Forty-seven years ago Monday, “Jeanie's Afraid of the Dark” with Porter debuts on the country charts; the B-side of their No. 5 hit “We'll Get Ahead Someday,” it makes it to No. 51. Twenty-six years ago Monday, Steel Magnolias, Dolly's fourth feature film, is released; by the end of its run it becomes her third major film success by grossing more than $84 million. Twenty-two years ago Monday, Slow Dancing with the Moon, Dolly's most recent platinum album, reaches that status with more than 1 million copies sold (Dolly's sixth) eight months after its release. Nineteen years ago Monday, “Just When I Needed You Most,” Dolly's 102nd country chart single, debuts; it peaks at No. 62. Forty-eight years ago Wednesday, Porter & Dolly perform at the first Dolly Parton Day in Sevierville, Tenn. Thirty-seven years ago Wednesday, Heartbreaker enters its fifth of nine weeks at No. 1 on the country album charts; it reaches No. 27 pop. That same day, the single “Heartbreaker” enters its second of three weeks at No. 1 on the country singles chart (Dolly's ninth), and would reach No. 37 pop. Twenty-nine years ago Wednesday, Dolly's Greatest Hits is certified platinum (Dolly's second) four years after its release for more than 1 million copies sold. Fifteen years ago Wednesday, Dolly headlines the Stars Over Mississippi benefit concert. Ten years ago Thursday, “When I Get Where I'm Going” with Brad Paisley debuts on the country singles chart; five months later it becomes her record-breaking 25th No. 1 country hit, the most for any female artist. Forty-eight years ago Friday, Dolly and her uncle Bill Owens incorporate Owepar Publishing to hold the rights to the songs they've written. Forty-four years ago Friday, Dolly gives Porter 49 percent of Owepar as a gift; Dolly gets back full ownership of Owepar and shifts all of its songs to her Velvet Apple Music after she and Porter settle a breach of contract suit eight years later. Thirty-seven years ago Friday, Dolly is named the CMA's Entertainer of the Year. Forty-four years ago Saturday, Porter & Dolly pick up the second CMA Duo of the Year award; they had won the inaugural statue the previous year after being named Vocal Group of the Year three years earlier. Twenty-seven years ago Saturday, Dolly hosts the 22nd annual CMA Awards. Forty-six years ago Sunday, My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy debuts on the album charts; it would reach No. 6 country and No. 194 pop. Forty years ago Sunday, Dolly (a.k.a “The Seeker”/”We Used To”) debuts on the country album charts; it would peak at No. 14.
In-person Dolly (scheduled live
appearances, some are tentative)
May 6, 2016, 31st Annual Dolly Parade, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
With Dolly Duet, Henley Has Week's Best-Selling CD An album featuring Dolly was the nation's best-selling CD last week, it was revealed on Monday. Don Henley's solo country CD, Cass County, with Dolly on the lead single, “When I Stop Dreaming,” sold 87,000 copies in its first week to come in at No. 1 on the all-genre album sales chart and No. 1 on the country albums chart, according to Billboard. However, because the new Billboard 200 overall pop albums chart recently began adding points for “track equivalent albums” when an album sells enough individual digital tracks to equal the same size as a full-length CD and “streaming equivalent albums” to track online streaming of the songs, Henley's was not the overall No. 1 album in the country, coming in instead at No. 3 on that tally with 89,000 total units, meaning just 2,000 album equivalents for digital singles sales and online streaming. The full charts, dated Oct. 17, will be released on Tuesday.
Dolly Pays Tribute To Mother On Website Dolly's official website, DollyParton.com, on Monday offered a nice story about her mother's love and inspiration in honor of what would have been Avie Lee Parton's 92nd birthday. Read it here.
Dollywood 2016 Operating Calendar Released Dollywood has announced that the park will open on March 19 for its 2016 operating season. No word yet on Dolly appearances for next year other than her previously-announced 31st Annual Dolly Parade on May 6, but for the past several years Dolly has made appearances at the opening day for the public as well as the season passholders' preview day, which usually takes place the day before the public opening, which would make it March 18 if the same schedule holds true for next year. Next year's major festivals are the Festival of Nations March 19-April 18, BBQ & Bluegrass Festival May 13-22, Great American Summer June 11-Aug. 7, Rock the Smokies Sept. 3-4, National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration Sept. 30-Oct. 29 and Smoky Mountain Christmas Nov. 5-Jan. 4, 2017. In related news, Dollywood is Tennessee's most often Instagrammed location for photographs, according to a new study. Knoxville television station WBIR reported on the news here, noting that the only other state where a theme park is No. 1 is California with Disneyland.
