June 30: Video Debuts In Top 20 Dolly's "I'm Gone" from Halos & Horns debuted last week on CMT's Top 20 Countdown at No. 19, and it's still one of the network's five Hot Shot videos for the week! Thanks, Justin! Remember to request Dolly's video on CMT's MWLhere and Great American Country's weekly countdown here.
More Coverage For 4th Concert Dolly's upcoming Independence Day concert in D.C. at the U.S. Capitol is continuing to get press this week. The Washington Post on Sunday published a story about this year's patriotic shows, noting that Friday night's concert marks the first appearance for either Dolly or composer John Williams for the annual A Capitol Fourth. Williams is being honored with a tribute during the show. The concert's producer said in the article that Dolly has a new dress she'll wear for the first time on the program and that she has added "9 to 5" to her set list. (Previously, she announced in TV Guide that she'll be singing "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "Light Of A Clear Blue Morning.") Read the story here. And a friend tells me she's on the cover of the television insert in the San Mateo County Times in the San Francisco area this weekend, with an article revealing she'll sing a total of three songs during the show and that its host, Barry Bostwick, said he's bought some Dolly photos off the Internet recently that he hopes to have her autograph for him. Thanks, Manuel! And an Associated Press story picked up over the weekend by several newspapers said that no Independence Day special this year is "more star-studded" than this one (read it here). The concert airs on most PBS stations live at 8 p.m. Friday. If you plan to attend, it is on the Capitol's West Lawn and is free to the public (bring a blanket or chair). Call 202-619-7222 for information.
Don't Forget And remember that Dolly will open the new eagle exhibit at the National Zoo in Washington at 10 a.m. Wednesday and will be presented with an award for her eagle conservation efforts, and she will be the guest on Thursday night for Larry King Live on CNN. That show is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Eastern. Dolly is to be Larry's sole guest for the hour-long program.
Gospel Chart Update Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns is at No. 63 on the God's Country top 75 international Christian country music chart for July. The song peaked at No. 12 in April.
Speaking Of Which Dolly's "Hello God" and her upcoming inspirational and patriotic CD For God And Country got mentions in a story from Sunday's Miami Herald on spirituality-themed songs returning to the forefront of country music. Read it here.
Another Title? We've already seen two possible titles for the new patriotic and spiritual album in print, and here's a third. A report on the Fourth of July concert in The Leaf-Chronicle newspaper in Tennessee referred to the upcoming CD as Forgotten Country, although I bet the writer just misheard the title For God And Country. Dolly also noted in the article how happy she is to be participating in the concert, as she had scheduling conflicts each time she had been asked in the past, and that she is looking forward to performing with The National Symphony Orchestra because, "I never really get to work with a full orchestra, and it makes such a big sound." Thanks, Christopher!
Possible Appearance I'm told that Dolly is supposed to be on Monday's Good Day Live on FOX in Los Angeles, according to show promos. Thanks, Jonathan!
More From KidsFest Harrell sent in a few more KidsFest photos of Dolly accessible here. Thanks!
June 28: Another Tribute Cut Announced Rolling Stone is reporting that Me'Shell Ndgeocello has been added to the Oct. 14 Sugar Hill set Just Because I'm A Woman: Celebrating The Songs Of Dolly Parton. The magazine says the singer has recorded a "dance/soul version" of Dolly's 1978 hit "Two Doors Down" for the CD. Bass player and singer Ndgeocello is a seven-time Grammy nominee famous for songs such as "If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night)" and the duet of "Wild Night" with John Cougar Mellencamp. Read the story here.
More KidsFest Photos The first of Harrell Gabehart's spectacular photos of Dolly from KidsFest last week have come in and are available in Gallery 5 of that section of the site here. Look for more shots soon! Thanks, Harrell!
'Our Country' Review The Tennessean on Friday offered its review of the IMAX film Our Country, in which Dolly appears, but it isn't very favorable. Read it here.
June 27: Dollywood: Wooden Coaster In 2004! Rumors have circulated for years about a new roller coaster coming to Dollywood, and the park on Thursday announced one is on its way, Dollymania is pleased to be the first media outlet in the world to report! Tentatively titled Thunderhead™, the new wooden roller coaster is to be developed by Dollywood, the Smoky Mountain Family Adventure Park and Great Coasters International and will open for the spring 2004 season. It will boast the world's only "fly-through station." The coaster will feature an intertwining smooth ride, tighter curves and extreme banking not found on older wooden coasters. Its maximum speed will reach 55 miles per hour, and it features a maximum drop of 100 feet swooping to a high-speed S-curve at the base of its drop. The coaster will cover five acres when completed and offers the theme of a runaway lumber rail car, complete with a sawmill along the Dollywood Express rail line. Riders will enter the main sawmill and get onto the coaster, which will climb a steep mountainside before plunging down into the trees. It will double back through the station at full speed, climbing and twisting along the mountainside before returning again. "Thunderhead™ will provide thrills for folks of all ages with drops, twists and turns, plus for parents and grandparents, memories of some of the great old wooden coasters will come thundering back," Dollywood Senior Vice-President Ken Bell said. "This entirely new area to Dollywood, named Thunderhead Gap™, will also tell the special story of the Smoky Mountains and its history as a major logging center."Click on the thumbnail at left for a larger artistic rendering of the ride.
Dolly To Get Award In D.C. Dolly will make another appearance while in Washington, in was announced on Thursday, Dollymania is pleased to also be the first to report. According to a media advisory issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dolly will join Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lawrence Small and National Zoo Director Lucy Spelman on Wednesday to open the National Zoo's newest exhibit, a bald eagle refuge. Dolly is scheduled to speak at the event and will be presented with a special U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partnership Award in recognition for her support for bald eagle conservation. The exhibit is a partnership between the Zoo and the Wildlife Service celebrating the centennial of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Two bald eagles will live at the Zoo who were found injured in the wild and nursed back to health at the American Eagle Foundation's sanctuary at Dollywood. Challenger, the trained bald eagle from Dollywood who flies at events nationwide, will also be on hand. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday near the Zoo's sea lion exhibit. Dolly is also scheduled to appear on Larry King live on CNN at 9 p.m. Eastern next Thursday and then will headline the annual Independence Day concert on the grounds of the Capitol at 8 p.m. July 4.
