Dolly Remarks

Media Event, DP's Celebrity Theatre, Dollywood, June 16, 2006

The Fercos Brothers perform a couple of illusions in their Big Cats and Magic Show. For their next trick, they roll on stage a large, silver metal cage and show it is empty. They cover it with a curtain. Pulling the curtain back reveals not a tiger, but rather to the surprise of the crowd it’s Dolly in the cage wearing a black and white striped tiger outfit bedazzled with rhinestones and complete with a sewn on tail and ears atop her wig. They cheer and applaud. Dolly addresses the crowd:

Hey! (Cheers and applause) Yeah! I got my tail! (Dolly steps out of cage; magician reaches for her tail) I can take care of my own tail, thank you! Ha, ha! Well, how's that for some magic? How 'bout these Fercos Brothers? (Applause) Woo! We are so happy to have them! 'Course, see I had to dress for the part (Models outfit.) You know I would, didn't you! (Applause)

They tried to put a cat in there with me. I said, “No way, Jose!” (Laughs) But they are absolutely great! Now, you know, that they are the top of the line. They're right out of Las Vegas. In fact, they're so famous they have, uh, received the Merlin Award. That is like, a, the equivalent of an actor gettin' an Oscar or a singer and a songwriter gettin' a Grammy. So I'd say they're the best, and they're gonna be here all summer. Ain't that great?! (Applause)

'Course we always try to have something great for KidsFest 'cause that's my favorite time of the year. I love that 'cause I'm just a big ole kid myself. And they say, “Would you want to dress up like a cat?” I said, “Well, of course I would!” Only if I can have my ears and my tail. (Laughs) I just wanted to show you my tail, but then you're used to me showing my tail, ain't ya? (Laughs)

Anyway, the park is just full of kids havin' fun during KidsFest. 'Course, now, you know, we still have Clifford the Big Red Dog and we still have Jest In Time and the Big Cats and that Magic Show, The Little Engine That Could and SpongeBob! So you kids are in for a fun summer, certainly a fun time here at KidsFest.

'Course, you know, we've added the Timber Tower this year, and it's down right now because they had to fly some parts from Germany to make it even better than what it is. And while it's been closed down, they've been kind of improving the whole area around there. So when it is up and runnin', and they told me they got the parts today for it, just to make sure that everything's good, so it'll be up before you know it. So you have fun when they do get that!

So, anyhow, 'course, you know we have our big September comin' up. We have our fall fest, our Bluegrass and Barbeque event. 'Course, they're gonna have all kinds of great good, and I love barbeque, don't you? Woo! I especially love the ribs! Anyway, they're gonna have 250 free shows, and we're gonna have folks like Ricky Skaggs and Cherryholmes gonna be performing. And, of course, I get to pick the big winner (screams from crowd) of the cookbook contest! And I don't know if any of you know 'bout that yet, but I've written a, a new cookbook, and it's called “Dolly's Dixie Fixin's.” And it's got all kinds of great recipes in it – hillbilly recipes, white trash, (laughs), but other good stuff, too! Ha! Anyway, so in support of the Imagination Library, all the proceeds from the book's gonna go to that, and 'course, just to make it even more special, the winner of that is gonna win me as the prize! (Screams) I don't know if that's good or bad, but that's what the prize is gonna be! And, uh, for that I'm gonna actually go to their homes. I'm gonna take my kinfolk, the band that plays here on the park, a lot of my kinfolks, we're gonna go out to the home of the person that won it and we're gonna actually entertain about 100 of their friends and family, and we're gonna sing, and I'm gonna cook, but I refuse to do dishes! (Laughs) So if you should win, don't expect that!

And, then of course, you know that we also have our big Christmas fest comin' up. And this year we're gonna have the biggest thing we've ever had. It's the largest production ever at Dollywood, and it's called “Babes In Toyland.” So we'll have a lot to look forward to.

So, anyhow, I just wanted to let you know what's goin' on and, uh, just to kind of fill you in. And I know I've got a lot of my kinfolks out there, a lot of kids. How many kids do we have? Just the kids holler. (Screams) Ha! Aw, you can beat that! 'Cause I'm gonna have you sing with me a little bit later, so you better get your, get your mouth all warmed up. You're gonna help me out.

