Dollywood's Celebrity Theatre, Friday, June 18, 2004.
(Dolly is introduced and walks on stage to applause and cheers from the crowd.)
Hello everybody! Woo-hoo! Well, good morning, and thank you for showing up! I wanted to welcome all of you to KidsFest and to be part of a very special announcement today. You been having fun so far? You ain't -- you barely got here right? We have got so much stuff planned you won't believe it. But anyhow, it is, we really have some very important guests today. In fact, we probably have one of the biggest guests that we've ever had here at Dollywood, but before we get to that, we have some business we have to take care of before we have fun.
Anyhow, one of, uh, here we. (Dolly looks down at a teleprompter at the foot of the stage and pauses.) I'm tryin' to read off a teleprompter. One of the main reason, oh, yeah, I know this already! One of the main reasons that I wanted to create Dollywood was to have a great place for kids to go. I mean, just imagine how empty Dollywood would be without the kids around. The sounds and the sights and the smells of kids. There'd be no laughing. There'd be no squealing, no squallin', no hollerin', and no energy. There also wouldn't be any cryin', any barfin', hee-hee, any burpin', any teasin', any tauntin' or any tattle-telling'! That wouldn't be good! So about a year ago, we decided that we wanted to add a whole other layer of kid-friendly shows here at Dollywood and call it KidFest. And it has been a really, really big hit. And I think the strollers outnumber the cars here at the park these days.
This year we have all sorts of wonderful things happening. (A person in a large bear costume walks on stage.) Well, hey, little fella! What are you doing out here? Are you, are you lost or something? Well, just sure, you just stay right there. I'll find somebody who's supposed to be looking after you. Hey! Is there any . . . (A man runs on stage.)
Zeke: I'm so sorry for interrupting. Oh, but, course he is one of your biggest fans.
Dolly: Oh, well, good! How are you? And, and, anyway.
Zeke: Yes, ah, we are a little lost. We're supposed to be looking for um, . . . KidsFest at Dollywood. Can you help us find it?
Dolly: I believe I can. This is your lucky day! You are in the right place! This is Dollywood and KidsFest! So, see, you weren't lost after all!
Zeke: Oh, excellent! Well, thank you, ma'am.
Dolly: Well, you are very welcome!
Zeke: Oh, and I am Ezekiel J. Hoppyberry.
Dolly: Well, nice to met you.
Zeke: You, too.
Dolly: And welcome to Dollywood!
Zeke: Thank you. And this is my best friend, Bear.
Dolly: Hey, Bear! I'm glad you've got a name. Nice to see you and welcome to Dollywood. And, uh, we, I see a bunch of commotion back there. What's . . .
Zeke: Yeah, those are all my friends. Would you like to meet them?
Dolly: Oh, I'd love to! Bring 'em out!
Zeke: Well, first we have the folks from Perondi's Extreme Canine Show! (The trainers and dogs come on stage. Applause.)
Dolly: Yea! They're good! Welcome to the KidsFest! Yea! Oh, ain't they cute! I'm a . . .
Zeke: Alright! Next we have the athletes from the ASA Extreme Sports Show! Back for their second year, and they're seen all over the world! (The athletes enter the stage. Applause.)
Dolly: All the kids love them!
Zeke: Oh, I know. It's great.
Dolly: Wow! This is great! Welcome to Dollywood!
Zeke: And then next we have, um, Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber from VeggieTales! (Bob and Larry come on stage. Applause. Children cheer from the audience.)
Dolly: They were here last year! They were a big hit! Good to see you guys again! Ha-ha!
Zeke: They brought a lot of smiles! The crowd just really seems to like them.
Dolly: Yeah! This is good! Who else you got back there?
Zeke: Oh, well, last but not least, for the first time, we have the incredible Smoky Mountain Bear Jam! (The bears arrive on stage. Applause.)
Dolly: Oh, we like the Smoky Mountain Bears around here! My goodness! Look at all these people! I'm telling you, you and your friends sure are bringing a lot of fun and joy here to the KidsFest at Dollywood!
Zeke: Well, thank you, Dolly!
Dolly: Yeah, and welcome to all of you! Every one of you. It's gonna be fun!
Zeke: Hey, Bear. And also we need to get going. We, we got a lot of kids to see today.
Dolly: Yeah, you got a lot of work to do, too. They're gonna be here entertaining everybody all day. So y'all get on with it, then. Get in place, and we'll just see ya later. Have fun! How 'bout a nice hand for all the things we're gonna get to do this weekend! (Applause.) Hey! How you doing?
And, of course, if that's not enough to entertain you, you do know that we have that big ole wooden roller coaster up there on the hill called Thunderhead. They say that it is the No. 1 wooden roller coaster on the planet. It was voted there. Voted that, I mean. (Applause.) Well, that's what they said! That's according to Thrill Rides.com. 'Course I posted that note on there. (Laughs.)