Little Chart Movement Ultimate Dolly Parton inches down one spot to No. 28 country in the July 5 tally for its third chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. The CD falls off the top 200 pop albums chart, down from No. 190 in its second week last week. It peaked at No. 20 country and No. 130 pop. Dolly's Halos & Horns gains one notch on the bluegrass albums chart to No. 14 in its 49th chart week. The Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, with Dolly's "Marry Me," moves up one to No. 21 on the soundtrack albums chart in its 36th chart week. George Strait's Honkytonkville remains steady at No. 1 country for its second chart week but drops nine places to No. 14 pop, while Lonestar's From Here To There: Greatest Hits remains at No. 2 country in its third week and loses one to No. 19 pop.
Up In Canada Ultimate Dolly Parton moves up four places on the June 26 Canadian country albums, coming in at No. 20 in its third week up north. It peaked at No. 16 there.
June 26: Eagle When She Flies Dolly got some coverage on Capitol Hill this week, as the American Eagle Foundation brought bald eagles from Dollywood to visit Congressmen in a bid for increased federal funding for wildlife protection programs. The Foundation is headquartered at Dollywood, which boasts the world's largest collection of non-releasable bald eagles housed in its sanctuary on the park's grounds. In a story from the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Foundation president Al Cecere says Dolly has given her full support to their programs, and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), called Dolly "a terrific supporter" of eagle protection and other worthy causes. Read the full story here.
'Lost Highway' To Air In U.S. Lost Highway, the British documentary on the history of country music, will premiere in America July 5 and 6 on the TRIO cable network, TV Guide reports. The four-hour series, which aired in the U.K. in March and on CMT Canada in May, is narrated by Lyle Lovett. Dolly is featured in the fourth one-hour segment, titled "Sweethearts Of The Rodeo," focusing on the women of country music. This segment is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Eastern July 6 with a repeat at 1 a.m. July 7.
Another Tribute Tid-Bit The Bangor Daily News up in Maine has a new detail on the Dolly tribute project, Just Because I'm A Woman: Celebrating The Songs Of Dolly Parton, to be released by Sugar Hill Records on Oct. 14. In a story on bluegrass great Rhonda Vincent, it was noted that she and her brother Darrin, who have sung harmony for Dolly in the past, provided background vocals for Sinead O'Connor's version of "Dagger Through The Heart" for the album. Read the full story here.
Larkins Mention Sister duo the Larkins got a nice mention in The Tennesseean on Wednesday in advance of a concert with Randy Kohrs on Billy Block's "Western Beat" show in town. The brief mentioned their playing at Dollywood, opening for Dolly at her Ryman concert last year, Randy's proposal to Shaunna Larkin on stage during the show, and that their debut album comes out from Audium Records in July. (However, it doesn't mention that the CD features a lovely cover of Dolly's "Steady As The Rain" with Dolly herself on harmony. Reserve your copy of the July 8 release here!) Writer Craig Havighurst predicts: "Expect to be hearing more from the Larkins." Read the story here.
A Few More Pics The last of my shots from KidsFest have been added to those galleries here. And look for what I know will be awesome photos from Harrell in a few more days!
June 25: Concert, Album News From 'TV Guide' The new issue of TV Guide (June 28-July 4 with Kelly Ripa on the cover) features a full-page spread on Dolly promoting her appearance on PBS' A Capitol Fourth. The magazine's Web site features an article about Dolly here. The online version includes a comment on the Dixie Chicks' recent controversy, while the print story, which is in Q&A format, reveals that she is recording the Civil War song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and a new version of "Light Of A Clear Blue Morning" for this fall's patriotic and inspirational CD and will perform both songs at the Washington concert next week. Both stories mention the Mae West project for ABC and her famous look
New KidsFest Pics Jonathan from Kentucky sent in some great shots of Dolly during her carriage ride through Dollywood on Friday. They're in Gallery 3 on the KidsFest page here. And keep your eyes peeled for even more pics from KidsFest later in the week! And anyone else who wants to send in some pics to be posted, please do so here. Thanks, Jonathan!
More Florida Press The Palm Beach Post in Florida on Tuesday offered a wonderful profile of Dolly, her career and her business interests titled "Dolly, Inc." in observance of her Dixie Stampede opening in Orlando. Quoted toward the end of the story is Dolly On-Line webmaster Chris Walls. Read the story here. The story was picked up by Cox News Service Tuesday afternoon and made several other papers' online editions throughout the day. I also stumbled upon another Orlando Sentinel article from Friday, this one focusing on a new interview about her music and career. Read it here.
Interview Posted Sevierville's The Mountain Press on Tuesday posted an online version of its Dolly interview from the weekend mentioned here on Sunday night. In the story, Dolly discusses the fall album, her upcoming tour and the CMT special in September. Read it here.
Benson Review The Austin Statesman on Tuesday published a mixed review of Ray Benson's solo debut CD, Beyond Time, which hit stores that morning and features a duet with Dolly on "Leave That Cowboy Alone." The reviewer didn't like many of the songs on the album, and thought Dolly's "chirpiness" was disruptive to the CD's mood, but he said the record still exceeds expectations. Read the full review here.
