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Honoring Sandy Gallin

Published April 22, 2017 / Last Updated April 22, 2017

Dolly Parton pays tribute to manager and longtime friend, Sandy Gallin.

After graduating from Boston University in 1962, Sandy Gallin made his way from mailroom to senior vice president and board member of General Artists Corporation (GAC). He left GAC in 1970 to partner with his cousin, Raymond Katz, forming the personal management company Katz Gallin, later becoming Katz, Gallin & Cleary.

Dolly Parton met Gallin in 1976, after making a guest appearance on the Mac Davis show. She was interested in taking her music to a broader audience, and Davis recommended Katz, Gallin & Cleary, who, at that time, were managing Cher and Joan Rivers. In her 1994 book, Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business, she says of their team,

“I kept going back to them because they kept showing me more of what I was looking for.”

She was impressed and, of Gallin, she said,

“He’s got taste and I got talent.”

Their 25 year bushiness relationship went on to include the 1985 formation of Parton and Gallin’s film and television production company, Sandollar Productions. The company amassed numerous awards, including an Academy Award for the documentary “Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt” and five Ace Awards for a variety of other productions.

Gallin is credited for convincing Parton to record her 1977 smash hit “Here You Come Again.” Having achieved her previous musical success in the country music genre, Dolly was concerned the song may be too pop. However, Gallin’s instincts proved right, and the song went to number one on the U.S Billboard Hot Country Singles and maintained that position for five weeks. It also went to number three on the pop charts, becoming Dolly’s first major crossover success, selling over a million copies. The song also garnered Parton her first ever Grammy award for best female country vocal.

Career & Achievements

In addition to Dolly Parton, some of the many talented acts Gallin was associated with over the course of his entertainment business career include Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey, Nicole Kidman, Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Donny and Marie Osmond, The Pointer Sisters and many, many more.

In recent years, Gallin took on the role of high-end home designer. His website states,

“After being at the top of the field in one industry, he changed careers, only to rise quickly to the top of his newly chosen design field after turning 70.”

He had designed numerous homes that were featured in The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest and The New York Times.

It’s been over forty years since Parton and Gallin met and became instant friends. They shared not only a successful business relationship, but also maintained their close friendship throughout the years.

Dolly shares her heartfelt sentiments,

“Sandy, you may be in heaven now, but you will never be gone from me. In the words of my own song, I will always love you.”

Sandy Gallin (May 27, 1940 – April 21, 2017) was 76 years young.

The LovelacesHonoring Sandy Gallin

Dolly’s America at University of Tennessee

Published April 20, 2017 / Last Updated April 20, 2017

University of Tennessee Announces Honors History Class: Dolly’s America

After hearing the legendary Dolly Parton speak at a University of Tennessee graduation ceremony, where Parton was given an honorary doctorate degree, Dr. Lynn Sacco proposed an idea to the university’s history department; a new course…Dolly’s America!

When asked about the University’s response to Sacco’s proposal, Dr. Ernie Freeburg, Head of UT’s Department of History, shared,

“This History Department was both surprised and delighted to learn that Dr. Sacco was proposing to have students dive deep into the life and times of Dolly Parton. One message we send our students is that history is everywhere, not just in wars and the White House, and that one of the best ways to know something is to study it historically.”

He adds,

“In the hands of a good historian like Dr. Sacco, a course on Dolly Parton raises so many fundamental questions worth asking in any humanities course—about how place shapes values, our ideas about success, the relationship between art and celebrity.”

Dr. Lynn Sacco

Dr. Lynn Sacco – University of Tennessee

Dolly’s America is a course offered to students who are currently in, or who want to participate in, UT’s history honors program. Dr. Sacco’s approach to this course gives students the opportunity to explore Dolly’s Appalachian culture. She utilizes, a full archive of Dolly’s life and career, as a primary source of information for the coursework.

“Students read first about the world into which Dolly was born and then about how Dolly relied on her East Tennessee identity to shape not just her image, but all of her work. By so doing, she brought East Tennessee culture to the world – and the world to East Tennessee.”

The course also highlights Parton’s business acumen. When asked some of the things her students are surprised to learn about Parton, Dr. Sacco replied,

“Everyone knew Dolly was successful, but they did not know how successful she has been for so long and over so many ventures: songwriting; producing television, theater, and probably more; amusement parks; author; philanthropist; performer.”

She also shared the biggest unexpected outcome of the course,

“I knew that most Tennesseans like Dolly. I didn’t realize how much UTK students LOVE Dolly!”

Dolly’s extraordinary life has now found its way into the world of academics, a new platform where she continues to inspire and be a testament of how sheer determination, hard work and being true to your roots can alter your life and the lives of others.

The LovelacesDolly’s America at University of Tennessee

WATCH: “He’s Alive, “Light of a Clear Blue Morning,” “Hello God”

Published April 14, 2017 / Last Updated April 14, 2017

Celebrating the hope and promise found in the light of a clear blue morning.