Anyway, we really are proud of everything we have here at Dollywood and the KidsFest thing is great. It's gonna be a fun summer for everybody, especially for me because it gives me a chance to be a big kid again, and don't we all just love to do that?
Anyhow, let's get started with the first award, which is our Dolly Parton Scholarship Awards, now. I'm gonna bring out David Dotson, who heads up our Imagination Library, and he's gonna introduce all the winners to you. So, David Dotson, why don't you come on out and talk awhile!
David: I will, thank you, Dolly.
Dolly: How 'bout a nice hand for David? (Applause.) He works so hard to make sure all this stuff keeps rollin', and we're so proud of you.
David: Well, thank you. Got the best job in the world.
Dolly: Well, good! He's doin' it!
David: I will, as long as you'll keep me.
David: OK? It's my pleasure to introduce the Dolly Parton Scholarship Award winners this year. I'm going to introduce them to Dolly and to you. Each year, Dolly partners with Citizens National Bank, Tennessee State Bank, Dixie Stampede and the Sevier County High School Alumni Association to give four $15,000 scholarships to students in Sevier County. So this is our special time to present them to Dolly and to you. So.
Dolly: Can't wait to meet 'em!
David: Well, here they go. The first . . .
Dolly: Like a game show! Bring 'em on out!
David: The first one, Dolly, is Courtney Hyder. Come on out, Courtney! (Applause.)
Dolly: Hey, Courtney! How are you? Well, congratulations to you. Feels good to graduate, don't it? Yeah, nice to see you. You're a beautiful girl! I guess you can step over there and we'll just make some room for some of the others there.
David: And I'd like to introduce now . . .
Dolly: They want us to make a circle for a picture later.
David: Mr. Blake Carr.
Dolly: Hey, Blake! Hey! (Applause.) We got some tall ones, too! Hi there. Nice to see you. Congratulations. Yeah, you stand over there with her, and we'll see who else you got. Friends back there, huh?
David: And our third winner is, uh, Jamie Wilson. (Applause.)
Dolly: Hey, Jamie! How are you? Congratulations. Nice to see you. Yeah.
David: And last, but certainly not least, is Stephanie Hankin. (Applause.)
Dolly: Hey, Stephanie! How are you? Well, we're proud of every one of you. Nice to see you, Stephanie. So, we're gonna take a picture with everybody, right? So if we all huddle here. Where's our guy? You're gonna be . . .
David: He's out there.
Dolly: He's right here? Where?
David: Yeah, just stare out there dead center.
Dolly: Just stare out. There's a whole bunch of cameras! What I thinkin', what am I thinking'. That's the press out there!
Pete Owens: We got it.
David: OK. They got it. Thank you.
Dolly: And congratulations. Nice meeting all of you. (Applause as the students leave the stage.)
Student: Thank you.
Dolly: Well, you do know that every special student always has to have a special teacher? And I thought that it was important to have the teacher of the year, who's gone that extra mile to make their students special. Anyhow, they gave me the first Chasing Rainbows Award back awhile. And, a, course, now, every year after, I get to give it to somebody else. So, David, if you wanna tell us who that's gonna be, well, we'll just take it from there.
David: I'll do it. The Chasing Rainbows Award, as Dolly mentioned, is given by the National State Teacher Of The Year organization and Dolly Parton. This year's award winner is from New York, so she's a long ways away, and she's come to visit us to celebrate this moment. Like all Chasing Rainbows Awards winners, they're basically based on the obstacles they've had to face in over time and the inspiration they are to their students.
Her obstacles were one of the situations where many people find where in a family things look pretty good on the outside but don't necessarily feel so good on the inside. But she saw a teacher very early on that inspired her and she told us that she felt two things about that special teacher: No. 1, she wished that she could adopt her. And then, No. 2, she wished the teacher would be absent so she could take over the class.
David: So she's one on to inspire many other students. She's a math teacher and has helped kids not only figure out numbers but figure out life. Her students have become doctors, lawyers, teachers, but most importantly, the folks she's inspired are now inspiring the next generation of children. So, Dolly, it is my honor and pleasure to present to you and to our crowd Dr. Patricia Jordan from Brooklyn, New York. (Applause.)
Dolly: Yea, come on up here, Patricia! Here you come! (Singing.) "Here she comes again." Hello there! Well, you do look special. No wonder they wanted you. Nice to see you. (Dolly is given the award.) Oh, look a-there! Oh!
Patricia: Thank you.
Dolly: Listen, you take that. (Hands it to her.)
Patricia: Thank you. I, I just really, just want to say thank you so much. I'm so thrilled. I just have to tell David I'm from the South Bronx. I'm not from Brooklyn. And ever since I was in the first grade . . .
Dolly: There's no difference to us Southerners!
