'Country Weekly' Reminder As was revealed first anywhere here several days ago, don't forget to pick up your copy of the new issue of Country Weekly magazine featuring a great full-cover picture of Dolly. The accompanying multi-page article on the 25th anniversary season at Dollywood includes several shots of Dolly at the park over the years and a phone interview with her about its continuing success. The magazine is already in stock at most retailers, but Monday is the official deadline for it to be everywhere.
Slipping A Tad Down Under The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1, the foreign compilation released three years ago, inches down one to No. 7 Down Under this week, in its 57th on the top 20 country chart in Australia.
'Hollywood To Dollywood' Preview Posted Larry and Gary Lane have posted a preview video on YouTube for their documentary Hollywood To Dollywood, which they plan to circulate to film festivals this fall. Check it out here. Looking forward to seeing you guys in a few days!
Sandy Celebrates Milestone Dolly's former manager Sandy Gallin turned 70 with a big bash recently, and although she couldn't be there in person, Dolly sent her well-wishes, according to The New York Post, which detailed the party here.
May 29: Dolly Talks Of Memorial Day
Dolly on Friday released a new video diary message honoring the nation's servicemen and servicewomen for Monday's Memorial Day holiday. Watch it in the media player above or by visiting YouTube here.
Next Shots Available Several additional galleries from Dolly's weekend Dollywood visit for Nashville flood relief have been added to that section of the site here.
Seattle Fest Gets Dolly Tribute Those in the Seattle, Wash., area will want to stop by the final day of the 39th annual Northwest Folklife Festival. The music fest will feature a two-hour segment at 1 p.m. Monday on the Vera Stage in tribute to Dolly. A total of 13 separate acts are scheduled during that time to try their hand at Dolly's music. The spot earned special mention in Friday's Seattlesthere and Seattle Timeshere.
May 28: 'Designing Women' With Dolly Coming To DVD Shout Factory has announced a Sept. 14 release date for season four of Designing Women on DVD, the year that includes Dolly's guest appearance hour-long episode, "The First Day Of The Last Decade Of The Entire Twentieth Century," which originally aired on New Year's Day 1990. Perhaps the series' best year, the season also includes the memorable "They Shoot Fat Women Don't They," when Suzanne addresses her weight gain at her class reunion; "Julia Gets Her Head Stuck In A Fence," "Bernice's Sanity Hearing," "The Rowdy Girls" and "The Fur Flies." Reserve your copy here. Image courtesy Columbia Pictures Television.
U.S. Chart Updates Available The White Stripes' Under Great White Northern Lights, their live CD featuring a cover of Dolly's "Jolene," slips one to No. 21 in its 10th week on the top soundtrack albums chart, the June 5 Billboard lists released Thursday showed. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, featuring a Dolly duet, rises one to No. 4 bluegrass albums in its 66th chart week. Lady Antebellum's Need You Now holds onto the No. 1 country and dips four to No. 6 pop in its 17th week, while The Zac Brown Band's The Foundation also remains at No. 2 country and loses two to No. 22 pop in its 79th chart week.
May 26: 'Fairest,' 'Songwriter' Coming To CD Two classic Dolly albums will be hitting CD shelves for the first time next month thanks to Australian label The Omni Recording Corporation, which specializes in re-issuing "obscure" country records. Her 1970 opus Fairest Of Them All (which contained the original "Down From Dover," "Just The Way I Am" and No. 40 single "Daddy Come And Get Me") and 1972 collection Sings My Favorite Songwriter: Porter Wagoner (which contained her No. 20 single "Washday Blues" and two Best Of Dolly Parton tracks: "When I Sing For Him" and "Lonely Coming Down") will be released on a two-on-one CD June 8. The collection will include two bonus tracks: her recording of "Everything Is Beautiful (In Its Own Way)" that was cut from Fairest Of Them All and released for the first time on last year's Dolly boxed set and the "Washday Blues" B-side "Just As Good As Gone," which saw its first inclusion on an album as a bonus track on a 2007 re-issue of Coat Of Many Colors. Reserve your copy of the new CD here! Another Dolly-related collection will be released by the label on the same day: Porter Wagoner's What Ain't To Be, Just Might Happen paired with Sings His Own. That first album featured two Dolly-written tracks, "Little Bird" and "Sitting In The Shade," and the two-on-one CD will have six bonus tracks, three of which were also Dolly originals: "Talkin' To Myself" from Porter's album "I"ll Keep On Loving You" and two non-album singles: the top 20 "Carolina Moonshiner" and top 70 "Mountain Music." Advance order Porter's CD here! Both remastered albums will feature extensive liner notes and unpublished photos.
