May 29: 'Good' Video Premieres In 'Time' Livestream Interview
Dolly talked hope in the times of COVID-19 in her Time 100 Talks interview Thursday, concluding it with the world premiere of the actual video for her new song, "When Life Is Good Again," which closes with a title card that reads: "Be safe. Be respectful. Wear your mask. Lead with love. Dolly" Watch the interview here or in the media player below and the music video here or in the media player above. The song became available at midnight Thursday for purchase and download from Amazon here and other retailers.
'Smoky Mountain Opry' Closed For Remainder Of Year At least one of Dolly's properties won't be opening this year, it was revealed Thursday. WVLT reported here that her theatre company World Choice Investments decided that the design of the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater made it impossible to operate within current coronavirus safety guidelines, so it will remain shuttered for the remainder of 2020. Her Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Theatre re-opened last weekend and was preceded the weekend before by her Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Restaurant, two of the other properties along with Smoky Mountain Opry and Comedy Barn that her company purchased early last year from Fee Hendrick Entertainment in Pigeon Forge. There is still no word on when her Stampede or Pirates Voyage attractions (or Comedy Barn) will open nor Dollywood, Splash Country, or the DreamMore Resort.
'Goodnight With Dolly' Continues The Imagination Library "Goodnight With Dolly" series continued Thursday with Stand Tall Molly Lou Melonhere. The final episode is scheduled for next week with Pass It On.
May 28: New Dolly Coronavirus Song Audio Released
Dolly on Wednesday released the audio to her new COVID-19-inspired single, "When Life Is Good Again." The single premiered with an audio-only YouTube video here and in the media player above first shared exclusively by Entertainment Weeklyhere. As was previously reported here, a full music video for the song is expected to drop Friday, when the song will presumably also be available for download and streaming from major music retailers.
PBS Celebrates Women Of Country Music It was revealed Wednesday that most PBS stations on Monday will air a new special, Iconic Women of Country, which features Dolly, Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Minnie Pearl, Brenda Lee, Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Montana, Lynn Anderson, Jeannie C. Riley and four other female trailblazers from the genre and the impact they had on more recent artists including Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna, Terri Clark and Pam Tillis. They will reflect on a signature song from each legend as well as performances of those songs that inspired and moved them.
U.K. '9 To 5: The Musical' Tour Postponed To 2021 Producers for the U.K. version of Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical announced Wednesday that the planned British tour of the show for the fall will be postponed to 2021 due to coronavirus. The pandemic already cancelled the show's Australian premiere and cut short its extended West End run in London.
U.S. Chart Updates Dolly's duet with Zach Williams, "There Was Jesus", continues to climb the May 30 Billboard charts released Tuesday, as it gains a dozen digits to No. 20 Christian airplay but slips three to No. 8 Christian digital single sales.
Don't Forget Dolly's Thursday Appearances Don't forget to watch Dolly on Time magazine's TIME 100 Talks livestream at 1 p.m. Eastern Thursday on leadership in times of crisis, specifically focusing on hope during COVID-19, with additional guests Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Last Mile Health CEO Dr. Raj Panjabi. You must pre-register here to receive an email with a link to the livestream. Then the penultimate episode of her "Goodnight With Dolly" storybook series for Imagination Library premieres at 7 p.m. here.
Dollywood Competitor Disney Announces Orlando Opening Although Dollywood still has yet to give any indications of when the park may open for the season and under what new rules, industry leader Disney on Wednesday announced its Orlando Walt Disney World parks will start opening July 11 with reduced capacity requiring reservations for admission (DVC members will get first reservations, followed by season passholders, then the general public), masks for all guests age 3 and older, but no character meet-and-greets, playgrounds, makeovers, parades, or fireworks shows. Other parks in the industry are expected to open with similar restrictions, so some if not all of these changes could be on tap for Dolly's park as well.