Dolly Visits Music City's RCA Studio B Dolly was in her old stomping grounds of RCA Studio B on Monday in Nashville, according to a photo posted to Twitter here by the Country Music Hall of Fame, which owns and operates the historic studio where Dolly recorded most of her hits during her time with RCA. Check out the tweet below as well.
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Oct. 5: 'Blue Smoke' Hits No. 2 Overseas Although Dolly's Blue Smoke on Friday gained one on the British country compilation albums chart, it wasn't enough to recapture the pole position it held for over a year until losing it to James Taylor the previous week. Dolly took the No. 2 spot from Carrie Underwood for her CD's 69th week in the top three overseas. Elsewhere on the same tally, Dolly's The Tour Collection re-enters the top 20 at No. 13 for a 35th week, Emmylou Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony) loses six to No. 16, Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) falls seven to No. 19, and Ronstadt's own Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) rises four one to No. 14. The Very Best Of Dolly Parton this week re-enters the Australian top 40 country albums chart at No. 39 in its 356th chart week, Saturday's chart Down Under showed.
Henley Chats About Dolly With CMT Don Henley over the weekend had an interview on CMT.com about his country album, Cass County, which features Dolly on "When I Stop Dreaming," saying: "When Dolly Parton opens her mouth, you can hear those mountains. You can hear those people and the suffering and the hardship. You can hear the love and the compassion — all in in her voice." Read more here.
Oct. 3: Dolly Spreads The Word Of Literacy On PBS
You may recall it reported here two weeks ago that Dolly was participating in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's American Graduate Day program airing nationwide this Saturday. This week, the program released Dolly's video for the program speaking about her Imagination Library early childhood literacy program. Watch it on YouTube here or in the media player above.
Reba Covers Dolly's 'Jolene' At Small Club Reba McEntire, Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman appeared on stage this week in East Nashville as the surprise guests for the Shadowboxers to cover Dolly's classic "Jolene." Check out some fan video on Rolling Stonehere.
Kenny Raises $60,000 For Dolly's Library Kenny Rogers' charity concert at Dollywood last weekend to benefit Dolly's Imagination Library netted $60,000, it was revealed afterward, bringing the total raised by Kenny, Dolly and The Band Perry in the concert series to $635,000. "You know she's an amazing person. She can take something and really grow it into something fantastic. Dolly has shipped over 70 million books! I think it's a great idea," he said. "I'm glad to be a part of this and I hope it helps!" In a statement afterward, Dolly responded: "I'm so grateful to Kenny for wanting to help my Imagination Library. He's always been such a great friend to me and I'm so happy that he made time to come to Dollywood and I know the fans just loved it. Kenny, if you're reading this, I want to you to know just how much I appreciate you and you know I'll always love you!"
Latest On Jewel, Henley Projects With Dolly Jewel, whose CD Picking Up The Pieces this week falls 101 places to No. 129 on the U.S. pop charts in its second week, talks about the album and its lead single "My Father's Daughter" with Dolly in Rolling Stonehere. Meanwhile, Britain's The Guardian this week named Jewel's CD (as well as Don Henley's Cass County, which also features Dolly) among the six best country albums of the year that you've probably not heard. Read the list here. And Henley also spoke with Rolling Stone about his project, saying Dolly and Merle Haggard's voices "represent America to me" here.
Paper Chooses 30 Best Dolly Tunes Britain's The Telegraph this week ranked Dolly's 30 Best Songs in a countdown here.
New Novel Features Dolly Fan Author Julie Murphy has a new book Dumplin' centered around a plus sized Texas teen who idolizes Dolly and decides to enter a beauty pageant.
Sept. 28: 'Blue Smoke' Dips From U.K. No. 1 Spot After more than an entire year atop the British country compilations albums chart, Dolly's Blue Smoke on Friday was knocked out of its pole position. A new greatest hits collection from James Taylor takes over the No. 1 spot, and a Carrie Underwood collection gains one to No. 2, pushing Dolly's CD down two to No. 3 in its 68th chart week overseas, after 67 weeks at No. 1. Elsewhere on the same tally, Emmylou Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony) gains one to No. 10, Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) slips two to No. 12, and Ronstadt's own Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) inches down one to No. 18.
