Nov. 29: Dolly Blows The Roof Off Glasgow I was beginning to wonder if any Dollymania readers attended Dolly's concerts Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Glasgow, Scotland, but on Thursday I received messages from several fans who were there offering their recaps of the show and stories from Wednesday's local papers. I'm told that she didn't perform her amazing cover of "Stairway To Heaven" (although a couple of newspaper accounts said she did -- so maybe she did it at one show but not the other), but she did offer a new song about Scotland titled "Family Reunion" which told the story of the 17th and 18th century Scottish immigrants who settled the Appalachian Mountains where Dolly was raised, with one fan calling it "of the most haunting songs I've heard Dolly sing." The set list also included some new joke songs she's never recorded, including one about a woman bought sexy lingerie to turn her husband on, but instead he wanted to wear them -- and he looked better in them than she did! She closed with "I Will Always Love You." Although I'm told that the crowd was a little less enthusiastic than the wild audiences in London, she still had them eating out of the palm of her hand (which one fan noted is quite an achievement because Glasgow audiences are notorious for being "hard to please"). She was decked out in the pastel pink and green tight-fitting dress with a flower detail print and field of rhinestones she wore on The Grand Ole Opry. The Herald said "she could sing the words from a cuppa soup packet and make the contents sound as wholesome and downhome as her mom's cookin'. It's not just an evening with Dolly, either; it's a lifetime condensed into an hour-and-
three-quarters of reminiscing, joshing and singalonga Dolly hits." (Unfortunately, I couldn't find it posted on the paper's website.) Brief but raving reviews also appeared in the Scottish Daily Recordhere and the Glasgow Evening Timeshere (with a photo!). While we're discussing her European tour, London's The Observer recently posted a review of her concerts there last week which originally appeared in the paper's Sunday print edition calling her "a vision of joy." Read it here. And one final note: According to published reports, concert-goers experienced massive traffic delays on their way to Dolly's Wednesday night show, as discovery of an unexploded World War II bomb caused the main road to the concert venue to be closed. Thanks, Mark, Kirsteen and David! Dolly's sold-out European tour closes Friday in Dublin, Ireland.
Some Chart Changes The 20th chart week for Dolly's Halos & Horns sees it lose 13 spots to No. 48 on the Dec. 7 country albums chart, Billboard announced Thursday; the album had peaked this summer at No. 4. However, it remains steady for another week at No. 5 on the bluegrass albums chart and drops five places to No. 18 on the independent label albums chart. Both of her Christmas album guest appearances see some good movement for their fourth chart week: Patty Loveless' Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas maintains its No. 7 position on the bluegrass chart and climbs nine places to No. 50 on the country chart, while Selah's Rose Of Bethlehem moves up two notches to No. 16 on the contemporary Christian chart and one spot to No. 5 on the Heatseekers chart, but it falls nine places to No. 42 on the holiday albums chart. The Pinmonkey CD, with gorgeous Dolly harmonies on the band's cover of her classic "Falling Out Of Love With Me," falls three places to No. 67 on the country albums chart in its seventh week. The Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, which includes Dolly's "Marry Me," drops two to No. 11 on the soundtrack albums chart and 31 notches on the pop albums chart to No. 167 in its eighth chart week. Shania Twain's Up! debuts at No. 1 on both the country and pop albums charts with more than 874,000 copies sold in its first week.
Christian Chart Update Dolly and Dottie Rambo's duet of "Stand By The River" falls two places to No. 5 on this weekend's PowerSource top 20 Christian country music countdown, it was announced Thursday. The song had peaked earlier this month at No. 1 for two weeks.
And Up In Canada And in Canada, Kenny & Dolly's Once Upon A Christmas from 1984 inches up four more spots to No. 14 on the Nov. 28 country albums chart in its fourth week for this year.
Nov. 28: Cookin' With Dolly For the holidays, CMT is posting recipes from Hazel Smith's cookbook Hazel's Hot Dish, including Dolly's "Islands In The Stream" desert. Read it here. (It notes on the page that Hazel considers Dolly "the smartest person ever born in Tennessee.")
More From London London's Sunday Telegraph this week got around to posting online its mini-review of Dolly's concerts in London last week, which appeared in the newspaper's Sunday edition. The reviewer said Dolly "looked absolutely stunning" but that "the magic is in her songs and her performance." He called her talent "true genius" and noted her cover of "After The Goldrush" was "credible" and her version of "Stairway To Heaven" was "inspirational." Read it here. Of course, Dolly's sold-out tour played Glasgow on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, but I haven't seen any reports on those shows yet. The tour wraps up in Dublin on Friday.
Lucky Boy The Daily Times in Mayes County, Okla., on Tuesday published a nice story on a local Cherokee fiddler who has been chosen to play on stage with Dolly at her benefit concerts next month at Dollywood. Read it here.
Nov. 26: Belfast Reports Dolly's Saturday night concert in Belfast, Northern Ireland, got a rave review in Monday's Belfast Telegraph, quoting much of her stage banter and noting she performed a newly-penned song called "We Irish." Read it here. Also, UTV offered a recap from her appearance on Friday's Gerry Kelly Show, including her assertion that she plans to return to Northern Ireland next year for a tour with more dates in larger venues. Read it here. Dolly's sold-out European tour next rolls into Glasgow, Scotland, on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. (Anyone who can e-mail a recap and, if available, photos, please do so here. Thanks!)
Eagle News Tennessee residents may now support Dollywood's bald eagles when they drive. The state Legislature has approved a bill to allow the state to issue vehicle license plates honoring the bald eagle, with half of all proceeds to benefit the non-profit American Eagle Foundation, which is headquartered at Dollywood and features on the park's grounds the planet's largest sanctuary for non-releasable bald eagles and operates the largest eagle breeding program in the world. The specialty plates will cost between $35 and $70, and the first 1,000 who sign up will also receive a free limited edition art print. The remainder of the specialty plate proceeds will go to the state Arts Commission and the Department of Transportation. Orders will be taken Nov. 29-Dec. 7 at the Knoxville Center Mall.
Nov. 25: 'Halos' On British Chart Dolly's European tour is having an impact on record sales overseas. Halos & Horns returns to the top 40 of Sunday's British independent albums chart at No. 37, up from No. 42.
More European Press Glasgow's Sunday Herald had a great interview with Dolly in advance of her shows there Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Read it here. And the Belfast Telegraph had a small preview in Saturday's paper complete with an interview with the newspaper's winner for tickets to her concert before her show that night. Read it here.
Dottie And Dolly In Magazine Dolly and Dottie Rambo appear in the December issue of gospel magazine Singing News with a half page article about their duet, "Stand By The River." However, the conservative publication doctored Dolly's photo to conceal her cleavage! Also, TBN network aired a Dottie special Point of Grace over the weekend, complete with interviews with Stella Parton and Dolly's aunt Dorothy Jo Owens, as well a photo of Dolly and Dottie together.
A Request Pat attended Dolly's Manchester, England, concert this month, at which her children presented Dolly with a pink rose and white teddy bear with a halo. If anyone has photos from the concert of Dolly holding these items or of the children handing them to her, their family would like to buy copies. E-mail them here.
