Nov. 16: 'Believe' Still On Country Sales, Kids' Charts Dolly's children's album I Believe In You sold 1,100 copies last week, giving the charity project a six-week cumulative sales total of 11,100 units. This allowed the Nov. 24 Billboard charts released Tuesday to have the CD fall six to No. 16 kids albums and 17 spots to No. 42 country album sales. Once Upon a Christmas with Kenny Rogers drops two to No. 21 holiday albums, two to No. 17 holiday album sales and one to No. 5 country catalog, falling off the overall catalog albums chart, down from No. 34. For its sixth week, Miley Cyrus's Younger Now, with Dolly on the duet "Rainbowland," gains 42 to No. 133 top 200 pop albums and five to No. 80 Canadian pop albums, re-entering current albums at No. 82. Kesha's Rainbow, featuring the Dolly duet "Old Flames (Can't Hold A Candle To You)," loses seven to No. 61 Hot 200 pop albums in its 13th chart week, three to No. 72 Canadian pop albums, 38 to No. 88 current albums and 17 to No. 21 vinyl albums, falling off album sales, down from No. 52, and the Internet chart, down from No. 19.
More On UT Library Documentary WBIR reported a little more this week on the University of Tennessee documentary project on Dolly's Imagination Library. Check out the story here and donate to the project here.
Stella Speaks Out Dolly's sister Stella continued Wednesday to chastise Music City stars and executives for not speaking out against sexual assault and harassment in light of the allegations against Dolly's publicist Kirt Webster. See what she had to say to Nashville television station WSMV here.
Robbie Williams Covers Dolly British rocker Robbie Williams on Wednesday revealed he has covered Dolly's "9 To 5" for his upcoming album. Check out a sample on Facebook here or in the media player below.
Nov. 13: British Chart Updates Dolly's children's CD, I Believe In You, dips one spot this week to No. 11 U.K. country albums, it was announced Friday. The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe holds steady at No. 2 on the British country compilation albums chart in 61st chart week. On the same tally, Emmylou Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) slips one to No. 11 as Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) re-enters the top 20 at No. 16.
Dolly Tributes Coming To Charleston, St. Louis Two cities are gettin' their Dolly on in coming weeks with tributes to the music of the legend. First up is Charleston, S.C., which has temporarily switched its "Women &" Series (where female artists cover the hits of male entertainers such as Bob Dylan or David Bowie or Tom Waits) at the Charleston Music Hall to "Dudes &," and has selected Dolly as the inaugural female performer to be spotlighted. "Dudes & Dolly" takes place at 7 p.m. Sunday and is divided into two halves: one spotlighting her bluegrass-inspired work and one spotlighting her pop crossover music. Read more from The Post & Courierhere. Then on Dec. 1, "Coat Of Many Colors: A Tribute To The Music Of Dolly Parton" takes place at Off Broadway in St. Louis. Check out that event's Facebook page here.
Dollywood Distributing Children's CD With Passes Dollywood last week announced that all 2018 child season passes will include a free copy of Dolly's children's CD, I Believe In You, proceeds of which benefit her Imagination Library charity. In related news she sat down with Yahoo.com to talk about the messages behind some of the album's songs last week. Watch those clips here.
Library Documentary Coming From UT A film instructor at the University of Tennessee is using his students to create a documentary about Dolly's Imagination Library called 100 Million Stories: A Documentary, according to The Mountain Presshere.
Drag Queen Does Great Dolly Britain's The Daily Mail recently profiled a drag queen who does amazing celebrity transformations including Dolly here.
Nov. 9: New Dolly Book On Faith Arrives May 22 The Faith of Dolly Parton , a new book about Dolly's Christian faith and 10 beliefs that have influenced her career and philanthropy, will hit bookshelves in May from Zondervan publishing, it has been announced. Reserve your copy here!
