May 26: Dolly Celebrates Tennessee's 225th Birthday
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday released a new video promoting the state for its bicenvicenquinquennial, or 225th anniversary, featuring Dolly singing a new recording of her classic "My Tennessee Mountain Home." Watch it here or in the media player above.
Dollywood Up For Six 'USA Today' Awards Dollywood has been nominated for six USA Today "10 Best" Awards this year. Finalists were selected by a panel of experts and the newspaper's editors. You may vote once per day per device here through June 21. The park is up for Best Amusement Park, its Lighting Rod for Best Amusement Park Roller Coaster, the show Dreamland Drive-In for Best Amusement Park Entertainment, its DreamMore Resort and Spa and Dollywood Cabins are both up for Best Amusement Park Hotel, Aunt Granny's for Best Amusement Park Restaurant, and Splash Country for Best Outdoor Water Park.
'There Was Jesus' Loses Billboard, Gets K-LOVE Nom Dolly and Zach Williams' "There Was Jesus" this week lost the Billboard Music Award for Top Christian Song to Elevation Worship and Brandon Lake with "Graves Into Gardens." However, it was announced that the track is up for Song of the Year at the Christian music K-LOVE Fan Awards, to be awarded Sunday at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and broadcast on TBN June 4. The song is nominated against "Graves Into Gardens" again as well as for KING & COUNTRY, Tori Kelly & Kirk Franklin for "Together," Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes for "The Blessing," and TobyMac for "Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight)."
New Porter & Dolly Tribute Released The children of music legends last week released a tribute EP to Porter & Dolly. Teddy Thompson (the son of Richard and Linda Thompson), who previously covered Dolly's "My Blue Tears" produced by Rufus Wainwright on his 2007 album Up Front and Down Low, and Jenni Muldaur (the daughter of Geoff and Maria Muldaur, who covered Dolly's "My Tennessee Mountain Home" on her 1973 debut album Maria Muldaur) on Friday released Teddy & Jenni do Porter & Dolly: A Tribute to the Duets of Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton. The four-track collection features their takes on "Just Someone I Used To Know," "Once More," "Just Between You And Me," and "Put It Off Until Tomorrow."
U.S., U.K. Chart Updates Dolly and Zach Williams' "There Was Jesus" loses one to No. 23 on the May 29 Billboard Christian streaming songs chart released Tuesday, while rising three to No. 18 Christian digital song sales. Overseas, The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe holds on at the No. 1 spot on the British country compilations chart, it was announced Friday. Elsewhere on the compilations tally, Very Best Of Dolly Parton Vol. 1 slips two to No. 8 (while it dips one to No. 99 streaming albums), 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) moves up one to No. 2, Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) holds steady at No. 5 and Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) loses two to No. 16. Greenfields: The Gibbs Brothers Songbook (Vol. 1) loses four to No. 15 Americana chart.
May 19: Dolly Sings For Covenant House, UCLA Mental Health
Dolly made a couple of virtual charity appearances in recent days. First, on Thursday she appeared at UCLA's WOW conference for mental health and sang an acoustic version of "Light Of A Clear Blue Morning," then on Monday she recited a verse of the song and sang the chorus a capella after her words of encouragement for homeless youth in the Stars of Covenant House telethon. Watch that appearance courtesy Entertainment Tonighthere or in the media player above.
Dollywood Lifts Most Mask Restrictions A month after making most outdoor mask requirements optional for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests, Dollywood on Saturday began a new mask policy to allign with new CDC and state guidelines, allowing vaccinated guests to stop wearing masks or social distancing both indoors and outdoors throughout the park. Also, children under age 12 are not required to wear masks. Only unvaccinated teens and adults will be required to continue wearing masks for the time being, and then only indoors or in outdoor places where social distancing is not possible.