May 27: Thursday Features Dolly On 'Time' Panel, In Storytelling Series
Time magazine announced Tuesday night Dolly will be part of a panel for a live TIME 100 Talks livestream Thursday afternoon on leadership in times of crisis, specifically focusing on COVID-19, with fellow guests Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Last Mile Health CEO Dr. Raj Panjabi. Her focus is expected to be hope. Dolly is included for her recent $1 million gift to Vanderbilt University Medical Center which is helping fund one of the most promising research projects into a COVID-19 treatment program and her weekly online readings of books from her international early childhood literacy program, Imagination Library (which features the ninth installment of the 10-week "Goodnight With Dolly" series, with Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon, Thursday at 7 p.m. here or in the media player above). You must pre-register here to receive an email with a link to the 1 p.m. Eastern livestream, and the registration also allows you to submit a question for the panelists.
Library Tests Summer Expansion For K-3 Kids In Tennessee Dolly's Imagination Library is piloting a summer expansion to serve older students, it was announced this week. Currently, the program begins as early as birth and ends the month the child turns five years old, since he or she will be entering kindergarten that fall. The experiment in partnership with the Tennessee Governor's Early Literacy Foundation will send six books over the summer to 30,000 kindergarten to third grade students in Tennessee to help stop the "summer slide" of lost literacy skills while kids are out of class for the break. Learn more from television station WSMV here.
May 23: 'Songteller' Book Will Focus On Dolly's Songs The indie publisher for Dolly's upcoming book and audiobook release, Songteller, has released its catalog for the fall season with Dolly's tome as its primary release. The catalog reveals that the book is not a classical autobiography but rather will profile 175 of her songs over the course of her career and she wrote it in partnership with noted country music historian (and major Dolly fan) Robert K. Oermann. The materials promise the stories behind the songs, Dolly's personal insights and memories, as well as never-before-released photos from her career, images of memorabilia related to the songs, pictures of handwritten lyrics and shots of costumes used with the songs. The suggested retail price for the physical book will be $50, and Dolly is expected to promote it with national television appearances, satellite remote interviews with local media, advertising and social media campaigns, a pre-order campaign, and tie-ins with her Netflix film Christmas On The Square and her upcoming holiday album. The book will be 400 pages and released in November. Thanks, Tony!
Steve Summers: New Video Coming Friday Dolly's creative director Steve Summers revealed Thursday on Instagram that he has directed his first music video, for a new Dolly single called "When Live Is Good Again," which will be released next Friday.
'Dolly Parton's America' Wins Two Webby Awards Dolly Parton's America this week won the Webby Awards from both the judges and the public ("peoples' choice") for the year's best podcast miniseries, it was announced. Winners were given the opportunity to record five-word acceptance speeches. Narrator/interviewer Jad Abumrad started with "Wildflowers will always survive," followed by producer Shima Oliaee adding "Hallelujah!" Watch their acceptance speech here.
New Dolly Interview, Photo Shoot In 'Guideposts' Dolly is the June/July cover girl again for Guideposts magazine with a new interview available online here about dreaming big and praying big. Check out a behind-the-scenes video for the article photo shoot which the magazine released here as well.
Dolly Launches E-Birthday Cards, Wal-Mart Cards Coming Dolly this week released a series of free personalized electronic birthday greetings to the tune of "9 To 5" featuring several dozen pre-recorded names as the first project of her partnership with American Greetings. See an ad for the app on Facebook here and access it here. The company also announced its next project with her will be a series of physical greeting cards which will be sold soon at Wal-Mart.
U.S., U.K. Chart Updates Dolly's duet with Zach Williams, "There Was Jesus", continues to climb the May 23 Billboard charts released Tuesday, as it gains one to No. 5 Christian digital single sales chart and remains steady at No. 32 Christian airplay. Overseas, The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe returns to the top spot, up three for the week, it was revealed Friday, while Essential Dolly Parton loses two to No. 20 on the same chart, Gold: The Hits Collection – Dolly Parton holds steady at No. 19 while Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) rises six to No. 11 and Emmylou 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 Linda Ronstadt) gains one to No. 6.
