Duet Drops From Peak It appears Dolly's duet with Rod Stewart on "Baby It's Cold Outside" won't hit the top spot on the adult contemporary chart after all, as the song inches down two spots in its fifth week to No. 4 on the Jan. 8 chart Billboard released on Thursday after a two-week peak at No. 2. Still, the song, from Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, marks Dolly's biggest adult contemporary hit in 21 years.
'Live' Back At Chart's End Dolly's concert CD Live And Well is back at the bottom spot on the country albums chart, falling two digits to No. 75 in its 14th week. The Grascals' "Viva Las Vegas" falls out of the country singles chart and pop singles chart, down from No. 5 in its fifth week and No. 39 in its fourth week, respectively. With holiday airplay, Dolly's "Hard Candy Christmas" makes an appearance on the Jan. 8 country recurrents singles chart, coming in at No. 18 on the tally of radio airplay songs which includes those too old for Billboard to allow on its official charts under its rules. Sony's Can't You Hear Me Callin' --Bluegrass: 80 Years of American Music boxed set, which includes Dolly on Ricky Skaggs' "A Vision Of Mother" and Herb Pedersen's "Cora Is Gone," drops three places to No. 15 on the 15-position bluegrass albums chart in its third week. Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, featuring "Baby It's Cold Outside," loses three to No. 27 pop and comprehensive in its 10th chart week but remains steady at No. 5 for Internet sales. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with Dolly on "Creepin' In," gains nine notches to No. 48 pop and comprehensive in its 46th chart week and moves up five to No. 11 on the Internet sales chart. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly harmony on "Jolene," falls six spots to No. 32 in its 48th week on the independent labels albums chart. Kenny Rogers' 42 Ultimate Hits, with "Islands In The Stream," remains steady at No. 62 country in its 30th chart week. Shimmy Down The Chimney, featuring Dolly's 1990 recording of "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer," drops 16 spots to No. 53 country but adds one to No. 46 on the holiday albums chart in its seventh week. Shania Twain's Greatest Hits remains at No. 1 country and loses one to No. 5 pop with 347,000 copies sold in its seventh week, and Toby Keith's Greatest Hits 2 remains at No. 2 country and moves up to No. 7 pop with 289,000 copies moved in its seventh week.
'Jolene' U.K. Update No word on why it was delayed several days, but the British chart folks on Thursday released last weekend's independent label charts, and The White Stripes' former U.K. indie No. 1 cover of "Jolene," from their DVD Under Blackpool Lights, gains three places to No. 15 for indie singles in its fifth chart week.
Promoting Dolly's Library The Commercial Appeal in Memphis on Thursday offered a great editorial urging local officials to commit to bringing Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program to the city, noting while raising funds for the project is "a daunting challenge" and there is a possibility that local governments may have to foot some of the bill, "this would be a worthwhile investment to make." Read it here.
Dec. 30: Boise Pics Posted Reader Valeen sent in some new shots from Dolly's Boise concert earlier this month (and she is also offering calendars made from some of the images here). View the photos in the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour galleries here! Thanks, Valeen!
Dec. 29: Great Week For Dolly's Library Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program is getting a good deal of press this week, with stories in several papers. In Bradley County, Tenn., the Bradley News Weeklyhere highlights local officials' efforts to have children there enrolled in the program in the next two months. In suburban Birmingham, Ala., The Daily Homehere notes a recent $10,000 grant the Pell City School District received from the local community foundation to support the program there. And The Commercial Appeal in Memphis touts the program in a lengthy story here profiling those working to bring the program's free book per month from birth to age 5 for all children in one of Tennessee's largest counties.
More 'Live' Praise The Arkansas Democrat Gazette included Dolly's Live And Well concert CD in its list of the year's best pop culture products here, saying the set "sparkles and underscores her many gifts."
And Praise For Smith Bridgewater, N.J.'s Courier News named Mindy Smith's One Moment More as the fourth-best CD of the year. It singles out the CD's "lovely duet" with Dolly on a cover of "Jolene" as a stand-out. Read the full list here.
European Update Arly Karlsen and Pat Roden's former No. 1 cover of Porter & Dolly's "Please Don't Stop Loving Me" falls nine places to No. 22 in the continent-wide European CMA's bi-weekly country singles chart, it was announced Tuesday.
Dec. 28: Year In Review Posted For the sixth year since Dollymania was launched, your annual "Dolly Year In Review," the only annual recap of Dolly's life and career over the past year, returns! So if you want to see what stories you may have forgotten or missed, or just want to relive the year for a bit, click here!
Dolly In Hazel's Recap CMT.com columnist Hazel Smith notes the end of the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour in her weekly column this week, which focuses on the biggest happenings from country music in 2004. Read it here.
In The Holiday Mood I'm told "Christmas Without You" with Kenny Rogers showed up a few times Christmas Eve on Great American Country's CRL, with host Suzanne Alexander saying their holiday CD is one of her all-time favorites. Thanks, David and Larry!
Dec. 27: Hanging In Overseas Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, featuring Dolly on "Baby It's Cold Outside," loses two places to No. 31 in its 10th week on the U.K. pop albums chart, it was announced Sunday. In Australia, it remains steady at No. 15 pop in its ninth week. The British independent labels singles chart was not updated over the weekend, so I cannot tell you where The White Stripes' cover of "Jolene," from their DVD Under Blackpool Lights, is now. Last week, its fourth chart week, it was at No. 18 indie. The song peaked at No. 1 on the independent chart and No. 16 pop.
Another Tour Review The online resource Country Standard Time over the weekend posted a great review of Dolly's Anaheim, Calif., concert from earlier this month. Read it here.
Dolly On CMT CMT Insider's Christmas Day annual recap included some clips from Dolly on stage and backstage at the rehearsal for her "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour as well as her talking about the Kenny doll and her sitting on the piano for "Baby It's Cold Outside." The show repeats at 11:30 a.m. Monday.
Dec. 25: Merry Christmas!
More Raves For 'Hello' Tour
I came across another stellar review this week of the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour, although it was actually published a week ago. The Las Vegas Weekly offered a glowing recap of Dolly's Dec. 7 stop in Sin City, calling her the "absolute opposite" of The Coliseum's usual performer, Celine Dion. Dubbing Dolly "a national treasure and a natural wonder," the reviewer described the show in great detail, singling out "The Grass Is Blue," "Brand New Key," "Baby It's Cold Outside" and "Shine" as stand-outs but noting, as so many other reviewers have, that the night's highlight was her a capella rendition of "Little Sparrow." She said the audience reacted to the power of her performance of that number with "stunned silence" and then applause, adding: "We live in a world full of rotten: hunger, sickness, deceit, endless toil and unbearable sorrow. But at least it's a world that has Dolly Parton in it. If she ain't a miracle, I don't know what is." Read the full review here.
Nebraska Library Takes Off Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, which came to Columbus, Neb., in August, has been successful beyond residents' hopes. While organizers there expected about 500 area children to sign up, nearly 700 are receiving books just a few months into the program. Read a story from the Columbus Telegramhere.
Get Grascals Disc Amazon.com has added a page to reserve your copy of The Grascals' self-titled debut album, which will include their debut single, "Viva Las Vegas" with Dolly. Order yours, to come out Feb. 8 on Rounder Records, here!
Dec. 24: 'Rhinestone' To Be Released On DVD Dolly's final theatrical release not yet available on DVD is coming out next year! Dolly's 1984 comedy with Sylvester Stallone, Rhinestone, is slated to hit store shelves on March 8 from DVD distributor Anchor Bay Entertainment, several online retailers have announced. Reserve your copy here! Thanks, Justin! All of Dolly's other theatrical releases have come out on DVD in recent years, and two out of her four major TV movies have come out on the digital medium in the U.S. (her 1986 holiday made-for-television film A Smoky Mountain Christmas has been released in Asia but not in the U.S.)
Stewart Duet Still No. 2 Well, it's not at the pole position yet, but "Baby It's Cold Outside" by Rod Stewart and Dolly earns a second week at No. 2 on the adult contemporary singles chart's Jan. 1 numbers, Billboard announced Thursday for the song's fourth chart week. I'd expect if it doesn't take away the top spot from Josh Groban's "Believe" in the Jan. 8 chart coming out next week it probably won't make it there, since most stations are playing it as a Christmas song due to its winter theme. The song appears on Stewart's third collection of American standards, Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III.
