Sept. 30: 'Better Day' Falls Off U.S. Charts After just 12 weeks on the U.S. charts, Dolly's Better Day is no more. The title falls off the 75-position country albums chart this week, the Oct. 8 tallies released Thursday by Billboard revealed. The collection had peaked in the U.S. with its No. 11 country, No. 51 pop debut. Elsewhere on the charts, Kristen Chenoweth's Some Lessons Learned, featuring a cover of Dolly's "Change" and the tribute number "What Would Dolly Do?," loses 11 to No. 25 country and 75 places to No. 125 pop in its second week, falling out of the Canadian top 50 country albums, down from No. 43 the previous week, while The Grascals' Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, with Dolly guest vocals, falls back off the 15-position bluegrass albums list, down from No. 10 the previous week, its 32nd. Overall, Lady Antebellum's Own The Night remains at No. 1 country and slips one to No. 2 pop in its second week, while George Strait's Here For a Good Time regains one to No. 2 country and four to No. 11 pop in its third week.
Sept. 28: Dolly Nominated For MTV Honor Dolly is one of just a handful of country artists nominated for this year's O Music Awards by MTV for digital media, it was announced Tuesday. A 1970s clip of her performing "Jolene" on That Good Ole Country Music is up for Best Vintage Viral Video against clips by Metallica, Sinead O'Connor, Nirvana and Notorious B.I.G. Winners, determined by public voting on their website, will be announced Oct. 31.
Chenoweth Still Talking Of Dolly Flick Kristen Chenoweth continues to plug her new country CD, Some Lessons Learned, visiting AOL's country music blog The Boot. In the interview, she spoke about her desire to play Dolly in her life story. In addition, she performed her Dolly tribute number "What Would Dolly Do?" which the site posted with the story. Watch it and read the story here. In a related piece, CMT.com columnist Hazel Smith noted some similarities between the two here this week.
Dolly Biographer Releases New Book Fan site Rare Dolly.com has posted an interview with Dolly biographer Alanna Nash, who just released a new title The Quotable Dolly, assembling some of her best lines and photos. Check out the interview and find out how to order the book here.
Help Get Dolly On A Stamp The U.S. Postal Service announced this week that it will choose five living Americans for the first time to appear on stamps next year and is seeking suggestions from the public. Several media articles have noted that Dolly's name has popped up in several places as a possibility. To add your voice, post a note on the USPS Facebook page here.
Evans Chats About 'Jolene' Sarah Evans talked about performing "Jolene" with her sisters on tour in an interview with Country Stars Central available here.
Dollywood's Gospel Fest Begins Dollywood is readying for its annual National Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration, which kicks off Wednesday with the Southern Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Singing News Fan Awards including giving the Impact Award to the Statler Brothers. In a press release, Dolly noted: "Having won the Impact Award myself, I know what a thrill this is for the Statler Brothers, and I'm so happy they're coming to my National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration to accept and help kick off this great festival since I'll be on tour. Southern gospel music is very near and dear to my heart, and I hope folks enjoy the month's worth of special entertainment that's in store for them at Dollywood this fall." More than 350 free concerts are part of the festival, which runs through Oct. 29.
Sept. 26: 'Opry' Stop Features Three Songs Dolly rocked The Grand Ole Opry Saturday night in Nashville, her first return to the institution's stage since last fall. She thrilled the crowd with her current single, "Together You And I," as well as classics "Coat of Many Colors" and "9 To 5." Thanks to Troy Marden for supplying a couple of photos including the one at left, a larger version of which is available here, and a second shot here. Also, thanks to Christopher Clinard for sharing his shots with the site's readers. They're available for view on Facebook here.
'Together' Falls Off U.K. Chart After just one week on the British pop singles chart, Dolly's "Together You And I" is gone, the tallies released Sunday revealed. The song had debuted at No. 67 last week but fell off of the top 100 in its second week. However, her 1974 classic "Jolene," which became a top 10 U.K. pop hit in 1976 and re-entered the list for a 10th chart week last week at No. 100, rises seven spots to No. 93 for an 11th week. On the albums side, her Better Day keeps the No. 1 country position for a fourth consecutive week but falls 13 places to No. 31 on the pop charts. On the county compilation chart, Dolly: Live From London dips five to No. 7 in its 80th chart week, while The Essential Dolly Parton remains steady at No. 20 in its 27th week.
