And a series of three Associated Press photos of her from the Wednesday night ceremony are available from Lycos here.
A Few Chart Gains Reported
The Dolly tribute CD Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton rebounds four spots on the country albums chart, coming in at to No. 67 in its 27th chart week on the May 1 tally Billboard released on Thursday. Ultimate Dolly Parton remains steady at No. 59 in its 35th week on the country albums chart. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with its Dolly duet, inches down one to No. 6 pop in its 10th chart week. The collection also falls one to No. 6 comprehensive and logs its ninth week at No. 1 on the Internet sales chart. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly on "Jolene," gains four notches to No. 15 in its 12th week on the independent labels albums chart. The tribute album Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, and its Dolly duet, remains steady at No. 66 country in its 21st week. Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down earns an 11th week at No. 1 country but slips five spots to No. 12 pop, while Keith Urban's Golden Road moves up one to No. 2 country and jumps 11 on the pop side to No. 25 in its 80th chart week. Up north, Jones' CD remains steady at No. 6 this week on the Canadian pop albums chart, it was announced Thursday. I would expect greater gains for Dolly's albums in coming weeks as sales generated by her hosting duties at the Flame Worthys are reported.
Smith Down A Bit On CMT
Mindy Smith's video for "Jolene" from Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, with a Dolly cameo, loses five spots to come in at No. 16 in its 12th week on the CMT Top 20 Video Countdown, the network announced on Thursday.
Dollywood.com Gets A New Look
Dolly's Smoky Mountain paradise Dollywood on Thursday launched its cool new Web site design, featuring a bright blue background, animation and a few new sections. Although the "Dolly Parton Information" and special pass-holders' sections appear to be gone, it has a great, crisp look. Visit it here.
The Associated Press picked up the news from her CMT interview earlier this week that Dolly is currently writing a musical based on her life for Broadway and released a brief based on that story on Thursday. Read it from Broadway's Playbill magazine here.
Puppet On A String
The current issue of Country Weekly magazine reports that a life-sized Dolly puppet was unveiled at the recent DVD release party for H. R. Pufnstuf. The show's creators, Sid and Marty Krofft, will be using Dolly and about 150 other puppets in a new version of their classic 1980s political satire television series D.C. Follies, the magazine reported in a brief next to a photo of the Kroffts' puppet Dolly.
Chet: Dolly's The Best
CMT.com editorial director and ardent Dolly fan Chet Flippo gave Dolly her props in his weekly "Nashville Skyline" column on Thursday. In the article discussing Loretta Lynn's collaboration with alt-rocker (and "Jolene" cover singer) Jack White producing her new album Van Lear Rose (hitting stores next Tuesday), he notes that White has called Loretta "the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century." Flippo replies: "It's hard to argue with that, but I do have a two-word reply: Dolly Parton." Read his full column here.
Down A Dolly Runway
The student newspaper at Indiana University on Thursday ran a lengthy review of senior fashion design student Jesse Deckard's Dolly-themed fashion show from last weekend, detailing the atmosphere and outfits (all of which were named after Dolly songs). A friend who attended tells me it was fabulous. Read more here.
Set Those VCRs!
Don't' forget to catch Dolly's CMT Stacked episode premiering on Friday. The show features a half-hour of Dolly music with the videos for "I'm Gone," "Light of a Clear Blue Morning," "Shine," "Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That" and "Welcome Home." It airs at 7 p.m. Eastern and repeats at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Dolly Reigns Over 'Flames'
Dolly went through a fairly impressive seven different flamboyant outfits at Wednesday night's Flame Worthy Video Music Awards on CMT, which she hosted with her usual outrageous humor and wit. She first came on in a red dress made to represent flames and joked there would be no wardrobe malfunctions. "This outfit has been inspected by three censors, two engineers and some guy I never saw before who had a big grin on his face," she joked. She was featured in several humorous "before the show" segments, shot in black and white and including many other artists from the program, and she had a little playful dialogue with Queer Eye For The Straight Guy star Carson Kressley, joking that he looked like a young Porter Wagoner and certainly deserved "some sort of flaming award tonight." Her performance of "Welcome Home" featuring the Christ Church Choir was introduced by a gushing Shania Twain, boasting about her music, her personality, her movies, her songwriting and her business acumen and concluded with a standing ovation from the audience. It constituted the next-to-last musical number of the night, and Dolly followed it by presenting the Video Of The Year award to Toby Keith for "American Soldier." The night also featured many wonderful performances, most notably an amazing job by Martina McBride, and a videotaped tribute to Reba McEntire, recipient of the recently-renamed Johnny Cash Visionary Award. Other winners of the night were Dierks Bentley, "What Was I Thinkin'," Breakout Video; the cast of Brad Paisley's "Celebrity," Cameo (for which Little Jimmy Dickens received a standing ovation when he accepted the trophy); Kenny Chesney, "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem," Hottest Video; Rascal Flatts, "I Melt," Group or Duo; Shania Twain, "For Ever And For Always," Female Video; Toby Keith and Willie Nelson, "Beer For My Horses," Collaboration; Michael Solomon, "Beer For My Horses," Director; and Kenny Chesney, "There Goes My Life," Male Video. The show repeats throughout the week (see TV listings on right-hand side of this page for times). And I'm sure CMT.com will have complete coverage and photos on Thursday, and the AP posted a story Wednesday night briefing the first half of the awards and including quite a few Dolly quotes from the opening monologue. Read it here.
A Few More Dollywood Pics
Reader David Seneff sent in several great shots from Dollywood's opening weekend festivities which have been added to that section of the site here. Thanks, David! (And if you want to re-live last year's opening weekend coverage, visit that recap here -- complete with the shot of Dolly's finger in your webmaster's mouth -- and access the photo galleries from 2003's events here!)
