Nov. 30: Last Atlanta Shots, Fla. Papers Love Dolly Dolly's sold-out concert Monday night in Clearwater, Fla., (the Tampa Bay area) made fans out of all the critics, apparently, as several local newspapers offered glowing reviews on Tuesday. The Tampa Tribune said here that Dolly is the rare performer who can convincingly "move from the rustic simplicity of 'My Tennessee Mountain Home' to the splashy, determinedly middle-of-the-road pop of '9 to 5' to the bubble-gum psychedelia of Tommy James and The Shondells' 'Crimson and Clover,' adding that several of her new covers were "downright revelatory." The nearby St. Petersburg Timeshere reviewed how she seems to appear as all things to all people and was so good and sweet that "it's hard to be too critical." Ft. Lauderdale's Sun Sentinelhere called her "a frighteningly precise vocalist" but said that she tends to gravitate toward the "big, brassy, crowd-pleasing variety." All three said the best parts of the night were her slower, mountain songs, but noted that most everything else was good, too! And The Palm Beach Post raved here about Sunday's Boca Raton show, noting she had the energy "of a woman half her age" and that although it rained, "even if the sky had been crystal clear, Parton still would have been the brightest star in Boca on Sunday night."
What should be the final Dollymania galleries from Friday's Atlanta show have been posted in that section of the site here, including the shot at upper left. They include two new galleries of Dolly, one set of photos from backstage submitted by readers and two galleries dedicated to the show's opening act, The Grascals. Image copyright T. Duane Gordon/www.dollymania.net.
Some really good seats in the previously-sold-out first, second and third sections of the Nokia Theatre in Dallas were released for sale Tuesday at Ticketmaster. For quite some time, those sections had been sold out for Thursday's concert, leaving only seats in the back section for sale.
As was reported here months ago, while in Dallas Dolly will also headline a fund-raiser for local arts organization Dallas Summer Musicals. The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday profiled Friday's charity event. While the $1,000 tickets for the show are sold out, the paper said that a few $500 tickets remain for sale at 214-890-4220. Read more here.
After the two Dallas engagements, the tour next moves to Birmingham on Saturday and Little Rock next Tuesday, tickets for which are on sale via Ticketmaster.
Dolly-Related Film Honored Although the Independent Spirit Awards for independent films don't have an award for music, a new film for which Dolly has contributed a song snagged nominations in three categories Tuesday. Transamerica garnered nominations for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay as well as a nomination for Best Female Lead for Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman. Huffman has also been touted in the press as a possible Oscar contender for the film, which opens next month, and Dolly's song for the closing credits, "Travelin' Thru," is also getting some possible Academy Award buzz as well.
Boxed Set With Dolly Cut Plugged USA Today on Monday profiled some recent boxed set releases, including One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Groups, Lost And Found, the Rhino Records collection which includes Dolly's amazing 1966 Monument single "Don't Drop Out." The article, available here, notes its track listings are included in an enclosed "Diary" which also contains essays from music critics and comments from the singers themselves, including Dolly, who notes that four decades after the song urging a boyfriend to not drop out of school, she is still working on programs to educate young people and keep children in school.
'From Russia With Love' After the Moscow Circus lit up Dollywood's Festival of Nations to start the 2005 season, another group from Russia arrives this weekend for its final seasonal festival. The Moscow Boys Choir performs in the Showstreet Palace Theatre Saturday and Sunday as part of the park's International Sounds of Christmas concert series in its Smoky Mountain Christmas festival. The von Trapp Children opened the series earlier this month, and it continues Dec. 8-11 with A Celtic Yuletide from Ireland and Dec. 15-18 with Vinok Worldance from Canada. A Smoky Mountain Christmas continues through the park's closing on Dec. 30. (And don't forget to renew your season pass for 2006 before prices go up in March! Also, for the first time two-year renewals are being offered -- to make your pass good through 2007 -- at the pre-season 2006 price. That offer, which also includes a coupon booklet, is only available from www.dollywood.com and ends Jan. 31.)
Nov. 29: 'Imagine' Video Online, TV Premiere Thursday CMT.com on Monday made available online Dolly's video for her cover of John Lennon's "Imagine," shot last month in New York City and also featuring private home movies of Lennon and wife Yoko Ono. Click here to access Dolly's online streaming videos from CMT.com. The video will see its cable broadcast premiere on the network's Top 20 Countdown Thursday afternoon, with repeats throughout the week. (And if you get a chance, why don't you take a minute to offer your opinions of the video on the CMT.com Dolly message boards here, as I understand that the chatter on the boards can impact how much a video gets played on the channel.)
Latest Pics, Reviews Of Tour Additional shots from Dolly's Friday night show in Atlanta have been added to the galleries in that section of the site here, including the one at left. Look for even more to be posted tomorrow night. Image copyright T. Duane Gordon/www.dollymania.net.
I'm told Dolly was as charming as ever in Boca Raton Sunday night, presenting pretty much the same show as in Orlando the night before (I'm told that at both concerts she removed "Turn, Turn, Turn" from the set list). Her effervescent rapport with the crowd was often in evidence, as she interacted with those screaming her name or how much they love her or thanking her for her music. She even brought out her joke that country radio was once like a great lover who a few years back "dumped my ass for younger women." The crowd, estimated at 3,000, was a near-sell-out. The Miami Herald provided an excellent review of the show here Monday. Special thanks to Jenny, who got to fulfill her dream to see Dolly live for the first time ever after only a few short weeks after moving to the U.S.!
The tour was playing a sold-out engagement in Clearwater, Fla., Monday night and next moves to Dallas on Thursday, tickets for which remain available at Ticketmaster, but only on the left and right sides of the back level of seats, as the venue appears to be a little more than 80 percent sold out. After a charity concert in Dallas on Friday, Dolly will motor over to Birmingham for Saturday's show, for which the floor and first raised level are sold out but the second raised level still has plenty of open seats remaining.
Dolly Dulcimer Up For Bids ABC's Good Morning America on Monday kicked off its eBay auctions to benefit the Salvation Army's Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in co-anchor Robin Roberts's hometown of Pass Christian, Miss., including offering Dolly's autographed dulcimer which she donated to the project when she appeared on the television program last month. The auction, which also includes in this package an autographed photograph and certificate of authenticity, continues through Dec. 8. Place your bid here!
Bluegrass Update The new Bluegrass Unlimited charts are out for December, and The Grascals see their self-titled debut CD featuring Dolly on "Viva Las Vegas" slide down one to No. 4 for December. It had peaked at No. 2 a couple of months back. The song "Viva Las Vegas," however, falls out of the 30-position singles chart, down from No. 19 in November. It had previously peaked at No. 10 in the magazine's singles tally.
Overseas Charts Two Dolly tracks are getting some airplay overseas, according to the new European CMA charts. Its top 20 country singles airplay chart for Spain includes Dolly's take on "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me" with the Bellamy Brothers from their Angels & Outlaws, Vol. 1 CD coming in at No. 9, while in France the top 20 country singles airplay chart has Dolly's duet on "The Blues Man" with George Jones from his Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't entering at No. 19.
Dolly In Print I'm told Dolly has a Q&A about the new CD, Those Were The Days, in the new issue of People magazine which started arriving in subscribers' mailboxes Monday. Thanks, Jeff!
Nov. 28: Tour Burns Up 'Hotlanta,' Florida Dolly and opening act The Grascals shined and shimmered on stage in Atlanta Friday night, making a triumphant return to kick off the final leg of "The Vintage Tour." Among the tid-bits from Georgia: Her video for "Imagine" will include personal home movies of songwriter John Lennon provided by widow Yoko Ono, and it should be on the music stations within the week. Start your official Dollymania coverage, including a review and photos, here! More galleries from the show will be posted in coming days. Image at left copyright T. Duane Gordon/www.dollymania.net.
The Orlando Sentinel on Sunday offered a great review here, including a 13-photo flip-book from the sold-out concert there Saturday night. The readers who wrote in to the site after the show tell me the crowd absolutely loved Dolly, and she seemed to really feed off of their energy. Returned to the show were "Little Sparrow," which she hasn't performed in concert for several weeks, and "These Old Bones," which was removed from her Atlanta concert. She also mentioned the show was being taped (so perhaps we may see another live CD or DVD, or maybe television special sometime down the road!). Prior to the concert, she held a brief meet-and-greet with the employees of her Orlando Dixie Stampede, I'm told, and took photos with some special guests outside of the Stampede. At the concert itself, though, I'm told that many in the audience had never been to a House of Blues, which nationwide tend to cater to a fairly young crowd and feature almost exclusively standing-only general admission concerts, so they were not prepared to stand for the entire show. There was also apparently a problem with the heating/air conditioning system in the venue, which caused its interior to be much warmer than usual, and these two factors apparently caused some difficulties for the older fans in attendance. Thanks to those who wrote in! She was to play Boca Raton on Sunday night, but that show probably was just ending as of the time of this update Sunday night, so no one had written in with any comments.
The Florida shows were previewed over the weekend with an interview in The Miami Heraldhere (which finds Dolly talking about her age, food and why some of her older albums may not have stood the test of time even though several songs from each are now classics) and an overview of her career in The Bradenton Heraldhere.
The tour next moves to Clearwater, Fla., for a sold out engagement Monday night and then Thursday on to Dallas, where tickets remain available via Ticketmaster.
Up A Bit Down Under Those Were The Days by Dolly gains a bit on the Australian country albums chart this week, rising two places No. 8 for its seventh chart week, it was announced Sunday.
And On Some Other Charts Here's this week's update on the unofficial and minor charts. The Indie World Country independent labels singles chart sees Dolly's "Both Sides Now" from Those Were The Days rising three to No. 35, and her duet with Brad Paisley on "When I Get Where I'm Going" from his disc Time Well Wasted gains one to No. 23 on the Roughstock Country Chart.
From One Songwriter To Another Dolly's frequent duet partner Kenny Rogers paid her the ultimate compliment, disguised as a bit of a joke, on his CMT Crossroads concert with Lionel Richie which aired over the weekend. In introducing his song, "Sweet Music Man," he commented on it being recorded by several other artists, including Reba, Anne Murray and Dolly. Then he added: "For a songwriter, there's nothing greater than knowing your song has passed through Dolly Parton's lungs at least once." Thanks, Bridget!
Stylin' Dolly Dolly is slated to appear on designer Isaac Mizrahi's new talk show, Isaac, on -- appropriately enough -- the Style Network, it was announced over the weekend. The show lists her as a guest for its Dec. 5 episode, which premieres at 7 p.m. Eastern and repeats throughout the week.
'I'm Goin' To Dollywood!' Knoxville News-Sentinel columnist Terry Morrow reported over the weekend on Melissa Etheridge's trip to Dollywood earlier this year in celebration of the end of her breast cancer treatments. Etheridge originally disclosed the trip on Dateline NBC a little over a month ago, but the article here provides a few additional details.
Library Notes Dolly's Imagination Library is celebrating its first anniversary in the small south Florida community of Miami Lakes, The Miami Herald noted here on Friday. In Nashville's The Tennessean, there was also a lot of weekend coverage of the program. One of the paper's subsidiaries, The Fairview Observer, reported here on its expansion into Williamson County, but another story in parent publication The Tennesseanhere presented a story on critics who don't think the program, which is supported in Tennessee with grants from the state to pay for half of its costs in each county, should be provided free of charge to residents of the state's wealthiest county, Williamson. It also featured the program's defenders, who point out it was created and expanded statewide under the premise that it didn't single out poor children alone to receive books and why its aim is to provide books to all children, regardless of income. Finally, the issue also features a profile here focusing on the inquiries which officials receive on a regular basis from other states interested in possibly replicating Tennessee's model for the program.