Aussie Video Released, Chart Updated
The next installment in the pre-tour video series for Dolly's Better Day World Tour's Australian leg hit YouTube on Sunday, focusing on her current single and music video. Next week's edition will profile her current CD. Watch this week's in the media player above or by clicking here. In chart news Down Under, her Better Day inches down one digit in its fourth week on the Australian country albums chart to No. 15, while The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 falls back out of the top 20 country list there, down from No. 16 last week, its 83rd since release.
Sept. 24: Movie Trailer For Dolly's Next Picture Released
Warner Brothers on Friday morning officially released the first trailer for Dolly's upcoming film with Queen Latifah, Joyful Noise, and immediately it was posted to YouTube by several movie websites. Watch it in the media player above or by clicking here.
Aussie Tour Becomes Diplomatic Negotiation Unbeknownst to the 100,000 fans with tickets to her 10 concerts Down Under, clearance for the November and December Australian leg of Dolly's Better Day World Tour depended on weeks of high-level government diplomacy to happen, a report released Friday revealed. The story, available from The Daily Telegraphhere, says government officials originally refused to allow her custom-built multi-million-dollar tour bus into the country, citing it was 2 meters too long, five centimeters too wide, overweight and has its entry doors on the wrong side to be street legal in Australia. The response came back from her management that she would cancel the tour if she couldn't use her bus, so the nation's Transportation Minister leapt into action and over the course of two months negotiated waivers from the state governments in each place her bus is slated to travel, a diplomatic mission that was just completed this week, preventing the threatened tour cancellation.
'Better Day' Falls In Ireland After zooming to a new chart peak last week at No. 63, Dolly's Better Day CD has fallen off the Irish pop albums top 100 list this week after just three weeks on the tally. Also gone is The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1, down from a No. 96 re-entry last week, its 95th since release. However, Life In Music Ultimate Collection is still around, dipping 39 places to No. 85 in its ninth chart week.
Sept. 23: 'Better Day' Nears Bottom Of Chart Even though it's flying high in the U.K. and Down Under, Dolly's Better Day could be about to fall off the U.S. country albums chart, the Oct. 1 numbers released Thursday by Billboard magazine revealed. The set tumbles 10 more spots to No. 74 in just its 12th week on the 75-position tally. Elsewhere on the charts, Kristen Chenoweth sees her Some Lessons Learned, with its cover of Dolly's "Change" and the tribute number "What Would Dolly Do?," debut at No. 14 country, No. 50 pop and No. 43 Canadian country, while The Grascals' Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, featuring Dolly on three songs, re-enters the 15-position bluegrass albums list at No. 10 for a 32nd week. Overall, Lady Antebellum's Own The Night debuts at No. 1 country and pop, while Brantley Gilbert's Halfway To Heaven re-enters the charts at No. 2 country and No. 4 pop with its physical CD release after originally coming out as a digital-only product a year and a half ago.
'Joyful Noise' Trailer Ready To Premiere Entertainment Tonight on Friday will offer viewers a sneak peak at the trailer for the new Queen Latifah and Dolly movie Joyful Noise, which comes out in January. Unconfirmed reports are that the full trailer will be shown with the film Dolphin Tale that opens on Friday, which makes sense because it is from the same producers and distributors. The 2 minute and 25 second spot was registered last week and has received a G rating for the trailer.
Jones Covering Dolly Tune Again Dolly fan Norah Jones will once again cover one of her songs, CMT revealed here Wednesday. Her side band, The Little Willies, for whom she sings lead, has announced a country covers collection as its second album, For The Good Times, to hit stores in January. The CD will feature their version of Dolly's classic "Jolene." They'll preview the album in concert next month in Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Westhampton. Jones previously sang a Grammy-nominated duet with Dolly on the track "Creepin' In" from Jones' 2004 album Feels Like Home, and Jones covered "The Grass Is Blue" (resulting in the pair performing the song together on the CMA Awards) for the Dolly tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman: The Songs of Dolly Parton.