Dollywood Coverage Continues The next set of galleries from Dolly's appearances at Dollywood for Nashville flood relief fund-raising last weekend have been added to that section of the site here. Much more to come!
Lane Twins Launch Facebook page As they wrap up work on their Hollywood To Dollywood documentary, twin actors Gary and Larry Lane have opened an official Facebook page for the project. As things are finalized, including a trailer and information on festivals where it will play, they will be announced there. Check it out here!
'Hannah' News Hannah Montana reveals to the world she's really Miley Stewart this season, Dolly has told the Associated Press. In a piece here, she says it happens in the next season's episode in which she guest stars and occurs when Miley Cyrus' television character deals with similar media criticism that the teen actress/singer has faced in real life recently, so she takes off the wig. The Disney Channel show's new season begins in July. In related news, check out two galleries of Miley, her dad and Dolly touring the park last week thanks to Dollymania correspondent Harrell Gabehart, such as the one at left, that have been added to the Homecoming section here, plus some shots from her Travel Channel appearance thanks to reader James Burns.
Stern Mentions Dolly Thanks to Al for telling me that Dolly got a mention Monday from shock jock Howard Stern. Guest Jewel was talking and performing when sidekick Fred suggested she do an album with Dolly due to their similar vocal styles, something Stern said he agreed they should do.
May 24: Dolly Engages Fans For Fund-Raiser Dolly was all over the place Saturday and Sunday fulfilling her promise to make multiple appearances for fans who turned out to support her "Dolly Helps Nashville" fund-raising weekend, during which all net admission proceeds from her Dollywood theme park, Dollywood's Splash Country water park and Dixie Stampede dinner theatre were to be donated for Music City flood relief.
On Saturday, she sang "I'll Fly Away" with the Kingdom Heirs at their 10:30 a.m. show "My Mountains, My Home" at the 1 p.m. performance of Sha-Kon-O-Hey, "Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man" with the Kinfolks at their 2 p.m. show and "Celebrate The Dreamer In You" with the cast of Dreamland Drive-In at their 5 p.m. show plus a 4 p.m. park tour and performance of that final song again with the Silvertones at the pre-show for the 8:30 p.m. seating at the Stampede.
On Sunday, there were returns to the Kingdom Heirs, Sha-Kon-O-Hey and Kinfolks shows plus another park tour and a drop by the James Rogers show for "Rocky Top." She closed out that day with an appearance at the 6 p.m. seating at the Stampede.
As of press time Sunday night, the total collected from web donations for The Dollywood Foundation via DollyParton.com was $40,956. A total collected from the park and restaurant proceeds is expected to be available in another week or so. Published reports referred to expectations that it would be six digits, meaning in excess of $100,000.
Paper Talks Of Special Taping Learn more about what went on behind the scenes at the park's Hallmark Channel special taping Thursday and Friday with an exclusive story from The Knoxville News Sentinel that ran Saturday here.
Going Up Down Under Sony's 2007 overseas compilation disc, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1, gains two this week two No. 6 in its 56th week on the top 20 country chart in Australia.
May 22: Dolly Helps Nashville Is Here
Fans from around the world should be on their way to Dollywood, Dixie Stampede and Dollywood's Splash Country for Dolly Helps Nashville, her fund-raising effort for Music City. Remember that net admission proceeds from the three venues on Saturday and Sunday will be donated to help flood victims. Check out the latest video on the campaign in the media player above, and check out a CMT.com story here. And if you can't make it to the parks, donate online at DollyParton.com, which has raised over $36,000 thus far.
'Oprah' Gets Dolly-ized Dolly charmed the crowds on The Oprah Winfrey Show that aired on Friday. Check out a special section of Oprah's website here with clips from the portion on her bus as well as the musical performances, plus some bonus material. USA Today noted the appearance in a piece here Friday.
'Conqueror' At Park Covered Thanks to Greg for passing along The Mountain Press story on The Travel Channel's Bert The Conqueror filming recently at Dollywood (your webmaster participated in one segment of the program). Check out the piece here.
More Dolly Pics! Some great shots of Dolly's Pigeon Forge parade earlier this month by Dollymania correspondent Jason Worley are now available in that section of the site here. Thanks!