June 24: Singing, Joking, Inspiring Dolly pepped up 2,000 delegates at the National PTA Convention on Sunday, singing several songs, telling jokes and talking about the Dollywood Foundation's Imagaination Library, the Charlotte Observer reported Monday. The paper quoted Dolly as telling the crowd: "Dreams and imagination carried me out of the Smoky Mountains. Dreams and imagination will carry our kids, too. They can get a lot of that from books." Read the full story here, and remember to look at photos of Dolly from the event posted here Sunday night.
It's A Dolly Weekend The folks over at USA Weekend asked me to announce that Dolly will be featured in the publication's Who's News page in this Sunday's issue. In her profile, Dolly will discuss some of her upcoming television projects and offer a few beauty secrets, including saying about cosmetic surgery: "There ain't nothin' I won't do. I see something baggin', saggin' or draggin', I'll go fix it - pull it, tuck it, whatever needs to be done." The story will be available on the magazine's Web site here on Friday and will be in newspapers across the country on Sunday. Thanks, Devon!
More From KidsFest A few more pics from KidsFest have been added to the galleries here, and if you haven't read the Dollymania recap, see it here. Look for many more in coming days! And Dolly reportedly made one other low-key appearance on Friday. A fan who attended Randy Parton's show at Dollywood that evening tells me Dolly and several of her family members slipped into the theater as the lights dimmed and watched the 7 p.m. show from the audience. When he sang a tribute to her, she was tapping her toes to the music. And as the show ended, Dolly and kin got up and slipped out the side door. Thanks, Kendra!
Lawsuit Opinion Offered My friend and Kingsport, Tenn., resident Debbie Poole has weighed in with her opinion on her town's Chamber of Commerce suing Dollywood over the original name of KidsFest, Kidz FunFest, saying it is too close to the town's Fun Fest concert series. Her letter to the editor appeared in the June 19 issue of the Kingsport Times-Newshere (you have to register for free to access the article). She said she believed the Chamber should drop the baseless suit and apologize to Dolly and Dollywood and that she is now embarrassed to tell people she's from Kingsport because they all know that's the town suing Dollywood. Thanks, Debbie!
Benson In Stores Ray Benson's solo debut, Beyond Time, hits stores on Tuesday, and the disc got an Associated Press mention on Monday picked up by a few papers. Read it in the Miami Heraldhere. Dolly joins him on the album for a duet of "Leave That Cowboy Alone," which they wrote together for her TV movie Wild Texas Wind. Other guests on the CD include Jimmy Vaughan and Delbert McClinton. Get your copy of the CD here.
Gospel Chart Update The European Christian Country Chart for July was released this week, and Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns debuts at No. 30. Her duet with Dottie Rambo, "Stand By The River," from Dottie's July 22 CD Stand By The River, falls eight spots from last month's peak at No. 12. The song, which has topped several gospel charts, is in its sixth month on the European tally.
Another Note From Orlando The Orlando Sentinel on Monday lamented that Dolly's Dixie Stampede may be the last new development in town for quite a while, as there are no more attractions planned in coming years. Experts said that the only way Dolly's restaurant has a shot at making it in the already-filled Orlando market is that it got a prime location and has the bonus draw of her name and personality. Read the column here. The story also features another Dolly photo from the Stampede opening here.
June 23: Fun Had At KidsFest Dolly made numerous appearances at Dollywood on Friday to kick-off the park's new KidsFest. For the Dollymania report, complete with photos, click here. (Additional galleries will be added here in coming days!)
Among the highlights from the weekend:
KidsFest will be an annual event to offer special events for children and to help publicize the Imagination Library, which it was announced is now operating in more than 205 communities across 33 states.
Dolly told The Mountain Press in Sevierville and the Knoxville News-Sentinel that she will be touring in the fall to promote her patriotic album, but she told the Press the tour will most likely be in the U.S. only.
The album, which she hopes to release by Sept. 11, is still titled For God And Country, the Press reported. However, the News-Sentinel said its title will be Red, White And Bluegrass, that she has written a song by that name to include on the album and that it will also include some traditional patriotic tunes. (Previously announced tracks for the CD are "Color Me America" and "I'm Gonna Miss You.")
She told The Mountain Press that her concert filmed at Dollywood in December will air on CMT in September.
She also told The Mountain Press that her mother had recently suffered a mild stroke but is recovering and that she has been visiting her regularly for the past few weeks. (Our prayers are with Miss Avie Lee Parton. )
She also spoke in both articles about how honored she was to have the tribute album coming out to her in October.
Read Saturday's Knoxville News-Sentinel story here.
And anyone else who attended and wishes to send in photos, please e-mail them here. Thanks!
PTA Shots Some great photos of Dolly at her keynote address from Sunday's National PTA Convention in Charlotte, N.C., were released Sunday night. View them here.
Chart Movements Ultimate Dolly Parton drops seven spots to come in at No. 27 country and is down 60 places to No. 190 pop for its second week, Billboard announced Thursday in the June 28 charts. Dolly's Halos & Horns falls three spots on the bluegrass albums chart to No. 15 in its 48th chart week. The Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, featuring Dolly's "Marry Me," loses three to No. 22 on the soundtrack albums chart in its 36th chart week. George Strait's Honkytonkville debuts at No. 1 country and No. 5 pop, while Lonestar's From Here To There: Greatest Hits drops one to No. 2 country for its second week and loses 11 to No. 18 pop.
Still Selling In Canada Ultimate Dolly Parton loses eight places on the June 19 Canadian country albums, coming in at No. 24 in its second week up north.
The CD Coming To Europe HMV is showing that a 21-track version of Ultimate Dolly Parton will be released in the U.K. on July 14. The CD will feature the 20 songs from the U.S. version plus a new mix of "Early Morning Breeze" featuring B.J. Cole and remixed by Bent, a very hip British pop duo. You may recall it was reported here in February that the group was in negotiations to do a remix for Dolly. Thanks, Stephen and Dana!