Dolly 'Opry' Reminder For Weekend Don't forget Dolly hits The Grand Ole Opry stage on Saturday. It will mark her first stop at the country music institution since two appearances last year. The Opry had offered a meet-and-greet contest to get backstage and meet Dolly, and now they're offering an additional sweepstakes for a prize pack including a Dolly CD, autographed guitar and Opry tickets here on Facebook.
Chenoweth Compares To Dolly Song Kristen Chenoweth, who covers Dolly and offers a tribute song in her honor on her country CD Some Lessons Learned, tells the Associated Press she identifies with Dolly's song "Sacrifice" from Better Day. The Tony and Emmy winner said: "She talks about how much she's given up. She's given up relationships, being home with her family, missing out with her husband, not having a child, all of that I can relate to. So, maybe this second chapter in my life will be different in that way. But, I'll always sing. Whoever that man is, He's got to accept that music is like my arms. I can't live without (them)." Check out the complete story here and watch her perform her Dolly tribute "What Would Dolly Do?" on The Grand Ole Opry from the show's YouTube feed here or in the media player below.
Sept. 21: Dollywood Got Two More Places In addition to the Golden Ticket Awards reported here Sunday night, Dollywood took home two prizes not included in the original announcement, the park revealed this week. Its Slidewinder took the sixth place award in Best Water Ride and Thunderhead got fifth place in Top Wooden Roller Coasters (it has consistently been in the top five since opening, having been No. 1 twice). In a press release, Dolly noted: "Well, a girl could sure get used to this. It's very humbling for me that folks come see us at Dollywood and then take the time to vote for us in the Golden Ticket Awards, especially for our live entertainment and our Smoky Mountain Christmas festival. This is a huge honor for Dollywood, and I share it with my Dollywood family who makes me shine bigger and brighter than any rhinestone ever could!" As was previously reported here, the park took first place in Best Shows and Best Christmas Event and placed in several other categories.
Miami Paper Chats About Dolly The Miami New Times offers some "fascinating" Dolly facts to its readers here this week.
Dolly Turned Down Gabriel Duet Singer Peter Gabriel told The Quietus that he asked Dolly to sing on his mid-1980s hit "Don't Give Up" but she declined, resulting in Kate Bush doing it instead. Check out the interview here.
Chenoweth, Mays Share Love Of Dolly Dolly and FOX's Glee continue to get mentioned in the same breath. Kristen Chenoweth, often a guest star on the show, told Billboardhere if she returns in the new season she'd like the series creators to let her sing a Dolly cover, and regular Jayma Mays repeated her love for Dolly in a video interview with Broadway Worldhere. In related news, Chenoweth made her Grand Ole Opry debut and performed "What Would Dolly Do?" a tribute song from her new CD, Some Lessons Learned. Country Weekly reported on the appearance here.
'Mom' Gets U.S. Distributor Producers of the indie Canadian feature The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom tell me that they have secured an American distributor, Osiris Entertainment, and hope to have a U.S. release date for the DVD soon. The picture screened in several Canadian cities and has been available for a few months on DVD in Canada. It is currently making film festival rounds in Europe and will be the subject of an Imagination Library fund-raiser for Canada's Yukon chapter of Dolly's literacy program, which will benefit from a $20-per-person screening Sept. 29 at the Whitehouse Visitor Information Centre with the director.
In Memoriam: Archie Ray McMahan In sad news, Archie Ray Dennis McMahan, Dolly's first grade teacher about whom she often lovingly spoke in interviews and public appearances, naming her one of her two favorite teachers, died Sept. 15 in Sevierville, The Mountain Press reported here. She was 96. Thanks, Tabby.
