Jan. 31: According to E-Online, the buzz of the Sundance Film Festival
centers mostly on The Eyes of Tammy Faye, a bio-pic of Tammy Faye
Bakker-Messner which is narrated by RuPaul. In an interview, RuPaul notes:
"What's interesting about this pairing is that we're so alike. People like to
emphasize our differences, but everybody on this planet is so alike. The truth
is, there's only one of us here, and it's the child of God. Yes, I am
very similar to Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton is a drag queen. Madonna is a drag
queen. Being a drag queen has nothing to do with being male or female. I mean,
Prince is in drag. Hello! Elvis is a drag queen. . . . You're born naked,
and the rest is drag."
* The Washington Post's Sunday music reviews said Rhonda Vincent's cover of
Dolly's "Jolene" on her new CD, Back Home Again, is "sterling." To get
your copy, click here.
* * * * *
Jan. 29: I recently inquired to Buddha Records about releasing more
Dolly material. (They've re-issued Coat
of Many Colors, 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs, Jolene
And I got back the following response (which some others also got this week and
forwarded to me): "Thanks for writing. We're glad that you've been enjoying our
Dolly Parton CD remasters. Currently, we are in the process of reviewing Dolly's
immense discography. She has released so much material over the years, so
there's a lot for us to sift through. We've been reading all the requests that
have come in and are keeping all letters on file. There are no Dolly Parton
Original Masters scheduled for 2000, but we're already starting to plan for
2001. Check in periodically with www.BuddhaRecords.com for news about new and
upcoming releases from Dolly Parton and other classic country artists." Tell
Buddha you want more Dolly. E-mail them here.
* I've received several messages from fans concerned about the reports that
Dolly will not be performing a charity concert for the Dollywood Foundation at
the park's opening this year in April. All I know is many people tell me they've
called the foundation and the park and been told there is no concert scheduled.
I e-mailed the foundation several days ago and have yet to hear a response. You
may e-mail them here.
* USA Today's Kelly DiNardo on Friday gave an alternative for those not into
football to do on Sunday: Watch the best films of the antithesis of all things
football. Her No. 3 pick? Dolly's Steel Magnolias.
* Dollymania on Friday became the only five-star Dolly site listed at Star
Pages based on Net surfer votes! Thanks to all who continue to visit the site
and to all who have voted for it!
* * * * *
Jan. 26: Dolly appeared today on VH1's Before They Were Rock
Stars. They opened the episode with a segment on her that was nearly four
minutes long. It talked about her activities in high school and showed several
photos from that time as well as clips from her first performance on The
Porter Wagoner Show and several subsequent ones, a 1969 appearance on The
Grand Old Opry, scenes from 9 to 5 and several other images of Miss
Dolly, even noting her composing "I Will Always Love You."
* One of my "spies" tells me he contacted Dollywood and was informed they do
in fact plan to build a new inverted or "stand-up" roller coaster for the 2001
season tentatively called "Smokies Coaster."Thanks!
* I haven't gotten my copy yet, but I'm told the new Rhonda Vincent CD
Back Home Again, which includes her cover of "Jolene," features some
promotional words from Dolly, who says on a sticker placed on the CD, "I love
this album, I love this girl." Order it here.
* He also tells me Dolly ranked at No. 60 on the most played radio artists in
the "folk" genre for 1999.
* * * * *
Jan. 25: It's not a very flattering review, but Billboard puts its
two-cents in about the Buddha reissues of Jolene and Heartbreaker
in the Jan. 29 issue. You can read the review here.
* * * * *
Jan. 24: To read all about Dolly from Country Music Magazine
(including a review of The Grass is Blue and an interview), click here.
* * * * *
Jan. 22: Dolly is up for three TNN/Country Weekly Awards, and you can
go vote for her here. There
is a limit of one ballot per e-mail address through March 1. Earlier, votes were
cast for any artist, and now the top 20 in each category have been named, with
the top five from this semi-final round to be announced for final voting in
early March. Dolly is up for Female Artist of the Year, Collaborative Event of
the Year ("After the Goldrush" with Trio) and The Impact Award (which
"recognizes the country music artist whose image, style and music has had the
greatest impact in positively contributing to country music's presence in motion
pictures, television, commercials, print and/or movie soundtracks.") Go vote for
her now! And if you have two e-mail addresses, vote again!
