June 30: Adventure Mountain Back On Officially Dollywood's $5 million Adventure Mountain expansion is officially back on, Knoxville TV station WATE reported here Monday. As expected, he new attraction is slated to debut on opening day for the park's 25th anniversary season next year.
Block Chats More 9 to 5: The Musical star Stephanie J. Block tells Theatre Mania in an interview here that she and the show's other performers wore shirts at the Tony Awards protesting their snub for Best Musical by proclaiming "We feel like bastards at the family reunion."
June 29: DPMusic.net Is Back After months of delays, the revised DollyPartonMusic.net, the official website for her record label, went "live" on Sunday. The site, which houses the Big Wigs (her official street team) and Dollyites (her official subscription-based online fan community), was first developed in late September 2007 via Ticketmaster subsidiary Echo Music. By early 2009, Dolly Records ended its association with that firm and began a site redesign hosted through Nashville-based Mad Dancer Media. In late January, it was promised that the new and expanded site would be operational in March with limited content posted until then, but when that deadline was missed it was pushed back to April, then May, then just "coming soon." To help make up to fans for most of the site being inaccessible during the down time, memberships were placed on hold until the new site was up and running. Also, since those who purchased the Backwoods Barbie Collector's Edition at Cracker Barrel in March were offered a three-month trial subscription, each existing member was to also have his or her subscription extended an additional three months once the site went live. Her official website, DollyParton.com, which is separate from the record label site, still has yet to fully launch other than a links page although it was originally planned to go live sometime in 2008.
'Very Best' On Aussie Tally The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 is hanging on Down Under. The 2007 compilation, which returned to the top 20 country albums in Australia last week, slips this week one spot to No. 20 in its 29th week on the chart.
Block 'Huffs' About Dolly Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical star Stephanie J. Block provided a great interview with liberal blog The Huffington Post this week available here. In it, she comments on the show, her CD and more, including working with Dolly. "When people see Dolly, they see the sparkles and the glitter and the wig and the nails and the makeup," she noted. "They underestimate this woman as a musician, as a businesswoman, and she's unbelievable."
June 27: Get The Full Story Tennessee's Maryville Daily Times on Friday posted the full Associated Press story on Dolly's children's book, I Am A Rainbow, featuring more content (including comments about her father) than the version linked from this page Thursday night. Read it here.
June 26: 'Barbie' Drops A Bit On The Charts Dolly's Backwoods Barbie takes a little tumble this week on the July 4 country albums chart, it was reported Thursday, as the CD drops 11 spots to No. 57 in its 47th week on the tally. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, featuring a Dolly collaboration, remains steady at No. 1 bluegrass in its 18th week, inches up one to No. 12 Internet albums in its 10th week there and rises 27 to No. 128 pop and 30 to No. 147 comprehensive in its fourth week on both charts. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," holds steady at No. 4 country catalog and No. 31 Canadian country. Miley Cyrus retains the No. 1 country position in her ninth week on that chart and slides one to No. 8 pop in her 13th week there with 42,000 units moved of the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack, while Taylor Swift's Fearless is steady at No. 2 country and picks up one to No. 10 pop in its 32nd week with 38,000 copies sold.
The 'Rainbow' Spreads Dolly's children's book, I Am A Rainbow, was the subject of an Associated Press story posted to the wire on Thursday and available here. Also, thanks to Jody for pointing me to the Redbook interview here mentioned in Wednesday night's update. It also focuses on the book.
'Prarie Home' Dolly Dolly is public radio host Garrison Keeler's most wanted guest for his Prarie Home Companion program, he told Boulder Weeklyhere this week. His other guest he has never had on and has always wanted is Dolly pal Merle Haggard. The weekly radio show, which has an audience of about 4 million listeners, usually includes a musical guest performing a couple of songs as well as interacting in a sketch or two. Keeler told the paper that some of his favorites over the years have been "k.d. lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Odetta, Elvis Costello, Jearlyn Steele, Jerry Douglas, Emmanuel Ax, Chet Atkins — people who are full of the spirit and bring it to the audience shining new."
Fla. Library Expands The launch of Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program in Hernando County, Fla., made The Tampa Tribunehere and North Escambia.comhere Thursday.
June 25: 'Very Best' Goes Platinum 2007's The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 compilation from Sony BMG has become Dolly's first-ever British platinum album, her official record label website, DollyPartonMusic.net, reported Wednesday. The gold and platinum album database for BPI, the firm that certifies album sales in the U.K., was unavailable online this week, so the report could not be independently confirmed, but if correct, that means the collection has sold 200,000 copies in the last 26 months, as it was simultaneously certified silver (60,000 copies) and gold (100,000) in April 2007 prior to this month's platinum (300,000) level. Dolly's previous British certifications are silver for Little Sparrow in 2001, silver and gold for Both Sides Of Dolly Parton in 1978 and a silver single (200,000 copies) for "Islands In The Stream" in 1984.