But in the meantime, I think that the press is here, and we want to welcome you and thank you for coming, and I think they've got a few questions to ask me, so I guess if you're ready for that I am. Alright. (Pause) Anybody want to ask me anything? Where. I know you want to know where I got this outfit: Frederick's of Dollywood! (Cheers and applause) Ha, ha! Tail, ears and all! Anyway, so is this where we're gonna be doin' the questions?

PETE OWENS: Yes, Dolly.

DOLLY: Where?

PETE: Over here.

DOLLY: Right here? OK.

PETE: OK. Mike's on now.


PETE: We have one right here.

Q: Hi, Dolly.


Q: J.J. Kindred with The Mountain Press. Um, I understand that there's gonna be a possible new attraction opening up here next year. Um, do you mind elaborating on that?

DOLLY: Well, it's gonna be, I think it's called the Mystery Mine, but it has a whole lot of fun stuff and it's gonna be the biggest ride that we've ever had here. And, 'course, we're gonna be doing a lot of, givin' you a lot of information on the Internet as the year goes by. So, there's a whole lot of fun surprises, and we'll let you know more about it in a few weeks. But it's gonna be special, though. Anybody else?

Q: Hey, Dolly.

DOLLY: Hey, hey!

Q: Beth Haynes, Channel 10.

DOLLY: Oh, there you are. I have a light in my eyes. I can't see!

Q: Love the outfit! Gotta say, that was a great entrance.

DOLLY: Thank you. (Applause) But I about smothered to death 'cause they had me in that little back part where I had to get in from the back, and I felt really claustrophobic. (Laughs) And I thought, “Oh, my Lord, get me out of here!” But we made it. But, thank you. I'm glad you liked my entrance, but I's glad to get out of there.

Q: I know you've got so much planned this summer and a lot of us have heard about the big gas give-away on Paul Harvey. Do you think gas prices are gonna be a, an issue for families coming to Dollywood this year?

DOLLY: Well, so far we've had the best crowds we've ever had, and I really think that a lot of people because of the gas prices, that, uh, might have gone to Florida or somewhere actually are comin' here, so it's kinda been good for us. But I really, uh, you know, hope that, uh, that things do improve. But so far we're doin' alright. I guess you heard about the gas that they're havin' over in Pigeon Forge where everybody's kind of donatin' a little bit here and there now and then, so that ain't gonna help you much, but it's the thought that counts, right? Anyway, so, thank you for comin'. I'm glad you're here even if you walked or rode a horse. (Laughs) You might have to next year if they don't stop this! Anyway, so anybody else?

Q: Hi, Dolly. Duane Gordon from

DOLLY: Oh! Well, how are you?!

Q: Good, thank you.

DOLLY: I want to thank you right in public for bein' so good to me. I'm sure anybody wants to know anything about me you can ask Duane. I have to call him to see what I'm gonna do next! (Laughs) Or what I'm doin', but anyway, welcome.

Q: Well, this year they announced that your Imagination Library has reached all of the counties in Tennessee, and would like to (Applause) . . .

DOLLY: We're in all of Tennessee now! And thanks for everybody's help! (Applause continues)

Q: Would like to get your reaction to it being in the entire state as well as how you came up with the cookbook idea to raise funds for the Library.

DOLLY: Well, we're always tryin' to find ways to, to make money for the Imagination Library. And everybody's been asking me to do a cookbook 'cause I do love to cook. And, uh, everybody wants a lot of my recipes. Some of my real secret recipes I did not put in the book, but I put 'em as close as I could get 'em without you sayin', “Well, you know, I, now that I can cook it you don't need to do anything special.” But we actually thought that we'd do a cookbook to, uh, to do that, to raise, uh, money for the Foundation. We'll, we'll be doin' different things at different times. But I'm really proud of this little cookbook, and, of course, uh, we're very excited about, you know, just making up money. What was the other part of your question?

Q: The reaction to it being statewide.