* Wanna buy Andy Warhol's original Polaroid of Dolly he used to paint her
portrait? You can if you've got $9,000. It's on sale through the art site
* * * * *
Jan. 21: CountryCool.com on Thursday reported Dolly talked about
several of her upcoming film projects, including announcing she will do a
re-make of Solid Gold Cadillac for one of Ted Turner's networks. For the
full story, click here. The original
Solid Gold Cadillac was a 1956 film starring Judy Holliday as an
idealistic woman who holds a small amount of stock in a company whose board of
directors she discovers is corrupt, leading her on a crusade against them. It is
based on a Broadway play by George S. Kaufman and Howard Techmann and won an
Academy Award for Best Costume Design. This makes Dolly's fifth film project in
pre-production:Heaven's to Betsy (CBS, to film this year, air in fall),
A Christmas Rap (possibly feature release, film this spring, no
distributor or release date yet), Trouble in Jerusalem (Lifetime, no
dates yet), Solid Gold Cadillac (likely for TNT, no dates yet) and The
Jew Store (likely feature release, no dates yet). She noted that in A
Christmas Rap she plays an angel sent to help orphans find parents, and I
just finished reading The Jew Store, and it's a great story!
* The new Country Music Magazine is full of Dolly, I'm told. The special 2000
commemorative issue includes a full-page photo of her with Leann Womack in a
section titled "26 Stars and Legends: Today's Top Artists with Their Heroes," a
review of The Grass is Blue and a two-page interview in the
"Trailblazers" section with the dean of country music journalism, Robert K.
Oerman, who notes in the headline: "Hurricane Dolly: 35 years after moving to
Nashville, Dolly Parton remains as refreshing and innovative as most acts half
her age." Thanks Michael!
* Well, the "Breathe" phenomenon continues. Faith Hill will hold on to the
No. 1 spot on the country singles charts on Jan. 29 for a sixth week, it was
announced Thursday, giving her the second-longest time there for a female artist
and pushing Dolly, Shania, Martina and Lynn Anderson back to third place.
(Connie Smith holds the record with "One a Day," which spent eight weeks atop
* * * * *
Jan. 19: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOLLY!! Our diva is 54 today!
* According to a story in Variety today, ABC's Friday airing of Who Wants
to Be a Millionaire? scored its highest 9-10 p.m. Eastern Friday night
ratings since Dolly's Home for Christmas special on Dec. 21,1990.
* In a Seattle Times story today, The Tonight Show bandleader Kevin
Eubanks talked of the connection of different musical genres he's seen while on
the show, noting: "When Dolly Parton came on the show for her record, When
the Grass is Blue, she brought her bluegrass group, and they were just
slammin'! It's obvious that jazz and bluegrass have something in common. But you
don't see too many records where it's all together."
* * * * *
Jan. 17: The February issue of Rolling Stone gives a rave review for
The Grass is Blue, with James Hunter noting: "...On recent recordings
like Trio II, with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, Parton has gone
home, but not with the curled-tongue abandon she brings to The Grass Is
Blue, where she re-tackles bluegrass, country and traditional songs with
brio...it leaves the earth often...Without that almost punk-style independence,
you can't have new legends, country or otherwise." To read the full review,
* In the Jan. 22 Billboard charts, Faith Hill's "Breathe" ties the record
held by Dolly, Martina McBride, Shania Twain and Lynn Anderson for the
second-most consecutive weeks at No. 1 for a female on the country singles chart
at five weeks.
* * * * *
Jan. 14: A Seattle magazine called Pandemonium has published a great
and insightful review of Best of Dolly Parton in its "$2.99 Wax
Necessities" column. Tim Midgett writes about her original version of "Jolene:"
"In two and a half minutes, she sketches a picture of desperation beyond
jealousy, of anguish beyond rage, drawn not with the crayon-wide strokes of a
Drama Queen but with the fine, slight lines that shape internal battles with
which the rest of us are familiar." You can read it here.
* * * * *
Jan. 12 Launch.com had an article Tuesday with Dolly speculating about
a 9 to 5 sequel. To read it, click here.
* Trio II made it into a reaction piece to the AOL/Time Warner merger
in Tuesday's Tennessean, in which music execs talked of the impact on the
industry. Discussing the Internet's affect, Warner Brothers/Asylum president
Evelyn Shriver noted Trio II's Internet promotion and its high sales on
Amazon.com (where it was No. 1 for several weeks) for its success even though
its songs got little radio air play. For the full story, click here.
* Although it's been out two months already, Country.com this week finally
reviewed Buddha Records' re-issue of 1974's Jolene, noting, "...a welcome
gift from the past. Rarely is music so thoughtfully moving." On Dolly's original
version of "I Will Always Love You" included on the album, they said, Whitney
"Houston's powerhouse performance of the song positively crumbles when compared
to the understated pain delivered by Parton...the tremble in her voice is almost
enough to make a grown man cry." For the full review, click here.