New Porter & Dolly Compilation Coming Out Sony Music has announced a new Porter & Dolly collection coming out on Friday. No word on whether any physical CD versions will be released, but Amazon will have a digital download available for The Essential Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton. The 40-song collection features at least one song from each of their 14 albums together plus the single released after the public breakup of their duo.
Kenny Announces Touring Retirement Aside from Porter, Dolly's most worked with and most identified with duet partner is Kenny Rogers, who last week announced his retirement on NBC's Today. He revealed his 2016 world tour, dates for which will be announced in coming months, will be his last. Check out the announcement here.
Library Expands To Nothern Ireland Dolly's Imagination Library early childhood literacy program has expanded into yet another country in the United Kingdom. After already launching in England, Scotland and Wales, the program reached its first community in Northern Ireland last week, Belfast Live reported here.
Southern Gospel & Harvest Fest Comes To Dollywood Dollywood's National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration kicks off Friday and continues through the end of October with several gospel headliners throughout the month. In a statement, Dolly said: "Some of my earliest memories of singing come from the days when my family would stand up on the stages of those little churches here in these beautiful mountains. I'll always remember how it felt when the trees were painted in those bright colors and the sounds of Southern gospel music echoed through the hills. I'm glad we're able to recreate that for our guests thanks to these talented artists during my National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration. I love to see—and hear—Dollywood during this time of year!" In addition, more than 40 visiting artisans will join the park's permanent craftsmen to provide daily demonstrations, and special autumn food items will be featured.
Sept. 25: Opry Releasing New Anniversary Book With Dolly The Grand Ole Opry has announced the Sept. 29 release of a new book, Family Album, to celebrate the institution's 90th anniversary this year. The tome features 400 exclusive photos and stories of "signature Opry moments" including Dolly's final performance of "I Will Always Love You" to Porter Wagoner shortly before his death. Pages also celebrate all of the current 60 Opry members, including Dolly. The book will be sold at Opry.com and Opry retail locations in Nashville.
Dolly Gets Good Marks For Henley Duet Reviews are coming in for Don Henley's Cass County, with particular praise being given to Dolly. The New York Times said here that Dolly "is sterling even while underdelivering on a cover of the Louvin Brothers' 'When I Stop Dreaming.'" And The Guardian said Dolly "lights a fire under" Henley on the song here.
RCA Studio A Opens To The Public Want to tour the famous RCA Studio A, where "Jolene" was recorded? The recently saved Nashville studio will open to the public for tours between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3. Read more from The Nashville Scenehere.
Sept. 23: 'Everything's Beautiful' 1966 Track Available For Download The original 1966 solo recording of "Everything's Beautiful" by Dolly has become available for download for the first time. Amazon added the album Historia del Country, Vol. 2 for sale Tuesday, which features several classic country recordings including four Dolly tracks from her Monument years: "Everything's Beautiful," "Fuel To The Flame," "Daddy Won't Be Home Anymore" and "I'm Not Worth The Tears." Other artists on the collection include Kenny Rogers and Waylon Jennings. The specific Dolly classic was one of her final recordings for Monument but was not released until 1982 when it was mixed with Willie Nelson vocals for the label's Winning Hand project. The solo version then appeared on a couple of overseas budget cassettes and CDs but has been out of print for decades. (A different previously unreleased version from her RCA recordings came out on the Dolly boxed set in 2009.) Download the new album here!
Knoxville TV Stations Look At Coaster, Resort Knoxville TV station WATE updated viewers on Tuesday on the construction of Dollywood's Lightning Rod roller coaster here and WBIR provided an overview of the park's new DreamMore Resort here.
Kenny Talks To Dolly's Website About Concert Kenny Rogers recently conducted an interview with Dolly's official website, DollyParton.com, about his relationship with Dolly and this Sunday's concert at Dollywood to benefit her Imagination Library literacy program. Read it here and get tickets here!
Sept. 21: Dolly Has Six CDs On 'Taste Of Country' Top 100 Taste Of Country has released its list of the 100 best country albums of all time, and Dolly dominated with six separate entries on the tally: No. 90 Jolene, No. 81 Honky Tonk Angels, No. 48 Halos & Horns, No. 30 Little Sparrow, No. 18 The Grass Is Blue and No. 2 Coat Of Many Colors. In addition, other titles with Dolly connections included Merle Haggard's Mama Tried at No. 75 (with its cover of "In The Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)") and Emmylou Harris' Blue Kentucky Girl at No. 49 (with Dolly and Linda Ronstadt on "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues"), Pieces Of Sky at No. 33 (with a cover of "Coat Of Many Colors") and Roses In The Snow at No. 11 (with Dolly on "Green Pastures"). See the full list here.