'Live' Still Alive On Chart Elsewhere on the Jan. 1 Billboard charts, Dolly's live collection Live And Well, gains two spots to No. 73 in its 13th chart week. The Grascals' "Viva Las Vegas" with Dolly remains steady at No. 5 on the country singles sales chart in its fifth week and inches down five notches to No. 39 on the pop singles sales chart in its fourth week there. Sony's boxed set Can't You Hear Me Callin' --Bluegrass: 80 Years of American Music, featuring Dolly on Ricky Skaggs' "A Vision Of Mother" and Herb Pedersen's "Cora Is Gone," remains steady at No. 12 on the bluegrass albums chart in its second week. Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, with "Baby It's Cold Outside," moves up two to No. 24 pop and comprehensive in its ninth chart week but falls one to No. 5 for Internet sales. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring Dolly on "Creepin' In," moves back up six spaces to No. 57 pop and five to No. 57 comprehensive in its 45th chart week while also gaining four to No. 16 on the Internet sales chart. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly harmony on "Jolene," gains six spots to No. 26 in its 47th week on the independent labels albums chart. Kenny Rogers' 42 Ultimate Hits, with "Islands In The Stream," moves up five to No. 62 country in its 29th chart week. Shimmy Down The Chimney, with Dolly's "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" from 1990, loses 10 notches to No. 37 country and three to No. 47 on the holiday albums chart in its sixth week, and the various artist compilation Thomas Kinkade: Country Christmas, including Dolly's "Hard Candy Christmas," falls off the country and independent labels albums charts, down from No. 55 and No. 28, respectively, in its second chart week. Shania Twain's Greatest Hits remains at No. 1 country and gains two to No. 4 pop with 311,000 copies sold in its sixth week, while Toby Keith's Greatest Hits 2 remains at No. 2 country and No. 8 pop with 238,000 copies moved in its sixth week.
Past Canadian Peak Those Canadians just love Kenny & Dolly, but the pair's 1984 holiday album may have reached its peak for the year. The disc re-enters the country albums charts up north each holiday season, and in the tally released Thursday Once Upon A Christmas falls four spots to No. 11 in its eighth chart week this year, down from a two-week high at No. 7. The CD also peaked at No. 7 last year. Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III remains steady at No. 8 in its ninth week on the Canadian pop albums chart, while Jones' Feels Like Home moves up seven places to No. 59 in its 46th week on the same chart.
Even More Chart News Billboard released more details on Thursday of its annual recap charts for 2004, and there are a couple more Dolly connections on them. On the country chart, the tribute collection Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton comes in at No. 68 and Kenny Rogers' 42 Ultimate Hits, which includes "Islands In The Stream," is No. 64. Although released in 2003, Woman did not sell enough copies during the period that year on which the charts were based to make it onto the 2003 year-end countdown (due to the fact that the chart's cut-off date for sales was only about five weeks after the album came out so it only reflected the first few weeks of sales). On the independent albums chart, Woman makes it to No. 26, up from No. 43 in 2003, and Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly harmony, is No. 12.
Dec. 23: Dolly's Own Chattanooga Choo-Choo Chattanooga is getting a new "choo-choo," as a train taking children into a world of books is the theme for Dolly's program for children which is taking off in that city. The United Way of Greater Chattanooga is close to meeting its goal for 2004, which will allow it to participate in Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, according to a story on The Chattanoogan. The charity is less than $40,000 from its $11.2 million goal for the year, according to the article here. Among other services, those donations will fund implementation there of Dolly's literacy program, which is active in nearly 400 communities across 39 states and provides one free hardcover book per month to every child birth to age 5 in a participating community whose parents sign up. In Tennessee, the state appropriated $2 million in funding to match local dollars raised to support the program's adoption in counties there.
A Couple More Pics Although he admits they're grainy, Scott sent in a couple of shots from Dolly's sold-out Green Bay show from October which have been added to the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour galleries here. Thanks, Scott!
Dec. 22: Contrasting Reviews, New Portland Photos Two additional papers on Tuesday offered very different views on Dolly's Sunday night concert in Everett, Wash. The Seattle Times praised the show here, lauding her personality, songwriting, jokes, voice and overall performance, specifically noting that in that reviewer's opinion none of the vocals were pre-recorded. The Everett Herald, however, gave a mixed reaction here, with the reviewer saying several parts were lip-synched (although admitting that the fans in the audience didn't care about that) and criticizing the abbreviated versions of her earlier hits. Still, it was noted, many of her performances were amazing, including "Shine" and "Little Sparrow," the reviewer said, adding that the audience was satisfied.
Special thanks to Mary Ann for sending in some great shots from Dolly's Portland show which have been added to the tour galleries here. Thanks!
Dolly-Related Items On Year-End Chart Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with the Dolly duet "Creepin' In," comes in at No. 5 for the year on the annual pop sales charts from Billboard released this week. Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, with its Dolly duet "Baby It's Cold Outside," comes in at No. 38 for the year. The year-end charts cover the charts dated Dec. 6, 2003, through Nov. 29, 2004, reflecting sales through about the second week of November.
Dec. 21: Tour Garners More Great Reviews More awesome reviews started coming in on Monday from the closing nights of the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer said here that Dolly wowed the crowd of more than 5,000 in nearby Everett Sunday night with her "100-watt charm." Singled out as highlights were a "beautiful" rendering of "The Grass Is Blue" and "playful" take on "Brand New Key," but the reviewer noted the most moving performances were "Imagine" and "Little Sparrow." The Oregonian praised her Portland concert from Friday night here, saying Dolly "seemed pretty darn near perfect." And although this was published a few days ago, it was just brought to my attention on Monday by a reader: The Portland Mercury previewed the concert there with a great profile of Dolly here which talked about how her immense talent has been overshadowed by her appearance and personality, noting: "I think the only way to truly appreciate Dolly Parton is to admire the brains behind the brassiere, accept that the glitter and glibness are necessary parts of the package, and just let the whole blowsy, blonde tornado plow right over you." Thanks, Larry!
Reviewer: Smith Disc One Of Year's Best The Cape Cod Times on Monday chose Mindy Smith's One Moment More, which features Dolly harmonies on her cover of "Jolene," as the fourth-best CD of the year, saying it was "a finely crafted album: slick, but not overly so; wide-ranging in style, but consistent in mood; respectful of the past, but not stuck in it." Read the full list here.
Holiday Hinderance Visitors looking to get into the holiday spirit at Dolly's theme park on Monday were turned away, as Dollywood was closed due to inclement weather. Tuesday's forecast is partly cloudy with a high of 48 degrees, so the park should re-open then.
Dec. 20: Final Scheduled Tour Dates Played Well, the currently-scheduled dates on the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour were to come to an end Sunday night at its sold-out engagement Everett, Wash. (the site update was posted a few hours prior to the curtain time, so anyone with recaps or photos is encouraged to submit them here). The tour wrapped up after nearly-sold-out concerts Friday in Portland and Saturday in Spokane, which I'm told was a wonderful show with a lot of banter with fans from the audience. Her cover of "Brand New Key," which she had been performing on the Western dates on the tour, remained in, but the Kenny doll was still gone. I'm also told with the more liberal audiences out West, the jokes seemed a bit "racier" than at some of the other shows.
Reader Darryl sent in some great photos over the weekend from Dolly's concert earlier this month in Phoenix, Heather sent some in from Sacramento and Larry sent some in from Friday's Portland show. View them, and 70 other galleries from the tour, in the site's "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour galleries here! Thanks, Darryl and Larry!
Paper: Ill. Library Plan Dropped Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.) over the summer quietly abandoned plans to take Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program statewide there using state monies, The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., reported over the weekend. The governor, however, plans to continue to seek private funding for the program, the newspaper noted. In January, Blagojevich garnered national headlines with a news conference and press release announcing his plans to make Illinois the first state to fully implement the program with state funds (South Dakota had already taken the program statewide using private funding through a partnership of its United Way chapters, and Tennessee was finalizing plans for using state funding to pay 50 percent of costs for counties there to sign up). At the time, Dolly said: "I am thrilled Gov. Blagojevich shares my vision to inspire all children to dream more, learn more, care more and be more. It's exciting that Illinois wants to join us. Maybe other governors will follow their lead and jump on board. The more the merrier!" However, the governor's announcement met with great resistance. Critics, mostly Republican politicians and conservative editorial writers, asserted that the state could not afford the $26 million annual price tag for 2004 (based on 100 percent participation), when in reality the likely first-year cost of the program would be around $5 million, growing slightly every subsequent year. Others argued only poor children should receive the books, which the program provides to anyone who signs up, regardless of income; and that Illinois education authorities, not people in Tennessee, should select which books were to be distributed to children in Illinois, although the books are actually selected by a national committee of experts from the fields of education, child development, academia and early childhood literacy. Nationwide, nearly 400 communities across 39 states are currently involved in Dolly's program which provides one free hardcover, age-appropriate book per month from birth to age 5 for any child whose parents sign up in a participating community. Read the full story here.