May 21: Dolly Starts Hallmark Taping Kenny Rogers and Dolly taped segments Thursday for the Hallmark Channel's July 3 special Dolly Celebrates 25 Years of Dollywood. Taping continues at the park on Friday. Check out photos from the shooting courtesy Dollymania correspondent Harrell Gabehart, such as the image at left, that have been added to her Dollywood Homecoming section of the site here. In related news, The Knoxville News Sentinel's Terry Morrow reports here that Dolly will be busy in June plugging the special with guest spots on Live With Regis & Kelly, Good Morning America and Late Night With David Letterman. And check out a great travel piece on the park and its 25th season from USA Todayhere, complete with a pretty lengthy video interview with Dolly viewable here or in the player below (and a quote from your webmaster in the story).
'Oprah' Interview Airs Friday
Don't forget to catch Dolly (and Kenny) on The Oprah Winfrey Show Friday. The program is syndicated, so check local listings for stations and times. E! Online offered a sneak peak, viewable here or in the media player above, while CMT blogged about the program here.
Dolly Helps Nashville Weekend Approaches
This weekend's Dolly Helps Nashville fund-raiser was profiled Thursday on Knoxville's WBIR television, with the story viewable here or in the player above (text version here). Also, the campaign released a promotional video that is viewable in the player below. Remember, Dolly will be making appearances at Dollywood and Dixie Stampede Saturday and Sunday and donating the net admission proceeds from both establishments and her water park to Nashville flood relief efforts. You may also contribute to the effort via the Dollywood Foundation at DollyParton.com. As of press time Thursday night, the tally was past $35,500.
Paper: Bush Daughter Heading To Dollywood Terry Morrow from The Knoxville News Sentinel also reported here Thursday that President George W. Bush's daughter Jenna will be at the park for its KidsFest opening (June 11) to report for The Today Show about the delivery of the 25 millionth book for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program.
Chart Updates Under Great White Northern Lights, The White Stripes' concert album with their cover of Dolly's "Jolene," sticks around for a ninth week on the top soundtrack albums chart, the May 29 Billboard tallies released Thursday showed. The collection falls three to No. 20. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, with its Dolly collaboration, loses two to No. 5 bluegrass albums in its 65th chart week. Lady Antebellum's Need You Now keeps the No. 1 country and No. 2 pop spots with 54,000 copies moved in its 16th week, while The Zac Brown Band's The Foundation rebounds one to No. 2 country and No. 20 pop in its 78th chart week.
May 20: Dolly Helps Nashville Campaign Continues
The Dolly Helps Nashville campaign moved into its third day Wednesday, passing $34,700 in donations to the Dollywood Foundation via DollyParton.com for Music City flood relief efforts. Remember, Dolly will make appearances at Dollywood and Dixie Stampede on Saturday and Sunday as she donates the weekend's net admission proceeds from her theme park, restaurant and water park to the project. The endeavor snagged a mention on the website for cable music channel Great American Country (GAC) here Wednesday, and competitor CMT announced that it will be noted on its next CMT Insider program premiering Saturday at 1:30 p.m. A message from your webmaster is in the media player above. DONATE HERE!
More Photos Posted The first selection of pictures by Dollymania correspondent Harrell Gabehart from Dolly's most recent stop at the park have been added to that section of the site here. Thanks!
May 19: Dollymania Video Report Added Before we start getting into correspondents' photos and reader-submitted pics, your Dollymania Video News Report from Dolly's most recent Dollywood appearance has been posted to that section of the site here.
Dolly Raises $33,000 Thus Far Dolly's Nashville flood relief efforts have collected more than $33,000 in the first 24 hours of soliciting donations from fans. Gifts will continue to be sought through the weekend, and as was previously reported, the net admission proceeds from her theme park, water park and restaurant in Pigeon Forge on Saturday and Sunday will be added to the total to help those impacted by the Music City flood disaster. Coverage of "Dolly Helps Nashville" made Tuesday's Columbus Ledger Enquirer in Georgia here, The Maryville Times in Tennessee here and the music blog Country Standard Timehere. You may make a tax-deductible contribution to the effort via the Dollywood Foundation on Dolly's official website, dollyparton.com, and follow the campaign on Twitter here and FaceBook here. "Better get to givin'!"
May 18: Dolly Offers Weekend Flood Fund-Raiser
"Better get to givin'," Dolly told her fans Monday in a video released on YouTube (watch it in the media player above or by clicking here) that announced "Dolly Helps Nashville," her own fund-raiser this weekend for Nashville flood victims. She has pledged to donate net admission proceeds from Dollywood, Dollywood's Splash Country and her Dixie Stampede on Saturday and Sunday for the benefit of those impacted by the Music City disaster. To make it worth her fans' while for coming back just two weeks after she last visited the park, she is slated on both days to make "several special appearances at various theaters and locations throughout Dollywood and at Dixie Stampede to greet guests who visit for the weekend event," according to a press release.