Dolly On GAC This Week
I'm told the Great American Country (GAC) program Country Music Across America this week features Dolly from her Library Of Congress Living Legend Award ceremony. The show features a clip of Dolly accepting the honor, a clip from her rehearsal and an excerpt from an interview with her about her reaction to the award (she feels "old but honored and humbled"). The clips come from a taping of the ceremony which will air on GAC in May, and the news program featuring the clips repeats throughout the week (see TV listings on the right-hand side of this page). Thanks, Bridget! (And if you haven't seen it yet, visit the Library's I Hear America Singing site for its great Dolly tribute section here!)
CMT Interview Part II Available
CMT.com on Wednesday posted the second half of Chet Flippo's two-part interview with Dolly. This installment features the stories behind several additional tracks from For God And Country, her costume on the album cover and why she doesn't plan to see Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ. Read it here.
Dolly Talks Wardrobe, Music, Staging With CMT
CMT.com mid-day Tuesday posted the first of an in-depth, two-part Chet Flippo interview with Dolly in advance of her hosting duties at Wednesday night's Flame Worthy Video Music Awards on the cable network (airing live at 8 p.m. Eastern). Among the items discussed were the awards show (she'll be performing "Welcome Home" in a "big production" number featuring soldiers and the Christ Church Choir), Janet Jackson (she feels "sorry for her"), working on a Broadway musical about her life (tentatively titled Mountain Star, and she might turn it into a movie), the reasons behind her spiritual and gospel album For God And Country, the inspiration for "I'm Gonna Miss You" (a soldier friend who asked her to write the song in case he died in Iraq so she could sing it at his funeral -- luckily he's still alive) and other tracks on the CD, and that she is preparing a stage show (possible tour in 2005?) which will be her first to include dancers -- a dozen of them, and they split down the middle with half dancing for God and half for Satan when she sings "Go To Hell." Read the full interview here. Part two is scheduled to be posted on the site Wednesday.
Dolly's Library A Hit In Calif.
Dolly's Imagination Library program's California installation is showing great success, according to a story in Monday's Modesto Bee. Having put about 17,000 books in the hands of 2,000 children over the past two years, a study of the project there has found a 30 percent increase in reading compared to children not in the program in that community as well as 80 percent of parents receiving the books reporting they read more to their children. Read the full story here.
Smith Hanging Onto Americana Spot
Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly guest harmony on "Jolene," remains steady at No. 4 on the Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart released Monday with 543 spins at reporting stations nationwide, a slight change from the 547 spins reported the previous week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with Dolly on "Creepin' In," inches down one spot to No. 21 with 286 spins.
CMT Adds 'Flame' Presenters
CMT announced Monday that Minnie Driver, Dr. Maya Angelou, Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Jimmy Wayne have been added to the list of presenters for Wednesday night's Flame Worthy Music Video Awards hosted live from Nashville by Dolly. Brooks & Dunn have also signed on to present the Johnny Cash Video Visionary Award to Reba McEntire, it was announced.
New Opening Weekend Shots
Several new photos of Dolly from Dollywood's events earlier this month have been added to that section of the site here in what will likely be the final installment to the opening weekend galleries this year. They include a couple of additional pics from Jamie Howard as well as three new galleries from Harrell Gabehart. Thanks, guys!
Dolly Opens Up About Not Opening Up
The Knoxville News-Sentinel had a great interview with Dolly on Saturday about her hosting duties at the CMT Flame Worthy Video Music Awards, airing live on the cable network on Wednesday evening. Dolly joked that her clothes will stay firmly in place, lest she "take out the first three rows" in a Janet Jackson-style wardrobe malfunction, and she talked about the thrill, and dangers, of doing live TV and her hope to produce a children's show in the next two years. Read it here.
Additional 'Flame Worthy' Coverage
Tribune Media Services' entertainment site Zap 2 It on Sunday posted an interview with Dolly. While it focuses mostly on her hosting duties at Wednesday's CMT Flame Worthy Video Awards, it also includes a note that she is currently writing a Broadway musical based on her life (a project that has been off and on for several years) and also that she is composing songs for producers to use in a musical stage adaptation of her 1980 hit film 9 To 5. Read it here. And Satellite Direct Magazine has made available its Dolly cover story for April on its Web site here if you haven't seen it.
Jones Still Doing Well
Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with the great Dolly duet "Creepin' In," doesn't move on many of the overseas charts released over the weekend. It remains steady at No. 6 in its 10th chart week on the British pop albums chart. Down Under in Australia, the disc remains steady at No. 7 pop. In Germany, the album inches up one to No. 2 pop.
Bellamys Talk Of Dolly Work
Although there's still no release date for the Bellamy Brothers' tribute CD Angels And Outlaws, on which they perform with other singers, the boys are talking a lot about Dolly's guest vocals on the new version of "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me." Howard Bellamy told the Belfast Telegraph over the weekend: "She really put her heart into it. It's one of the best tracks on the album. It gives this country ballad a whole new meaning," adding that Dolly joshed with them that she's "an angelic outlaw." Read the story here.
Mag Pegs Dolly Among 50 Most Powerful
Dolly has been named one of the 100 most powerful people in Tennessee by Business Tennessee magazine, the Sevierville newspaper reported this week. According to The Mountain Press, Dolly came in at No. 47 on the publication's Power 100 list, with the magazine mentioning her Imagination Library literacy program, calling her a "modern-day Roy Acuff" and noting she "personifies Tennessee with her hollers and Sevierville twang. ... Exerts enormous influence in the recording industry; able to give tremendous boosts to aspiring artists." Gov. Phil Bredesen, D-Tenn., came in at No. 1, followed by Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., U.S. Senate Majority Leader. Most on the list were politicians and business leaders. Read the story here. Thanks, Sandra!