More On Webster Scandal The sex scandal involving Dolly's former publicist Kirt Webster continues to heat up this week. His original accuser has lawyered-up and his attorney, recognized primarily as Nashville's top divorce lawyer, says she's ready to bring Webster to justice. Read more from WKRN here. (And since police have confirmed the statute of limitations has expired, that likely means a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages.) Stella Parton, herself an abuse survivor and advocate for victims, stepped into the situation this week and told The Tennesseanhere that she is offended no one in Music City has spoken out to say "if" the allegations are true that this behavior is condemned. (Of Webster's more than 70 clients, the vast majority of whom are country artists, only one, rock star Kid Rock, has publicly condemned the behavior if the allegations are true.) She also suggested Dolly's brief statement ("I've worked with Kirt Webster for many years and he has done a wonderful job. I am hoping that the accusations are not true.") is inadequate. "I think she (Dolly) needs to condemn this type of behavior, whether he is guilty or not," she told the newspaper. "I know for a fact she would not support that type of behavior and I know she's probably extremely shocked that this has in any way implicated her in this . . . I am very hurt, offended, shocked and disgusted that we have this kind of thing going on right under the noses of people who work for my sister. After all these years of building the career she has and to have this attached to her has totally blindsided me." She had encouraged on Facebook that any fans who had been victimized by Webster to e-mail her their stories and she would ensure they are forwarded to Dolly's attorneys. She told the newspaper she had received several responses including two "very disturbing" ones. Over the past week and a half, two male former Webster clients, one male reporter, one male former intern, and between 17 and 21 former Webster employees (a mixture of both men and women) have come forward to media outlets to allege he sexually assaulted or sexually harassed them, and several of the former employees have claimed that he used his position as Dolly's publicist to barter sexual favors from her fans in exchange for meet-and-greet opportunities with her on tour.
'Believe' Press Spawns Two Stories Two more interviews Dolly did recently to promote her children's CD, I Believe In You, came out this week: a piece on the holidays with Southern Living magazine here and an article in Reverb magazine about her first guitar here.
Nov. 8: 'Believe' Nears 10K Units Sold Since Release Dolly's children's album I Believe In You saw a nearly 50 percent drop in sales last week to move 1,400 copies, down from the previous week's 2,600, giving the charity project a five-week cumulative sales total of 9,900 units. This allowed the Nov. 18 Billboard charts released Tuesday to have the CD fall five to No. 10 kids albums and nine places to No. 25 country album sales as it drops back off internet albums, down from No. 23, current albums, down from No. 63, and album sales, down from No. 72. Once Upon a Christmas with Kenny Rogers drops seven to No. 19 holiday albums and holds steady at No. 15 holiday album sales while gaining three to No. 4 country catalog and re-entering the overall catalog albums chart at No. 34. For its fifth week, Miley Cyrus's Younger Now, with Dolly on the duet "Rainbowland," dips 42 to No. 175 top 200 pop albums and 30 to No. 85 Canadian pop albums, falling off current albums, down from No. 83, and album sales, down from No. 97. Kesha's Rainbow, featuring the Dolly duet "Old Flames (Can't Hold A Candle To You)," dips three to No. 54 Hot 200 pop albums in its 12th chart week and six to No. 69 Canadian pop albums while a vinyl edition release raises it 31 to No. 50 current albums, 42 to No. 52 album sales and allows it to re-enter the Internet chart at No. 19 and debut on the vinyl albums chart at No. 4.
Dolly Chats With 'She Knows' In related news, a mini-interview with Dolly promoting her children's album appeared this week on She Knows. Watch it here.
NPR Profiles Dolly's Library NPR this week offered a fairly lengthy examination of the positive impacts of Dolly's Imagination Library charity. Learn more here.
Smoky Mountain Adventure Goes Holiday Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventures switched to a new Christmas show on Friday which continues through Dec. 31. The new show features holiday music, a mischievous elf, a series of "reindeer games," a moving live nativity, an ice skating spectacular, and more set in a small town that's hit by a major snowstorm, which leaves the fate of the town's Christmas celebration in the balance. The menu has also changed for the season to a special holiday soup recipe, homemade buttery biscuits, spiral ham, pan fried chicken, old fashioned Southern dressing, a sweet potato treat, buttery corn on the cob, and Southern Peach Pie for dessert.
Nov. 6: More Of Dolly's Weekend Park Visit Dolly made a couple of appearances during shows plus a park tour Saturday at the first day of Dollywood's annual Smoky Mountain Christmas festival. Check out coverage of her weekend appearances from The Kingsport Times Newshere, Knoxville News Sentinel here, Knoxville's Local 8 News here and here and WBIR here. And a Dollymania.net gallery from Friday's media appearance has been added here..