Orlando Opening All Over News There was a lot of coverage of Dolly's Dixie Stampede opening in Orlando the past few days, most notably an Associated Press story which was picked up by dozens of papers across the country. Read it here. Thanks, Julie!
The Orlando Sentinel ran a story on Thursday here and an interesting commentary by writer Jake Vest contrasting Dolly's humble beginnings with her fame and fortune in Sunday's paper here.
The Orlando Sentinel has its review of the opening with several photos on Friday here.
There's an AP photo I hadn't seen in the other stories available here.
The Ledger of Lakeland, Fla., offered its story here on Thursday.
And view photos which the Stampede released from opening day here.
Fans: Dolly Deserved Higher Rankings CMT on Thursday announced the fan-voted rankings for its 100 Greatest Songs Of Country Music, and the public put both of Dolly's cuts higher than the network's "experts." "I Will Always Love You" came in as the No. 12 choice (compared with No. 16 on the official list), and "Coat Of Many Colors" was No. 43 (compared with No. 54). The public's top three choices were Garth Brooks' "The Dance" at No. 1 (No. 14 on CMT's list), Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA" at No. 2 (No. 65 CMT) and George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today" at No. 3 (No. 2 CMT). Read the full fan rankings here.
'I'm Gone' Notes Music Video Wire has posted a small profile of Sophie Muller, who directed Dolly's video for "I'm Gone." The brief describes her work with Dolly, saying, "The playful video for 'I'm Gone' features a glamorous, colorful Dolly, an alien, FBI agents and a dancing cowboy in a post effects extravaganza." It also states that Muller has wrapped her first commercial, a spot for Reebok, and an "emotional" video for the Dixie Chicks next single, "Top Of The World." Read it here. On a related note, Launch has added Dolly's "I'm Gone" to its list of videos you can view on the site, joining "Dagger Through The Heart," "Hello God" and "Straight Talk." Click here to choose one to watch! And remember to vote here for it on CMT's MWL and here for Great American Country's weekly countdown!
IMAX Gift To Charity Gaylord Entertainment on Friday announced that all of the entertainers in the new IMAX film Our Country donated their appearance fees to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. A check for $250,000 will be presented at the film's invitation-only Nashville premiere on Wednesday. Read the press release here or see CMT's brief on its news page here. The large-screen film chronicles the history of country music and features many of the genre's legends and current stars, including Dolly. Although Gaylord is calling the showing the film's "world premiere," it actually premiered in May at a film convention in Los Angeles and has been open to the public daily at an IMAX theater near Palm Springs, Calif., for the past month.
In Country Weekly Thursday's issue of Country Weekly features Porter & Dolly's return to the charts in 1980 with "Making Plans" in the Flashback section. Read it here.
Another Note The Tennessean reported on Thursday that Mindy Smith, who will sing "Jolene" on Dolly's tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Celebrating The Songs Of Dolly Parton in October, has signed with Sugar Hill sister label Vanguard Records. Read the note here.
June 19: 'Stampeding' Orlando Dolly's preview of her Orlando Dixie Stampede got some great coverage on Wednesday. On NBC's Today, Al Roker broadcast all of his weather updates from the Stampede: first on a horse, then watching an ostrich race, then seated next to Dolly (in her red, white, and blue outfit from the Festival of Nations media day event at Dollywood this year), in a horse-drawn carriage with Dolly and his daughter, and getting close to the Stampede's "electric cowboy" and his horse, Starstruck (image at left courtesy PR Newswire.) Dolly performed her moving "Color Me America," which is used as the Stampede's finale this year, and said she plans to include it in the CD of patriotic tunes she hopes to release by the second anniversary of Sept. 11th. Local station WESH ran a story on the VIP preview, which you can view as a Real Video file from their Web site here, complete with Dolly at a press conference talking her response to being asked about possible competition with neighbor Disney World, saying: "I ain't skeered. There ain't nothin' Mickey Mouse about the Dixie Stampede!" Thanks to Greg for sending in the following links: The Web site Orlando Rocks has several photos of the establishment, including quite a few of Dolly from Wednesday, posted here, Hospitality First has a story on the restaurant and a posed photo of Dolly here, and the Stampede's official site here now features a short intro with Dolly and a clip of her if you click on the Christmas show link. The Orlando Dixie Stampede, the fourth in Dolly's chain, opens to the public on Thursday.
Good News For 'I'm Gone' CMT announced Wednesday that the network has named Dolly's "I'm Gone" one of this week's "Hotshot" videos, which should translate into a little more airplay for the single from Halos & Horns.
Critics' Choice Praised Dolly garnered a mention Tuesday in the Dallas Morning News. In a story on the David Cantwell and Bill Friskics-Warren's book counting down the 500 best singles in country music (Heartaches By The Number), critic Mario Tarradell says, "Praise for putting 'Coat Of Many Colors' among the 10 best." Read the full story here. As was reported here in March, Dolly had 10 entries in the Top 500, second only to George Jones. (Please note, you must register with the newspaper to access the story, but registration is free.)
Get 'Stand By The River' Amazon.com has added a page where you can order your copy of Dottie Rambo's CD Stand By The River, to be released July 22 on Spring Hill Music featuring Dolly on the title song. The song in December became Dolly's first gospel No. 1 hit when it topped the PowerSource chart. And if you're a Christian Country Music Association member, remember to get your ballots in for Dolly and Dottie by next month's deadline for the CCMA Awards. Reserve your CD here!
Busy Weekend Remember Dolly is scheduled to appear at Dollywood on Friday to kick-off the park's first KidsFest (also with a live broadcast from the park on CBS's The Early Show) and then she will deliver the keynote address at the National PTA Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday. (Your webmaster will be attending the KidsFest activities, but if anyone else gets some great shots and wants to send them in or gets some photos from Charlotte on Sunday, please e-mail them here. Thanks!)
