May 29: 'Steel Magnolias' Blu-Ray Lands In Stores The first general commercial Blu-Ray release of Dolly's classic film Steel Magnolias hit stores on Tuesday, and while I haven't received one yet I understand from a review on Home Theater Forumhere that it uses the same HD transfer as the limited-edition 2014 version from boutique re-issue company Twilight Time and the same bonus features as the 2000 Sony DVD (audio commentary from the director, a featurette with the writer and director and shirley MacLaine, deleted scenes and the original theatrical trailer).
Dolly Gets Music City Burger A Nashville restaurant has honored Dolly with her own original burger, WSMV reports here.
May 27: 'Very Best' Still On Aussie Chart After 401 Weeks Down Under, the "gold series" re-issue of The Very Best Of Dolly Parton (Australian Tour Edition) drops eight places to No. 24 in its 401st chart week on the Australian country albums chart since its original 2007 release, it was revealed Saturday.
May 25: Sirius Celebrates Dolly In Top 1.000 Country Songs Satellite radio company Sirius is counting down the 1,000 best country music songs ever as part of a month-long promotion, and Dolly lands 11 entries on the chart, including one in the top 5. Her original 1974 recording of "I Will Always Love You" comes in at No. 4 on the list, her only entry in the top 50. Also in the top 100, "Islands In The Stream" with Kenny Rogers sails into No. 54 and "9 To 5" clocks in at No. 66. Her other entries are much farther down the road with "Coat Of Many Colors" coming in at No. 297 and "Here You Come Again" at No. 402. Also in the top 500 is "Jolene" at No. 457. Her five tracks in the bottom 500 are "Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That?" at No. 555, "Just Someone I Used To Know" with Porter Wagoner at No. 708, "Joshua" at No. 723, her 1995 duet version of "I Will Always Love You" with Vince Gill at No. 878 and "The Last Thing On My Mind" with Porter at No. 974. The top 10 has garnered some controversy for its inclusion of a couple of rather recent entries. The countdown's top 10 are:
10. El Paso, Marty Robins (1959)
9. Dirt Road Anthem, Jason Aldean (2010)
8. King Of The Road, Roger Miller (1965)
7. The Devil Went Down To Georgia, Charlie Daniels Band (1979)
6. He Stopped Loving Her Today, George Jones (1980)
5. Springsteen, Eric Church (2011)
4. I Will Always Love You, Dolly (1974)
3. Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash (1957)
2. Crazy, Patsy Cline (1961)
1. Friends In Love Places, Garth Brooks (1990)
Pirates Voyage Pigeon Forge Starts Previews Dolly's Pigeon Forge location of her Pirates Voyage dinner theatre had its soft opening (or in theatre terms, first preview show) Friday night. The restaurant's official grand opening with Dolly is expected June 7. Check out coverage from WATE here.
British Chart Updates The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe by Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt holds steady at No. 4 on the British country compilation albums chart in its 141st chart week, it was revealed Friday. Also on the U.K. country compilation albums chart, Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Ronstadt) re-enters the top 20 at No. 16, while Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) gains four to No. 15 and Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) loses two to No. 13.
'9 To 5' Makes Cast Change Producers of the London West End version of Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical this week announced that understudy Caroline Sheen will resume the role of Violet Newstead on July 4, replacing Louise Redknapp, who missed previews and the first few weeks of performances due to an injury but joined the show in late March with a commitment to stay through June. The show's run on London's equivalent of Broadway has been extended to April 2020, and the cast for the extended run after the originally-planned August end date will soon be announced, as will the cast for a U.K. and Ireland touring production for the fall. Learn more from Broadway Worldhere.
Telly Awards Honor 'Jolene' Drag Video The annual Telly Awards for marketing communications were announced this week, and Netflix took home several honors for its drag queen music video of Dolly's dance remix of "Jolene" from the Dumplin' Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Three honors came in the Branded Content Craft segment (silver awards for Use of Humor, Directing, and Use of Music) and three in the Branded Content General segment (a silver award for Music and bronze awards for Promotional and Entertainment).
May 23: 'Smoky Mountain Rain' Video Arrives
Ronnie Millsap has released an animated video for his new duet with Dolly of his classic "Smoky Mountain Rain" from his album Ronnie Milsap: The Duets that came out in January. Watch it here or in the media player above.
