Nov. 29: Crossroads Was Spectacular Dolly and Melissa were stunning performing together on CMT's Crossroads Friday night, with their voices and personalities blending perfectly throughout the evening. Dolly opened with an awesome bluegrass version of "Come To My Window," followed by Melissa giving an amazing rock-meets-bluegrass version of "Jolene," which, with how well she sang it, should have been her contribution to the Dolly tribute project! Melissa offered an emotional cover of "Coat Of Many Colors," and Dolly's take on "I Want To Be In Love" was simply gorgeous. She belted out Melissa's "Bring Me Some Water," and the two were wonderful on "I Will Always Love You," which was much more delicate than Melissa's version on the tribute disc. The show closed with a rollickin' "9 To 5," which was so good Melissa should record it herself. Between concert footage, the pair were interviewed by host Radney Foster at Melissa's home, covering subjects from their childhoods, drag queens and the slight differences between country and rock to Porter Wagoner and the openness each has regarding her private life, plus they offered an acoustic version of Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up." The show even boasted a question-and-answer period where audience members asked Melissa about her version of "I Will Always Love You" from Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton (she said she wanted it to sound a bit "psycho"), what song she and her new wife danced to at their wedding ("My Girl") and what cover by another artist of one of her songs Dolly found the most surprising (Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You"). Unfortunately, three songs recorded at the concert in Hollywood in October were cut from the broadcasted version: Melissa's cover of "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right," Dolly's take on "You Can Sleep While I Drive" and a duet of Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line" (which had Dolly joking as they sang face-to-face "I'm not Madonna -- I'm MaDolly! Don't make me kiss you!" Also in introducing the song, Dolly said her first crush was on Johnny, and Melissa said her first crush was on "a certain young lady on The Porter Wagoner Show!"). A clip from that final song, including Dolly's joshing line, was shown during commercials promoting the special, but its performance was cut from the final version. Hopefully, CMT will see fit to release the full-length concert as a DVD including the deleted songs. We can only hope! The show will repeat on CMT throughout the month. See TV listings on the right-hand side of this page for dates and times.
Nov. 28: 'God' Takes A Tumble For God And Country, Dolly patriotic and spiritual collection, plummets 26 notches in its second chart week to come in at No. 49 country in the Dec. 6 Billboard charts, down from its debut peak at No. 23, it was announced Thursday. The album falls off the 200-position pop chart and comprehensive chart after just one week on each at No. 167 pop and No. 186 comprehensive. The CD drops only seven places on the independent labels albums chart in its second week, coming in at No. 13. The tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton falls 14 spots to No. 25 country for its sixth chart week, dropping 64 spaces on the pop albums chart to No. 172, two points to No. 5 on the indie albums side and 87 places to No. 198 for its second week on the new comprehensive albums chart. Ultimate Dolly Parton drops off the 75-position country albums chart, down from No. 68 last week in its 24th chart week, but the tribute album Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, for which Dolly and Sonya Isaacs contributed "The Angels Rejoiced," debuts on the country chart two months after its release, coming in at No. 61. Toby Keith's Shock'n Y'all, remains at No. 1 country for its third week but falls four spots to No. 9 pop, while Alan Jackson's Greatest Hits Volume 2 remains at No. 2 country in its 15th chart week but gains four notches on the pop chart to come in at No. 16.
Canadian Update The Dolly tribute collection falls 16 spots to No. 23 country in its sixth chart week in Canada and drops off the pop side, down from No. 98 in its second week on that chart last week, it was announced Thursday. And Dolly's holiday CD with Kenny Rogers, Once Upon A Christmas, inches up another place to No. 9 country in its fourth chart week this year.
CMT Poll: Most Thankful For Dolly CMT.com's Thanksgiving Day online poll was which legendary artist were readers most thankful for. As of Thursday evening, Dolly and Loretta Lynn were tied with a quarter of the votes each, followed closely by Willie Nelson with 22 percent. Trailing just behind him were George Jones with 15 percent and Merle Haggard with 12 percent. Vote here.
Set The VCR! Don't forget that CMT premieres Dolly's duet concert with Melissa Etheridge in its Crossroads series Friday night at 10 p.m. Eastern with repeats throughout the next several weeks! Late Thursday night, CMT.com made a preview of the special its lead news story, although most of the text was the same as the article available for the past several days on the portion of the site dedicated to the series. Read the new version here.
Nov. 27: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
TV Briefing Dolly was the second-biggest star on the stage at the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize For American Comedy (after all, it was Lily Tomlin's night), aired on PBS Wednesday night. A parade of admirers offered pieces of their own comedy and tributes to the genius of Tomlin's performances as various television, film and stage clips from her career were shown. Jane Fonda, the second-to-last speaker, took the stage to tell of her admiration for the comedienne and how she originally set out to make 9 To 5 a drama until she saw Tomlin perform in Los Angeles and decided to cast her in the film. Leaving the theatre, she heard Dolly on the radio and decided to cast her as well. Immediately, the film had to be a comedy, she said. Clips were then shown of Tomlin's fantasy sequence poisoning Dabney Coleman's character and of the trio of actresses in the hospital after they believed he had actually been poisoned. A few seconds after the applause for the film began after the clips, the band played the first beats of "9 To 5," and the applause greatly increased. Fonda shouted over the crowd: "Oh! I am so happy to introduce my friend, Dolly Parton! Woo!" Dolly came on stage to perform the film's title track, during which the crowd clapped to the rhythm and after which she received the longest stretch of applause of all the stars for the evening except for Tomlin herself. Dolly then offered her own tribute:
"I, of course, was so proud to get to be here tonight because I love Lily. I've loved her before we got to do 9 To 5. I think she's just brilliant, and Jane Wagner, her friend and partner's worked with me, too, with some of the shows that I've done, and I think she's brilliant as well. But I think Lily has spent her entire life in search for intelligent life in the universe. (Laughs from the crowd.) I do. So what in the world is she doing in Washington? (Laughs and applause.) Lily is not the kind of comedian that tells jokes. She, like Mark Twain, tells us the truth about ourselves, and we laugh to keep from crying. So, Lily, you keep tellin', and we'll keep laughin'. Anyhow. (Applause.) Thank you, Lily. (Applause.) And right now, to present Lily with the Mark Twain Prize is the chairman of the Kennedy Center, Jim Johnson!"
Johnson presented Tomlin with the sculpture of Twain, and she came on stage to a standing ovation to offer a humorous acceptance speech detailing why she did and didn't deserve the award, praising her life partner Wagner for her writing of the material she's performed over the years and offering a few lines in the voices of some of her favorite characters. As the show ended, the entire group came back on stage. Lily walked through them, kissing each one on the cheek, then stood center stage between Dolly and Fonda, interacting with each of them as the band played and the audience showed its appreciation.Image courtesy Hans Kline.
Dolly also made another television appearance on Wednesday, this time on VH1's All Access in an episode dedicated to "Awesomely Bad Fashion." However, she wasn't chided for her choice of clothes. In a segment criticizing stars who wear outfits fashioned out of the American flag, Dolly's design for this year's Fourth of July concert and For God And Country album cover was shown, but she was complimented on the outfit, with the announcer saying the look met with public approval and one critic adding that if she wants to wear a flag it was fine with him, so long as she kept "the girls" up and out front.
