Jan. 29: Bye-Bye, 'London' After just 10 weeks on the U.S. country albums chart, Dolly: Live From London is gone. The CD/DVD combo falls out of the 75-position tally this week, down from No., 67 the previous week, the Feb. 6 Billboard numbers showed. The set had peaked at No. 36 country to make it the worst-performing non-compilation, non-holiday release of Dolly's career. It had lasted just one week on the top 200 pop charts, marking a spot at No. 195, her worst standing with a non-compilation set on that list in over a decade. All eyes will turn to the U.K. this weekend to see where the release debuts on the British charts, which some observers have speculated could be as high as the top 40 pop there, something that if it occurs would most likely make it the No. 1 country album there, a strong contrast with its performance in the U.S. On other charts, Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, featuring Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," re-enters the Canadian top 50 country albums at No. 45. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, which incudes its Dolly collaboration, dips one to No. 2 U.S. bluegrass albums in its 49th chart week. Taylor Swift's Fearless remains steady at No. 1 country albums and falls two to No. 10 pop with 32,000 copies sold in its 63rd week, while the self-titled Lady Antebellum holds on at No. 2 country and drops two to No. 16 pop in its 93rd week.
Another 'London' Review Dolly's CD/DVD set gets a so-so review from Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine in Canada this week. Read the "B-" scored review here.
Swift Flattery Taylor Swift thinks its great to be compared to Dolly, she said in a recent interview. Blog Angry Ape cited the comments here that the Dolly references are "a really awesome compliment" given Dolly's songwriting prowess and quick wit.
Park Up For Awards Thanks to Chris for alerting me that Dollywood has two rides up for honors in the Attraction Awards of the Decade poll at Coaster 101here: its staff for Best Park Employees and its Thunderhead for Best Wooden Coaster. As of press time, the coaster was running third out of seven and the staff second to Disney World's.
Jan. 27: Historic DVD Comes Out Country's Greatest Stars Live Vol. 1, the classic 1978 television special co-hosted by Dolly and featuring several performances by her, hit DVD shelves Tuesday from Shout! Factory and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Get your copy here!
Talking Up Some Dolly The former special events director for Pigeon Forge, Tenn., now a Florida resident, chatted this week with The Orlando Sentinel about his time with the city, including some very kind words for its most famous businesswoman. Check it out here.
Jan. 25: U.K. Fans Get Double Dolly For our friends across the pond who haven't ordered either one as an import yet, don't forget that Monday brings Sony's European release of its four-CD Dolly boxed set and its distribution overseas of Dolly Records' Dolly: Live From London. Both were mentioned over the weekend in The Leicester Mercury, which gave her concert CD/DVD four out of five stars and noted that the boxed set is "a must for all Dolly enthusiasts." Read more here.
Hello Dolly Down Under After a couple months' absence, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1, the 2007 overseas compilation disc, re-enters the top 20 Down Under at No. 20 on the Australian country albums chart.
Alaska Family Rewarded Working once a week to enroll children in Dolly's Imagination Library, logging nearly 500 hours of community service over the past three years, one Juneau, Alaska, family's work with Dolly's literacy program has earned them the title of 2010 State Volunteer Family of the Year and a vacation. Read more from The Juneau Empirehere.
Jan. 23: Hulu Offers Free Dolly
Free streaming video website Hulu has added a pretty important piece of Dolly to its offerings: her 1982 film The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. Check it out in the media player above or by clicking here.
Dollywood Addition Nearing Knoxville TV station WBIR is getting folks ready for this season's Dollywood addition: Adventure Mountain. The channel's news took a tour of the attraction under construction at the park for its 2010 opening in March. Watch it here.
Another Library Expansion The Mississippi Press has reported that Dolly's Imagination Library is coming to Pascagoula. Read more here.