Nov. 23: Dolly Praise In Scotland's Press The Scotsman on Friday featured a lovely article on Dolly in advance of her concerts there next week, starting with one of the best introductions I've seen written about her. Fiona Shepherd writes: "The Country Music Hall of Fame describes Dolly Parton as possessing 'the heart of an artist, the brain of a computer and the spirit of a preacher.' For an alternative list of attributes, try bust of a glamour model, hair of a Barbie doll and nature of a saint. Country's first showbiz superstar would be happy to embrace both appraisals. The 56-year-old rhinestone-encrusted icon is comfortable with all facets of her appeal and appears to delight in all her achievements." The story touches on her great influence on other artists, her songwriting achievements, her "ridiculously broad fan base," history, films, return to roots music and more. Read the full article here.
Tour Continuing As Normal I'm told fans should not expect any major security changes which might impact their viewing of the remainder of Dolly's European concerts. Several fans wrote in to ask if they should be aware of any upgraded security measures for the remaining dates of her sold-out tour overseas following some fans who ran on stage and tried to hug Dolly at the end of her second London show. Paul Fenn of Asgard, the concert promoters who put the tour together, tells Dollymania: "It wasn't that big a deal. Probably half a dozen slightly inebriated fans ran onto the stage at the very end of the very last song - our security did exactly as they were meant to do which was in two parts; a) protect Dolly by taking her off the stage, and b) remove the interlopers from the stage. The security was unobtrusive but alert - and will remain exactly the same for the rest of the tour - no changes are planned. " Thanks, Paul! Dolly's tour continues in Northern Ireland Saturday night with a show in Belfast, followed by Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, wrapping up in Dublin, Ireland, on Nov. 29.
Australian Story Coming Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald is slated to feature a story on Dolly. The paper promoted it in Friday's edition noting: "Don't be fooled by the big bazoomas, Dolly Parton's no bimbo."
Dolly And Dottie On TV More news on Dolly and Dottie: I'm told that Total Living Network will soon be airing a two-part special on Dottie hosted by Charlie Daniels taken from the More Than Music video series which has a title in the works on Dottie. The first special doesn't include Dolly other than a photograph, but the second one will feature interview segments with her as well as in-the-studio footage of the two recording "Stand By The River" and the full-length video for the song. Others appearing will include Reba Rambo, Mark Lowry, Gary Chapman, producer Phil Johnson, William Lee Golden of The Oak Ridge Boys and Dottie's manager, Larry Ferguson. I don't have an air date yet but will pass that along as soon as it is confirmed. (Click here to find stations in your area which carry the network's programming -- dates and times will vary from city to city.) Eventually, a longer version of the special will air on the PAX network. The home video of the special should be released in February featuring even more Dolly than the broadcast versions, and a tribute concert to Dottie hosted by Barbara Mandrell and also showing the full "Stand By The River" music video should be out in March. On a less joyous note about the duet, PowerSource's Christian country chart for the week shows the song falling two places to No. 3 after a two-week reign at No. 1.
Nov. 22: More London News, Pics Another update on Dolly's London show and the filmmakers there: The ones interviewing fans were not connected with the BBC concert special set to air in January. Instead they were the same American crew which has been interviewing fans stateside for a documentary reportedly titled For The Love Of Dolly. As has previously been reported here, they were at the Dollywood season opening this year and other spots where Dolly was present to talk with fans. No word yet on when they plan to wrap up shooting or have the film released. Also, my pal Thea sent in some great shots of Dolly from the London stage. You may view them here! Thanks, Thea!
U.S. Chart Updates Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns falls off the Nov. 30 country singles chart after one week at No. 60, Billboard announced Thursday. (Everyone call your local stations to request it and let's see if we can get it back on the chart! Chris at Dolly Parton Central has a list of radio station request lines here, and there's a list of some on Dollymaniahere.) The CD itself loses five spots on the country albums chart to come in at No. 35 in its 19th chart week. It remains steady on the bluegrass albums chart at No. 5 and drops five on the independent label albums chart to No. 13. However, it falls back off the pop albums chart after last week's re-entry to No. 199 for a 10th chart week. Patty Loveless' Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas, on which Dolly and Ricky Skaggs provide harmony for the title cut, keeps the No. 7 position on the bluegrass chart in its third week and climbs five places on the country chart to reach No. 59, while Selah's Rose Of Bethlehem, with the Dolly duet of her "Once Upon A Christmas," continues to gain ground, moving up three notches to No. 18 in its third week on the contemporary Christian chart and seven spots to No. 6 on the Heatseekers chart, but it falls eight places to No. 33 on the holiday albums chart (although Billboard has been tracking holiday album sales for three weeks, this marked the first week the chart has been published; Selah debuted at No. 9 and fell to No. 25 for last week's numbers). The Pinmonkey CD, with Dolly harmonies on "Falling Out Of Love With Me," falls seven places to No. 64 on the country albums chart in its sixth week. The Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, which includes Dolly's "Marry Me," falls two to No. 9 on the soundtrack albums chart and 27 notches on the pop albums chart to No. 136 in its seventh chart week, while Buffy The Vamipire Slayer: Once More With Feeling falls off the soundtrack chart, down from No. 22 in its fifth week.
Still Moving Up In Canada, Kenny & Dolly's 1984 album Once Upon A Christmas moves up two spots to No. 18 on the Nov. 21 country albums chart in its third week of the annual appearance it makes on the chart up north.
Reviewer: 'McKlusky' Stinks Reviewer Rick Bentley of The Fresno Bee thoroughly trashed Dolly's picture Frank McKlusky, C.I. in Thursday's edition. He goes so far to say the lead actor, Dave Sheridan, is so bad in this one and his two previous films, Corky Romano and Bubble Boy, that there should be a three-strikes rule which prevents him from ever acting again. He chides Dolly's performance as "plastic" and the plot as not "worth mentioning," adding that its title should have been Frank McKlusky, P.U. (Hey, I'll admit it's not Citizen Kane, but the movie is not that bad. It's a mindless, silly comedy -- nothing to watch if you want intelligent comedic social commentary, but still an enjoyable if completely politically incorrect picture.) Read the full, awful review here.
Nov. 21: Dolly Concert To Air On BBC Several other fans have sent in some descriptions of Dolly's London appearances from earlier this week. Mika complained that the over-eager fans who jumped on stage almost "spoiled" the show (she said they appeared to be drunk). Thea said Dolly was "marvelous!" And Stuart and Stephen write in with the biggest news of all: the BBC has scheduled Dolly's concert to be aired as a television special on Jan. 6! They and others who wrote in said they were interviewed by a film crew (it is unclear if this was in connection with the BBC special or if this is a separate documentary project) asking why people love Dolly and why she has become so popular again in the U.K. They described the audience as "extremely diverse" and the atmosphere as "unbelievably electric." Dolly was described as appearing "quite moved" at the audience's reaction to her and was "really on form" with all of her jokes, especially when she confused some of the lyrics on "The Grass Is Blue" and began laughing. As with all Dolly concerts, the audience was very happy and no one wanted it to end. Their only criticism was that they thought she should have included more of her older material, since she hasn't played live in the U.K. for two decades, so many in the audience expected she would sing more of her hits from that 20-year period. They concluded with "Let's hope it's not another 20 years before Dolly returns back to the UK where her popularity has almost reached cult status." Also, Andrew, who sent in the first reports here on Dolly's European concerts, sent in a couple of photos he took at the shows in London. Although they're a bit blurry, you can tell it's Dolly! See them here and here.Thanks to everyone who sent in their news! Dolly's sold-out European tour continues Saturday night in Belfast, Tuesday and Wednesday in Glasgow and Nov. 29 in Dublin.