Jones Talks Dolly
Norah Jones talked a bit more this week while in Europe about Dolly's appearance on her sophomore CD, Feels Like Home. She told a reporter from Newcastle, England's The Evening Chronicle that Dolly recorded the track "Creepin' In" with her on mostly one take. "She sounds great on it," Jones said of Dolly. "She sings her butt off. She just came in, did it, one take, except for a couple of lyrics she forgot. We were so nervous, because we really wanted to play the track, we didn't want her to just come in and over-dub. We were nervous that we would do good for her, because we only had an hour. But we did it, and it worked out." Read the full interview here. And speaking of Jones' CD, the album remains steady at No. 6 this week on the Canadian pop albums chart, it was announced. It had previously spent six weeks at No. 1.
Park Addresses Train Incident
Dollywood has issued a statement noting the completion of its investigation of this week's accident on the park's Dollywood Express steam locomotive which injured one woman who fell from the train. Robbie Fox, the park's director of safety, said: "Statements revealed a large drink was spilled on the woman causing her to stand up while the train was in motion. She apparently then lost her balance resulting in her fall from the train car." The conclusions indicated the park followed all established operating procedures and was in compliance with national safety standards. There were no mechanical factors contributing to the incident, officials said. The woman was treated and released from the University of Tennessee Medical Center following her fall on Wednesday.
Dolly's "Welcome Home" from For God And Country gains 11 spots on the unofficial IndieWorldCountry independent country singles chart to reach No. 15 this week, it was announced Friday.
Dolly On Film
Film festival attendees around the country will get a chance to see what one reviewer called "a genuinely hilarious guest appearance by Dolly Parton during a gala awards show" in a new documentary titled Bluegrass Journey now making the circuit rounds. The brief review appeared in Friday's Washington Times, noting that the film focuses on legends and newcomers in the genre. The film will be shown at the American Film Institute Silver Theatre April 23 and 24 during Washington's 18th annual Filmfest D.C., the paper noted. Read more about the festival here and learn more about the film (including how to order your copy on DVD or VHS) here.
Designer Duds 'For' Dolly
The Indiana Digital Student, the online edition of Indiana University's student newspaper, has a great feature story profiling fashion design student Jesse Deckard and his 7 p.m. Saturday fashion show featuring apparel inspired by Dolly. Deckard, who was featured on the Trio network program Parking Lot earlier this year talking about his Dolly designs, compares his show to "a big, gay wedding." Read the story here.
Praise For Dollywood
Ponitac, Mich.'s The Daily Oakland Press offered a travel story Friday on Tennessee, and the reviewer said she was most surprised by Dollywood, expecting it to have "mediocre rides, fast food and second-rate entertainment," but finding those assumptions to be false, enjoying its rides, dedication to preservation of mountain traditions and wonderful musical shows. Read the review here.
Award Ceremony News
Dolly on Wednesday night accepted the Living Legend Award from the U.S. Library of Congress. The Library on Thursday released the photo at left of Librarian of Congress James Billington presenting the award (click on the thumbnail for a larger view). According to a press release, Billington said during the medallion presentation: "Dolly Parton has made an indelible mark on pop culture. Her contributions to crossover music, her ability to give voice to women's issues, and the retention of her early Appalachian roots all stand as tribute to the artistry, heart and soul that Dolly brings to all she does." Thanks, Karen! As has been previously reported, the ceremony at the Coolidge Auditorium on the Library grounds was taped for broadcast in May on the cable network Great American Country. An exact air date has not been announced. And if you have yet to visit, I urge you to check out the Library's I Hear America Singing site for its great Dolly tribute section here. For a first-hand account of the night's ceremony, audience member Tom Gray offers a recap in a bluegrass news listserv here. He says the show was "short but TERRIFIC" and featured abbreviated versions of some of her best-known tunes in bluegrass arrangements. Thanks, Bridget! Photo: John Harrington/U.S. Library of Congress. Used with permission.
A Few Slips On The U.S. Charts
The Dolly tribute CD Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton is slowly working its way toward leaving the country albums chart, with the former No. 6 CD dropping another nine points to No. 71 in its 26th chart week in the April 24 tally Billboard released on Thursday. Ultimate Dolly Parton falls four to No. 59 in its 34th week on the country albums chart. As was reported here Wednesday night, Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring a Dolly duet, inches up three to No. 5 pop in its ninth chart week. The collection also gains three to No. 5 comprehensive and moves up two to log an eighth week at No. 1 on the Internet sales chart. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly guest vocals on "Jolene," slips four notches to No. 19 in its 11th week on the independent labels albums chart. The tribute album Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, with one Dolly track, drops a dozen places to No. 66 country in its 20th week. Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down earns an 10th week at No. 1 country and rebounds six spots to No. 7 pop, while Toby Keith's Shock'n Y'all returns to No. 2 country with a two-point gain and moves up eight on the pop side to No. 30 in its 23rd chart week.
Smith Down A Bit On CMT
Mindy Smith's video for "Jolene" from Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, with its great Dolly cameo, loses two spots to come in at No. 11 in its 11th week on the CMT Top 20 Video Countdown, the network announced on Thursday, down from its peak at No. 9 last week.