In the release, Dolly explained: "I grew up in the Smokies in East Tennessee, which was my first home. I moved to Nashville 46 years ago and that is my home now. I have family and friends in both places, and when one place hurts; I think it is just right for the other to help. On May 22 and 23, I'm having my Dollywood and Dixie Stampede companies help me host my Dolly Helps Nashville weekend. The net proceeds from the admission of the guests to Dollywood and my Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge will go to a special fund to assist Nashville flood victims. We're especially going to concentrate on those folks who lost their homes and personal possessions in this terrible flood. So many of the folks from Nashville come to the Smokies to vacation; over the last 25 years, they have helped Dollywood, Dixie Stampede and Dollywood's Splash Country and this entire vacation area grow. That's why it's our turn to help. I am challenging other businesses in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg to make this a destination-wide effort. I want all of my fans worldwide to come to Dollywood the weekend of May 22 and 23. If you can't be there in person, then I hope you'll donate to flood victims through the Dollywood Foundation online at www.dollyparton.com."
The effort has launched a Twitter feed here and FaceBook page here. Tax-deductible donations to the project via the Dollywood Foundation may be charged to your credit card online at Dolly's official website, dollyparton.com. As of press time Monday night, $1,524 had been collected. (Most readers of this site have season passes to the park and wouldn't be paying admission to get in over the weekend, so I encourage everyone reading this to make a financial contribution on Dolly's site, even if you're planning to head to the park in person over the weekend. Let's get to givin'! My gift pushed them past $1,500, and you can help, too!)
Coverage of the project made Knoxville's WATE-TV here, AOL's "The Boot" country music blog here, Country Weekly online here and The Knoxville News Sentinelhere.
Watch Dolly On 'Wendy'
For those who missed it, The Wendy Williams Show has released its brief segment with Dolly from Monday's program on its YouTube channel. Watch it in the media player above or by clicking here.
Hear Dolly's Remarks Audio files from Dolly's most recent Dollywood appearances have been added to that section of the website here for your enjoyment. Still more to come!
Hall Of Fame Picture A shot of Dolly accepting her Country Gospel Hall of Fame trophy at the park from the Country Gospel Music Association and story on the honor were published Monday in The Seymour Herald. Check them out here.
Sincerest Form Of Flattery Wonder what Access Hollywood's Maria Menounos would look like done up as Dolly? Well, you get to see this week on the show's "Menounos' Madcap Adventures" segment, which includes, among other things, her trying her hand as a Dolly impersonator in the "Legends In Concert" show in Vegas. Check out a picture from The Las Vegas Sunhere.
'Oprah' Details Trickle Out Dolly was a ball of laughs at Friday's taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago, I'm told thanks to readers who've written in with their details. Donning a white outfit with a fringed skirt over white pants with white boots, Dolly spoke of her life and her marriage before taking the hostess on a tour of her bus outside. She also presented Oprah with some fresh tomatoes. She sang a little of "9 To 5" and dedicated "I Will Always Love You" to Oprah, moving the television mogul to tears. Kenny Rogers then joined the show for "Islands In The Stream" and sat with Dolly for another interview segment before Dolly and Oprah sang with him on "The Gambler." Audience members were told this was the final taping of the season for the program. Also, I understand that as Tom Cruise filmed his episode prior to Dolly's, he came over and visited with her on her bus. The show has posted a page about the episode, which airs this Friday, here. Thanks, y'all!
Dolly Wins Another Honor In recognition of her cultural contributions as an entertainer and her philanthropic achievements of the Imagination Library literacy program, Dolly will be presented this year's Applause Award from the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC), it was announced over the weekend. The honor will be given to her during a $400-per-person gala Aug. 28 called "5 to 9," a play on her 9 To 5: The Musical, which kicks off its national tour the following month at TPAC. Learn more from The Tennesseanhere.
Dolly Remains Down Under The foreign greatest hits collection from 2007, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1, holds steady this week at No. 8 in its 55th week on the top 20 country chart in Australia
Katrina: Dolly's My Favorite Katrina (of Katrina and the Waves fame) told ESC Today, a newsletter on the Eurovision Song Contest, that of all the artists who have covered her hit "Walking On Sunshine," which reaches its 25th anniversary this year, the best was Dolly's. Read the interview here.
Library Comes To Syracuse The north side of Syracuse, N.Y., is kicking off Dolly's Imagination Library books program, The Post Standard noted over the weekend here.