June 17: Stampde Getting Orlando Press Dolly's Dixie Stampede in Orlando opens to the public on Thursday, so it's getting lots of attention in the local press. The Orlando Sentinel reported on Monday that Dolly will be on hand on Wednesday for two invitation-only previews of the dinner theatre's shows and that she will appear live from the Stampede on NBC's Today show that morning (it had previously been reported here that an employee at the Stampede said word was they were to appear on ABC's Good Morning America). No word on whether she will make any appearances once the venue opens to the public on Thursday. Read the Sentinel briefs here and here. The Orlando Business Journal also published a story on the business venture here on Monday, announcing that the location there will be open year-round (the other three theatres in Branson, Myrtle Beach and Pigeon Forge operate seasonally). The 128,000-square-foot, $28 million complex will be the largest of the four Stampedes and boasts a 1,200-seat arena for two nightly shows.
PTA News Dolly's headlining of the 107th Annual National PTA Convention at the Westin Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., later this week made the Charlotte Business Journal on Monday. The newspaper states that Dolly, who is scheduled to keynote the largest meeting of the convention at 3 p.m. on Sunday, will discuss the role parents can play in supporting child literacy, apparently referring to her Imagination Library program operated nationwide through the Dollywood Foundation. As has been previously reported, members may register on-site at $200 for the whole weekend or $90 for a one-day pass, at $50 for students ages 12-22 or at $300 for non-members. Read the story here.
Dolly To Be On CNN The folks over at CNN asked me to announce that Dolly is scheduled to appear on Larry King Live for the full hour of his broadcast on the cable network at 9 p.m. Eastern July 3, the day before headlining a live Independence Day concert on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington for PBS. Thanks, Eleanor!
'Our Country' Nashville Showing Announced Our Country, the IMAX film on country music's heritage featuring a Dolly appearance, is finally coming to Nashville. An invitation-only showing of the film will take place on Wednesday, June 25, at the Regal Opry Mills IMAX Theatre in Nashville, and the film will open to the general public there on June 27. Gaylord Entertainment, which commissioned the film, issued a press release on Monday incorrectly claiming this is the film's world premiere. As was reported here, the film actually premiered May 15 at the Large Format Cinema Association annual conference in Los Angeles and has been open for public attendance at the IMAX theater in Cathedral City, Calif., just outside of Palm Springs, daily since the end of May. The release states many stars appearing in the film will be present for the Nashville premiere, but there's no word yet whether Dolly will be among them. The film will also open in Kansas City, Dallas, Myrtle Beach and Palm Desert, Calif., in July before a larger nationwide release in the fall, the press release stated. (However, the IMAX theatre in Dallas lists the film as not coming there until September, and Big Movie Zone shows the film opening in Kansas City at the end of August.) Read the full press release here.
June 16: Country Weekly: 'Ultimate' Slice Of 'Heaven' Country Weekly last week praised the new compilation CD Ultimate Dolly Parton, saying while it isn't "perfect," it remains "the best single-disc passport to Dolly heaven yet assembled." The magazine also notes that the CD should help remedy the problem of the public's underestimation of Dolly, which the critic feels is due to her image and persona overshadowing her musical "creativity, eager versatility and effortless endurance" and amazing songwriting ability. Read the full review here. Thanks, Hartman!
A Few More Atlanta Photos A few additional shots from Dolly's 9 To 5 reunion for charity have been added to the G-CAPP galleries page. See them all here.
June 13: Strong Debut For 'Ultimate' The Ultimate Dolly Parton debuts at No. 20 country, No. 130 pop in the June 21 charts, Billboard announced Thursday. It is Dolly's 57th top 20 country album. Dolly's Halos & Horns inches up one spot on the bluegrass albums chart to No. 12 in its 47th chart week. The Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, featuring Dolly's "Marry Me," loses one to No. 19 on the soundtrack albums chart in its 35th chart week. Lonestar's From Here To There: Greatest Hits debuts at No. 1 country and No. 7 pop, while Toby Keith's Unleashed holds onto the No. 2 country spot and gains four on the pop side to No. 18 in its 46th week.
Even Higher In Canada The Ultimate Dolly Parton also debuts on the Canadian country albums chart this week, in its June 12 edition, coming in at No. 16.
Even More Atlanta Shots I've gotten a few more pics added to the galleries of Dolly's 9 To 5 reunion for charity in Atlanta earlier this week. See the collection here.
June 12: More Atlanta Pics I've posted a few more shots from the 9 To 5 charity reunion in Atlanta from earlier this week. The new ones, and additional photos to be uploaded in coming days, are organized in galleries accessible here. Also, if you missed the official Dollymania recap of the night's events, complete with several photos posted here Tuesday night, check it out here!
'Ultimate' To Debut On Chart While an Associated Press reviewer didn't feel the recently-issued Ultimate Dolly Parton ranked among the best of Dolly's many compilation albums (read the review here), the CD will debut on the U.S. pop charts at No. 130 when the June 21 tallies are released by Billboard on Thursday. A ranking there on the pop side should put it somewhere around No. 15 or so on the country albums chart when those positions are announced.
Expert: Dolly A Trailblazer CMT.com's weekly "Hot Talk" column this week includes a Dolly blurb. In discussions of the recent International Country Music Conference, it was noted that University of North Carolina researcher Jocelyn Neal led a session on how Dolly "invented and reinvented" herself to succeed in the male-dominated country music field, saying that "her musical identity has been as calculated as her physical image" and that she has throughout her career been just about the only woman to succeed in country music by assuming the genre's "traditional male singer role." Read the story here.
Stampede Heating Up The Atlanta Journal-Constitution travel section on Wednesday reprinted a Palm Beach Post story out of Florida on Dolly's new Dixie Stampede, opening in Orlando next Thursday. Read it here. Dolly is scheduled to be on hand to open the equestrian-themed dinner theatre near Disney World next week.