Patricia: Ever since I was in the first grade, I wanted to be a teacher. And my dreams were fulfilled by having such a rewarding career. I also established a scholarship program in the Bronx for children from housing projects. But my dreams were really fulfilled was by bringing my husband, Jack; my daughter, Alexa; and me here to this beautiful state of Tennessee and to meet the one and only Dolly Parton! (Cheers from the audience.) So to, to my dear friend Edna Rogers and the National State Teachers Of The Year, to David Dotson and the Dollywood Foundation, to you, Dolly Parton, I want to say I'm extremely happy, I'm eternally grateful, and if I can quote my favorite singer in the world, "I Will Always Love You."
Patricia: Thank you.
Dolly: Thank you. We're so honored to have you here. And congratulations. You certainly look like you deserve all this. (unintelligible two words). Yeah, let's take a picture right here. (They pose.) That's her husband. (Dolly points to the front row.) He is cute! She says, "He's cute, ain't he!" Where's your little girl? I saw her down there, too.
Patricia: There's Alexa.
Dolly: Hi, Alexa! How are you? Anyways, (unintelligible). That's a beautiful outfit you have on. And congratulations to you. (Applause as teacher and David exit.) We'll make sure you get that. He'll hang onto it for you.
Now, I know that you all are here for a special announcement about the Imagination Library. And course I'm often asked where the inspiration for the library came from. And I love to talk about my family, and actually, everything good that ever came good to me came from my family -- on one side or the other. My dad, as I've often told the story, was one of the hardest working people I've ever known in my life.
My dad never had an opportunity to go to school. My dad never was able to read and write, and he was so very proud of us when we started the Imagination Library. He thought that was the most wonderful thing, and one of his greatest joys was when they named me "The Book Lady." Daddy was so happy with that. That meant more to him than saying I was a big country star or whatever. I lost my dad a few years back, but I know he's watchin' us today and he's real proud of me and all these wonderful people. And the other reason that I was inspired to do this is my mother. My mother loved to read. She loved the Bible, mostly. That was mainly the book that we had in our house. And, uh, she used to read all the wonderful stories to me from the Bible, or to all of us, really. I would sit in her lap, or we'd sit at her feet while she was sewing, or whatever, and she would read or tell stories from the Bible. And it led me to thinking that if somehow I could help even one child feel the love that I felt on those nights with my mama, well, then maybe I did have something special to offer all the children.
So we started the Imagination Library with that feeling in our minds and in our hearts. And, course, we had no idea that that little program that we started right here in Sevier County was going to grow to be 300 communities in 36 states right now. Is that great? (Applause.) We're so proud, and we're still growing! And, of course, I get to introduce a very special person to you now. For over a year, he's been puttin' up with my kiddin' and my teasin'. And He's a lot like my husband, Carl Dean. I just run on and on about stuff, and he looks at me, and smiles, and I know he's thinkin', "She's gonna have to take a breath sooner or later, and that's when I'm gonna leave!" (Laughs.) But, seriously, I never thought that I'd meet somebody that loved kids more than me, and is, was as interested in their well-being and their education, but I have met him. And we have him this morning. He got up, actually got on a plane in Nashville around 6 o'clock just to get up here to make this festivities, and I'm very honored and proud to know him and to have him as our governor! How 'bout a nice hand for Governor Phil Bredesen? (Applause as he enters the stage.) Yeah, you! How are you?
Gov.: Thank you.
Dolly: Welcome! You take it from here for a while.
Gov.: Well, um, I just want to say, Dolly, that the idea of the Imagination Library was wonderful. And we're here to help it grow even more. Ah, I wanna announce today that we are taking, state government has taken on the responsibility of taking it statewide. We want to have every one of the 95 counties in Tennessee, um, to have the Imagination Library in place and every one of the children in the state of Tennessee who are from birth to 5 years old to have a book every month in their home so that they can enjoy some of the same love from their parents and people who might read to them that you were, that you were talking about. This year, we put in the budget a couple million dollars. We're going to try to do it in partnership with businesses or with nonprofit organizations in the counties to make it work. And I just, uh, I'm so proud to be associated with it. And let me just say thank you to you for everything you've done to put this idea on the table, and, uh, we're gonna pick it up and help make it work in Tennessee and, I hope, someday the whole United States will be doing this. (Applause.)
Dolly: Well, we're hoping that, too! Thank you so much for your help. And the good thing is, a lot of people don't always completely understand, or talk to taxpayers, they think maybe, you know, they're having to do all this, which we all are involved in it, but this really has nothing to do with you being a politician and me being a star. We're just in a good position to where we are able to help these children, and helping with their education is the best thing. So I think it's very great of you to get involved and get the whole state of Tennessee involved, and I's just thinkin' it's wonderful that we can do this for our children. As Whitney Houston's song says, our children are our future. So, thank you.