Sept. 19: Dolly Single Lands On British Chart "Together You And I," the lead single off Dolly's new Better Day CD, debuts this week at No. 67 on the British pop singles chart, it was revealed Sunday. The track, which she performed the previous week on the season premiere of hit television series Strictly Come Dancing, marks just her eighth career British top 100 single and her fifth-highest charting one to date. By contrast, when released in the States, the single failed to get enough airplay to make the country chart, much less the pop chart. She was last on the chart with a re-entry of "Islands In The Stream" in 2009 at No. 88 (it had originally peaked at No. 7 in 1984) while her most recent new single on the chart was "If," which landed at No. 73 in 2002. Her popularity with the television appearance and recent European tour also brought back an oldie to the tally, with "Jolene," which topped out at No. 7 in Great Britain back in 1976, re-entering the chart at No. 100 for a 10th chart week. Those appear to be the only two country songs in the top 100. On the album side, Better Day retains its No. 1 country position for a third consecutive week but dips three to No. 18 on the pop charts. Over on the county compilation list, Dolly: Live From London holds steady at No. 2 in its 79th chart week, while The Essential Dolly Parton loses five to No. 20 in its 26th week.
Aussie Chart, Video Updates
The next installment of the Australian web series promoting the upcoming leg of her tour Down Under was released on Sunday and is viewable in the media player above or by visiting YouTube here. It focuses on her biggest hits. In related news, Better Day drops seven more spots in its third week on the Australian country albums chart to No. 14, while The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 dips two to No. 16 in its 83rd week there.
Dollywood Wins Two Golden Ticket Awards Congratulations to Dollywood for snagging several honors from the annual Golden Ticket Awards presented over the weekend by Amusement Today at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind. The park took first place in Best Shows and Best Christmas Event, second place in Friendliest Park, third place in Best Food and Cleanest Park and fourth place in Best Landscaping. It also placed fourth for Best Park behind No. 1 Cedar Park in Ohio, No. 2 Knoebels in Pennsylvania and No. 3 Germany's Europa-Park but one place above Disneyland. This marks the third year in a row for the park to win first place in Best Shows and fourth consecutive year for Best Christmas Event.
Sept. 17: Dolly Expands Irish Chart Coverage With publicity from her Irish stop on the Better Day World Tour, Dolly sees a new peak for her CD Better Day and two compilations on the Irish top 100 pop chart this week, it was revealed Friday. Her current studio album rises 25 places to No. 63, besting its No. 68 debut three weeks ago. In addition, Life In Music Ultimate Collection shoots up 33 spots to No. 46 in its eighth chart week, and The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 re-enters for a 95th chart week, coming in at No. 96. In related news, The News Letter provided a glowing review of her Belfast show here, and a British fan who has been mentioned in several Dolly biographies for having had her Love Is Like A Butterfly album cover tattooed on his back in the mid-1970s is profiled in Get Surreyhere over his disappointment he was unable to meet Dolly during the tour to show her the body art for a second time.
'First Dog' Gets LA Times Review The Los Angeles Times found a few good places but mostly mediocre scenes in the indie film First Dog, for which Dolly provided three original songs and which came out on general release DVD last week. Read what the paper had to say here.
Chenoweth Also Reviewed For CD News OK reviewed Okie Kristen Chenoweth's new CD Some Lessons Learned, singling out her Dolly tribute "What Would Dolly Do?" as a highlight. Read the review here.
Sept. 16: London Shows Gross $3 Million Dolly's two nights in London's O2 Arena saw her play for more than 25,000 fans and rake in nearly $3 million, according the first reported gross on the European leg of her Better Day World Tour to appear in the Billboard Boxscore report Thursday. The two shows garnered her the No. 3 position on this week's chart. Nearly 93 percent of the venue's 27,278 tickets available for the two concerts were sold, realizing a gross of $2.91 million, or an average of about $1.5 million per night. That's more than three times the gross of the most successful reported date from the first American leg of the tour. Elsewhere on the magazine's Sept. 24 tallies, her Better Day falls seven more spots to No. 64 in its 11th week, while The Grascals' Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, with Dolly on three tracks, falls back off the 15-position bluegrass albums list, down from No. 10 the previous week, its 31st on the chart. Overall, George Strait's Here For a Good Time debuts at No. 1 country and No. 3 pop with 91,000 copies sold in its first week, while Jason Aldean's My Kind of Party rebounds one to No. 2 country and two to No. 11 pop in its 45th chart week.