Dolly On 'Oprah,' 'Wendy' Next Week Dolly's taping for The Oprah Winfrey Show on Friday included at least one special guest: Kenny Rogers, I'm told. Not much else has been heard from the appearance in Chicago, which is reportedly scheduled for broadcast next Friday. And Ms. Winfrey isn't the only TV hostess getting her interview on with Kenny & Dolly. Wendy Williams recently taped interviews with several people involved in Rogers' recent 50th anniversary special taping and will present them on her show next week: Dolly on Monday, Lionel Richie Tuesday and Rogers on Wednesday. Conversations at the concert with the Oak Ridge Boys, Sheena Easton, Smokey Robinson and Chris Isaak will also pop up during the episodes, All Access reported here. Both programs are syndicated, so check local listings for stations and times.
Dolly Says She'd Do 'Glee' Attention producers of Glee: Dolly will come on your show if asked. That was the message she gave, according to Zap2Ithere on Friday. She told the blog: "I have seen bits and pieces of it t looks fantastic. If it has a dang thing to do with music, I would do it." She suggested "9 To 5" would make a great dance number and "I Will Always Love You" could anchor a romantic scene. Although no one involved in the show has mentioned a possible Dolly connection in its future, several prominent TV observers have suggested that they should consider a Dolly-themed episode following the success of its Madonna show and a campaign by Britney Spears' manager trying to get an episode based on the pop star's music.
May 14: Newest Galleries Are Up More shots from Dollywood have been posted in that section of the site here. Enjoy! And, yes, much more is to come!
Paper: 'Oprah' Still On Knoxville News Sentinel columnist Terry Morrow reported on his blog Thursday that Dolly's Friday shoot with Oprah Winfrey (the date for which was first reported anywhere by Dollymania) is still on and that as was suspected it is being taped for later broadcast, currently scheduled May 21.
'9 To 5' Adds Alabama Show Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical will hit Huntsville, Ala., in October, the city's Broadway Theatre League has announced. The show lands there Oct. 21-24. Thanks, Solomon. The expanding list of cities for the tour, which it appears only this site is reporting because the collective list is not available anywhere else I've seen, is:
Nashville, Sept. 21-26
Atlanta, Sept. 28-Oct. 3
Charlotte, Oct. 5-10
Des Moines Oct. 12-17
Huntsville, Oct. 22-24
Tampa, Oct. 26-31
Memphis, Nov. 2-7
Houston, Nov. 9-21
San Antonio, Dec. 7-12
East Lansing, Dec. 15-19
Greenville, S.C., Jan. 4-9
Indianapolis, Jan. 11-16
Chicago, Jan. 18-31
Dayton, Feb. 1-6
St. Louis, Feb. 8-20
Phoenix, Feb. 22-27
Sacramento, March 9-20
Seattle, April 5-24
Costa Mesa, May 10-15
Tulsa, June 14-19
Minneapolis/St. Paul, July 12-24
Ft. Worth, July 26-31
Napes, Fla. (date TBA)
Library Expands In Ohio Chillicothe, Ohio, is gearing up for Dolly's Imagination Library, thanks to a partnership between the local United Way and Junior Civic League, The Chillicothe Gazette noted here Thursday. In related news, video of a pretty fun event celebrating its expansion in Middletown, Ohio, to three surrounding communities is available online here.
'9 To 5' Songbook On Its Way To coincide with its national tour, Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical songbook is slated to hit stores Oct. 1 from Hal Leonard Corp., it has been revealed. You may reserve your copy here. Thanks, Scott!
Dolly's 'Oprah' Not Airing Friday The Oprah Winfrey Show has announced that Friday's guests for the live broadcast of the program are Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, so if Dolly's scheduled taping that day still happens, it must be being recorded for a future airing.
CD Gets Noticed In 'Parade' Parade magazine's online edition on Wednesday selected Sony's new Dolly compilation Letter to Heaven: Songs of Faith and Inspiration as the "Pick Of The Day" from entertainment editor Jonathan Witherspoon. His opinion: Dolly's existence is proof that God exists. Check out what he had to say about it here.
Dolly For 'SNL' With the critical acclaim of comedienne Betty White on Saturday Night Live earlier this month, People magazine this week is asking what other over-60 lady should be brought in to host an episode next season. As of press time Wednesday night, Carol Burnett was leading big time with 39 percent of the vote, while Cloris Leachman and Dolly were neck-and-neck for second place at 19 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Pals Lily Tomlin and Joan Rivers came in next at 14 and 10 percent, respectively. Vote here! Thanks, Maggie! There's also a Facebook group for Dolly to be on the show, which she last hosted in 1989, here.