To order the CD, click here.
* From Wednesday's Associated Press Celebrity Spotlight: "'My first century
in the business has been great, and I have been blessed with a lot of success,'
says entertainer Dolly Parton. 'But at the start of my second century, I feel
like a kid in a candy store, and everyone knows I've got a big sweet tooth!'
Parton, who was born on Jan. 19, 1946, has announced plans to expand her
Dollywood theme park empire. She has also announced that her nonprofit Dollywood
Foundation will offer its 'Imagination Library' to any community willing to
raise funds for a local program. Since 1995, more than 120,000 books have been
distributed in Parton's native Sevier County in Tennessee."
* * * * *
Jan. 11: CountryCool.com had a great follow-up article Monday on
Dolly's Hall of Fame medallion ceremony. To read it, click here.
* Praise is coming in for bluegrass singer and often Dolly back-up singer
Rhonda Vincent's cover of "Jolene" on her new CD, Back Home Again.
Country.com noted Monday that Vincent's version of the classic Dolly composition
is "so emotive it's a surefire goosebump inducer." To order the CD, which is
released today, click here.
* * * * *
Jan. 10: Country.com had a great article Saturday on Dolly's Hall of
Fame medallion ceremony. To read it, click here.
Several photos are available here.
* * * * *
Jan. 8: Launch.com offered an article Friday on Dolly's Hall of Fame
medallion ceremony. Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Porter Wagoner, Randy
Scruggs, the Wilkinsons, Kitty Wells and several members of Dolly's family
attended, according to the story. For the full text, click here.
Dolly.net's Gazette also has an article and photo here.
* Steve at Sugar Hill Records tells me The Grass is Blue recently
passed the 60,000-sales mark at SoundScan (although their figures are known to
be less than actual sales) and is expected by year's end to be the label's
biggest-selling CD on which they have figures. He said Robert Earl Keen's No.
2 Live Dinner over the past four years has sold in excess of 100,000, and
the only other CD close to it on the label is a late 1970s Ricky Scaggs release
for which they don't have total figures. Way to go Dolly! (And in case you're
wondering, the figures may sound low, but they outpace sales of her earlier
albums. Prior to 1977, her biggest seller was reportedly Jolene at about
* And I thought I'd just pass this total along. The Trio Grammy nominations
bring Dolly's number to 33 (in 10 categories and four genres – country, pop,
gospel and film) with her first being in 1969. She has won four Grammy Awards,
but this is her first nomination for Best Country Album.
* * * * *
Jan. 7: Dolly was scheduled Thursday night to be honored with a
special ceremony to present her with a medallion representing her induction into
the Country Music Hall of Fame, CountryCool.com reported Thursday. Among those
scheduled to appear to honor her were Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Porter
Wagoner, The Wilkinsons and Randy Scruggs, and Dolly was also scheduled to
perform. For their story, click here.
* Another list touts The Grass is Blue as one of the best CDs of the
year, this time in the top paper of them all, The New York Times. In the listing
of their music critics' favorites of 1999, writer Neil Strauss on Wednesday
placed it at No. 7, noting: "Like Steve Earle, Jim Lauderdale and many others
last year, Ms. Parton went bluegrass and turned in an amazing album. With an
expert team of side musicians, she radiates, whether racing at breakneck speed
through a Louvin Brothers song or wailing high and lonesome on an original
tear-jerker." It was among a rather eclectic selection, as his No. 1 choice was
Cesaria Evora and No. 2 Rage Against the Machine.
* Another rave Blue review came Thursday in the Columbus (Ohio)
Dispatch's weekender section, leading off the music section with the title "No
weeds in Parton's bluegrass." The review read in part, "...a brilliant idea.
This is the music she was raised with and has revisited throughout her career.
It fits her like well-worn bluejeans... delightful little surprises... fueled by
Parton's spirit and fire..." For the full review, click here.
* In an online chat recently, British singer Boy George touted Dolly's
wonderfulness. "Q: I always wanted the most popular queen of England
(George...sorry Liz) to duet with the most popular queen of the hillbillies
(Dolly). Are there any other future plans to record with other mega queens, like
Cher, queen of the comeback careers, or Madonna, queen of the chameleon careers?
A: Dolly's definitely my favourite, she's much more of a powerful female icon
than Madonna, she's got her own theme park and more money than God and a
fantastic wig collection. When we did the track with her, there were no special
requirements, no limos demanded, she's just cool. All hail Dolly!" For the full
chat, click here.