More Press From Europe The European leg of the Better Day World Tour has ended, following Dolly's Thursday night show in Belfast. In advance of the concert, The Belfast Telegraph tested fans' knowledge with an extensive trivia page here. Also further praise came from The State for Wednesday's Dublin engagement here, saying "Here's a woman who looks like a Barbie Doll but has talent, brains and spirituality so deep that can make a grown indie woman cry. And that's why I'll always love Dolly Parton." Also This Is Lancaster posted a review from her recent Manchester performance here.
Possible Interruptions Your webmaster is heading off to a conference in San Francisco, so updates may be a bit abbreviated or delayed for the next week depending on available time and Internet connections. Please be patient :)
Sept. 15: European Tour Readies Its End The European leg of Dolly's Better Day World Tour wraps up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Thursday night, completing 18 dates in 15 cities across seven countries before returning to the States for a few more dates prior to the tour's Australian leg. Recent reviews have kept up the glowingly positive critical praise for the tour, with Sheffield Telegraphhere from Monday night's show (concluding by noting encore "I Will Always Love You" "was touching, sweet, and an apt reminder that there really is a lot of substance beneath the shiny surface."), The Evening Chronicle calling Saturday's Newcastle date "an incredible evening from an incredible performer" here and The Sutherland Echo noting here that "whatever your views on her music, there's no denying Dolly's a legend – and rightly so."
Sept. 12: Dolly Still No. 1 UK Country, Top 20 Pop The European release of Better Day this week continues its reign atop the British country albums chart with a second consecutive week at No. 1, it was announced Sunday. On the pop side, the collection slips six spots to No. 15 in its second week. On the U.K. compilation country albums list, her 2009 concert CD/DVD Dolly: Live From London rises three places to No. 2 in its 78th chart week, while The Essential Dolly Parton falls two more to No. 15 in its 25th chart week. The European leg of Dolly's Better Day World Tour continued over the weekend with dates in Newcastle Saturday and Manchester Sunday. The English dates conclude in Sheffield Monday night, followed by the European segment's two final dates: Dublin, Ireland, on Wednesday, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Thursday. In advance of those last two stops, the Irish version of The Independent offered an editorial about her cunning interview skills here, while the English version of The Independent reviewed Friday's second London engagement here. The Sunday Sun reviewed the Newcastle date here, and Unreality TVhere discussed her performance of single "Together You And I" Saturday night on the season premiere of BBC series Strictly Come Dancing. Elsewhere in Europe, The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 snags a second consecutive week on the Danish pop albums chart, gaining 15 digits to No. 10 in its 16th chart week.
Aussie Profiles Continue, Chart Released
The next installment of the Dolly profiles by the promoter for the Australian leg of her world tour was released on Sunday, focusing on her songwriting. Check it out on YouTube in the media player above or by clicking here. Meanwhile, Better Day slips two in its second week on the Australian country albums chart to No. 7, while The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 gains two to No. 14 in its 82nd Aussie chart week.
Listen To Chenoweth CD With Dolly Tracks Sony Music has released for streaming the full songs from Kristen Chenoweth's upcoming CD Some Lessons Learned, which hits stores on Tuesday. The collection includes a gorgeous cover of Dolly's song "Change" as well as a tribute track called "What Would Dolly Do?" Take a listen to both – and the CD's other tunes – from Playbillhere.
On Sunday, America observes an emotional anniversary, 10 years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a plane that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. Watching the events unfold that morning in 2001, Dolly wrote this song, "Hello God." I present it here this weekend in memory of those who died and in tribute to those who survived. The Houston Chronicle includes the song in its list of songs that were generated in response to that tragic morning here.
Ups And Downs On Irish Charts Dolly's Better Day sticks around for a second week on the Irish pop albums top 100, it was announced Friday, with the CD slipping 20 places to No. 88. Elsewhere on the tally, her compilation A Life In Music Ultimate Collection rises 11 spots to No. 79 in its seventh chart week.