'Jolene' Falls Off U.K. Pop Tally After four weeks on the British pop singles chart, The White Stripes "Jolene," from their DVD Under Blackpool Lights, falls out of the 75-position tally, down from No. 65 the previous week. It had peaked at No. 16, significantly lower than Dolly's original of the song. Dolly's original 1974 recording of the song was a surprise hit in England in 1976, reaching No. 7 on the pop singles chart there, and cover versions by different artists have been released at least half a dozen times over the years, making it one of the U.K.'s biggest "standards." On the independent label singles chart, where The Stripes' version had debuted at No. 1, it slips seven places to No. 18, it was announced on Sunday. Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, with Dolly on the duet "Baby It's Cold Outside," loses one digit to No. 29 in its ninth week on the U.K. pop albums chart. In Australia, it gains one to No. 15 pop in its eighth week. On the European CMA's singles chart, Arly Karlsen and Pat Roden's former No. 1 cover of Porter & Dolly's "Please Don't Stop Loving Me" inches back up two to No. 13.
Dolly On CMT Dolly showed up in a couple of places on CMT's countdown of the 20 Biggest Headlines of 2004. No. 11 on the list was titled "No hip replacement needed" and followed the still active careers in 2004 of Dolly, Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson. She also took a mention in the No. 5 category on cross-genre collaborations, which included her duets this year with Norah Jones and Rod Stewart. The show repeats throughout the next few weeks.
Maybe Making A List And Checking It? Dolly got a mention in Saturday's Celebrities column in The Tennessean. Turns out some friends of Sawyer Brown keyboardist Hobie Hubbard met her backstage at her Boise concert Thursday night, so she called up Hubbard immediately after the band's The Tonight Show appearance to verify they knew him. Read the details here.
Dec. 18: 'Hello' Says Good-Bye Sun. Dolly apparently pleased the crowd in Boise on Thursday, kicking off the last few days of performances in the current tour with one couple commenting it was the best show by any artist that they had seen "in a long time." However, the only press report I've seen thus far is one that mentions just that the show caused some heavy traffic on the Interstate when it let out. The "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour continued to Portland on Friday night for a nearly sold out concert, although a few floor seats opened up the morning of the show. Saturday's Spokane show got some advance press in the Pacific Northwest Inlanderhere in a piece reviewing her status as an "American icon." But it's Sunday's sold-out show in the Seattle area that garnered the most publicity on Friday, with profiles in the Seattle Post-Intelligencerhere and Seattle Timeshere in addition to a great interview with Grascals member Terry Eldredge (who notes: "She's 5 feet tall but sounds like she's 10.") in the King County Journalhere.
Patting Band Members On The Back Speaking of The Grascals, Dolly's opening act for the tour and part of her backing band, she's got a great quote about their self-titled debut album, coming out in February. In a statement released by Rounder Records this week (see full release here), Dolly said: "I am so proud of The Grascals. They are one of the best bluegrass bands I've ever heard. They are all so very talented as vocalists and instrumentalists. Their new CD is one of the greatest albums I've ever listened to." Dolly appears on the album's first single, "Viva Las Vegas," currently in the top 10 for country CD single sales.
Happy Holidays! Things are going so well down at Dolly's Dixie Stampde in Orlando that those wanting to see the holiday-themed show and facing almost all seatings through the end of the month sold out are getting an early Christmas present as a fifth daily show has been added, The Orlando Sentinel reported Friday. Joining the 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. performances at the equestrian dinner theatre is now an 11 a.m. lunch.
Library News The Chattanoogan on Friday ran a story on Dolly's Imagination Library coming to Dade County, Tenn. Read it here.
TV Reminder Don't forget Dolly is supposed to make an appearance or two on CMT's 20 Biggest Headlines Of 2004 show premiering on the cable network at 9 p.m. Saturday with repeats throughout the coming weeks. Also, CMT on Friday announced that her involvement in the Christmas Day episode of CMT Insider will be previously unaired portions of her interview with Katie Cook from earlier in the year. That show premieres at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 25. See complete TV listings at left.
Dec. 17: Dolly Headed Toward Possible No. 1 Could Dolly soon land her first adult contemporary No. 1 in 21 years? It certainly looks possible, if her duet with Rod Stewart on "Baby It's Cold Outside" from his Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III can overtake multi-week No. 1 "Believe" by Josh Groban. Their winter tune gains two spots to reach No. 2 on the Christmas Day Billboard adult contemporary singles chart in just its third week, it was announced Thursday.
'Hello' Idaho! The "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour rolled into Boise, Idaho, on Thursday night. As of press time Thursday, the show had yet to start and a handful of tickets remained available for the almost completely sold out show (I suspect they'll get snapped up by last-minute concert-goers). Tickets still remained as of Thursday night (albeit in the back of the venues) for Friday's Portland show here and Saturday's Spokane stop here. Sunday's tour closer in Everett, Wash., remained sold out. Fans are asked to e-mail their recaps of the show (and photos if you get any) here. Thanks!
'Live' Returns, Other Chart News Dolly sees good results elsewhere on the Billboard Dec. 25 charts, as her concert double-CD, Live And Well, re-enters the country albums chart for a 12th week, coming in at No. 75 after leaving the 75-album list the previous week. The Grascals' "Viva Las Vegas" featuring Dolly rebounds five places to No. 5 on the country singles sales chart in its fourth week and re-enters pop singles sales chart at No. 34. Sony's boxed set Can't You Hear Me Callin' --Bluegrass: 80 Years of American Music, with Dolly harmony on two tracks, debuts at No. 12 on the bluegrass albums chart. However, Norah Jones' concert DVD Norah Jones and The Handsome Band: Live in 2004, with Dolly live on "Creepin' In," falls out of the 40-position music video sales chart, down from No. 37 in its third chart week. Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, which includes "Baby It's Cold Outside," gains one to No. 26 pop and comprehensive in its eighth chart week and moves up three to No. 4 for Internet sales. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with the original Dolly duet of "Creepin' In," inches up five places to No. 63 pop and is up eight to No. 65 comprehensive in its 44th chart week. It also gains four places to No. 20 on the Internet sales chart. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly on "Jolene," rises five spots to No. 32 in its 46th week on the independent labels albums chart. Kenny Rogers' 42 Ultimate Hits, with "Islands In The Stream," loses one to No. 67 country in its 28th chart week. Shimmy Down The Chimney, with Dolly's 1990 version of "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer," falls two spaces to No. 27 country and No. 44 on the holiday albums chart in its fifth week, and the various artist compilation Thomas Kinkade: Country Christmas, which includes Dolly's "Hard Candy Christmas," falls a dozen digits to No. 55 country and loses seven to No. 28 on the independent labels albums chart in its second week. Shania Twain's Greatest Hits remains at No. 1 country and No. 6 pop with 237,000 copies sold in its fifth week, while Toby Keith's Greatest Hits 2 remains at No. 2 country and gains two places to No. 8 pop with 191,000 copies moved in its fifth week. On the pop side, former Dollywood performer and American Idol runner-up Diana DeGarmo enters at No. 52 with her debut set, Blue Skies.
Steady In Canada And up north, Dolly's holiday CD with Kenny Rogers, 1984's Once Upon A Christmas, remains steady at No. 7 on the country albums chart in its seventh chart week this year, it was announced Thursday. Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III gains one to No. 8 in its eighth week on the Canadian pop albums chart, while Jones' Feels Like Home gains four spots to No. 66 in its 45th week on the same chart.
Magazine: Dolly Apologized To Chesney According to Country Weekly, Dolly sent a note of congratulations and apology to CMA Entertainer Of The Year Kenny Chesney. In a brief posted Thursday asking where he keeps his trophy (in the closet), they noted he had received letters of congratulations from George Strait, Loretta Lynn and Dolly, who apologized that her jokes prior to announcing him as the winner caused his speech to get cut short. As you will recall, the executive director of the CMA solely blamed Dolly's dialogue for Chesney's speech being cut midway through in the award show's broadcast, although in public comments he exaggerated the length of her adlibbed remarks and did not address reports that producers mistakenly thought the show was running short and asked her to stretch for time immediately before going on stage to present the award. Read the CW brief here.
Dec. 16: Get Final Idaho Seats A handful of additional tickets became available Wednesday in the first raised level of seats for the next "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour stop, Thursday night in Boise. Get them here. And Boise Weekly again plugged the show with a brief leading its calendar of music saying if you don't know who Dolly is you must be Rip Van Winkle. Read it here.
Dolly In 'Country Weekly' The new issue of Country Weekly out this week (the first one dated in 2005) includes a couple of Dolly mentions. First, there's an image of her from last year's KidsFest accompanying a brief about the Wall Street Journal recently naming her one of the world's 50 most important businesswomen, and there's also a photo from last year's Women Who Rock red carpet alongside her family's recipe for hot chocolate made from scratch from the book All Day Singing And Dinner On The Grounds .