'9 To 5' Delay Confirmed The release date for the official cast recording album of Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical, available from Amazon.com here, has changed to July 28, it has been confirmed. The "sell sheet" (the promotional material sent to retailers to encourage them to order the CD for their stores) prepared by music label services company Rocket Science on behalf of Dolly Records uses the July 28 date. The sheet also reveals that the album will be distributed by A2M, the company that also handled distribution for Backwoods Barbie, and that the CD will feature a 24-page booklet. Thanks, Tony! However, Playbill reported here Wednesday that the show's cast will stop by New York's Lincoln Triangle Barnes & Noble on July 14, which had previously been announced as the album's original release date, for a CD signing and performance.
Red Dolly I haven't seen a copy yet to confirm, but I'm told that there's a Dolly interview and great photo in the new issue of Redbook magazine. Thanks, Shawn!
June 24: Order Show Soundtrack Amazon.com on Tuesday added an advance order page for the cast recording CD of Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical. Their purchase price with shipping is $12 cheaper than the show's official website order page ($21 versus $33), but it shows a July 28 release date instead of July 14. No word yet on whether that date is in error or if those who order theirs through the show's site for the higher price will get it two weeks before those who purchase from other retailers. Reserve your Amazon copy here!
June 23: '9 To 5' Is Down Again News wasn't very good for Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical in the grosses for the week of June 16-21 that came out on Monday. Attendance, 9,895 audience members, was down more than 7 percent compared to the previous week, with the percentage of seats filled falling from 83 percent to 77 percent. The overall gross, $800,067, was nearly 3 percent lower than the week before, but the per-ticket average price did rise 5 percent to $80.86. The show lost two more spots for the week to No. 15 for biggest Broadway gross and also fell two to No. 12 for audience size. Since opening for previews, the show has grossed $7.8 million and been seen by 118,672 people.
'Time' For Dolly In lighter news, Time magazine on Monday posted a delightful Dolly interview available here where she discusses the book I Am A Rainbow, Broadway, the upcoming movie about her life, speaking at the University of Tennessee commencement and more, although the writer did err in saying her Imagination Library distributes 20 million books a year – it's more than 6 million books a year and over 20 million since inception.
First Reader Shots Are Up Thanks to Aaron and Jerail for sending in some photos of Dolly at Dollywood, which have been added to that section of the website here.
Latest Library Developments The kick-off of Dolly's Imagination Library project in Reading, England, made The Reading Evening Posthere Monday. And speaking of the reading program, it garners Dolly a photo autographing a book for a child in Atlanta in the new issue of The Rotarian magazine out this week.
Dolly Helps A Friend The Memphis Flyer pulled a quote from Dolly about her former agent Sam Haskell to summarize his new autobiography, Promises I Made My Mother. Read the story about the book here and order a copy here.
Order 'Rose' DVD You may now order a DVD of Dolly's recent interview on the PBS series Charlie Rose from Amazon.com here. Thanks, Solomon!
Stella Chats Up Park Dolly's sis Stella compares and contrasts her new endeavor with Ghost Town theme park and her sister's Dollywood in a piece from McDowell Newshere. She notes the North Carolina venue doesn't have anywhere near the other park's budget, but she hopes to replicate some of its success. Thanks, Joshua!
June 19: 'Barbie' Stays Put Dolly's Backwoods Barbie holds on another week at No. 48, its 46th week on the country albums chart, the June 27 Billboard numbers showed Thursday. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, with its Dolly and Vince Gill duet, remains steady at No. 1 bluegrass in its 17th week, gains three to No. 13 Internet albums in its ninth week there and slides 38 to No. 155 pop and 52 to No. 177 comprehensive in its third week on both tallies. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, featuring his Dolly duet "When I Get Where I'm Going," climbs eight to No. 4 country catalog and dips four to No. 31 Canadian country. Miley Cyrus holds steady at No. 1 country in her eighth week on that chart and falls two to No. 7 pop in her 12th week there with 46,000 copies sold of the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack, while Taylor Swift's Fearless gains one to No. 2 country and loses one to No. 11 pop in its 31st week.
Hear '9 To 5' Samples Thanks to Tony for alerting me that the official website for Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical has posted audio samples from all 18 songs on the cast album soundtrack in advance of its July 14 release. Check them out here!
More From Nashville Check out several great galleries of new shots of Dolly from her Nashville CD signings in that section of the site here! Thanks, y'all!
London Show Headed To PBS? You might soon see Dolly's upcoming Live In London concert on public television. A posting in the catalog of American Public Television, a distributor of programming to public television stations nationwide, shows that the 2008 concert, expected to be released on DVD and CD this fall, apparently becomes available June 30 for stations to purchase for broadcast. Thanks, Solomon!
June 18: Next Dolly Video Diary Available
Dolly on Wednesday released her first video diary installment in more than a month, viewable on YouTube here or in the media player above. In it, she discusses releasing the upcoming cast album for 9 to 5: The Musical on her own Dolly Records label on July 14.
Another Round Of Images Some time constraints tonight limit the size of the update, so this round of photos from Dollywood added to that section of the site here focus just on the recipients of this year's Dolly Parton Scholarship, a $15,000 award presented to a graduating senior at each of Sevier County's four high schools. Still to be posted are pictures from Dolly's Friday morning Imagination Playhouse and book launch event as well as the Chasing Rainbows teacher award presentation. Also, I have a few more shots from her Nashville signings on Monday that readers have sent in which will go up soon as well. Thanks!