Critic: It's An Old Song Whitney Houston's cover of Dolly's classic "I Will Always Love You" will rank at No. 8 on a new VH1 countdown of the 100 Greatest Songs Of The Past 25 Years, it was announced this week. However, at least one critic thinks it shouldn't be on there. The reason: The song is more than 25 years old. Canadian site Chart Attack on Wednesday noted that Dolly originally wrote and recorded the song 30 years ago, long before 1978 cut-off for this chart. Read the story here, and start reviewing the full list on VH1 here. The series premieres with No. 100-81 Monday night.
Tribute Release Date Announced Sugar Hill Records on Wednesday night announced the official release date for the label's tribute album to Dolly, Just Because I'm A Woman: Celebrating The Songs Of Dolly Parton, will be Oct. 14. You may recall that Dollymania exclusively reported three weeks ago that the CD would be pushed to an expected October release; it was originally to hit stores in September.
June 11: PBS: Dolly To Do Concert PBS has announced that Dolly will headline the 22nd Annual A Capitol Fourth concert in Washington, D.C., next month. The show, which is broadcast live on public television and NPR radio as well as the Armed Forces Radio and Television Network, will be hosted by Barry Bostwick and will also feature The Chieftains, Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth (this must be the Dolly project she told the California press a few weeks ago she would be working on soon), and the National Symphony Orchestra led by Erich Kunzel. A few additional performers are expected to be announced prior to the event. I haven't seen many details, but the free concert is usually held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and open to the public without any tickets required and concludes in a spectacular fireworks display. The massive crowd in attendance usually numbers between 100,000 and 300,000 people. The one-and-a-half-hour concert will air live at 8 p.m. Eastern on July 4 in most PBS markets (check local listings to be sure), with a repeat at 9 p.m. the following night.
Reunion Raises Money For Charity The crowds came out in full force Monday night to support Jane Fonda's charity and have a chance to see the first full reunion of the starring cast of 9 To 5 in two decades. (Jane, Lily and Dabney had gathered together three years ago in New York for a 20th anniversary screening of the film hosted by American Movie Classics, but Dolly could not attend due to a previous commitment.) Among items of note from the evening in Atlanta: Dolly announced she is to record a new duet with Kenny Rogers in coming weeks, Jane announced she exiting her retirement from acting with supporting roles in two movies to be filmed this fall for release next year, and Lily said she doesn't yet know whether she'll be returning to her television series this fall. The night raised several hundred thousand dollars for the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (G-CAPP). Read the full Dollymania recap and view photos here! Also, read a brief in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and see a few online pics from their photographer here, and look for photos and story in the next issue of People magazine. (Additional pics will be posted here in coming days, and anyone else who attended and wishes to send in their shots, please do so here. Thanks!)
Dolly Pic Advertises Show It was reported here several months ago that the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas had opened a special exhibition of Andy Warhol's work featuring one of his portraits of Dolly. Well, what I didn't know at the time was that Dolly's portrait is apparently being used extensively to advertise the show. A friend happened to visit Vegas recently and tipped me off, saying that almost all posters he saw for the exhibit featured Dolly's picture (as seen in the photo at left courtesy Hartman Holliman). The show, titled "Andy Warhol: Celebrity Portraits," opened at the resort in February and will remain open through September. It features several portraits of famous faces as well as an audio tour narrated by Liza Minelli, and admission is $15. I'm told that two of Dolly's 42"X42" portraits are on display, and they also appear in a hardcover museum guide sold at the exhibit, which includes a few quotes from a discussion between Dolly and Andy. Thanks, Hartman and John!
Remember Tuesday's Releases Don't forget that Sugar Hill Records on Tuesday issued two Dolly titles on Super Audio CD for the first time: Halos & Horns and Little Sparrow. Click on the titles to order!
Request Dolly! Remember to request Dolly's videos! Vote for Dolly's "I'm Gone" on CMT's MWLhere and GAC's weekly countdown here, and e-mail your request for "Dottie Rambo and Dolly Parton's 'Stand By The River'" to Gospel Music Television (GMT) here (be sure to list both performers' full names and the full title of the song).
June 7-10: 'I'm Gone' On GAC Great American Country (GAC) on Friday evening premiered Dolly's "I'm Gone" video from Halos & Horns. Their schedule shows the video to repeat on the cable network this weekend at 12:30 a.m., 7 a.m., 3 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Saturday; 8:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday; and 12:30 p.m. Monday (all times Eastern). And CMT's broadcast schedule for the video over the weekend is 1:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. Saturday and 2:30 a.m. Monday (plus repeats of Dolly's MWL Star episode which premiered the video earlier this week at 9 p.m. Saturday, midnight Sunday, 8 p.m. Monday and 11:30 p.m. next Friday). Remember to cast your votes daily for Dolly's video on CMT's MWLhere and GAC's weekly countdown here! In addition, Phil over at Voice Of An Angel has posted an online version of the video that you may download.
Dolly On The Boob Tube TV Guide is reporting that Dolly is scheduled to appear on CBS' The Early Show on June 20. Since she is scheduled to be on the grounds of Dollywood that morning to kick-off the KidsFest events for the summer, that will presumably be the focus of her appearance. The air time of the show is 8 a.m. Eastern. Also, a staff member at Dolly's new Orlando Dixie Stampede, where Dolly is schedule to appear for the grand opening the day before on June 19, tells me the rumor around the place is that they'll be live on Good Morning America the day before the opening (which would be the morning of June 18). Thanks!
Library Expands In Ala. Dolly's Imagination Library through the Dollywood Foundation has expanded once more. Now reaching about 100,000 children in more than 200 communities across 31 states, the program has entered the Huntsville area in Madison County, Ala., The Huntsville Times reported Friday. The program, which Dolly started in Sevier County, Tenn., in 1996 and expanded nationwide in 1999, provides one free book per month to any child from birth to age five whose parents sign up in a participating community. Read the full story here.