U.K. Chart Updates Overseas, The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe regains nine places to retake the No. 1 spot on the British country compilations chart, it was announced Friday. Elsewhere on the tally, Very Best Of Dolly Parton Vol. 1 slips one to No. 6 (while it dips four places to No. 98 streaming albums), 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) increases 11 to No. 3, Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) gains eight to No. 5 and Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) re-enters the top 20 at No. 14. Greenfields: The Gibbs Brothers Songbook (Vol. 1) drops four to No. 11 Americana chart.
Naval Academy Sings 'Light Of A Clear Blue Morning' Dolly's "Light Of A Clear Blue Morning" also appeared online this week in a new video performance by the U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club available here or in the media player below.
May 13: Dolly Sings On Mental Health Program Thursday Night Dolly will make a special appearance Thursday night in a virtual gathering focused on ending the stigma around depression, anxiety and other neurological issues as part of Mental Health Month. WOW2021: Whole Health Includes Mental Health is presented by UCLA and is hosted by Lisa Kudrow. The hour-long program via Zoom will feature Dolly performing a song and discussing the importance of ending stigma around mental health. Other participants include director Ava DuVernay talking about adolescent depression with Dr. Kelsey Martin, the first woman dean of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine; actress Mindy Kalin talking about pandemic parenting with Dr. Robin Berman, UCLA professor of psychiatry; People editor in chief Dan Wakeford about how the media can help spread acceptance; and soccer player Landon Donovan with Dr. Michelle Craske about how athletes deal with mental challenges. Donations of any amount to support UCLA's mental health research, education, and care programs given here will result in a ticket to attend the Zoom presentation at 5 p.m. Pacific/8 p.m. Eastern Thursday. Learn more here.
'Fortune' Names Dolly Among Year's Top World Leaders Fortune magazine released its list Wednesday of the "World's 50 Greatest Leaders" of the past year who dealt with unexpected crises and they named Dolly the No. 11 leader of 2020 thanks to her donation that funded the initial research into what became the Moderna vaccine and her efforts to promote the vaccination effort. Read more about why they chose her here.
Deluxe 'Songteller' Coming In October A deluxe edition of Dolly's Songteller song autobiography was supposed to come out in January in honor of her 75th birthday but was delayed. The publisher has let book dealers know that the limited edition run will instead come out Oct. 12. It will come in a denim-wrapped foil-stamped clamshell box and feature a pink vinyl 45 of two previously unreleased Dolly demo recordings, "I Don't Care" (which she and Uncle Bill Owens co-wrote together) and "The Fall." Your webmaster hasn't been able to locate an American listing for the book yet with the U.S. release price but a British retailer has it for 190 pounds (about $270 U.S.) and a Canadian retailer has it for $365 Canadian (about $300 U.S.).
U.S. Chart Updates Dolly and Zach Williams' "There Was Jesus" loses three to No. 21 on the May 15 Billboard Christian streaming songs chart released Tuesday, while dipping three to No. 23 Christian digital song sales.
Dolly Wows 'Good Morning America' Crowd
Dolly dominated ABC's Good Morning America Wednesday morning, appearing multiple times throughout the program with Robin Roberts from Dollywood prior to the park's operating hours this morning, making her first visit to the park since the pandemic began. Her main interview is available here or the media player above with a story version here. They prepared food here or in the first media player below, with a story version here. She sang "Coat Of Many Colors" here or in the second media player below. And she later appeared on the afternoon program GMA 3here or in the third media player below. Later in the day, she popped in at the afternoon performance of the new kinfolks show, Harmonies Of The Heart, to watch her family perform.
May 11: Dolly Sings 'Jolene' On Latin Grammy Concert
Dolly on Sunday night introduced a Mexican music segment on The Latin Recording Academy's concert special honoring women in music, leading off the section by joining in remotely to sing a chorus of her own "Jolene" with Chiquis, who recently released a Spanish-language cover of the classic. Watch the collaboration on YouTube here or in the media player above.