Nov. 25: 'Going' Enters Top 20 Country, Top 90 Pop Likely thanks to the attention from Brad Paisley singing it -- albeit without Dolly -- on the CMA Awards, their duet of "When I Get Where I'm Going" makes it into the country top 20 and officially enters two of the pop charts in the Dec. 3 editions, Billboard announced Thursday. The tune rises three to No. 20 on the country singles tally for its ninth week to become Dolly's 73rd credited top 20 hit on the country side. The song also enters the magazine's Hot 100 chart, which combines airplay and single sales for all music radio stations nationwide and is commonly referred to as the U.S. "pop" chart. It debuts there at No. 81, Dolly's highest position on that list since "Romeo" went to No. 50 back in 1993. Previously, the song had been on the "Bubbling Under The Hot 100" chart, which logs the 25 songs that just missed that No. 100 cut-off, corresponding to Nos. 101-125. "Going" had been No. 11 on that list (the equivalent of No. 111 Hot 100) the previous week, meaning it jumped up 30 points to reach its current position. In addition, it debuts on the publication's relatively new "pop 100" chart, which only counts those songs played at radio stations deemed to use the "pop" format, coming in at No. 97. In Canada, the song also re-enters the pop charts there at No. 97. It had previously spent one week in the top 100 up north, having debuted at No. 93.
'Days' Still Falling On Charts Unfortunately, Dolly's appearances on last week's CMA Awards and The Early Show appear to have had little impact on the sales of her current CD, Those Were The Days, which continues its slow slide down the charts in the Dec. 3 Billboard figures. In its sixth chart week, the disc drops seven spots to No. 36 country, 35 places to No. 188 pop, three digits to No. 12 on the independent labels albums chart and off the 200-position comprehensive albums chart, down from No. 169 the previous week. Up north, the set falls 12 to No. 50 Canadian country. Also in Canada, Once Upon A Christmas with Kenny Rogers slips one to No. 16 in its third week this year. Martina McBride's own covers disc, Timeless, with Dolly on "I Still Miss Someone," slips one to No. 3 country but rises two to re-enter the pop and comprehensive top 10s at No. 10 in its fifth chart week, while dipping three to No. 19 for Internet sales. In Canada, the CD dips two to No. 4 country and one to No. 26 pop. Paisley's Time Well Wasted, featuring "When I Get Where I'm Going," moves up five spots to No. 12 country, 42 places to No. 37 pop and 44 spots to No. 38 comprehensive in its 14th week. The CD gains three to No. 26 Canadian country. George Jones's Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't, with Dolly on "The Blues Man," dips nine to No. 51 country in its 10th week and drops six to No. 25 independent. The CD falls out of the top 50 Canadian country albums, down from No. 35 the previous week. Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, featuring her cover of "Little Sparrow," inches down one to No. 7 in its eighth week on the blues albums chart. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, with her version of "Jolene," moves up three to No. 7 in its 37th week on the bluegrass albums chart. Selah'sRose Of Bethlehem, with Dolly guesting on her own "Once Upon A Christmas," inches down three to No. 6 in its third week on this year's holiday music albums chart. Martha Stewart Living Music: Traditional Songs For The Holidays gains eight to No. 34 on that tally. (However, there is a question as to whether it actually contains the Dolly and Rod Stewart version of "Baby It's Cold Outside" -- while most online retailers are showing their recording is on the disc, I was alerted to some that say it's by Jane Monheit and Steve Tyrell. While I was able to locate an actual copy of a boxed set of three Martha Stewart holiday CDs which shows the Monheit recording instead, I haven't found a copy of the single disc to see what the liner notes for the single disc say.) Also on the country charts, Thomas Kinkade's Country Christmas debuts at No. 71, although this appears to be a re-issue of his holiday CD last year (which contained Dolly's "Hard Candy Christmas"), and under Billboard rules such re-issues are not supposed to re-enter the main genre albums charts. On the strength of sales of 315,000 in its first week out, American Idol winner Carrie Underwood's debut disc, Some Hearts, enters the charts at No. 1 country and No. 2 pop, while Kenny Chesney's The Road and the Radio inches down one to No. 2 country and No. 3 pop with second-week sales of 191,000. The American Idol finalists' cover of the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" loses one to No. 50 on the pop singles sales chart in its 32nd week. The magazine did not update its country singles sales chart for the week, so we don't yet know how "Viva Las Vegas" with The Grascals fares; it had been No. 4 the previous week, its 36th.
It's Tour Time Again! Dolly's "Vintage Tour" gets back in gear for its final leg starting Friday in Atlanta (tickets available at Ticketmaster -- a few floor seats actually opened up on Thursday), followed by Orlando (sold out), Boca Raton (available at Ticketmaster) and Clearwater, Fla. (sold out). Dollymania will be on a brief hiatus with no Friday night update this week as your webmaster heads out to Atlanta to cover the show there. Look for a review and pics in Sunday night's posting! And, as always, any fans who snap some shots and wish to share them with the site's readers are encouraged to submit them here for possible publication. Thanks!
A Dolly '10' British newspaper The Telegraph features a column called the "Perfect Playlist," where a critic chooses an artist's 10 best tracks and comments on them (in no particular order, it appears). Well, this week, they did Dolly. To see the songs they chose, click here.
N.C. Community Adopts Library Mitchell County, N.C., is ready to sign on for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, the Mitchell News-Journal reported Thursday. Read the story here.
Nov. 24: Happy Thanksgiving!
Grascals Sign On For More Shows The Grascals have been added as the opening act for the remaining shows on Dolly's "Vintage Tour" except for her two Louisiana casino concerts, the band revealed on its Web site Wednesday. In addition to the previously-announced dates this weekend in Atlanta, Orlando, Boca Raton and Clearwater, they will also play Dallas, Birmingham, Little Rock, Tallahassee, Charlotte and the tour-closer in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Dec. 16. Tickets for all shows remain on sale at Ticketmaster except for Charlotte (on sale via the venue's Web site) and the sold-out dates in Orlando and Clearwater, Fla. Image at left of Dolly with The Grascals at "The Grand Ole Opry" in April copyright T. Duane Gordon/www.dollymania.net.
Paisley Duet Rises A Bit Brad Paisley's "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Dolly from his Time Well Wasted is just on the edge of entering the top 20, according to the new Radio & Records magazine charts, it was announced Wednesday. The song rises two spots to No. 21 after three weeks at No. 23 in the U.S. country singles tally and two places to No. 23 on the Canadian country singles chart.
Another Dolly Cover Hits Stores Another acclaimed artist has put her stamp on a Dolly classic. Sarah Harmer released her third CD, I'm A Mountain, up north last week including her version of Dolly's "Will He Be Waiting For Me." Harmer's first release, You Were Here, was named by Time magazine as 2000's best debut by a new artist, and she won the Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy Awards) for Adult Alternative Album of the Year with her most recent disc, All Our Names. Already in stores in Canada, her new set will drop in the U.S. from Rounder Records on Feb. 7. Get the Canadian import here or pre-order the American release here!
Library Update Dickson County will soon be on board as the 82nd county in Dolly's native Tennessee to participate in her nationwide Imagination Library literacy program, The Dickson Herald reported here Wednesday. A kick-off celebration will take place at the county library on Dec. 3. Dolly's program, which distributes more than 2.5 million free books annually in more than 500 communities across 41 states and territories, mails one hardcover, age-appropriate book each month to all children birth to age 5 who live in a participating community and whose parents sign up.
Nov. 23: Grascals Added To Ga., Seats Open In La. The Grascals have been added as Dolly's opening act for Friday's post-Thanksgiving concert in Atlanta when her "Vintage Tour" resumes from its holiday break, according to a Tuesday update on the band's official Web site. The bluegrass boys, who opened last year's "Hello I'm Dolly" Tour to great acclaim, joined her on this tour for her New York City date and were already on the bill to open this weekend's three Florida shows: Saturday's sold out night in Orlando, Sunday in Boca Raton and Monday's sold out appearance in Clearwater. Tickets for Atlanta and Boca remain available at Ticketmaster. And look for photos and a review from Atlanta expected to be posted here in Sunday night's update, as your webmaster will be in attendance at that show.
A handful of seats for Dolly's Dec. 9 and 10 Charenton, La., concerts became available Tuesday on Ticketmaster. Previously, the Friday night show was completely sold out and Saturday's performance was sold out except for three or four single-seat tickets. It appears at least one row of seats toward the back of the theater opened up this week for each night.
A Few Other Chart Notes Thanks to reader Tony for pointing me to some unofficial and minor charts which he found that include Dolly. This week's Indie World Country independent labels singles chart puts "Both Sides Now" from Those Were The Days at No. 35. Her duet with Brad Paisley, "When I Get Where I'm Going" from his disc Time Well Wasted, comes in at No. 24 on the Roughstock Country Chart, No. 24 on the Music Row chart and No. 18 on the All About Country chart.
Nov. 22: Win A Dolly-Signed Guitar! Wanna win an autographed Dolly guitar? Well, Sugar Hill Records on Monday announced a new contest, the grand prize in which is a new Fender DG5 Acoustic guitar autographed by Dolly along with a signed copy of her new CD. Other prizes include an autographed poster and CD from Nickel Creek, signed CD from Tim O'Brien and limited edition poster of Grey DeLisle. Although the site appeared on Monday to already be active for accepting entries -- limited to one per person for the duration of the contest -- the official rules stated that it would run from this Thursday through Dec. 9. Click here to enter.
'Age' Enjoys 'Days,' Prefers Dolly Originals Newspaper The Age in Australia gives a mixed review of Dolly's covers album, Those Were The Days, this week. Although the reviewer appears to enjoy the project, giving it three stars, he says it's just not "as interesting" as an album of Dolly-penned originals. Read the full review here.
Cover Continues To Get Noticed Bettye LaVette gets more kudos this week for her riveting cover of Dolly's "Little Sparrow" on her CD I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, with The Chicago Tribune choosing here to contrast Dolly's original with LeVette's R&B version to lead into a story on the soul diva and her recent performance in town over the weekend.
Smith Talks Dolly, Then Doesn't CMT.com columnist Hazel Smith on Monday briefed her readers on Dolly's recent jaunt to Roanoke Rapids, N.C., for the groundbreaking of her brother's theatre, although in her discussions on last week's CMA Awards, mention of Dolly's duets with Sir Elton John were conspicuously absent. Read her weekly column here.
'Dolly's Band' Gets Local Plug The Tribune-Star in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday profiled native son Terry Eldredge of The Grascals, including discussion of the band's work with Dolly. Read more here.
Nov. 21: Slipping Down Under After peaking at No. 3 last week, Dolly's covers album Those Were The Days drops seven spots to No. 7 on the Australian country albums chart in its sixth chart week, it was announced Sunday.