Hilty Sings Dolly On PBS Original 9 To 5: The Musical Doralee Megan Hilty headlines Stars In Concert: Live From Lincoln Center Friday night on PBS and will include two Dolly songs from the musical in her set: "Backwoods Barbie" and "9 To 5." Learn more about the concert and the influence Dolly had on her from Playbillhere.
Library Books Being Resold, Report Knoxville TV station WBIR investigated individuals improperly re-selling used books from Dolly's Imagination Library for personal profit in a report aired here this week.
Dolly once again won the Internet this week with her cute birthday message to fellow 73-year-old Cher here or in the media player above. Check out what The Tennessean had to say about the greeting here.
Contest Coming For Pirates Dolly Meet-And-Greet Apparently, two Knoxville-area radio stations will be running contests to win VIP grand opening tickets to Dolly's Pirates Voyage Pigeon Forge including hotel accommodations and a meet-and-greet with Dolly herself. The stations' normal contest rules require residency in the Knoxville area, so presumably those rules apply to these contests. The restaurant has links to the contests on its website here, but as of press time both links were inactive so the contests may not have started yet.
Casting Call For 'Skeeter' Character And if you want to work at Dolly's other major dinner theatre, Stampede, Backstage shared a job listing for the Branson, Mo., branch's Skeeter character here this week.
Barbeque & Bluegrass Opens This Weekend Dollywood's annual Barbeque & Bluegrass festival kicks off this weekend, running from Friday through June 2 with nearly 450 individual bluegrass performances across 10 days and lots of BBQ with presenting sponsor Bush's products. Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver kick things off Friday with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage taking over Saturday and Sunday. Other major artists include Dailey & Vincent May 27-28, The Grascals May 29, Sister Sadie May 30, Flatt Lonesome May 31, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers June 1 and Blue Highway June 2. Read more from Yahoo here.
May 20: Dolly Appears On CMT 'Hot 20 Countdown'
Katie Cook's interview with Dolly from her recent Dollywood appearance aired over the weekend on CMT's Hot 20 Countdown. In the first segment, she talked about her Netflix anthology series Heartstrings and said they would hold a premiere at the park sometime in the fall and that she had heard they planned to drop the series in October but that could change. In the second segment, she talked about the park's Wildwood Grove expansion, and in a third segment, she talked about the sequel to 9 To 5, for which she said the third re-write should be delivered any day now and shooting could be scheduled once everyone approves it so they likely will film it next year. Watch the program on CMT's website here! A brief clip shared by the network to Facebook is available in the media player above.
May 18: 'Bubbling Over' Gets First Digital Re-Issue Sony Music on Friday re-issued Dolly's 1973 album Bubbling Over as a digital release for the first time ever, leaving just 1969's In The Good Old Days as the only original release from her 1968-1985 RCA years remaining unavailable for download at this time. (1980's Porter & Dolly isn't available on its own, but eight of its songs were included in the recent release The RCA Sessions (1968-1976) while the other two tracks are available on other compilations, and the 1986 compilation album of remixes of previously-released material, Think About Love, is also not available.) Although the title track became popular in concerts and on television, it was never released as a single, as the album's only single was "Traveling Man," which hit No. 20 and was a cover of a song Dolly had previously recorded a couple of years earlier. It also contains the original recordings of "Pleasant As May" (which she would later re-record with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris but not release until the complete Trio boxed set came out) and "The Beginning" (which would be re-recorded as a duet with Porter Wagoner a couple of years later). Download the album here!