Still Turning Pages In Europe The European leg of Dolly's Better Day World Tour continues to rack up headlines, with an interview in Newcastle's Evening Chroniclehere in advance of Saturday night's show in that city, and a story on U.K. fan website Dolly Part'ners U.K. operator Joe Skelly meeting her again getting in the Cumbria News And Starhere.
Sept. 9: U.S. Chart Updates Released Dolly's Better Day slips a little more this week on the country albums chart, losing six spots to No. 57 in its 10th week, the Sept. 17 Billboard numbers show. Elsewhere, The Grascals' Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, featuring three Dolly appearances, gains three to No. 10 bluegrass albums in its 31st chart week. Overall, Jake Owen's Barefoot Blue Jean Night debuts at No. 1 country and No. 6 pop, while Luke Bryan's Tailgates and Tanlines remains steady at No. 2 country and falls four to No. 11 pop in its fourth week.
Latest News From U.K. Tour Dolly's European leg of the Better Day World Tour continues to get noticed in the British press. Her second London show earned four stars from This Is Londonhere (although the writer erred in saying she's only had one British hit, No. 7 "Jolene" since "Islands in the Stream" also reached that position, and no top 20 non-compilation album, as her new one debuted in the top 10 last week) and The Independent gave it three stars here. UK Associated Press posted a story about her appreciation of Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You" here. In addition The Guardian offered Iris Mansour an opportunity to talk about her impersonating Dolly in the audience at her own concert here.
'Joyful Noise' Screens In Calif. Dolly's upcoming Queen Latifah movie Joyful Noise is making the test screening rounds. An invitation-only private test screening was held Wednesday at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, Calif. The final film is scheduled to hit screens in January. Thanks, John!
'Hollywood' Heads To Memphis Memphis-area folks should head out this Friday night to catch fan documentary Hollywood To Dollywood (with a brief cameo by your webmaster) as the opening selection at the Outflix Film Festival in Memphis. Coverage includes The Memphis Flyerhere and WMC TV here.
Sept. 8: Local Family Wins Park Contest Dollywood on Wednesday revealed that Amanda Taylor from Sevierville, Tenn., won the random contest for major prizes after texting the name of the park's 2012 coaster, Wild Eagle, after it was announced Sunday night. She has won a meet-and-greet with Dolly, lifetime passes to the park for her and her husband and four children as well as all family members above the minimum height requirement being able to be the first riders on the new attraction when it opens. In a press release, Dolly said: "I'm still in England on my Better Day World Tour but I just got the great news about the Taylor family winning lifetime passes to Dollywood in our Wild Eagle texting contest. I can't wait to meet them and present this incredible prize and then watch them soar on my new Wild Eagle coaster. From what I hear, they're every bit as excited as I am—and they should be!" Taylor, a stay-at-home mother, said: "I've never won anything in my whole life, and I wasn't sure if they were serious but my family and I are so happy.
Tour Continues Through Europe Dolly's Better Day World Tour continues to roll through Europe garnering smashing reviews. Tuesday night's engagement in Bournemouth, England, resulted in the Bournemouth Echo critic commenting: "If this isn't one of the greatest concerts ever performed at the BIC, I will eat my pink fluffy stetson." Read more here.
Latest Chenoweth Coverage With her new CD Some Lessons Learned containing a cover of Dolly's "Change" and her own original composition "What Would Dolly Do?" hitting stores on Tuesday, Kristen Chenoweth continues her media appearances. Check out an interview, with several Dolly comments, from Reuters wire service this week here.
Anderson, Van Doren Dolly Cover Coming Producer Larry Ferguson posted on his personal Facebook page Wednesday that Lynn Anderson and Mamie Van Doren just recorded a duet of Dolly's "The Best Woman Wins," which Dolly originally did as a duet with Lorrie Morgan. He says the new version will soon be available for digital download with retail stores to follow.
Sept. 6: Dollywood Announcement Gets Local Coverage Dollywood's Sunday announcement of the 2012 attraction Wild Eagle snagged coverage from The Knoxville News Sentinelhere (noting it will be the first ride visible from the parking lot) and WBIR television here.