Another Positive Review Louisville's Courier Journal on Saturday offered its review of Those Were The Days, calling Dolly "nuts," but explaining it's "not bad nuts, more the unbalanced genius variety. She's always been loopy and brilliant." The reviewer gives the CD three stars while finding it is quite "a quirky idea" but works wonderfully, noting that she makes "Blowin' in the Wind" very "lively and appealing" and manages to make "twang and reverb work well together" in "Crimson and Clover." Read more here.
Dolly Bear Takes Home Prize Did you get your "I Will Always Love You" bear at Dollywood this season? The multi-colored stuffed animals featuring shots of Dolly, flowers and music embedded in a tie-die-styled rainbow of colors won Souvenir of the Year at the 2005 International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Convention, held in Atlanta last week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported here over the weekend. Dollywood senior merchandise operations manager Kent Reed told the paper: "It's a nice item for all ages. People are so fond of Dolly, and it was a unique piece that captures the fact that they came to Dollywood." Although the bears sell for $20 each, Reed said merchandise sales average $4.86 per visitor at the park. The newspaper noted that while he declined to give an annual sales total that multiplying that figure with the park's annual attendance would equal $9.7 million (actually, that would be the total for 2 million people per year -- since the park sees about 2.4 million annually now, it would closer to $12 million).
It's Almost Tour Time Again! Dolly's "Vintage Tour" picks back up on Friday in Atlanta after a two-week break. The large floor area there is sold out and the first raised level appears to be a little more than two-thirds sold out, while the second raised level is about half sold out. It is followed Saturday by her sold out Orlando Show, Boca Raton on Sunday (the reserved seats appear to be close to 90 percent sold out, with some general admission seating available at the back of the amphitheatre), and her sold out Clearwater, Fla., concert the following Monday. Get tickets via Ticketmaster for those dates that have yet to sell out!
Remembering Lennon The Associated Press over the weekend issued a story about the approaching 25th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon, which comes on Dec. 8. It notes Dolly currently has a new recording of his anthem "Imagine," briefly discusses her video for it and elicits her comments about her reaction the night he was shot in New York. Read it from Yahoo here.
Shania: Dolly 'Looks Real' In an interview with Canadian newspaper The Globe And Mail, Shania Twain says that Dolly, whom she has long professed as her musical idol, is also her role model for aging gracefully. When asked about getting older, she noted: "Dolly Parton does it very well. I've been two inches from her. I know what she looks like in person. Sure, she doesn't look 20. But I don't look at her and say, wow, what a facelift. She looks beautiful and she looks real." Read the full interview here.
Projects On Amazon's Best Lists Amazon.com has released it list of the best releases of 2005, and although Dolly's new CD isn't in there, several Dolly-related projects are. Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, which features a rousing cover of "Little Sparrow," ranked No. 59 overall and No. 2 in the top 10 R&B/soul CDs of the year in the lists compiled by the site's editors. On the country side, they chose Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, which includes two Dolly appearances, as No. 3 in that genre's top 10, and Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, and its cover of "Jolene," at No. 7. And site visitors put two titles which feature Dolly duets from 2004 in the separate customer list of the year's top 100: Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III at No. 50 and Norah Jones's Feels Like Home at No. 55.
Dolly In Another New Book Dolly is one of several successful people discussing life lessons in Fox News personality E.D. Hill's new book, Going Places, published earlier this month. According to promotional materials, Dolly discusses her father's "horse sense advice" to her. People interviewed in the collection include Donald Trump, Doris Roberts, Trace Adkins, Sarah Ferguson, Bill Frist and George W. Bush, among others. Get your copy here!
Doodles For Charity Mantua, Ohio, charity Hattie Larlham, which assists the disabled, auctioned off more than 400 celebrity doodles and autographs on Sunday, including one from Dolly. Although they are all characterized as "doodles," Dolly's was actually the hand-written phrase "I Will Always Love You" and her signature. Click here for more information.
Vote For Dolly! The Knoxville News-Sentinel is seeking votes for the "greatest East Tennesseans ever." Click here to cast your ballot for Dolly!
'People' Quote I'm told Dolly gets a mention in the new issue of People magazine, the "sexiest man alive" issue. Although Keith Urban wasn't their pick for No. 1, Dolly is quoted talking about working with him on "The Twelfth Of Never," noting that the longer she was around him the sexier he became so that she "couldn't keep my mind on my business." Thanks, Bridget!
TV Notes I don't know how much she'll be featured, but if you're catching this update early enough on Sunday, Dolly is expected to at least be mentioned in the new True Hollywood Story of "country divas" premiering at 8 p.m. Eastern Sunday on E!. The show is to focus mainly on Shania Twain, Shelby Lynne, Faith Hill, the Dixie Chicks, Tricia Yearwood and Gretchen Wilson, but it notes that it covers from the "days of the Opry to Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton, see how country music has emerged from mountain backwaters to become a sexy, sassy showcase for today's hottest stars." The episode repeats at 8 p.m. Eastern Wednesday.
New Fan Site Debuts You may recall artist Teddy Wayne Smith sharing some photos recently of getting to meet Dolly backstage at her Kentucky concert and presenting her with a painting of her with her parents. Well, he was so impressed with the meeting that he decided to launch his own Dolly fan site, Dolly Online.net. Although parts of it are still being constructed, you may check it out here.
Nov. 19: Another Fla. Show, La. Sell Out Two more dates on Dolly's "Vintage Tour" sold on Friday: Nov. 26 in Orlando and Dec. 9 in Charenton, La. Her second night in Charenton, Dec. 10, still appears to have only two or three seats available, so it should sell out any day now. The tour is on a holiday break, returning Nov. 25 in Atlanta. Tickets for the other shows remaining on the tour are available on Ticketmaster, except Dec. 15 in Charlotte, N.C. (sold only on the venue's Web site here) and the sold out engagement Nov. 28 in Clearwater, Fla.
More On The Awards Although heated discussions flowed on blogs and message boards, there hasn't been much discussion in the mainstream press about Dolly's appearance on the CMAs this week, but London's Telegraph on Friday criticized her duet with Elton John on "Imagine" as "rather horrible" and Willie Nelson and Paul Simon's appearance together as akin to "a slightly unhinged novelty act." However, the reviewer notes that Dolly and John's "storming" performance on "Turn The Lights Out When You Leave" was so good that it "almost made up for" the other tune. Read more here. In related news, The Tennessean reported here Friday that the awards show brought an 11.1 rating (percentage of total televisions in the U.S. tuned in for the show) and 17 share (percentage of televisions turned on at the time in the U.S. tuned in for the show), translating to about 17.7 million people. While it was the night's No. 1 program, it still drew 800,000 fewer viewers than last year's ceremonies.
Stampede Profiled Myrtle Beach's The Sun News on Friday profiled Dolly's Dixie Stampede holiday show there. Take a read here.
My Space Page Set Up You're all invited to join the new Dollymania page on My Space. Click here and then look on the left-hand side of the page for the "add to friends" link to sign up as one of Dollymania's friends!
Nov. 18: Paisley Track Moving Up Again After a brief, short slide last week, the new charts out this week show "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Brad Paisley with Dolly gaining momentum once again. The single from Paisley's Time Well Wasted CD rebounds two spots in the Nov. 26 Billboard country singles chart to its new peak at No. 23 in its eighth week. Over on the pop side, it inches up one to No. 11 for its third week on the Bubbling Under The Hot 100 tally, the equivalent of No. 111 pop. In Canada, the song unfortunately falls off the top 100 pop singles chart, where it had spent one week at No. 93. I suspect Paisley's powerful performance of the song -- albeit without Dolly -- on Tuesday's CMA Awards will push it even further up the charts for the next couple of weeks.
'Days' Takes A Little Tumble We'll have to wait a week to see what impact, if any, Dolly's CMA appearance will have on sales of her current CD, Those Were The Days, but the disc loses some ground in the Nov. 26 Billboard numbers revealed Thursday, its fifth chart week. On the country albums tally, the collection falls eight digits to No. 29, while it plummets 60 points to No. 153 pop and 75 places to No. 169 comprehensive. On the independent labels albums list, where it peaked at No. 2 the previous week, the disc drops seven spots to No. 9. It loses 20 to No. 38 on the Canadian country albums chart. Also up north, Dolly's Christmas album with Kenny Rogers from 21 years ago, Once Upon A Christmas, gains 16 spaces to No. 15 in its second week this year. Back in the U.S., "Viva Las Vegas" with The Grascals rises five to No. 4 in its 36th week on the U.S. country singles sales chart. After three weeks at No. 1, Martina McBride's Timeless, featuring Dolly on "I Still Miss Someone," loses its pole position and skids to No. 2, also falling five to No. 12 pop and comprehensive but gaining one to No. 16 for Internet sales. In Canada, the CD rises one to No. 2 country and 11 places to No. 25 pop. Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with two Dolly appearances, inches down one to No. 17 country, drops six to No. 79 pop and eight to No. 82 comprehensive in its 13th week. It loses four to No. 29 Canadian country. George Jones's Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't, with its own Dolly duet, slides down three to No. 42 country in its ninth week, falls out of the pop 200 (down from No. 200 last week), and loses five to No. 19 independent. The album also tumbles 22 to No. 35 country in Canada. Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, with her version of Dolly's "Little Sparrow," gains one to No. 6 for its seventh week on the blues albums chart. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, featuring "Jolene," loses three to reach No. 10 in its 36th week on the bluegrass albums chart. On the second week of this year's holiday music albums chart, begins this week as well, Selah'sRose Of Bethlehem from three years ago, containing Dolly vocals on "Once Upon A Christmas," remains steady at No. 3, while Martha Stewart Living Music: Traditional Songs For The Holidays, which includes "Baby It's Cold Outside" by Dolly and Rod Stewart, dips one to No. 42. Kenny Chesney's The Road and the Radio debuts at No. 1 country and pop with first-week sales of 470,000. The American Idol finalists' cover of the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" loses one to No. 49 on the pop singles sales chart in its 31st week.
'You Are Beautiful/In Every Single Way' Dolly talks beauty in a book on the topic released last month. Paul Starr On Beauty: Conversations With Thirty Celebrated Women includes interviews with Dolly, Cameron Diaz, Iman, Jennifer Garner, Diane Lane, Salma Hayek, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jada Pinkett Smith and Renee Zellweger about their views on beauty and make up. I'm told Dolly apparently was unable to meet with the author for a face-to-face interview due to scheduling conflicts, so her section was completed in writing. Get your copy here! Thanks, Bridget!
Another Kenny Compilation Coming Capitol Nashville/EMI Music announced Thursday that on Jan. 24 they'll issue a new greatest hits collection for Dolly pal Kenny Rogers spanning his work on several labels. Kenny Rogers: 21 Number Ones: Aces From The Gambler will feature 19 of his 21 country No. 1s -- the other two are adult contemporary No. 1s. While Dolly duet "Islands In The Stream," his biggest hit, is included, their other No. 1, "Real Love," is not (the other country chart-topper missing will be his 1986 hit "Tomb of the Unknown Love"). Reserve your copy here!
Ornament Carver Visits Dolly's Park Dollywood has added a unique guest as part of the international flavor of its Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration this year. Famed ornament maker Fadi Giacaman of Wilderness Woods in Bethlehem, Israel, will be on hand starting Friday and continuing through Dec. 10 to sign his popular wooden ornaments in the Inspirations Shop.