Did Grammys Prematurely Announce Dolly For Newport Fest? Could Dolly be playing this year's Newport Folk Festival July 26-28 at Ft. Adams State Park, R.I.? A press release came out Thursday from the Grammys announcing several charity auction items for the upcoming Linda Perry tribute at the Grammy Museum June 29. In its first version, it noted one of the prizes up for grabs was a meet-and-greet with Dolly and Perry at the festival, but a few hours later a corrected release came out changing it to a meet-and-greet at a location to be determined. That could mean that the first release was simply a mistake and Dolly won't be at the festival, or it could mean that Dolly is a yet-to-be-announced headliner for the festival and organizers don't want her name out there yet. She had said in recent interviews she was looking at possibly performing some festival dates instead of touring in the immediate future so she could spend more time closer to home due to her husband's declining health. Major performers at the festival announced thus far include Sheryl Crow, Kasey Musgraves and Hozier with additional headliners to be announced. Dolly also is not yet on the list of performers for the Perry tribute, which currently includes Cheap Trick, Juliette Lewis, Perry's wife Sara Gilbert, Gilbert's The Talk co-host Sharon Osbourne and Willa Amai, who performed "Here You Come Again" with Dolly on November's Perry-produced Dumplin' Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, but it could be that her production schedule for her Netflix holiday movie will prevent her from joining the tribute.
Netflix Holiday Movie Has 'Sing-Through/Dance-Through' According to several Instagram posts from people present, Dolly was at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles with Ms. Allen and Blackish star Jenifer Lewis hosting a sing-through and dance-through of her upcoming Netflix holiday musical Christmas On The Square, which will soon start filming in Georgia.
'Wonder Years' Star To Narrate Dolly Library Documentary Dolly this week announced that The Wonder Years star Danica McKellar, who is now a math education expert and children's author who has a math book in Dolly's Imagination Library, will serve as narrator for the feature-length documentary The Library That Dolly Built which students at the University of Tennessee have been making for the past year. The documentary is expected to be released late this year or early next year. Check out coverage of the announcement from WBIR here and on Dolly's official website here.
More From Dollywood Appearances In The Media A couple more stories came out this week on the recent Wildwood Grove opening at Dollywood: a general piece on the park from Paste Magazinehere and the "Coastin' The Country" podcast from Chicago's WGN TV here.
British Chart Updates The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe by Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt holds steady at No. 4 on the British country compilation albums chart in its 140th chart week, it was revealed Friday. Also on the U.K. country compilation albums chart, Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Ronstadt) falls out of the top 20, down from No. 7, while Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) skips two to No. 19 and Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) jumps seven to No. 11.
May 16: Final Photos From Dollywood Appearance Posted Your official Dollymania.net coverage from Dolly's appearances at Dollywood on Friday wraps up tonight with the posting of the final set of photo galleries from the park here. These images cover Dolly's park tour.
'Steel Magnolias' 30th Anniversary Showing Starts Sunday Don't forget that this weekend marks the return of Steel Magnolias to cinemas in honor of its 30th anniversary. Tickets are on sale for Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday in 500 cinemas across the country via Fathom's website here. And the film will see its first general Blu-Ray release at month's end, May 28. Reserve your copy here!
Dollywood Splash Country Opens For Season Saturday Also don't forget that Dollywood's Splash Country water park opens to the public this weekend as well. The park begins its 2019 season Saturday and runs through Labor Day.
May 15: New Dollywood Photos Posted Your official Dollymania.net coverage from Dolly's appearances at Dollywood on Friday continues tonight with the posting of the next set of photo galleries from the park here. These images cover the Wildwood Grove opening ceremony. More photos to come!
Library Expands To Another Major City Pittsburgh, Pa., this week announced it is now enrolling children in the city in Dolly's Imagination Library early childhood education program. Learn more from The Tribune-Reviewhere.
May 14: First Galleries Posted From Dollywood Appearances Your official Dollymania.net coverage from Dolly's appearances at Dollywood on Friday continues tonight with the posting of the first set of photo galleries from the park here. These images focus on her interview with Jenna Bush Hager for Today, which aired Monday and is available for online viewing here. Additional coverage includes HLN's interview with Dolly by Robin Meade, available on her Facebook page here, and a story from WSLS here. More photos to come!
Another 'Jolene' Cover Released Scottish folk punk singer Tragical History Tour has released a charity single cover of Dolly's "Jolene" to benefit the Scottish Association of Mental Health. Take a listen here.
