Please Don't Stop Loving Me (with Porter Wagoner)
Simpson Gets Respect
A CD with a Dolly connection made the Arizona Star's list of the 10 best country albums of the year. Jessica Simpson's Do You Know came in at No. 3 here with the comment: "Frankly, no, we didn't know that this pistol-hot pop princess had some viable country chops. 'Come On Over' and the title cut, with Dolly Parton chiming in on harmony, are worth the price."
Paper: Dolly Not 'Too Old To Rock'
Dolly also made the list of the top music trends of the year in British newspaper The Telegraph here. They cited the success of older artists selling out stadiums across the U.K., including Dolly, Leonard Cohen, Stevie Wonder, Glen Campbell, Neil Young, Brian Wilson and Cliff Richard, as the No. 1 trend of the 2008: "Never too old to rock and roll."
First Look At 'Lady' Of Books
Producers of the Canadian documentary on Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, The Book Lady, on Wednesday released the official trailer for the film. View it in the embedded video below or on YouTube here. Featuring Dolly herself in addition to Miley Cyrus, Keith Urban and others, the best comment in the entire trailer is children's author Robert Munsch wondering if in a couple hundred years Dolly will be a mythical figure who brings books to children, similar to today's Easter Bunny bringing eggs! The trailer was also posted on CMT.com blog and the Imagination Library website. The film will air on the Canadian Broadcasting Company and Bravo! Canada later next year.
Dolly CD One Of Best Misspellings
Magazine Mental Floss has named Dolly's White Limozeen the second greatest intentionally misspelled album title of all time. Read the full list here.
Check This Out
Fan Michelle has a new YouTube channel of fake news called "The Weekly News of Newer Stuff," including her take on the fake news that Dolly is retiring. Check out that installment here.
See Dolly's 'Rainbow'
Putnam Juvenile has released the cover art for Dolly's upcoming children's book, I Am A Rainbow, due out May 14. As has previously been reported, the book, aimed at ages 4-8, will feature 32 pages about how each color corresponds to an emotion and how to properly express those emotions. Click here for a larger view of the cover art at left, and reserve your copy for the sale price of $11.55 (one-third below the suggested retail price) from Amazon.com here. Thanks, Greg!
Latest On 'First Dog' Film
Dolly may have a small role on screen in the upcoming film First Dog, a new report suggests. A piece in The Gilroy Dispatch here states that she will appear in the film. It has previously been reported here that she has contributed several songs which will be used in the film score, but this is the first mention claiming she will appear onscreen. Her name is not listed as an actress in the picture on its movie poster, so if she does act in it, it must be a very small role.
Dolly Hot In Africa
Dolly is one of the most popular performers in rural Africa, according to a piece this week in the British newspaper The Guardian. A writer notes that in a 2001 trip to the rural Teso region of Uganda he expected to hear only traditional African music, but instead, he found Dolly "to be one of the most popular performers on the radios that people listened to while they worked. She was a fairly constant companion to many men and women. For those who spoke English it was not simply Dolly's talent as a composer that appealed, but also her skills as a lyricist." Read the full article here.
'9 To 5' Plugged
MSNBC chose Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical as the top choice in its "5 new Broadway productions that may wow you." Check out the article here. (P.S. The official website for the show here has been updated with lots of new content including an introductory video with Dolly and several video clips from the Los Angeles previews.)
'Barbie' Makes Year-End Tallies
Dolly's current CD, Backwoods Barbie, was the 56th top selling country album of the year, according to the end-of-year tallies released by Billboard magazine. The CD was the only Dolly title to make the top 75 for 2008, although two other titles with her guest vocals did: Jessica Simpson's Do You Know, featuring Dolly on the title song, comes in three points higher at No. 53, and Emmylou Harris' All I Intended To Be, featuring Dolly on "Gold," lands four digits behind Barbie at No. 60. Dolly's CD also gets No. 34 on the year's top independent label albums of the year. And her chart performance of the three titles that made it under her name on the country albums list this year (Barbie and the compilations 16 Biggest Hits and Playlist: The Very Best Of Dolly Parton) earned her the No. 28 spot on the chart of the year's top 50 country album artists, making her the eighth-highest ranked solo female star on the tally. However, when single chart performance is added in with the album charts, she didn't make the top 50 for country performers or top 10 female country artists.