Nov. 17: Paisley Duet Steady On 'R&R' Country Chart "When I Get Where I'm Going," Brad Paisley's song with Dolly from his CD Time Well Wasted, is still doing well, according to the new Radio & Records magazine charts, it was announced Wednesday. The tune remains steady for the third week in a row at No. 23 on the publication's U.S. country singles chart, although it slips one to No. 25 in its second week on the Canadian country top 30 singles.
CMA Pics Available The Country Music Association on Wednesday released two publicity shots of Dolly performing with Elton John from Tuesday night's awards show in New York. See them, including a larger version of the image at left, in a gallery here. Other shots available around the Web include several Reuters pictures and one from the Associated Press posted on Yahoo here, an AP image available on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution site here and a shot in CMT.com's flip-book (skip to photo No. 22 in the "On Stage" series) here. Image at left by John Russell/CMA. Provided by Country Music Association. Used with permission.
Coverage Of Duet Light But Critical Coverage of Dolly's appearance on the awards show was slim Wednesday. Nearly all stories about the CMAs mentioned her performance of "Turn The Lights Out When You Leave" and "Imagine" with Sir Elton John, but they mostly didn't comment on it other than saying that it happened (however, critiques of such shows are often a day or two delayed in coming out). CMT.com's main story here didn't even mention the duet but did mistakenly report that Dolly provided guest vocals on Brad Paisley's performance of "When I Get Where I'm Going" (although she sings harmony through much of the song in both the album version and single edit being played on radio, she did not perform with him on the awards; instead, Alison Krauss sang harmony from off stage on just one chorus). The few opinions offered on the appearance, however, weren't very positive. The Charlotte Observer commented here that Dolly and John's performance was "the most unusual" pairing of the night. The New York Times did nothing more here than to contrast the "piety" of spiritual-themed performances by Carrie Underwood, Paisley and Brooks & Dunn with the "aggressively secular" message of John Lennon's "Imagine" as the show's musical finale. A reviewer from The Minneapolis Star Tribune included the duo in his category of the night's cross-genre performances that "seemed awfully forced," adding here "having Elton John and Dolly Parton harmonize on John Lennon's 'Imagine' made as much sense as the show's director cutting off Alabama's Hall of Fame induction speeches before lead singer Randy Owen got to speak." But the most vitreous attack came from ultra-conservative magazine The National Review, which posted a commentary by Aaron Keith Harris on its Web site here in which he wrote that their appearance was "the show's horrible climax. Elton John and Dolly Parton, after a tremendous take on Elton's 'Turn the Lights Out When You Leave,' lurched into a saccharine arrangement of John Lennon's already insipid 'Imagine,' which went over like the proverbial lead balloon." However, I wouldn't put too much stock into his opinion because he hated just about everything about the show. He chided Garth Brooks's performance as "vapid," said Sugarland's pairing with Bon Jovi was a "disaster," called Big & Rich "ridiculous," accused that both Sara Evans and Martina McBride "screeched their way through a ballad" and claimed that Faith Hill and Tim McGraw's current duet sounds "like it came from Broadway, not Music Row." So Dolly was far from his only target of scorn. Her fans, on the other hand, were just as harsh. Dozens of them wrote in to Dollymania on Wednesday to criticize her performance. Read a sampling of their comments on the Letters To The Webmaster page here.
In Memoriam Sympathies are extended to the family of Val Perkins. The widow of country and rockabilly legend and Dolly friend Carl Perkins died Tuesday. She was 74. A story in The Jackson Sunhere notes that when Dolly would come visit, Mrs. Perkins would cook cornbread and Great Northern beans especially for her. It also reported that although Dolly's 1991 spiritual hit "Silver And Gold" was credited as written by Carl Perkins and their sons Stan and Greg, Val also helped compose the tune as well.
Nov. 16: Dolly, Elton Harmonize On CMAs Dolly and Sir Elton John wowed the crowd Tuesday night with an enthusiastic pair of duets on the 39th Annual CMA Awards, broadcast live on CBS from New York. The duo offered abbreviated versions of John's current single, "Turn The Lights Out When You Leave," and Dolly's current single, "Imagine." Often flamboyant John toned it down to a dark suit for the CMAs, while Dolly donned a white top with decorative gold rope along with flared pants. They were the evening's final performers, offering the show's musical finale immediately before presentation of Entertainer of the Year. In an interesting turn earlier in the program, though, Brad Paisley performed his duet with Dolly, his current single, "When I Get Where I'm Going," but without Dolly. Alison Krauss offered harmony on one chorus from off-stage, and when her voice started, the audience apparently thought Dolly was coming out to join him and began cheering. Hopefully the promotion of singing the song on the national awards show will push it further up the charts in coming weeks, as the top-25 hit appeared to be starting its decline on the charts last week. Award-wise, it was Lee Ann Womack's night (check out a fan site on her here). The singer with the angelic voice (who performs with Dolly on "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" on the new CD, Those Were The Days) saw her return to traditional-sounding music earn her three awards for her six nominations: Single of the Year for "I May Hate Myself In The Morning," Album of the Year for More Where That Came From and Musical Event of the Year with George Strait for "Good News, Bad News." Aussie hunk Keith Urban, Dolly's duet partner on "Twelfth Of Never" from Those Were The Days, was the night's big male star, taking home Male Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year. Paisley's recording "Whiskey Lullaby" with Krauss won Song of the Year honors for songwriters Bill Anderson and John Randall. Gretchen Wilson (who gave what I believe was the night's best performance with the absolutely heart-wrenching ballad "I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today" -- I now cannot wait to see her live in concert in just over two weeks) won Female Vocalist of the Year. Other winners included Dierks Bentley, Horizon Award; show hosts Brooks & Dunn, Vocal Duo of the Year; and Rascal Flats (a member of which wears a Dolly t-shirt on the cover of their current CD), Vocal Group of the Year. Awards presented prior to broadcast included radio and DJ honors, Video of the Year for Toby Keith's "As Good As I Once Was" and Musician of the Year Jerry Douglas, who played with Dolly on The Grass Is Blue and Little Sparrow. In the red carpet coverage, Billy Joel -- who presented Entertainer of the Year with Shania Twain -- told CMT he was hoping to get to meet Dolly and thank her for covering his song "Travelin' Prayer." The awards repeat on CMT starting Nov. 24.
Barbara Hints At Possible Dolly Show Although I haven't confirmed any details of what it might be yet, Barbara Mandrell suggested Monday that there could be some Dolly tribute program or biography show coming soon. Appearing on CNN's Larry King Live, she mentioned that when she left his show that night she had to go tape some comments about Dolly for another program. Thanks, Bridget!
Nov. 15: CMA Night Is Here! Well, the big night is upon us! The Country Music Association Awards' first-ever ceremony outside of Nashville takes place Tuesday night when the trophies will be handed out at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Festivities start at 6 p.m. Eastern on the TV Guide Channel with Joan and Melissa Rivers critiquing the stars' outfits on the red carpet. CMT also offers its own red carpet show starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern. The actual ceremony begins at 8 p.m. Eastern and airs live on CBS. Dolly will perform with Sir Elton John on his song "Turn The Lights Out When You Leave" and her version of "Imagine."
The CMAs got things kicked off on Sunday, honoring Keith Urban with its International Artist Achievement Award at a reception held at the Australian Consulate General in New York. The Aussie singer duets with Dolly on "Twelfth Of Never" on her current CD, Those Were The Days, and Dolly herself won this award, her 10th CMA trophy, last year in an untelevised ceremony immediately before the broadcast portion of the awards.
Tickets for the CMAs, offered for the first time to the general public, were still available Monday night at Ticketmaster. Although the $250 seats, which had initially been the only ones available for public purchase, are sold out, they are allowing fans to now buy the closer, $400-per-person seats which didn't sell to industry insiders.
Dolly Song Added To Upcoming Film Dolly has contributed a new song for an upcoming film, and at least one entertainment reporter is plugging it for Oscar consideration. Indier's Marc Malkin reports that Dolly was asked by Transamerica director Duncan Tucker to write a song for the end credits. She watched a tape of the film and within a week submitted a number for him to consider, but he didn't think it fit with the movie, so he asked her to re-do it, and she did. She recorded the tune, "Travelin' Thru," which Tucker called "a finger-snapping spiritual revival camp kind of song." The song premiered at an American Film Institute screening of the movie last week. The film, which opens in limited release in December, stars Desperate Housewives Emmy winner Felicity Huffman as a pre-operative transsexual. A week before her planned gender reassignment surgery, she learns she fathered a son who is now a troubled teen-ager, and her analyst, who must sign off on her surgery, refuses to do so until she meets the child, which results in the two of them taking a road trip to get to know one another. It has won numerous awards at film festivals around the world. Malkin reports here that Huffman is a favored contender for the Best Actress Oscar and that Dolly's song is also Academy Award-worthy on its own. Columnist Liz Smith noted the song here as well. No word yet on when a soundtrack will be released.
Dolly Impresses In New York Dolly wowed the hosts of The Early Show on CBS Monday morning, performing "Imagine" and "9 To 5," glowing about Tuesday's CMA performances and sharing her love for her new CD. And the network actually posted both performances and her interview segment in streaming video available online here along with a story written from the appearance which notes, among other things, that her video for "Imagine" should be on the cable music stations by month's end.
La. Tickets Nearly All Gone Dolly's second "Vintage Tour" date at the Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, La., is essentially sold out. On Monday, her Dec. 10 engagement at the venue saw all available seats gone except for three or four single-ticket seats. Her other night there, Dec. 9, is nearly sold out itself, with only a handful of seats remaining available on the back two or three rows. Get those last few on Ticketmaster.
Paisley Bags Gold Disc The Recording Industry Association of America, the folks responsible for certifying gold and platinum albums in the U.S., has released its list of discs which made the metal marks in the month of October, and Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted on Oct. 5 was certified as gold for shipping more than 500,000 units to stores nationwide. The CD features Dolly harmony on his current single, "When I Get Where I'm Going," as well as her performance in the comedy routine "Cornography."
Duet Falls Off European Tally The European CMA on Monday updated its charts, and Dolly's duet with Roy Rivers on "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" falls out of the top 100 country singles chart there this week, down from No. 79. The song had peaked at No. 1 for five weeks and had reached No. 1 in several individual nations for country single airplay. Get the CD featuring the track here.
Dolly's Library To Help GED Parents The Governor's Books from Birth Foundation, the charitable foundation founded by Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.) to provide public matching grants to Tennessee communities joining Dolly's national Imagination Library literacy program in his effort to take it statewide there, announced Monday that it is partnering with the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Adult Education to enroll more than 50,000 adult GED students with children in the program. Officials hope that the initiative will reinforce core math, reading and writing skills to improve the students' performance on their GED exams while bringing them closer with their children.
More From Groundbreaking The Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald in North Carolina on Monday offered several stories covering last Friday's groundbreaking ceremony for the new Randy Parton Theatre there, which featured famous siblings Dolly, Stella and Rachel all in attendance as well. See photos and read the articles here about Dolly, here about the audience and here about the theater itself.
Nov. 14: Going Up Some Down Under I don't know what happened to push sales up Down Under, but Dolly's Those Were The Days this weekend sees a new peak on the Australian country albums chart, rising four places to No. 3 in its fifth chart week, it was announced Sunday. The disc previously had debuted at No. 6, a position it held for two weeks before slipping to No. 7 for two weeks.
