By: Duane Gordon
A music video by former Dolly backing band The Grascals featuring her in their new single to benefit St. Jude's, "I Am Strong," debuted last week on AOL's country music blog, The Boot. The moving clip, which features children from the research hospital and was inspired by the words the children wrote on the facility's "I Am" wall, is viewable on the Dollymania.net news page. Be warned – Kleenex required!
As was previously reported here, the song (along with a second version featuring Dolly and several additional guest artists as well as a new Dolly duet of "The Pain Of Loving You") will appear on the new “The Grascals & Friends: Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin,” being released Jan. 10 at Cracker Barrel restaurants nationwide with a portion of proceeds to benefit St. Jude's.
The final episode hasn’t even aired yet, but Disney has already slated the complete last season of “Hannah Montana” for DVD release, including Dolly's third appearance, which premiered on the cable network over the weekend. “Hannah Montana Forever: Final Season, The Ultimate Fan Experience” is planned for a March 8 release.
In the episode "Kiss It All Goodbye” that premiered Sunday, Miley Cyrus’ character (Miley Stewart) is facing scrutiny by the paparazzi following her revelation on national television that she is really Hannah Montana. Trapped outside her gate when she rushes out to collect an acceptance letter for college while her father has forgotten the gate code, she is rushed by a throng of photographers, with Aunt Dolly coming to her rescue in a hot pink, fuzz-covered helicopter she dubs “Air Dolly.” In town for a nationally-televised concert special, Dolly tries to convince her goddaughter to accept the photographers’ attention, echoing her own notoriety in the tabloids, but Miley soon finds that she is shunned by her fans’ parents, who feel she misled their children. She commits to never perform again, but when her father overcomes his fear of returning to the spotlight himself after 10 years of retirement from performing (to rock out the duet “The Right Time” with Dolly from his new band, Brother Clyde’s, self-titled album), Miley regains her courage and also sings on Dolly’s special.
On the charts, Kenny & Dolly's “Once Upon A Christmas” remained among the 25 top-selling older country titles in the U.S., slipping eight spots to No. 21 country catalog, its sixth week on the tally this season and its 65th since the album's release. Across the border in Canada, it rose one to No. 6 country in its seventh chart week this season and nine places to No. 32 pop in its sixth week on that list this season. Elsewhere on the charts, Rhonda Vincent's “Taken,” with its Dolly duet, slipped two to No. 13 U.S. bluegrass in its 12th chart week.
Dolly on Friday released her next video diary installment, this time wishing fans a happy holiday season and telling her oft-repeated story of the Christmas her father bought her mother a long-promised wedding ring years after they married and hid it for the children to find. She challenged "every person out there to give to those who need it." The clip is available on YouTube.
You only have a brief time to enjoy Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas festival before the park closes for the season, including the final performances of “Babes In Toyland” before that show is retired for good. The park is open 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. this week, closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then open 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. next week, closed New Year's Eve. Its last operating day of the 2010 season is New Year's Day 2011, closing until the 2011 season opening on March 26.
From the family of Dollymania.net: The Online Dolly Parton Newsmagazine to yours: Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year!
This Week with Dolly
By: Duane Gordon