Miley Covers Dolly On 'SNL' Cold Open
NBC's Saturday Night Live this weekend featured musical guest Miley Cyrus in its cold open, where she belted a cover of Dolly's independence anthem "Light of a Clear Blue Morning" to celebrate the first Mother's Day since the pandemic began when most people were able to visit their mothers, thanks to vaccines. Between verses and choruses, cast members of the show appeared with their real-life mothers and read jokes, and they all joined on stage together at the end where Miley dedicated the song to Dolly as her godmother and to her own mother, who joined them on stage, for Mother's Day. Then they all shouted the traditional cold open closing line: "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" Watch the tribute here or in the media player above.
Dolly Books 'GMA' On Wednesday Morning ABC's Good Morning America announced Friday that Dolly would appear on the show's Wednesday episode from Dollywood as part of its "Rise and Shine Tour of America" segment. Sources say the top floor of the park's DreamMore Resort is locked down this week, presumably for Dolly to shoot the segment. She is also expected to perform during the program, according to television listings. No public appearances or other media appearances at the park have been announced while she is in town, however.
There Was A Dolly On 'Snatch Game' Down Under Someone finally did Dolly on "Snatch Game" for RuPaul's Drag Race last week, although it was the Australian version of the show, which also featured a Moira Rose impersonation and Queen Elizabeth II, among others. Check out the preview here.
Variety: Emmy Nod Possible For 'Christmas On The Square' Variety last week released its predictions for this year's Emmy nominees for Best TV Movie, while they did not include Dolly Parton's Christmas On The Square in their final five nominees, they did list it sixth on their list, explaining it is a film that wouldn't surprise their critics if it replaced one of the top five, noting "You can also never count out Dolly Parton for anything, especially with Netflix backing." Check out their list here. The Emmy eligibility period closes at month's end and nominations will be announced July 13. Dolly has twice been nominated in the category as executive producer for Dolly Parton's Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle Of Love in 2017 and "These Old Bones" from Dolly Parton's Heartstrings: Season 1 in 2020.
Tina Fey Plays Dolly On Streaming Series Tina Fey is getting a lot of attention this week for a cameo in the Peacock streaming service series Girls5Eva that she produces because they had a scene which called for one of the stars to hallucinate Dolly giving her advice and playing backyard hoops with her, but they couldn't get Dolly herself on the show so Fey read the part at the table read and was so funny they decided for her to dress up in full Dolly drag to play her in the show. Hear more about how it happened here.
U.K. Chart Updates Overseas, Greenfields: The Gibbs Brothers Songbook (Vol. 1) slips one to No. 7 Americana chart in Britain, it was announced Friday. Very Best Of Dolly Parton Vol. 1 slides three on the U.K. streaming chart at No. 94 and holds steady at No. 5 on the British country compilations chart. Elsewhere on the country compilation tally, The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe falls three to No. 10, 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) remains at No. 14, and Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) inches up five to No. 13.
May 5: Dolly Makes Top 10 U.K. Songs Of All Time British music service Smooth Radio this week released the results of its annual listener survey of the favorite songs of all time in the U.K., and Dolly this year is the only female artist in the top 10. Dolly has four tracks on the top 500 tally, three of which are in the top 100: "Islands In The Stream" with Kenny Rogers at No. 10 (up from No. 12 last year), "Jolene" at No. 44 (down from No. 28), and "I Will Always Love You" at No. 65 (up from No. 97). In addition, "9 To 5" stands at No. 130 (down from No. 99). She also wrote a song in the top 20, as Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You" came in at No. 16, down from No. 10 last year. George Michael's "Careless Whisper" was No. 1, followed by Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror." See the full list here.
In Memoriam: Olympia Dukakis Dolly's Steel Magnolias co-star Olympia Dukakis, who earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Moonstruck, died Saturday at age 89. Dolly remembered her in a statement issued first on Saturday to Today and then shared Sunday on her social media: "I was so sorry to hear that Olympia Dukakis had passed away. She has been one of my favorite people that I have ever known or worked with. I really got very close to her and felt like we were good friends. Even though I didn't get to see her much, I thought of her often and knew that she was such a quality human being. She will be missed by her fans, her family, and those of us that were lucky enough to get to know her personally."