Dolly PETA CMT.com reported on Wednesday that Dolly's commercial for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is now airing nationwide. As you may recall it was reported here several months ago, Dolly contributed her song "Will He Be Waiting For Me" to play in the background as Kathy Najimy rushes home to the love of her life. At the end of the spot, the viewer discovers that her love is for her dog, reminding people not to neglect their pets. The site also says a spot featuring Emmylou Harris at the Grand Ole Opry is now airing and one using Loretta Lynn's song "I Wanna Be Free" will soon be broadcasted as well. Read their story here.
Hair Today Dolly's 'do got a mention in USA Today this week in a story discussing big hair. Accompanying a photo of the diva, the article notes: "If there were a Big Hair Hall of Fame, Dolly Parton would be a shoo-in for admission." Read the story here.
Concert News The Smoky Mountain News reports that the Voices In The Laurel choir will perform at Dolly's benefit concerts next month at Dollywood. Read the story here.
Nov. 26: Poll: Dolly A 'Sex Goddess' British magazine Erotic Review recently asked readers and contributors to pick the 50 sexiest people in the world, and Dolly made the cut. In the issue hitting newsstands across the pond this week, she was named one of the publication's 25 "Sex Goddesses" alongside Cate Blanchett, Debbie Harry, Liv Tyler, Jerry Hall, Kristin Scott Thomas, Pam Grier and others. On the "Sex Gods" side, men in the top 25 included Keith Richards, Colin Firth, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, George Clooney, David Bowie, Sir Ian McKellen and, surprisingly, the Dalai Lama. View the full list on The Scotsmanhere.
Thanks For The Honor Dollymania this week was chosen as the Fan Tribute Site-o-the-Week by Country Stars Online. This marked the first time a Dolly-related site has taken the honor, which has been given out weekly for the past two-and-a-half years. Thanks!
Nov. 25: RS: Dolly In Top 500 Rolling Stone this week unveiled its 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time, and Dolly's 1971 masterpiece Coat Of Many Colors comes in at No. 299, ranking eighth of the scant dozen country albums included on the tally. Read the full list here.
TV Watch! It's Dolly TV time! She gets a spot of costuming criticism on VH1's All Access "Awesomely Bad Fashion" episode premiering at noon Eastern on Wednesday, followed by her appearance on the PBS airing of Lily Tomlin's Mark Twain Prize for American Comedy ceremony, airing at 9 p.m. Wednesday in most markets. Then on Friday it's the first repeat of her duet on "The Grass Is Blue" with Norah Jones when CMT re-broadcasts this year's CMA Awards at 7 p.m., followed by the premiere of the network's Crossroads concert of Dolly with Melissa Etheridge at 10 p.m. Eastern (see CMT.com's page for the special here).
Have A Holly, Dolly Christmas But that's not all! As the holidays approach, it's time for some good Dolly cheer! After a few years off the airwaves, Dolly's classic 1986 yuletide film A Smoky Mountain Christmas gets another broadcast on CMT throughout the second half of the month, it was announced this week. In addition, 1996's Unlikely Angel once again airs on Lifetime during the holiday, and The Magic School Bus Holiday Special featuring an animated Dolly from 1994 airs on The Learning Channel. For complete schedules, view the TV Listings section on the right-hand side of this page. And what holiday would be complete without some Dolly tunes! Check out these holiday offerings below:
Emmylou Harris: Light
of the Stable (1975 -- Dolly, Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young provide harmony on the title track)
Johnny Reminder Don't forget that Johnny Cash's massive five-disc boxed set, Unearthed, featuring dozens of unreleased tracks from recent years including two versions of Dolly's "I'm A Drifter," hits stores on Tuesday. Get your copy here!
Nov. 24: Aussie Update Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton inches down one spot to No. 7 on the Australian country album chart in its sixth chart week Down Under, it was announced Sunday. The set had previously peaked at No. 6.
Dolly, Ah-nold and Annie The San Diego Union-Tribune on Sunday offered an interesting piece profiling Annie Leibovitz's new book, American Music, which includes a new shot of Dolly as well as pictures of dozens of other legends and newcomers in music. In the article, Leibovitz tells the story of her famous photo of Dolly with Arnold Schwarzenegger which she took for Rolling Stone magazine at the time of Dolly's late-1970s pop crossover. Read it here.
'EW' Tid-Bits I'm told Dolly gets a photo with Melissa Etheridge in the Nov. 28 issue of Entertainment Weekly with a small article about their Crossroads concert, premiering at 10 p.m. Friday on CMT. The edition also includes a headshot of Dolly in the "Sound Bites" section featuring a quote from her recent appearance on David Letterman's show. Finally, Dolly's 1989 film Steel Magnolias is listed at No. 20 for the magazine's list of the movies which are the 50 Greatest Tearjerkers. Thanks, Solomon!
Bellamy Mention Although it has been previously reported, Dolly's contribution of a new recording of "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me)" with the Bellamy Brothers on their upcoming, Angels & Outlaws, got a mention on CMT.com's Saturday news update here. The site reports that the album, which features the duo's friends joining them for new versions of their hits, will be released sometime next year.
Nov. 22: Still On European Chart Dolly's "Hello God" from Halos & Horns is still getting airplay overseas, falling two spots to No. 4 for December in the European Christian Country Chart, it was announced this week six months after its chart entry there.
In Memoriam Dolly has been named an honorary pallbearer for this weekend's funeral of country songwriting legend Don Gibson in Shelby, N.C., joining Loretta Lynn, Eddie Arnold, Little Jimmy Dickens, Don and Phil Everly and Connie Smith. No word on whether she or any of the other honorary pallbearers will be in attendance, according to the Shelby Star. Gibson, a Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member, died Monday in Nashville. The 75-year-old Shelby native wrote some of the genre's most memorable numbers, including "I Can't Stop Loving You," "Sweet Dreams" and "O Lonesome Me." As a singer, he charted 82 songs on the country charts, three of which reached No. 1, and 16 pop singles. Services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at New Bethel Church of the Nazarene in Shelby with burial to follow at Sunset Cemetery. A memorial service will be held in Nashville in coming weeks. Read the article here.
Nov. 21: 'For God And Country' Debuts On Charts Dolly new patriotic and spiritual collection, For God And Country, makes a fair debut in the Nov. 29 Billboard charts, coming in at No. 23 country, it was announced Thursday. The album also debuts at No. 167 pop and No. 6 on the independent labels albums chart, earning it the "Hot Shot Debut" designation on the latter as the highest-debuting CD of the week by an indie label. The tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton inches down four spots to No. 11 country for its fifth chart week, falling 53 spaces on the pop albums chart to No. 108 and one point to No. 3 on the indie albums side. Ultimate Dolly Parton drops seven places to No. 68 country in its 24th chart week, and Halos & Horns falls back off the bluegrass albums chart after re-entering it last week at No. 15 to log in its 57th chart week. Billboard also debuted a new chart this week, titled the "Comprehensive Albums" chart. On that one, Woman debuts at No. 111 and God at No. 186. The new chart includes all general-release albums as well as those which are one-store exclusives or released to a limited number of stores only as well as "catalog" sales (defined as those albums which are more than two years old and below No. 100 on the pop chart) which may not be included on other chart tallies. Toby Keith's Shock'n Y'all, remains at No. 1 country for its second week with 227,000 copies sold but falls four spots to No. 5 pop, while Alan Jackson's Greatest Hits Volume 2 remains at No. 2 country in its 14th chart week and loses five notches on the pop chart to come in at No. 20.
Still Strong In Canada The tribute CD remains steady up north at No. 7 country in its fifth chart week in Canada and drops 17 notches on the pop side to No. 98 in its second week on that chart, it was announced Thursday. And Dolly's Christmas album with Kenny Rogers, Once Upon A Christmas, jumps up 10 places to No. 10 country in its third chart week this year.