Paper: Dollywood Has Good Year Theme park watcher Amusement Business this week released its year-end statistics that attendance at North America's 50 most popular theme and amusement parks rose 4 percent this year, the first overall increase since 2001. While the figures for Dollywood were not included in the magazine's initial reports, the park's spokesperson told the Knoxville News Sentinel in an article published Wednesday that attendance there was up between 2 and 3 percent over last year to around 2.2 million visitors. While I haven't seen the full list of this year's top parks, it is usually around No. 24 in the U.S. and No. 45 for worldwide attendance. Read the story here.
Dec. 15: Boise To Sell Out, Great Reviews Another stop on the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour is almost completely sold out. Only a handful of single-seat tickets remained available here as of Tuesday evening for the next concert, Thursday night in Boise, Idaho. Tickets for the other remaining dates appear close to being gone as well. Get seats for Friday's Portland stop here and Saturday's Spokane performance here.
The West Coast leg of the tour is getting some very, very good reviews. Three papers on Tuesday glowed with praise for the concerts over the weekend. For her San Jose performance, The Oakland Tribune opined it's been too long since she last performed in the area and noted that the show focused "less on glitz and more on music." The reviewer singled out "Little Sparrow" as the night's highlight, saying her voice "filled the arena in thrilling ways." Read it here. The Sacramento Bee likewise held her Sacramento stop in high regard, noting: "You're working the room in 4-inch heels. You giggle like Betty Boop and then break hearts with your crystalline voice." Read that one (and see a photo) here. And the Reno Gazette-Journal said her Reno show featured "much camaraderie treating the audience like part of the show." The reviewer singled out numerous songs as "stellar" and "wonderful" and concluded that "she proved that her two best assets are still her voice and her songwriting skills." It even offers a link to Dollymania :) Read it here.
Opry Appearance Announced Dolly is scheduled to perform on The Grand Ole Opry on Feb. 5, according to the Opry Web site. The site's schedule shows Dolly's opening act/backing band The Grascals will perform without Dolly on Feb. 4 and with Dolly the following night. Tickets are on sale here via Ticketmaster, and the show airs live on Great American Country.
Library In Va., New Site Dolly's Imagination Library is expanding into southwest Virginia, it was announced this week. Both The Coalfield Progress and the Bristol Herald Courier reported on Tuesday about an announcement that local officials there are finalizing efforts to start the literacy program in Wise, Lee, Scott and Dickerson Counties. Read the Coalfield story here and the one from the Courierhere. In related news, Gov. Phil Bredensen (D-Tenn.) unveiled a new Web site this week for his Books from Birth Foundation, which manages the $2 million in state funds appropriated to match local dollars raised to bring the program to every county in Tennessee. Visit the new site here.
Dec. 14: Dolly Wraps Up Calif. Shows The first few fans to write in on Monday about the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour's stop in Sacramento, Calif., on Sunday night raved about the performance. One called it "amazing, thrilling and better than expected." Another said she was "absolutely awesome." She removed "I Dreamed About Elvis" and "My Tennessee Mountain Home" from the set list, but the remainder stayed pretty much the same as the other Western dates on the tour (including her performances of "Brand New Key" and "Shine"). Also, one fan wrote in about the Reno show from Saturday, saying they wished Dolly had performed closer to the foot of the stage instead of staying 10 or 15 feet back, and she wished she had done "Me And Little Andy." Thanks to those who've written in with their recaps!
Dolly wraps up the tour with shows in Boise on Thursday (get tickets here), Portland on Friday (tickets here), Spokane on Saturday (tickets here) and the sold out night in Everett, Wash., on Sunday. All dates for which tickets are on sale are fairly close to selling out, and no word has been released yet on whether the tour will be extended into next year. Before it began, Dolly had said she expected, if it was successful, she'd add several 2005 dates.
The final eBay charity auction to meet Dolly backstage on the tour ended Monday with a final price of $2,850, or the second-highest price tag out of the seven shows on the tour which had meet-and-greet packages on the auction block. All together, the seven auctions raised about $16,400 for Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, a charity organization which provides medical and living expense assistance for indigent musicians.
Dolly On E! I'm told Dolly made an appearance in the new E! countdown over the weekend, coming in at No. 63 on its 101 Most Sensational Crimes of Fashion. Apparently, some fashion critics didn't care for the white dress with silver stars that she wore on the red carpet of Lifetime's Women Who Rock concert she headlined last year. Others interviewed in the segment, however, defended her, saying simply that she's Dolly and can wear whatever she wants and get away with it as an American treasure. The show is scheduled to repeat next Saturday. Thanks, Jayson!
'Once A Hottie, Always A Hottie' That's a comment Dolly makes now-and-then in concert when mentioning her age, and she is this month's "50-Plus Celebrity" in the online baby boomers' magazine 50 Plus, although all of the information in her profile appears to have come from the Dollymania Frequently Asked Questions page and a couple are taken slightly out of context. Visit their site's main page here, and you'll see the article at the top.
Lovin' Those Stripes New Zealand's Stuff gives a great review to The White Stripes' DVD Under Blackpool Lights, singling out the male-vocals cover of Dolly's "Jolene" as the concert's highlight, noting that the "choked with emotion" cover alone is worth the disc's price. Read the full review here.
Paint Me A Dolly San Diego area artist Janet Cooling is opening a new exhibit inspired by Dolly. Titled "Painting Like Dolly Parton," the showing will be on display from Jan. 5 through Feb. 25 at the Simayspace Gallery in San Diego. According to a story on the San Diego State University Web site, Cooling used Dolly for her approach to the project as ultimately complex and feminine yet appearing artificial and flamboyant on the outside. She compares her works to Dolly's songwriting, saying each initially appears "colorful, upbeat and carefree" but contains "darker emotional tones" upon deeper analysis. Read the profile here.
Hooray For Dollywood! I'm also told that Diana DeGarmo gives Dolly and her theme park each thank yous in the liner notes to her debut CD, Blue Skies, which was released last week on RCA. The American Idol runner-up this year got her start singing at Dollywood. Thanks, Bridget!
Dec. 13: Dolly Leaves 'Em Satisfied In Calif., See Pics! Several readers tell me Dolly was "fantastic" Friday night in San Jose on the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour. One said her eclectic song set "worked magically, all woven together with her engaging and funny storytelling." Another called it "simply stunning . . . one hell of a show!" Still in the performance were "Shine" and "Brand New Key," both of which fans are responding to very favorably. Also, her covers of "Imagine" and "Me And Bobby McGee" are resonating with the audience as well. Reaction to her starting medley of abbreviated pop-ish hits continues to be mixed, with some fans who prefer those years in her career upset and others who prefer her more recent material ecstatic. You can never please everyone :) More than one noted the funniest moment came when some beads broke from her dress and a stage hand had to come clean them up. Dolly appeared amused by this and stopped performing to tease the guy as he went back and forth with his broom. Thanks to everyone who wrote in! No word yet on Saturday's Reno concert or Sunday's Sacramento show, which had yet to start by the time of this update on Sunday evening.
Catch reader-submitted photos from her Anaheim and San Jose shows in the tour galleries here, as well as some beautiful new ones from her Vegas show! Thanks, Brian, Jim, Harrell and Patric! Another reader, Michael, posted several of his photos from San Jose on his own Web site here, although the accompanying commentary is very critical of the show.
The Orange County Register on Sunday published an awesome review of her Anaheim performance from Thursday. Including two photos, the newspaper notes that it shows Dolly has come full circle, not only artistically with her music but also returning a lot of the pageantry and humor fans expect but which she had toned down for her club tour two years ago. The reviewer, who attended a show on that tour in 2002, writes that with the return of that style of performance, Dolly "restored a heavy and not entirely unwelcome dose of Dollywood" to the act, noting it was proper to do so because "Dolly Parton without corny charm is like Mick Jagger without swishy swagger; enjoyable and insightful as such an experience might be, it's hard not to feel like something's missing." He lauds her amazing voice and songwriting abilities, comparing her to Bob Dylan in the latter regard, and recalls "The Grass Is Blue" and "Little Sparrow" as stand-outs from the show. Read the full review here. Thanks, Wes!
The tour next heads up to Idaho for a show near Boise on Thursday. The Boise Weekly had an cute profile of Dolly on Saturday. Read it here, and get your tickets here. The concerts then head on to Portland on Friday (tickets here), Spokane on Saturday (tickets here) and Everett, Wash., next Sunday (which is sold out).
Don't forget the final eBay charity auction to meet Dolly backstage ends just after 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Monday. As of Sunday, the price stood at $2,000. Place bids for the package for her Everett concert here!