Gov: You're exactly right. And, listen, I just want to say I do like to think of myself as a statesman rather than a politician. (Laughs.)
Dolly: Well, I'm sorry.
Gov.: Alright, alright.
Dolly: You're just a politician to me! (Laughs.) I'll vote for you!
Gov.: Listen, we've got, uh, we've got some people here, if it's OK to bring 'em out.
Gov.: From some of the counties that are already operating the Imagination Library you got started and some new ones that are ready to go.
Gov.: Ah, Sevier County, your very own county. (Representatives of the program in each county come on stage as their area is called.) It started there.
Dolly: Well, I know that county! Come on out, now. Don't embarrass me!
Gov.: Cocke County, Jefferson County, Campbell County, Monroe County, Macon County, Meigs, Obion, Perry, Van Buren, Lewis. Three neighborhoods. This is great. In Johnson City, Keystone Tyler and the West 8th Avenue neighborhoods, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.
Dolly: And they're good lookin' folks, too, ain't they! Come on out here! Congratulations!
Gov: And we got, and we got some new sites that are ready to go: Knox County, that's a big one.
Gov.: Sullivan, Anderson, McMinn, Warren, Loudon, Pickett, Roane and Haywood.
Dolly: And you tell me you're not a politician. You said every one of those perfect.
Gov.: You gotta.
Dolly: You know your state.
Gov.: You gotta learn those names.
Dolly: You know your state.
Gov. When you're governor you gotta know those names.
Dolly: Anyway, we're well, we welcome all of you. We're proud to have all of you here. This is gonna be a wonderful work that we're all doin' tryin' to help all our little youngins.
Gov.: It's great.
Dolly: And we are. (Applause.) Anyways, ah.
Gov: We're going to do a picture?
Dolly: Oh yeah, we are. Y'all, we're gonna scoot back here 'cause I keep forgettin' we got all the press. I just think we're doin' a show up here. Scoot back and we're gonna do a photo op. Everybody scoot around. They say if you can't see the camera, it can't see you. Can you see anything out there? (Laughs.) How we doin' do far? OK! Think you got it? I think we do. Anyway, so, if you folks want to go wherever you go, we'll, we'll just continue up here. Thank you. (Laughs.) Thanks every. How 'bout a nice hand for all these nice folks helping' all our kids. (Applause.)
Gov.: Dolly, as you know, when you do this it takes an awful lot of work. And I'd like to introduce to you and ask if you'd like to come out, Lady Jackson.
Dolly: Oh, yeah.
Gov.: The lady who's going to make all this stuff, uh, make all this stuff work.
Dolly: Well, we have to have people like that. If you're gonna bring your Lady out, I need to bring my guy out! David Dotson, won't you come out? (To Jackson:) How are you? Nice to see you. Welcome. Yeah, David, you come on and we'll just, I guess this'd be another good photo op. Don't you think? And thank you for all the great work you're doing, and thank you for all you're gonna be doing and have done so far. So, anyway, we're gonna put this microphone behind me and take a picture. (They pose. Dolly bumps into the governor.)
(Laughs) I wanted to bump the governor! (Laughs and applause.) Look how red his face got! I wadn't gonna bump you hard, though. Anyways.
Gov.: Thank you so much. I guess that was, may I watch the show?
Dolly: I think you should. David, gonna . . .
David: I've got one more thing, though, we have for you governor, from Dolly, a couple of special gifts that we'd like to give you.
Dolly: Oh, yeah. I forgot I got you something! (Laughs.) I just sent David out shopping for me.
David: I bought a suit!
Dolly: Actually, I have something for you. (A person comes on stage with an oversized book.)
David: This is . . .
Gov.: Oh, that's, look at this.
David: This is a customized version of The Little Engine That Could, which is the first book that every child in the library receives. The complete story. All the pages open up there, so.
Dolly: Yeah, see, you're gonna be busy now. You have to read all this.
Gov.: That's one of my favorite stories. (Another person carries an oversized proclamation on stage.)
David: Yes, and we also have here for you. One of the things we do across the county, we won't read it, but we have our. I know you have proclamations. But we have a Dolly proclamation, and Dolly gives a proclamation to every community who adopts the program, and this, we did so large because your leadership has brought this to the first state. So we just want to thank you very much for all your vision and commitment to what we're doing. Thank you.
Gov.: Thank you very much.
Dolly: That's for you. Hang it in your garage or in your workshop, whatever. (Applause.) But thank you so much. Anyway, I know all the press are itching to ask. No, you're not sitting down yet! They're gonna ask us some questions. You're tryin' to worm outta that, ain't ya!
Gov.: Oh. Hey, ask her the hard ones and me the easy ones.
Dolly: OK. Well, actually we're gonna do a little question and answer thing. I'm sure some of these folks have a few questions for us. So, is somebody down there with a microphone? Wherever you are.
