March 30: It was announced today that Dolly has agreed to host
the 35th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, which will be broadcast
live on CBS May 3 from the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles! Dolly,
who has won five ACMs (1977 Entertainer of the Year, 1980 Female Vocalist,
1983 Duet and Single with Kenny Rogers and 1987 Album with Trio) is up for
another this year with Top Vocal Event for the Grammy-winning "After the
Goldrush" with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris from Trio II. The
show hasn't had a host for the past two years, and the Associated Press
reports awards spokesman Paul Shefrin explaining the change with: "Very
few people have the ability to host this kind of show. There are very few
Billy Crystals in the world. When we found out Dolly might want to do it,
we decided to make the change." The last award show Dolly hosted was the
1988 Country Music Association Awards in Nashville.
* The transcript from the Q&A portion of Dolly's National Press
Club address has been uploaded here.
* * * * *
* I've finally got the first transcript installment of Dolly's address
to the National Press Club last week uploaded here.
* * * * *
March 27: From Canada's JAM music site's Saturday review of
Rhonda Vincent's Back Home Again CD: "First off, ANYONE who covers
Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' has a fine musical head on their shoulders. The
Geraldine Fibbers made it one of their greatest songs, along with a
reclaimed-from-Reba Fancy, and Rhonda Vincent doing a bluegrass Dolly is
simply totally cool." You may read the entire review here
and order the CD here.
* This little nugget on Dolly's AAP award from Pigeon Forge's local
came from Chris at Chris' Dolly
Pages. Thanks Chris!
* * * * *
25: There's been a lot of press from Thursday's address to the
National Press Club, with a widely-published brief Associated Press story
on Dolly's address. Original stories on Friday were in, Nashville's The
Tennessean here and
the Knoxville News Sentinel here
* The Orlando Sentinel also on Friday published an article about
Dolly's plans for a Dixie Stampede dinner theater there. You may read it
Dollywood also has posted a press release on the venture which is
on the Australia Dixie Stampede which is in the works (here) and the
restaurant's donation of $7 million toward the Dollywood Foundation's
Imagination Library program (here).
* According to ICE magazine, Sonya Isaacs' self-titled debut album on
Hollywood Records which features Dolly singing harmony will be released
* * * * *
March 23: Dolly was her usual bubbly, lively self in her address
to the National Press Club today at its Newsmaker Luncheon in Washington,
D.C. Look for a more detailed report on it here in coming days, but
briefly — she discussed the Imagination Library program and announced
through Dixie Stampede she just donated an additional $7 million to it;
she talked of the importance of an education, noting her realization as a
child of the impact reading can have through her mother's reading of the
Bible, especially in her famous "Coat of Many Colors" story; and she told
just about her entire battery of jokes she always tells about growing up
and her body, all to the delightful roars of laughter from the media
members present. She joked about how the kids liken her to Santa Claus and
some even think she brings them the Imagination Library books herself and
occasionally leave gifts for her at the mailbox. She sang the chorus from
"Coat of Many Colors" and read the lyrics to a song she wrote for the
Dollywood Foundation called "Try," singing the final verse. She noted the
success of the foundation's programs, especially lowering Sevier County's
drop-out rate from 30 percent down to 6 percent!
* Also during the speech, Dolly formally announced plans for the fourth
Dixie Stampede in Australia and also announced her fifth Dixie Stampede in
Orlando, Fla., right near Disney World, pending city approval. She
repeated her plans for the TV movie Heaven's To Betsy for CBS this
fall, saying she hopes to get someone like Gladys Knight and Patti Labelle
to perform the two African-American singer roles in the film, and her
upcoming re-make of Solid Gold Cadillac for one of Ted Turner's
networks. She also mentioned she has several things in the works for
feature films through her production company, Southern Light. Dolly also
announced that she is working on an all-folk album as her next project,
which will consist of traditional songs, mostly English, Scottish and
Irish ballads which survive to this day in the Appalachians but also
including folk music from other places around the country.