What 'Beautiful' Person Sang 'Jolene'? For fans who heard some familiar lines on the American premiere of the BBC series Beautiful People a few weeks back, the recording of Dolly's "Jolene" that was used in the program was a new version cut just for the show by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Australia's The Age reports here. The show, which is utterly hilarious, airs stateside Tuesday nights on LOGO.
June 17: Next Photos Posted The next set of images from Dolly's recent Dollywood appearances have been added to that section of the site here, these focusing on her Girl Scouts ceremony for the "Coat Of Many Colors" patch. And, yes, much more is to come!
More From Nashville Thanks to several fans for sending in their photos from Dolly's Monday CD and book signing. They've been added to a new section of the site here.
Dolly, Other Stars Raise Cash For Good Dolly had two of the three highest-priced items at charity auctions in Nashville over the weekend. Her autographed guitar brought in $4,000, the most of any individual item, at Martina McBride's annual YWCA auction to benefit the Weaver Domestic Violence Shelter. The overall event raised more than $72.000. And the Grand Ole Opry's first-ever guitar auction brought in $40,000, with Dolly's designed "Guitar of Many Colors" being the second-biggest item at $7,000 (one by Carrie Underwood beat her at $9,000) to support the Opry Trust Fund. Read more about each event from Great American Country here.
'9 To 5' Rises, Helps Out It was a better week for Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical, which rebounded quite a bit in the grosses for the week of June 9-14 that came out on Monday. Attendance, 10,685 people, was up more than 8 percent compared to the previous week, with the percentage of seats sold rising from 76 percent to 83 percent. The overall gross, $822,192, jumped up more than 10 percent from the week before, with the per-ticket average price also creeping up 1.5 percent to $76.95. Even so, it dropped two positions to No. 12 for the week's biggest gross on Broadway and slipped one spot to No. 10 for the week's largest crowd. Since opening for previews, the show has grossed $7.02 million and played for 108,777 fans. In related news, she and the show's stars are helping out another great cause. She is among several Tony nominees who've autographed items from the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. A pink boxing glove that she and the cast have autographed (along with a photo of Dolly holding up a t-shirt that reads "Save The Boobs") is up for auction on eBay here along with photos and bears signed by the show's stars as well as a few of Broadway's other current stars. The auctions end Wednesday.
Nashville Signings Take Place Fans began camping out at 5 p.m. Sunday for Dolly's Monday autograph session at the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville TV station WSMV reported here. The signing, one of two in town that day (the other taking place a few hours later at the Opry's new downtown store) also made NewsChannel 5 here. Special thanks (and congratulations) to Michael and Jennifer Frost for sharing their story and photos from the signing. The pair, performers at Sevierville's The Miracle Theatre, are in Nashville for their honeymoon. They lined up at 4 a.m. Monday morning and when the store opened at 8 they received the final two of the 150 vouchers for Dolly's autographs at that Hall of Fame, and Dolly was so moved by their story that she consented to a photo, available here. They also provided the shot of her at left (click on it for a larger view). Other readers: Send in your shots from the signings! E-mail them here!
Get Dolly 'Git-tar' Bracelets Dolly is now making available her used guitar strings for jewelry, her official record label website, DollyPartonMusic.net, revealed Monday. All profits from the $200-per-piece bracelets, available from WearYourMusic.org here, benefit her Imagination Library literacy project.
'Earth' Star Tries Dollywood Ride Dollywood had a new celebrity guest on Monday, as Journey To The Center Of The Earth actor Josh Hutcherson paid a visit to the park to test out the "4-D" motion ride based on the film. "It was awesome," he said of the ride, which is part of the park's June 12-Aug. 2 KidsFest. "When we were filming the movie to all said that it was made to be a thrill ride!" Check out a photo of him in front of the ride here courtesy the park.
June 15: More From Dolly's KidsFest Pop-Ins The Dollymania Video Report and first gallery of photos from Dolly's weekend appearances at Dollywood have been posted to a new section of the site here. Much more is to come over the next several days! (Readers who would like to submit photos may do so here to be added in a week or so.)
On Friday, Dolly initiated KidsFest in the Heartsongs Theatre to inaugurate the Llama Llama Red Pajama musical in a private performance for Imagination Library conference participants, the media and invited guests. While there, she also celebrated the release of her own children's book, I Am A Rainbow, with a reading of the story and a performance of her song of the same name. She also took questions from the press, including this reporter asking why some colors of the rainbow, such as orange and purple, are absent from the book. "That was the publishers that did that to me," she said with a laugh. "In fact, I made the comment I wrote the story and it was a lot, lot longer. It had every color. In fact, it even had some colors not in the rainbow . . . but they needed to condense it down to make it easier to read and to make it not so involved for all the little kids to have to read so many pages. So that wasn't my fault." She also touched on her inspiration for the theme park, mentioned the previous children's book made from her song "Coat Of Many Colors," confirmed she plans to participate in September's rededication of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as part of her role as ambassador of the park's 75th anniversary, said that she hasn't ridden the new SkyZip zip-line, commented on 9 to 5: The Musical, said that she wants to write more Broadway shows and added that she hopes to have her life story out as a movie in the next two years.