May 12: New Set Of Shots On The Site Following her main appearance Friday morning at Dollywood, Dolly left the stage and came back out shortly thereafter for a quick photo session. Images from that have been added to the section of the website about her "homecoming" festivities here. Still much more is to come! In related news, thanks to Bryce for alerting me to a new welcome video on the park's 25th season featuring Dolly that has been posted to its website here.
Dolly Gets Another Honor Dolly was recently inducted into Branson's Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame, receiving her plaque while at Dollywood, Terry Morrow of The Knoxville News Sentinel reported here Tuesday.
'Jolene' Responds To Song Australian musician Lucy Lehmann has written and released a reply song to "Jolene" from the other woman's perspective called "Dolly, Dolly, Dolly," even coming up with the tale of meeting the fictional Jolene on a train in Australia and learning of her side of the story. Check out the "interview" where she tells the story (and calls Dolly "the godfather of Nashville") and then a music video for the song from Eardrums Musichere.
Fanjoy Not Nominated CMT this week revealed the final nominees for its CMT Music Awards this year, and Dolly's director for "Backwoods Barbie," Trey Fanjoy, didn't make the cut for Director of the Year. Fanjoy was in the eight-person semi-final round of voting but wasn't in the final four nominees.
Canadian Film News Work is continuing on the Canadian film The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom that has been noted here several times over the past year. The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday reported on the movie's casting with a story here.
May 11: New Dollywood Shots Posted Your Dollymania coverage of Dolly's weekend appearances at Dollywood continues tonight with some shots from her two park tours. Still to come will be images from her morning appearances on Friday and Saturday as well as her Friday evening parade, a video report and audio of her remarks at the two events. Check out that new section of the site here!
Chart Updates The White Stripes' Under Great White Northern Lights, featuring its cover of Dolly's "Jolene," holds steady at No. 16 in its seventh week on the soundtrack albums chart, the May 15 numbers released last week by Billboard showed. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, with its Dolly appearance, inches up one to No. 3 bluegrass albums in its 63rd chart week. Lady Antebellum's Need You Now holds steady at No. 1 country and No. 2 pop with 76,000 copies sold in its 14th week, while The Zac Brown Band's The Foundation remains at No. 2 country and falls four to No. 13 pop in its 76th chart week.
Paper: Dolly Records With Billy Ray While in Los Angeles filming Hannah Montana, Dolly recorded a song with fellow guest star Jason D. Williams and show cast member Billy Ray Cyrus for Cyrus' new band, according to The Huntsville Timeshere. The band, Brother Clyde, also features Phil Vassar, Jeffrey Steele and John Waite.
Dolly Thanks NY Hero You just saved New York City from a terrorist attack, so Dolly expresses her appreciation. That's what happened to Duane Jackson, a street vendor in Times Square who saw the truck that contained a bomb start smoking and alerted authorities. He told The New York Posthere that he had first met Dolly when her show 9 To 5: The Musical was playing on Broadway and "She's always been my favorite." But after his role in thwarting the bombing, she had her driver find him last week and take him into her SUV parked on 44th Street near the Minskoff Theatre for her to thank him personally for his heroism. Then she sent her assistant to his table to buy $140 in merchandise. Dolly was in New York most likely for auditions for the road company of the musical that were taking place last week.
Library News Here's a couple of Imagination Library mentions: Its Michigan expansion into Washtenaw County is noted in Ann Arbor.comhere, and The Star News in North Carolina pleads with someone to start a local chapter here.
May 10: Anniversary Season Lauded At Dollywood Dolly had much to celebrate over the weekend as Dollywood observed its 25th season with pomp and circumstance. Things kicked off Friday morning with a ceremony in DP's Celebrity Theatre attended by a multitude of tourism staff members, whom Dolly singled out for special recognition for their partnership with the park over the years. At this event, she performed "My Mountains, My Home," "Celebrate The Dreamer In You" and "Sha-Kon-O-Hey." Proclamations were presented to the park's vice president and general manager, Barbara Joines, on behalf of Gov. Phil Bredesen (who was absent due to the Nashville floods), the City of Pigeon Forge and the state legislature.