'Movin' On Up' Christian Charts Dolly's duet on "Stand By The River" with gospel legend Dottie Rambo continues to heat up the Christian music charts. The Christian Country Monthly singles chart for November sees the song shoot up 61 whole spots to No. 17, and the PowerSource bluegrass chart has it at No. 10, up 13 places from last week, and Dolly's own "I'm Gone" at No. 8.
Shania Talks 'Up' Dolly Shania Twain, who is hitting the talk circuit to promote her new CD, Up!, is still talking "up" Dolly. On David Letterman this week, he asked her who her greatest influence was, and she of course replied Dolly, recalling that she just met her for the first time after the CMA Awards this month and she was the "sweetest" person and her "hero." Thanks, Jonathan! Also, in the liner notes to the new album, she recalls the good old days of pop radio when she was growing up and they would play Supertramp, Dolly and the BeeGees all in the same hour. Thanks, Horacio!
Nov. 20: Overzealous Fans Disrupt London Show's End Dollymania is pleased to bring you the first news of Dolly's second London appearance this week, and although my contact overseas said it was great, he noted that she performed even better at Monday night's show. But there were a few problems on Tuesday. Although several in the audience were "really rowdy," they remained "friendly" with those around them. There was one group, however, of several young women in their late teens or early 20s described as "disruptive." About seven of these ladies jumped on stage as Dolly finished an encore of "Stairway To Heaven." I'm told Dolly and her security guards appeared to be taken by surprise. When one of the girls grabbed Dolly on stage to hug her, security quickly appeared and whisked Dolly off the stage. I'm told, though, that the evening's highlights were a "fantastic" vocal performance on "I Will Always Love You" and an "amazing" live version of "Stairway To Heaven." At Monday night's show, Dolly was reported to have been extremely exuberant, talking and joking with the audience much more than she did in Manchester last week, and the crowd was "electric." She dropped "Down From Dover" from the set list, replacing it with "After The Goldrush," but stunned the crowd with her surprise encore of "Stairway To Heaven," described as a performance that "just blew me away" by my contact at the show. The first published review of the show appeared in Tuesday's London Evening Standard, which would have been on newsstands there late, late Monday night U.S. time, but it was not posted on their website as of Tuesday night. The London Telegraph posted a review of Monday's show Tuesday evening, and while the reviewer loved her songs (even calling her version of "Stairway To Heaven" an "improvement on the original"), he didn't care for her "scripted" banter. Read the review here. (And look for some possible photos here in the next few days!) Thanks, Andrew!
"Graham Goes To Dollywood' Coming To America American viewers are in for a treat, as the cable network BBC America has scheduled Graham Norton's Graham Goes To Dollywood holiday special with Miss Dolly herself at her theme park to debut stateside on Dec. 16, according to commercials which began airing this week. I don't have an air time yet, but I'll pass it along as soon as I know one. The special (which I have seen on video and can tell you is bloody hilarious!) aired last December in Britain. Of course, the very campy Norton's evening talk show also airs on BBC America, premiering in the U.S. in July with an episode featuring Dolly. Thanks, Mike!
More Praise For Our Queen In England London's The Guardian on Monday offered its review of Dolly's Friday concert in Manchester, England, also giving it four out of five stars. The reviewer said she proved she "is a bigger icon than ever to country fans, pop fans, gay men, bra manufacturers and Dolly-ed up teenage girls who clearly find this 'Dumb Blonde,' as her 1967 hit had it, more fun than Madonna." Her power over the audience was called "effortless," and the reviewer said she "delivers her songs like stories told across the garden fence." Read the full review here. Her European tour continues Monday and Tuesday nights in London, Saturday in Belfast, Nov. 26 and 27 in Glasgow and Nov. 29 in Dublin.
Tops For Another Week Dolly and Dottie Rambo's "Stand By The River" takes the No. 1 spot for a second week in a row on the Power Source top 20 countdown of Christian country music. In announcing the feat, the show's producer, Robert Jason, noted: "Two weeks at the top of our chart -- and forever in our hearts -- a truly wonderful recording from the legendary duo of Dolly Parton and Dottie Rambo. Our audience coast to coast and around the world has embraced this inspired pairing." The song was also played last week for the first time on Paul Heil's Gospel Greats program on Nashville's legendary WSM 650 am.
CMT Letdown Although my cable company doesn't carry CMT (ugh!), I'm told that Dolly did not appear on the network's Inside Fame on Shania Twain, which premiered Friday. As was reported here, CMT had played up a supposed Dolly interview in the program in its press release and in it released a quote from Dolly which was purported to have come from the show. (I'm even told Dolly was shown in commercials which they aired to promote the program.) However, a fan wrote in to tell me he watched the whole thing and didn't see Dolly appear once. Thanks, Jaron!
Nov. 18: More From Manchester The Times of London on Saturday offered its review of Dolly's opening night concert of her first European tour in two decades, giving it four out of five stars. The article about her Friday night show in Manchester, England, started out saying: "Somewhere between the big boobs and blonde wig that have come to define Dolly Parton lies one of music's business brains. Parton was the first female successfully to blend country and pop, two decades before Sheryl Crow and Shania Twain. She became a brand before anyone knew what brands were and now, at the age of 56, she has staged a comeback as slick as Santana's." Her outfit was described as "an all-in-one trouser suit that not even Liz Hurley would dare to wear . . . powder blue, skin-tight and almost see-through, studded with rhinestones and slashed to her chest at the top and below each knee, where it turned into cascades of ruffles." As soon as she entered the stage, she received a standing ovation. The reviewer said "Train Train" and "The Grass Is Blue" set the night's mood, and "Shine" and "Little Sparrow" proved "she's as powerful a singer as she is a songwriter." Read the full review here. Also, Manchester Online has posted a review here (with a small photo, too!), calling it a concert in which the "emotional and melodic primary colours" of the music of her youth "looms large." And Andrew, who provided the recap published here Friday night, wrote in again to add that the audience was a bit older than at her U.S. shows and wasn't very enthusiastic for the first few songs, apparently rattling Dolly enough that she messed up the ending of "My Tennessee Mountain Home," finishing before her band did, but she joked about the mistake on stage. However, by about mid-way through her set, the audience was just as captivated and excited as those stateside were. Also, when she introduced the sped-up version of "Two Doors Down," she got a little tongue-tied, providing another laugh for the crowd before she sang it perfectly. He noted that these "off-guard moments" made the show "very endearing." Thanks, Andrew! The sold-out tour continues with London concerts on Monday and Tuesday nights, Belfast on Saturday, Glasgow Nov. 26 and 27 and Dublin on Nov. 29. (And anyone attending the shows is asked to please send reports and photos, if available, here. Thanks!)