Some More Ky. Pics Special thanks to Brian for sending in a few more shots of Dolly from her Danville, Ky., concert last month. The pictures, including the one at left, have been added to that section of the site here.
And although "The Vintage Tour" is on a brief break, ticket sales continue. It appears that her Dec. 9 and 10 dates in Charenton, La., will sell out very soon, as only the back five or six rows remain available for the Friday show and back two rows for the Sunday concert. Probably next-closest to selling out is Dec. 1 in Dallas, where the first three sections are full, leaving only the far back fourth section available. The best seats still being offered are in Charlotte, N.C., where she'll play Dec. 15 and a few rows toward the back of the main floor are still for sale. That show is being sold at the venue's Web site here, while all other remaining dates on the tour are available via Ticketmaster, except the engagement Nov. 28 in Clearwater, Fla., which is sold out, and a charity benefit show in Dallas on Dec. 2.
See Dolly's Apartment, Help Fund Scholarships Wanna see the inside of Dolly's apartment at Dollywood? Well, she's opening it up as part of a fund-raiser for medical scholarships. The apartment will be open between 9 and 11 a.m. on Dec. 3 as part of the Fort Sanders-Sevier Medical Center Volunteers' first Holiday Tour of Homes, reports The Mountain Presshere. Tickets for the tour are $125 each and benefit the organization's scholarship fund for persons entering the medical field. Several other buildings outside of the park will also be included in the tour's second portion, running from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. Tickets are available at 865-429-6229 or 865-429-6577.
Another N.C. Story Coverage continued over the weekend from Friday's groundbreaking of Randy Parton's theatre in North Carolina with Dolly. Catch video of a story from News 14 Carolina here.
Library Lauded Clarksdale's The Leaf Chronicle in Tennessee praised Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program in an editorial published here on Sunday.
TV Reminders Don't forget to watch Dolly perform on The Early Show Monday morning on CBS. The program airs at 7 a.m. local time in most markets. Then Tuesday is the big night, as she performs on the 39th Annual Country Music Association Awards live on CBS from New York. She will duet with Sir Elton John on a performance his song "Turn The Lights Out When You Leave" and then be joined by John at the piano when she sings her version of John Lennon's "Imagine." The program airs starting at 8 p.m. Eastern Tuesday. Image at left of Sir Elton John courtesy Universal Music Group. Used with permission.
Nov. 12: Partons Break Ground In N.C. The big day finally came Friday, with the much-anticipated groundbreaking for the new Randy Parton Theatre in the Carolina Crossroads and Music Entertainment District in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. As was expected, Dolly was on hand at the ceremony alongside brother Randy, sister-in-law Deb, sisters Stella and Rachel and niece Heidi. Several legends of The Grand Ole Opry also celebrated the event, including Jeannie Seely, Billy Walker, Jim Ed Brown, Ray Pillow, Jan Howard and Helen Cornelius. Officials estimated the crowd was around 12,000. Dolly apparently was very conscious of trying not to take anything away from it being her brother's big day, performing with the group of singers on stage instead of by herself and taking questions only briefly, but she did say she plans to return to perform at Randy's theatre once it is completed. Read a full report and see photos from Dollymania correspondent Greg Kulhanjian, including the one at upper left, here. Thanks, Greg! Also, see an Associated Press story and photo in Raleigh's News & Observerhere, watch streaming video of Dolly and Randy talking live to TV station WRAL here and read the AP's smaller brief on it here.
Ark. Date Goes On Sale Seats for Dolly's Dec. 6 Little Rock, Ark, show on "The Vintage Tour" went on sale to the public Friday at Ticketmaster, but sales were fair. The main floor, which had seats remaining all afternoon and most of the evening, finally sold out Friday night, but very few seats had been sold yet in the raised levels.
Special thanks to Jessica for sending in some great shots of Dolly from her Evansville, Ind., concert from earlier this month including the one at upper left. They've been added to that section of the site here.
Holiday Duo On CMT Kenny & Dolly will have an entry on CMT's new 20 Merriest Christmas Videos, the network announced Friday. The show premieres at 8 p.m. Eastern Dec. 2 and will feature what the network terms the "funniest, cheeriest Christmas videos of days gone by," including Kenny Rogers and Dolly, Jeff Foxworthy, Alan Jackson and more.
'Globe' Digs 'Timeless' The Boston Globe on Friday offered its opinion on Martina McBride's new album, Timeless, which features Dolly harmony on one track. The paper said here that the CD is done "with a stunning verve and first-rate execution," noting that Dolly's vocals on "I Still Miss Someone" are "transcendent."
Big Week Ahead Don't forget to catch Dolly Monday morning on The Early Show on CBS and then Tuesday night performing two songs with superstar Sir Elton John on the CMA Awards, also airing on CBS!
Nov. 11: Dolly Sings In Tulsa I'm told Dolly was as grand as ever in Wednesday night's nearly sold-out concert in Tulsa, Okla. The crowd was energetic but a bit on the older side, I'm told. She continued to drink lots of water but didn't sound as hoarse as in other recent shows, chatting more than at those as well. The night was backup singer Vicki Hampton's birthday, so she got "Happy Birthday" sung to her. She also offered a taste of the old Martha White theme song she remembered from The Grand Ole Opry and said her tune "Marry Me" reminded her of "Take Me Back To Tulsa." In a lighthearted moment, her band apparently didn't realize she wanted to offer a chorus of the latter song, because she sang it quite loudly over her band's accompaniment to "Marry Me," joking, "That didn't fit, did it," as the band looked confused, and she went right into "Marry Me" without missing a beat. She also joshed about next week's performances with Sir Elton John on the CMA Awards, saying: "I wonder what kind of dress he'll wear...it'll be the Queen of Pigeon Forge and the Queen of England!...I can say that stuff...he says it himself!" Special thanks to Jeff for sending in a few shots from the evening, including the one at upper left, which are available in a gallery here.
The press has been loving the show as well, with positive reviews coming Thursday out of Oklahoma City and Kansas City. The Oklahoman said here that her "Her sharp sense of humor and her voice made this 'Vintage' tour one for the ages." The reviewer also reported on a moment in the show when a snap on her dress came un-snapped and had to be repaired by her harmony singers as she made the required boob joke. And The Kansas City Star offered here that she "still has the charisma and voice of the legend, and that alone is worth seeing live" but lamented that the venue wasn't anywhere near full.
If you weren't able to get into the pre-sale earlier this week, don't forget that tickets for Dolly's Dec. 6 Little Rock stop go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Central time Friday via Ticketmaster.
If you live in the Tallahassee area, keep an ear on local light rock station Magic 97.3, which will be giving away tickets all next week to see Dolly at her Dec. 8 concert in the city. Call in at 432-9797 or toll free at 888-299-9797 when you hear the "Dolly Parton Magic Music Montage." Read more here.
Paisley Tune Down Country, Up Pop And Canada Results are mixed this week on "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Dolly and Brad Paisley from his album Time Well Wasted. The tune slips one notch to No. 25 on the country singles chart (so everyone call up your local stations and request it to push it back up!) in the Nov. 19 numbers released Thursday. On the pop side, however, it gains 10 points for the week to No. 12 on the Bubbling Under The Hot 100, the equivalent to No. 112 pop. And up north, the song debuts at No. 93 on the Canadian pop singles chart, it was also announced Thursday.
'Days' Rises A Bit On The Charts Likely due to the interviews in the major weekend newspaper magazine inserts, Dolly's Those Were The Days saw a bump in sales the previous week, which translated into a rise on the Nov. 19 Billboard charts issued Thursday. The CD gains two places to No. 21 on the country albums list, jumps 15 to No. 93 pop and climbs 16 to No. 94 comprehensive. On the independent labels albums tally, it is designated this week's "Greatest Gainer," meaning it had the largest sales increase for the week on that chart, where it inches up one digit to No. 2. Across the border in Canada, the album loses seven spots to No. 18. Also in Canada, Dolly's 1984 holiday collection with Kenny Rogers, Once Upon A Christmas, makes its annual return to the charts, coming in at No. 31 country -- the disc usually makes it into the top 10 each holiday season. And her performance of "Viva Las Vegas" with The Grascals returns to the U.S. country singles sales chart for a 35th week, coming in at No. 9. Martina McBride's Timeless, with Dolly singing on "I Still Miss Someone," remains steady at No. 1 country with 63,000 copies sold in its third week. That disc is bumped down four to No. 7 pop and comprehensive for the week, and it tumbles 13 to No. 17 for Internet sales. In Canada, it slips two to No. 3 country and is down 16 to No. 36 pop. Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with Dolly guesting on one song and one comedy routine, loses one to No. 16 country, four to No. 73 pop and three to No. 74 comprehensive in its 12th week. It falls seven to No. 25 country in Canada. George Jones's Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't, featuring a Dolly duet, falls five to No. 39 country in its eighth week, is down nine to No. 200 for a seventh week on the pop albums list and inches up one to No. 14 independent. His CD drops seven places to No. 13 country in Canada and falls out of the Canadian top 100 pop chart, down from No. 70 the previous week. Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, featuring a cover of Dolly's "Little Sparrow," descends one to No. 7 for its sixth week on the blues albums chart. The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches and Highways, with one Trio tune, falls out of the 75-position country albums chart, down from No. 72 the previous week, its 14th. Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, with her cover of "Jolene," rises two to No. 7 in its 35th week on the bluegrass albums chart. The annual holiday music albums charts begins this week as well, and its finds 2002's Rose Of Bethlehem, a disc by contemporary Christian group Selah featuring a Dolly duet on her classic "Once Upon A Christmas," debuting this year at No. 3, while Martha Stewart Living Music: Traditional Songs For The Holidays, released last month and containing Dolly's hit duet of "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Rod Stewart from last year, debuts at No. 41. Montgomery Gentry's Something To Be Proud Of: The Best of 1999-2005 debuts at No. 2 country, No. 20 pop with first-week sales of 41,000. The American Idol finalists' cover of the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" gains one to No. 48 on the pop singles sales chart in its 30th week.
N.C. Groundbreaking Friday Don't forget if you're in the Roanoke Rapids, N.C., area on Friday to stop by the intersection of North Carolina Highway 125 and Interstate 95 (at exit 171) at 10:30 a.m. for the groundbreaking of Randy Parton's new theater. Present will be Randy, his wife, Deb, and sisters Dolly, Stella, Rachel and Cassie in addition to Grand Ole Opry legends Billy Walker, Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius, Jeannie Seely, Ray Pillow and Jan Howard. Check out an article about the development, which is actually the first I've seen in relation to the project which focuses a lot on Randy's feelings toward his big sister, from The Lake Gaston Gazettehere.
'Vogue' Pic, Story Online Vogue has finally made available online the article where Reese Witherspoon gushes about meeting Dolly and a flip-book of the photos in the magazine's current cover story on her, including the shot with Dolly. Take a look on its Style.com site here.
Elton Praises Dolly In anticipation of his appearance with Dolly on the CMAs Tuesday night to perform "Imagine" and "Turn The Lights Out When You Leave," Sir Elton John sat down with CMT.com this week to offer his thoughts on country music. About Dolly, he cheered: "It's a dream come true for me (to sing with Dolly) because there are so many legends in country music, but a lot of them are dead. Dolly is very much alive, and I'm a huge fan of hers . . . and, to be with Dolly Parton is such a buzz. I'm really excited." When the interviewer commented she may be the only more flamboyant dresser than he is, he laughed: "Well, it's going to be a battle. It's going to be so much fun." Read the full interview here.