New Reviews The Cleveland Free Times weighs in this week with a review of Dolly's For God And Country, and even the negative parts of the review sound positive. John Chaich says that if her recent Sugar Hill recordings offered "mountain-music simplicity," this collection boasts "Grand Canyon-sized productions." He acknowledges the humor in several of the cuts and notes: "The target audience for this CD is the God-fearing, Wal-Mart- shopping American . . . For the rest of us, the best tracks on For God and Country get back to basics: the closing track, 'The Glory Forever,' reminds you that she alone holds one of America's greatest natural resources: her voice." Read the full review here.
Over in Singapore, The Straits Times praises Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton with three stars, saying "few realize the ingenuity and intelligence that belies her songwriting and image manipulations - until now." While criticizing offerings by Alison Krauss and Melissa Etheridge, the reviewer lauds
Joan Osborne, Me'Shell N'dedgéOcello and Sinéad O'Connor for understanding the "essense" of Dolly. Read the review here.
And LA City Beat offers a very positive review of next week's Johnny Cash boxed set release Unearthed, featuring dozens of unreleased tracks from the last few years of Cash's recording career. The reviewer says both of the versions of his cover of the Dolly song "I'm A Drifter" are "wonderful." Read the full review here. Cash first recorded the song in 1994, but it didn't make the final track list of his album that year. In 1996 he recorded the two versions included on the boxed set, one backed by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and the other backed with members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but again neither version was included on his album that year. Reserve your copy of the set here!
Another Fashion Honor, Sort Of Just a few weeks after CMT named her look the greatest fashion statement in country music, VH1 will be taking a swipe at Dolly's taste in appearance with a new episode of All Access. The show, titled "Awesomely Bad Fashion," examines "the clothes so over-the-top bad that you've got to love them." And Dolly's in good company, as others to be profiled include Bjork, Brandy, Toni Braxton, Celine Dion, Lil' Kim, Madonna, Ricky Martin, Pink, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Shania Twain and more. The show premieres at noon Eastern on Wednesday, Nov. 26, with repeats scheduled for 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Selling The Carousel Want Dolly's old carousel? Well, the Delaware River and Bay Authority, which had purchased the old Dollywood carousel from the park for $55,000 in 1995, is looking to unload it. Although it was open to the public for a few years on the Cape May Canal in Delaware, it has sat in storage since 2001. Read more here.
More On Lily TV Guide has posted an extended version of its Lily Tomlin interview on its Web site here with the Dolly comment noted here in Wednesday night's news update.
Nov. 19: Always Good For A Laugh Lily Tomlin's honor with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor gets some respect in next week's issue of TV Guide. The interviewer's first question notes the participation of her 9 To 5 co-stars Jane Fonda and Dolly in last month's ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where the prize was bestowed upon the legendary comedienne. Asked about the funniest thing that occurred on the film's set, Tomlin replies: "Dolly's bust was so big that we would bump into her. It's out of the normal range! Somehow we got over it." The ceremony will air as an hour-and-a-half special on PBS next Wednesday, Nov. 26. Check local listings for exact broadcast times, but most markets should air it at 9 p.m. Eastern.
You Ought To Be In Pictures Contemporary artist Paul Richmond sent in this scan of a recent painting he created which he says captures his "youthful fascination" with Dolly in an almost comical fashion. It is titled, appropriately enough, "Hello Dolly." Click on the thumbnail for a larger view. Thanks, Paul
Nov. 18: Report: Animated Pic Is Gone Dolly's animated Disney film will not light up cinema screens, the cartoon giant announced on Monday. According to a Hollywood Reporter story distributed by the Reuters news service, the feature, which was now being called A Few Good Ghosts, was cancelled due to creative differences, with company representatives saying that the studio decided the project would not be "universally appealing." Previously called My Peoples, Elgin's People and Angel And Her No Good Sister, the story centered around ghosts which inhabit folk-art dolls. The film was to feature an all-star cast, with Dolly slated to voice the character of Angel alongside Lily Tomlin, Hal Holbrook, Diedrich Bader, Charles Durning, Lou Rawls, Jean Smart, Mike Snider, Travis Tritt and more. The picture, which would have mixed both traditional and computer-generated animation and was expected to premiere in 2005, was to have a bluegrass soundtrack produced by Ricky Skaggs. The Reuters story, available here, also notes that the decision to cease production may result in layoffs at Disney's Orlando studios.
The New Zealand site Stuff offers its review of the tribute collection this week, giving it three stars and saying it features many of Dolly's "brilliant songs" with new voices giving them completely different lives than the originals. Read it here.
Nov. 17: Movin' Up Down Under Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton inches up one spot to No. 6 on the Australian country album chart in its fifth chart week Down Under, it was announced Sunday. The set had previously peaked at No. 6.
More Praise For Tribute I came across a couple of additional reviews this weekend for Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, with the Cape Cod Times giving it three-and-a-half out of four stars and noting quality performances by Alison Krauss and Melissa Etheridge as well as Kasey Chambers, Sinead O'Connor, Allison Moorer and Me'Shell N'dedgéOcello, but criticizing Shania Twain as being "out of her league in this company." Read the full review here.
And the British site Net Rhythms singles out the fact that the CD's contributions are "individual interpretations rather than mere covers." It says Etheridge "reclaims 'I Will Always Love You' from Whitneydom with an earthy, bruised and battered fist of passion and Me'Shell N'dedgéOcello grabs 'Two Doors Down' by the scruff of the neck, injects it with dirty beats and techno and mutates it into a slinky dance groove." It also praises efforts by Norah Jones, Joan Osborne, Shelby Lynne, Sinéad O'Connor and Kasey Chambers, while complaining that Mindy Smith, Emmylou Harris and Twain offer "pure" performances but don't stretch their abilities. Calling the album "a solid testament to Parton's ability as a songwriter and her enduring presence," it also says her re-recording of the title track "does herself proud too." Read the full review here.
Vote Today! If you like Dollymania, express yourself! Vote for the Peoples' Choice Award in the 2003 Interactive Music Awards, sponsored by British Telecommunications and The Evening Standard. In 2002, Dollymania was ranked No. 102 by voters out of 2,500 music-related Web sites and nearly 200,000 votes cast in this category. Click here or on the icon at left to register your ballot daily, and don't forget to also vote for the site at Star Pages here as well. Thanks for your support!