Praise For The Songwriter On VH1 Friday night saw Dolly the composer get her due at the conclusion of VH1's 100 Greatest Love Songs countdown, with her own "I Will Always Love You" as performed by Whitney Houston taking the No. 1 spot. As Whitney sang the first verse of the classic song, narrator Isaac Hayes praised her version and added: "But you have to give credit first to my fellow Tennessean, Miss Dolly Parton, who originally wrote and recorded the song back in 1974." They then showed a classic clip of Dolly performing it circa 1976. Dolly said: "I wrote 'I Will Always Love You' at least 30 years ago. I didn't know really how special it was. I just knew it felt good to me. It was a real good singable song, and it had come out of a very serious place for me. But like I say, Whitney's was the one that went worldwide. And it most definitely was her record, but it was my song, and we both respected and appreciated that. I always said I will always be grateful to Whitney 'cause I said I need the money 'cause it costs a lot to look this cheap!" LL Cool J commented: "Love 'I Will Always Love You.' Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston, collabo'." And Lionel Ritchie noted: "Perfect song. Perfect casting, and the lyrics said everything. Just right on the money." Dolly also made one other appearance on the episode, talking about Journey's "Open Arms." She said, "That's just a beautiful song." She said it was so open and so singable, and then she sang a line of the chorus. (Boy, wouldn't that be a gorgeous number for her to include on her next album!) The VH1 website has a section here dedicated to the special, listing all 100 songs and providing brief audio clips of each one. It even features a photo gallery of some duos from the list (Kenny and Dolly are the first shot in that collection), and there's a section here offering the 10 best alternate versions of the songs from the show, including Dolly's "I Will Always Love You." About her song, the site notes: "Whitney's vocal bravura made it an anthem, but when the famed country songwriter first cut her most-performed tune (think lots and lots of weddings) it was a bit more demure. Dolly's crystalline warble gives just the right weight to the huggy/feely lyric." (The version posted, however, is Dolly's 1982 version, not the 1974 original.)
Another Community For The Library Another community has signed up for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program through the Dollywood Foundation. This time it's Monroe County, Tenn., where the local newspaper, The Advocate & Democrat, is sponsoring it in association with the Tennessee Press Association, Sweetwater Education Foundation and governor's office, the paper reported Friday. Newspaper officials had met with Gov. Don Sundquist earlier this year to discuss the program, it reported, and they received $85,000 from the governor's office to pay half of the program's five-year cost for their community. The paper's publisher said it is hoped that the press association and governor's office will be able to extend the program statewide (in fact, statewide expansion was a campaign promise of Phil Bredesen, who earlier this month was elected to succeed Sundquist). Read the full story here. And for more information on the Imagination Library, visit their site here.
Remember 'McKlusky' Don't forget that Dolly's first theatrical film in a decade, Frank McKlusky, C.I., hits stores on Tuesday! Get your copy of the film on DVD or VHS here! (And look for a review here in a few days!)
In Print I'm told that Dolly appears twice in the Nov. 25 issue of US Weekly. In one article, it discusses her appearance on the CMA Awards, and in the second there are comments on one of her outfits while visiting England recently. Thanks, Kent!
Nov. 16: 'Manchester, England, England . . .' Dollymania is pleased to be the first to provide details on Dolly's first concert in her European tour! I'm told that Dolly was as amazing as ever in the show Friday night in Manchester, England. Her set list was the same as her U.S. shows this summer, except for the surprising addition of "Down From Dover" between "Marry Me" and "Halos And Horns." She told the audience in introducing the song that she wanted to do one that appealed to the English fans and she'd been listening to find out which ones they wanted to hear. When someone shouted out for "These Old Bones," she noted that she hopes to release it as the album's third single and will soon film the much talked-about video for it. She did the voice of the old woman while on stage and received a large cheer. Thanks, Andrew! And Manchester Online posted an article prior to the show in which she talks about her music (she wants to do pop as well as country, noting that she'd feel "isolated and lacking accomplishment if I just did this acoustic music for the rest of my life" and also wants to have another dance hit), her large gay fan base, drag queens and plastic surgery. Read it here. Tickets as of Friday for all of her shows overseas were selling between $150 and $500 each on ebay. The sold-out tour continues with dates in London Monday and Tuesday nights; Belfast, Northern Ireland, next Saturday; Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 26 and 27; and Dublin, Ireland, on Nov. 29.
More VH1 Dolly On Thursday's installment of VH1's 100 Greatest Love Songs, Dolly showed up three times. First, she talked about Madonna and her song "Crazy For You," saying: "She is so smart and so talented. A lot of people, you know, take her, you know, just the way she looks in her songs. They don't really take her seriously as a writer. I think she's great, and I think that's a great song. I love that song." Then, about Willie Nelson and his version of "Always On My Mind," she explained: "He's just such an individual in the way he phrases. He just kinda took it and made it sound like a completely different song." At the end of the episode, she talked about John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John's "You're The One That I Want." She sang the title line from the song and said how much she loved how John's voice went up on that line, adding, "And they're so cute together." Her "I Will Always Love You," as performed by Whitney Houston, will close Friday night's show (which starts at 10 p.m. Eastern) as the No. 1 greatest love song of all time.
Another Dolly Auction Dolly has donated an autographed dulcimer for a Boy Scout troop's silent auction next month. Tickets will be on sale Saturday at the Franklin, Tenn., Wal-Mart Supercenter for the 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 7 event at Downtown Presbyterian Church on Main Street. Other items up for auction for Franklin's Troop "Lucky 13" include items autographed by the Tennessee Titans. Read a story here.
Nov. 15: 'Hello God' Debuts On Chart Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns debuts on the Nov. 23 country singles chart, Billboard announced Thursday! The Sept. 11th-inspired song which she performed on the CMA Awards comes in at No. 60 on the 60-position chart and marks Dolly's first return to the singles chart for a new song in four years, when "Honky Tonk Songs" topped out at No. 74 -- before the magazine cut the 15 bottom positions from the chart -- and her first chart appearance since 1984's "Winter Wonderland/Sleigh Ride" went to No. 70 in a Christmas 1998-1999 re-issue. It is her highest chart appearance since the Vince Gill duet on "I Will Always Love You" went to No. 15 in 1995. It marks her 102nd song to chart on the country side and 107th single to reach any of the Billboard charts. (So everyone needs to keep calling their local radio stations to get it aired more so it can climb up the charts!) The CD itself doesn't jump as high as I expected it would due to post-CMA sales, but its 21-point leap to No. 31 on the country albums chart in its 18th chart week was due to the largest sales increase of the week out of all country CDs, earning it the "Pacesetter" distinction on the chart. Over on the independent albums chart, its 31-notch increase to No. 8 was the largest of all indie label albums, giving it the "Greatest Gainer" honor for that chart. The album remained steady at No. 5 on the bluegrass chart, and as was reported here Wednesday night, re-enters the pop albums chart at No. 199 for a 10th chart week there. Patty Loveless' Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas, on which Dolly and Ricky Skaggs provide harmony for the title cut, loses one spot on the bluegrass chart in its second week to come in at No. 7 and six places on the country chart to reach No. 64, while Selah's Rose Of Bethlehem, with a new Dolly duet of her "Once Upon A Christmas," gains five notches to No. 21 in its second week on the contemporary Christian and remains steady at No. 13 on the Heatseekers chart. The Songcatcher soundtrack, with the Dolly duet "When Love Is New," falls off the bluegrass albums chart again, down from No. 14 its 13th chart week. The Pinmonkey CD, with Dolly harmonies on her "Falling Out Of Love With Me," falls 13 places to No. 57 on the country albums chart in its fifth week and drops off the Heatseekers chart, down from No. 26. And on the other two Dolly-related soundtracks, both in their sixth chart weeks: Sweet Home Alabama, which includes Dolly's "Marry Me," falls two to No. 7 on the soundtrack albums chart and 34 notches on the pop albums chart to No. 109, while Buffy The Vamipire Slayer: Once More With Feeling (Dolly's Sandollar Television co-produces the series) loses five on the soundtrack chart to reach No. 22.
Christmas In Canada And up in Canada, Kenny & Dolly's 1984 album Once Upon A Christmas moves up 37 spots to No. 20 on the country albums chart in its second week of the annual appearance it makes on the chart up north.