CMT Becoming All-Dolly Network, Almost
CMT has announced that next week's installment of its recently-premiered news magazine CMT Insider will focus exclusively on the Flame Worthy Music Video Awards, so there's sure to be a good bit of coverage on hostess Dolly included. The episode premieres at 8 p.m. Eastern next Thursday with repeats throughout the following week. In related news, the network's magazine, Country Music Today will feature Dolly on the cover of a special collectors' edition dedicated to the awards program, it was announced. Be sure to catch Dolly hosting the two-hour live television event on CMT at 8 p.m. next Wednesday! In yet another note, TV Guide selected CMT's Stacked episode on Dolly, premiering next Friday, April 23, at 7 p.m. Eastern, as one of its "10 Good Reasons To Stay Home" next week. (And, while we're still on CMT, remember that the network's contest to win a three-day, two-night trip for four to Dollywood including airfare, accommodations and a chance to meet Dolly at the park's June KidsFest opening ends on Sunday. Submit your entry here!)
Dollywood Injury Reported
Knoxville television station WATE 6 reported late Wednesday that a guest was injured when she fell from the steam train the Dollywood Express at Dolly's Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on Wednesday. It was reported that the unidentified woman was flown via medical helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where she was treated and released, and that this marked the first accident on the train in the park's 19 years operating under Dolly's name. The train re-opened on Thursday after being closed on Wednesday following the incident. Read the full story here.
Library Of Congress Dolly Page Debuts
As of the posting of this update Wednesday night, there had been no news released yet from Dolly's appearance at the Library of Congress to accept its Living Legend Award in Washington, D.C. However, the Library on Wednesday posted a great new section on its I Hear America Singing site titled "A Patchwork Quilt: Dolly Parton and the Roots of Country Music," featuring a bio on Dolly, a time-line (borrowed largely from Dollymania), a discography, publicity photos and sound clips. Visit it here! And remember Great American Country will be taping tonight's events for broadcast on the cable network in May.
Jones Climbing Chart Again
Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with its Dolly duet on "Creepin' In," will rise three spots to No. 5 in its ninth chart week when the April 24 pop albums chart is released by Billboard on Thursday, the magazine announced Wednesday. The CD spent its first six weeks at No. 1.
I'm told there's a Dolly reference in the new Nia Vardalos film Connie And Carla, where she and another female pal pretend to be drag queens. A scene where the two are auditioning in a drag bar in West Hollywood features a Dolly impersonator, I'm told, complete with big hair, big boobs and Dolly's trademark beauty mark below her lip. I'm also told the film is great campy fun. Thanks, Jeff!
Vincent: I'm Performing With Dolly In D.C.
Rhonda Vincent posted a note on her Web site Tuesday saying she and her brother, Darrin, will be in the band backing Dolly at her U.S. Library of Congress Living Legend Award ceremony on Wednesday. Others accompanying Dolly in Washington will be bluegrass legends Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Dan Tyminski, Jim Mills, John Gardner and Byron House. Unfortunately, I'm told, the event is not expected to be open to the public. Thanks, Bridget! And the Associated Press on Tuesday night moved a brief story on the honor. Read it from MSNBC here.
More Pics Up
A few more pics from Dollywood season opening weekend are up, these from her "God And Country" parade through Pigeon Forge earlier this month. Visit the new gallery (and 18 other galleries!) on the section dedicated to this year's festivities here. Thanks, Harrell!
European Chart Update
The bi-weekly European CMA charts were released on Tuesday, and while Dolly's duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," falls out of the top 20 country airplay chart in Demark, down from No. 7, and out of the top 200 overall continental airplay chart, down from No. 42, her appearance with The Larkins on "Steady As The Rain" returns to the overall airplay tally at No. 78. Also out of the chart is Emmylou Harris' cover of "To Daddy" from the tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, falling out of the top 20 in Spain, down from No. 6, and out of the top 200 overall airplay, down from No. 96.
From La. To Mo.
Missouri's Springfield News-Leader had a great human interest profile in Tuesday's issue on Trudy Conine and her friends who have driven up from Louisiana to visit her in Westphalia, Mo., each year for 22 years to play bridge. The Dolly connection? One of the ladies in the group, Liz Landrum, very likely was the inspiration for Dolly's character of Truvy in Steel Magnolias. She was the hairdresser for playwright Robert Harling's sister and mother in Natchitoches, La., on whom the play's characters of Shelby and M'Lynn were based. In fact, many of the pieces seen in Dolly's beauty shop in the film version were borrowed from Landrum herself. In discussing the actresses who came to Natchitoches for the movie, the ladies' highest praise was reserved for Dolly, remembered for her small frame, her beauty and her generosity, the newspaper reported. "Everybody fell in love with Dolly Parton, didn't they?" said bridge player Coneil Celles. "She was something special. She was so nice. She was very personable." Read the full story here.
Jessica And Kenny
Unfortunately, I missed the show, but I'm told Jessica Simpson did a "cheesy" job impersonating Dolly on her variety show special on ABC Sunday night. She and her husband, Nick, were taking about doing imitations. Trying to outdo his of Justin Timberlake, she said she did a top notch Dolly. She returned in full Dolly costume, and he said he could come back with a great Kenny Rogers. Only Kenny himself returned instead of Nick to sing "Islands In The Stream" with Jessica. Thanks, Manuel! And TV Guide Online reported Tuesday that the special was so successful (11 million viewers), that the network has signed the pair on for a Christmas special.
E!: Dolly 'Starlicious' No. 87
Dolly made it at No. 87 on Sunday night's first installment of E!'s 100 Most Starlicious Makeovers. The network defined the term "Starlicious" as "When a person(s) is so much of a star that it is delicious." In the entry on Dolly, the announcer noted, "You know you're Starlicious when there's an endless debate about the size of your chest." The piece featured many great archival photos and footage of Dolly through the years, and the discussion focused largely on her breasts. Comedian Julie Brown noted that Dolly was a "plastic surgery pioneer" and that she "taught us it's OK to be fake," because of her openness about her cosmetic procedures, wigs, acrylic nails and all. Comedian and actress Sheryl Lee Ralph cited her famous "it costs a lot to look this cheap" line as well as her classic "when something's draggin', baggin' or saggin' I get it nipped, tucked or sucked." The announcer called her "double starlicious." Also on the first 20 of the countdown were Al Roker's weight loss, Tiffany's Playboy spread, the new VW Bug, Nicole Kidman's maturing into sexy screen siren and Marilyn Manson's move from small town boy to Satanic rock poster boy, among other star transformations and images. The show repeats throughout the next week (see TV listings on right-hand side of this page).