Henley Says Dolly Was Hospitalized Don Henley last week angered and worried Dolly fans by joking in a Nashville Q&A that Dolly "got out of the hospital bed" to shoot their recent music video for the duet "When I Stop Dreaming." He claimed she called him to say she had a "medical issue" but was determined to make she shoot, after which he assumed she went back to the hospital. When a Nashville TV station looked into the story, Dolly's publicist declined to comment on whether or not she was hospitalized at the time of the music video shoot and instead noted simply that she was at the current time traveling on her tour bus from Los Angeles to Nashville and then to New York to publicize her upcoming NBC project Dolly Parton's Coat Of Many Colors. Read more from WKRN here.
The Band Perry Raises $75,000 For Library The Band Perry's weekend concert at Dollywood raised $75,000 for Dolly's Imagination Library literacy program, Dolly's official website DollyParton.com reported here. The trio even threw in a cover of Dolly's "I Will Always Love You" for the crowd. Kimberly said: "We are big believers in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. With Imagination Library specifically, the three of us grew up loving, loving to read. It was one of the greatest loves that we remember and some of the earliest memories that we remember." Neil added: "You never know how it will influence you in life. For the three of us and our writing, it was a big, big factor in the way we write our songs. You never know what reading a book will do to change your life. It's a really great thing and we're glad to be a part of it." Dolly observed: "I'm so proud to know that my Imagination Library has had such a positive influence on Kimberly, Reid and Neil, and I appreciate them coming to Dollywood to show their love and support!" Kenny Rogers' concert next weekend closes out the Showcase of the Stars series to benefit the program. In related news, the Knox County, Tenn., affiliate of the Library recently celebrated passing the 2 million book mark for local distribution, and The Knoxville News-Sentinel posted photos here. Also, Dolly is among the celebrities participating in public television's American Graduate Day. The 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 3 broadcast aims to spotlight America's high school graduation rate and features 50 nonprofit organizations working to improve education in America, profiles of individuals working to keep students in school, and interviews with celebrities. Dolly is one of the celebrities to be interviewed for the project and her literacy program is one of the 50 charities profiled.
'Blue Smoke' Still No. 1 On U.K. Tally Dolly's Blue Smoke holds on to the No. 1 spot on the U.K. country compilations albums chart for a 67th consecutive week, Friday's charts confirmed. Elsewhere on the same tally, Emmylou Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 1 (with two Dolly covers, one track with Dolly harmony and one track with Trio harmony) gains two to No. 11, Harris' Original Album Series, Volume 2 (featuring one track with Dolly harmony and two tracks with Trio harmony by Dolly and Linda Ronstadt) rises seven to No. 10, and Ronstadt's own Original Album Series (featuring one Dolly cover and one track with Dolly harmony) dips two to No. 17. The Very Best Of Dolly Parton this week falls back off the Australian top 40 country albums chart, down from No. 33 in its 355th chart week, Saturday's chart Down Under showed.
Jewel Celebrates Dolly Collaboration With 'Billboard' Jewel talks again about working with Dolly on "My Father's Daughter" from her new CD Picking Up The Pieces in an interview posted over the weekend on Billboard. Read it here.
'Dolly Deathstar' Gets Noticed Check out a cute story about a sci-fi convention attendee's Dolly-inspired Star Wars costume Dolly Deathstar and how this year it had an added feature due to her pregnancy. The piece was published in Chicago Nowhere.
Sept. 17: Band Perry At Park This Weekend, Resort Dedication Cancelled The Band Perry is pleased to have an opportunity to help Dolly raise money for her Imagination Library early childhood literacy charity, performing Saturday at Dollywood in the Showcase of Stars concert series to benefit the program. "Causes that benefit younger people have always been important to us as a band," Kimberly Perry said in a statement, "and we are thrilled to have our performance help Dolly Parton's Imagination Library with its great work towards increasing literacy for children around the world." Dolly's four sold-out shows in August to kick off the series raised more than $500,000. Kenny Rogers closes out the series Sept. 27. Get tickets for both shows here. In other park news, a planned media event featuring Dolly on Sept. 25 at her DreamMore Resort has been cancelled due to an unexpected scheduling conflict.