Food Show Posted For Viewing To celebrate country music's big night, The Food Network has made available online this week several of its best country-themed television moments, including a clip of Dolly at Dollywood from its broadcast of Best Of Celebrity Tables in 2003, which was actually filmed at the April 2002 season opening of the park. Take a look here. Thanks!
Library Update Dolly's Imagination Library was celebrated Thursday in Jackson, Tenn., to kick off Madison County's participation in the national literacy program. Read more from The Jackson Sunhere. And efforts in Bedford County, Tenn., to raise funds for the program there were spotlighted in The Shelbyville Times-Gazettehere on Thursday as well.
Nov. 10: Paisley Hit Steady In U.S., Debuts Up North Dolly's duet with Brad Paisley, "When I Get Where I'm Going" from his CD, Time Well Wasted, continues to get good airplay nationwide. Radio & Records magazine, the main competitor with the standard Billboard charts, issued its Nov. 11 tallies this week, and the tune remains steady on the U.S. country list at No. 23 and debuts at No. 24 on the Canadian country singles chart. The previous week, it had been three spots away from entering that top 30 list.
Tour Heading On Break Dolly was apparently amazing in Oklahoma City Tuesday night, with one reader going so far as to say she had never been to a Dolly concert but was invited by a friend and cannot thank him enough for getting her to go because she had one of the most enjoyable evenings in her life watching Dolly on stage. "The Vintage Tour" moved into Tulsa Wednesday for a nearly-sold-out show and then it's break-time until Atlanta in a couple of weeks. While on hiatus, Dolly will travel to Roanoke Rapids, N.C., for the groundbreaking of her brother Randy's theater on Friday and then perform two numbers with Elton John next Tuesday on the CMA Awards in New York.
Medal Coverage Dolly's selection by President Bush as one of this year's honorees for the National Medal Of Arts earned a mention in several papers Wednesday thanks to an Associated Press story about all of the 2005 recipients. And East Tennessee's Knoxville News-Sentinel offered an original piece on just her honor here. As was previously reported, the other recipients will receive their medals in an Oval Office ceremony Thursday, but since Dolly is on tour she was unable to attend and will be presented with hers at a later date.
Head Up To Dollywood If you missed them last weekend for the opening of Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival and want to catch the von Trapp Children in concert, they will be performing again at the park Friday through Monday as part of their tour in association with the 40th anniversary of the film The Sound Of Music, based on the lives of their grandparents. The visit is part of the park's International Sounds of Christmas concert series, which next month brings performers from Russia, Ireland and Canada.
Dolly Outfit To Be Auctioned Auction house ItsOnlyRockNRoll.com announced its next auction on Wednesday, which will include at least one Dolly piece. The auction, which closes Dec. 16, includes a collection of costumes designed by Andre Van Pier including outfits worm by Dolly, Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Sting, Michael Jackson and Madonna, as well as the red sequined dress from Dustin Hoffman's film Tootsie. The Van Pier collection will be on display Saturday and Sunday at the Triple Pier Antiques Show in New York. Visit the auction house's Web site to request a catalog to place bids.
Nov. 9: Dolly To Be Awarded Presidential Arts Medal Dolly will receive the nation's highest governmental honor for excellence in the arts, it was announced Tuesday. She is among this year's recipients of the National Medal Of Arts. However, she will have to collect her honor at a later date, as she will be in Tulsa for a concert on Thursday, the day President and Mrs. Bush will present the other recipients with their medals in an Oval Office ceremony. The Medal has been awarded annually since 1984 to artists and arts patrons nominated by the public, then reviewed by the National Council on the Arts, which sends its recommendations to the President, who selects the final honorees. This year's other medalists are actor Robert Duvall, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, author Louis Auchincloss, conductor James DePreist, jazz musician Paquito D'Rivera, arts patron Leonard Garment, animator Ollie Johnston, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and choreographer Tina Ramirez. Previous recipients include Ralph Waldo Ellison, Georgia O'Keefe, Leontyne Price, Eudora Welty, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, James Earl Jones, Ray Charles, Arthur Miller, Bob Hope, Angela Lansbury, Aretha Franklin, Barbara Streisand, Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash, Smoky Robinson, George Jones, Ron Howard, Austin City Limits, Ray Bradbury, Norman Lear, The Julliard School for the Performing Arts, Roy Lichtenstein, I.M. Pei and Frank Capra, among others. Read a press release from the National Endowment for the Arts here. A photograph of the medal, designed by sculptor Robert Graham, is shown at upper left.
Entertaining Interview With Miss Dolly Thanks to a reader for directing me to a great Dolly interview promoting Those Were The Days in Midwestern regional GLBT magazine EXP. It presents several great "Dollyisms" and one-liners in addition to the revelation that among the 13 songs she cut which didn't make the new CD (and may appear in a second installment) were a re-recording of "Games People Play" (which she first covered on 1969's My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy) and "Joy To The World" (although the interviewer focuses quite a bit too much on "gay" political questions, in my opinion). Read the full interview here. Thanks, Corey!
Tour Hits OK "The Vintage Tour" rolled into Oklahoma City Tuesday night, and it appeared a few hours before the curtain was to fall that the venue was a little more than 80 percent sold out. Seats remain available at Tickets.com for Wednesday's Tulsa show, which still looks to be about 90 percent sold out. The tour will then take a break until the day after Thanksgiving, when it returns for back-to-back nights in Atlanta, Orlando and Boca Raton (tickets for each of which are available at Ticketmaster) and a sold-out engagement in Clearwater, Fla.
Nov. 8: The Latest From Rochester, Evansville I'm told Dolly rocked the house in Rochester, Minn., Sunday night, leading an enthusiastic and energetic audience through her sold out night there in the current "Vintage Tour." She continued to sip water throughout the show, noting she was taking medication to get over a cold and joking she was drinking so much water she'd probably "pee in the bed tonight!" Her set list was the same as at previous recent stops on the tour, with the exception that I'm told she removed "Blowin' In The Wind" from that night's line-up. However, I'm also told security was a bit tight. As some fans have also complained at previous recent shows, audience members who attempted to dance during her upbeat numbers were instructed by security to sit down, and photos weren't allowed, although one reader snuck in a digital camera and sent in a couple of images to share. You may see them here. Thanks, Michael!
Readers Amber and Chris were lucky enough to meet Dolly at her Evansville, Ind., show last week and sent in some great backstage shots from that night. See them, including the one at upper left, here. Thanks! (And on a sad note, our prayers go out to residents in the Evansville area, where the horrible tornadoes struck Sunday night.)
I also got a report from Kansas City that although security warned folks "absolutely no cameras," several people snuck them in and snapped away during the show. In that city on Friday, she performed her usual set list (although she moved "These Old Bones" to before "Coat Of Many Colors"), wore the same outfit she had on in D.C. and acknowledged the family of one of her band members in the audience. Thanks, Jeff!
The tour next heads on to Oklahoma City Tuesday night and Tulsa on Wednesday before a break until after Thanksgiving. Tickets for those shows remain available at Tickets.com. Oklahoma City appears to be nearly three-quarters sold out, while Tulsa looks to be around 90 percent sold out.
CMA Coverage Look for at least a brief Dolly appearance on The Biography Channel's review of the year in country music, part of the lead-in to next week's CMA Awards. Race To The Red Carpet: CMAs 2005 premieres at 10 p.m. Eastern Wednesday and repeats Thursday and Saturday (also airing Saturday on sister channel A&E). The show promises to feature interviews, clips and behind-the-scenes footage from the year's best country recordings and performances.
In a related item, CMT.com's weekly columnist, Hazel Smith, the grand dame of country music journalists, continues her complaints this week on the pop stars being pulled in for the CMA Awards' New York broadcast this year, noting at one point: "CMA Awards show producer Walter Miller was heard to say the highlight of the show will be Dolly and Elton John. Excuse me, but Dolly has been the highlight of shows for 40 years . . . Dolly is always a highlight." Read more here.
Dolly In Print, On Air Parade magazine has posted an online version of its Dolly interview from the other week. You may read it here. Thanks, Bridget! And I was also directed to a 13-minute audio interview from public radio's Studio 360 available here (even if the show mistakenly links to fan site Dolly On-Line as Dolly's "official website" -- an error which was promptly corrected when brought to the show's attention). Thanks, Christian!
Nov. 7: Holding Steady Down Under Dolly's new CD, Those Were The Days, remains steady at No. 7 in its fourth week on the Australian country albums chart, it was announced Sunday. In related news, I'm told that a few country radio stations around the U.S. have gotten in their copies of "Imagine" and have started playing it in response to listener requests. So call your local stations and request Dolly's new single today!
Tour Moving Along As was expected, Dolly's Rochester, Minn., show sold out on Saturday. The concert hadn't started yet as of the time of this update Sunday evening, so anyone who attends is encouraged to send their recaps and photos here. Thanks! The Sioux City Journal on Sunday raved about her Saturday engagement in that Iowa city, saying seeing her in concert helps one "understand why no one has made a film of her life. She's just too darn talented . . . and who could play her?" Read more here.
Don't forget that tickets to her Dec. 6 Little Rock performance go on pre-sale for the venue's "In The Know" members at 10 a.m. Central time Monday. I understand the pre-sale code was sent out on Friday or Saturday, so if you haven't joined yet (information on the venue's Web site here), it may be too late to do so. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 9 a.m. Central Friday at Ticketmaster.
Tickets remain available at Tickets.com for Tuesday night in Oklahoma City and Wednesday in Tulsa. In Oklahoma City, the floor and first raised level are sold out, but plenty of seats remain in the second raised level, making it a little less than two-thirds sold out, while Tulsa appears to be close to 90 percent sold out. Dolly and her band then take a break, returning to "The Vintage Tour" in Atlanta the day after Thanksgiving.
Special thanks to Joe for sending in a couple of shots from her CD signing in New York last month (see them here) as well as her Detroit concert (see them here). Thanks!
My pal Christian over at Dolly Parton Central asked me to pass along that over the weekend he added a page dedicated to Dolly's recent Chicago concert. Access it by visiting his site and looking at the right-hand side of the page to find the link to "Dolly In The Windy City."
Making A Visit While in Madison, Wis., for her concert there last week, Dolly made an unexpected visit in the nearby city of Monroe. The Monroe Times offered a photo here taken at the Monroe Manor nursing home, where she and her crew visited with residents, including Walter Schaff, the father of her backup singer Jennifer O'Brien.
In The Press I'm told Dolly appears in the Nov. 6-12 nationwide newspaper insert American Profile, talking about the new CD and the upcoming Broadway musical she's writing. Thanks, Dawn!
First Baby Boomers Hitting Six Decade Mark Dolly's on the cover of the Nov. 14 issue of Newsweek, which should be out next week. Actually, she's on there with 24 other famous folks who just have turned or are about to turn 60, the first of the "Baby Boomer" generation to do so. See a photo of the cover, and see what each of the 25 sexagenarians (yes, that's the word for 60-year-olds) is up to by clicking here.
Wonder What Lyrics He Used Seems The White Stripes aren't the only performers offering up a male-vocalized version of Dolly's "Jolene" in concert any longer. A review in the Cleveland Plain-Dealerhere of Keith Urban's stop in town notes that he's performing portions of U2's "Beautiful Day," Johnny Cash's "Jackson" and Dolly's "Jolene" in his live stage shows nowadays. A lifelong Dolly fan, Urban joined her on "Twelfth Of Never" for her CD Those Were The Days.