And A Late Review
Meanwhile, Backwoods Barbie gets a great review in the new edition of PowerSource magazine, which names it as a tie with Kim McLean for this month's Album of the Month. Take a look at the full review here, which notes the publication's critics aren't "sure whether the best part of this album" is Dolly writing most of the songs, or the photo of her pushing the lawnmower, or her covers of "Drives Me Crazy" and "The Tracks Of My Tears." Thanks!
'Shinola' Holds On At CMT
Dolly's music video for "Shinola" from Backwoods Barbie holds steady at No. 6 on the countdown for CMT's digital music channel, Pure Country. It marks the video's 12th week on the online-voted Pure 12 Pack. Vote for it here!
A Holly, Dolly Christmas
Great American Country (GAC) host Suzanne Alexander just loves her some Dolly Christmas music. She posted her top 10 all-time favorite holiday songs on the network's website, and Dolly takes all three of the top spots: "Hard Candy Christmas" as No. 1, "A Christmas To Remember" with Kenny Rogers at No. 2 and "Christmas Without You" with Kenny at No. 3. Read the full list here, and get her top three songs on Once Upon A Christmas! Thanks, Toni!
'Very Best' Gone Overseas
After 68 weeks on the Irish pop albums chart, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 is once again out of the top 100, down from No. 91 the previous week, it was announced Friday.
'Once' Continues To Rise
Dolly's holiday classic Once Upon A Christmas with Kenny Rogers enjoys a fifth week on the charts for 2008, it was announced Thursday in the Dec. 20 numbers from Billboard. The 24-year-old album jumps up three to No. 11 in its 53rd week since its release. The CD also sees a fourth week this year on the Canadian country albums chart, rising one to No. 12. Her 16 Biggest Hits slips seven to No. 57 U.S. country in its 61st week. Jessica Simpson's Do You Know, featuring Dolly on the title song, inches down four to No. 48 country in its 11th week. Randy Owen's solo disc, One On One, with the Dolly-written tune "Holding Everything," falls two to No. 59 country in its fifth week. Patty Loveless' Sleepless Nights, including her cover of Porter & Dolly's "The Pain Of Loving You," gains three to No. 64 country in its 13th week. Emmylou Harris' All I Intended To Be, featuring Dolly on "Gold," re-enters the 75-position country albums tally at No. 69 for a 24th week. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," drops five to No. 8 on the country catalog albums chart and gains two to No. 46 Canadian country. Barry Manilow's The Greatest Songs Of The Eighties, with his and Reba's cover of "Islands In The Stream," plummets 38 to No. 52 pop in its second week. Taylor Swift's Fearless holds steady at No. 1 country and No. 2 pop with 193,000 copies sold in its fourth week, while Faith Hill's Christmas collection Joy To The World holds steady at No. 2 country and rises four to No. 13 pop in its 10th week.
More Praise For Collins Tribute
VUE Weekly, the independent newspaper in Edmonton, Alb., Canada, this week gives a big thumbs up to the recent Judy Collins tribute collection Born To The Breed and specifically to Dolly's contribution, opining here: "The irrepressibly awesome Dolly Parton sounds like she's having the time of her life on 'Fisherman's Song.'"
WB Anniversary Set Includes Dolly Cut
There's a Dolly track in the 10-disc Warner Brothers collection Revolutions In Sound: Warner Bros. Records – The First 50 Years, which hit stores on Tuesday. Her Trio No. 1 with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris, "To Know Him Is To Love Him," makes the multi-genre set. Another stand-out is Harris' original version of "Boulder To Birmingham," which Dolly covered on her 1976 album All I Can Do. Get your copy of the new compilation here.