More SACD Details Sugar Hill Records on Friday added a page touting the new Super Audio CDs the label is releasing on Tuesday. Dolly's Halos & Horns will be issued as a stereo SACD hybrid and Little Sparrow will come out as a multi-channel and stereo SACD hybrid. "Hybrid" means the discs also contain the regular CD version that may be heard on any CD player in addition to the enhanced audio which may be played back on an SACD player. Multi-channel recordings have even more sound features. Reserve your copy by clicking on the album titles above, and read more from the label here.
June 6: A Slip On The Charts Dolly's Halos & Horns inches down one spot on the June 14 bluegrass albums chart to No. 13 in its 46th chart week, Billboard announced Thursday. The Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack, featuring Dolly's "Marry Me," remains steady at No. 18 on the soundtrack albums chart in its 34th chart week. Jo Dee Messina's Greatest Hits slips one to No. 2 country in its second week and loses 21 to come in at No. 35 pop, while Toby Keith's Unleashed moves up one on the country chart to regain the No. 1 spot and gains four on the pop side to No. 22 in its 45th week.
Dolly Positions In Top 100 Revealed Dolly ranked one song in the top 20 and one in the top 60 of CMT's 100 Greatest Songs Of Country Music, the cable network announced Thursday. Her classic "I Will Always Love You" came in at No. 16, while her other signature tune, "Coat Of Many Colors," ranked at No. 54. A five-hour special counting down all 100 cuts premieres at 4 p.m. Eastern on Sunday (click here for the full list). The top 10 was as follows:
1. "Stand by Your Man" by Tammy Wynette
2. "He Stopped Loving Her Today" by George Jones
3. "Crazy" by Patsy Cline (written and also recorded by Willie Nelson)
4. "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash
5. "Your Cheatin' Heart" by Hank Williams
6. "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks
7. "I Fall to Pieces" by Patsy Cline
8. "Galveston" by Glen Campbell
9. "Behind Closed Doors" by Charlie Rich
10. "Mommas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
Dolly And Dollywood Take Honors The readers of Blue Ridge Country, a 90,000-circulation magazine dedicated to the southern Appalachian Mountains, have bestowed a few honors on Dolly. A reader's poll to be published in the magazine's 15th anniversary edition this month gives Dolly its top honor, the Platinum Award, for Best Mountain Entertainer and Person Of The Region You'd Most Like To Meet. Readers also gave Dollywood Gold Awards for Best Mountain Attraction and Best Place To Take The Kids and the Silver Award for Best Family Getaway. Other attractions in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville also took 18 additional awards. Thanks, Sandra!
A Mention To publicize her upcoming film Legally Blonde II, the Dublin Daily on Thursday re-published an article profiling actress Reese Witherspoon which originally appeared in USA Today back in September in which it notes that Witherspoon "gushes" about Dolly as her idol, saying: "I love her. If I ever got to meet her, I'd probably keel over and have a convulsion." Read the full story here.
Final Chance For Tickets The time is nearing for the highly anticipated 9 to 5 cast reunion at Jane Fonda's fundraiser "Retro Premiere" gala for her charity, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (G-CAPP). The fun starts at 5:30 p.m. Monday with a party, live auction and then a showing of the film at the Atlanta Symphony Hall in the Woodruff Arts Center with Dolly, Jane, Lily and Dabney all present. Call 404-475-6046 to get your tickets before they're gone! (And look for a recap of events from your webmaster Tuesday night!)
June 5: More On 'I'm Gone' Thanks to another fan who sent in some notes from Dolly's MWL Star appearance. Gary noted that one of the comments he thought was the funniest was that her answer to being asked what she would say if she was a bumper sticker was "Get off my ass! You're driving too close!" He said that the video for "I'm Gone" was "awesome" and that she asked the crowd afterward what they thought of her "Dolly Mama" appearance as a Dali Lama-type character. He added that she mentioned working on the new CD, which would include more of her family members, but didn't address when it would be out. Thanks, Gary! If you missed the episode, CMT is scheduled to repeat it at 9 p.m. Saturday, midnight Sunday, 8 p.m. Monday and 11:30 p.m. June 13. Also, if you missed the video, CMT is scheduled to air it at 1 a.m., 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern Thursday, 8:30 a.m. Friday, and 1:30 a.m. Saturday. The network's Most Wanted Live show has also added a slot to vote for the video here. And while Great American Country (GAC) has yet to schedule the video to air on its network, they've also set aside a slot to vote for it in the GAC weekly video countdown here.
Order Larkins Now Amazon.com has added a page to reserve your copy of The Larkins' self-titled duet album, due July 8, which will feature a harmony appearance by Dolly on a cover of her "Steady As The Rain." I heard an early copy of the recording back in April, and I can tell you it's phenomenal! You may recall that Shaunna Larkin, half of the sister duo, is engaged to Randy Kohrs of Dolly's Blueniques band. He proposed to her on stage during Dolly's concert in Nashville. She, her sister and parents are frequent performers at Dollywood. Reserve your copy here! (Photo at left of Shaunna and Tina Larkin from their Web site here.)
June 4: Dolly Bubbly On 'Star' I'm told Dolly's MWL Star interview on CMT Tuesday night was wonderful. (Regular readers know my cable company still doesn't carry CMT, so I have to rely on the reports of others until I can get a copy of it.) Her interview was said to be hilarious, her performances great and her interaction with the small audience endearing. Although her comments about working on an album of inspirational and spiritual songs for release this fall which attendees at the taping said she made were apparently edited out of the version for broadcast. The video for "I'm Gone," which premiered during the interview, was said to be "really, really fun." But one reader said the funniest line in the show was when the host approached the subject of her famous bosom and said she wasn't sure how to dress when being seated next to Dolly, and Dolly told her that her breasts looked fine. The episode repeats throughout the month (see TV listings on right hand column of this page). Thanks to everyone who sent in their notes from the show!