* And, as previously reported here, Dolly was honored yesterday with
the Association of American Publishers Honor for her efforts with the
Imagination Library. The Washington Post published an article on it today,
* Advance order your copy of Johnny Russell's April 18
release Actin' Naturally on OMS Records. Dolly performs a duet with
Russell on "Making Plans," which he wrote and she previously recorded with
Porter Wagoner and again with The Trio. They recorded the duet in December
(photo of the two at left, courtesy OMS Records). Order your copy here!
* * * * *
22: Dolly today was honored by the Association of American Publishers
with its third annual AAP Honors award during the association's annual
meeting in Washington, D.C. The award was established in 1997 to honor
those outside the publishing industry who help focus the public's
attention on American books and their importance to society. It's only
other recipients have been National Public Radio and the CEO of C-SPAN.
AAP officials said Dolly was chosen for the honor in recognition of her
Imagination Library program through the Dollywood Foundation, which
provides a free book every month to each preschooler in her native Sevier
County, Tenn., and which is expanding nationwide. Pat Schroeder, President
and CEO of the Association of American Publishers, said: "This is a woman
who is really making a difference. The same love that makes her such an
extraordinary performer is transforming the lives of kids in Tennessee,
opening up a world of books for them. Soon pre-schoolers all over the
country will have a chance to build their own 'Imagination Library.' What
a gift!" The award was presented to Dolly by U.S. Secretary of Education
Richard W. Riley. The first recipient of the award was Brian Lamb, CEO of
C-SPAN, in 1998. In 1999, the honor went to NPR. AAP is the principal
trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry.
* * * * *
March 16: Curb Records' website is reporting that Dolly has
agreed to record a duet with Hal Ketchum on his upcoming album, his eighth
CD to be released but seventh on Curb. No other information is available
on the recording.
* * * * *
March 15: The Dollywood Publicity Office has confirmed Dolly
will perform her Dollywood Foundation fundraiser concerts in December. The
shows are scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 16. No
ticket prices or other information is available yet, but I will pass that
along as soon as it is released. And remember, Dolly's only other
scheduled concert appearance this year will be at the Stars Over
Mississippi fundraiser in Amory. Tickets are still available for $25
reserved seating, $15 general admission, at 1-877-677-8279.
* The Grass is Blue shoots back up the Billboard country album
chart in the March 18 edition, earning the weekly "Greatest Gainer" tag.
In the first week of sales counted following her performances of "Silver
Dagger" on David Letterman and Regis & Kathie Lee,
Billboard reports an increase of 1,500 more units sold than the previous
week, pushing the CD up from No. 71 to No. 38. It also made the Top
Independent Albums chart at No. 28.
* * * * *
March 14: An Australian newspaper, The Edge, in Tuesday's
editions reports that Dolly is planning her first Dixie Stampede
restaurant outside the United States. The proposed complex in Gold Coast,
Australia, would be in the public Neal Shannon Park and include a 12
story, 240 room hotel, the newspaper reports. In a letter to the city
council, Dolly wrote that the project would be treated with "the same care
and philosophical integrity that has made Dixie Stampede one of the
world's most fun, audience participation-themed dinner and show
attractions." All negotiations with other parties interested in using the
property have been put on hold, it was reported, and a councilman noted
that to consider using a public park for such a facility requires the
project be "very special." For the full story, click here.
The Dixie Stampede currently operates near Dollywood in Pigeon Forge,
Tenn., and in Branson, Mo., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.
* CountryCool.com on Monday profiled the ACM nominees for Vocal Event
of the Year, including the Trio for their Grammy-winning "After the
Goldrush." To view the article, click here.