Jan. 22: London Press Continues
Efforts to promote the Dolly: Live From London release overseas on Monday have ramped up a bit. The hour-long version of the concert is scheduled to air on BBC Two Jan. 30 at 4:20 p.m. British time. It is reviewed in The Mirrorhere, which gave it two stars because its critic opined that the musicians weren't able to keep up with Dolly. She has a pretty lengthy interview with The Times of Londonhere, where the writer noted the realness that comes through all of her artificiality: "What journalists usually want to find, I think, is a fake, plastic, commercial Dolly shielding something entirely different. I didn't get that." Also, Sony Music, which is distributing the CD/DVD combo in Europe, has put out a television commercial to plug it. Watch it in the media player above or by clicking here.
Chart Updates Stateside, Dolly: Live From London slips some on the U.S. country albums list, the Jan. 30 Billboard charts released Thursday confirmed, as the collection dips six to No. 67 in its 10th week. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," falls back out of the top 50 country albums in Canada, down from No. 47. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, with its Dolly collaboration, remains steady at No. 1 U.S. bluegrass albums in its 48th chart week. Taylor Swift's Fearless remains steady at No. 1 country albums and slides one to No. 8 pop with 33,000 copies sold in its 62nd week, while the self-titled Lady Antebellum holds on at No. 2 country and rises three to No. 14 pop in its 92nd week.
Library Notes Expansion of Dolly's Imagination Library into Augusta, Ga., was covered by WJBF TV here, and The Bolivar Commercial recaps the program's start in Bolivar County, Miss., here. In other news, the literacy program recently created its own Facebook page here and Twitter page here.
Dolly Store Not Flooded A recent water main break in Nashville flooded the lower level of the building which houses Dolly's recently-opened Music City retail store, damaging the property owner's boots shop downstairs, but the waters spared Dolly's wares, WSMV reported here.
Hospital Opening Set LeConte Medical Center, the new hospital in Sevierville, Tenn., that features the Dolly Parton Center for Women's Services and Dr. Robert F. Thomas Professional Building thanks to a $1 million gift from Dolly, her companies, and a fund-raising concert she held in town, will open its doors Feb. 15, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported here Tuesday. (Check out Dollymania's coverage of Dolly breaking ground for the facility back in 2007 here.)
Magazine's Awards Heading To Dollywood The Singing News Fan Awards will be moving to Dollywood, the Southern gospel music magazine has announced. The event, to take place in DP's Celebrity Theatre on Sept. 29, will be combined with the annual Southern Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame induction ceremony starting this year. Read more here.
Jan. 19: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DOLLY! Get out the cake, streamers and hats . . . our lady turns 64 on Tuesday! Happy Birthday, Dolly!
'London' PR Starting The publicity train has apparently begun to roll for the European release of Dolly: Live From London, which hits stores overseas Jan. 25. Check out a notice from The News Guardianhere.
Jan. 18: More Library Notice In U.K. The expansion of Dolly's Imagination Library overseas gained attention over the weekend from The Halifax Courier, which ran a brief here. (Remember, in the U.K., the word "scheme" just means "plan" or "project" without the negative connotations the word has in the U.S.)
Jan. 16: U.K. Repackaging Coming Although I've been unable to find any reference to it on any British store's website yet, I understand that Sony Music U.K. is releasing a repackaging of Dolly's Columbia classics White Limozeen, Eagle When She Flies and Slow Dancing With The Moon under the title 3 Original Album Classics, supposedly on Feb. 1. The same three titles have been re-released together in the U.S. a handful of times over the years, the most recent under the name Triple Feature last year. Thanks, Mark!
Jan. 15: 'London' Gains A Tad Dolly: Live From London gets a little room in its ninth week on the U.S. country albums list, the Jan. 23 Billboard charts released Thursday showed, as the set climbs five to No. 61. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," falls back out of the 25-position U.S. country catalog albums tally, down from No. 24, but re-enters the top 50 country albums in Canada at No. 47. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, featuring a Dolly collaboration, remains steady at No. 1 bluegrass albums in its 47th chart week. Taylor Swift's Fearless remains steady at No. 1 country albums and slips two to No. 7 pop with 38,000 copies sold in its 61st week, while the self-titled Lady Antebellum inches up one to No. 2 country and three to No. 17 pop in its 91st week.