Oklahoma Takes Imagination Library Statewide Oklahoma is poised to become the sixth state to take Dolly's Imagination Library statewide, with the governor signing a bill this week that was approved by the state legislature appropriating funds for the early childhood literacy program. Statewide initiatives already exist in Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, Arkansas and Delaware. Learn more from Sandite Pridehere.
Second Dolly Property Re-Opens Another one of Dolly's Pigeon Forge attractions, Hatfield & McCoy dinner theatre, is opening this weekend, their Facebook page announced. Her Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Café re-opened last weekend. Still no word on when Stampede or Pirates Voyage as well as Dollywood itself may open.
'Goodnight With Dolly' Series Continues Dolly read her own children's book I Am A Rainbow in her weekly "Goodnight With Dolly" series online Thursday night, viewable on YouTube here or in the media player below. The series has two weeks remaining with Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon next week and Pass It On.
May 18: Covenant House Fundraising Concert Monday Night
Don't forget to watch Dolly in the livestreaming fundraising concert "A Night Of Covenant House Stars" at 8 p.m. Monday. The show will stream live on YouTube here or in the media player above as well as on the streaming channel Broadway on Demand, iHeartRadio Broadway, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube and Stars In The House.
Dollywood Gets Greenlight To Open For Season Dollywood could announce any day now when it will open for the 2020 season. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Friday announced large attractions, including theme parks, could begin opening in the state starting May 22. The park's spokesperson told WBIR here they are working on plans and will make the announcement "soon." The park was open March 13 for season passholder preview day, but Dolly's scheduled appearances were cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. The park decided that afternoon to cancel its planned public opening for March 14 due to the pandemic, and that closure – which soon extended to her dinner theater attractions as well – has remained in force since then. The park has extended all existing 2020 season passes to June 1, 2021, and will discount next year's renewal fee for 2020 passholders to add the post-June 1 dates to their passes. They have previously stated they will announce the opening date first to passholders and then to the public.
Dolly Contributes To New Cookbook Dolly is among the artists who have contributed recipes to a new cookbook coming out to benefit the Music Health Alliance's COVID-19 and Nashville Tornado Relief Fund. All The Thyme in the World: A Collection of Recipes from the Grounded Music Industry features Dolly's chili and spaghetti from her mother-in-law, Emmylou Harris' gingerbread and Rosanne Cash's potato salad, among other dishes. Get your copy for $25 here.
DKG International To Honor Dolly Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Key Women Educators is recognizing Dolly's Imagination Library efforts by making her their newest international honorary member, it has been announced. The honor was to be formalized at their international conference in Philadelphia, Pa., July 7-11 but whether the conference will take place is still up in the air due to coronavirus, according to The Franklin County Timeshere.
U.K., Aussie Chart Updates After several weeks back on top of the British top 20 country compilations albums chart, The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe drops three down to No. 4 this week, it was revealed Friday, while Essential Dolly Parton loses four to No. 18 on the same chart, Gold: The Hits Collection – Dolly Parton holds steady at No. 19 while Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) falls nine to No. 17 and Emmylou 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 Linda Ronstadt) dips two to No. 7. Down Under, the "gold series" re-issue of The Very Best Of Dolly Parton (Australian Tour Edition) inches up one to No. 4 its 452nd chart week on the Australian country albums chart since its original 2007 release.
Dolly Recognizes Guard, Reads 'Violet The Pilot' Dolly has been busy again this week taping messages. She thanked the Tennessee National Guard and Tennessee Air National Guard for their work in post-tornado Nashville's recovery and the COVID-19 pandemic in a video shared to Facebook on Sunday here. And, of course, her "Goodnight With Dolly" segment Thursday night was Violet The Pilot, watchable on YouTube here or in the media player below.
May 12: Dolly's Little Chicken House Re-Opens Friday With the re-opening of several restaurants in Tennessee and this week's re-opening of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to visitors, The Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Café announced on Facebook Monday it will be the first of Dolly's properties to re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant, which her World Choice Investments (parent company of Dolly's Stampede and Pirates Voyage dinner theatres) purchased along with Hatfield & McCoy's and the Smoky Mountain Opry from Fee Hedrick Entertainment at the beginning of 2019, becomes the first of her attractions to re-open to the public. It will serve breakfast and lunch starting Friday, according to the announcement. Her other attractions, including Dollywood, remain closed indefinitely but industry observers expect that the other dinner theatres will open soon. Similarly, Disney announced its Orlando retail and restaurant complex Disney Springs will be the first of its properties to re-open on May 20.