DOLLY: Oh, well, we're very proud. As, as we mentioned, like, like we say, we just got our last county, I think, this week. 'Course, the governor and everybody's really been helpful and I have a wonderful team and everybody works real hard to make me look real good. I do the best I can, but I certainly have a lot of wonderful people workin' on that, and we can't do enough for our kids. And, 'course, we hope to eventually go worldwide, not just statewide. But we're in a lot of counties all over. I think we, we're mailing out 3 million, over 3 million books this year to the kids. So that's a wonderful thing. (Applause and cheers)

PETE: Dolly, we only have time for one more question. It's right here.

DOLLY: Well, they're all in a clump. Is that 'cause you only had one microphone? Ha, ha!

Q: Dolly, um, um, I'm Charles Stuart from Australian television. Um, just wondering did you have a opinion on, um, Kim Beazley's support, or, um, actually his rejection of the Australian Workplace Relations Act, um, and his rejection of, uh, AWA.

DOLLY: I can't understand what you're saying. (Laughs) What are you, was you asking me about Keith Urban and, uh, Nicole Kidman?

Q: No, no.

DOLLY: Oh, I think it's wonderful! (Laughs) Ha, ha! Although I was jealous when he got married! I know that ain't what you asked me, but I was actually having trouble understanding you.

Q: Uh, uh.

DOLLY: It's that dang accent! (Exaggerating her own accent) Lord, don't he have an accent?!

Q: You're saying I have an accent?

DOLLY: Yeah, you sure do! (Laughs)

Q: I was just, uh, wondering whether, um, you support or oppose Kim Beazley, uh, our opposition leader in Australia, uh, he's come out against, uh, workplace relation rules in Australia.

DOLLY: Well, I don't get involved in our politics, much less yours! (Laughs) Anyway, you have a great time at Dollywood! (Applause)

Q: Thank you very much.

DOLLY: Anybody else have a question? But if I'm elected . . . (Laughs)

PETE: That's all we've got, Dolly.

DOLLY: I'm gonna see that everybody has a cat in every cage and magic in every heart! Anyway, I tell you what. We were talkin' about having the kids to sing with me, uh, talkin' about magic. I thought it would be fun to pick an old song about magic, and, uh, I think the band leader's got the song “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Is that the one you worked up? I didn't get a chance to practice too much, so if I screw up you help me out, alright? I think they're gonna put the words back here, so you can just read 'em and sing along with me. OK? Let's do “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Remember that one? OK. You might have to tell me where to come in, alright? OK. (She leads the crowd in singing “Puff the Magic Dragon”)

OK! (Applause and cheers) Oh, OK with the Fercos Brothers, I get to be a magician! Well, thank you. You did pretty good. That's real high! (Singing in exaggerated high notes) “Lived by-y the sea.” Anyway, I just love all this magic stuff and they told me that maybe at the last part of this little show that I could pull a little magic myself, so I'm gonna bring back out the Fercos Brothers. Come on out, guys!

I think they're comin' out. I think we're gonna have one more illusion, and I, first of all before we bring out your, yeah, we are, but I wanted to thank you for comin' and bein' with us. We're awfully proud to have you. And your rhinestones are almost good as mine! (Laughs)

FERCOS: We are change our, uh, correct, you are now the magician for this next illusion.

DOLLY: OK. I'm the magic one. But we all, we all, gonna get our, did we bring our assistant out? Come on our here, Ashley. Yeah, ain't she cute! Look at her. But she don't have a tail like mine. Ha, ha! You get in there. (Ashley climbs in the cage, which the Fercos Brothers cover with a curtain) And I'm gonna do my magic trick, but you have to help me. We have a magic word. Are we ready? And the magic word is “KidsFest at Dollywood!” Yeah! Ha, ha! (The magicians aren't quite ready yet.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you, Dolly!

DOLLY: Well, thank you, honey. I told him to wait in the truck! (Laughs) OK. I guess the magic word is still, “KidsFest at Dollywood!” (The curtain drops to reveal the assistant has disappeared and a white tiger has appeared in her place in the cage) Woo-woo! Yeah! I can do magic! Thank you, and God bless you. Have a fun day. Thank you so much! Come on, let's go. Take these cats and run. Thank you. (Dolly exits the stage)

See photos from the weekend here.