Pete: I'm, I'm down here. I'm in the center, six rows back, Dolly.
Dolly: Well, we can't see from up here. So we'll take your word for it. We can hear 'em.
Pete: Alright. In the middle, right down here.
Dolly: Oh, OK. Somewhere down in there. (Laughs.)
Q: Dolly, why is it so important to reach children at a very young age, um, bring books into their lives, to bring art and creativity into their lives?
Dolly: Well. I think that it's just important when they, you know, they always say that children are the most impressionable from, you know, like from 1 to 5 years old, and I just really think if kids can learn to love books and know that books are important. I believe if you can read, you can do anything in the whole wide world, even if you don't get a chance to get a great education. But in the Imagination Library we felt like it was also a wonderful opportunity for the little children and the parents to have special time together and that also just adds some deeper love and emotion to that. But I just think it's the right time to catch 'em, when they're little, when they're smart and learning things.
Gov.: And you know there, there's nothing, there's nothing more important for success in school and beyond, being able to read. And that love of books, I mean, just, just having those things, you know, the things in your home and having a chance for your mother or father or caregiver to read to you it just makes, it makes all the difference in the world.
Dolly: I think you're right. It's like I was saying earlier about my dad not being able to read and write. My dad was so smart that, you know, he could just do anything. And I, uh, often wondered what all my daddy might have done had he been able to have an education. So, you just never know. I mean, he was great. I'm glad he was my daddy just like he was. But I think my dad could have been president, certainly governor! (Laughs.)
Gov.: Well, it doesn't take too much to be governor. I can tell you that.
Dolly: Well, I don't know. I think it takes a lot -- to be a good governor!
Dolly: And you are one. Next?
Pete: Right over here.
Dolly: OK. Right.
Becky: Hey, Dolly. I'm Becky from Channel 10 in Knoxville.
Becky: I just wanta, I guess, ask you. I know you must be thrilled by the governor's announcement. I know that when we've talked to you that you have said you were pretty determined, in a joking way, to hold Governor Bredesen to his promise of state money. Talk about this and your reaction and, and, I guess just how thrilled you are, but also the difference this will make.
Dolly: Well, I really felt like it was important that the whole state get involved and, of course, I have ribbed him a great deal, like when he was running for office and, you know, I kept sayin; now I'm gonna. He said we will help and we will do this and that, and I said, "Well, I'm gonna hold you to it because you're gonna have to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak." And he's had his hands full with all the problems with Tennessee and all of our health problems and insurance and all that stuff, but he lived up to his promise and we know it's a big job having to pay for so many things, but I'm so happy that he did see that education is a great part of it and if people like him, like me and like all of you get out and help with it, then, you know, I just think to educate our children is going to make the difference in what our state will be in the future.
Gov.: And you know, it's, it's such a great idea, and it's a home-grown idea. It's Dolly's idea. It's right here in Tennessee. It's right here in Sevier County. And it's, it's, it's a special pleasure taking a home-grown idea like that and really working', puttin', uh, puttin', gettin' in harness and working to make it really work.
Dolly: Well, it, it's a good thing. People say, well, why do you do it, and I say, well, when you get in a position to help, you should help.
Gov.: Exactly right.
Dolly: 'Cause I, I mean it's like you. I'm in a position where to I can get out and use my name and fame to really get good things going. And it makes me feel good inside, too, to know that I'm doing something good for somebody else, especially the kids. Thank you.
Pete: A little further down the row here.
Q: How long do you expect it to take to implement the program statewide?
Dolly: Well, we don't know for sure. We got great people working on it everyday. And of course we'd love it to happen tomorrow, but we have just, uh, we have grown so much faster than we even imagined we could with our starting out. Like I say, we just started here and with a few communities and now we're just everywhere. And we're just still growing.
Gov.: Yeah, what, what we're trying to do to make it, to make it really happen is to find a partner in each county. It might be, uh, one of the service clubs, the lunch clubs or something like that. It might be a business. And, uh, and really work in partnership with, uh, with them to do it. And that way we'll have something that will last. It's not just here while, you know, while this particular governor's here or something else. It's something that really is, it really is got roots in that, in that county and, and can take this on and make it work for a long, long time.
Dolly: Good. That sounded good.
Pete: One, one more right back, uh, same direction.
Chloe: I'm Chloe Morroni from Channel 8, and I'm wondering (coughs), excuse me, I'm wondering how important, really, is it for the state to step in and take this to the next level? Obviously this is a success here in Sevier County, but how important is it for it statewide?
