which would have taken them to Branson, and re-scheduled it instead to go to Dollywood, one reader related. A review in Monday's Las Vegas Review-Journal found the show entertaining and her performance wonderful, but the reviewer didn't care for her decision to record the cover songs for the upcoming album. Read that piece, and see a couple of photos, here.
The tour continues Tuesday with a sold out show in Santa Rosa, Calif., followed by Thursday's stop in Denver (tickets available at Ticketmaster).
Ticketmaster has added a page for Dolly's Nov. 28 Clearwater, Fla., concert, confirming that it will sell tickets starting at 10 a.m. Friday in addition to the previously-reported sale via the venue's Web site. Seats will run $50-$100.
Oct. 3: More Great Shots Posted From Dollywood Several additional galleries of Dolly photos from the National Harvest And Music Festival at Dollywood have been added to that section of the site here, including the image at left from Dollymania co-photographer Harrell Gabehart. Look for a few more galleries in coming days as well as a complete transcript of Dolly's remarks and media Q&A.
'Vintage Tour' Picks Back Up Dolly's "Vintage Tour" returned to the road Friday with a nearly-sold-out show at the Gibson Amphitheatre in the Los Angeles area. Readers who wrote in say the show was flawless. Although Dolly mentioned she was on medication to combat her recent illness, and she sipped water more often than usual throughout the show, she sounded great. The crowd was very warm, offering numerous standing ovations and singing and dancing throughout the concert. Even "These Old Bones," which she first performed in concert at Dollywood the previous weekend, remained in the set list. Celebrities in the crowd were said to include 9 To 5 screenwriter Patricia Resnick and Reese Witherspoon, to whom she dedicated "Marry Me" (the song appeared in the soundtrack to her film Sweet Home Alabama). Even GLBT cable channel Q Television was on hand to interview fans before the show, I'm told. Only one fan had written in about Saturday's Las Vegas show as of the time of this posting Sunday evening, and while he said he enjoyed the overall concert and she looked wonderful, he was disappointed by what he perceived as her reliance on pre-recorded vocals throughout the evening, but most in the crowd didn't seem to notice or care. (This update was posted prior to the time when her set was to begin at the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco Sunday evening, so there was no word yet on how that went.) Thanks to all of those who wrote in with their comments! The tour continues Tuesday with a sold-out performance in Santa Rosa, Calif., and then on to Denver on Thursday (tickets still available at Ticketmaster) before taking a couple of weeks off the road to do a few publicity appearances for the new CD.
Cover Gets Praise The Knoxville News-Sentinel over the weekend raved about Bettye LaVette's just-released CD, I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, which includes an R&B cover of Dolly's "Little Sparrow." The paper noted that the song "is taken from a bluegrass/folk weeper to a dark and cautioning blues" and proclaims about the overall project, giving it four-and-a-half out of five stars: "Soul didn't die after the 1960s; it just went into hibernation. Thankfully, LaVette has woken it up." Read the full review here.
See Warhol's Dolly One of Andy Warhol's portraits of Dolly is on display in a new exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. "Warhol Legacy: Selections From the Andy Warhol Museum" will be open through Feb. 20. The museum, at 17th Street and New York Avenue NW, is open 10-5 Wednesdays through Sundays (until 9 p.m. Thursdays). It is closed Mondays and Tuesdays but open on holiday Mondays. Admission is $8 adults, $6 seniors/military, $5 students and "pay as you wish" after 5 p.m. on Thursdays.
Opry Calendar Has Dolly A 2006 Grand Ole Opry wall calendar has been published, including a shot of Dolly from her 2002 appearance on the program. Take a look here. Thanks, Solomon!
Oct. 1: Latest Pics Available The next group of reader-submitted shots from last weekend's National Music and Harvest Celebration at Dollywood have been added section of the site here, such as the shot at left by Pepper Saucier, with even more to come in Sunday night's update! Thanks to everyone who has been sending in their photographs!
Tour Picks Back Up Although she had cancelled media appearances throughout the week due to laryngitis, Dolly's "Vintage Tour" was scheduled to continue Friday night in Los Angeles at Gibson Amphitheatre, Saturday in House of Blues Las Vegas and Sunday in San Francisco at the free Strictly Hardly Bluegrass Festival. The Orange County Register lauded her LA stop as Friday night's "Best bet" in town here, and Las Vegas City Life urged folks to head out Saturday to learn why Dolly is "really Nashville's Einstein" in a brief here. Any attendees at the show are encouraged to send recaps (and photos, if you have them) here. Thanks!
In ticket news, it has been announced that the Nov. 28 show in Clearwater, Fla., will go on sale via the venue's Web site here at 10 a.m. Eastern Oct. 7. Members of the venue may purchase seats now by phone and in person at the box office. Click here for information on membership.
'Days' Track Gets Noticed The availability of "Where Do The Children Play" from Those Were The Days leads off this week's Entertainment Weekly list of best tracks to hear online, calling it "her aching take" on the Cat Stevens tune. Read more here, and hear the song at Sugar Hill Records' main page.
Dolly Charms Larry Dolly was her usual bubbly self on CNN's Larry King Live Friday night. He wished her a happy 20th anniversary for Dollywood, and she wished him a happy 20th anniversary on his show. Interviewed for only half the episode, the two covered many topics including her new album (he asked if she was going political given she's recorded mostly anti-war songs, and she replied: "Oh, I'm not the least bit political . . . I just love these songs."), the upcoming Broadway musical adaptation of 9 To 5 for which she is composing the score, the Imagination Library, the tabloids and more. When asked about being named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress last year, she joked that it was a lot better than being named a "dead legend," and she seemed thrilled to hear how much Jessica Simpson had been praising her in recent interviews. She even mentioned that she should re-record her first hit, 1967's "Dumb Blonde," when King asked her about the song. The interview was filmed last week via satellite but didn't air until this week. If you're catching this update early enough, the show repeats at midnight and 3 a.m. Eastern on Saturday morning.
Library In Pacific Northwest Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, which distributes more than 2.5 million free books a year nationwide, has expanded into Yakima, Wash. Read about the efforts there from The Yakima Herald-Republichere and TV station KNDO here.
Fund-Raiser Succeeds I'm told the Knoxville Unites fund-raiser concert in East Tennessee for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts raised nearly $43,000 earlier this week. Although Dolly was unable to attend, she did appear via videotape at the event. Thanks!
Gospel Celebration At Dollywood The Southern Gospel Music Association's (SGMA) Hall of Fame will induct its new members Oct. 13 at Dollywood, according to Singing News. Although the park isn't open to the public on Thursdays this month, several shops and concessions will be open for guests of the SGMA the day of the ceremony, which includes performances at the Back Porch Theatre. Tickets are $50 each and available at 865-908-4040.
Vote For Your Favorite Paul over at fan page Ultimate Dolly UK has kicked off the "Best Dolly Site Of The Year Awards," where he's asking readers to vote for their favorite Dolly-devoted Web resource. Click here to cast your ballot through Oct. 31. Thanks, Paul!