Nov. 15: Huge U.S. Chart Gains All Around For Dolly Perhaps the biggest Dolly news of the week came on Thursday, when it was announced that the tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton showed the largest percentage increase in sales of all country albums for the week of her appearance on the CMA Awards (where she performed "The Grass Is Blue" with Norah Jones) and The Oprah Winfrey Show (where Melissa Etheridge and Shania Twain participated in a tribute to Dolly and performed cuts from the album with her). The CD earns the chart's "Pacesetter" designation for the greatest improvement in chart postion for the week due to its massive 170 percent increase in sales over the previous week to around 26,000 copies, jumping nine spots to No. 7 on the Nov. 22 Billboard country albums chart for its fourth chart week, just one shy of its peak position of No. 6. Sugar Hill Records General Manager Bev Paul noted, "The quality of this year's CMA Awards was stellar. Combining Norah Jones with Dolly Parton created a unique opportunity for viewers who would never see these two artists together anywhere else. We have certainly seen a spectacular return on sales due to Dolly's participation in the show." The next-largest increase came for Horizon Award winner Joe Nichols with a 149 percent sales boost, but both Twain and Jones saw significant increases in their solo album sales as well following their appearances with Dolly. The tribute collection also shoots up a whopping 70 spots on the pop albums chart, coming in at No. 55 (higher than its previous peak position of No. 67), and earns the "Greatest Gainer" designation for the largest sales increase of the week on the independent labels albums chart for a five-point leap to No. 2 (higher than its previous peak position of No. 5). I would expect sales to slowly slip over the next few weeks and then pick up the last week of the month when CMT repeats the CMA Awards on Nov. 28, immediately followed by the network's premiere of the Crossroads concert of Dolly and Etheridge at 10 p.m. that night. The BMG compilation album Ultimate Dolly Parton also saw a sales spike, with a 77 percent increase over the previous week, the 9th largest for all country CDs. That album moves up nine places to No. 61 country in its 23rd chart week. In addition, Halos & Horns re-enters the 15-position bluegrass albums chart for a 57th chart week, coming in at No. 15. Toby Keith's new album, Shock'n Y'all, debuts at No. 1 on both the country and pop charts with 585,000 copies sold, while Alan Jackson's Greatest Hits Volume 2 slips one place to No. 2 country in its 13th chart week after 11 weeks at No. 1 but gains 10 notches on the pop side to come in at No. 15.
Big Jumps In Canada, Too The change in Canada was even more pronounced, with the tribute album bulleting an amazing 39 spots on the country albums chart in its fourth week to No. 7 and debuting on the pop albums chart up north at No. 81. In addition, Dolly's 1984 Christmas album with Kenny Rogers, Once Upon A Christmas, is back on the Canadian charts in its annual holiday-time return. That CD jumps 34 places to No. 20 country in its second chart week this year.
TV Recap Dolly was all over the tube this week promoting Tuesday's release of For God And Country, starting with an appearance Wednesday morning wearing a camouflage outfit on The Early Show on CBS, where she offered a brief rendition of "Orange Blossom Special" as the show went to commercial, performed "Welcome Home" (which she announced would be released as the album's first single), did an interview with Rene Syler about the CD and her life and career in general and sang "Color Me America" as the show's closing credits rolled. The interview portion of her segment is available on the show's Web site here. Wednesday night, she showed up on The Late Show With David Letterman on CBS, donning a red, white and blue ensemble which led Letterman to comment, "You look like you're in Evil Knievel's will!" On the show, she congratulated the host on his new son and joked that she always wanted to breastfeed, adding, "Well, if you've got a grand piano, wouldn't you want to play it?!" After the interview, she performed "Red, White And Bluegrass." She also appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News (my apologies for not announcing this one on the site, but it wasn't confirmed until after your webmaster had gone out of town). In a brief interview, available on the show's Web site here, Dolly was asked about her opinion on celebrities who talk politics -- and why she doesn't -- as well as whether she herself is a conservative, to which she replied, "not really," adding: "I'm more patriotic than political." Finally, she wrapped things up on NBC's Late Night With Conan O'Brien, where she strutted out in a different, glittery camouflage ensemble for an interview in which she announced that she was recording a duet with Norah Jones and planned to tour military bases to perform for troops in the near future. When O'Brien prodded her to stay on the couch during the rest of the show, she pulled out a microphone and began singing the first verse of "I Will Always Love You," to which he hammingly belted the second verse and joined Dolly on the chorus. She returned at the end of the show in a blue pants suit to sing "Light Of A Clear Blue Morning," a 30-second live sample of which is available on the show's Web site here, although it misidentifies the recording as being on the tribute album instead of For God And Country. Dolly is also scheduled to be interviewed by Dan Rather for the CBS News Sunday Morning, although an air date has not been announced.
More 'God' Coverage And the album is still getting some great reviews. The Celebrity Café said here that the collection is "probably one the best albums we've heard of patriotic songs in quite some time," and the U Daily Bulletin in California opined here that "America never sounded better." However, when Billboard conducted an online poll (results here) asking readers which of the week's 10 new releases they were most likely to buy, For God And Country tied for fifth place with the new Kid Rock CD with just 3 percent of votes (but was actually No. 7 or 8, because both the third and fourth places were ties as well).
'Gone' Updates "I'm Gone" from Halos & Horns gains two spots to come in at No. 8 on the PowerSource independent label country singles chart for November, it was just announced. The song also falls from the No. 1 spot down to No. 20 for the week on the IndieWorldCountry weekly chart, it was announced Friday.
More TV Coming Dolly and Dollywood will soon be showing up on the television again, a story noted Friday. Terry Morrow of the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported here that the park's eagle sanctuary will be featured in an upcoming episode of The Travel Channel's Road Trip series in a segment to be taped Sunday, and Dolly will been seen recalling Christmas memories from her childhood in a syndicated special titled Happy Holidays America, airing in some markets around Dec. 20.
'Shining' Hair And Fashion I don't know if this was a new special or not, but I saw it for the first time on CMT Tuesday night. Dolly's "Shine" from Little Sparrow was named the No. 8 video on the network's countdown of the 20 Greatest Fashion and Hair Videos. "Pop-ups" provided information on various Dolly facts, including her measurements (40-20-36), Entertainment Tonight debunking the rumor that her breasts are insured for $500,000, and that the clothes worn in her videos are by her exclusive designer, Robert Behar (who also came up with the costumes for For God And Country). The special also chose her as one of the handful of artists singled out for "Signature Style" segments during the program.
More Cover Coverage And Kate Campbell's new CD Twang On A Wire gets some coverage in the Nashville City Paper this week here. As was previously reported here, the album includes covers of the Dolly songs "Down From Dover" and "Touch Your Woman." In the article, Campbell notes: "These are songs that were all very influential to me, both growing up and hearing them on the radio, and later in shaping my own vocal style. Dolly Parton was particularly special. She was the first woman I remember seeing on television who had a particular impact." Get the CD here!
Library Continues To Expand The Dollywood Foundation's Imagination Library literacy project may soon be coming to Meigs County, Tenn., it was reported this week. The program provides one free book per month to every child from birth to age 5 in a participating community whose parents sign up. It is currently operating in well over 200 communities across 32 states. Read more about the latest possible expansion here.
Orlando Holiday The Christmas show at Dolly's Dixie Stampede in Orlando, Fla., got a write-up this week in The Reporter down in the Sunshine State. Read it here.
Dollywood Gears Up For The Holidays Dollywood is in full holiday mode, as the annual Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration kicked off on Saturday. In a statement, Dolly observed: "Christmas is that special time when our hearts long to be with the ones we love. With a little help from our friends at the North Pole, we've transformed Dollywood into a magical winter wonderland where families of all ages can celebrate the season together." New this year is a Multitude Of Angels display, featuring illuminated angels of various shapes and sizes throughout the park. In addition, a nightly non-denominational candle lighting ceremony has been added to the Robert F. Thomas Chapel on the park grounds at 7:15 p.m. The park is aglow in 3.3 million lights, and Santa's Workshop is open with a play area, food and entertainment. A 20-minute acoustic performance of traditional mountain holiday music is offered at the Back Porch Theatre, and a quartet of Victorian carolers in period costume stroll through the park. The popular holiday show Christmas In The Smokies returns, as does the Carol Of The Trees synchronized light Christmas tree. Other items of note include a living Nativity, Christmas favorites by the Kingdom Heirs, Dolly's Heartsong multi-sensory story and a new all-you-can-eat buffet at Aunt Granny's. The festival continues through Dec. 30 and is highlighted by Dolly's sold-out benefit concerts for the Dollywood Foundation on Dec. 12 and 13.