More Webster Sexual Harassment Scandal Fallout Fallout continued over the weekend from the sexual misconduct scandal surrounding Kirt Webster, who has worked for about the past eight years as Dolly's publicist. Three of his former employees spoke to FOX News here and repeated accusations that he traded oral sex from Dolly fans in exchange for meet-and-greet opportunities with her. They added that to their knowledge she was unaware of the alleged quid pro quo but claimed that it continued through her most recent Pure & Simple Tour. In addition, three more former employees detailed allegations of rampant office sexual harassment to The Tennesseanhere, which had already received and reported such allegations from 14 other former Webster employees, and The New York Post's "Page Six" celebrity column here interviewed a reporter who alleged sexual harassment by Webster and said that he was known in journalism circles as "Dirt Webster" due to his reputation. One client however is standing by her man as Janie Frickie told Nashville's WSMV here that she does not believe the allegations.
NPR Looks Back At '9 To 5' NPR's "Movies You Missed" series over the weekend profiled Dolly's 1980 classic 9 To 5 and how the film remains relevant today. Take a listen or read the transcript from WCBE here.
Australian Chart Updates Dolly's I Believe In You falls off the top 40 Australian country albums chart this week after just two weeks on the tally Down Under, down from No. 22 last week, while Miley Cyrus's Younger Now, featuring Dolly on the track "Rainbowland," also drops off the top 50 Australian pop albums chart, down from No. 40 in its fourth week Down Under.
Nov. 4: Dolly Teases 2018 Dollywood 'Season Of Showstoppers'
Dolly appeared for employees and media at Dollywood on Friday to unveil 2018 as the "Season Of Showstoppers" at the park, which is increasing its annual entertainment budget by $1 million next year and adding a new entertainment area in the former location of the River Battle ride. New to the season is a series of concerts called the Spring Mix music series April 11-29 featuring Suzy Bogguss, T.G. Sheppard, Pam Tillis, Crystal Gayle, Connie Smith, Shenandoah, Amy Grant, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Larnelle Harris, David Phelps, comedienne Chonda Pierce, Marshall Tucker Band, The Drifters, Debby Boone, The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Firefall, and Al Stewart. (Dollymania.net had previously reported Tillis' April 18 show as well as Gayle's April 11 engagement and Janie Frickie's April 13 concert.) The Festival of Nations (March 17-April 9) will be headlined by Ladymith Black Mambazo with whom Dolly had previously recorded "Peace Train" and "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." Rhonda Vincent & The Rage return to headline Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 25-June 10). DRUMLine Live and iLuminate visit during the Summer Celebration. TobyMac and Crowder headline Rock the Smokies Aug. 25. Great Pumpkin LumiNights expands to more of the park Sept. 28—Nov. 3. Then the Smoky Mountain Christmas festival wraps up the year. Dolly on Friday introduced a video outlining the various guest artists before announcing the addition of the new outdoor performance area The Plaza at Wilderness Pass, which will house different events throughout the year to correlate to each major festival for an "immersive" experience. (Concept images were released of its Christmas theme and general appearance. See them here and here.) Dolly wrapped up her appearance by performing "Circle Of Love" live with her family members from the "My People" show. Watch the appearance in the media player above or by clicking here. Dolly opens this year's Christmas festival on Saturday. Look for more coverage here from Friday's appearance over the next few days.
U.K. Chart Updates Dolly's children's CD, I Believe In You, loses five places this week to No. 10 U.K. country albums, it was announced Friday. The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe slips one to No. 2 on the British country compilation albums chart in 60th chart week. On the same tally, Emmylou Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) rises two to No. 10 as her Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) falls back off the top 20, down from No. 19.
Nov. 3: Music City Rocked By Dolly Publicist Sex Scandal Webster Public Relations, which has handled Dolly's publicity for the past several years, suffered a very quick and very public meltdown over the past several days, placing Dolly on the edge of Music City's gay version of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault and harassment scandal. At 3:30 p.m. Thursday, nearly a week after the first word of part of the scandal became known and after both Dolly and her management declined to respond to numerous publications' requests for comment, she released the following brief statement via her social media outlets and official website: "I've worked with Kirt Webster for many years and he has done a wonderful job. I am hoping that the accusations are not true."