Later in the day, she presented the Chasing Rainbows Award in conjunction with the National State Teachers of the Year Organization to Francis Mustapha, a science teacher at Snider High School in Indiana's Fort Wayne Community Schools who is a native of Africa and plans to return to his home village upon retirement to open a school. She also honored Sevier County's four 2009 Dolly Parton Scholarship recipients of $15,000 each: Hagen Sims of Gatlinburg High School, Morgan Webber of Seymour High School, Julia Husky of Pigeon Forge High School and Christy Frasier of Sevier County High School. She finished the day with a park parade.
Saturday started with a rose planting ceremony honoring her friend Dom Deluise, with whom she co-starred in The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and who visited the park for opening weekend appearances a decade ago. He had passed away May 4 at age 75.
Then it was off to a special ceremony to honor more than 400 East Tennessee Girl Scouts who had earned the new Coat Of Many Colors Patch. The girls learned each verse of the song and completed diversity tasks associated with the major themes of each verse in order to receive the patch. They were not told in advance that Dolly herself would be on hand that morning, so they and their parents were surprised when she interrupted a video message that was playing and came on stage to congratulate them and perform the song "Coat Of Many Colors." She individually greeted each girl as she walked across the stage, hugging many of them, and took group photos with them as well. Afterward, the girls walked the parade route behind Dolly's car as she took her second park tour of the weekend. Following the ceremony, the patch became available to Girl Scout troops worldwide.
Additional coverage is available:
From The Knoxville News Sentinel with a story, photo gallery and video from the Girl Scouts ceremony here and story and video on her children's book release here.
Of the Llama Llama Red Pajama premiere from Knoxville's Volunteer TV here and The Mountain Presshere.
Of the Girl Scouts event from Knoxville TV station WBIR here and The Maryville Daily Timeshere.
And of the Chasing Rainbows presentation from The Ft. Wayne Journal Gazettehere and Indianapolis Starhere.
Signings Reminders Don't forget if you're in the Nashville area about Dolly's two autograph sessions taking place on Monday. As Dollymania Friday night was the first anywhere to report, she will sign copies of Backwoods Barbie and I Am A Rainbow from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the new Opry Originals store downtown on Broadway (Nashville's The Tennessean posted a note about it late Saturday night here). And, as has previously been widely reported here and elsewhere, she will appear at 10 a.m. at the Country Music Hall of Fame's museum store to sign the same two items. The rules are the same for each location: you must arrive early to purchase the book and/or CD from that specific store to receive an autograph voucher (the Hall of Fame store opens at 8 a.m., the Opry store at 10 a.m.) and you must have a voucher (limit one per person) in order to get in line for an autograph; she will only sign the book and CD, not any personal items you may bring from home; and photos are allowed only from the line. I'd recommend lining up at either location several hours before opening to guarantee your ability to obtain a voucher, but due to the scheduled opening times/autograph times, it would be impossible to make both signings.
'9 To 5' Notes She may not have won a Tony Award, but Dolly's appearance at the awards show earlier this month earned her a spot in the 13 best photos of the week released this weekend from New York Daily Newshere (she's photo No. 13). In related news, Variety reports here that Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical will kick off its national tour in fall 2010, most likely with a "simplified" set rather than its massive, complicated Broadway sets. Dolly was one of the people backstage who rushed to Poison's Bret Michaels' side to see if he was okay after a set piece hit in in the face on the Tony broadcast, she told Knoxville News Sentinel columnist Terry Morrow here. And Broadway World.com offered a Dolly profile video associated with the musical here over the weekend.
June 13: Second Signing Added For those who may not want to get up early enough to stand in line for Dolly's Country Music Hall of Fame Museum Store CD/book signing on Monday, an additional signing has been added by the Grand Ole Opry that afternoon. The event will take place at "Opry Originals: The Shop on Broadway," the institution's downtown store at 300 Broadway. The store will open at 10 a.m. to obtain an autograph voucher by buying Dolly's CD or book, a requirement for an autograph. Dolly will arrive at 2 p.m. and sign for one hour. As at the Hall of Fame, Dolly will only sign the CD and book – no personal items – and photography is limited to the line. (The Hall of Fame shop for the earlier autograph session will open at 8 a.m. Monday before Dolly's 10 a.m. arrival.)
'Barbie' Almost Steady Dolly's Backwoods Barbie inches up one digit to No. 48 in its 45th week on the country albums chart, Billboard revealed Thursday in the June 20 tallies. Steve Martin's The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, featuring a Dolly and Vince Gill duet, slides seven to No. 16 Internet albums in its eighth week there, remains at No. 1 bluegrass in its 16th week there and falls 24 to No. 117 pop in its third week there and 26 to No. 125 comprehensive in its third week there. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, which includes the Dolly collaboration "When I Get Where I'm Going," rises two to No. 12 country catalog and eight to No. 27 Canadian country. Miley Cyrus holds steady at No. 1 country in its seventh week on that chart and falls two to No. 5 pop in its 11th week there with 50,000 units moved of the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack, while Kenny Chesney holds steady at No. 2 country and dips three to No. 9 pop with 39,000 copies sold of his Greatest Hits II in its third week.