Fan: 'God' Is Awesome A reader last week came across copies of Dolly's Tuesday release For God And Country out in an Indianapolis store a bit early and agrees with the Dollymania review here praising the CD. Tony Gigli notes that the CD is "definitely in the top 5 caliber of Dolly's albums and should be owned by every military veteran, military brat (such as myself), and of course civilian Americans. Dolly has renewed my love and pride of being an American, especially on 'God Bless the U.S.A.', 'Welcome Home' and 'Color Me America.' I also get a kick out of 'Go To Hell' and 'Gee, Ma.'" Thanks! The collection, however, gets a mixed review in Tuesday's USA Today, with the reviewer offering two out of four stars and lamenting that she "apparently saved up all the glitz she left off her recent bluegrass albums for this patriotic collection." Even while criticizing it as "her personal USA revue," the reviewer adds that it features "enough moving performances" to prove her sincerity in recording the album. Read the full review here.Get your copy of the CD here!
'Like A Rolling Stone' Dolly's recent profile in Rolling Stone music magazine's "Women Who Rock" edition gets a couple of mentions in letters from readers in the publication's Nov. 27 issue on newsstands now. Nick Ramsey of Hodgenville, Kenn., was selected as the writer of the edition's favorite letter to the editor, recalling a provocative cover from a few weeks before. "Am I the only one who would have liked to have seen Dolly Parton in the same pose as Britney Spears from two issues back: Shock and awe, indeed," he wrote. And your webmaster got a letter as well, noting: "Thank you for Jancee Dunn's wonderful profile of the ultimate diva, Dolly Parton. It concisely captured her wit, outrageous personality, and the talent, drive and determination that have made her the living legend she is today. Thanks for helping to show that country girls rock, too!"
A Brief Hiatus There will be no site updates for the next few days, as your webmaster will be out of town on business, but a full recap of the week's news (including her appearances this week on The Early Show, David Letterman and Conan O'Brien) will be posted upon returning on Friday.
CMT: Dolly's Fashion No. 1 Dolly was named No. 1 in CMT's 40 Greatest Fashion Statements on Friday night. She made several appearances throughout the show, including photos shown during segments on rhinestones, wearing pants tucked into boots, miniskirts, shoulder pads and big hair. Nearly all of the 40 "statements" were either generalized areas (such as blue jeans or hats) or one specific fashion by a particular star (such as Natalie Maines' "FUTK" tee-shirt, Kenny Rogers' hair style or No. 2 pick, Shania Twain's mid-drift), but luminaries Dolly, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson each garnered picks in the top 10 for their overall style and personalities. About Dolly, the commentators recounted her jokes about it costing a lot to look so cheap and that she modeled her look after the town tramp, which was her country idea of glamour. And Comedy Central critic Frank DeCaro noted: "All you have to say is Dolly . . . Dolly is an American treasure, and what a treasure!" The network's Web site on Saturday asked readers who they believed was the most fashionable artist, but Dolly didn't fare so well in the poll. Shania Twain was tops with 75 percent, followed by Keith Urban at 11 percent, Faith Hill at 6 percent, Kenny Chesney at 5 percent and Dolly at 3 percent.
Grammy Preview Submissions are in for next year's Grammy Awards, and various labels have put Dolly in a good bit for consideration. I'm told that she's been entered in the Best Country Female Vocal Performance category for "I'm Gone" from Halos & Horns, an honor she most recently won for "Shine" in 2002. And there are several songs submitted for the Best Country Collaboration With Vocals category, which she last won with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris in 2001 for "After The Goldrush:" "Leave That Cowboy Alone" with Ray Benson from Beyond Time, "Dixie Darling" with Arlo Guthrie from Banjoman: A Tribute To Derroll Adams, "The Angels Rejoiced" with Sonya Issacs from Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, and "Falling Out Of Love With Me" with Pinmonkey from their debut album Pinmonkey. Preliminary voting will soon narrow the categories down before final nominees are announced Dec. 4 and ballots sent out to determine next year's winners. Thanks!
Reading About Dolly The current issue of Reader's Digest features an article on today's country music, focusing primarily on the biggest-selling stars of the genre, including Faith Hill, Shania Twain and Toby Keith. It also includes a brief profile of several newcomers and three legends: Reba, Willie Nelson and Dolly, noting her upcoming patriotic album, her soon-to-be-filmed Mae West telepic and philanthropic endeavors for childhood literacy and eagle preservation.
Paper: 'Islands' In Top 50 A new poll from the British paper The Telegraph rates the 50 best duets of all time, with Kenny Rogers and Dolly's "Islands In The Stream" coming in at No. 50. The critics noted that "its huge success was probably due to the fact that it's not really a country song at all, but a country-pop-soul crossover tune. The voices are a good match, the harmonies perfect; it's simple, cuddly, and reassuringly warm." Singled out as the song's "key moment" is Dolly's "Oh, come sail away with me," with which the paper said "Dolly lets her voice fly." No. 1 was Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra's "Some Velvet Morning" from 1968. Read the full list here.
More Press On Duet The Atlanta Constitution-Journal on Friday had an article on Aaron Crisler's duet with Dolly on her gospel tune "High And Mighty" from his debut album In Good Hands. Read it here.
Milwaukee Fan Gets Notice The November issue of Milwaukee Magazine features a great article on Dolly fan, poet and comedian Stephen Powers, who performs under the name Trevor Austen. It discusses his travels to see Dolly all over the country and the book of poetry he will soon publish chronicling those trips titled Chasing Dolly. Even Dollymania gets a mention :)
Big Dolly Week! Just a reminder that this kicks off another major promotion week for Dolly! Her new patriotic and spiritual CD For God And Country hits stores on Tuesday (get your copy here!) and she'll be all over TV to promote it. She'll kick things off with an appearance on CBS' The Early Show, which airs at 7 a.m. Eastern, on Wednesday. Then she's scheduled to appear on the network's The Late Show With David Letterman that night (11:35 p.m. Eastern Wednesday). Finally, she's to be on NBC's Late Night With Conan O'Brien, airing at 12:35 a.m. Eastern Friday morning/11:35 p.m. Central Thursday night, with repeats at noon and 6 p.m. Eastern on Friday on Comedy Central.
Nov. 8: CCMA Results Awards from the Christian Country Music Association were handed out Thursday night, and, unfortunately, Dolly didn't receive one for any of the four categories in which she was nominated. Randy Travis won Mainstream Artist Of The Year, for which she was nominated, and Song Of The Year, for which she was nominated with Dottie Rambo for "Stand By The River." While Rambo picked up the Songwriter Of The Year honor and Pioneer Award, the pair lost to Twice Robin for Duo Of The Year and Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten" for Video Of The Year.
On The Airwaves I'm told that some radio stations have picked up the live version of "The Grass Is Blue" by Dolly and Norah Jones from Wednesday's CMA Awards and are playing it on the air. One reader from Greenville, S.C., said two local stations there have added the song to their regular rotation lists. Thanks, James!
On Display As was previously reported here, Annie Leibovitz' new collection of photographs of newcomers and legends in music, including Dolly, premieres Saturday at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. The exhibit remains open through Jan. 19.