Dolly Has Landed Dolly has arrived in Europe for her seven-date, five-city tour of England, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland, which kicks off Friday night in Manchester, England. ITV News posted a story Thursday afternoon about an address she made that morning to a government-sponsored skills fair in town convened to discuss the importance of education. Known across America for her blossoming literacy program, she told those gathered at SkillCity: "Many of my relatives had little or no education. My own father was unable to read or write. I have always wondered what he could have been had he been able to, since he was one of the smartest people I have ever known. Isn't it more embarrassing not knowing how to read and write than it is to be learning in this day and age? You're never too old to learn. Get on with it - you can do it!" Read the full story here. (And anyone attending the show is asked to please send reports and photos, if available, here. Thanks!)
Library in Georgia And speaking of her Imagination Library literacy program, the Hartwell Sun in Hartwell, Ga., announced on Thursday that the program has come to their town as well, with 210 children already signed up. The project, which provides one free book per month to every child from birth to age 5 whose parents sign up in a participating community, is now active in more than 180 different communities across 25 states and expects to distribute more than 1 million books to children in 2003. Read the story here.
And More Coverage! Continuing this storyline, the Hanover Evening Sun in Pennsylvania offered a nice feature story about some kids who've enrolled in the program there. Read it here.
VH1 Recap If you missed Tuesday night's installment of VH1's 100 Greatest Love Songs featuring Dolly, it will be repeated many times over the next week or so. In separate interviews, she and Kenny (and songwriter/producer Barry Gibb) talked about their duet "Islands In The Stream," which came in at No. 80. They showed a clip of them performing it on CMA Awards and several still photos of them together and apart. India.Arie said it was one of those songs that it was such a treat to hear when it came on the radio unexpectedly. Dolly was also interviewed about Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," which was featured later in the episode, saying that it is a love song that's is done in the band's signature larger-than-life style featuring some "great" guitar playing. It is scheduled to be repeated at 7 p.m. Eastern Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday, noon Sunday and 4 p.m. Tuesday. On Wednesday's episode, she praised Barry Manilow's "Mandy" (one of her all-time favorites that when she hears it in the car, she sings along and turns the radio up so loud on the chorus that it frizzes her hair), Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart" (she loves Toni's voice, thinks it's one of the greatest vocal performances of all time and considers the title one of the best she's ever heard) and Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes' "I've Had The Time Of My Life" (saying, "That's another one of those songs I just sing at the top of my lungs. You know, I think I can sing just as good as they can, in the shower or in the kitchen!"). I missed the episode which originally aired on Monday and haven't caught a repeat of it yet, so I don't know if she was interviewed on that one, and Thursday night's show hadn't aired yet as of the time of this update. Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You," written by Dolly in 1973, is the show's No. 1 hit, so it will be featured at the end of Friday's 10 p.m. episode. (Also on Tuesday's show, narrator Isaac Hayes selected the song as his pick for the most popular karaoke love song of all time.)
Dolly And Sinead? In an interview in the Nov. 26 issue of The Advocate, Irish singer Sinead O'Connor mentions that she'd love to do a country album. When the interviewer replies with surprise, she responds that country music was "huge" when she was a child in Ireland and that she loves "old country music." The interviewer then notes: "Dolly Parton is on Sugar Hill Records, a sister company of Vanguard Records, your new label -- any chance of collaboration?" She answers: "God, I love her! I'd love that. I'm dying to meet her." (You may recall, as was reported last month, O'Connor is one of the handful of artists which Sugar Hill announced had "expressed initial interest" in performing on the label's upcoming tribute to Dolly, who herself has said she may sing on some of the cuts, so that would give them a definite opportunity to collaborate.)
On The 'A-List' And although the film got rotten reviews and low attendance while in limited release earlier this year in Florida, The Washington Times listed Frank McKlusky, C.I., which hits stores on Tuesday, in its weekend section as one of next week's releases featuring "A List" stars (namely Dolly, Randy Quaid and Dave Sheridan). Read the story here and reserve your copy of the film on DVD or VHS here!
Nov. 14: CMA To Result In Chart Upswing The anticipated sales increases associated with performing before a national television audience at an awards show is coming for Dolly's Halos & Horns when Billboard releases its Nov. 23 charts on Thursday, the first one to reflect post-CMA Awards purchases. Rolling Stone.com reported Wednesday night that the album returns to the magazine's 200-CD pop albums chart at No. 199, marking its 10th week on that chart. The CD has been missing from the pop side of the charts for nine weeks; it peaked at No. 58 pop and No. 4 country. Based on its pop position, it should jump up on the country albums chart to somewhere between No. 20 and No. 25, compared to No. 52 in the Nov. 16 list for its 17th chart week.
If You Missed It The First Time . . . The TRIO cable network, owned by USA Networks, has begun to air repeats of classic episodes of Late Night With David Letterman, and a Dolly appearance from April 1989 is scheduled to be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 29.
More Library Press Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program expansion into Hanover, Penn., got a little more press Wednesday with a story in the York Daily Record. The story notes that the school district's superintendent learned of the program after hearing Dolly talk about it at the American Association of School Administrators national conference in February (Dolly was present at the convention to receive one of the organization's top honors, the Galaxy Award, for her efforts with the literacy program) and successfully convinced a local educational foundation to sponsor it. Read the full story here.
Nov. 13: Christmas At Dollywood, Looking To Summer Dollywood's annual ChristmasFest kicked off Saturday, featuring a special showing of "A Century of Santas," a $1 million collection of artwork tracing the evolution of Coca Cola's Santa advertisements, and "'Twas The Night Before Christmas," a new original holiday production. Each evening visitors may view a new Parade of Lights, as well as the 3 million bulbs which adorn the park. The "Christmas In The Smokies" show returns this year, as well as the living nativity, the Kingdom Heirs' holiday program, the Carol of the Trees, Santa's Giant Workshop and the Holiday Fantasy Forest. Smoky Mountain Christmas events continue through Dec. 30 at the park, highlighted by Dolly's sold out annual benefit concerts Dec. 13 and 14. Visit dollywood.com for more information. And looking forward to next year, it was announced Tuesday morning that summer 2003 will see the South's largest children's festival come to Dollywood with the new Kidz FunFest June 20-Aug. 10. Dolly herself will kick off the event with Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales, and the vegetable duo will headline their own show at the park for the seven-week celebration. There will also be a extreme sports show with stunt skateboarding, roller blading and BMX bike racing as well as street performances. In a press release, Dolly said: "I love kids. I was never able to have any of my own, so I kind of feel a special connection to all children. Things are so much bigger and brighter when seen through the eyes of a child, and our new Kidz FunFest at Dollywood is going to be the biggest you'll find anywhere. We'll have all kinds of fun and exciting things for kids whether they're three or ninety-three. Families are really going to love this." Read the full press release at The Chattanoogan.comhere.
Another Chart The Country Gospel Connection monthly chart of country gospel songs based on actual airplay has been released for November, and Dolly and Dottie Rambo's "Stand By The River" debuts at No. 2, it was announced this week!