Overseas Updates The White Stripes "Jolene," from their DVD Under Blackpool Lights, falls nine more places to No. 65 in its fourth week on the British pop singles chart and slips two spots to No. 11 on the U.K. independent labels singles chart, it was announced on Sunday. Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, with Dolly on the duet "Baby It's Cold Outside," inches down two notches to No. 28 in its eighth week on the U.K. pop albums chart. In Australia, it gains six digits to No. 16 pop in its seventh week.
Library News The Citizen Tribune in Morristown, Tenn., reported over the weekend on that state's governor traveling to Hamblen County to celebrate the start of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program there. Read it here.
Exhibit Opening "Manuel: Star-Spangled Couture," an exhibit featuring the works of the world-famous country music costume designer, opens this week in Nashville with a Dolly outfit. The exhibit begins on Friday and continues through March 13 at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Its centerpiece is a collection of 50 jackets he designed for each state, but it also contains a selection of some of the outfits he has designed for stars over the years. While it has not been announced exactly which Dolly costume makes the cut, since the list of artifacts also includes those worn by pals Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris, I suspect it will be the couture he designed for their 1987 Trio album cover.
Dolly On TV I'm told Christian channel Trinity Broadcasting Network aired Dolly's holiday film Unlikely Angel over the weekend, although I don't see it scheduled to repeat on their station at this time.
Rare Track On Compilation A reader alerted me that BMG earlier this year issued a three-CD set of gospel songs titled Great Country Hymns, which purports to have one of the rarest Dolly recordings included on it, her 1971 single "Comin' For To Carry Me Home," based on "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." The song was originally recorded for her gospel album Golden Streets Of Glory but was not included in the final project, even though it reached No. 23 on the country charts. The new CD set also includes Dolly's "Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man," although it lists it as being performed just by Porter Wagoner (but I don't recall his having done it solo, so it's probably their duet version). Order your copy here! Thanks, Tony!
Eagle When She Flies The American Eagle Foundation touted over the weekend its success last week in getting a bill passed by Congress to authorize the U.S. Mint to issue a three-coin commemorative set on the bald eagle in 2008. It will contain a nickel-copper clad half dollar, silver dollar and gold $5 piece, and a portion of the sale price will be used to establish an endowment for the Foundation, which is housed at Dollywood, to support state, federal and private eagle care programs. The program at Dolly's East Tennessee theme park provides a sanctuary for eagles which cannot survive on their own and breeds them to produce birds that are released into the wild. It is hoped that the facility's most famous bird, Challenger, which has been trained to perform stunts at events nationwide, will be used as the model for the bird on at least one of the coins. Her support of the program earned Dolly a special award last year from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.
Release Reminder Don't forget, the 1993 film version of The Beverly Hillbillies hits stores in its first DVD release on Tuesday. The film, which stars Dolly's 9 To 5 pals Lily Tomlin and Dabney Coleman, features her performing as herself two songs for Jed's birthday. Get your copy here!
Dec. 11: Dolly Captures Anaheim Fans' Hearts The first couple of readers who wrote in about Thursday night's "Hello I'm Dolly" concert say Dolly was awesome in Anaheim. One described the only negative about the show being it went by too fast, and the other summed it up as "FANTASTIC!" A fan who attended both that show and Tuesday's in Vegas said the two were as different as night and day. In Vegas, it was an "extremely stuffy crowd" which didn't get that into the performance, but in Anaheim, the audience was very energetic, which Dolly played off of real well, even cutting some of her between-song jokes, apparently because she was so into the audience's reaction to each song. The seats included several Dolly impersonators, both male and female, and she had them stand up for an a capella chorus of "Jolene" to the words "drag queen, drag queen, drag queen, I'm beggin' of you please don't take my man," before she started the real song. She returned an abbreviated version of "My Tennessee Mountain Home" and an emotional version of "Smoky Mountain Memories," both of which she had cut from the Vegas show. The audience seemed to love the new material and old stuff, too, roaring at the start of the songs and offering more than one standing ovation. Standouts mentioned were "amazing" versions of "The Grass Is Blue," "Little Sparrow" and "Imagine." Thanks, Wes and Brian!
The show was to make it into San Jose, Calif., on Friday night, and tickets remain available, although not that many, for most of the final tour dates: Sacramento on Sunday, Boise on Thursday, Portland next Friday and Spokane Dec. 18. Saturday night's Reno concert and the final scheduled date, Dec. 19 in Everett, Wash., are sold out.
I'm told that Tuesday's Las Vegas show did fully sell out. Tickets remained available until a few hours before the show, when the last of them were gone. Thanks!
Don't forget the final meet-and-greet charity auction with Dolly ends on Monday night. As of Friday, the tab was at $720. Bid here!
Dolly On CMT Although no details have been released of why she'll be on there, CMT on Friday announced Dolly is one of the artists scheduled to appear on their Christmas episode of CMT Insider. The program premieres at 1:30 p.m. Eastern on Christmas Day with repeats the following Sunday and Monday (see TV listings on left of this page for full schedule).
Dec. 10: 'Baby It's' A Hit 'Outside'! It's official! Dolly's duet with Rod Stewart on "Baby It's Cold Outside" from his Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III is a hit! The song rockets 19 places all the way to No. 4 on the Dec. 18 Billboard adult contemporary singles chart, it was announced Thursday. The ranking is Dolly's best showing on the chart since "Islands In The Stream" went to No. 1 for four weeks back in 1983 and it is only her fourth top 10 adult contemporary single.
Tour Continues To Say 'Hello' The Arizona Republic raved Thursday about Dolly's Wednesday night stop Phoenix on the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour, giving the concert a great review (complete with an eight-photo pop-up slideshow). Recapping much of her banter with the audience and between-song jokes, the reviewer said she delivered on her promise to provide a little something for everyone. Read it here. Dolly was heading to Anaheim on Thursday night, followed by San Jose Friday, her sold-out show in Reno Saturday and Sacramento on Sunday (where some floor seats became available again this week). Get tickets here!
Reader Scott was kind enough to send in tons of photos from Dolly's stop last Sunday in Houston. See them in the tour galleries here! Thanks, Scott!
The San Jose Mercury News on Thursday offered a fairly decent Dolly profile in its Thursday edition in advance of Friday's concert there. Read it here.
The Austin Statesman on Thursday delivered one of the very, very few mostly-negative reviews of the tour, calling her show in that city last week: "Baffling, brave and beautiful, all at once." Read it here.
Some mid-level seats became available Thursday for the nearly-sold-out Dec. 17 show in Portland. Get them here.
'Live' Is Gone Other chart action isn't as good in the Billboard Dec. 18 numbers, as after only 11 weeks on the country albums chart, Dolly's concert CD, Live And Well, falls out of the 75-position tally, down from No. 74 the previous week. The Grascals' cover of "Viva Las Vegas" with Dolly drops five places to No. 10 on the 10-position country singles sales chart in its third week but falls out of the 100-position pop singles sales chart, down from No. 49 the previous week. Norah Jones' concert DVD Norah Jones and The Handsome Band: Live in 2004, featuring Dolly live on "Creepin' In," rises three spots on the music video sales chart, up to No. 37 in its third chart week. Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, featuring "Baby It's Cold Outside," remains steady at No. 27 pop and comprehensive in its seventh chart week and gains two to No. 7 for Internet sales. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with the studio version of "Creepin' In" with Dolly, moves up 11 spots to No. 68 pop and is also up 11 to No. 73 comprehensive in its 43rd chart week. It also returns to the Internet sales chart at No. 24. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly on "Jolene," remains steady at No. 37 in its 45th week on the independent labels albums chart. Kenny Rogers' 42 Ultimate Hits, featuring "Islands In The Stream," moves up two to No. 66 country in its 27th chart week. Shimmy Down The Chimney, featuring Dolly's "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" from 1990, inches up five spots to No. 25 country in its fourth week and remains steady at No. 42 on the holiday albums chart. Shania Twain's Greatest Hits remains at No. 1 country and falls four to No. 6 pop with 195,000 copies sold in its fourth week, while Toby Keith's Greatest Hits 2 remains at No. 2 country and drops five spots to No. 10 pop with 142,000 copies moved in its fourth week.
Rising In Canada In Canada, Kenny & Dolly's holiday CD Once Upon A Christmas, originally released in 1984, gains another four spots to No. 7 on the country albums chart in its sixth chart week this year, it was announced Thursday. Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III falls three to No. 9 in its seventh week on the Canadian pop albums chart, while Jones' Feels Like Home gains two places to No. 70 in its 44th week on the same chart.