Gov.: I, uh, I think it's very important, um. One of the things that, that it is really a mission for me is to make sure that whether you live in the most rural county or the poorest county in the state you have access to the same things if you live in the richest suburb somewhere in the, somewhere in the state. So I think really stepping out and really working to make this work statewide, which is what, well, Dolly really wanted when we talked about it, I think it's very, it's very, very important to make that, to make that happen. It's going to take a little while because we are trying to, to get it rooted. But, uh, every child no matter where they are in our state ought to have these books. And, uh, I know I'm rollin' up my sleeves and bustin' myself to try and really get this done.
Dolly: And we appreciate you for it, and I know they do. Thanks. (Applause.)
Pete: Back in the center. We have time for two more questions.
Duane: Hi. Duane Gordon from Dollymania.net.
Dolly: Oh, hi! Hi! Hee-hee!
Duane: And I have one quick question for each of you. First, for the governor, what is it like working on a project of this magnitude with someone like Dolly? And, for Dolly, when are we going to see you in concert again?
Dolly: You go first.
Gov.: OK. Uh, I can honestly say it is an experience workin' with Dolly. (Laughs.)
Dolly: A good one or a bad one? (Laughs.)
Gov.: No, it's a very good, very good experience. What she said about, you know, you may have egged me on a little bit, it was actually somewhat stronger than that. And, uh. (Laughs.)
Dolly: Well, that's true.
Gov.: But this is, a, working with Dolly is great. I mean, she's somebody that, that, that has, I think, the kind of people I really admire are people who have done very well but they understand that they're standin' on shoulders and standin' on foundations and when good things happen to you, you've got an obligation to turn around and feed some of those things back in it. It really has been an honor to work with Dolly on this, and I hope it's the first of many projects with Dolly.
Dolly: And so do I. I have a feeling it would be. Anyhow, we, we thank you again so much for all your help. And to answer your other question, I, I don't know for sure when I'm actually going to be out in concert. I've got, uh, several things that I'm working on at the time, at the time. But I'm thinking about doing some things, maybe up here in the fall festival for our bluegrass and gospel things. I may do, I may try to do a, some concerts up here like our usual Dolly concerts. So if I don't get out on the road before that, you can come up here and see us in September! OK? Thank you. (Applause and loud cheers from the crowd.)
Pete: One last question over here. (Applause and cheers.)
Q: Dolly, will you all make an effort to inform and educate and inspire the parents of these children who are receiving the books so that they know what to do with the books and how important it is to read to their children?
Dolly: Well, that's a very good question. And we do try to work with the parents, and that's one of the things we try to encourage with the Imagination Library is for the parents to work very close with their children and to read to them and to explain how important this is, and so I just think it's just vital that the parents be involved with this to, uh, you know, let them know exactly what the program is and that there are people that do care about them and these are special gifts and other children, maybe don't have the good fortune to have all this going for them. But we're trying to get them out, so it let's the children and the parents feel like they're part of a bigger thing to help other people as well as themselves. Do you have anything you want to say?
Gov.: Just to say, you know, one of the greatest things about, about the love that parents have for their children or caregivers is that whether you're rich or you're poor, there's something you can do, um. The stories you tell about bring read the Bible is an inspiring one, and, um, I certainly, for my part, want to ask every parent to make sure he just finds the time to sit down and be with your kids and read to 'em and help 'em to show that great big world that's really out there waiting for them.
Dolly: I agree. And you, you touched on something that I wanted to say something about. With these books, you know, like usually when you doin' programs you, you will do things for the less fortunate, people that can't afford to. But there's no, these books go out to everybody. 'Cause I know a lot of rich people that don't have the education they that they should have or that they would have liked to have had, so these books were not limited to any, any one in particular. No matter what their income may be. These books go out so these children can learn to read.
Gov.: And there's quite a many of rich people who don't spend the time with their kids they should either.
Dolly: That's very true.
Gov.: So we're talkin', we're talkin' to everybody.
Dolly: It's important to stay . . . .
Gov.: That's right.
Dolly: So it's important to stay involved with your children. So now, if that's the last question. Is it?
Pete: That is the last one.
Dolly: OK. Well, then I'm gonna, this is where you get to sit down. You was tryin' to sit down too early before. You didn't want to have to work that hard, did you?
Gov.: I know. I was tryin' to get out of the way of danger.
Dolly: Ha-ha! 'Cause we have a lot of other special guests comin' on, and some little kids comin' up later. So I saved you a seat right over there, and I may join you over there if something else is going on, so you save my seat, OK? (The governor sits on a bench on the left side of the stage.)
Anyhow, uh, to join me, see what this says here. (Looks down at teleprompter.) See what is going on. See, I have to read down here. Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha. (Laughs. Speaks in sing-song voice.) "I'd-to-invite- hee-hee! Some-special-guests-to-join-me-and Governor Bredesen on stage." Well, sure, I'll do that! That didn't, I didn't have to read that! You know, the reason that we did start the Imagination Library and KidsFest was for these very important people -- the ones that we've been talkin' about -- our kids! Come on out here kids! Yea! (A large group of children run on stage and sit at the governor's feet.) Come on! Yea! Look at them! Oh, hello! Hello!