Latest From Europe Dolly's European leg of her Better Day World Tour continues to earn rave reviews, with Music News.com giving her Liverpool stop five stars here and Redditch Standard gushing over her Birmingham engagement here. Also, Billboard noted here the No. 9 pop opening for Better Day on the U.K. charts Sunday was her career best for a studio recording.
Sept. 5: Wild Eagle Coming To Dollywood
Dollywood will be soaring high in 2012 with its $20 million Wild Eagle roller coaster, the first wing coaster to open in the United States, it was announced Sunday. The ride will be the single most expensive attraction in the park's history. As was previously announced here, you may text the ride's name to 87654 before 1 a.m. Monday morning to be entered in a drawing for a meet-and-greet with Dolly, the first seat at the ride's March 2012 opening and lifetime passes to the park for up to eight members of your household. (Entrants receive a link to a YouTube Dolly video telling them if their guess is correct or not.) In a press release, Dolly noted: "After the honor of the 2010 Applause Award, we knew that all eyes were on us at Dollywood to see what we'd do next. Wild Eagle celebrates not only the majestic bald eagle but also my beautiful Smoky Mountains which folks will get a bird's eye view of as they soar high above Dollywood. I'm just thrilled that Dollywood's Wild Eagle is the only place in the entire country where folks can get their feathers ruffled on a coaster like this!" The 21-story coaster will be perched atop the park's tallest ridge. Starting in the Wilderness Pass area, riders will travel 61 miles per hour on 3,127 feet of track with four inversions including a giant loop, a "zero-G" roll and giant flat spin. A 2.5-minute ride, it will also feature a 135-foot drop for the 28 riders on each floorless train (seven cars of four passengers each). Rain apparently delayed the Boomsday fireworks show during which the announcement was to be made, and then technical issues prevented the live Internet feed from working to show everyone the announcement, although copies of the press release soon hit the web with schematics of the ride. Check out coverage from The Mountain Presshere and CoasterBuzzhere.
Better Day Lands In British Pop Top 10 Dolly's Better Day made a big splash across the pond this week, garnering a No. 9 pop and No. 1 country debut on the U.K. charts Sunday, as had been previously predicted based on mid-week sales. It marks just her second top 10 U.K. appearance in her career, with the first coming just four years ago with The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1. Her concert CD/DVD from 2009, Dolly: Live From London, also saw a sales bump to jump 13 places on the British country compilations chart to reach No. 5 in its 77th week there, while The Essential Dolly Parton lost two to No. 13 country compilations in its 24th chart week. Down Under, her new CD debuted at No. 5 on the Australian country albums chart but didn't sell enough to make the top 50 pop albums there. The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 slipped two to No. 16 in its 81st Aussie chart week. And while the new CD didn't break the Danish charts, her recent concerts there did prompt The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1 to re-enter their tally at No. 25 to mark a 15th chart week since its 2007 release.
Dolly Interviews, Reviews Hit Web
The next installment of the Dolly interview series promoting the Australian leg of her Better Day World Tour hit YouTube on Sunday. Check it out here or in the media player above, where she discusses "Dolly the Businesswoman" and her Imagination Library literacy program, Dollywood and its associated businesses and Dolly Records. In related news, the tour's European leg continued over the weekend, garnering positive reviews from The Birmingham Post (four stars) here and Express and Starhere for Friday night's stop in Birmingham, England, as well as a three-star review from The Guardianhere for Saturday night's first of two shows in Cardiff, Wales, photos from which are available from Wales Onlinehere. Also, she promoted the tour and album Friday morning on the British version of shopping channel QVC, which the network posted to YouTube over the weekend here and in the media player below.
Sept. 3: 'Better Day' Debuts On Irish Chart Dolly's Better Day debuts this week at No. 68 on the Irish pop albums chart, ranking as the country's fourth-biggest-selling country music title of the week, it was revealed on Friday. Also, her compilation album A Life In Music Ultimate Collection re-enters the top 100 at No. 90 to garner a sixth chart week. British charts will be released on Sunday, and it is expected to debut as the No. 1 country album there and possibly as high as the top 10 pop.