More Ups And Downs The new Power Source magazine for December is out, and while Dolly's duet with Norah Jones, "Creepin' In," falls out of the top 50 indie country singles chart, down from No. 12 in November, Dolly gets a few mentions. There are two photos with Dottie Rambo in a story noting their winning Song of the Year and Duo of the Year from the Christian Fan Awards Association for their duet "Stand By The River," and there's a very positive review of Randy Kohrs' I'm Torn, singling out his duet with Dolly on "It Looked Good On Paper" as allowing "these two wonderful vocalists to blend in well together."
'Live' Gets Praise The Providence Phoenix up in Rhode Island this week raves over the DVD version of Live And Well. In a review published Thursday, the alternative weekly gives the collection four stars, noting: "Dolly's not just live and well but sassy, sexy, and still singin' like an angel." Read the full review here.
Randy's Venue On Hold The Daily Advance in Elizabeth City, N.C., on Thursday ran another story on Dolly's brother Randy Parton's plans to build a 2,000-seat theatre in northeast North Carolina, noting that a decision has been postponed for at least another four-to-six weeks. The story noted Randy's repeating that the venue would serve as a part-time location for his show which is currently performed at Dollywood and that other performers would likely use the facility, including sister Dolly. Read it here.
Dec. 9: Neon Dreams In Vegas I'm told Dolly was radiant in the bright lights of Vegas Tuesday night, noting during her performance at the Coliseum at Caesar's Palace that she was honored to be singing on the same stage as Celine Dion. "I'll never be able to sing like she can," Dolly joked. "But my boobs are much bigger than hers, so there!" And the stars were certainly out for the show. Reported in the audience were "Jolene" singer Mindy Smith and casino staple Clint Holmes as well as legends Joan Rivers, Elton John, Wayne Newton and Miss Celine herself. Johnathan Isley, who attended the concert and got to meet Dolly backstage (see photos in the tour galleries here), says the performance (which, like all of the casino shows, did not feature the opening set from The Grascals because the casinos require the shows be trimmed as short as possible) began with a laugh because Dolly didn't realize her microphone had been turned on before her entrance, and the audience heard her comment about the darkness backstage. "Don't ya think we should turn a light on?" she could be heard asking a stagehand. Johnathan says she appeared to have lip-synched only a handful of numbers, performing the vast majority of the concert live, as has also been the case at the other dates on the tour. "Her vocal power was evident in every live number she performed," he commented, "Most notably in 'The Grass is Blue' and 'Little Sparrow.' For me, the crowning moment of the show was her stunning rendition of 'Imagine.' She took listeners from an innocent and fragile song opening, to a crescendo worthy of Celine Dion herself. In short, she was remarkable." He added that the crowd was very mixed, with a large number of younger audience members who knew all of her recent material. "More than anything, Dolly was as sincere and engaging as ever," he concluded. "Like a fine wine, she's only getting better with age." Thanks, Johnathan! The tour stopped in Phoenix Wednesday night before heading to Anaheim on Thursday and San Jose on Friday. Get tickets here.
McLean Song To Be Single Artist Kim McLean has announced that her duet with Dolly, "Angels and Eagles," will be released as a single next month. The song, from McLean's CD Happy Face, is described by Music Row Magazine reviewer Robert K. Oerman as its "melody is as lovely as heirloom lace. Floating above her lead vocal throughout is the ethereal soprano harmony of Dolly Parton." Read the press release here.
Dolly In The News A very brief syndicated story noting Dolly's battle with depression in the 1980s was circulated an entertainment wire service Tuesday, apparently coming from an excerpt from her interview in Britain's OK! magazine this week. Read the syndicated version here.
Dec. 8: Dolly Up For Another Grammy Several Dolly-related projects are vying for 2005 Grammy Awards, it was revealed when nominees for the 47th annual honors were announced in Hollywood on Tuesday. "Creepin' In," Dolly's duet with Norah Jones earned a nod for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals, where Dolly is actually up against herself, albeit not in name. Her trio recording of "Coat Of Many Colors" from the tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton with Shania Twain and Alison Krauss is also nominated in that category but is identified only as by Twain with Krauss and Union Station (nominations are credited the way they are on track listings for the album from which the song comes, and while the liner notes credit Dolly's harmonies on the song, the track listing only includes Twain, Krauss and Union Station). The other nominees in the category are "Hey Good Lookin'" by Jimmy Buffett, Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith and George Strait; "Portland, Oregon" by Loretta Lynn and Jack White; and "Pancho And Lefty" by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Keith. Lynn tops the country field with five nominations (she's only won one in the past) . The Collaboration category will likely be the closest to call given its star power and the critical acclaim for many of its entries, but if I wagered money on it, I'd go with "Coat," since Krauss holds the female record of all genres with 17 wins -- Grammy voters just love her. Twain is also popular, having won five trophies in the past 10 years. The nomination with Jones marks Dolly's 42nd nod at the annual celebration, and she has won seven times in her career. In other Dolly-related nominations:
The album which contains the Jones duet, Feels Like Home, is up for Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) for engineer Jay Newland and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Jones for the track "Sunrise."
And Johnny Cash's Unearthed, which includes two different covers of Dolly's spiritual number "I'm A Drifter" by The Man In Black himself, is nominated for Best Historical Album and Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package.
There were no nominations for For God And Country or Live And Well, both of which were released during the eligibility period for the 2005 awards. Winners will be announced from Los Angeles on Feb. 13.
Viva Dolly! They're sure to sing "Viva Las Vegas," as Dolly's "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour with The Grascals made its way into Sin City Tuesday night for a night at Celine Dion's Coliseum at Ceasar's Palace. Let's hope that what happens in Vegas this time doesn't stay there -- so e-mail your recaps of the show here! The show heads on to Phoenix on Wednesday, Anaheim Thursday and San Jose on Friday. Get tickets here, although only a few remain for Phoenix and Anaheim.
'Voice' Rates 'Songbook' While most critics have panned Rod Stewart's third standards installment, Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, featuring "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Dolly, New York's The Village Voice offers a mostly positive review here this week, noting that Dolly "has a fine old gawky time" with the song.
Dolly In Print I'm told Dolly gets a four-page interview with photos in this week's issue of OK! magazine over in Great Britain, covering her image, the breast reduction rumor she once again denies, her 1980s depression, her marriage and more. Thanks, Gerard!
Are Those Bugle Boy Jeans? Artist Paul Richmond, who had submitted some Dolly photos from her Ohio concerts earlier on the tour here, has placed up for bid the pair of hand-painted Dolly pants he wore to the shows. Autographed by The Grascals, the pants feature a large rendering of Dolly covering the front of both legs. Check out the auction here. And even if you don't intend to bid, the hilarious description he offers alone is worth the time to read it. It could very well be the funniest thing you've ever read on eBay!
Dec. 7: 'Hello' Houston! Readers tell me that Dolly blew them away again in Houston on Sunday night in the latest stop on the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour. Using words like "incredible" and "wonderful," they touted the diversity of her performance and the respect they have for her as a living legend. Even the local press had praise, with the Houston Chronicle calling it a "mobile version of . . . Dollywood." Noting her humor, her voice and the fact that she's "irresistible," the reviewer said the show was great but added that her banter seemed nervous, suggesting she was unsure whether the audience liked her or not. Rest assured, the reviewer concluded, all 5,000-plus of them did. Read the paper's review (which includes a photo) here.
As was expected to happen this week, the Dec. 19 show in Everett, Wash., the last date on the tour (unless it is extended into 2005, as Dolly has said might happen), completely sold out on Monday.
A handful of seats in the previously sold-out floors in Las Vegas for Tuesday, Phoenix for Wednesday and Anaheim for Thursday were released for sale to the public on Monday. If you want 'em, you'd better act quick. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.
See some more of the great shots by the Dollymania Dallas correspondents from her concert there over the weekend in two new sets of pics in the tour photo galleries here!
Hazel Smith's weekly CMT.com column on Monday mentioned Sarah Jessica Parker's attendance of Dolly's Atlantic City concert (although I'm told the Sex And The City star was instead at the East Rutherford, N.J., concert, where she gushed like a teen-aged fan over Dolly at the backstage meet-and-greet -- While Parker wasn't in Atlantic City, I am told that boxing legend Muhammad Ali was spotted at that stop on the tour). The column also notes the efforts to take Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program statewide in Tennessee. Read it here.
Paper: Bellamy Project Coming In March According to a story in Monday's Tampa Tribune, the Bellamy Brothers' tribute album, Angels & Outlaws, on which Dolly joins the duo for "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me)," will finally hit stores in March 2005, after a year of delays. Read the story here.
Hot Gift Pick The new issue of gay and lesbian newsmagazine The Advocate chooses Dolly's concert CD Live And Well as its No. 2 music pick for the best last-minute holiday gifts, calling the collection: "a cheeky marriage of glitzy showbiz with finger-pickin' bluegrass sass full of hits and surprises." Read the full list here.