Commenting about the flooding, Dolly spoke early at the event about the situation and called on everyone to remember those in Music City. "I usually bring my tour bus, but I brought my tour boat this time," she joked before turning serious in her words. "Anyway, we gotta lot of people put out really bad down in our part of the country. A lot of my own family, a lot of my own friends suffered a lot from the flood. But we're just happy that we got to come up here, and thank goodness the water's drying up and we're gonna be okay sooner or later. We also lost a lot of our Tennessee friends and folks in the whole area, so our hearts go out to all that."
(Speaking of the flood, I'm told that her Nashville store, Dolly Parton's Trinkets & Treasures on Second Avenue, did not itself flood. However, the boot shop that is located in the basement and operated by the building's owner did suffer flooding, and consequently the building had a offensive smell in it earlier this week. No word on whether the lower-level flooding will impact Dolly's store's operations. Also, Dolly told The Knoxville News-Sentinelhere that she had not been in Nashville since the flooding occurred so she did not know the extent of damage, if any, to her home in neighboring Brentwood.)
That afternoon, fans caught a glimpse of her at the coin toss game with Bert the Conqueror, a comedian who is hosting a new series on The Travel Channel that will premiere this summer and was filming at the park over the weekend. (Your webmaster participated a little bit in the filming of a different segment.) She also taped a brief meeting with The Lane Twins for their Hollywood To Dollywood documentary, where they achieved their goal of presenting her with a birdhouse of her Tennessee Mountain Home and a screenplay they brought from LA in their RV. The guys say the experience was amazing, and they hope to have the film edited and ready to submit to film festivals by fall.
Then there was the park tour and her 25th annual Dolly Parade in Pigeon Forge, where she sat atop an anniversary cake float decorated with huge butterflies – and Dolly herself was a butterfly with her own gossamer wings.
And tons of fans came out to Club XYZ Friday night for the third Night of 1,000 Dollys party, featuring Dolly-related contests, a Dolly-themed drag show and more. Even Dolly herself sent a greeting for party-goers that she had videotaped on her bus and a film crew to record the festivities for her to witness for herself.
Saturday saw her dedicate the "Friendship Fountain," where the plaques from the former Friendship Garden have been moved after the garden's redesign by the King of Dirt television program. The stars, which record the first year a celebrity appeared at or performed at the park, now circle the fountain in front of Celebrity Theatre. At the event, she gave special recognition to The Kingdom Heirs, The Kinfolks and James Rogers, the three acts who have continuously performed at the park since it became Dollywood in 1986. She also entertained the crowd with a rendition of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken," in which she adlibbed about the creation of Dollywood for the second verse.
That afternoon, she celebrated her 46th Sevier County High School reunion, which snagged a notice from The Knoxville News Sentinelhere, and took another park tour.
Her next scheduled appearance at the park will be to open KidsFest in June. Additional coverage is available Volunteer TV here and WBIR here and here. In related news, check out a piece from The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia that was apparently written following her March appearance and published last week here. (Apologies for the lack of updates for the past several days. Circumstances beyond my control prevented updates on Thursday or Friday nights. A few stories that would have otherwise been posted on those evenings will be added to the news page over the next few days in addition to continuing coverage of the weekend's Dolly appearances.)
Going Up Down Under Sony's overseas compilation disc from three years ago, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1, gains one this week to No. 8 in its 54th week on the top 20 country chart in Australia
'9 To 5' Heads To S.C. Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical is coming to Greenville, S.C. The show will play The Peace Center Jan. 4-9, The Greenville News reported here Sunday. Thanks, Solomon!
May 6: Asheville Photo Spread Thanks to Greg for passing along a photo album of Dollywood in honor of the park's 25th anniversary season from The Asheville Citizen Timeshere. In related news, your webmaster on Thursday is off to Tennessee to cover the next round of Dolly appearances for the silver anniversary. Check out coverage over the next several days!
May 5: July 3 Date For Hallmark Special Although the date or dates for taping at Dollywood are not yet public, the Hallmark Channel on Tuesday announced that the hour-long special Dolly Celebrates 25 Years of Dollywood will air on the cable network at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 7 p.m. Central, on Friday, July 3. As was previously reported, the special will feature Dolly, Kenny Rogers, Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus. New in the announcement was word that additional celebrities will also deliver tributes in the show, most likely meaning well wishes taped elsewhere. Knoxville News-Sentinel columnist Terry Morrow reported here that the special would be taped at the park "in the next few weeks." The complete text of the release, which was accompanied by the photo at left (click on it for a larger view) is as follows:
Hallmark Channel will honor a musical icon, Dolly Parton, and celebrate the anniversary of one of the country's most popular theme parks when it televises the Hallmark Channel Original Special, "Dolly Celebrates 25 Years of Dollywood," Friday, July 3 (8 p.m./ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT). The one-hour special, presented exclusively on Hallmark Channel, features the 45-time Grammy® nominee (seven wins) and Country Music Hall of Fame inductee in a musical tribute taped at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN, and featuring some of the brightest stars in country music.