Nov. 12: 'Straight Talk' Coming To DVD Dolly's 1992 Hollywood Pictures film Straight Talk will hit DVD shelves in May, Buena Vista Entertainment has announced. According to DVDFile.com, the title was one of several dozen announced by the Disney-owned company on Friday as coming out in 2003. The current release date for the film is May 6, and it is expected to be priced at about $20. Thanks, David! This will mark the seventh Dolly-starring film to come out on DVD. Of course, as Dollymania was the first Dolly site to report, her 2002 film Frank McKlusky, C.I. will be released on DVD and video next week and 1982's The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas comes out on DVD for the first time on Jan. 7. Previous DVD releases include the 1999 tele-film Blue Valley Songbird, 1996 tele-film Unlikely Angel, 1989 blockbuster Steel Magnolias and 1980 blockbuster 9 to 5. (Now we've just got to wait for 20th Century Fox to schedule Rhinestone out on DVD!) Other items available on DVD which feature Dolly appearances include the 1972 documentary The Nashville Sound, a performance compilation called Country Legends, the documentaries Bill Monroe: The Father of Bluegrass and Chet Atkins: A Life In Music, the 1999 "mockumentary" Jackie's Back! and an animated Dolly as a supporting character on The Magic Schoolbus Holiday Special. (And there's still no word on when the 3-DVD collection Dolly Parton And Friends, originally scheduled for release more than a year ago before its unexplained delay, will ever come out.)
UK Readers: Bid On Dolly Trip Wednesday! I received a little more information on Dolly's participation in the BBC Children In Need telethon for children's charities. Her contribution is one auction item -- a two-day vacation from England to Dollywood (airfare included) in December complete with tickets to her benefit concert, autographed guitar and a photograph of her signing it. The item will be auctioned off at 8 a.m. Wednesday on the Wake Up To Wogan program on BBC Radio 2. To take part on-air, call 0500 288 291. For more information, click here. Thanks, Mark!
Download 'Hello God' Sugar Hill Records has posted a Windows Media download of Dolly's new single, "Hello God" from Halos & Horns, online. You may click here to access the song (although overseas readers may be unable to download it). Thanks, Rob!
More Dolly-Dottie Praise Some radio personality quotes have been coming in praising Dolly's duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," which as was previously reported here hit No. 1 Sunday on the PowerSource Top 20 countdown of Christian country music syndicated to 50 radio stations across America. Randall Hamm, of WFLQ's Gospel PD in French Lick, Ind., notes: "Too long we DJ's have been 'Standing By The River' waiting for new music from Southern Gospel's first lady of song Dottie Rambo. Well friends, the drought is over. Dottie has teamed up with Country's first lady of song to sweep us off our feet and into the river. 'Stand By The River' is Dottie's first solo release in over a decade. So DJ's and friends, be swept off your feet as my listeners have. Add 'Stand By The River' to your playlist and prepare to be flooded with requests!" And Paul Heil, host of The Gospel Greats radio program, agrees, saying: "Dottie Rambo never put more into a song, lyrically or vocally, and 'Stand By The River' was an excellent choice for her duet with another music legend (and admirer), Dolly Parton. Welcome back, Dottie!"
Dolly On Shania CMT issued a press release Monday about the new Inside Fame: Shania Twain episode premiering at 8 p.m. Friday on the cable network. As was previously reported here, Dolly is interviewed on the show. Other interviewees include Faith Hill and Melissa Etheridge. In the press release, Dolly is quoted from her interview saying about Shania: "You can be a woman and you can get out there and do your thing and stand up for what you believe in and stand behind your talent, and just let it go. She's great." (P.S. Shania told the Canadian Press news service that meeting Dolly after last week's CMA Awards was one of the most memorable moments of her career, proclaiming: "She's my absolute hero!")
Nov. 11: Imagination Library To Pass Million Mark in '03 Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program is now operating in 180 different communities across 25 states shipping 70,000 books per month, according to new statistics. The program, administered by the Dollywood Foundation, expects to ship more than 1 million books in 2003, said the foundation's director, David Dotson. The new figures were featured in a recent article in the Hanover Evening Sun about the program coming to Hanover, Penn., starting Wednesday. The Imagination Library provides one free book per month to all children from birth to age 5 in a participating community whose parents sign up. The program in Hanover will be paid for by Hanover Foundation for Excellence, a non-profit collaboration between the local school district and area businesses. Read the full story here.
Dolly Helps Out I'm told that Dolly is participating in England's annual BBC telethon Children In Need, which raises an average of 20-25 million pounds each year for children's charities. Dolly has donated a trip to Dollywood as well as an autographed guitar for the event. Thanks, Mark!
Dolly-Dottie Duet On Another Chart The Dolly and Dottie Rambo duet "Stand By The River" is continuing to make headway on several Christian music charts. The God's Country chart of international Christian country, country gospel and Southern gospel music overseas has been released for November, and the song debuts at No. 9.
Nov. 9: More CMA Praise The London Times on Friday praised Dolly's CMA performance. In an article focusing on the rivalry between Shania Twain and Faith Hill as the night's divas, it was reported: "Yet in the event both reigning queens were upstaged by country music's grand dame, Dolly Parton. She wasn't even up for an award and ten years ago her career seemed to be washed up. She didn't have a record deal and couldn't get played on country radio. So she returned to her bluegrass roots and has enjoyed an artistic renaissance with a series of deeply traditional, self-recorded albums. Her performance brought the house down. 'Thank heavens for Dolly. The rest has become nothing more than a pop show,' said Bucky Baxter, a top country session musician who played in Bob Dylan's band for eight years and now owns his own Nashville studio, where he's producing the debut solo album from the former Catatonia singer, Cerys Matthews." British viewers will get a chance to see Dolly perform "Hello God," as the awards show will be broadcast on BBC2 at 11:35 p.m. Saturday. Read the full story here.
Diva To Diva A reader from the D.C. area tells me that it was reported on one of their local country stations Friday that Shania got her wish. The diva hosted the Mercury Records after-party following the CMA Awards, and not only was Carolyn Dawn Johnson able to meet her personal idol, Shania, Miss Twain herself got the opportunity to finally meet her idol, Dolly. You may recall that in 1999 when Shania won Entertainer of the Year, she said Dolly was the biggest influence of her career and she so wanted to meet her, but they never got the chance to get face to face until this week. Thanks, Stephen!
More Of The Interview Scotland Today has posted part two of its interview with Dolly, which aired on the television program Friday. You may access it here. Thanks, John!
Ride With Dolly Got three grand and want a van reportedly owned by Dolly? Well a guy in Tennessee is auctioning off a 1979 RV van he says Dolly owned. He's got a title for it with Carl Dean's name and address and an old State Farm Insurance card for Carl and Dolly Dean. Take a look here.
Library Comes To Indiana Greg in Connersville, Ind., e-mailed me today to say their local newspaper reported that Dolly's Imagination Library is coming to his home in Fayette County in a partnership between the Dollywood Foundation and Community Education Coalition. He says this marks the first community to participate in Indiana, and he and his wife are going to go right out and sign up their son, Gavin. Thanks, Greg!
Holiday Dolly A re-issue of Dolly's gold holiday album, Home For Christmas, has been added to the list of Sony/Columbia recordings the label is re-releasing on Nov. 26. Get your copy here.
Nov. 8: CMA Press, Pics Dolly got several mentions in the press Thursday in coverage of the CMA Awards, most just noting that she sang "Hello God" and inducted this year's Hall of Fame honorees. However, Chet Flippo in his weekly CMT.com column (here) praised: "Dolly Parton showed the youngsters how a true professional works a song and a crowd." And the Dallas Morning News said: "Country legend Dolly Parton, backed by a huge choir, was mesmerizing during 'Hello God.'" Thanks, Mike! There are also several great pics online of Dolly at the show. (Photo at left by Jim Hagans. Image provided by Country Music Association. Used with permission.) Associated Press photos are available from Yahoo News here, here and here. (Read their Launch.com brief on Dolly and the Hall of Famers here.) And shots from The Tennessean are available here and here. I'm also told that several fans have heard "Hello God" on their local radio stations. For example, Cincinnati-area fans Chad and Lynette tell me two stations there are airing it regularly, and the DJs on one said she and Martina McBride gave the best performances of the evening. Thanks, guys! So everyone needs to call their local stations and request the song today! Let's get Dolly back on radio!