Dec. 6: Dolly Dazzles Dallas Dolly on Friday played to the largest crowd in the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour, charming the 9,000 fans in her nearly sold-out Dallas show. And the set list is changing a bit. I'm told that in Austin on Thursday, she added her menopause-inspired version of the Elvis classic "Hunka Hunka Burning Love," which she also performed in Dallas. I'm told there was also an interesting conversation she had with an apparently intoxicated couple on the front row, to whom she asked at one point, "What've you been drinking?" In Dallas, there were more additions: her Grammy-winning cover of "Shine," a piano version of Melanie's "Brand New Key," which I haven't heard of her performing since the '70s but which she said she hopes to record in a children's album she is planning, and (at least according to one reader) "I'm Gonna Miss You" from For God And Country. In addition, "I Will Always Love You" has moved to the end of the main set, just before her encore. The show in the Big-D got mixed reviews, however. The Dallas Morning News raved about it, praising her humor, voice, showmanship and performance. Read that review here. Next door, the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, on the other hand, said the first half of the show was disappointing (mainly due to what the reviewer thought was "corny" jokes and abbreviated versions of her pop hits that he would have preferred be full length) but called the second half wonderful, giving the overall concert a B-minus. Read that review here. The show was set to play Houston on Sunday night, a concert that hadn't let out as of press time. Thanks to those who sent in their notes from the shows!
Our Dallas Dollymania correspondents have sent in the first of their photos from the concert there. View these great shots in the tour galleries here, and look for more in coming days! Thanks, Harrell and Patric!
The tour next moves on to Vegas on Tuesday, right in the middle of the national rodeo finals. As of Sunday, the floor and first balcony were both sold out except for a couple of single-seat tickets, and the second balcony appeared more than half sold out. After that, it's off to Phoenix on Wednesday (where just about the only seats left are toward the back of the upper balcony), Anaheim on Thursday, San Jose on Friday and her sold-out show in Reno on Saturday. Get tickets for all of those except Reno here.
Some Overseas Slips The White Stripes male-vocal cover of Dolly's "Jolene," tumbles 17 more spots to No. 54 in its third week on the British pop singles chart and loses five places to No. 9 on the U.K. independent labels singles chart, it was announced on Sunday. The song had peaked at No. 16 pop and No. 1 indie across the pond. Don't forget that the DVD concert from which the single was taken, Under Blackpool Lights, hits stores in the U.S. on Tuesday. In other overseas news, Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, with Dolly on the duet "Baby It's Cold Outside," drops four notches to No. 26 in its seventh week on the U.K. pop albums chart. In Australia, it gains two spaces to No. 22 pop in its sixth week.
'Live' Slammed The Louisville Courier-Journal over the weekend offered its opinion on Dolly's live CD/DVD set Live And Well, and it's pretty much the first negative review I've seen of the collection, saying it "doesn't add up." Read it here.
Harris CD Lauded The Tennessean offered its picks on new seasonal music over the weekend, with the reviewer saying the re-mastered version of Emmylou Harris' Light Of The Stable edges out the Vince Guaraldi Trio's A Charlie Brown Christmas as the best holiday album of all time. The CD, of course, contains pals Dolly, Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young providing harmony on the title track, recorded in 1976. Read the paper's full list here. The CD's re-issue, as well as the new Christmas Grass Vol. 2 (which features Dolly's new recording of "Christmas Time's A Comin'"), also earned good marks from the Knoxville News-Sentinel over the weekend here, and the Chicago Sun Times singled out Dolly's track as one of the best on Grass 2here.
Library Party The Macon County Times in Tennessee reported over the weekend on Dolly's Imagination Library there celebrating its first anniversary. Read it here.
Sis On GAC Look for Dolly's sister, Stella, to appear on Lorianne Crook's Celebrity Kitchen Tuesday on the Great American Country (GAC) cable network.
Dec. 4: Wash. Concert To Sell Out Yet another date on the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour is nearing sell-out status. The Daily Herald in Everett, Wash., outside of Seattle, on Friday published a story on the Everett Events Center, where Dolly will be ending the current leg of the tour on Dec. 19. In the article, officials said they were "pleasantly surprised" at the brisk sales for Dolly's engagement there and that only a few dozen tickets remained (since stories are written at least a day in advance, that would have been the number available no later than Thursday afternoon). By Friday night, most of those seats had been sold, leaving only about 10 single-seat tickets here for the concert, which I expect will sell out in the next few days, making it the 12th date on the tour to completely sell out. Read the full story here.
The tour picked back up Thursday night in Austin and Friday night in Dallas. The Dallas show had yet to end as of press time Friday night, and no readers had written in yet from Austin. A Dollymania correspondent is attending the Dallas show, so there should be information and photos from that available here soon. I'm told Friday's Dallas Morning News featured a large article and photo in advance of the show there (read an online version here -- Thanks, Summer!).
Tickets are still available here for Sunday's Houston show and here for Tuesday's Vegas concert.
In other ticket news, some seats on the previously-sold-out main floor for her Dec. 12 stop in Sacramento became available on Friday. Get them here.
The final charity auction for a meet-and-greet on the tour started on Friday. Although the description incorrectly says it's for her show at the Key Arena in Seattle, that concert was actually moved to nearby Everett, Wash. The auction ends on Dec. 13. Bid here.
The auction for the meet-and-greet with Dolly at her Anaheim concert next Thursday ended on Friday, with the winning bid price coming in at $2,055. The auctions have raised more than $13,500 for Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, a charity organization which provides medical and living expense assistance for indigent musicians.
Dolly 'Creeps' Onto GAC It was noted here earlier that cable network Great American Country (GAC) would be adding the video for "Creepin' In" by Dolly and Norah Jones from Jones' DVD Norah Jones and The Handsome Band: Live in 2004, and a premiere time has been announced. The video will show during the 2:30-3 p.m. half-hour on Saturday and is scheduled to air again during the half hours starting at 11 a.m. Sunday and 7:30 a.m. Monday. Vote for it here for GAC's weekly fan-selected countdown! Thanks, Bridget!
TV Reminder Don't forget Dolly's holiday classic Unlikely Angel will start brightening up the season at 9 p.m. Eastern Saturday night on The Hallmark Channel. The 1996 film is one of five main programs anchoring the cable network's Christmas programming this year. It will repeat throughout the month (see TV listings at left).
'CW' Drags CMAs Up Again The new Country Weekly has a Dolly photo and brief, but they're not that positive. The issue includes a shot of her with Kenny Chesney from the CMA Awards, repeating the somewhat questionable claim from the CMA's director that her remarks during the show caused Chesney's Entertainer of the Year acceptance speech to be cut off and noting that the show may move the award to sooner in the night for next year's program.
Dollywood East? The Virginian-Pilot reported on Friday night that Dolly's brother, Randy, was back in Currituck County, N.C., on Friday to discuss plans for a possible theatre backed by him. The story characterized the project (which would include a theatre, hotel and restaurants) as "an extension of Dollywood" and said that Randy told reporters Dolly could be a "regular performer" at the new venue. Read the story here.
Dec. 3: Stewart Duet Makes Chart Debut Dolly's duet with Rod Stewart on the classic "Baby It's Cold Outside" is on the charts! The second single from his Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III debuts at No. 23 on the Dec. 11 Billboard adult contemporary singles tally, it was announced Thursday. The song has already bested the CD's first single, "What A Wonderful World" with Stevie Wonder, which made it to No. 24. The song marks Dolly's 27th entry on the chart, with her first being "Jolene," which went to No. 44 back in 1974. It's her first entry on the countdown since her James Ingram duet "The Day I Fall In Love" made it to No. 36 in 1993, and her highest on that chart since her Smokey Robinson duet "I Know You By Heart" went to No. 22 in 1988. This is Dolly's 108th chart single. The track has been getting a fair amount of airplay on stations across the country mostly as a holiday single, readers have reported in recent weeks. It has brought mixed reviews from critics -- some have credited it as the highlight of the disc and others (including the current review of the album in People magazine) have said it lacked sparks.