Safer Loves Dolly 60 Minutes reporter Morley Safer says his recent Dolly interview, which the show repeated on the night of the Tony Awards, is one of his all-time favorites he's ever done on the program, according to The New York Post Page Six celebrities section. He told the paper here: "If I could interview Dolly every week, I would."
June 11: Mag: Soundtrack Out July 14 Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical will see its original cast recording of her Tony-nominated score hit stores July 14, Playbill revealed here Wednesday. As was previously reported, the CD was recorded in May and will be the second release on Dolly Records. The publication also reported for the first time that Dolly herself co-produced the album with the show's music director, Stephen Oremus, and its dance arranger, Alex Lacamoire. The initial track list doesn't include any Dolly bonus material (as some have suggested that the album might contain), so we'll have to wait and see if anything special is added. The songs are:
1. "9 to 5" Violet, Doralee, Dwayne, Judy and Ensemble
2. "Around Here" Violet and Ensemble
3. "Here For You" Hart
4. "I Just Might" Judy, Doralee, Violet
5. "Backwoods Barbie" Doralee
6. "Dance O' Death" Judy, Hart and Ensemble
7. "Cowgirl's Revenge" Doralee, Hart and Ensemble
8. "Potion Notion" Violet, Hart and Ensemble
9. "Joy to the Girls" Judy, Doralee, Violet, Hart and Ensemble
10. "Heart to Hart" Roz and Ensemble
11. "Shine Like the Sun" Doralee, Judy, Violet
12. "One Of The Boys" Violet and her Boys
13. "5 to 9" Roz
14. "Always a Woman" Hart and Men's Ensemble
15. "Change It" Doralee, Violet, Judy and Ensemble
16. "Let Love Grow" Joe and Violet
17. "Get Out and Stay Out" Judy
18. Finale The Company
In related news:
Check out an interview with show star Stephanie J. Block from BlackBook Magazinehere.
Read an interview with the principals of the show's design team (scenic designer Scott Pask, costume designer William Ivey Long, sound designer John H. Shivers, associate sound designer/production sound engineer David Patridge and co-imaging designer Peter Nigrini) from Live Designhere.
And bid on a show prize package for Cyndi Lauper's gay rights charity, the True Colors Fund, through June 25. It features four tickets to the show, a meet-and-greet with cast member and Tony nominee Allison Janney and a show playbill autographed by Dolly. Place your bid here.
Reporter: Dolly, 1970s Kids' Author Most folks know Dolly has a steady hand in educating hundreds of thousands of children across the U.S., Canada and U.K. through her Imagination Library early literacy program, but one interviewer claims she's had a more direct connection to children. Thomas Hoving, who interviewed her on 20/20 when 9 To 5 first came out nearly three decades ago, writes in his new memoir, Artful Tom, an exerpt from which is published here, that she confided in him that as of that time she had written a dozen children's books under a pseudonym. He doesn't say if they had been published, but he kept the fake name a secret, which suggests they may have been in print. (In more current news, she'll celebrate Friday at Dollywood the release of her second children's book published under her own name, I Am A Rainbow.)
June 10: Dolly, Cast Make Palm's Wall Dolly and the lead actors of her 9 to 5: The Musical were honored last week with caricature drawings on the wall of The Palm Restaurant (250 West 50th Street in New York). Broadway World.com on Tuesday offered photo coverage here of the unveiling, at which she and her three leading ladies plus one sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot signed the likenesses of themselves on the wall.
Dolly's Single Touted AirPlay Direct issued a press release Tuesday touting the singles it digitally released to radio stations over the past several months including the latest from Ray Stevens and Mark Wills in addition to Dolly's current offering, "Backwoods Barbie." Read the release here.
Library Continues To Expand Hernando County, Fla., is getting Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program thanks to its local United Way, Hernando Today reported here Tuesday. Halfway across the country, The Post Bulletin in Olmstead County, Minn., encouraged parents in an editorial here to sign up for the program, also operated there by the local United Way, where just over half of eligible children are currently receiving books.
June 9: More Tony Chatter
Much talk in Monday's media circles centered on Sunday night's Tony Awards, where Dolly performed in the opening number and was up for Best Score for 9 to 5: The Musical but went home without a trophy. Among the Dolly mentions:
Several media watchers commented on the odd decision to cut to Dolly backstage when it was announced that someone else won Best Score, including The Los Angeles Times which here called her "inexplicably" second appearance "Not ready for her close-up" in its recap of the night's best and worst moments.
Cindy Adams of The New York Post gave her point-by-point recap of the morning's rehearsal for the big night, noting here that Dolly made it to the stage at 9:05 a.m. "In full war paint. Cochise, when he was cranky, flashed less. Lip liner, shadow, base, eyelashes out to her nipples; tighttighttight sequin décolleté gown sliced to her instep, spike platform heels and The Wig." She also noted in her column 9 To 5's Megan Hilty saying she and Stephanie J. Block bore no jealousy over co-star Allison Janney snagging a Best Actress nomination while neither of them did. "We're all very supportive. Allison deserves it," she said.
Dolly's Friday night interview on PBS' Charlie Rose program, which was part of her pre-Tonys publicity push, was made available online Monday and is viewable in the media player above or by visiting the show's website here.