These Boots Were Made For Showin' A pair of Dolly's stage boots are on display in a new exhibit of cowboy boots at the Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum in Denver, Colo. Others with their footwear on exhibit include Presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, and entertainers Joan Jett, Marty Stewart and two sets each from Elvis Presley and cowboy legends Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, including a diamond-studded set commemorating their 50th wedding anniversary. Read more here.
Fashion Fabulous CMT's 40 Greatest Fashion Statements premieres at 9 p.m. Eastern Friday night with repeats throughout the week, and Dolly apparently will rank fairly high, as the network is using a mid-1970s shot of her in a multi-colored outfit on the front page of its Web site to advertise the program, and her appearance to perform "He's Alive" at the 1989 CMA Awards is the first photo in its flip-book for the show. Take a look here.
On Another Chart Dolly's "I'm Gone" from Halos & Horns takes the No. 1 spot this week in the IndieWorldCountry independent labels country singles chart.
Hometown Boy Gets Notice The Marietta Daily Journal in Georgia had a story Friday about local resident Aaron Crisler's debut solo album which features a duet with Dolly on her gospel number "High And Mighty." Read it here and get the CD from Crisler's Web site here.
Good News, Even If A Little Late In a story about two weeks ago in Britain's The Guardian newspaper, Dolly was named by its music critics as the 12th greatest music performer in the U.S. today, I've just learned. They wrote: "There was a time when you couldn't see the words Dolly Parton and credibility in the same sentence. Yes, she wrote some extraordinarily moving ballads (not least Jolene). But then she floundered. Thankfully, Parton has since returned to her Appalachian roots for three beguiling bluegrass albums that proved once again she is the queen of country. Not that she has abandoned kitsch altogether: Dollywood proves that it is possible to be serious about making music and utterly ridiculous about the fame it brings." On a scale of 1-to-20, they gave her sound a 16, songs an 18, gigs a 14, style a 12 and attitude a 10 for a total score of 70 out of 100. Trio partner Emmylou Harris came in at No. 38 and was the only other "mainstream" country artist included in their 40 selections. "Fringe" country acts on the list were Lambchop at 10, Will Oldham at 19, Wilco at 21, Calexio at 25 and Steve Earle at 31. The ones ahead of Dolly, from No. 11 to No. 1, were The Strokes, Lambchop, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Eminem, The White Stripes (whose cover of "Jolene" is considered their best live performance), The Neptunes, Timbaland, OutKast and The Flaming Lips topping the list.
Nov. 7: Tribute CD Holding On In U.S. The tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton loses five spots to No. 16 on the Nov. 15 country albums chart in its third week, Billboard announced Thursday, but I would expect a sharp spike in sales when next week's numbers are released following her appearance on Oprah and the CMA Awards. The collection gains one notch to No. 7 on the independents list and drops 23 places to No. 125 on the pop albums chart. Ultimate Dolly Parton gains three to No. 70 for its 22nd chart week. Alan Jackson's Greatest Hits Volume 2 remains steady at No. 1 country for a 11th week and No. 25 pop in its 12th chart week, while Toby Keith's Unleashed inches up two to No. 2 country and 20 spots to No. 45 pop in its 67th chart week.
Climbing In Canada In its third week up north, the tribute album moves up five places to No. 46 this week on the Canadian country albums chart, it was announced Thursday.
CMA Coverage Continues Dolly's CMA Awards duet with Norah Jones on "The Grass Is Blue" earned a lot of ink in post-awards coverage on Wednesday. CMT.com, which has a picture of Dolly from the awards here, called the pairing "a grand triumph, with Parton's lilting mountain voice a perfect counterpoint to Jones' dusky and simmering lower register" in a story here. The site's main page here was also asking Wednesday what readers thought was the best performance of the night, but Dolly and Norah were coming in next-to-last as of Wednesday evening with just 4 percent of the vote; leading was Shania Twain with 79 percent, followed by Toby Keith with 8 percent and the Johnny Cash tribute with 6 percent, with show host Vince Gill last at 3 percent. The Dallas Morning Newshere said Dolly and Norah constituted the night's best performance. The Chicago Sun Timeshere said it was "heartfelt," and the Nashville City Paperhere called it "creatively intriguing." Finally, Nashville's The Tennessean observed here: "But the inspired performance and pairing of the night award should go to Dolly Parton and Norah Jones for singing a sublime duet on Dolly's song 'The Grass Is Blue.' The way Dolly tempered her big, brassy voice to blend with the velvety Jones was merely the latest of a million ways in which she's a stunning talent and a gracious pro, too." View additional photos of Dolly from the event, like the one at left, on Dollymaniahere. (Image by John Russell. Courtesy Country Music Association. Used with permission.)
Another Awards Show As of the time of this posting Wednesday night, winners had not been announced in the Christian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards. Dolly is one of the night's most-nominated artists, being up for Mainstream Artist Of The Year as well as Vocal Duo Of The Year with Dottie Rambo and Song Of The Year and Video Of The Year for her duet of "Stand By The River" with Rambo. The awards are being shown live on the Great American Country (GAC) network. Dolly was not scheduled to appear on the show, but Rambo was to perform the night's finale. In addition, a No. 1 party was held for the duet at Maxwell Millennium House in Nashville on Monday, with an award presented to Rambo for the song hitting the top spot on the CCMA's Power Source monthly countdown back in December. Dolly wasn't present, but an award will be presented to her for the achievement at a later date. Rambo thanked everyone for the attention the song had received and joked, "'Course you know I just had to drag Dolly up to the number one spot with me since she ain't famous at all!" After laughing, she added, "I love Dolly and her heart is as beautiful as her singing!"
Dolly Relation In Music Mega-Merger RCA parent company Bertelsmann AG and Sony Corp. announced Wednesday that Sony Music will merge with BMG to form the new Sony BMG label. What does this mean for Dolly fans? Well, it could mean a lot for the myriad compilation CDs of her music that come out because if the merger goes through, nearly her entire career recordings will be owned by one label. Sony about 20 years ago outbid Dolly on purchasing the bankrupt Monument label, where she recorded from 1965 through 1967, and Sony had purchased Columbia Records before Dolly started recording there, which covered 1987 through 1995. Finally, BMG owns RCA Records, which was her home from 1968 through 1985. Consequently, other than the handful of songs she recorded as a teen-ager before moving to Nashville in 1964, her Trio recordings with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris and her albums released over the past seven years, her entire career catalogue will be in the hands of the new label.
Lawsuit Press The decision of Dollywood to end free admission for the disabled due to a lawsuit against the policy made the syndicated program Celebrity Justice on Wednesday, I'm told. A brief story on the policy change featured clips of Dolly from several past opening weekends at the park and noted, "Everyone will have to pay the $40 admission for a day of Dolly." As has been previously reported, the park on Jan. 1 will cease offering complimentary admission to the handicapped to settle a lawsuit brought by a disgruntled patron who alleged special treatment of those with disabilities violated federal law. Thanks, Jimmy!
'Rolling' Mindy Rolling Stone on Wednesday night offered a great little story on Mindy Smith, who performs "Jolene" on Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton, including her tale of how Dolly reacted to her version of the classic. Read it here. Smith's cut is the album's first single and video.