Genius Wit Honored
Perhaps Dolly's most famous line, "It costs a lot of money to look this cheap," takes the top spot as the best one-liner of all time as judged by the editors of Glamour magazine in the countdown of the top zingers published in the January issue.
Faithfull Cover Comes Out
Marianne Faithfull's new CD, Easy Come, Easy Go, hit stores overseas on Tuesday featuring her cover of Dolly's classic "Down From Dover." You may order it as an import from Amazon.com here, and visit Faithfull's MySpace page here to listen to a sample of the song's first few verses.
Acting Chops Cited
New York Daily News on Monday offered a look at several of the latest singers to enter the acting realm, singling out the "stinkers" and those who have had success. The trailblazing singing actresses noted in the piece were Doris Day, Cher, Dolly, Bette Midler and Barbara Streisand. About Dolly, the writer stated: "Dolly brought us 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias, classics that will forever stock the DVD shelves of Best Buy." Read more here.
Chatting About Dolly
Singer Isobel Campbell tells British newspaper The Guardian that Dolly is her "living female icon" in a Q&A with several notable women about being women in a special section on female equality. Read the interviews here.
Award And Fashion Statement
Ivan Chermayeff, the designer of the Kennedy Center Honor medal, discusses its artistic inspiration and his surprise that women, including Dolly, have their dresses specially designed to accommodate the award, in an interview with The Washington Post here.
Dolly Slides On CMT, Overseas
Dolly's music video for "Shinola" from Backwoods Barbie dips a bit this week on the countdown for CMT's digital music channel, Pure Country. The video loses four places to recapture No. 6 in the online-voted Pure 12 Pack in its 11th week. Vote for next week's tally here! In Ireland, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 drops 17 spots to No. 91 in its 68th week on the top 100 Irish pop albums chart, it was announced Friday.
Dolly Praises Jones
Her comment didn't make The Washington Post's profile of George Jones in recognition of his Kennedy Center Honors, but they included it in a blog here. Dolly said about Jones: "Anyone who knows or cares anything about real country music will agree that George Jones is the voice of it. I believe every word and every emotion that comes out of his heart and his mouth. He has always been a favorite of mine."
Dolly's 'Sha-Kon-O-Hey' Partner Revealed
The person writing the book (or script) for the actors to perform in Dolly's upcoming Dollywood musical Sha-Kon-O-Hey has been revealed. It's playwright/director/choreographer David H. Bell, who is profiled in The Chicago Sun Times here this week. He calls the production "kind of a 'Brigadoon' for the Smokies."
The Des Moines Register has a great interview with Dolly's sister Stella in Friday's edition covering their relationship, having a career in Dolly's shadow and much more. Read it here.
Tribute Show Planned
Performer Our Lady J is hosting her second annual "Gospel of Dolly" event honoring Dolly's music Dec. 19 at The Zipper Factory Theater in New York, Broadway World reports here Tickets are $20. The evening will feature The Pink Champagne Orhestra and the Train To Kill Gospel Choir as well as Novice Theory and Taylor Mac.
Free CD In U.K.
Details on which CD is being given away haven't been revealed, but Brand Republic reports here that London's Sunday Express newspaper is providing those who purchase this week's edition with a free Dolly and Kenny Rogers CD insert.
Thanks to Jon for alerting me that a Christmas tree up for auction by Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville this year benefits the Tennessee Governor's Books from Birth Foundation, which is the statewide body that provides matching funds for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. See the tree here. And speaking of the Library, another community has signed on: Danbury, Conn., thanks to the United Way of Western Connecticut , The Danbury News Times reports here.