Access Hollywood took the opportunity of the awards to ask several celebrities about British singing sensation Susan Boyle. Dolly said here: "Oh, she's fantastic. She'd be great on Broadway. I want to meet her too."
Perhaps in part due to Dolly's appearance, this year's Tony Awards scored the ceremony's highest ratings in three years and second-largest viewership in six years with an audience of 7.45 million, a 19 percent jump from last year's awards.
Show's Gross Dips Again Meanwhile, Dolly's show took another fall on the list of weekly grosses that came out Monday for the week of June 2-7. Attendance, 9,853 people, was down 6 percent compared to the previous week, with just 76 percent of seats sold. The overall gross, $746,632, was down just 1 percent because the per-ticket average price increased 5 percent for the week to $75.78. It rose one spot to regain the No. 10 position in largest gross but inched down one more place to No. 9 for largest audience. Since opening for previews, the show has grossed $6.2 million with a total audience of 98,092.
Dollywood Is Calling! Your webmaster is off to East Tennessee, where you will benefit from Dollymania coverage of Dolly's upcoming stop at Dollywood on Friday. A park spokesperson tells me that fans are in for "several public events" featuring Dolly during the day. (I should have regular Internet access, so hopefully any delays to this week's regular site updates will be minimal.)
Alaska Library Grows Way up north in Alaska, the Fairbanks area chapter of Dolly's Imagination Library recently celebrated its first anniversary and reached an enrollment of 3,000 children, The News Miner reported here Monday.
June 8: No Tony For Dolly Dolly and her show didn't take home a Tony Sunday night, but Variety reports here that she elicited the loudest cheers from the crowd than anyone else on the red carpet: "Fans were plenty excited to see God of Carnage thesps James Gandolfini, Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden and Jeff Daniels outside the 2009 Tony Awards, but the really hysterical screaming was reserved for one woman and one woman only: 'Dol-ly! Dol-ly! Dol-ly!'" Photos of her red carpet arrival in a flowing pink outfit are available from The New York Times galleries here and in its Tonys blog here and from the Associated Press here. Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey of Next To Normal pulled an upset for Best Score, winning over Dolly for her 9 to 5: The Musical and Elton John for Billy Elliot, The Musical. However, as most of the critics predicted, Elliot actor Gregory Jbara won over 9 To 5's Mark Kudisch for Featured Actor in a Musical, its choreographer Peter Darling won over 9 To 5's Andy Blankenbuehler and Next To Normal's Alice Ripley bested 9 To 5's Allison Janney for Best Actress in a Musical. Dolly was part of a multi-show opening number, singing the first verse of "9 To 5," followed by the show's cast taking the chorus. They were all back on stage with dozens of other performers as the segment hit its finale with "Let The Sunshine In" from Hair.
In other news:
The Columbus Dispatch predicts here that regardless of the awards' outcome, Dolly's musical and the four shows that bested it for a Best Musical nomination all "seem to be settling in for respectable runs" and "likely to tour the nation."
A columnist for The Northwestern in Oshkosh, Wis., called the awards' overlooking Dolly's show for Best Musical as "the crime that was committed by the nominators," calling it "the best show, by far," that he and his wife watched on a recent trip to Broadway, noting it scored a "9.9 rating on the laugh meter" and featured "wonderful Dolly Parton music." Read his Tony-centered article here.
Catch Dolly On 'Crook & Chase' Dolly has been announced as a guest on next week's Crook & Chase on RFD-TV. Other guests for the episode include Joe Nichols and John Rich as well as a tribute to Tammy Wynette and footage of a classic performance by Merle Haggard. The show premieres at 8 p.m. Thursday with repeats Friday and Saturday.
Slipping In Éire The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Vol. 1 dropped back toward the bottom of the top 100 in Ireland last week. The disc fell 27 spots to No. 93 in its 82nd week on the Irish pop albums tally.
KidsFest Is Comin'! Dollywood's seventh annual KidsFest kicks off with Dolly on Friday, and the return this year of the Penguin Players performing mini-musicals based on books from Dolly's Imagination Library with songs by Dolly herself got noticed over the weekend in The Mountain Press. This year's selections, in addition to the perennial The Little Engine That Could, are Llama, Llama Red Pajama (the author of which will be making personal appearances at the park on Friday) and Skippyjon Jones. Read more here.
June 6: Final Countdown To Tonys
Dolly chatted up the Tony Awards on The Early Show Friday morning on CBS, where she discussed her nervousness over the nomination for Best Score for 9 to 5: The Musical, joked if she wins she'll push pal Elton John off the stage and confirmed the show's original cast recording soundtrack will, as was previously reported here, "soon" be released on her own Dolly Records label. Watch the interview in the media player above or by clicking here. Show host Neil Patrick Harris came on the set for the last part of her interview, and he opened his own interview after the break complimenting Dolly as the nicest person in the world and noted producers have been working for months on Sunday night's huge opening number that he believes will be when Dolly performs. Watch that portion of the broadcast here, where the accompanying text story noted that not only Dolly but also John, Liza Minelli and all nominated musicals will participate in the opening segment. The Tony Awards air live on CBS Sunday starting at 8 p.m. Eastern.