(Singing.) How's everybody doin'?
I welcome you into my neighborhood.
We're set to go. And we've got some good things brewin'.
'Cause it's KidsFest time here at Dollywood.
Yeah, it's KidsFest time right here at Dollywood!
Hooray for Dollywood and KidsFest time! Yeah! (Applause.) I think I popped a button on that one! (Laughter.) Anyway, I wanted to welcome all of you kids here, 'cause this is my favorite time of year here at Dollywood. I guess it's because I'm just a big ole kid myself. What do you think? Do I look like a big kid to you? You don't think a serious grown-up person would dress, look like this, do ya? (Laughter.)
Anyway, we do have some really good things brewin', not just for you kids up here on stage, but for all you kids out there. And, uh, we're gonna bring him out in just a minute but, uh, first of all I'm gonna sit down over here like I told the governor I would. (Sits down.) And I'm gonna read this story that I wrote last night. First of all, I'm not as young I'd like to think I look! (Puts on reading glasses to audience's laughter..) Anyway, I'm gonna read this little story here.
Once upon a time, in a place far, far away, a mighty king ruled the land. This king was strong, and he was kind. He loved children and believed that if all of the children were safe, happy and loved, his kingdom would be the best place in the whole wide world. One day, he decided it was time to do something very special for all of the children. So he mounted his white horse named Imagination, and he rode all the way across the mountain to the Dreamland Forest. (Whispers.) That's Dollywood. (Laughter.) There to greet him was the Good Witch At Dollywood -- that's not what her husband called her! (Laughter.) Anyway, the Good Witch, oh, he says, "Good Witch, I want to do something very special for the children of my kingdom." At first, the good witch did not hear him because she was busy fixin' her hair and paintin' her nails and findin' something fancy and shiny to wear for the big party . . . (A couple lines of story missing due to turning tape over in recorder. It dealt with the fact that not all children in the kingdom had books.) And she bent down and whispered in his ear. The good king jumped up and said, "That's wonderful news!" And he rode all the way back to his palace in Music City. And the next day he gathered all his subject around, subjects (emphasis on the "s"), around him. (Laughter.) "From this day forward," he sang. "All the children in the kingdom will receive one new and shiny book each month." There was a tremendous roar from the crowd. "Oh, thank you, good and kind king! Thank you for loving us!" they all said. And the king is really, really good, don't you think? Don't you think we have a good king here? He's sittin' right here. The governor, Phil Bredesen. "King Phil," I call him. (Laughter.) You don't reckon that'll be in the press, do you! (Laughter.) You'll be "King Phil" from this day forward! (Laughter.) Don't you think that we should all say thanks to the good and kind king? Yes! And shouldn't we all say, "Thank you, governor"?
Children: Thank you, governor.
Dolly: Yeah! And, I almost forgot: The End.
Gov.: And they all lived happily ever after.
Dolly: Yeah, well, hopefully we'll all live happily ever after. (Applause.) Anyways, you know what. I have some songs to sing, but I didn't have time to put anything down with music. But I thought I'd try to pick a song that we all knew. Anybody know "Old McDonald Had A Farm?" Oh, let's sing a little bit of that, want to? (Singing..)
(Singing) Old McDonald had a farm. Ee-i-ee-i-o!
And on his farm he had a pig! Ee-i-ee-i-o!
With a oink-oink here, and a oink-oink there.
Here a oink. There a oink. Everywhere a oink-oink.
Old McDonald had a farm. Ee-i-ee-i-o!
Dolly: I tell you, the good governor can't sing! (Laughter.) Look!
Gov.: Wouldn't upstage you! (Laughter.)
Dolly: OK, so let's see what else Old McDonald had. (To the governor:) You can pick the animal. Which one should we do next? A cow, bird?
Dolly: A cow is good? OK. You start this one. (Laughter. They both sing.)
(Singing.) Old McDonald had a farm. Ee-i-ee-i-o!
And on his farm he had a cow! Ee-i-ee-i-o!
With a (Dolly sticks her microphone in the governor's face so he sings alone) moo-moo here, (Laughter) and a moo-moo there.
Here a moo. There a moo. Everywhere a moo-moo. (Laughter and applause.) Old McDonald!
Dolly: I'm gonna ruin your reputation, King Phil! (Laughter.) OK, now I got one more verse.
(Dolly singing.) Old McDolly had a park. Ee-i-ee-i-o! And on her park she had a dinosaur!
Children: A dinosaur?
Dolly: Golly! This is one of the stars here! She did have a dinosaur! And what color might it have been?
Dolly: And would it have been little or big?
Dolly: And what might his name have been?