* * * * *
March 13: The Grass Is Blue is up for its first award,
Best Bluegrass Album at the Association for Independent Music (AFIM)
Awards, it was recently announced. The CD is up against Dudley Connell and
Dan Rigsby's Meet Me By the Moonlight (like Grass, on Sugar
Hill Records), Lynn Morris' You'll Never Be the Sun (Rounder
Records), Mountain Heart's Mountain Heart (Doobie Shea Records) and
Steve Earle and The Del McCoury Band's The Mountain (E-Squared).
The awards, for albums released on independent labels, will be given at
the AFIM's convention in Cleveland, Ohio, in May.
* The Silicon Valley weekly newspaper Metro on Friday offered a very
favorable review for Bryan Sutton's Ready To Go CD, especially
noting Dolly's new version of "Smoky Mountain Memories" which is included
on the album. The review ended with: "Saving the punch for last: 'Memories
of Smoky Mountain' is reason enough to pick this album up. The tune is
sung by its composer, Dolly Parton, accompanied only by Sutton's acoustic
guitar. The song shows the sweet-voiced lady at a near-shouting
unadornedness – here she's breaking out of that Broadway-style
theatricality that's her downfall as a singer. 'Memories of Smoky
Mountain' is one of those moments that's wormwood and honey mixed." Order
the CD here.
* Did you see Thursday night's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire??
Well, the $64,000 question was who wrote "I Will Always Love You" as
recorded by Whitney Houston. The choices were Emmylou Harris, Dolly,
Carole King and, if I remember correctly, Cynthia Well. The contestant
said he thought Dolly wrote it for some reason and knew she had recorded a
version of it, so he answered Dolly, which of course was right. Afterward,
Regis noted, "She's a talented woman."
* And Faith Hill couldn't do it. In the March 18 Billboard Top 100, she
falls from No. 3 to No. 4, and Destiny's Child takes the No. 1 spot away
from Lonestar. Had Faith taken No. 1, it would have been the first time
since Dolly's "9 to 5" and Eddie Rabbit's "I Love a Rainy Night" that one
country artist succeeded another atop the pop singles chart. Lonestar
already broke a long dry spell, since before "Amazed" topped the chart
Kenny & Dolly's "Islands in the Stream" was the last country song to
hit No. 1 there.
* Dolly got an interesting note in the "Commie Girl" column in last
week's Orange County Weekly in an article titled "We love a parade: And
Dolly Parton loves the gay folk." You may read it here,
but be warned it does contain a few four-letter words. The article,
about the recent vote in California to prohibit recognition of gay
marriages, doesn't explain its inclusion of Dolly, but I would guess it
comes from statements she has made supporting equal rights for gays and
* Over the weekend, Dollymania welcomed its 40,000th visitor
since I started keeping count a little more than a year ago. Thanks to all
who've visited! Keep coming back!
* * * * *
March 9: Dolly has won another poll to replace Kathie Lee
Gifford on Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee. CountryCool.com
surveyed online readers this week using possible co-hosts from the country
music genre, with the following results: Dolly, 38 percent; Naomi Judd, 22
percent; Reba McEntire, 21 percent; Jo Dee Mesina, 13 percent; K.T. Oslin,
* * * * *
March 6: Dolly soared to the top of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
poll over the weekend of who should replace Kathie Lee Gifford as Regis'
co-host, taking in 68 percent of the vote. The others were Joy Philbin, 11
percent; Carol Burnette and Suzanne Somers, 6 percent; Marilu Henner, 5
percent; Bonnie Hunt, 2 percent. The Arizona Republic on Friday said its
own informal polling placed Joy at first place, but some readers also
* Sonya Isaacs' website on Hollywood Records features an audio clip of
"Healing Hands," the song from Isaacs' upcoming CD for which Dolly
provides harmony vocals. Also on the site, it recounts how the two came to
record the song together: Isaacs was impressed that Dolly didn't just come
over to sing with her because her friend Vince asked her to. Dolly
requested a tape of the song ("Healing Hands") so she could hear Isaacs'
voice before committing to the session. "She had to hear it, she had to
see if she liked it and if she could sing it," Isaacs explains. "Dolly
came in dressed to kill. She had on a little denim miniskirt and in full
hair and makeup. [Dolly was in the house] and she was a blast. She went in
and had already memorized the song and knew her part. She started at 10
o'clock and was finished by 11, the whole thing." Parton didn't tell
Isaacs directly, but she was obviously impressed by her talent. "While
Dolly was in the studio, her two assistants came in and they told me that
on the way over Dolly had said to them, 'If Emmylou Harris and Linda
Ronstadt had a daughter, she would sound just like Sonya!' Coming from
Dolly Parton and being compared to those two artists, that was a huge
compliment." The site may be accessed here.