Smith Still Steady On Americana
Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring Dolly harmonies on her cover of "Jolene," remains steady at No. 4 on the Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart released Monday with 547 spins at reporting stations nationwide, up from 543 spins the previous week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with Dolly duetting on "Creepin' In," falls three to No. 20 with 290 spins.
Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program got some more press on Monday with two expansions. The Tennessean reported that both the Nolensville and Spring Hill communities in Williamson County, Tenn., have signed up for the program administered by her Dollywood Foundation which provides one free book per month for every child in a participating community from birth to age 5 whose parents sign up. The program is expected to kick off there May 2. Read the story here. And up in Nebraska, the McCook Daily Gazette reported that a family has created a fund at the local ACE Foundation in memory of Barbara Creighton to provide money for bringing the program to the Atwood community there. Read the story here. Dolly's reading project, which has distributed more than 1 million books since inception in 1996 and expects to give away 1 million more in 2004 alone, is currently operating in more than 300 communities across 40 states.
Don't forget that Dolly will be honored Wednesday with the Living Legend Award from the U.S. Library of Congress in the Library's Coolidge Theater in Washington, D.C. She will perform at the ceremony, which is to be taped for broadcast in May on the cable music video network Great American Country (GAC). Read more here. And also be aware that the Library has indicated that at least something from the ceremony should be accessible that day on its new I Hear America Singing Web site here.
More Dollywood Shots Available
Even more exclusive shots of Dolly from Dollywood's annual opening weekend are now available. They include some from my friend Jamie Howard, who was working for the local Tennessee Star-Journal that weekend, and some additional shots from my photography assistant for the event, Harrell Gabehart. Access the new galleries here! Thanks, guys!
'Home' Steady Overseas
Feels Like Home, with the great Dolly duet "Creepin' In," doesn't move on many of the overseas charts released over the weekend. It remains steady at No. 6 in its ninth chart week on the British pop albums chart. Down Under in Australia, the disc remains steady at No. 7 pop and has reached double platinum status there for selling more than 140,000 copies. In Germany, the album also remains steady at No. 3 pop.
'There's A Heart Beneath These Boobs'
The Dayton Daily News up in Ohio had a great story Saturday offering a nice overview of Dolly's career and life titled "Dolly's not just flash -- she's substance too." Read it here.
'Gay Day II' Announced
Organizers have announced plans for the second annual Gay Day at Dollywood, to be held May 22 from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Gay Days are gatherings of a predominantly gay and lesbian crowd at theme parks across the nation, with perhaps the most well-known being held each June at Walt Disney World in Orlando. The are unofficial events, neither sanctioned nor endorsed by the parks themselves, and the groups are identified by their members wearing a particular piece of clothing, usually a red shirt, which is the item suggested to be worn at this year's event. The first Gay Day at Dollywood was held in September last year to coincide with the East Tennessee Pride Festival in Knoxville. Organizers say more than 1,300 participated in the Dollywood trip. Visit their site here for more information. Thanks!
New Pics Posted
For the sixth day this week, yes, there are new exclusive shots of Dolly from the 2004 Dollywood season opening weekend posted on Dollymania. These are the first group to come from my assistant for the media festivities, Harrell Gabehart. Access them here!
Dolly Interview Makes CMT
Dolly's appearance was brief, but she was on the new CMT Insider program Friday speaking about her hosting duties at the April 21 Flame Worthy Video Music Awards. She said she hopes she doesn't say anything too outrageous, and if she does, she hopes people will overlook it because she's "so old." She also revealed that the night will have at least four or five costume changes. The segment featured a couple of other country artists saying how much they're looking forward to her outlandish antics and sharp wit on the live broadcast and showed clips from a few of the commercial promos that have been airing in recent weeks. The show repeats throughout the next week (see TV listings on the right-hand side of this page). I also caught for the first time during that broadcast a new commercial for the awards show, with Dolly being asked to choose between two photos (perhaps costumes?). A stagehand in the room begins singing "9 To 5." Dolly gets distracted and joins right in, ignoring the network "suits" who are trying to get her to make up her mind.
Jones, Dolly In Europe
My pal Thea over in The Netherlands sent me the Dutch pop albums chart on Friday, and Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring its Dolly duet, moved up one spot this week, its eighth chart week there, to reign at No. 1. She also tells me that the BBC Dolly documentary Platinum Blonde will repeat at 10:50 p.m. on Saturday (11:50 in some areas of Europe). Thanks, Thea!
'Welcome Home' Chart News
Dolly's "Welcome Home" from For God And Country is moving up the unofficial IndieWorldCountry independent country singles chart, it was announced Friday. The song inches up four spots to No. 26.
Dolly Blasts The Rock
Last week's Knoxville News-Sentinel celebrity Grudge Match, which pitted Dolly against The Rock, ended with Dolly squarely on top, the paper reported Friday. Editors selected Dolly as their favorite, noting that in the words of one reader who replied to the story, "She rocks." Readers who voted chose Dolly by a 3-to-1 margin over The Rock. Check out this week's match here.
Reader-Submitted Pics Posted
Yet even more shots of Dolly from Dollywood's 2004 opening weekend are now available for view. These, on four new pages, were submitted by reader Jason Worley. Access the new galleries from that section here, and look for more soon!