Dollywood Reaches 35 Years Dollywood on Monday reached the 35th anniversary of its opening day, and WATE covered the milestone here, noting a recent University of Tennessee study found the park generates an annual economic impact of more than $1.8 billion and created more than 23,000 jobs in the region.
U.S. Chart Updates Dolly and Zach Williams' "There Was Jesus" holds steady at No. 18 on the May 8 Billboard Christian streaming songs chart released Tuesday, while re-entering the Christian digital song sales list at No. 20. Leslie Jordan's Company's Comin', featuring a Dolly duet, falls back off the current albums chart and Christian albums chart, down from No. 74 and No. 37, respectively, in its second week on each.
May 1: Dolly Dress Goes For Nearly $20K Dolly's CMA red carpet dress, fitted mannequin, and accompanying shadowbox made up one of the hottest items at the Stage & Screen Auction on Wednesday that Christine Baranski organized to benefit The Actors Fund. The auction raised $138,625 total, of which $18,900, or nearly 15 percent was from Dolly's donation alone, the second-biggest-ticket item from that portion of the auction. Only an on-stage-used monkey prop from the West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom Of The Opera fetched more, coming in at $31,500. The auction's third-highest price was a tie forboots, t-shirt, and jeans worn on stage by Bruce Springsteen and Hugh Jackman's Wolverine jacket, both packages of which sold for $15,120 each. Fifth place was Lin-Manuel Miranda's stage-worn boots from Broadway's Hamilton at $9,450. (The non-Actors Fund portion of the auction included other items of Hollywood memorabilia that didn't directly benefit the charity, but even that portion only had one item that out-priced Dolly's dress: Celeste Holm's 1947 Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe Award, which sold for $20,160.)
'There Was Jesus' Gets Billboard Nod Dolly this week earned her first-ever Billboard Music Awards nomination, up for Top Christian Song with Zach Williams for "There Was Jesus". It competes against Elevation Worship ft. Brandon Lake for "Graves Into Gardens," for KING & COUNTRY, Kirk Franklin & Tori Kelly for "TOGETHER," Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, & Elevation Worship for "The Blessing (Live)" and Tauren Wells ft. Jenn Johnson for "Famous For (I Believe)." Unlike other award shows where the winners are determined by voting, all but two categories of the Billboard awards are determined by total chart performance in the magazine, which includes sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring, and social media engagement. Winners will be revealed on NBC at 8 p.m. May 23.
Dolly To Present At Fragrance Foundation Awards The Fragrance Foundation has revealed Dolly will be among the celebrity presenters at its 2021 virtual awards online June 10. Other guests include Alicia Keys, Kylie Minogue, Isabella Rossellini, Marc Jacobs and more. The full-size release of her new Scent from Above fragrance is expected to be released this summer.
U.K. Chart Updates Overseas, Greenfields: The Gibbs Brothers Songbook (Vol. 1) falls out of the top 100 overall U.K. physical sales chart, down from No. 94 in its 15th week, gaining two to No. 6 Americana. Very Best Of Dolly Parton Vol. 1 re-enters the top 100 streaming chart at No. 91 and rises one to No. 5 on the British country compilations chart. Elsewhere on the country compilation tally, The Complete Trio Collection Deluxe slips three to No. 7, 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 four to No. 14, and Harris's Original Album Series: Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) drops six to No. 18, while The Essential Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt's Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) both fall back off the top 20, down from No. 19 and No. 16, respectively.
Dollywood Auction In Sevierville May 8 Anyone interested in picking up some surplus Dollywood items including vintage cars, planters, used but well-maintained decorations, and even some new-in-box items will want to head to an auction at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 8, at 3173 Newport Highway in Sevierville, Tenn., where Bear Land Realty & Auction and Kennedy Real Estate & Auction will liquidate surplus items from the theme park's warehouses. A preview will be held 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. May 7, of the three buildings full of items.
Dolly Fetes Kathie Lee's Star Dolly's pal Kathie Lee Gifford received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this week remotely, including video greetings from Dolly around the 20-minute mark here or in the media player below.