In related news:
As another promotional effort for the awards, CBS revealed here that it will repeat Dolly's recent 60 Minutes interview Sunday on that program, which will air in most markets an hour prior to the awards show.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday became the first publication I've seen opine that Dolly deserves to win the Tony for Best Score Sunday, although its critic predicts Billy Elliot will beat her. Its critic also thinks Andy Blankenbuehler deserves to win Best Choreography but will also be outranked by Billy Elliot. However, the paper's reviewer says here she believes Allison Janney deserves to win and will win the prize for Best Actress In A Musical.
The Associated Press had a piece here Friday focusing on Dolly's nomination.
Fellow 9 To 5 Tony nominee Janney had nice things to say about Dolly in an interview with Cinema Blendhere. (Interestingly, I didn't see her on The Early Show although she had previously been announced as a guest for Friday's program.)
Dolly might have a song in another professional musical soon, Broadway.com reported here Friday. According to the publication, a London musical stage adaptation of The Bodyguard is in development which would be expected to include the film's biggest hit, Dolly's "I Will Always Love You," which was performed in the movie by Whitney Houston.
Dolly And Charlie Dolly was announced late Friday as a guest for the PBS interview series Charlie Rose that evening. Check local listings for broadcast dates and times, as most public television stations carry it late night Friday (such as 10 p.m. or 11 p.m.)/early morning Saturday (midnight or 1 a.m.) and often repeat it at various times later Saturday, Sunday and/or Monday. Sometime after the broadcast, footage should be available on his website here.
'Barbie' Gone From GAC As was expected this week, the music video for Dolly's "Backwoods Barbie" on Friday fell off of the Great American Country (GAC) Top 20 Countdown, down from No. 20 in its sixth week. The video had peaked at No. 3 on GAC, No. 17 on CMT and No. 9 on CMT Pure Country. Vote for it on CMT here, CMT Pure Country here and GAC here.
Womyn And Bois If you're up in Portland this weekend, check out the fourth annual Dolly Hoot tribute to Dolly and her music as a fund-raiser for the Siren Nation women's music festival. It takes place Saturday at the Mission Theatre. And if you're in Minnesota on June 26 or 27, check out the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus concert "Divas! In Praise of Gay Men's Female Icons," which will include a Dolly number, Out In Twin Cities reported here.
Graham Desires Dolly Dolly devotee and all around funny guy Graham Norton has a new show premiering this weekend on British television, and his ultimate goal is to get Dolly to guest on it. Totally Saturday airs on BBC1, and in preparing for the first episode, he told The Sunhere he is drawing inspiration from Dolly for the suit he'll wear on the first program, adding he wants her on the new show and she is his "favorite guest ever. People adore her. There's no dress-down Friday in her world." She appeared on his BBC Channel Four program So Graham Norton in early 2001, and later that fall they filmed a Christmas special that aired on the network that holiday season, Graham Goes To Dollywood.
Is Stellawood In The Future? Dolly's sis Stella is getting in the theme park business, The Ashville Citizen Times reported here Friday. She has signed on to oversee several aspects of Ghost Town in the Sky in western North Carolina, including headlining its new theatre and directing its new Appalachian Cultural Center. Thanks, Greg!
June 5: 'Barbie' Gone From Indie List A week after falling off of the pop and comprehensive charts, Dolly's Backwoods Barbie tumbles off of the independent label albums charts this week, Billboard's June 13 numbers that came out Thursday showed. The album falls from No. 34 in its 21st week on the 50-position tally. On the country albums chart, it drops 20 points to No. 49 in its 44th chart week. Comedian Steve Martin sees his The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, with a Dolly and Vince Gill duet, re-enter the Internet albums chart at No. 9 for a seventh week as it holds steady at No. 1 bluegrass in its 15th week and gains 13 to No. 93 pop in its second week and 14 to No. 99 comprehensive in its second week. Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted, with Dolly on "When I Get Where I'm Going," dips four to No. 14 country catalog and six to No. 35 Canadian country. Dolly goddaughter Miley Cyrus inches up one to recapture the No. 1 country position in its sixth week on that chart and rises three to No. 3 pop in its 10th week there with 52,000 copies sold of the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack, while Kenny Chesney dips one to No. 2 country and three to No. 6 pop with 43,000 units moved of his Greatest Hits II in its second week.
More Scouts Coverage
Knoxville TV station WBIR on Thursday offered a story on the new Dolly "Coat Of Many Colors" Girl Scouts badge. Check it out in the player above or by visiting the station's website here.
Dolly Gets Fan Award For '9 To 5' Dolly tied with Elton John and his Billy Elliot: The Musical for Best Original Score from the seventh annual Theatre Fans' Choice Awards at Broadway World.com, it was announced Thursday. Both composers took in 24.194 percent of the more than 400,000 votes cast in the Internet-voted competition. Dolly's 9 to 5: The Musical also saw a win for Scott Pask with Best Scenic Design. It was up for votes in 13 categories in the contest. See the full list of winners here. And don't forget to catch Dolly and fellow 9 To 5 Tony nominee Allison Janney on The Early Show on CBS Friday morning as part of the show's pre-Tony coverage.