In Other Chart News Norah Jones' concert DVD Norah Jones and The Handsome Band: Live in 2004, with a guest appearance by Dolly on "Creepin' In," is almost off the music video sales chart, plummeting 21 places to No. 40, the lowest position counted on that tally. Dolly's cover of "Viva Las Vegas" with The Grascals loses two spots to come in at No. 5 on the country singles sales chart and is down 22 places to No. 49 for pop singles sales. Dolly's concert CD, Live And Well, loses four spaces to No. 74 on the country albums chart in its 11th chart week. Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, featuring "Baby It's Cold Outside," falls 13 notches to No. 27 pop and comprehensive in its sixth chart week and loses four to No. 9 for Internet sales. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with the studio version of the Dolly duet "Creepin' In," inches up two spots to No. 79 pop but drops one position to No. 84 comprehensive in its 42nd chart week. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly on "Jolene," loses one to No. 37 in its 44th week on the independent labels albums chart. Kenny Rogers' 42 Ultimate Hits, including "Islands In The Stream," drops four to No. 68 country in its 26th chart week. Shimmy Down The Chimney , featuring Dolly's 1990 version of "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer," gains four spots to No. 30 country in its third week but loses four to No. 42 on the holiday albums chart. Shania Twain's Greatest Hits remains at No. 1 country and rises two to No. 2 pop with 384,000 copies sold in its third week, while Toby Keith's Greatest Hits 2 remains at No. 2 country and gains two spots to No. 5 pop with 331,000 copies moved in its third week.
And In Canada Up north, Kenny & Dolly's 1984 holiday album Once Upon A Christmas jumps eight places to No. 11 on the Canadian country albums chart in its fifth chart week this year, it was announced Thursday. Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III loses one to No. 6 pop in its sixth week on the Canadian pop albums chart, while Jones' Feels Like Home falls two spots to No. 72 in its 43rd week on the same chart.
Tour Rolls On The "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour made its way into Texas Thursday night with its show in Austin, which had not ended as of press time Thursday evening. While very few seats remained available prior to show time, the concert didn't completely sell out. Attendees are encouraged to submit recaps and photos here. Thanks! A few floor seats for Friday's nearly-sold-out Dallas concert became available on Thursday. Get them here! Plenty of tickets remain for Sunday's Houston stop on the tour here, and the first balcony is starting to get close to selling out for next Tuesday's performance in Vegas here.
The tour got several mentions in calendars and upcoming event guides in newspapers out west on Thursday for shows there in coming days, and the weekly Las Vegas Mercury published a tongue-in-cheek profile here while the Arizona Republic offered a profile here in advance of next Wednesday's show in Phoenix (although it mischaracterizes fan site Dolly.net as her official Web site).
The next charity auction to meet Dolly backstage on the tour ended Thursday, and the price was much lower than expected. The closing bid on the meet-and-greet package for her Vegas show was just $1,525, compared to the previous auctions which ended at $1,700, $2,500, $2,700 and $3,050. The eBay auction for meet-and-greet admission at her Anaheim concert ends around 6:30 p.m. Eastern Friday here, with bidding as of Thursday evening at $630.
Report: E! Looking At Dolly Nashville entertainment reporter Jimmy Carter announced on his national radio news spots and his local TV report Thursday that cable network E! is in Nashville this week filming an episode of its True Hollywood Story on Dolly. Carter noted in the TV version that he was participating in the program and that he thought Dolly is great. Thanks, Darryl!
Prints Still Offered Sugar Hill Records this week put a note on its Web site that the limited edition Dolly prints commissioned to celebrate the release of her concert CD and DVD Live And Well are still available, and now their purchase will help a worthwhile cause as well. A total of 15 percent of sale proceeds will benefit the Grammy charity MUSICARES, a foundation which provides assistance to musicians in need. A few of the 25 prints signed by Dolly and artist Chris McAdoo (selling for $125 each) remain, and some of the 100 other prints signed by only McAdoo are also available (for $50 each). Click here to order, or read the full item from Sugar Hill's Web site here. (Image of the print at left courtesy Revolution Art and Design. Used with permission.)
Dec. 2: Tour Back On The Road It's time for the "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour to get back into high gear, returning with Thursday night's concert in Austin. Tickets are still available here, but only toward the back sides of the second and third raised levels. In other tour news:
Friday's Dallas show finds the floor sold out and the first raised level almost completely sold out, with just a handful of single-seat tickets remaining. The second raised level, which has the only other available seats, appears to be about three-fourths sold out as well. Get tickets here.
Sunday's Houston show has plenty of seats available in the raised levels here.
The floor finally sold out on Wednesday for next Tuesday's show in Vegas. The first mezzanine appears to be more than half sold-out, but there are plenty of seats available in the second mezzanine (and I've seen Celine's show on the back row of the second mezzanine, so I can tell you there's not a bad seat in that house). Get tickets here.
Next Wednesday's concert in Phoenix is also selling well, with the floor and first raised level ("club" seats) all sold out except for a few single-seat tickets and the upper balcony about a third gone as well.
Later in the tour, both Boise and Portland have only a few rows left, with the former having only about a third of the final raised level of seats remaining, and the latter having only about half of the final level of raised seats left.
And don't forget that two of the charity auctions to meet Dolly backstage are ending very soon! The auction for her Vegas show will end just before 4 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, and the one for Anaheim will end just after 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Friday. As of Wednesday evening, they stood at $800 and $610 each, respectively. However, these auctions have previously jumped by as much as $2,000 or more in the final day of bidding, so I'd expect each to go for around $3,000. Bid on the Vegas package here and Anaheim here.
More Library Coverage The Nashville Business Journal on Wednesday offered a great overview of the Governor's Books from Birth Foundation, the nonprofit entity established by the state of Tennessee to administer $2 million in public matching funds for communities there which enact Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. The story noted that 27 counties in the state are currently participating, with 22 of them taking part of the state funding while 11 more are pending funding approval and 20 more are gearing up to apply for funding. Read the story here.
Peoples' Choice Update Voting ended this week for the first half of the categories for next year's Peoples' Choice Awards, including the Favorite Combined Forces trophy for which Dolly and Norah Jones are up for their performance of "The Grass Is Blue" on last year's CMA Awards. Award organizers added the three final music categories, all country, on Wednesday: Favorite Country Group, Favorite Country Female Singer and Favorite Country Male Singer. Unfortunately, Dolly didn't get a nomination for the women's award, but she is still the only country artist nominated in a non-country category this year. Winners will be announced on CBS Jan. 9.
Review: Dolly High Point Of Jones DVD PopMatters has put in its two cents' on Norah Jones' new DVD Norah Jones and The Handsome Band: Live in 2004 with a review here that notes the major contrast between Jones' laid-back persona and Dolly's larger-than-life personality and how she blows Jones and her band away in their duet of "Creepin' In," which the reviewer notes leaves the viewer "with the distinct, vaguely disappointing feeling that there's a very good chance the concert's high point has passed."
Dec. 1: CMT To Name 20 'Biggest Headlines' You'll have to tune in to see exactly what Dolly story makes the top 20, but Dolly is one of the artists CMT will feature in its 20 Biggest Headlines of 2004, the network announced Tuesday. The show is scheduled to review both the CMA Awards, which had a bit of Dolly controversy, and the CMT Flame Worthy Video Music Awards, which she hosted, so my guess is she'll be mentioned in one or both of those stories. Major tours are also to be included, so perhaps the current "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour could get a mention as well. The show premieres at 9 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, Dec. 18, with repeats Dec. 19 and 20.
Dollywood Auditions Announced Wanna work at Dollywood? The park has announced its 2005 schedule for talent auditions. They will be held Jan. 15 at the Massey Performing Arts Center on Belmont University's campus in Nashville, Jan. 22 at the Fifth Third Bank Theatre in Cincinnati, Jan. 29 at the 14th Street Playhouse in Atlanta and Feb. 5-6 at Dollywood's Celebrity Theatre. Click here for more information.
Rounder Celebrates Single Debut Rounder Records issued a press release this week on the successful debut of The Grascals' debut single, "Viva Las Vegas" with Dolly. "What an impressive beginning!" said Rounder Records General Manager Paul Foley. "For a brand new act to receive this kind of support right out of the box is a testimony to their talent and the wonderful exposure they've received opening Dolly Parton's tour. We expect this level of support will continue to grow along with anticipation for the CD's release." As was reported here last week, the single debuted at No. 3 on the country sales chart but didn't make it onto the largely radio-airplay-based regular country singles chart. The single also debuted at No. 27 on the overall pop singles sales chart.
Down Under Dolly If you're in New Zealand, be sure to catch TVOne at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, as that time will find the hilarious holiday special Graham Goes To Dollywood starring deliciously naughty British talk show host Graham Norton and Dolly herself will air there! Read more here.
Under The Covers Although the CD came out a few months ago, I just found out that Dale Ann Bradley covers Dolly's gospel song "The Master's Hand" on her current album, Send The Angels, released in March on Mountain Home Records. Get your copy here.
Dolly In Print Dolly's sidewalk honor in Natchitoches, La., is shown in the current issue of Southern Living magazine. The publication's holiday section includes the city's Festival of Lights, noting that it appeared in Steel Magnolias, and one of the illustrations used is Dolly's place in the city's "Walk Of Honor" established after the filming. Thanks, Mike!