Another Gov. Touts Library Dolly's Imagination Library earned a nod from West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III in his State of the State Address Thursday. Read it here.
Win CD/DVD In U.K. British news outlet In The News is giving away a copy of Dolly: Live From London, the DVD and CD combo that was already released in the U.S. on Dolly Records and will come out in Europe from Sony Music Jan. 25. Learn how to enter here.
Jan. 14: Pajama Party For Dolly Albion, Mich., is getting into Dolly's birthday with a pajama party at the local public library next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to promote her Imagination Library. Read more from The Battle Creek Enquirerhere.
DVD Celebrated Nashville City Paper is plugging the Jan. 26 release of Country's Greatest Stars Live from Shout! Factory and the Country Music Hall of Fame in a piece here. As was reported here months ago, the first volume of the 1978 television special, available here, features an hour hosted by Dolly with several songs performed by her.
Stampede Successor Shuttered The flea market that had operated for the past three months in the former location of Dolly's Orlando, Fla., Dixie Stampede has closed due to safety violations and Dolly's company, which still owns the building, has begun the eviction process, The Orlando Sentinel reported here. The former dinner theatre opened as the fourth in Dolly's chain in 2003 and closed with no advanced notice in 2008 as the company was in negotiations with an outlet mall that was interested in buying the property. The sale fell through and late last year the flea market leased the space. The article quoted a company spokesperson as saying the market had defaulted on the lease and a fire department official said the building had been closed the previous week due to a malfunctioning sprinkler pump. Thanks, Jeremy!
Jan. 13: '9 To 5' Misses Out On LA Awards Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical, the second-most nominated show of the season at the Los Angeles Stage Alliance's Ovation Awards, went home empty handed at the awards ceremony on Monday night, The Los Angeles Times reported here Tuesday. The show's fall 2008 test run in L.A. prior to its Broadway opening had been nominated seven times: for costume design, lighting design, scenic design and sound design in addition to Allison Janney and Megan Hilty for Lead Actress and Dolly and book writer Patricia Resnick sharing a nod for Best Book/Lyrics/Music for an Original Musical, with the latter honor going to Erin Kamler for Divorce! The Musical.
Twin Cities Love Dolly If you're in Minnesota, they'll be celebrating Dolly's birthday next week in style. The Twin Cities Daily Planet noted here that Monday night a cadre of local singers will pay tribute to Dolly with a show of her music at the Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis on the eve of her 64th. (I guess it's the night before so that you can sleep late on the real Dolly Day!) Learn more here.
'Big Love' Is Like A Butterfly Thanks to David for alerting me that Sunday's season premiere of the HBO series Big Love featured a Dolly song. During a scene in a car, her "Love Is Like A Butterfly" played on the radio.
Jan. 11: From One 'Dolly' To Another Carol Channing, most well-known for playing the title role in Broadway's Hello, Dolly but just released her first collection of gospel music, For Heaven's Sake, sings the praises of another Dolly in the new issue of Country Weekly. The current choice for the "I Love My Country" section, where celebrities generally not identified as "country" explain what they enjoy about the genre, Channing chose "Coat of Many Colors" as one of her favorite country songs and mentions being invited as the celebrity guest to welcome Dolly to Los Angeles when New Harvest, First Gathering was released in 1977.
More Library Chapters Noticed Dolly's Imagination Library in Florida was profiled over the weekend in Lakeland's The Ledgerhere, and expansion of the project into Michigan's Lenawee County made Adrian's Daily Telegramhere.