May 11: Dolly Celebrates ETSU Graduation, Mother's Day
Dolly over the weekend released two celebratory videos. The first was to East Tennessee State University's graduating class for their virtual commencement ceremony, which is viewable from Facebook here and in the media player below. The second video on Sunday was in honor of Mother's Day and featured a performance of her 2016 recording "Mama," which appeared as a bonus track on the Wal-Mart version on her album Pure & Simple. The video is viewable here or in the media player above.
U.K., Aussie Chart Updates The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe sits atop the British top 20 country compilation albums tally, retaining its No. 1 position this week, it was revealed Friday, while Essential Dolly Parton falls eight to No. 14 on the same chart, Gold: The Hits Collection – Dolly Parton and re-enters the top 20 at No. 19 while Dolly's Greatest Hits falls off the top 20, down from No. 20, Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) slips three to No. 8 and Emmylou 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 Linda Ronstadt) loses three to No. 5. Down Under, the "gold series" re-issue of The Very Best Of Dolly Parton (Australian Tour Edition) holds steady at No. 5 its 451st chart week on the Australian country albums chart since its original 2007 release.
May 7: 'Dolly Parton's America' Nominated For Peabody The podcast Dolly Parton's America was nominated Wednesday for the prestigious Peabody Award for "the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and digital media during 2019." Half of the nominees will be named recipients of the award at a yet-to-be-determined date, since coronavirus has cancelled the traditional awards ceremony. The nominees for Podcast/Radio are "70 Million" (Lantigua Williams & Co.), "Dolly Parton's America" (WNYC), "Finding Fred" (iHeart Media), "Gangster Capitalism: The College Admissions Scandal" (C130 Originals), "Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul" (WXPN), "Have You Heard George's Podcast?" (BBC Sounds), "Headlong: Running From 'Cops'" (Stitcher), "In The Dark: The Path Home" (APM Reports), "Silencing Science" (Public radio, Reveal), "Stonewall OutLoud" (NPR), "The Catch and Kill Podcast with Ronan Farrow" (Pineapple Street Studios), and "The Refuge" (Montana Public Radio).
Dolly To Perform On May 18 Fundraiser Dolly was announced Wednesday as one of the lead performers for a streaming live fundraising concert to benefit Covenant House a week from Monday. "A Night Of Covenant House Stars" streams for free on Broadway on Demand at 8 p.m. May 18. Tony winner Audra McDonald and 60 Minutes correspondent John Dickerson will host. Headlining performers and speakers include Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Jon Bon Jovi, Dolly, Dionne Warwick, Stephen Colbert, Stephanie J. Block and Tony Shalhoub. The show will be produced by Jeff Calhoun, who started as a singing football player in Dolly's film adaptation of The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and took over as director for Dolly's national U.S. and U.K. tours and West End production of 9 To 5: The Musical. It will also stream on iHeartRadio Broadway, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube and Stars In The House. Additional performances and appearances are expected from Rachel Brosnahan, Martin Short, Charlie Day, Chris O'Dowd, Zachary Levi, Zachary Quinto, Robin Thicke, Deborah Cox, Quentin Earl Darrington, Ariana DeBose, Darius de Haas, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Eden Espinosa, Jordan Fisher, Stephanie Hsu, Randy Jackson, Capathia Jenkins, Jeremy Jordan, Ramona Keller, Alex Newell, Karen Olivo, Dawn O'Porter, Laura Osnes, Benj Pasek, Jodi Picoult, Shereen Pimentel, Andrew Rannells, Keala Settle, Jake David Smith, Will Swenson, Bobby Conte Thornton, Ana Villafane, Frank Wildhorn, and the Broadway Inspirational Voices choir. Proceeds will benefit Covenant House's work across 31 cities in six countries to provide housing, food, and healthcare to children and youth facing homelessness.