* * * * *
Jan. 5: I've finally gotten the New Year's Day concert pics uploaded.
To see them, complete with thumbnail previews, click here. (Also, my newspaper,
The Madison County Journal, is running a commentary piece on the concert
tomorrow. To read it, click here.) For my
original review of the show, click here.
* Nominations for the 42nd annual Grammy Awards were announced Tuesday, and
the Trio picked up two nods from the committee. The album Trio II is up
for Best Country Album against Ride With Bob by Asleep at the Wheel,
Fly by The Dixie Chicks, Cold Hard Truth by George Jones and
Forget About It by Alison Krauss (which features Dolly harmony on one
song). The album's Dolly-led track "After the Goldrush" is nominated for Best
Country Collaboration With Vocals. The winners will be announced in a Feb. 23
telecast on CBS. At the 1987 awards, the original Trio was nominated for
pop Album of the Year and won Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group (prior
to the creation of the Collaboration category). The Grass is Blue was
released after the cut-off date for nominations but is eligible for the awards
to be given in 2001.
* The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch on Tuesday published lists by music critics
and other notables in the city of the best CDs of 1999, and once again The
Grass is Blue makes one person's cut, with Mark Wyatt of the Columbus
bluegrass band One Riot One Ranger putting the album at No. 2. For the full
list, click here.
* I'm told Biography magazine has a half-page article on Dollywood in
the January issue plus a Dolly profile in the "Bioscope" section featuring four
photos of her, 1953 through 1999. Thanks Michael!
* Dollywood has announced its schedule for this year, and it will open on
April 15. Season passes for 2000 are already on sale at (423) 428-9488. They've
also added pages to their website, complete with artist's renderings, on the
2000 addition of the new treehouse complex here and the 2001 addition
of the water park here.
* And speaking of Dollywood, ThrillRide.com, a site for amusement park
enthusiasts, had this tidbit on its rumor page. Now, this is just a rumor; I
haven't heard anything else about it, so if anyone out there knows any more
information, let me know. Here is the rumor: "The mine train coaster that was
removed after the 1998 season may make an appearance at the park in 2000 or
2001. Also, a inverted coaster is rumored to be added in 2001." In addition,
I've been told the park may be adding a new celebrity theater. Thanks
* * * * *
Jan. 4: The Tennessean on Monday offered readers its review of Dolly's
New Year's concert at the Opryland Hotel, with writer Jay Orr noting "In a
highly reflective silver dress, Dolly Parton shone like the Times Square
millennium ball Saturday night when spotlights converged on her during her New
Year's concert at the Opryland Hotel...the Country Music Hall of Fame member
proved an inspired choice to cap Opryland's weekend-long Y2K celebration." To
read the full review, click here.
* According to the Canadian site Jam! Showbiz, Kenny & Dolly's "Islands
in the Stream" comes in at No. 22 for most popular song of the century in
Canada, based on chart performance there. In 1983, it stayed at No. 1 on the
Canadian pop charts for nine weeks and in the Top 40 there for 22 weeks. For the
full list, click here.
* Chris' Dolly
Pages is reporting that Dolly has recorded "Makin' Plans" as a duet with
Johnny Russell for the February release of his new album Actin' Naturally
on OMS Records with the song to come out as a single this month. (The song,
written by Russell, was recorded by Porter & Dolly for their 1980 duet album
and by the Trio in 1987.)
* * * * *
Jan. 3: Dolly's concert was spectacular! To read my full review, click
here! Photos to be
* The Grass is Blue has made another Top 10 of the Year for country
CDs. Jeff Sharpe of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette placed it at No. 4 Friday and
noted, "Bluegrass at its best..." For his full review, click here.
* And Trio II got another nod in the Top 10 of the Year in country as
well, with the Denver Post's Ed Will putting it at No. 7 Sunday, writing,
"...Each song sounds like it was recorded in heaven...Some of the songs are so
achingly beautiful that it's hard not to cry when listening to them...Song and
singer are matched perfectly throughout the album, but its power is found in the
harmony created by three very distinct, gifted voices." For his full review,
* The Tennessean's special century coverage on Saturday named Dollywood No. 8
in the Top 100 places to visit in the state.
* On Sunday, The Tennessean's music critic Tom Roland predicted Tuesday's
Grammy nominations announcement will include nods for Trio II as Best
Country Vocal Collaboration ("...the Harris, Ronstadt, Parton collaboration
seems obvious") and Best Country Album (an "undeniable" nomination, he wrote).
Let's hope so!