May 13: Dolly Opens Wildwood Grove, Largest Dollywood Expansion Ever
Dolly was on park last week to officially open Dollywood's biggest-ever expansion, Wildwood Grove. The $37 million area adds 20 percent to the park's total size and 11 new experiences: the centerpiece Wildwood Tree (which features hundreds of glowing butterflies which will feature in a narrated nighttime experience starting June 15), Dragonflier roller coaster, Black Bear Trail bear ride, Great Tree Swing pirate ship-style ride, Treetop Tower elevated spinning ride, The Mad Mockingbird flying ride, Frogs & Fireflies hopping kiddie ride, Hidden Hollow 4,000-square-foot indoor play area, Wildwood Creek splash pad, Mountain Grove Merchants store, Till & Harvest Mexican restaurant (not open yet) and Sweets and Treats walk-up dessert stand (also not open yet).
Dolly and Dollywood President Craig Ross welcomed special industry guests for an evening preview Thursday night, which was streamed by the IAAPA on Facebook here, and then the media and Imagination Library VIPs for the official opening (as fans looked on from a nearby roped off area) on Friday morning. You may view the official park feed from that event via its YouTube account here or the Facebook live stream from your webmaster here or in the media player above. At Friday's event, Dolly explained: "Wildwood Grove just sets a whole new standard for Dollywood, 'cause when I was a little girl, these things here were exactly what I used to dream about, all these bears, all these butterflies, all these bees and frogs, 'cause we were just part of nature just being country kids, and I used to pretend like I was flying out of the holler, flying to different parts of the world to see what was out there beyond the holler, and of course I finally was able to spread my wings and explore the whole world and no matter where I go I always take my family and the Smoky Mountains with me."
She took photos with the area's mascots, butterfly characters named Flit and Flutter, sang its theme song (a re-written "Love Is Like A Butterfly" which includes the names of each of the new attractions), took a few questions from the press and Dollywood Insiders present, and helped a group of four children release monarch butterflies to substitute for a ribbon cutting.
Then members of the media and invited guests were able to experience the area's attractions. (Check out a video of your webmaster's six-year-old trying them out via Facebook here or in the media player below.) And Dolly also filmed an interview in the new area for the fourth hour of NBC's Today with host Jena Bush Hager which is slated to air during the 10 a.m. hour of the program on Monday. Shortly after the interview, the area was opened to the general public to enjoy prior to its first full day of operation on Saturday. She also took a park tour for fans on Friday afternoon. Look over the next few days for several galleries of photos from Dolly's media appearance, her Today interview, and her park tour as your official Dollymania.net coverage continues.
London '9 To 5' Gets Eight-Month Extension Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical last week announced that it will extend its run on London's West End at the Savoy Theatre until April 4, 2020, making a total of 300,000 more tickets available here for shows after the original fall closing date. The show was originally scheduled to run through Aug. 31 for a seven-month limited engagement on London's version of Broadway, after which a national touring version of the show kicks off in September. The tour will still go on with a second cast, but the West End production now extends its run to at least 14 months total. (For comparison, the original Broadway version closed after just five months.) The announcement came on Europe's "9 to 5 Day," May 9, since they write the calendar dates with the day followed by the month (in the U.S., "9 To 5 Day" is Sept. 5). Read more from What's On Stagehere.
Library Contest Winner Revealed In Video Fundraising site Omaze, famous for working with celebrities to run contests for which entries are provided based on how much money you donate to the person's favorite charity, last week shared the story of the winner of its recent contest to support Dolly's Imagination Library early childhood literacy program and be entered to meet her at Dollywood's opening weekend back in March. Watch it on Facebook here.
Overseas Chart Updates The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe by Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt holds steady at No. 4 on the British country compilation albums chart in its 139th chart week, it was revealed Friday. Also on the U.K. country compilation albums chart, Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Ronstadt) inches up one to No. 7, while Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) slides seven to No. 17 and Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) re-enters the top 20 at No. 18. Down Under, the "gold series" re-issue of The Very Best Of Dolly Parton (Australian Tour Edition) falls nine places to No. 23 in its 399th chart week on the Australian country albums chart since its original 2007 release, it was revealed Saturday.
May 6: 'Very Best' Rises On Australian Charts Down Under, the "gold series" re-issue of The Very Best Of Dolly Parton (Australian Tour Edition) inches up one to No. 14 in its 398th chart week on the Australian country albums chart since its original 2007 release, it was revealed Saturday.