Jan. 9: '9 To 5' Suit Dismissed A Los Angeles judge on Thursday threw out a legal malpractice lawsuit involving Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical, The Los Angeles Independent reported here. A trust representing the estate of the late filmmaker Colin Higgins, who directed the original film and co-wrote the screenplay, had sued his former attorney, who had also represented screenplay co-writer Patricia Resnick. The suit alleged that the attorney neglected to obtain permission from the trust to allow Resnick to turn her screenplay, which Higgins had re-written before filming, into a musical and that it was a conflict of interest for him to have represented both writers. The judge found no issues in the case that could be tried in court. The suit never alleged any wrongdoing on the part of Dolly, Resnick or anyone else associated with the production – just the attorney – and never threatened to shut down the musical, which ran on Broadway last spring and summer and will begin a national tour next fall.
Soft Cover Books Covered The switch of Dolly's Imagination Library books from hardcover to softcover was noted in The Tennesseanhere Friday.
Jan. 8: 'Dolly' Tops Nashville List The four-disc Dolly boxed set from Sony's RCA Nashville and Legacy imprints took the No. 1 spot for country music album re-issues in the 10th annual Country Music Critics Poll conducted by The Nashville Scene, it was announced here Thursday. It marked Dolly's only appearance on any of the publication's top 10 lists this year, but she barely missed one other. Although the newspaper usually doesn't reveal any artists who placed outside of the top 10 on its Artist of the Year list, this year it mentioned several in a sidebar comparing their performance in the poll versus the end-of-year charts from Billboard and noted in that piece here that Dolly tied for No. 13 on this year's tally with Lyle Lovett. Last year, Dolly placed at No. 7 in the year's top songwriters and her Backwoods Barbie was the critics' choice as the 18th best country album of 2008.
U.S., Canadian Chart Updates Dolly: Live From London holds steady in its eighth week at No. 66 country albums, the Jan. 16 Billboard numbers that came out Thursday revealed. Up north, Once Upon A Christmas with Kenny Rogers drops back out of the top 50 Canadian country albums, down from No. 26 the previous week, its eighth for this holiday season. Back in the States, Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, featuring Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," slips four on the country catalog chart to No. 24. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, with a Dolly collaboration, remains steady at No. 1 bluegrass albums in its 46th chart week. NOW That's What I Call A Country Christmas, which includes Dolly's "Hard Candy Christmas," falls off the charts this week, down from No. 28 country in its 11th week, No. 24 holiday albums in its 12th week there, and No. 170 in its ninth week on the pop top 200. Taylor Swift's Fearless remains steady at No. 1 country albums and No. 5 pop with 60,000 copies sold in its 60th week, while Carrie Underwood's Play On stays at No. 2 country and falls nine to No. 17 pop in its ninth week.
Dolly To Join Stuart Dolly will be a guest on RFD-TV's The Marty Stuart Show later in the new season, Stuart told The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in a piece published here Tuesday. Others joining him will include Vince Gill, Hank Williams III and Ralph Stanley.
Jan. 6: Diabetes Single Released Although it was actually released Nov. 3, a new charity single with Dolly is just now getting press. "You Can't Say Love Enough" is a song from new country quartet MJ2 featuring several celebrity guests, including Dolly, Bill Anderson, Heidi Newfield, Cowboy Troy and Wayne Newton, to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The song is available as an iTunes download here. Read more about the song from a Tuesday posting online by Country Weeklyhere.
March 12 Ceremony For Dolly's Store Those who were hoping to combine their March 27 Tennessee trip to Dollywood's season opening with the "Grand Opening" of Dolly's Nashville store, Trinkets & Treasures, are out of luck. It was announced Tuesday via an e-mail blast from her official record label website, DollyPartonMusic.net, that the ceremony will take place at the store March 12 featuring a Dolly appearance. The retail outlet, located at 126 Second Avenue, opened Thanksgiving week and features mostly items sold by the online store of the same name on the label's website.