Another Library Reaches 100,000 McMinn County, Tenn., last week celebrated delivery of its 100,000th book in Dolly's Imagination Library, The Daily Post-Athenian reported here.
June 4: Girl Scouts Get Dolly Diversity Patch
Knoxville News-Sentinel columnist Terry Morrow uncovered here this week that Girl Scouts are now able to earn a diversity patch in Dolly's honor. The "Coat Of Many Colors" patch has been offered for a couple of months by East Tennessee's 16-county Girl Scouts of Tansai Council and will be available nationwide beginning later this month. The organization says that the patch "teaches Girl Scouts that everyone shares universal desires for acceptance and affirmation" Dolly's special message to Girl Scouts about the patch, in which she notes that "what makes us different also makes us special," is available on their website or in the media player above.
Latest Pictures Posted With Dolly's next visit to Dollywood just a little over a week away, there are still photos from last month's appearance going up on the site :) Some more shots from Bryce as well as a few from Scott have been added here!
June 3: It's Official: Dolly Sings On Tonys
Although its commercials have for nearly a week listed Dolly as a performer at the ceremony and she said weeks ago that she'd be singing "9 To 5," the Tony Awards producers on Tuesday officially upgraded her standing on Sunday's broadcast from "special appearance" to "performing" with the cast of her 9 to 5: The Musical. Likewise, pal and fellow Best Score nominee Elton John (also plugged as a "performer" on the commercials) saw his status moved from "special appearance by" to "performing" with the cast of his show, Billy Elliot, The Musical. Also announced as new performers were Liza Minnelli, Stockard Channing and Poison, the latter joining the cast of '80s metal musical Rock Of Ages. Read the press release here and see coverage from UPI here, Playbillhere, TheatreManiahere and Broadway Worldhere. In addition, cast member Stephanie J. Block was on Good Day New York Tuesday morning on the local FOX affiliate performing "Get Out And Stay Out" and promoting both the musical and her debut solo CD, This Place I Know, which features her duet of "I Will Always Love You" with Dolly and was released to stores on Tuesday after having been available for downloading for several weeks from iTunes. Thanks, Tony! Check out her appearance on the program in the media player above or by clicking here.
Next Photos Available Thanks to Bryce for his next set of pictures from Dolly's recent East Tennessee visit. These are from her honorary doctorate ceremony and are available here!
June 2: Get That Book And CD Signed The Country Music Hall of Fame on Monday released the guidelines for Dolly's June 15 signing at their museum store of her I Am A Rainbow and Backwoods Barbie. The rules, available here, are:
In order to obtain an autograph, you must first receive a first-come/first-received autograph voucher. (There have been no indications of how long Dolly will sign or how many vouchers will be available.)
The only way to receive a voucher is to purchase the CD or book from the museum store that morning. (Limit one voucher per person.)
The store will open early, 8 a.m. Central, to begin sales.
Dolly, who will begin signing at 10 a.m., will not autograph anything other than the book and CD.
Photos will only be allowed to be taken while standing in the autograph line.
'9 To 5' Grosses Released The week wasn't so kind to Dolly's 9 To 5: The Musical, the weekly gross through May 31 that came out Monday indicated. The show stayed at No. 11 for the week's biggest gross total, but it slipped two more spots to No. 8 for largest audience. After three consecutive weeks of increasing grosses, the week's $755,755 constituted a drop of more than 6 percent, and its audience of 10,487 was a drop of nearly 11 percent compared to the previous week. Only 81 percent of seats were filled, down from 91 percent the previous week, but the per-ticket average price increased nearly 5 percent. Since previews began, the show has grossed $5.45 million from 88,239 ticketholders.
More Photos Posted Thanks to Bryce for his next set of pictures from Dolly's Dollywood appearances. Check them out in that section of the site here!
Branson Library Gets Press Dolly's Dixie Stampede sponsorship of her Imagination Library in the Branson area, and the international program's approaching its 20 millionth book, were covered by Ozarks Firsthere Monday.
June 1: Latest '9 To 5' Talk Tony nominee Dolly has been added as a guest for The Early Show on CBS Friday as part of its Tony Awards preview. Also on tap for the final broadcast in advance of next Sunday's awards are show host Neil Patrick Harris and one of 9 To 5's other nominees, Allison Janney. In related news, The New York Times praises the Tony-nominated choreography in the musical here, and Dolly's sister Stella has posted to her website a shot of the two of them from the official opening night of Dolly's show on Broadway. Also, Janney gets another interview in Playbillhere.
A Few More Pics Thanks to Bryce for sending in his and Ryan's shots from Dolly's appearance in front of her Chasing Rainbows Museum at Dollywood to kick off her May stop to East Tennessee. Check them out in a gallery added to that section of the site here, and he promises more are to come!
Two Library Expansions Covered The addition of Montmorency County, Mich., to Dolly's Imagination Library family of communities earned recognition over the weekend in The Gaylord Herald Timeshere, and its continued expansion in Canada was noted in The Peterborough Examiner here. Also, Hardin County, Ohio's, chapter raised money to present each kindergartener in the county a book (in addition to the ones that children under 5 receive from Dolly) to encourage them to continue reading, The Ada Herald reported here.