Patty, Selah Debut On Billboard Positions for the Nov. 16 Billboard charts came out Thursday, and there was a lot of action. Dolly's Halos & Horns drops five spots to No. 52 in its 17th chart week on the country albums list. The CD, which had peaked at No. 4 country and No. 58 pop, remains steady at No. 5 on the bluegrass albums chart but drops one on the independent label albums chart to No. 39. Patty Loveless' Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas, on which Dolly and Ricky Skaggs provide harmony for the title cut, debuts at No. 6 bluegrass and No. 58 country, and Selah's Rose Of Bethlehem, with a new Dolly duet of her "Once Upon A Christmas," debuts at No. 26 contemporary Christian and No. 13 on the Heatseekers chart. The Songcatcher soundtrack, with the Dolly duet "When Love Is New," stays at No. 14 on the bluegrass chart for its 13th chart week. The Pinmonkey CD, with Dolly harmonies on her "Falling Out Of Love With Me," falls four places to No. 44 on the country albums chart in its fourth week and drops five spots to No. 26 on the Heatseekers chart. And on the other two Dolly-related soundtracks, both in their fifth chart week: Sweet Home Alabama, which includes Dolly's "Marry Me," falls two to No. 5 on the soundtrack albums chart and 18 notches on the pop albums chart to No. 75, and Buffy The Vamipire Slayer: Once More With Feeling (Dolly's Sandollar Television co-produces the series) loses four on the soundtrack chart to reach No. 17 and drops off the pop albums chart, down from No. 195.
Scotish Interview Online John Kilbride, an online reporter for the television program Scotland Today, contacted me and asked if I would pass along that a Dolly interview aired on their show in Scotland on Thursday afternoon. You may access a six-minute Real Player version here. Thanks, John!
Dolly Re-Issues Coming Sony will be getting some Dolly back on the market later this month, it has been announced. The label will on Nov. 26 re-issue three of Dolly's most popular albums from her time on its Columbia label in the late '80s and early '90s. While all three discs have been out of print for several years, many larger retail outlets still had a copy or two available for purchase (and just about all of the major online stores still had it in stock), but they are set to come out this time at the "budget" price of around $8 each. The titles are her 1989 gold album White Limozeen, her 1991 platinum release Eagle When She Flies and her 1993 platinum release Slow Dancing With The Moon. Click on each title to advance order.
Dolly In Warhol Exhibit As I expected, and just now received confirmation, at least one of Andy Warhol's Dolly works is included in an exhibit which opened Thursday at Nashville's Parthenon. The show remains open through Jan. 4 and also includes portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali, the Campbell's Soup cans and much more.
More Library Press The Springfield News-Leader in Missouri offered an interesting story Thursday on an education day at a Branson elementary school, complete with singing cowboys in a horse-drawn wagon from the Dixie Stampede delivering books to first and second graders courtesy of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. Read it here.
Dollywood Passes On Sale Now 2003 Season Passes for Dollywood are now on sale at 2002 pre-order rates, it was announced this week. Visitors who sign up for the "Early Bird Special" will also get a $15 discount on each set of three passes purchased as well as a Bring A Kid Free coupon, free shipping on passes, Bring A Friend Free coupon, Bring A Friend At Half Price coupon, 2-for-1 game coupon, vacation coupon booklet and admission into the exclusive "sneak peak weekend" March 29 and 30. Passholders also receive discounts on Showcase Of Stars concert series tickets, Dollywood food and merchandise, free parking, advance purchase opportunities for Dolly's annual benefit concerts at the park and discount admissions to Silver Dollar City, Celebration City and Whitewater in Branson as well as Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta, all Dixie Stampede dinner theaters, Biltmore Estates and the Knoxville Zoo. Gold season passes (which have larger discounts) are $85 per person child or adult, regular adult season passes are $58 each, and regular children's season passes are $45. Gold passes, which add admissions for Dolly's Splash Country water park adjacent to Dollywood, are $130 gold, $93 adult regular and $80 child's regular. Passes must be purchased before March 10. The park's 2003 season officially opens to the public the weekend of April 4-6 (it's last date of operation for 2002 is Dec. 30). Visit www.dollywood.com to order! Also, the park announced this week that Sevier County residents or workers may visit the park for $1 admission Nov. 9-10 or 14-17, with all admission proceeds benefiting Sevier County Food Ministries. (But you have to bring proof of residence or employment in the county for the discount!)
Nov. 7: New VH1 List: Dolly No. 80, No. 1 Dolly earns two spots on an upcoming VH1 Top 100 countdown, it was announced Wednesday. This time, the cable music network is counting down the 100 Greatest Love Songs. Miss Dolly appears as a performer with Kenny Rogers at No. 80 for their hit duet "Islands In The Stream," which was the biggest-selling single of any music genre in 1983, and she takes the top spot as a songwriter with Whitney Houston's cover of her signature song, "I Will Always Love You," at No. 1. The special airs in five hour-long parts at 10 p.m. Eastern each night Monday through Friday of next week on VH1. (If they are evenly broken down into 20 songs per hour, she and Kenny should kick off Tuesday's show, and she will likely appear on Friday's show for "I Will Always Love You.") The show will feature Dolly in archival performance clips and/or new interviews, according to a press release. The only other country acts on the list are Willie Nelson, Shania Twain, Faith Hill and Lee Ann Rimes. The only other artists to make two appearances each on the chart are sometimes-country Olivia Newton-John, soft rock band Journey and power ballad diva Celine Dion.
CMA Recap Dolly brought the audience to their feet at the Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night, earning what was perhaps the evening's longest standing ovation following her emotional performance of her new single, "Hello God." Introduced by host Vince Gill as "one of God's greatest gifts," she came on stage to screams and applause near the start of the final hour in the three-hour program and wowed the crowd with her Sept. 11th-inspired song backed by the Christ Church Choir. Immediately after singing, she crossed the stage to induct "Jumpin'" Bill Carlisle and her former duet partner, Porter Wagoner, into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Herself a member since 1999, she joked, "I know what y'all are thinkin': 'That Dolly's just too young to be in the Hall of Fame!'" Porter came to the stage to accept the honor, saying: "I've never felt more humble in my whole life." After a brief speech, in which he said he considered himself a bridge between the "real" legends of early country music who were his friends and the new stars of the genre (adding that he felt especially privileged to see one of his best friends, Dolly, become a legend in her own right), he and Dolly walked off the stage together holding hands. Alan Jackson was the big winner of the night, taking home Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year for Drive and both Song of the Year and Single of the Year for his Sept. 11th anthem, "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)." Other winners were The Dixie Chicks for Group of the Year, Brad Paisley's "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song)" for Video of the Year, Jerry Douglas for Musician of the Year, Brooks & Dunn for Group of the Year, Rascall Flatts for Horizon Award, Willie Nelson and Lee Ann Womack's "Mendocino County Line" for Vocal Event of the Year, and Martina McBride for Female Vocalist of the Year.
