Sugar Hill to Release Dolly Parton Bluegrass Album; The Grass Is Blue Scheduled for Release on Oct. 26

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 24, 1999 (PRESS RELEASE) -- Cultural icon Dolly Parton has recorded her first bluegrass album The Grass is Blue for Sugar Hill and she couldn't be more excited.

"It's perfectly natural for me to do a bluegrass album as I have loved that style of music all my life. So much of my own music, the songs I write and sing, have so many of the same colors," said Parton. "For years I have looked forward to doing a bluegrass album. Although I have done some bluegrass songs scattered around in shows and in certain albums, this is one of the most exciting things I have done in years and one of the most exciting things ever."

Slated for release on Oct. 26, The Grass is Blue was produced by Steve Buckingham in Nashville. The album will be a joint imprint with Parton's label, Blue-Eye Records.

Bluegrass music's finest musicians eagerly signed on for the Parton sessions including Jerry Douglas on dobro, Sam Bush on mandolin, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Bryan Sutton on guitar, Jim Mills on banjo and Barry Bales on bass.

Noted vocalists Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Dan Tyminski, Alan O'Bryant, Keith Little, Claire Lynch, Rhonda Vincent and Darrin Vincent joined Parton for harmony vocals.

Parton contributed four of her own original songs for the album including the title cut. For the remainder of the tracks she picked a wide array of songs including traditional bluegrass tunes such as "I'm Gonna Sleep With One Eye Open" (Flatt & Scruggs), "Cash On the Barrelhead" (Louvin Brothers), and "Silver Dagger," an old English ballad her mom used to sing to her. She and the band put the bluegrass spin on Billy Joel's "Travelin' Prayer," and "Train Train," a song originally recorded by Blackfoot and later covered by, believe it or not, the rock band Warrant.

Parton and band will perform on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Nov. 2. Additional television appearances are being scheduled.

Parton will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during the 33rd Annual Country Music Association Awards to be broadcast on CBS Sept. 22. Known worldwide for her work in music, film and television, Parton is highly respected for not only her vocal gifts, but also as "one of the most prolific and incisive country songwriters ever." Her past hits include "Jolene," "Tennessee Mountain Home," "Coat of Many Colors," "The Bargain Store," "Love Is Like A Butterfly," "9 to 5" and "I Will Always Love You," among others.

On Nov. 1, The Lifetime Network will air Blue Valley Songbird, a movie produced by and starring Parton and based on the song of the same name that Parton penned for her last solo album, Hungry Again.

Highly regarded as the premier label for American roots music of all types, Sugar Hill recently received 29 nominations for the upcoming International Bluegrass Music Awards. Founded 22 years ago by Barry Poss, the label also boasts eight Grammy Awards and was named by Pulse Magazine as "one of the 21 independent labels that changed the world." In 1998, Sugar Hill became part of the Welk Music Group, owners of the prestigious Vanguard Records.