By Duane Gordon
Sevier County songbird Dolly Parton will be flying back to the Grand Ole Opry next month, it was revealed last week. The country music institution revealed that she will be the featured guest for the 7 p.m. Sept. 24 show. Tickets are available via the Opry’s official ticket page, GetGaylordTickets.com.
Also last week another date was added to the fall American leg of her Better Day World Tour. An Oct. 11 show at Houston's Verizon Wireless Theatre will bring her back to Texas for a third date in the LonestarState on the tour. That date may look familiar to some because a couple of weeks ago a previously announced Oct. 11 concert in Biloxi's Mississippi Coast Coliseum was moved to a day earlier, Oct. 10. After completing its first American leg, the tour next heads to Europe, where the album it is promoting is slated for release via Sony Music on Aug. 29 — no word on whether that release might be delayed due to a massive fire that destroyed Sony's primary U.K. storage facility during rioting last week.
“The Very Best Of Dolly Parton, Volume 1” lost one digit on the top 20 Australian country albums chart this week, slipping to No. 20 in its 79th week. Stateside, Dolly's “Better Day” marched toward the bottom of the all-genre Top 200 "pop" albums chart, ranking No. 199 with a 29-spot drop in its sixth week and likely falling off next week. On the country list, it inched down one to No. 29 in its sixth chart week, while over on the current albums tally, it fell 21 points to No. 163. The Grascals' “Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin,” with three Dolly guest spots, re-entered the 15-position bluegrass albums list at No. 14 in its 27th chart week. Also, Dolly's Durham, N.C., show was the first sell-out on her Better Day World Tour to be reported to the Billboard Boxscore chart for concerts. The engagement came in at No. 98 on last week’s list for the week with a gross of $200,070 and 100 percent of the 2,634 seats sold.
Don't forget that the vinyl edition of Dolly's current CD, “Better Day,” hits stores on Tuesday, marking her first vinyl album release in two decades.
Dollywood's Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival returns this month for two and a half weeks of music and food at the park. "Of course, everybody knows I love bluegrass music," Dolly said in a press release issued lastweek. "The more folks asked me about bringing back my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival, I realized Dollywood fans have a real hunger for bluegrass music and great tastin' barbecue. Since I aim to please, I'm proud to say Barbeque & Bluegrass is back and better than ever at Dollywood!"
Things kick off Aug. 19 and 20 with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Other artists playing through Sept. 5 include J.D. Crowe and the New South Aug. 24 and 31, The Grascals Aug. 24, Riders in the Sky Aug. 26 and 27, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage Aug. 28 and 29, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver Aug. 31, The Gibson Brothers Sept. 2 and 3 and Marty Raybon Sept. 4 and 5.
When the new Dollywood ride is announced at Knoxville's Boomsday fireworks on Sept. 4, it will be to Dolly's voice, an e-mail from the park to fans revealed last week. The message also provided the number to which the ride's name is to be texted that evening to enter a contest "for your chance to win the prize of a lifetime." The number is 87654. As was previously revealed here, the prize will be a Dolly meet-and-greet, to be the first to ride the new attraction at the park's 2012 grand opening and lifetime passes for up to eight members of the winner's household. Watch for hints to the ride's secrets at dollywood2012.com.
This Week with Dolly
By Duane Gordon