For the Hallmark Channel Original Special, Parton's guests will include Miley Cyrus ("The Last Song," "Hannah Montana"), Billy Ray Cyrus ("Christmas in Canaan," "Back to Tennessee"), and multiple Grammy Award winner Kenny Rogers (the Parton/Rogers hit "Islands in the Stream" remains the #1 duet of all-time). The special also includes tributes for Dolly and Dollywood from friends -- Faith Hill, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, and others.
Parton's former business advisors told her not to invest in an aging tourist attraction that had surely seen its glory days. But, in 1986, the irrepressible Parton did so anyway, partly out of reverence for her beloved Sevier County roots and a desire to enhance the local economy, but also because Dolly loves to share her Appalachian memories of the Great Smoky Mountains, her people and their heritage. Today, 25 years later, Dollywood has fulfilled Parton's dreams -- and the dreams of many park-goers -- while prompting more. Now the country music legend wants to share Dollywood's Silver Anniversary with the world.
Known as one of the most popular vacation destinations in America, Dollywood is also the recipient of more awards for live entertainment than any other theme park in the world. Dollywood is the predominant recipient of the industry's Golden Ticket Award for Best Shows and Best Christmas Event. The largest employer in Sevier County, the park features 10 distinctly themed areas, spans 150 acres, and plays hosts to four of the South's largest festivals each year. Dollywood boasts thrilling roller coasters, including Thunderhead, twice voted the world's best wooden coaster. Wagon making, blacksmithing and woodcarving are always on display courtesy of the dozens of master craftsmen. On March 29, Adventure Mountain, the $6 million challenge course (the nation's largest) opened in the park's Wildnerness Pass area.
Referring to the theme of Dollywood's 25th anniversary ("Celebrating the Dreamer in You," an anthem Parton wrote to commemorate the milestone) and of the TV special honoring it, Parton says, "I've always been a writer. My songs are the door to every dream I've ever had and every success I've ever achieved."
'Letter' Hits Store Shelves Sony Music on Tuesday released the new Dolly compilation disc, Letter to Heaven: Songs of Faith and Inspiration. As was previously reported here, the set features her entire 1971 gospel album Golden Streets Of Glory, that album's previously-released single that was cut from the final project ("Comin' For To Carry Me Home"), one previously-unreleased outtake from that album ("Would You Know Him") plus the songs "Letter To Heaven," "Sacred Memories," "God's Coloring Book" and "Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man" with Porter Wagoner. Get your copy here.
Canadians Look At Dolly A nice little Dolly profile was released Tuesday by Canadian Christianity Read it online here.
Former 'Idol' Chats About Dolly LA Times' blog on Tuesday posted an interview with former American Idol contestant Michael Johns, who speaks, among other things, about meeting Dolly as a child and again on the FOX series. Watch it here.
May 4: Dolly Hits TV Dolly was on DIY Network Monday night, as King Of Dirt re-landscaped the Showstreet Gardens at Dollywood. That TV appearance, plus her upcoming stop by Oprah and a Travel Channel show filming on the park this weekend snagged notice from Terry Morrow in The Knoxville News Sentinelhere.
Parade Notes The Chattanoogan previews Friday's Dolly Parade in Pigeon Forge here this week.
Dottie Remembered Country Stars Central observes the second anniversary of the death of gospel legend Dottie Rambo by re-posting an interview with her from a few years back in which she discusses, among other things, her friendship with Dolly. Visit the site here to read it.
May 3: Australian Chart Update The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1, the 2007 overseas greatest hits CD, rises four this week to No. 9 in its 53rd week on the top 20 country tally Down Under.
May 1: Gone From Irish Chart Again After showing back up for one week, Sony's 2007 foreign compilation The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 this week falls back off the top 100 Irish pop albums chart, down from No. 95 in its 94th chart week.
One Week To Go We're now less than a week from Dolly's return to East Tennessee for her second appearance of the season. As a reminder, she will be on park both next Friday and Saturday, plus her annual Pigeon Forge parade is next Friday evening. Check out a brief about the parade from The Seymour Heraldhere. The weekend will also feature the unofficial Night Of 1,000 Dollys party at Club XYZ in Knoxville next Friday night and the filming of the Lane Twins' documentary, which you may follow on Twitter here.