* I haven't seen it yet, but I'm told that Dolly is featured in the
March 21 issue of Country Weekly with a beautiful full-page photo in the
Star Stats section, a note in the Catching Up section with Freddy Fender
that she is planning a duet with him on his next CD and a note about the
Dolly rose. Thanks, Robert!
* * * * *
March 3: Dolly is the scheduled speaker for the March 23
luncheon of the National Press Club, it was announced Thursday. The NPC
has held the 12:30 p.m. luncheons in Washington, D.C., several times each
month since 1932, usually featuring world political or economic leaders.
* * * * *
March 1 – UPDATE: The Academy of Country Music nominations came
out tonight, and Dolly picked up one nod with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou
Harris for Vocal Event of The Year for "After the Goldrush" from Trio
II. The show airs May 3 on CBS. The other nominees are "A Country Boy
Can Survive (Y2K Version)," Chad Brock with Hank Williams Jr. and George
Jones; "God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You," Alabama and
N'Sync; "My Kind Of Woman, My Kind Of Man," Vince Gill and Patty Loveless;
and "When I Said I Do," Clint Black with Lisa Hartman Black. Vince and
Patty beat Trio for the CMA version of this award, but Trio won the Grammy
in that category last week. Dolly has five ACM Awards, including 1988's
Album of The Year, the original Trio.
* A producer with the BBC contacted Dollymania this week
inquiring about contacts with her managers and agents on possibly filming
a documentary special to air on that network in England. I passed along
the information to her, so hopefully you readers in Great Britain may have
a show to watch on her in a few months!
March 1: Dolly was as bubbly and funny as ever on The Late Show
With David Letterman Monday night (photo at left courtesy CBS
Television). She pulled a note from her cleavage which was her own Top 1
list of the No. 1 reason everyone's glad to have Dave back on the air:
without him, two-thirds of "CBS" is just "BS!" He congratulated her on the
Trio's recent Grammy win. They chatted and joked around, and she performed
beautifully "Silver Dagger," her new single from The Grass is Blue
His usual frisky self, Dave asked her to go do something with him
afterward, and she responded by asking how much he wanted to do and if his
heart could take it. "Kill me! Kill me!" jokingly replied the host,
recently back on the air after major heart surgery.
* Then on Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee Tuesday, she presented
Regis with a bouquet of flowers, joking that she was trying to fill the
post which Kathie Lee announced Tuesday she will leave this summer (Dolly
has co-hosted in her absence several times). Although she got a little off
the beat on "Silver Dagger" there and apologized to her band for messing
up, she still brought thunderous applause from the audience.
* Why wasn't Dolly at the Grammy Awards? Well, on both shows this week,
she explained that she had committed to attend a friend's baby shower that
night and didn't realize that it conflicted with the awards. Rather than
disappoint her friend, she opted out of the Grammy ceremonies. She
confessed, though, that she didn't think the Trio would win Best Country
Vocal Collaboration for "After the Goldrush," but said she was very
pleased they did receive the trophy.
* Village Voice critic Robert Christgau on Wednesday releases his
annual catch-up column, a review of numerous albums issued over the past
year. He included The Grass is Blue in honorable mentions. However,
he stuck Hungry Again in the "duds" bin. Boo on him!