'Once' Stays In Top 15
Once Upon A Christmas, the classic 1984 seasonal collection from Dolly and Kenny Rogers, sticks around for a fourth week this year on the country catalog albums chart, the Dec. 13 tallies from Billboard released Thursday revealed. The CD dips one to No. 14 in its 52nd week since its release. The album also earns a third week this year on the Canadian country albums chart, rising two to No. 13. Her Backwoods Barbie falls off the Canadian country chart after returning for two weeks following her tour dates north of the border, falling from No. 39 the previous week, its 10th. Dolly's 16 Biggest Hits shoots up a dozen digits to No. 50 U.S. country in its 60th week. Jessica Simpson's Do You Know, with Dolly on the title track she wrote, gains four to No. 44 country in its 10th week. Randy Owen's solo disc, One On One, featuring the Dolly-written track "Holding Everything," loses 17 to No. 57 country in its fourth week. Patty Loveless' Sleepless Nights, which includes her cover of Porter & Dolly's "The Pain Of Loving You," falls 14 to No. 67 country in its 12th week. Emmylou Harris' All I Intended To Be, with Dolly on "Gold," falls back off the 75-position country albums tally, down from No. 73 the previous week, its 23rd. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, featuring Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," rises six to No. 3 on the country catalog albums chart and holds steady at No. 48 Canadian country. Barry Manilow's The Greatest Songs Of The Eighties, with his and Reba's cover of "Islands In The Stream," debuts at No. 14 with 78,000 copies sold. Taylor Swift's Fearless holds steady at No. 1 country and gains two to No. 2 pop with 267,000 copies sold in its third week, while Faith Hill's Christmas collection Joy To The World holds steady at No. 2 country and inches down one to No. 17 pop in its ninth week.
Resnick Talks To 'After Ellen'
A great interview with 9 To 5: The Musical scriptwriter Patricia Resnick was posted Thursday on lesbian news site After Ellen. She discusses working with Dolly, the original script she wrote for the film and other topics. Read more here.
PETA Commercial Returns
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has re-issued the public service announcement Dolly helped with back in 2003 to encourage pet owners to not leave their four-legged loved ones alone too long. Her song "Will He Be Waiting" plays as actress Kathy Najimy lip-synchs while she rushes home. It turns out at the end that she is speeding to return to her beloved dog. Read a note about the commercial from The Tennessean here.
Dolly Songs On Tap For New Film
Dolly is helping out an independent family film with a selection of several new, original songs to make up its score. First Dogs is being filmed over the next two weeks in Morgan Hill, Calif., according to The Morgan Hill Times here. The film stars Dan Aykroyd and Eric Roberts as well as a little boy who finds a lost dog he believes belongs to the president of the United States and embarks on a cross-country adventure to return the animal home. No word on Dolly making any appearance in the film other than her songs, but the project was written and directed by Bryan Michael Stoller, and it's not Dolly's first connection to him. She had earlier composed four songs for and signed on to play the starring role in his film about a woman running an orphanage who befriends an ex con played by Michael Clarke Duncan which had been in development under the titles A Christmas Rap about eight years ago and The Wishing Well about five years ago, but that project fell through. Check out a sound clip of one of her songs for the new film and see a letter she wrote its director on the movie's website here. (Click on the poster for a larger view.)
No 2009 Grammy For Dolly
Grammy nominations were revealed Wednesday night, but there were no nods for Dolly. The only projects with a Dolly connection to make the cut were Emmylou Harris' All I Intended To Be, featuring Dolly on "Gold" and which is up for Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album, and Patty Loveless' Sleepless Nights, with her cover of Porter & Dolly's "The Pain Of Loving You" and which is nominated for Best Country Album. (The LA Times critic who predicted a nomination in that category for Backwoods Barbie only got one out of the five nominees correct.)
Another Fan Shares Backstage Memory
Thanks to Bill for adding his shot with Dolly at the Richmond charity concert to the images of meeting her on the Backwoods Barbie World Tour that are available for viewing on the site. Check out his photo here.
Another Library Chapter Celebrated
The availability of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program in three upper peninsula counties in Michigan earned some coverage Tuesday from the "9 and 10 News" station in Cadillac, Mich. Check out the story here.