Dolly Talks To CMT Dolly chatted this week with CMT.com to promote her Dolly: Live From London DVD and CD combo. Check out the interview here.
Jan. 5: Christmas Nearing End Up North Already gone from the tallies in the States after its annual reappearance, Dolly's 1984 classic Once Upon A Christmas with Kenny Rogers will likely very soon also fall off the charts in Canada. The Dec. 31 numbers from across the border were released Monday, delayed due to the New Year's holiday, and it showed the collection drops 13 points to No. 26 in its eighth week this year on the Canadian country chart.
TV Reminder Don't forget to catch the new Master Series episode with Dolly on Great American Country (GAC) premiering Tuesday at 10 p.m. Eastern.
Our Lady J Celebrates Dolly New York audiences were treated Monday night to the third annual Gospel of Dolly show at the city's famous Joe's Pub, featuring trans performer Our Lady J's tribute to Dolly's spiritual side. Catch a mention from NBC New York here.
Actor Thinks '9 To 5' Should Have Played Longer One actor is wondering why Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical closed on Broadway after just four months. Michael X. Martin, profiled on Broadway Worldhere due to the opening of his new show Ragtime: The Musical, recounted: "The audience, on a nightly basis, was going nuts for the show: standing, screaming. I'm not exaggerating: When those three women would come down [for the curtain call] every night, there would be a roar from the audience. Usually, shows with that kind of response run longer than four months, so that was a little baffling and disheartening." He also noted that Dolly "was wonderful."
Library News A couple of mentions of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program gained some national exposure recently. The Association of Junior Leagues International used the project to lead off its profile here of Junior League efforts in literacy. And Kiwanis International has dedicated a section of its website here to the program so that it may encourage its local clubs to become involved.
Jan. 4: The Dolly Bowl? Rumor has it that Dollywood is bidding to try and get naming rights for a new bowl game in Knoxville, according to Vol Nationhere. Thanks, Chris!
Paper: Dolly Among Year's Best Tales The Maryville Times considers Dolly's appearance at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 75th anniversary one of Blount County, Tenn.'s, top stories of the year here.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Here's Dolly's New Year's message to her fans! If you have trouble with the player above, click here.
Chart Updates The Dolly boxed set may have ended its run on the country albums chart, the Jan. 9 numbers released Thursday from Billboard showed. After returning for a couple of weeks of holiday shopping, the collection falls back off the 75-position tally, down from No. 69 in its third chart week the previous week. Dolly: Live From London falls 13 places in its seventh week to No. 66 country albums. Kenny & Dolly's Once Upon A Christmas, drops off the 25-position country catalog albums chart, down from No. 21 last week, its sixth for this year on the tally. The Canadian charts weren't updated as of press time Thursday. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," re-enters the country catalog chart at No. 20. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, featuring its Dolly collaboration, remains steady at No. 1 bluegrass albums in its 45th chart week. NOW That's What I Call A Country Christmas, with Dolly's "Hard Candy Christmas," loses 15 to No. 28 country in its 11th week, falls 10 to No. 24 holiday albums in its 12th week there, and plummets 102 to No. 170 pop in its ninth week on that list. Taylor Swift's Fearless holds steady in the No. 1 country albums spot but loses one to No. 5 pop with 224,000 copies sold in its 59th week, while Carrie Underwood's Play On remains at No. 2 country and dips three to No. 8 pop with 153,000 units moved in its eighth week.
Another 'Billboard' Mention The week's chart achievements are noted in Billboard's "Chart Beat" column, which includes a Dolly mention. The column notes here that Willie Nelson notches his 122nd career country singles chart entry, which puts him just one spot above Dolly on the list for all-time most charted country singles. "The Possum," George Jones, is first with 165 charted songs, followed by Eddy Arnold with 143, Johnny Cash at 135, Nelson next, Dolly and Ray Price tied for fifth place with 106 each, Hank Williams Jr. next with 104 and Merle Haggard with 100.