Library Candidate Wins Dolly's literacy program got a victory at the ballot boxes on Tuesday, with Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen winning Tennessee's governor's office with slightly more than 50 percent of the vote. A centerpiece of Bredesen's campaign was a pledge to create a public-private partnership to make Dolly's Imagination Library available to every child in the state. The program of her Dollywood Foundation provides one free book per month from birth to age 5 for every child whose parents sign up in a participating community. It currently operates in more than 60 communities in 15 states, with South Dakota being the only one to currently offer it statewide.
News On Dottie, Dolly, Stella And More Dolly had several ties to the Christian Country Music Awards, which were handed out in Nashville on Tuesday night. Her sister, Stella, took home Mainstream Artist of the Year and was nominated for Christian Country Video of the Year (Dolly's "Shine" was an initial nominee but didn't make it into the final five nominated songs), and Dottie Rambo, whose current single, "Stand By The River," is a duet with Dolly earning heavy airplay on "Christian country" stations, was recognized as this year's Living Legend, presented by Crystal Gayle. The show included Stella, Dottie and Shenandoah's Marty Raybon singing Dottie's song "If That Isn't Love." Other Dolly-related performers included Selah, on whose Christmas album Rose of Bethlehem Dolly sings; Sonya and Becky Isaacs, who appeared on Dolly's Little Sparrow (and Dolly also appeared on the solo album of Sonya Isaacs), Dolly duet partner Colin Raye as host, and Hank Williams Jr., who had a minor hit with a cover of Dolly's "I'm In No Condition" and who toured with Dolly early in both of their careers. Congratulations to the winners! P.S. I'm told that Dottie's duet with Dolly is expected to reach No. 1 next week on the PowerSource Top 20 countdown, up from No. 7 in its second week this week, and jump from No. 78 to No. 17 in November's Christian Country Monthly singles chart!
Nov. 6: Virgin Recommends Dolly While I was on vacation, I stopped into Virgin Megastore, which we unfortunately don't have in our area, and I learned that they are promoting Halos & Horns on their Virgin Recommends CD Volume 8, which you get free when purchasing any CD on the "recommended" list. The promotional CD, which is manufactured by Virgin and MTV, is mostly fringe rock and pop acts, such as Ash, The Flaming Lips, Lamya and Interpol. However, the final track on the 16-cut disc is "I'm Gone," accompanied with the text: "Tennessee songbird Dolly Parton may reign as country music royalty, yet on her most recent album she proves to be so much more. Simply listen to new songs, including an emotional version of 'Stairway To Heaven,' and you'll know that she now sings from a wise, reverent place that is beyond this world."
Off Americana Chart Unfortunately, the CD falls out of the top 40 Americana Radio Chart released Tuesday, down from No. 30 for the previous week.
Billboard Mention Dolly got a mention in Friday's Chart Beat Chat by Billboard columnist Fred Bronson. He was asked about a comment that Madonna had become the top pop female artist ever based on the most top 40 hits on the magazine's Hot 100 chart, and the reader asked who topped the country and R&B sides, guessing Dolly, Reba or Loretta and Aretha or Diana Ross. Fred responded that Dolly is No. 1 country with 87, followed by Reba with 70 and Loretta with 66. On the R&B side, Aretha is top with 85, followed by Gladys Knight with 54, Dinah Washington with 47 and Miss Ross with 40, plus 23 with the Supremes. Read his weekly column here.
CMA Reminder Remember to catch Dolly Wednesday night on the CMA Awards live on CBS! She'll perform "Hello God" and induct two new members into the Country Music Hall of Fame, including former duet partner Porter Wagoner.
Nov. 5: Chart Updates Many new charts came out during my vacation (had a blast in Mexico and on the cruise, but I'm glad to be back on terra firma!), so here's a rundown:
In the Nov. 9 Billboard chart released Thursday, Dolly's Halos & Horns slips five spots to No. 47 country for its 16th chart week. The CD remains steady at No. 5 on the bluegrass albums chart and falls 12 the independent label albums chart to No. 38. The Songcatcher soundtrack, which features a Dolly duet, re-enters the bluegrass chart at No. 14 for its 12th chart week. The Pinmonkey CD, which contains several great cuts including Dolly harmonies on a cover of her "Falling Out Of Love With Me," falls 10 places to No. 40 on the country albums chart in its third week. And on the other two Dolly-related soundtracks, both in their fourth chart week: Sweet Home Alabama, which includes Dolly's "Marry Me," remains at No. 3 on the soundtrack albums chart and falls 11 notches on the pop albums chart to No. 57, and Buffy The Vamipire Slayer: Once More With Feeling (one of Dolly's companies produces the series) inches down one on the soundtrack chart to No. 13 and 14 spaces on the pop albums chart to No. 195.
The new Bluegrass Unlimited bluegrass albums chart for November places Dolly's Halos & Horns at No. 4 for its third chart month, up from No. 6 in October. The magazine's November issue will also feature a review of the disc, although its text is not available on their website.
And the website for the PowerSource Top 20 countdown of Christian-themed country music finally got around to updating their chart on Sunday after leaving the same list up there for about a month. As was previously reported here, Dolly's duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," had debuted on the chart at No. 7 last week, and this week it moves up five places to No. 2.
Another Honor For Dolly It was reported while I was gone that Dolly is to be inducted next year as the 47th member of the East Tennessee Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame. In a written statement, Dolly reacted to the honor saying: "I am honored to be recognized by such a prestigious organization as Junior Achievement. We share a love for children and a common mission to do whatever we can to help them fulfill their dreams." She was chosen for the honor due to her economic impact on the community through her business interests (she employs 1,200 local workers) and for her philanthropic work to educate the children of that region of the state through programs of her Dollywood Foundation, it was reported. The organization usually inducts honorees at its annual banquet, and they've wanted to honor Dolly as a member for several years, but each year she has been unable to attend the ceremony, so officials just decided to do it on her timetable, planning the induction during Dollywood's opening weekend festivities on April 5. Read a story from Thursday's Mountain Presshere, Saturday's Knoxville News-Sentinelhere and Monday's CMT.com news update here.
A Mention CMT.com also posted a story recently on this year's Country Music Hall of Fame honorees, whom Dolly herself will be inducting at Wednesday night's CMA Awards broadcast, and of course there were several mentions of Dolly in the section on her former duet partner Porter Wagoner. Read it here.
'Hello' Dolly I'm told by a reader that last week he heard Atlanta's country station Eagle 106.7 FM play Dolly's "Hello God" twice within two hours and that the DJ said that the "phones were on fire" with positive comments from listeners raving about the great song. Of course, she'll be performing it live on Wednesday's CMA telecast, so my guess is that a lot of stations will play it come Thursday morning. Be sure to call your local stations and request it! Thanks, Mark!
Another Pic Artist Elizabeth Cook, who performs a song on her new CD about Dolly and got a chance to sing it the night Dolly appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in July, has posted a photo on her website of the two meeting at the Opry. Visit here. Thanks, Jonathan!
Seeing Double The Miami Herald ran a brief story last week about the Dolly look-a-like contest held at Mr. Moe's as a celebration of the Coconut Grove Playhouse and its country-themed opening of the show Urban Cowboy, announcing that the winner went by "Jerry" but refused to give his actual name. Organizers said they decided to hold the event because Dolly is "a country-western icon," even though she wasn't involved with the play or the film on which it was based. The contest featured two women and three men in full Dolly dress. Read the story here.