U.S. Chart Updates
Ultimate Dolly Parton remains steady at No. 55 in its 33rd week on the Billboard country albums chart in the April 17 numbers released Thursday. The Dolly tribute CD Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton slips one point to No. 62 country in its 25th chart week. As was reported here Wednesday night, Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with its Dolly duet, drops three to No. 8 pop in its eighth chart week. The album also falls three to No. 8 comprehensive and two to No. 3 on the Internet sales chart after seven weeks at No. 1 there. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, featuring a Dolly guest appearance, jumps up eight notches to No. 15 in its 10th week on the independent labels albums chart. The tribute album Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, with a Dolly song, remains steady at No. 54 country in its 19th week. Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down enjoys an ninth week at No. 1 country and inches down three to No. 13 pop, while Tracy Lawrence's Strong debuts at No. 2 country and No. 17 pop.
Jones Still Falling In Canada
Jones' Feels Like Home drops three to No. 6 in its eighth week on the Canadian pop albums chart, it was announced Thursday.
Smith Still Hot On CMT
Mindy Smith's video for "Jolene" from Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, featuring a Dolly cameo, gains one spot to reach No. 9 in its 10th week on the CMT Top 20 Video Countdown, the network announced on Thursday.
Behind The Scenes Shots Released
The Tennessee Department of Tourism on Thursday released through the Associated Press two photos of Dolly from her March 13 taping of the new pro-Tennessee commercials premiered earlier this week. View them on Yahoo here and here.
Was She Or Wasn't She?
I missed the supposed Dolly appearance on Thursday's On-Air With Ryan Seacrest (our local television station that airs it had the wrong time listed for its broadcast, so I recorded the wrong time), but one reader who wrote in said that she did not see Dolly on the program. Seacrest's Web site doesn't offer recaps of the program. However, as of early Thursday evening, his site still listed Dolly as having been a guest on that day's program, but her name had been removed as of later Thursday night.
Don't forget that Dolly will be interviewed about her upcoming hosting job for the Flame Worthy Video Music Awards on the premiere of CMT's new weekly entertainment news show, CMT Insider. The 7:30 p.m. (Eastern) program will also feature stories on Kenny Chesney, The Alamo and Playboy magazine and will repeat throughout the next week.
More Opening Weekend Shots Posted
The next sets of Dollywood season opening weekend photos are now online. Four new exclusive galleries have been added featuring shots from Dolly's Media Day concert appearance on Friday and her Opening Day concert appearance on Saturday. View the pictures and the previously-posted pages from that section here, and look for even more in coming days! (And the fan site Voice Of An Angel posted several pics from the weekend on Wednesday as well. Visit the site here and go to the news page for a link.)
'Flames' Going Back To Gaylord
Dolly's gig hosting the CMT Flame Worthy Video Music Awards has moved once again, it was announced on Wednesday. As the Nashville Predators' Stanley Cup playoff game has been scheduled to not conflict with the April 21 awards show, the venue has moved from Vanderbilt University back to the Gaylord Entertainment Center, where it was originally planned to be held. As the venue is larger than the gymnasium at Vandy, additional tickets to the formerly-sold-out show will go on sale at Ticketmaster at 10 a.m. on Saturday (the ticket page has moved, so click on the link above to reach the new page on their site) . Those who have already purchased tickets will see new ones mailed out by Tuesday, according to Ticketmaster.
New Dolly Commercial Airs
The state of Tennessee on Wednesday unveiled a new promotional campaign for its tourism department, with Dolly starring in the first commercial aimed at attracting visitors from the states surrounding Tennessee. Using the new slogan "Tennessee: The Stage Is Set For You," which replaces "Tennessee Sounds Good To Me," Dolly's spot invites tourists to make the state their "stage for family fun, thrills, relaxation, celebration, discovery, romance and memories to last a lifetime" and was taped at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, the former home of the Grand Ole Opry. In a press release, Dolly said: "I'm doing this because I love Tennessee -- I'm a Tennessee girl. I mean there's nothing we can't do in Tennessee. The stage is set for everything." A second spot was filmed on Monday in Memphis with Isaac Hayes at the Stax Museum, and additional celebrity spokespersons are expected to be announced in the near future.
Library In Another Campaign
Another hopeful for governor his joining the Dolly literacy bandwagon. Lloyd Jackson, a Democrat, who is running for the top office in West Virginia, announced this week a platform of his campaign to provide every child in the state a free book per month from birth to age 5 in a nearly $3 million-per-year program if elected, the Charleston Daily Mail reported Wednesday. The story didn't explain whether the program would actually be part of Dolly's Imagination Library but said it would be based on her highly successful national literacy program. Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, also a Democrat, was elected on a platform which focused largely on bringing the program to every child in his state but was unable to budget funding for the first part of his term. He has set aside $2 million in the new fiscal year as matching funds for challenge grants to support the program around the state, and the governor of Illinois announced earlier this year he plans to take the program statewide there as well. It currently is active in more than 300 communities in all but 10 states. Read the story here.
Jones Slips Again
Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, with Dolly on the song "Creepin' In," will fall three spots to No. 8 in the April 17 Billboard pop albums charts when they are released on Thursday, the magazine announced Wednesday. The set had spent its first six weeks at No. 1 before dropping to No. 5 in the chart released last week.
Discount For June Event Announced
Organizers of "The Showdownhoedown" announced this week that they are offering discounted tickets for their private event at Dolly's Orlando Dixie Stampde in June. From April 11 through April 30, single tickets remain the $75 regular price, but tickets for couples drop $20 to $130 and those for families of four drop $50 to $250. The discounted prices will be discontinued on May 1. The non-alcoholic June 5 party, being held during the same week as the city's annual gay pride celebration, will benefit Joy Metropolitan Community Church. Organizers promise a special Stampede performance followed by a country dance. Families are encouraged to attend. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster or the event Web site here. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Don't forget Dolly is scheduled for a satellite interview from the grounds of Dollywood on Thursday for On-Air With Ryan Seacrest. The program airs live at 9 a.m. Eastern, but since it is syndicated, actual air times vary by market. Check local listings.
