MerleFest Press Conference

Photos taken at MerleFest, Wilkesboro, N.C., April 27, 2001.
All images are 2001 Debbie Poole. Used with permission. Click on smaller photo to view the full layout.

For Debbie's review of the show and photos of Dolly on stage, click here!

By Debbie Poole for Dollymania

Dolly came in with a clapping "Welcome from all the media. Well, hello! Welcome to the MerleFest.. This is the first time I've been here. I'm looking forward to this and anything you want to ask, ask away. I'll answer if I can, and if I don't want to, I'll act like you asked something else. I'm glad to be here."
Q. Why did you come to Merlefest?
A. They said to come to Merlefest! They asked me earlier, but I couldn't make it. I was happy to come to Merlefest.
Q. How are the CD's sales on the two bluegrass albums?
A. Well they are very good compared to that kind of music. They are not up there with the sales that you have with big country records that are played on the radio, but we're selling, We feel really well for this kind of music, but I don't really know real numbers, I just know it's low if you were looking at pop records or big country records, but it's high for this style of music and we are trying to build this. I'm very proud to be part of the acoustic bluegrass music. Hopefully I'm going to be able to do some award shows and really get out and bring bluegrass up to where it should be, and it's always been there. It's wonderful to have time to get out and make money to sing like I was poor again. Thank God for Dollywood!
Q: You were great on Austin City Limits!
A. Thanks!!! I had fun doing it. That's the first time I've done the show.
Q. You would think radio stations would play bluegrass.
A. They are beginning too. I've tried for so many years to have my music played, being an artist of my age, and being in country business all these years. They wouldn't play anybody past 30-35 years old, and I was a little past that! So they quit playing my records, so I did everything I could to get them to play my records. They just don't want me on country radio anymore. I love my music better then anything else I do. I thought I'm going to sing my songs if I have to record them, pay for them myself and sell them from the back of my trunk. I will sing my songs. When I finally got that attitude, I don't care! What it is, I want too sing this music and do the stuff that I do well and if it sales GREAT, if it's play on the radio GREAT and wouldn't you know the very first album, The Grass is Blue, started getting air play and now the Little Sparrow, they're starting to play it.. So it's like wonderful now. I didn't care if the songs where long or short, so I thought let them find me NOW, I been running after them too long!!
Q. Are you much more happier now doing this type of music?
A. This is the music true to my soul and easy's to sing when I open my mouth to sing it. It takes me back all the way to my childhood. As I say it's just really in my Smoky Mountain DNA. It's the music I love the most. I would have loved to made a living at this when I first went to Nashville. Let me clarify one thing that's not to say I'm not going to be doing other music, because I've been fortunate in my career and in my life with different fans in different places. I will do dance records with mixed music, like "Peace Train" and others, because I have a lot of gay fans that go to the bars and dance and they love the mixed music. They are alot of great songs on this bluegrass, they could go at it and do what they do and dance with the fiddle. I will say this, every 18 months or 2 year from now on, I will do a bluegrass album.
Q. What do you think about Wilkes County?
A. Oooo, I Love it!!! I went out to the Dairy Queen, NO! To Glenn's, and I had four Slaw Burgers, I had four Slaw Dogs, four French fries and two ice creams, those screwey one's, so I know you think these are my boobs (with her hand on her chest), but it's all that food lodged here. We went around to the dam and went up to Brushy Mountain. It was so beautiful up there, would love to have a little house up there. People are just like home.
Q. Are you planning on doing Merlefest again?
A. I don't know, it depends on if they like me. I hope they will. Would love to come back.
Q. Are you done making movies?
A. NO!! I'm glad you said that. We're making a TV movie of "Mountain Angel." I'm doing a comedy now and going back to L.A. to do that. Called Frank McKlusky, C.I.. It's a teen-age movie, and I'm playing a 30-year-old boy's mother. I thought I'd never aloud myself to play a 30-year-old boy's mother. I thought I was 30! Yes I do want to do more movies.
Q. About "Shine?"
A. I just love the record. Me and my husband like different music and it was playing on the radio and we went out to find it. We bought it and took it home and played it all the time. Now how could I do it to make it work out with the acoustic sounds and it did work. We are going to be doing a video on "Shine" when I get home before the movies. So their playing "Shine" on the radio and "Tender Lie" off the album now. OK !! I'm done. I'll sing you "Mountain Angel" tonight!