Dolly: Woo! We got Barney here! So let's get Barney out here! (Cheers and applause from the audience. Unintelligible phrase. Barney comes on stage.) Hey Barney! How are you? Yeah! No, you go over there and say hello to everybody while I go, you dance while I get my shirt buttoned! (Laughter. Dolly runs to the side of the stage and yells at somebody just off stage:) Button my shirt! (Dolly returns to the stage.) Hey, over here Barney! I had to go get my clothes fixed! (Laughter.)
Barney: I know.
Dolly: Yeah, but I'm back here, though.
Barney: How are you?
Dolly: Hey, Barney. I am good. Welcome to Dollywood and to KidsFest!
Barney: Thank you so much.
Dolly: Did you see all these special kids here?
Barney: Oh, I am so happy to be here with all my friends in Tennessee.
Dolly: And what about the governor? Are you glad to see him? Yeah!
Barney: I just love you, too, Governor Bredesen. (Laughter.) King! (Laughter.)
Dolly: Yeah, King Phil! King Phil! Yeah, you gotta get his title right, now! Hey, wa, watch your tail. I'm comin' over here now! (Laughter as Dolly crosses behind Barney to his other side.) I wanna be close to the kids.
Dolly (reading off teleprompter): Ah, anyway, you know, Barney, all the things that are celebrating today have somethin' in common -- the importance of love and imagination. And, and I think we both know something about those things.
Barney: Oh, absolutely!
Dolly: Yeah. So you want us to do something to kinda show the folks how we feel?
Barney: I think we should.
Dolly: Don't you have a favorite song?
Barney: Oh, you know it!
Dolly: We all know Barney's favorite song, don't ya? Yeah, let's do it.
Dolly: OK. Here we go.
Barney: Come on, everyone, join along.
(Barney sings melody while Dolly sings upper harmony.) I love you. You love me. We're a happy family.
With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you.
Won't you say you love me, too.
Dolly: You know I love you!
(Dolly singing.) I will always love you. (Cheers and applause.)
I always, always love you.
Dolly: And you know what, Barney? I will, too. And you know why? 'Cause you so big, and you so cute, you so cuddly! Ah, you know, Barney, I have always used the butterfly to stand for imagination.
(Dolly singing.) Love is like a butterfly, as soft an gentle as a sigh. (Cheers and applause.)
The multicolor moods of love are like it's satin wings.
Dolly: Oh, you like that song, Barney? Good! (Reading off teleprompter.) You know, my friends and I, no you know . . .
Barney: We always sing about the power of imagination, too.
Dolly: Yeah! I was tryin' to read your lines there! (Laughter.)
(Barney singing.) Close your eyes and you will find, there are pictures in your mind.
Dolly: Oh, I've see 'em!
(Barney singing.) Things you can see and feel. All those things are very real.
Dolly: Yes, sir!
(Barney singing.) Doesn't matter where you are. Make believe and there you are.
(Barney singing.) You can be most anywhere, when your imagination takes you there.
Dolly: Aw, Barney, that's a wonderful song, just a wonderful song. You know, and I'm sure all these special children and Governor Bredesen agree, King Phil, that love and imagination are important things.
Barney: Maybe the best things.
Dolly: Yeah, that's right! So, Barney, won't y'all help us once again to thank Governor Bredesen for being here today to help us celebrate a special day for the Imagination Library. (Applause.) Yeah, and the openin' of the KidFest here! So we have a lot of things to be thankful for, and I want to thank all the kids, too. Yeah.
Barney: And thank you, Dolly.
Dolly: And I want to thank you, Barney.
Barney: Oh, thank you!
Dolly: You're our very special guest.
(Dolly and Barney singing.) I love you. You love me. We're a happy family.
With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you.
Won't you say you love me, too.
Dolly: Oh, I will always love you!
(Barney singing.) Won't you say you love me, too. (Dolly singing.) I will always love you. (Barney singing.) Won't you say you love me, too. (Dolly singing.) Won't you say you love me, too.
Dolly: I think we're off, but who cares! (Balloons fall from the ceiling.) Ah! Come on up here, kids! Oh come on up, and get your own balloon, Barney! This is fun! You can get up, kids. Come on. Come on. You can stand up here with us, yeah! This is called the big finale! How'd we do? (Applause.) How 'bout a nice hand for all these kids, and for King Phil, Governor Bredesen. (Applause.)
Gov.: Thank you, Dolly. Thank you.
(Dolly singing.) I will always, always love you.
I will always, always love you.
I will always.
Dolly: Now I wanna see you folks try to get a bunch of kids off stage when they're so involved with their balloons they're playing with! Anyway, thank you so much. I love you, and this is the end of our festivities! (Applause.) Anyway, that was fun. Thank you, everybody. Yeah. You can come get your own balloon now. We got plenty! (To a child on stage:) You're very welcome. Nice to see, take your balloon! Take you one! (Dolly, Barney and the governor exist the stage.)