Dolly Fan Site News
The Dolly fan sites Dolly Parton Central and Dolly On-Line have merged into one under the Dolly On-Line name. The new site hit the Web on Wednesday. Visit it here. Also, the new Dolly Parton World site launched in recent days, although due to server issues its webmaster is currently moving it to another host. Visit it here.
New Dollywood Galleries Added
Your next installment of the Dollywood season opening weekend coverage has been posted, featuring photos from Dolly's "God And Country" Parade through Pigeon Forge and her appearance at the new Thunderhead roller coaster. Also, a transcript of her question and answer session with the press has been added. See those items and the others posted in recent days in that section of the site here, and look for more to come throughout the week!
Flame Worthy Talent Added
CMT announced on Tuesday that Alan Jackson and Montgomery Gentry have joined Dolly, Alison Krauss, Sheryl Crow, Toby Keith, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban as performers at the 2004 Flame Worthy Video Music Awards, which Dolly hosts live from Nashville April 21. Added to the list of presenters are Randy Quaid (Dolly's mostly comatose co-star in Frank McKlusky, C.I.), John Corbett of Sex And The City, Carson Kressley from Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, NASCAR's Jamie McMurray, and Judd Leffew and Rocco Wachman from CMT's Cowboy U. Previously announced presenters include Sara Evans, Dierks Bently Joe Nichols, Blake Shelton and Julie Roberts, and Shania Twain has been moved from the list of slated performers to the list of presenters instead.
More Opening Weekend Pics
The Dollymania coverage of Dollywood's 2004 season opening continues with the addition of three galleries to that section of the site here. They are of Dolly's parade through the park in Egyptian costume, her appearance with the Chinese acrobats and some shots and notes about the various international performers on the park for the Festival Of Nations. Click here to access the galleries and Sunday night's report of the weekend's festivities. Additional photos of Dolly's appearances around the park and some more stories from the weekend will be added throughout the week.
And Coverage Elsewhere
Several newspapers across the country on Monday ran an Associated Press story on Dolly's comments at opening weekend that she never plans to retire. Read the AP version here. The story was adapted from an interview which appeared in Sunday's The Mountain Press in Sevierville, which the newspaper posted online here Monday along with a story on fans at opening day from Sunday's paper here and an editorial lauding her charitable efforts and community economic impact here.
Dolly Gets Three Shots On CMT's Latest 'Greatest'
Dolly landed three videos on CMT's 100 Greatest Music Videos countdown, which the network premiered on Sunday. Her 1993 video for "Romeo" with Billy Ray Cyrus, Pam Tillis, Tanya Tucker, Mary Chapin-Carpenter and Kathy Mattea took the No. 97 spot. "Silver Threads And Golden Needles" from 1993 with pals Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn came in at No. 71, and 1989's No. 1 hit "Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That?" made it to No. 23. The program's top picks were Martina McBride's "Independence Day" at No. 2 and Johnny Cash's "Hurt" at No. 1. It repeats at 8 p.m. Tuesday and 9 p.m. Sunday.
'Flames' Tickets Are Gone
TicketMaster this week stopped showing any seats available for the April 21 CMT Flame Worthy Video Music Awards which Dolly will host live from Nashville, suggesting the event has completely sold out.
Library Expands In Alabama
Pell City will soon become the largest community in Alabama to participate in Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, The Birmingham News reported on Monday. The program is currently operating there in Madison and Morgan Counties. Read the story here.
The Dolly tribute CD Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton falls out of the 40-position Americana Music Association's weekly radio airplay chart released Monday, down from No. 34 the previous week. It had peaked at No. 1 in December. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly on the cover of "Jolene," remains steady at No. 4 with 543 spins at reporting stations nationwide. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, featuring Dolly duetting on "Creepin' In," drops three to No. 17 with 296 spins.
Dollywood Opens For The Year!
Dolly was all over Dollywood for its 19th season opening this weekend. Read the preliminary Dollymania recap and photos here (additional pictures and information will be posted in coming days). Also, check out some local coverage from the area in the Morristown Citizen Tribune here, Knoxville's WBIR here, the Knoxville News-Sentinel here and here and Sevierville's Mountain Press here and here. Also, on Saturday, Dolly appeared in a brief satellite interview from the park on NBC's Today Show weekend edition in which she talked about the new roller coaster, the Festival Of Nations and the park in general. At the end of the interview, she was asked to comment on the Janet Jackson breast exposure controversy and the FCC's subsequent crackdowns on the airwaves to which she replied that she doesn't wade into those topics and doesn't want to judge anybody but added "I'm not gonna pull a Janet Jackson, though. I'd probably kill about four people in the front row!"
Dolly On The Tube
Look for Dolly on TV several places in coming days, it was announced over the weekend. She is scheduled for a live interview via satellite from Dollywood on Thursday for On-Air With Ryan Seacrest. The program airs live at 9 a.m. Eastern, but it is syndicated, so many markets air it at a different time (check local listings). On Friday, CMT will premiere its new weekly half-hour entertainment news show, CMT Insider, and up on the first episode is an interview with Dolly about her hosting duties on the network's April 21 Flame Worthy Video Music Awards as well as spots on Kenny Chesney's tour, the new film The Alamo and Playboy's 50th anniversary stop in Nashville. The program premieres at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, which will be its regular Friday time-slot. And next Sunday, Dolly is in the new E! Network countdown 101 Most Starlicious Makeovers. Dolly is reportedly slated to appear in the first hour, which counts down Nos. 101 to 81, suggesting one of her appearance changes made that period of the countdown. The show premieres at 10 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.