May 4: Dolly Plans New Worldwide Merchandise Fans who have for years longed for more official Dolly merchandise won't have much longer to wait, it was revealed this week. Dolly has signed with IMG as her exclusive global licensing representative to explore new opportunities to license her image and personality for product endorsement or to develop and release new products of her own. A press release noted that all types of consumer products will be considered including fashion and jewelry lines to homeware and accessories. In a statement, Dolly commented: "I am excited to be working with IMG on a global scale to give my fans products that they will cherish for years to come. You might even see my mug on a mug!" Her manager, Danny Nozell, added: "I'm so excited for Dolly to partner with IMG globally. Dolly's brand is already proven and we are excited to take it to the next level." And IMG's vice president of licensing Gary Krakower noted: "Dolly Parton is an international icon and we are thrilled to be working with her. Together, we look forward to building cohesive lifestyle brand products that will celebrate Dolly and bring her iconic style and personality to her millions of fans worldwide in engaging new ways." Fans have for years complained of the lack of official Dolly merchandise, which has led to a large underground marketplace of unauthorized and unlicensed materials on etsy and eBay and other such peer-to-peer retail sites.
FBI Recognizes Dolly's Wildfire Efforts
Dolly's Dollywood Foundation was among more than 60 individuals and organizations recognized Friday by the FBI for its community leadership awards. Dolly, who could not attend in person, sent a video greeting (viewable here or in the media player above) accepting the honor for leading the assistance efforts for families impacted by the Gatlinburg wildfires, ending by singing a line from "I Will Always Love You." Following her video, FBI Director Christopher Wray told those present: "Your mission is a commitment to serving your communities. You're showing people kindness when they need it most. You're defending those who need a voice. You're making sure no one gets left behind." Learn more from NPR here.
Trio Gains On U.K. Charts The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe by Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt rebounds three to No. 4 on the British country compilation albums chart in its 138th chart week, it was revealed Friday. Also on the U.K. country compilation albums chart, Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony by Dolly and Ronstadt) gains eight to No. 8, while Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) jumps up 10 to No. 10.
'Forbes' Explores Dollywood Culinary Experience Forbes magazine on Friday shared a piece detailing the wonderful food offerings from Dollywood. Take a read here.
May 1: 'Steel Magnolias' Coming To General Blu-Ray Release Dolly's classic film Steel Magnolias will get a Blu-Ray re-issue in honor of its 30th anniversary, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment revealed on Monday. The studio will release a Blu-Ray version of the movie on May 28, available for pre-orders now from retailers including Amazon here. The release came as a surprise, since boutique DVD manufacturer Twilight Time had issued a limited-edition run of 3,000 Blu-Rays of the film in 2012, which usually indicates that the studio does not plan to issue the picture on Blu-Ray in the U.S. The studio did release a region-free Blu-Ray version in Germany in 2014, which some retailers have as an import. No word yet on any bonus features that the new release may include. As was previously reported, the film also has a limited theatrical re-issue this month for its anniversary, with May 19, 21, and 22 showings in 500 cinemas across the country on sale now at Fathom's website here.
Dollywood Reveals Wildwood Grove Preview Details Some fans complained on social media that they did not receive the e-mail Tuesday afternoon, but Dollywood informed those who renewed their season passes by the Nov. 3 deadline to get a preview of the park's new Wildwood Grove expansion of those preview details. Instead of being part of the media and VIP preview on May 10 when Dolly will be present, season passholders who received coupons for a preview will be able to bring those to the park's front gate on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday of next week to be assigned a two-hour window on that day of their visit (Monday, Wednesday or Thursday) during which they will be able to visit the new area. The park had earlier said the email with details would be sent mid-April but it was not sent until the last day of the month, which some on social media complained wasn't enough time to plan for the trip. The area is expected to be closed to the public on Friday, May 10, and will open to the general public Saturday, May 11. The park created a Facebook event for the area's opening weekend here on Tuesday.
Former Dolly Home Back On The Market One of Dolly's former extra homes in Nashville, which she owned until 1996, is back on the market. Several media outlets reported that the owners have contracted with music memorabilia sellers Rockology LLC to market the home, which they purchased from her for $140,000 23 years ago but tried to sell a couple of years ago for a $1.2 million asking price. Read more from Country Fancasthere, Taste Of Countryhere and Williamson Sourcehere.