Nov. 6: Martina Wins Martina McBride bested Dolly in Wednesday night's Country Music Association Awards, taking home the Female Vocalist Of The Year trophy for the second year in a row. It was her third win in the category, for which Dolly, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless and Terri Clark had also been nominated. It was Dolly's first nod in the category in 16 years, and she last won it in 1976. In accepting her award, McBride said it was an honor to be nominated with four of the genre's best performers, noting: "Dolly Parton, my God, I mean, she's my Female Vocalist Of The Year every year," before adding praise for each of the other nominees. Dolly did a superb job singing "The Grass Is Blue" with Norah Jones, opening with Dolly singing her original version, then a chord change as Jones performed her jazzy cover from the Dolly tribute album, and then Dolly joined back in to sing harmony with the Grammy darling, ending the song to a standing ovation. The late Johnny Cash was the biggest winner of the night. Cash, who died Sept. 12 and was honored with an all-star tribute during the telecast from Nashville, won Music Video Of The Year and Single Of The Year for "Hurt," Album Of The Year for American IV: The Man Comes Around and the Irving Waugh Award for Excellence, only the fourth time that award has been presented. Alan Jackson took home Entertainer Of The Year, Male Vocalist Of The Year and Vocal Event Of The Year with Jimmy Buffett for "It's Five O'clock Somewhere." Floyd Cramer and Carl Smith were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Other winners were Brooks and Dunn, Vocal Duo Of The Year; "Three Wooden Crosses," written by Doug Johnson and Kim Williams, Song Of The Year; Rascall Flatts, Vocal Group Of The Year (they presented their award to Alabama), Joe Nichols, Horizon Award; and Randy Scruggs, Musician Of The Year. British fans may catch the awards show being broadcast at 11:30 p.m. Saturday on BBC2. Thanks, Lindsay! And see some awesome Reuters shots of Dolly and Norah on stage from Yahoo here. Thanks, Greg!
CMA Night Is Here! Predictions continued to come out Wednesday for that night's CMA Awards, in which Dolly is nominated for Female Vocalist Of The Year and will perform "The Grass Is Blue" with Norah Jones (check back here after the awards for a recap). USA Today said here that while its critics feel Martina McBride will be the most likely winner and Patty Loveless deserves the trophy, that a Dolly victory is not out of the question. And The Tennessean repeated here its prediction, this time by three critics, that Martina will walk away with the prize. The awards air live on CBS at 8 p.m. Eastern Wednesday night.
CBS Recap Dolly was effervescent on CBS' The Early Show on Wednesday morning, talking about her CMA nomination (she said she doesn't expect to win but is glad to be nominated), her performance at the ceremony with Jones, the tribute album, her songwriting and more. Clips from her videos for "Dagger Through The Heart" and "I'm Gone" were shown as well as brief footage from her rehearsal with Jones for the awards show. Video of the complete interview, with a written recap, is available on the network's Web site here. It was also announced Wednesday that Dolly will return to the program next week, currently scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 12, to perform live on the air.
Dolly Is BMI's ICON Dolly was honored by one of the nation's two major songwriters' organizations Tuesday night with the BMI ICON Award for her songwriting genius. According to CMT.com, Lee Ann Womack performed "Jolene" in Dolly's honor, followed by praise given by Kris Kristofferson and Porter Wagoner, concluding with an acoustic performance of "I Will Always Love You" by Vince Gill. The site quoted BMI President and CEO Frances W. Preston saying Dolly has "got the words of a poet, the voice of an angel and the body of a goddess. She's a true renaissance woman." In accepting the trophy, an engraved silver loving cup, Dolly said: "Oh, a silver bucket! What an honor to get a silver bucket and to hear all these wonderful things. You have a dream as a little kid and wake up every day and do your thing and hope it comes true." Read their re-cap, and see a flip-book of the night's events, here. And The Tennessean reported Dolly reacted to the honor by saying: "'Whoever knows what's going to happen in life? You have a dream and you kind of wake up everyday and do your thing and hope it comes true." Read their re-cap here, and view a couple more images like the one at left (courtesy BMI) here. In addition, while I have not seen it reported elsewhere, BMI this week also updated the award status of two Dolly classics. 1980's "9 To 5" was certified with a Three Million-Air Award, recognizing 3 million broadcasts of the song in the United States, and her signature song "I Will Always Love You" was upgraded to a Six Million-Air Award, joining only five other songs registered with BMI with at least 6 million broadcasts in the U.S. (The others are "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" with 7 million and "Never My Love," "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay," "Stand By Me" and "Yesterday.")
Helping Another Charity Voices In The Laurel, a regional children's choir in North Carolina, will have an autographed designer apron from Dolly as well as a trip to Dollywood on the auction block at its fall benefit at the Waynesville Country Club Nov. 16. Other celebrities who have signed aprons include Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Harvey, Dave Berry, Bonnie Raitt and Sammy Hagar. Call 828.734.8521 for more information, and read a story in the Smoky Mountain Newshere.
Nov. 5: 'Oprah' Recap Dolly was as amazing as ever on Tuesday's The Oprah Winfrey Show. The episode opened with Shania and her life story. When Oprah mentioned that she and Dolly would be singing together, Shania said, "This is my lifelong dream," adding as she teared up: "This is one of the moments I wish my mother was here." She commented what a great country artist Dolly is but that she transcends a genre, saying she is "just a soul artist." Introducing her before they sang "Coat Of Many Colors," Shania said: "This is my hero, my musical and personal hero of all time." Returning from commercial, Oprah noted that she works out to Dolly's version of "Peace Train" almost every day. Dolly covered topics including plastic surgery, her depression in the mid-1980s, her marriage and the tribute album ("It makes me feel a little old, but it makes you feel very proud.") Then Melissa Etheridge joined the group to sing "I Will Always Love You" with Dolly. She was interviewed about her recent marriage ceremony, to which Shania quipped that she just got married but "here you are flirting with Dolly!" Dolly chimed in that Melissa had earlier asked her if she believed in same-sex marriage and that she replied, "Hell yeah," adding that gay people should have just as much right to be miserable in marriage as everyone else. During the couch talk, Dolly even attempted her "pec flex," and although it shocked Oprah to death, the results weren't as dramatic as on Jay Leno last month because her dress was too tight, she said. On Oprah After The Show, shown on the Oxygen network, the trio took questions from the audience. You may view about 10 minutes of that program online here, although it does not include Dolly's performance of "9 To 5" with Alison Krauss which was taped during the program and broadcast on Oxygen.
CMA Talk Commentators are continuing to predict that Martina McBride will walk away with the CMA Female Vocalist Of The Year trophy Wednesday night, but most are giving Dolly her props for being a contender in this year's nominees. The Tennessean commented here: "Is there a more recognizable female country singer on the planet than Dolly? She's approaching 60, but she's remained relevant and vibrant, not by reinventing herself as so many long-lived stars do, but by being her own charming, down-home, uptown self." Other stories include those from the Detroit Free Presshere and Louisville Scenehere. Watch the awards show, featuring Dolly's duet with Norah Jones on "The Grass Is Blue," live on CBS at 8 p.m. Eastern Wednesday, and don't forget to catch Dolly being interviewed from Nashville by correspondent Hannah Storm on CBS' The Early Show Wednesday morning. In other CBS news, it appears that Dolly's appearance on the network's The Late Show With David Letterman to promote next week's release of For God And Country has been moved back one day to Nov. 12.
Nov. 4: BMI To Honor Dolly Dolly will receive the prestigious BMI ICON award on Tuesday, the songwriters' licensing organization announced on Monday. The honor will be presented at the 51st annual BMI Country Awards in Nashville for her"unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers." In her career, Dolly has received 37 BMI Awards in both the country and pop fields, starting with her first industry honor, a BMI Country Award in 1966 for her song "Put It Off Until Tomorrow" as recorded by Bill Phillips being one of the genre's most played cuts of the year. She also received the Robert J. Burton Award for Most Performed Country Song Of The Year for "9 To 5" in 1981. Her most recent BMI honor was the Quintuple Million-Air Award in 1998, recognizing 5 million broadcasts of her classic "I Will Always Love You." Previous ICON winners are Bill Anderson, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Isaac Hayes, Little Richard and the Motown songwriting trio Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland. Read the full press release, and see some great archival shots of Dolly at the awards ceremony through the years, here.