'Ultimate' Gains On U.S. Charts
Ultimate Dolly Parton jumps eight places to No. 55 in its 32nd week on the Billboard country albums chart, in the April 10 numbers released Thursday, earning the disc the chart's Pacesetter designation for the largest leap in chart position for the week. The Dolly tribute CD Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton falls seven points to No. 61 country in its 24th chart week. Norah Jones' Feels Like Home drops four to No. 5 pop after six weeks at No. 1. The album, featuring the Dolly duet "Creepin' In," falls four to No. 5 comprehensive but remains No. 1 on the Internet sales chart. Mindy Smith's One Moment More, with Dolly vocals on "Jolene," falls seven notches to No. 23 in its ninth week on the independent labels albums chart. The tribute album Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, featuring a Dolly-Sonya Isaacs duet, falls four spots to No. 54 country in its 18th week. Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down enjoys an eighth week at No. 1 country and inches down three to No. 10 pop, while Toby Keith's Shock'n Y'all remains at No. 2 country in its 21st week and slips 15 to No. 37 pop.
The Dolly tribute falls out of the top 100 country albums charts, down from No. 74 in its 23rd chart week the previous week, it was announced Thursday. The disc had peaked at No. 7. Jones' Feels Like Home drops two to No. 3 after six weeks at No. 1 pop.
Smith Breaks CMT Top 10
Mindy Smith's video for "Jolene" from Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, featuring a Dolly cameo, gains two spots enter the top 10 at No. 10 in its ninth week on the CMT Top 20 Video Countdown this week, the network announced on Thursday.
Additional Overseas Jones Numbers
Feels Like Home remains steady at No. 6 in its eighth chart week on the British pop albums chart, it was announced Sunday. Down Under in Australia, the disc drops one to No. 7 pop. In Germany, the album falls one to No. 3 in Friday's pop chart.
Dolly European Update
Dolly's "Welcome Home" from For God And Country falls off the bi-weekly European CMA charts this week. The song had been at No. 20 on the 20-position French country singles airplay chart and No. 165 on the 200-position overall European country airplay chart two weeks ago. Also, her performance of "Steady As The Rain" with The Larkins falls out of the top 20 in France, down from No. 12, and out of the overall continent-wide airplay, down from No. 74. On a positive note, Dolly's duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," makes the charts this week at No. 7 country in Denmark and No. 42 for overall airplay, and Emmylou Harris' "To Daddy," from the tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, comes in at No. 6 in Spain and No. 96 for overall airplay.
Order 'Platinum' Compilation
Amazon.com has added a page to reserve your copy of BMG Heritage's May 4 release Platinum And Gold Collection: Dolly Parton (see March 27 news update for track listing). Get your copy here! And don't forget that the Madacy Records two-disc compilation Very Best Of Love comes out on Tuesday (see March 25 news update for track listing). Order it here!
Fallen Soldier's Family Helps Dolly's Library
A soldier killed in Iraq will be memorialized by giving children in his community a love for reading through Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, television station WTVM in Columbus, Ga., reported over the weekend. The Patrick Tainsh Books for Children Fund has been established at the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley in honor of Tainsh, a 33-year-old Columbus soldier killed in Iraq in February when a roadside bomb detonated under his vehicle. His stepmother said he had been an avid reader since childhood, which is why they chose to enshrine his legacy by creating a fund to pay for children in his city to take part in the program Dolly started to give one free book per month from birth to age 5 to every child in a participating community whose parents sign up. Read the story here.
Vote For Dolly
The Knoxville News-Sentinel also pits Dolly against The Rock in its weekly "Grudge Match," where readers choose their favorite of two celebrities after reading humorous notes about each that the staff comes up with. Read them here and cast your vote.
Library Of Congress To Honor Dolly
Dolly is set to be honored April 14 with a Living Legend Award from the U.S. Library of Congress, it was announced on Wednesday. Recipients of the honor are selected by the Library's curators and specialists in the field in which they practice. Previous honorees include writers, filmmakers, artists, physicians, sports figures and public servants including Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Mohammad Ali, Colin Powell, Madeline Albright, Martin Scorsese and Barbra Streisand. Dolly will be on hand at the award ceremony to be held that day at the Coolidge Theater in the Library of Congress. The cable music video network Great American Country (GAC) will film the ceremonies, hosted by Bill Cody, and broadcast it in May. The network says a special montage of Dolly's 40-year career including interviews with many artists from the country field will be played at the event. Read more here, where you may also submit a note of congratulations to Dolly and vote on your favorite Dolly song. The Library will also on April 14 launch a new Web site titled "I Hear America Singing," which will focus on the diversity of American performing arts, but its first major subject the day it goes live will be Dolly and country music in honor of her award. Thanks, Chad and Bridget!
Another Flame Worthy Story
I'm told that Dish Entertainment Magazine, a publication for subscribers to the Dish Network satellite service, has an article and photo on Dolly focusing on her hosting of the April 21 CMT Flame Worthy Video Music Awards. Thanks, Robbie!
A Brief Hiatus
There will be no updates for a few days, as your webmaster will be in Pigeon Forge for the season opening festivities at Dollywood, but look for a full report and photos upon returning! Remember Dolly's annual parade through town begins at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by the unofficial Dolly Collectors Convention at the Smoky Shadows Hotel Convention Center from 9 p.m. until midnight, with Dolly duet partner Dottie Rambo on hand to meet fans between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The park officially opens for the 2004 season at 9 a.m. Saturday, featuring the new wooden roller coaster, Thunderhead™!