'There Was Jesus' Back On Charts Increased attention last week from release of its music video two weeks ago is reflected in the May 9 Billboard charts released Tuesday, as Dolly's duet with Zach Williams, "There Was Jesus", re-enters the Christian digital single sales chart at No. 5 and debuts on the Christian airplay chart at No. 33. Ultimate Dolly Parton falls off the 50-position country albums chart, down from No. 48, and her collaboration "Faith" with Galantis featuring Mr. Probz falls off the hot dance/electronic songs chart, down from No. 20.
Watch Dolly Read On Thursday Night Dolly's sixth installment of her "Goodnight With Dolly" series premieres Thursday night with The Last Stop On Market Street at 7 p.m. Eastern. Watch here or in the media player below.
RuPaul's Drag Race on Friday night shared to social media the footage from their celebrity show which featured Dolly. On Twitter here or in the media player above, you may watch Dolly's message to the contestants. Then on Facebook here or in the media player below, you may watch their Twerkin' 5 To 9 "Rusical" where Vanessa Williams imitated Dolly while lip-synching about "9 To 5," "Burning The Midnight Oil," and lines like "I grew up poor as dirt, now I'm running Dollywood. I love all God's children, except that red headed hussy Jolene. I taught Miley how to twerk, now all the gays love me."
May 2: Dolly Shows Up On 'Rupaul's Drag Race' Dolly made an appearance Friday night on RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race, showing up via video to wish contestants good luck and to give a play on Ru's famous catch-phrase by saying "Don't muck it up!" Then contestant Vanessa Williams, who won the episode, played Dolly in a "Rusical" parody of 9 To 5 called Twerkin' 5 to 9 with each contestant playing the actresses who appeared in the movie and singing lines about their respective careers.
Tenn. Sports Hall Of Fame Honors Dolly The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame this week revealed Dolly has been named its 2020 Tennessean of the Year for her significant contributions to society, strong character and high-profile leadership. Previous recipients include Vice President Al Gore, Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist, the 101st Airborne Division and Opry owners Gaylord Entertainment. In a press release, Dolly said: "This will come as a shock to most of you, but I'm not very athletic. Ha ha. I just couldn't find tennis shoes, cleats, or blades with five-inch heels, so I gave up and settled for music. Seriously, I have always been a proud Tennessee girl and have supported all our athletics through the years; so, of course, I'm thrilled to be honored by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame." The Hall of Fame said she was being honored for her historic mark on the music industry and her philanthropic work in Tennessee and worldwide. The award will be presented at a gala in Nashville Aug. 1. The release did not state whether Dolly is expected to be in attendance. Tickets, $250 each, are available at 615-418-9595.
U.K. Chart Updates The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe sits atop the British top 20 country compilation albums tally, retaining its No. 1 position this week, it was revealed Friday, while Essential Dolly Parton dips two to No. 6 on the same chart, Gold: The Hits Collection – Dolly Parton and Ultimate Dolly Parton both fall off the top 20, down from No 6 and No. 9, respectively, while Dolly's Greatest Hits debuts at No. 20, Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony gains two to No. 5 and Emmylou 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 Linda Ronstadt) rises one to No. 2.
'Very Best' Coming Out On Vinyl In June Sony's Legacy imprint has announced they will on June 26 issue in the U.S. a two-disc vinyl version of the 2007 British compilation (also later released in Australia) Very Best Of Dolly Parton Vol. 1, which became her first platinum album in the U.K. and a few years later her first platinum album in Australia. The 20-song track list will be the same as the CD, which focuses mostly on her RCA years but also includes two tracks from Monument Records, one from Warner Brothers, and three from her time at Columbia/CBS. Reserve your copy here.
Linda Perry Interview Available Again Online Linda Perry's We Are Hear video podcast show has finally posted her livestreaming interviews with Steve Summers and Dolly from earlier in the week for watching at any time. Check the footage out here or in the media player below.