Still Not On The Air Dolly got a mention in Monday's New York Times in a story once again lamenting the lack of radio airplay for older country artists, although she was by far the youngest singer discussed. Dolly's note is brief, however (although it does show a great shot of Dolly in concert). Near the story's start, it states that older women have an even harder time getting airplay than men, listing Dolly, Loretta Lynn and the late Tammy Wynette. Later on, following comments by George Jones that he doesn't listen to today's country radio, it was written: "Ms. Parton, whose albums continue to receive critical acclaim and win Grammys, said she, too, paid little attention to radio now. Indeed, young fans seem to be discovering the old-timer's music not on the radio but on the Internet." Read the full story here. (Please note you must be a registered user of the Times site to view the story; although registration is free.)
June 3: IMAX Update, Not In Nashville Now A reader contacted me saying he was unable to find any information on the Nashville premiere of Our Country, the new IMAX film chronicling the history of country music and including a performance by Dolly. The date of the Nashville premiere, which was taken from a report on the film news site Big Movie Zone, was apparently in error, even though that site still lists the film as premiering in Nashville on that date. Further research could find no evidence that the film is scheduled to be shown in Nashville any time soon. Instead, it actually premiered May 15 at the Large Format Cinema Association annual conference in Los Angeles and started playing May 30 at the IMAX theater in Cathedral City, Calif., just outside of Palm Springs, where it is still showing. It is currently scheduled to be shown in Kansas City beginning Aug. 29 and in Dallas Sept. 26-Nov. 26.
CMT: Alison Track Changes On Tribute CMT.com on Monday published a report that Alison Krauss will, in fact, sing a new version of "9 to 5" on Dolly's upcoming Sugar Hill tribute album instead of the track "About Suzanne," as Rolling Stone had reported in April and was repeated here. The CMT report also said the album is untitled and a release date is not yet scheduled. However, it has previously been reported by several media outlets that its title will be Just Because I'm A Woman: Celebrating The Songs Of Dolly Parton and exclusively on Dollymania that it is expected to be released in October. Read the CMT report here. (And if you have a Super Audio player, Dolly's Halos & Horns and Little Sparrow will be released by Sugar Hill on June 10 in SACD format. SACD adds up to six data tracks to the standard two-track stereo sound in a regular CD, allowing the sound quality to be several times more clear and natural sounding than a standard CD. These releases will be SACD hybrids, meaning you may still listen to them on a standard CD player, although the enhanced sound quality can only be heard on an SACD player. Click on the title links above to order either version!)
June 2: 'Ultimate' Contest Winners Announced They came, they saw, and they entered the contest! Here are the winners in the Dollymania/BMG Heritage contest to win copies of Ultimate Dolly Parton.:
First entry with all correct answers: Stephen Powers of Milwaukee, Wis.
Random winner from all-correct entries: Noelle Carpenter of Biloxi, Miss.
Random winner from all entries (including those with incorrect answers): Anthony Gigli of Indianapolis, Ind.
Congratulations! Expect your CDs to arrive in the mail in the next few days! And those of you who are interested in seeing the correct answers, click on the contest's page here. Thanks to all who entered! P.S. A friend sent in a note about the "9 to 5" which is on the album reminding me of the arrangement on Essential Dolly Volume I, and it sounds to be the same arrangement as appeared on that compilation except for the addition of 15 or 20 seconds of music and singing at the end of the song. Thanks, Sean!
Gospel Updates The June issue of PowerSource magazine will soon be in the mail to subscribers, and here are Dolly's standings for the month: "Stand By The River" with Dottie Rambo drops 15 to No. 77 on the Christian country chart but moves up six to No. 52 on the Southern gospel chart. "I'm Gone" from Halos & Horns drops five on the bluegrass singles chart to No. 21, while while the CD's title track drops off the chart, down from No. 26. Dolly's "Hello God" falls 21 places on the Christian country singles chart to No. 36. "Hello God" had previously peaked at No. 2 on that chart, while "Stand By The River" had peaked at No. 1. The magazine also features a blurb on Dolly's scholarship programs through the Dollywood Foundation and an interview with her sister Stella. The June issue will also feature the preliminary ballot for this year's Christian Country Music Association Awards, and Dolly and Dottie are eligible for Duo Of The Year, Video Of The Year and Song Of The Year. Remember to vote!
Worley: Dolly 'Sexiest' Living Person In a Q&A in Sunday's The Tennessean, one of the questions posed to singer Daryl Worley was who are the three sexiest people alive today. His No. 1 answer: Dolly. "She's just beautiful. It has to do a lot with her voice and her music," he said. His No. 2 pick was Demi Moore, and No. 3 was Angelina Jolie. Read the story here.
Big Dolly Week Remember that Tuesday is a big Dolly day! Not only will BMG Heritage release the 20-song career-spanning Ultimate Dolly Parton, but CMT will premiere its hour-long interview with Dolly on its MWL Star program at 8 p.m. Eastern, followed by a repeat of Best of Showcase on Dolly and a repeat of the Star program. Star will also repeat at 10 p.m. June 3, 9 p.m. June 7, midnight June 8 and 8 p.m. June 9. She closes out the week June 8 with CMT's 100 Greatest Songs Of Country Music, a five-hour special which premieres at 4 p.m. that day and will include Dolly's "Coat Of Many Colors" and "I Will Always Love You." And remember that next week she'll appear at Jane Fonda's charity reunion of the 9 To 5 cast on June 9 in Atlanta (get tickets at 404-475-6046).