Dollywood On The Tube You may recall a few weeks back there being a notice on this site about the British television series Holiday Showdown seeking a family to travel to Dollywood. Well, the crews were in Pigeon Forge last week to tape the episode. A family saw the note here on the Dollymania news page and contacted producers, who accepted their application and flew them to the U.S. to visit Dolly's park. My friend Jamie Howard helped guide them around the sites in town and sent in a couple of shots of the families who will appear on the program. The show takes two families who appear to be opposites and sends them on vacation to two spots -- one chosen by each family -- and then they meet to discuss their trips together. See the pics here. Thanks, Jamie!
More Library Coverage Clarksville, Tenn.'s The Leaf Chronicle on Saturday profiled last week's visit by Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.) to the town to celebrate Montgomery County's kick-off of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program. Read more here. The Honolulu Star Bulletin on Sunday noted the recent start-up of the Library in the Kalihi communities in Hawaii as a state-partnered pilot program. Read that story here.
Nov. 5: 'Vintage Tour' Moves Into K.C., Iowa, Minn. There were plenty of seats remaining available just before Dolly was set to take the stage in Kansas City Friday night, and even back floor seats were still for sale Friday for Saturday night's Sioux City stop, although pretty much the only tickets open for Sunday's Rochester, Minn., show as of Friday were on the very back row of the venue. Those shows are for sale at Ticketmaster. Plenty of seats also remain open for Tuesday's Oklahoma City engagement, although Tulsa, where she plays Wednesday, appears to only have the back third of the back section open. Those two are on sale at Tickets.com. "The Vintage Tour" then takes a break until Atlanta the day after Thanksgiving.
Reader Robin from St. Louis was kind enough to send in a few more shots from this week's Moline show. They've been added to her gallery in that section here.
This weekend's concerts garnered coverage in some area papers. The Kansas City Star encouraged readers here to head out and see Dolly for two "big" reasons: "her wonderful singing voice and sparkling personality." The Argus Leader plugged her Sioux City date with a story here about what a caring person she is and one here about older stars' resurging careers, comparing her and Loretta Lynn with Johnny Cash's final years (although one look around the crowd at most of her concerts will negate the claim that there aren't any teen-agers flocking to shows of artists her age).
Roanoke Rapids Event Details Released Organizers with Randy Parton's upcoming entertainment development in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., revealed the final details Friday for his groundbreaking next week. Joining Randy and his wife, Deb, will be sisters Dolly, Stella, Rachel and Cassie in addition to Grand Ole Opry legends Billy Walker, Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius, Jeannie Seely, Ray Pillow and Jan Howard. The 10:30 a.m. groundbreaking next Friday will take place at the future site of the Carolina Crossroads and Music Entertainment District, located at the intersection of Interstate 95 and North Carolina Highway 125 (exit 171). It will be followed by a press conference at noon. The event is free and open to the public, and the first 5,000 people at the site will receive a commemorative t-shirt. In a press release announcing the plans, Randy said: "These country music greats helped pave the way for the country artists of today. Deb and I are honored to share this exciting events with my family, these legends in the music business, our business partners and the people of Roanoke Rapids and Halifax County." The Randy Parton Theatre will serve as the centerpiece for the 800-acre entertainment development. His venue will seat 1,500 in a 35,000-square-foot facility and is scheduled to open in April 2007. Read an Associated Press story here based mostly on the press release.
Dolly: Critics 'Bitch About Something Anyhow' Dolly had some choice comments for critics when she spoke with a reporter from the Sioux City Journal about her new CD, Those Were The Days. Dolly explained she chose to do the set so she wouldn't be "pigeonholed" as strictly a bluegrass performer nowadays and said she doesn't care about those who want to complain about whatever political message they claim to see in her song selection, as she maintains there is none. "I don't think there's anything in these songs that are protesting anything," she explained. "But you know what? If some people want to think that, those people are going to bitch about something anyhow, so they'll be protesting against somebody that's not really protesting." Read the full story here.
In related news, everyone start calling radio stations next week and light up their request lines. Dolly's new single, "Imagine," should be at most stations by next week, according to the record label.
European Update Dolly's former five-week No. 1 of "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" with Roy Rivers gains five to No. 79 this week on the European CMA country singles chart, it was announced Friday. In individual countries, the song slips three to No. 13 in Italy. Get the CD featuring the track here.
Library Update Nashville's News Channel 5 reported Friday that Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.) was on hand Thursday to announce that Montgomery County has joined Dolly's nationwide Imagination Library literacy program. He hopes to have it in all 95 counties in the state by year's end. See the brief here (although it says it's the 77th county to sign up, while The Tennessean earlier this week said it is in 79 counties there at present).
Two More Suits Against Restaurant The Mountain Press in Sevier County, Tenn., reported Friday that allegations of sexual abuse against a former employee of Dolly's Pigeon Forge Dixie Stampede dinner theatre have resulted in two additional civil lawsuits against the venue seeking between $13 and $17 million in damages. A total of four suits have been filed alleging that the former employee, who is believed to have since fled the U.S., fondled children who were performing in shows at the theatre. A spokesperson says employees have cooperated fully with law enforcement investigating the claims and is certain the lawsuits will be found without merit and be dismissed. Read more here.
Nov. 4: Ark. Show Added, Moline Recap/Pics Dolly has added a new unexpected date to "The Vintage Tour," it was revealed Thursday. She will play Little Rock, Ark., at the Alltel Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Members of the arena's In The Know club (visit the venue's Web site here and click on the big question mark to join) will have access to a pre-sale at Ticketmaster starting at 9 a.m. Central time Monday before tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11. Seats will run $43 to $58 each.
Readers have started to write in with their thoughts on Dolly's show Wednesday night in Moline, Ill. One called the appearance "Dolly-namic," while another praised how humble she seemed to be. I'm told security was a bit strict -- allowing members of the audience to only shoot photos for the first two songs and not allowing people to get out of their seats and dance, even when she asked the audience to do so -- but everyone had a great time. She did comment how she was still battling illness and taking antihistamines (one fan held up a big "Get Well Soon" posterboard, and when Dolly saw it, she said, "Awww. Thank you!"). She introduced all of her band members but also asked for applause for her behind-the-scenes folks, saying the hardest workers on the tour are the crew, lighting staff, stagehands and such. She even called one crew member out to sing "Happy Birthday" to him, but he was shy and just kind of peeked around the corner of the stage. In introducing "Jolene," she joked about the "drag queen" line she sometimes sings and said perhaps she should change it there to "Moline." Special thanks to Jimmy and Robin for sending in shots from the concert which have been posted in that section of the site here, including the one at upper left from Robin! The city's Quad City Times offered positive comments about the show here, saying she "capably handled" her new covers and thrilled the audience with her original songs as well, adding that the crowd had at least half a dozen Dolly impersonators. And an Associated Press photo is available from Yahoo here.
Tickets became available Thursday afternoon for her Dec. 9 and 10 shows at the Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, La., and sales were brisk. Just eight hours after they went on sale, both shows were already more than two-thirds sold out. Seats remain available at Ticketmaster. Dolly has said the shows will serve as fund-raisers for services to animals affected by Hurricane Katrina.
The Tecumseh Countywide News in Tecumseh, Okla., on Thursday profiled a very special Dolly fan there, Mark Hertz, a 36-year-old with cerebral palsy who is fulfilling a lifelong dream of seeing Dolly perform live. He will attend her Oklahoma City show next Tuesday. Read more here.
The tour continues in Kansas City on Friday, Sioux City Saturday and Rochester Sunday, tickets for all of which remain available at Ticketmaster.
Paisley Duet Moves Up "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Dolly and Brad Paisley from his Time Well Wasted continues to move up the charts. On Billboard, the song creeps up another two notches to No. 24 on the country singles chart in its sixth week. The Nov. 12 numbers also show it coming in on the pop side as well, debuting at No. 22 on the "Bubbling Under The Hot 100" chart, which means it's actually at No. 122 pop. Over on the Radio & Records list, the song rises four spots to No. 23 country and is just three positions shy of debuting on the top 30 Canadian country singles tally as well.
'Days' Slowly Falling In its third chart week, Dolly's Those Were The Days , loses some more ground in the Nov. 12 Billboard numbers, it was announced Thursday. The collection falls seven spots to No. 23 country, 30 places to No. 108 pop, 32 notches to No. 110 comprehensive and one digit to No. 3 independent labels albums. In Canada, the album slips one to No. 11 country but falls out of the top 100 pop list, down from two weeks at No. 94. Martina McBride's Timeless, featuring Dolly guest vocals on "I Still Miss Someone," remains steady at No. 1 country and No. 3 pop based on sales of about 100,000 copies in its second week. Her album gains two to No. 4 for Internet sales, and in Canada gains one to No. 1 country and 21 spots to No. 20 pop. Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with its two Dolly tracks, drops two to No. 15 country, seven to No. 69 pop and nine to No. 71 comprehensive in its 11th week. The disc remains steady at No. 18 country in Canada. George Jones's Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't, with Dolly on "The Blues Man," drops one No. 34 country in its seventh chart week, re-enters the pop 200 at No. 191 for a sixth week and rises five to No. 15 among independents. The disc continues to gain ground in Canada, moving up three to No. 6 country and 17 to No. 70 pop there. Bettye LaVette's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise, with her version of Dolly's "Little Sparrow," remains steady at No. 6 on the blues albums chart in its fifth week. The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches and Highways, featuring one song with Dolly and Linda Ronstadt, remains steady at No. 72 country in its 14th week, while Rhonda Vincent's Ragin' Live, with its "Jolene" cover, inches down one to No. 9 in its 34th week on the bluegrass albums chart. Joe Nichols, a duet partner on Dolly's new CD, sees his own set III debut at No. 2 country, No. 7 pop on first-week sales of 57,000. The American Idol finalists' cover of the former Dolly and Julio Iglesias duet "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" falls a dozen spots to No. 49 on the pop singles sales chart in its 29th week.
New Bluegrass Standings Out The new bluegrass charts are out from Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, and Dolly's track with The Grascals, "Viva Las Vegas," falls out of the top 10 for November. The song had peaked on the publication's bluegrass singles chart at No. 10 last month but tumbles nine spots to No. 19, it was announced Thursday. The CD which contains the song, The Grascals, also falls from its peak, down one to No. 3 for the month.
'Hee Haw' Coming Out Again Time-Life Video is releasing Dolly's solo Hee Haw appearance in a single disc, a good while after the performance was available on a different DVD as part of its subscription service dedicated to the series and its 12-DVD boxed set. The fifth in its individual series of discs, the DVD will be released on Jan. 10. Reserve your copy here. Thanks!
Stewart Boxed Set Coming J Records is just aiming to get all they can out of Rod Stewart's standards recordings. The label has announced that a special boxed set, The Great American Songbook, featuring all four editions in the series will hit store shelves Nov. 15. Of course, the set will contain last year's disc, Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Volume III, which features his duet with Dolly on "Baby It's Cold Outside." The four albums collectively have sold more than 13 million copies worldwide, but Stardust has been the most successful of the four thus far, selling more than 1.5 million units in the U.S. alone. And the single with Dolly is also the most successful song from the four releases, hitting No. 2 on the adult contemporary chart, the only song from any of the CDs to break the top 10. Reserve your copy of the complete boxed set here.