Another Series Of Honors For Dollywood
Dolly's East Tennessee theme park took home four trophies from this year's International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) awards, the park has announced. Dollywood won its third consecutive Heartbeat Award for the theme park show with the greatest ability to reach the hearts of its audience. "Dreamland Drive-In" repeated the win in this category it first claimed in 2006, while the park's "Great American Country Show" won last year. The Gem Tones took home Best Atmosphere/Street Performer, "Creature Adventures Starring The Kratt Brothers" snagged an honorable mention for Best Live Edutainment Show, and Arnie Shaw from "The Great American Country Show" got an honorable mention for Best Female Performer. The four honors bring the park's total IAAPA wins to 11 over the past three years, more than any other theme park worldwide.
Paper: Dolly Likely To Get Nomination
Los Angeles Times music critic Todd Martens thinks Dolly's name will be called Wednesday night when next year's Grammy nominations are revealed in a prime time special. He predicts here that the five nominees for Best Country Album will be Dolly's Backwoods Barbie, Sugarland's Love On The Inside, Carrie Underwood's Carnival Ride, George Strait's Troubadour and Brooks & Dunn's Cowboy Town. In her career, Dolly has won seven Grammy Awards and been nominated 44 times. Her most recent win was Best Country Female Vocal Performance six years ago for "Shine," and her most recent nominations were last year for Best Song Written For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media ("Travelin' Thru") and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals ("Tomorrow Is Forever" with Solomon Burke). She was not nominated for this year's awards. Her most recent nomination for Best Country Album was for 2002's Halos & Horns.
Hushabye Baby, a record label that makes children's instrumental lullabyes out of country songs, plans to cover some Dolly tracks soon, according to a piece in News OK here. No release date has been revealed for the Dolly CD.
Thanks to Kelly for sending in, yes, even more photos with Dolly from the past tour. These come from the charity meet-and-greet in Kentucky. There's one here and a truly priceless one here! And Stephanie sent in hers from the same event, where she and her mother, Vicki, met Dolly. See it here! Thanks!
'9 To 5' Sales Hit Snag Monday
Tickets went on sale Monday to the general public for Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical, albeit it a little delayed. Although as of Sunday night, Ticketmaster still showed that seats would be available starting at 10 a.m. Eastern, they continued the American Express-only pre-sale at that time and removed the public sale date/time from the listings. A couple of hours later, though, whatever problem existed had been corrected and public ticket sales were rescheduled to start at 12:30 p.m.
A Mighty Doctor
The Knoxville News-Sentinel on Monday offered a nice profile of mountain medical missionary Dr. Robert F. Thomas, whom Dolly immortalized in song as the doctor who delivered her. Today, she serves as a very active honorary chairperson of the foundation which bears his name. Read the piece here.
Britney Is Today's Dolly?
One reviewer thinks the Britney Spears captured in the new documentary Britney: For The Record reminds him of a "failed Dolly," exhibiting a personality similar to Dolly's but nowhere near the "kind of a genius" that Dolly is. Read the full piece from Idolator here.
Catch Up With Stella
Check out a new interview with Dolly's sister Stella here from Country Stars Central.
'9 To 5' Sale Starts Monday
Don't forget that tickets to Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Eastern time Monday, following more than a month of tickets being sold to American Express cardmembers. The publicly-available seats for the April 7 first Broadway preview to the April 30 official opening and beyond are $120 in the orchestra (floor seats) and range from $65 to $120 in the second level of the theatre and are available from Ticketmaster.
Dolly Featured In Photo Book
A Dolly shot is among the full-page images captured in a new coffee table book by former Rolling Stone photographer Mark Seliger called The Music Book and published by teNeues. Her photo features her surrounded by roses and was taken by the photographer for a 2006 Vanity Fair article (check it out here in a note about the book from The Boston Globe). Get your copy (on sale for one-third off regular price at Amazon.com) here!
Collins Tribute Gets Ink
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review gives good marks this week to the recent release Born To The Breed, on which Dolly performs. The paper says here that the collection "is not only a tribute to Judy Collins, it also is one to good songwriting and performance."