The situation began last Friday when former Webster PR client Austin Rick, who recorded as Austin Cody when Kirt Webster was his publicist in 2008, detailed claims of alleged sexual harassment and assault by Webster during their time working together. Webster responded with a statement that their brief relationship was consensual and denied any wrongdoing. Rick proceeded to give multiple interviews where he repeated his accusations and the story expanded over the next few days from a local interest piece in Nashville to a national interest piece in the context of Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and others accused of similar actions in Hollywood in recent weeks.
As the story heated up, The Tennessean interviewed 10 former employees of the company who detailed additional allegations of sexual harassment being common in the office and accused Webster of soliciting explicit photographs and sexual favors from gay Dolly fans in exchange for meet-and-greets with her at concerts (a claim that a former employee repeated to Nashville television station NewsChannel 5). Webster shut down all of his social media accounts with the exception of Facebook and on Wednesday posted a statement to his official website that the firm was shutting down. That was later retracted and a statement released saying that Webster was stepping down as CEO "to focus on combating the egregious and untrue allegations made against him" and that senior vice president Jeremy Westby would be taking over and re-branding the firm Westby PR. However by Thursday Westby said his firm is a brand new company and not a rebrand of Webster PR. (Webster PR vice president Scott Adkins also left the company on Wednesday and launched his own separate new firm, Adkins Publicity, which on Thursday announced the signing of former Webster clients Naomi Judd and Billy Ray Cyrus.)
By Thursday morning, stars' names were being deleted from the Webster PR artist roster on their official website, which the press took as signs that those entertainers, including Dolly, had severed ties with the firm and requested their names be removed after each presumably fired Webster. By mid-morning the list of clients had dropped from 72 to 37 and was eventually removed from the site entirely. (Shortly thereafter, Westby launched his website which lists 14 former Webster clients, but not Dolly, to whom Billboard magazine referred as Webster PR's "flagship client.")
Also by Thursday five additional accusers had come forward with similar stories of sexual assault or sexual harassment allegations against Webster. The Tennessean uncovered three of them – a former household contractor, a former personal assistant and a former office manager. FOX News found a former intern who made similar accusations. And Nashville's FOX 17 interviewed another singer-songwriter former client who made similar accusations. Also, Nashville police announced that the statute of limitations on Rick's allegations expired last year, so no criminal charges could be brought against Webster at this time for those accusations. Webster has not responded to the five additional accusers or the allegations of the 10 former employees.
Dolly has not announced her plans for publicist services for the immediate future. She is at Dollywood this weekend to reveal next year's addition to the park at a media event on Friday and kick off the annual Smoky Mountain Christmas festival on Saturday.
Get New Dolly Duet Today Brad Hudson's new album, Next New Heartbreak, featuring a duet with Dolly on her "Smoky Mountain Memories," came out Friday. Get yours here (or download the Dolly duet here)!
Nov. 1: Matt Laurer Dons Dolly Drag For Halloween
Today host Matt Lauer on Halloween dressed up as Dolly even getting a few tips from Dolly herself on how to do her. Check out the segment from the show here or in the media player above.
'Believe' Falls Off Country Chart Dolly's children's album I Believe In You appears to be done on the main country and pop charts, both of which mix actual album sales with downloads and streams now to calculate the national charts as the project falls off the all-genre top 200 pop albums tally down from No. 173 for one week and the Hot Country Albums list down from No. 20 for one week. The CD loses two to No. 5 kids albums, six spots to No. 16 country album sales, six to No. 23 internet albums, 28 to No. 63 current albums and 35 to No. 72 album sales the Nov. 11 Billboard charts showed on Tuesday. Once Upon a Christmas with Kenny Rogers loses two to No. 12 holiday albums, four to No. 15 holiday album sales and four to No. 7 country catalog albums while Dolly's "Hard Candy Christmas" falls off the holiday digital songs list. For its fourth week, Miley Cyrus's Younger Now, with Dolly on the duet "Rainbowland," loses 54 places to No. 133 top 200 pop albums, 20 to No. 55 Canadian pop albums, 39 to No. 83 current albums and 39 to No. 97 album sales. Kesha's Rainbow, featuring the Dolly duet "Old Flames (Can't Hold A Candle To You)," dips three to No. 51 Hot 200 pop albums in its 11th chart week, 14 to No. 81 current albums, 19 to No. 94 album sales and 15 to No. 63 Canadian pop albums.