Alabama Town Gets Library Alexander City, Ala., is gearing up for Dolly's national Imagination Library literacy program, The Alexander City Outlook reports here. The Alabama community will send the registration form home with new mothers at the local hospital.
Site Gets Award Fan site Ultimate Dolly UK last month held a contest to name what its readers felt was the "Best Dolly Site" of the year, and although only a little over 100 people voted, 80 percent of them chose Dollymania -- so now we just have to reach that other 20 percent :) A little less than 10 percent opted for fan site Dolly On-Line, while Rare Dolly, ACME Dolly and Voice Of An Angel, in that order, shared the other 10 percent. Thanks!
Nov. 3: One Fla. Show Sells Out, La. On Sale Dolly's Nov. 28 concert in Clearwater, Fla., on Wednesday become the latest on the current tour to sell out. Currently, the only other date in danger of completely selling out in the near future is Sunday's Rochester, Minn., show, which only had a few dozen seats remaining available at Ticketmaster as of Wednesday.
Don't forget that Dolly's Dec. 9 and 10 shows at the Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, La., to raise funds for animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina go on sale at 2 p.m. Central time Thursday at Ticketmaster. Seats are $75 each.
I'm told Dolly was amazing, as usual, at her Evansville concert Tuesday night. Although cameras were not allowed in the venue itself, look for a few shots here soon from backstage. (Thanks, Amber!) And see video here from TV station WFIE of a very moving story of a schoolteacher recovering from an injury caused by a drunk driver. She uses Dolly's music in her therapy and a local radio station arranged for her to meet Dolly before the show.
"The Vintage Tour" was off to the nearly-sold-out Moline, Ill., show Wednesday night before heading down to Kansas City on Friday, Sioux City on Saturday and Rochester on Sunday, tickets for all of which remain available at Ticketmaster. Kansas City's New Times on Wednesday plugged her stop in that city here.
The Sioux City Journal on Wednesday profiled guitarist Tim Sparks, who is opening Dolly's shows on the current leg of the tour. Read the story here.
Dolly On GAC I'm told coverage of the IBMAs on cable network Great American Country (GAC) had a good bit of Dolly notes. On The Edge Of Country host Kylie Harris inteviewed The Grascals from the awards show. After showing Dolly's video for "Shine," the band spoke with her about Dolly, what a wonderful performer and person she is, how she's helped their career and more. They also mentioned her recent trip to visit sick friend Rhonda Vincent when she was recovering from surgery as evidence of the type of caring individual she is. Thanks, Brian!
Making Brad Cry Brad Paisley was moved to tears the first time he listened to the mix of his duet with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," from his CD Time Well Wasted, GAC reported here Wednesday. He listened to it in his car, he says, walked inside, got his wife, and they listened to it together in the car, and they both cried. Thanks, Bridget!
Library Update Dolly's Imagination Library nationwide literacy program is now in 79 of Tennessee's 95 counties, The Tennessean reported here Wednesday in a story about its efforts in Williamson County, where the program kicks off Nov. 29. Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.) hopes to have it in all of the state's counties by year's end.
Nov. 2: Dolly On 'Early Show,' CMA Coverage CBS announced Tuesday that as part of the network's promotional push for the Country Music Association Awards in New York later this month, Dolly will appear the day before the big night on its morning program. She is slated to perform on CBS's The Early Show Monday, Nov. 14, in advance of the Nov. 15 CMAs, it was revealed.
The online version of Brad Schmidt's "Celebrities" column in The Tennessean was all-Dolly on Tuesday, leading with Monday's announcement of her performances with Elton John on the awards show and also featuring an item about her eye doctor, who plays the traditional Chinese instrument the erhu on her version of "The Cruel War" on Those Were The Days. Read more here.
News of her pairing with Sir Elton was all over the online newspapers Tuesday thanks to an Associated Press brief, but all of them to report on the news (except The Tennessean) only mentioned John's song, "Turn The Lights Out When You Leave," which they will perform together on the program, neglecting to mention that they will also perform together on Dolly's version of "Imagine."
The CMA publicity office on Tuesday corrected the miscounting of Dolly's nominations and awards in its press release about her appearance here after the errors were brought to their attention. The association had originally stated she had received 35 career nominations and four wins but revised it to 40 nominations and eight wins, representing her total of "regular" CMAs (she's also won two of their special awards to bring her overall total to 10). Image at upper left of Dolly from last year's awards show accepting the CMA/BBC International Artist Achievement Award, her 10th CMA win. Photo provided by the Country Music Association. Used with permission.
'The Vintage Tour' Continues Although there still appeared to be tons of tickets left available a few hours before curtain time, Dolly was in Evansville, Ind., Tuesday for the next stop on her "Vintage Tour." Things are better for Wednesday night in Moline, Ill., where the venue appears to be between 80 and 90 percent sold out as of Tuesday evening. Kansas City, where she plays Friday, looks to be about half sold out. Tickets for the shows remain available at Ticketmaster, and those who attend any of the shows are encouraged to send their recaps and photos here. Thanks!
CD Still Hot Up North Dolly's new CD, Those Were The Days, continues to sell well in Canada, where the nation's largest music retailer has released its new sales chart. After two weeks as the second-biggest-selling country CD in the Music World stores nationwide across the border, the disc falls four spots to No. 6. Last week's No. 1 debut, Martina McBride's Timeless (which features Dolly harmonies on one cut), remains at the top spot for a second week. Read the full top 10 here.
'Dreaming Of A Smoky Mountain Christmas' Dollywood is gearing up for its annual Smoky Mountain Christmas festival, which kicks off on this weekend. The annual holiday extravaganza starts with performances by the von Trapp Children, the grandchildren of the von Trapps whose lives were chronicled in The Sound Of Music, Saturday and Sunday and again Nov. 9-12. The Moscow Boys Choir visits for performances Dec. 3 and 4, A Celtic Yuletide with Michael Londra comes Dec. 8-11 for Irish holiday music and dance, and Vinok Worldance shows off Dec. 15-18, when the Canadian troupe exhibits global dance moves to Christmas sounds. The festival also features the return of the nation's tallest Christmas pyramid, the Olde World Christmas Market, Santa's Workshop, more than 3 million twinkling lights and several holiday musical performance shows exclusive to the park. The festival continues through the park's closing for the season, Dec. 30.
Nov. 1: Queen Of Country, Queen Of Pop Meet In NY Dolly and Sir Elton John will perform two songs together on this year's Country Music Association Awards in New York in two weeks, it was confirmed Monday. Although I'm told Dolly let the cat out of the bag during her Milwaukee concert Sunday night (but didn't name John outright), the official announcement didn't come until Monday afternoon from the CMA. The pair will perform each singer's current single: Dolly's "Imagine" from Those Were The Days and John's "Turn The Lights Out When You Leave" from his Peachtree Road, which is being re-issued in an expanded version the day of the awards show. Dolly will sing on his song, and he will play piano on hers. In a press release, Dolly said: "I've always admired Sir Elton's songwriting, musicianship and singing and I'm thrilled to be working with him. It should be a very passionate performance," adding: "I was inspired to record 'Imagine.' It is a song of hope and inspiration and perfect for the times." CMA Executive Director Ed Benson commented: "The audience and our viewers are in for a magical experience when two of the most flamboyant and best-loved entertainers in the world take the stage." In her career, Dolly has been nominated for 40 "regular" CMA Awards and has won eight, not counting her two wins in special award categories (the press release mistakenly counts only 35 nominations and just four wins). The awards air live on CBS Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. Eastern from Madison Square Garden. For the first time, tickets are being sold to the public (for $255 each) from Ticketmaster. Dolly and John have known each other for many years, although this is to be their first public performance together. A confessed major Dolly fan, John inserted a fictional nightclub dedicated to Dolly's music in a 1999 film he produced, Women Talking Dirty, and the pair collaborated on several songs for the project, although none of them made it into the final version of the movie, which instead used a couple of older Dolly recordings. Coincidentally, Hazel Smith's weekly CMT.com column on Monday lamented here that the awards show in The Big Apple wasn't featuring any legends "like George Jones, Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton." Image at upper left of Dolly from last year's CMA Awards by Jim Hagans and provided by the Country Music Association. Used with permission.
More From The Road The critics loved Dolly's concerts from the weekend, with more glowing reviews cropping up on Monday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel lauded the show, which celebrated Dolly's many contradictions, even finding that her choice of songs that many view as political for the new album exhibits that "It is certainly part of her genuine charm and likability that she can confront divisive issues without dividing her audience." The only negative that he found with the show was the closing number of "Imagine" because the reviewer was unable to reconcile a patriotic Christian performer with a song that paints a picture of a world without religion or national boundaries. Read the full review, and see a photo, here. The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times on Monday also offered their takes on the show there from Friday. The Tribunehere gushed over how even with her "gaudily, gloriously glitzy" showmanship, "she remains friendly, familiar and spontaneous." The Sunhere also set upon the contradictions of Dolly, calling her "a glamorous, purple-clad amalgam of authenticity and artificiality." Neither reviewer found much fault with any part of the show, other than one or two songs they thought a bit too "cheesy" and the obvious use of pre-recorded vocals on "Here You Come Again," which they noted the fans didn't seem to mind at all.
A few readers continued to write in with some notes from the shows as well. I'm told that in Madison and Milwaukee Saturday and Sunday nights she sounded horse and didn't offer as much between-song banter, noting she was again battling vocal problems (a bout with laryngitis earlier in the tour forced the postponement of several dates). One fan who attended all three weekend concerts said Chicago was by far the best, due to the highly energetic crowd coming right off the White Sox's World Series victory, but she was behaving her silliest in Milwaukee, saying she had a case of the "goofs" as she repeatedly picked on a security guard and several audience members. I'm also told that at the Madison show she mentioned that there would be a 25th anniversary edition DVD release of 9 To 5 coming out soon (the film's actual anniversary is in about a month and a half, so the studio would have just over a year before it would be too late to come out with a special edition -- I was unable to locate any details on one being planned or scheduled for release but will continue to try and confirm that information). Thanks to everyone who wrote in!
Christian at Dolly Parton Central got a review posted on his site early Monday morning from the Milwaukee show and promises photos soon.
Artist Teddy Wayne Smith, who at the Danville concert presented Dolly with an original painting of her with her late parents, wrote me to let me know he had updated his Web site to include the story of meeting Dolly, complete with several photos. (Visit his site's main page and click on the Dolly photo to access the page.) Thanks!
Finally, my friend Ryan was able to meet Dolly at her Milwaukee show with his little son, and they sent in a real cute story of the encounter and some great photos (including the one at upper left) which have been posted here. Thanks, guys!
Remember that tickets remain available at Ticketmaster as the tour rolls into Evansville, Ind., on Tuesday, Kansas City on Friday, Sioux City Saturday and Rochester, Minn., on Sunday.
Dolly On VH1 I missed it, but I'm told that Dolly's hit film Steel Magnolias was one of the cultural icons of the year featured on the latest installment of VH1's salute to the "Me Decade," I Love The 80s 3D, for its 1989 episode. The show, which aired on Sunday, repeats several times throughout the week (see TV listings on the left-hand column of this page). Thanks, Sarah!