Reviews Appearing For Jewel's CD With Dolly Duet Digital Journal this week gives Jewel's Picking Up The Pieces, featuring a duet with Dolly on "My Father's Daughter," five out of five stars in a review this week here, while Vulture calls the song "a natural collaboration that makes you wonder why it took them until now to do it. Their voices quiver in perfect harmony as they take turns singing about growing up, family, and their love of music." Read more here.
Vincent Tells Tale Of Recording 'Twelve Days' For New CD You may have seen a report here last week announcing that Dolly was among several guest artists participating in a new recording of "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" on Rhonda Vincent's upcoming holiday album, Christmas Time. This week, Vincent issued a press release on the project that detailed how the recording came to be. She said: "It was a dream of mine to create this celebrity version of the 'Twelve Days of Christmas.' As I started sharing my vision with family and friends, my bandmate Mickey Harris, began sharing his ideas, relating the line to specific artists. When I told him I had invited Dolly, he suggested she sing the line 'Eight Maids A Milking.' It was then I set to work to match artists with specific lines, and taking on the task of contacting each artist. Dolly was the first to respond, and the first to record. From there, it became a chaotic coordination of schedules, and a victory celebration with the completion of each artist's contribution. I appreciate every artist that joined me in making this incredible dream come true!" The album is released Oct. 30. Get your copy here!
Actor Sings Dolly For Chickens Thanks to Brad for alerting me that the new Lorene Scafaria film The Meddler starring Susan Sarandon features J.K. Simmons as a farmer who serenades his chickens with classic Dolly songs.
Sept. 14: Dollywood Takes Home Three Golden Ticket Awards Dolly's Tennessee theme park over the weekend received three first place Golden Ticket Awards, known as the "Oscars" of the amusement park industry. Dollywood won Friendliest Park for the fourth consecutive year, Best Shows for the seventh consecutive year and Best Christmas Event for the eighth consecutive year (continuing its streak the only park to win this award since it was created). Awards were handed out by industry publication Amusement Today at New York's famed Coney Island. The park also ranked No. 4 on the list of the world's best parks behind second-time No. 1 Europa-Park in Germany, No. 2 Cedar Point in Ohio (which had reigned as No. 1 for 17 of the past 19 years) and No. 3 Knoebels Amusement Resort but ahead of No. 5 Disneyland. Last year, it was No. 3. The park also placed in six additional categories: second place for Cleanest Park and Best Food (for which it had won first place last year for the third consecutive year), third place for Best Water Park (Splash Country), fourth place for Best Water Ride (Mountain Sidewinder) and fifth place for Best Wooden Coaster (Thunderhead) and Best Landscaping. The park tied the all-time record it set last year of having top-five finishes in 10 categories at the awards. In addition, Wild Eagle ranked No. 31 on the list of the world's best steel coasters. In a statement released Sunday, Dolly reacted: "Every time they announce the Golden Tickets results, I am so proud to hear how much folks love and respect Dollywood. This is our 30th anniversary season, and if you would have told me all those years ago that we would win all these awards, I'm not sure even I could have dreamed it! I truly am thankful for all of the guests who have continued to support us and for all the new folks who visit us each year! I also am grateful for the dedicated team at my Dollywood Company for providing our guests a memorable experience when they come see us." And park public relations director Pete Owens added: "As a park, it is always gratifying to be honored by your peers and experts. We are particularly proud of the designation as friendliest park. That goes to what Dollywood is also about and why we encourage our guests to love every moment with their families." Check out coverage from Dolly's official website here and Knoxville station WBIR here.
Don Henley Duet Video Deubts On CMT
Dolly's new music video for "When I Stop Dreaming" with Don Henley from his CD Cass County premiered on CMT's Hot 20 Countdown on Saturday. Watch it here or in the media player above and check out a review of the video from Digital Journalhere.
'Very Best' Re-Enters Aussie Top 40 Chart The Very Best Of Dolly Parton this week re-enters the Australian top 40 country albums chart at No. 33 in its 355th chart week, Saturday's chart Down Under revealed.
Dolly's Kenyan Popularity Explored Down Under It has been noted here before that Dolly and a few other country stars have an unusually high degree of popularity throughout parts of Africa, and the Australian Broadcasting Company explored one Kenyan artist's connection to Dolly and her music in a piece posted to YouTube here or in the media player below.
For the archive of monthly news stories, click here.
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