More 'Oprah,' CMA Coverage The Toronto Sun on Monday had a wonderful interview with Dolly, including talk of Tuesday's broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show and how both she and Shania Twain started crying as Shania spoke of the inspiration brought to her life by "Coat Of Many Colors," which they perform on the broadcast. It also includes some discussion of her appearance with Norah Jones on Wednesday night's CMA Awards on CBS and next week's U.S.-only release of For God And Country. Read the full story here.
New Reviews Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton continues to heat up the reviewers' columns. The Dallas Morning News on Sunday gave the collection a "B+," calling it a "top-notch celebration of the Tennessee native's original music" and saying "every track's a keeper." Singled out as the collection's best are cuts by Shelby Lynne, Kasey Chambers and Allison Moorer as well as Dolly's own "powerful re-recording" of the title track. Read the full review here. Thanks, Mark!
And the Dallas Observer last week said the selection of songs which aren't known to many in the pop field show they were "picked with care, rather than simply for familiarity." Melissa Etheridge's cover of "I Will Always Love You" is said to get "the treatment it deserves" as opposed to Whitney Houston's "butchered" version, and others noted for their quality contributions include Joan Osborne, Kasey Chambers, Sinead O'Connor and Me'Shell NdegéOcello. Read it here.
I'm told by a reader who took a United Airlines flight on Sunday night that he was pleasantly surprised to find that the airline is offering travelers in November an entire in-flight audio channel dedicated to Dolly. It includes the entire tribute album and "I'm Gone" from Halos & Horns, he said. Thanks, John!
Another Appearance According to Sugar Hill Records, Dolly will appear on an upcoming edition of CBS News Sunday Morning. Although a date has not been announced, I would guess it to be either this Sunday or next to promote next week's release of For God And Country.
Lawsuit Settlement Details Revealed The Kingsport Times-News in northeast Tennessee on Monday reported a few details of the lawsuit settlement reached between Dollywood and the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce this summer. According to the newspaper's story (which appears to be very slanted in favor of the Chamber), a settlement notice was filed in the case last week in U.S. District Court in Greeneville, Tenn. The suit centered around a claim that Dollywood's use of the name "Kidz Fun Fest" for its new annual children-themed summer festival infringed on the copyright of "Fun Fest" used by the Chamber for its annual music festival. The Chamber's CEO said that in the settlement Dollywood admitted it had improperly used the name "Fun Fest," agreed not to use it any longer and agreed to pay the Chamber's legal fees in the case. He added that the park and the Chamber are in talks to jointly market the two festivals next year. Late last year, Dollywood began marketing the "Kidz Fun Fest" project to its season ticket holders. In January, Chamber officials learned of the similar name and complained. Even though thousands of other events across the nation, including some much older than the Kingsport festival, use the term "Fun Fest," making it very difficult to hold up in court as a copyrighted slogan, Dollywood chose to avoid controversy by dropping the name, re-naming the festival "KidsFest" in February and re-designing its logo. All material produced by the park after that time carried the new name. The Chamber, however, argued that the park never responded to any of its requests, refused to change the name and continued to market the event as "Kidz Fun Fest," even though no evidence of that claim has ever been produced to my knowledge. In May, three months after the park appears to have completely stopped using the name, the Chamber filed suit in federal court alleging copyright infringement. The suit was settled in July, days before the Kingsport festival began. Several in the community wrote letters to the editor to the local papers arguing that the chamber was simply seeking free publicity for its festival and seemed to get what it wanted out of the situation. Read the paper's story on the settlement here. Thanks, Debbie!
And the CD gets a stunning review in Sunday's Savannah Morning News, with a reviewer calling it "a highly recommended entrée" to Dolly's legendary career and saying Dolly's new recording of the title track is "a must-have for any Dollyphile." Read it here.
Dolly is also mentioned in the Nov. 7 issue of Entertainment Weekly, I'm told. The magazine features a photo of her from last year's CMA Awards with a note about her performance with Norah Jones on "The Grass Is Blue" at this year's event Wednesday night in the "What To Watch" section, and a brief review of Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton gives the collection an "A-." Thanks, Solomon!
Dolly In Print I'm told that the new issue of People magazine, dated Nov. 10, features an article on Dolly in which she talks about the different eras in her life. It is titled "Here She Comes Again: Dolly Parton looks back on 40 years of hard times, hit songs and plenty of hairspray." Thanks, Bridget!
TV Reminders Remember that Dolly will be all over the tube in these next two weeks! She, Shania Twain, Alison Krauss and Melissa Etheridge are featured in a tribute to Dolly episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show on Tuesday afternoon. She is also scheduled to appear on CBS' The Early Show Wednesday morning and will perform live on the CMA Awards on CBS Wednesday night. And be sure to catch her in CMT's 40 Greatest Fashion Statements, premiering on Friday night. Next week, she'll be making the rounds again to promote the release of For God And Country, with appearances scheduled on The Late Show With David Letterman on CBS Nov. 11 and NBC's Late Night With Conan O'Brien on Nov. 13.
Nov. 1: 'God' E-Card Posted, Hear Samples Welk Music Group has posted a new e-card for Dolly's Nov. 11 release For God And Country. By visiting it, you may hear a special message from Dolly on the project, listen to samples of all 18 cuts, enter a contest to win an autographed copy of the CD and take a peak at some of the great photos included with it. Visit the e-card here! And reserve your copy of this awesome CD here!
Scary, Ain't It! I thought the pic I doctored up at left might give y'all a little Halloween laugh (or fright), but it's based in truth. Keanu Reeves' mother, Patric Taylor, was a seamstress and costume designer who worked for many stars, including Dolly, in the 1970s, and according to Contact Music, she put together the costume for Dolly's 1978 Playboy cover shoot which Dolly had designed herself based on the magazine's famous Bunnies. Well, Reeves says, Dolly returned the outfit to his mom after she was done with it, and a couple of years later a 16-year-old Keanu wore it as his Halloween costume, complete with sneakers and fishnet stockings.
Library Continues To Expand Fordland, Mo., recently kicked off its participation in Dolly's Imagination Library program, a project of the Dollywood Foundation which provides one free book per month to every child in a participating community from birth to age five whose parents sign up. The program, which is active in more than 200 communities across 32 states, is sponsored there by the local Parent Teacher Organization, Fordland Parents and Teachers and the Greater Seymour Area Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. Read a story from the Webster County Citizenhere. It's also coming to Adams County, Ind., according to a story in the Decatur Daily Democrat, and the program is sponsored there by the Adams County Literacy Council and the Adams County Community Foundation. Read a story here.
Order 'High And Mighty' Duet Aaron Crisler's Web site has an order page where you may get his debut album In Good Hands, which includes the new duet with Dolly on her gospel number "High And Mighty." Order it here!
A Correction An astute reader caught an error in Thursday night's report on the new Billboard chart standings. It appears I confused the country albums position for the tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: Songs Of Dolly Parton with its independent labels album chart position. The report should have read that it fell five places to No. 11 country and three on the indie side to No. 8. My apologies for the error. Thanks, Adam!