Welsh Paper Chats With Dolly Still in the U.K. promoting her new CD on her Better Day World Tour, Dolly gave an interview with Wales Online in advance of Saturday and Sunday's shows in Cardiff. Read it here.
Dollywood Announcement Reminder For Sunday Don't forget to check out the big Dollywood announcement Sunday night at Knoxville's Boomsday fireworks display where the park's 2012 ride addition will be announced. The event will air live on WBIR as well as the park's Dollywood 2012 website, which added its final clue on Friday that appears to confirm previous rumors that the ride will be North America's first "wing rider" coaster. Hints on the site, including a large bird shadow over the mountains and a large bird egg on the page, would seem to indicate a likely bird theme for the ride. Viewers will be able to text what they see in the sky (possibly the ride's name written in lasers through the fireworks smoke) to 87654 for a chance to win a meet-and-greet with Dolly, be the first to ride the new attraction at opening weekend next year and receive lifetime park passes for up to eight members of the winner's household. Details of the ride are expected to be revealed on coaster enthusiast website Screamscape an hour before they're otherwise announced publicly.
TLC Faces Dolly Impersonator Backlash Public outcry over giving a 4-year-old a stuffed bra and fake butt to impersonate Dolly in a child beauty pageant caused TLC to disable the comments section on its Toddlers & Tiaras Facebook page this week, The Hollywood Reporter reported here on Friday.
Sept. 2: 'Better Day' Still On Country Charts Dolly's Better Day hangs on for one more week on the country albums chart, remaining steady at No. 51 in its ninth week, the Sept. 10 Billboard charts out on Thursday revealed. Elsewhere, The Grascals' Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, with Dolly on three tracks, inches up one to No. 13 bluegrass albums in its 30th chart week and Rhonda Vincent's Taken, featuring Dolly on a duet, falls back off the 15-position bluegrass list, down from No. 9 last week, its 29th. Overall, Miranda Lambert side project Pistol Annies' Hell On Heels debuts at No. 1 country and No. 6 pop with 44,000 units moved in its first week, while Luke Bryan's Tailgates and Tanlines slips one to No. 2 country and three to No. 7 pop with 35,000 copies sold in its third week.
Liverpool Show Gets High Marks Dolly's return to the U.K. is getting rave reviews, with Liverpool Confidential on Thursday giving her show in that city a nine out of 10 rating here and JMU-Journalism likewise praising it here. She also sat down for an interview with The Irish Times that is available here.
'First Dog' Coming To DVD Next Week First Dog, the independent film about a lost presidential canine featuring original songs written and performed by Dolly, hits general release DVD on Tuesday. The movie had previously come out in limited release DVD for movie rentals. Reserve your copy here!
Sept. 1: New British TV Appearances Coming A couple of Dolly appearances will be making their way to British television in coming days, it has been announced. She is scheduled to promote Better Day on the U.K. version of shopping channel QVC in a 9 a.m. appearance on Friday. She will also appear on the season premiere of Strictly Come Dancing (a U.K. show similar to America's Dancing With The Stars), where she'll perform "Together You And I" on Saturday, Sept. 10. In a statement, she said: "My eyes are dancing, my heart is dancing, and my feet are dancing all the way to the Strictly Come Dancing season premiere, where I will be singing 'Together You & I' from my Better Day CD. So dust off your dancing shoes, and join us!"
Grascals Duet Earns Another Nom Dolly and The Grascals are up for another award for their collaboration "I Am Strong." The song's music video is nominated for the 17th annual Inspirational Country Music Awards and their Faith, Family and Country Awards. It faces off for Video of the Year against Lady Antebellum's "Hello World," Justin Moore's "If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away," The Band Perry's "If I Die Young" and Carrie Underwood's "Mama's Song." Winners will be announced Oct. 28 at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Little Dolly Impersonator On TLC "Dolly" made another appearance on TLC Thursday night, when Toddlers & Tiaras featured a 4-year-old beauty pageant contestant done up as a miniature Dolly impersonator. Check out a clip here or in the media player below.