From her early days on “The Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour” to her record-breaking hits and beyond, Dolly Parton has been an ambassador of optimism. A trait she likely inherited from her grandfather, Reverend Jake Owens*. Like his renowned sermons, many of Dolly’s songs carry a similar message of faith and inspiration.

“Everything’s going to be all right that’s been all wrong.” Dolly penned these words in her song “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.” It came to her while driving home from one of her last business meetings with Porter Wagoner. As many know, Dolly wrote what would become her signature anthem, “I Will Always Love You,” as a farewell to her singing partner and dear friend when their business relationship ended. In contrast, “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” was a revelation of clarity and a promise of a brighter tomorrow. A message that she has shared across the globe in all aspects of her career. About the song, Dolly said,

“It was my song of deliverance. It was my song of freedom, and I knew that God was in it. I knew that I was free. And when the Lord has set you free ‘Ye are free indeed.'”

“He’s Alive”

During Easter celebrations, Dolly’s live performance of “He’s Alive” from the 1989 CMA awards is widely shared on social media. She recorded it on her 1989 certified Gold album, “White Limozeen.” The song won Don Francisco two 1980 Dove awards for Song of the Year and Songwriter of the Year.

“Hello God”

During her 2016 Pure & Simple tour, Dolly closed her show with a simple message of love and acceptance. In addition to the four staples of her Imagination Library (Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More) she encouraged people to pray more with “Hello God.”

In 2002, Dolly, backed by The Christ Church Choir of Nashville, performed “Hello God” at the 36th annual CMA awards in Nashville, TN.

About The Songs

The inspirational message of “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” is as relevant today as it was in 1977. Its message of hope for a brighter tomorrow will continue to uplift audiences at Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures. Dolly re-recorded the song for her new dinner theatre attraction opening in Pigeon Forge, TN, in May.

“Light of a Clear Blue Morning” by Dolly Parton first appeared on her 1977 release “New Harvest…First Gathering.” Also, it is one of 10 original songs on the 1992 Hollywood Pictures movie soundtrack “Straight Talk.” Additionally, it’s on Dolly’s 38th solo album, “For God and Country” released on Veterans Day in 2003.

Dolly released “He’s Alive” by Don Francisco on her 29th solo album “White Limozeen” in May 1989.

“Hello God” by Dolly Parton was released as a single on her 37th studio album, “Halos & Horns” in 2002.

*Dolly’s grandfather, Reverend Jake Owens, inspired “Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man.” She co-wrote the song with her Aunt Dorothy Jo and it appeared on Dolly and Porter’s fifth duet album, “Once More.” It is also part of the 2014 Dolly and Porter box set “Just Between You And Me.” Listen to a vintage recording of Rev. Jake preaching and a church singing “This Little Light of Mine” featuring Dolly’s vocals.

Team DollyWATCH: “He’s Alive, “Light of a Clear Blue Morning,” “Hello God”

Dixie Stampede’s 30th Anniversary In Pigeon Forge

Published April 13, 2017 / Last Updated April 13, 2017

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede is celebrating 30 years in Pigeon Forge, TN!

This year marks the 30th anniversary season of Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, TN. For three decades the dinner attraction has thrilled audiences of all ages.

At the heart of the show, there are 32 magnificent horses. World-class trick riders display daring feats of horsemanship including the famous Roman Rider. All this with a friendly competition between two sides creates a magical show that’s now a family tradition.

The thundering longhorns have returned to commemorate the 30th anniversary season. These fan favorites make an appearance during the show as the pioneering settlers move west in search of new lands. For most guests, this is the closest they will come to these magnificent animals.

Dixie Stampede Special Edition Boot Mug

Every year guests can count on the mouth-watering Four Course Family Feast when they visit Dixie Stampede. The signature feast consists of Dixie Stampede’s original creamy vegetable soup, homemade buttery biscuit, a whole rotisserie chicken, hickory-smoked barbequed pork loin, corn on the cob, herb-basted potato, Dixie Stampede’s own specialty dessert and unlimited beverages. In addition, a special 30th anniversary Boot Mug is available in the Dixie Belle Saloon and online.

Visit Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, TN and be a part of the 30th anniversary season!

Team DollyDixie Stampede’s 30th Anniversary In Pigeon Forge

“Forever Country” Wins Video of the Year At ACM Awards

Published April 4, 2017 / Last Updated April 4, 2017

The Academy of Country Music named “Forever Country” Video of the Year

The epic video created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CMAs was named Video of the Year at the ACM Awards on Sunday, April 2. The win is a testament to the mutual respect and admiration within the country music community.

“Forever Country” produced by Shane McAnally and directed by Joseph Kahn was the first production of it’s kind. It features 29 artists from different eras. The song is a mashup of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson and “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by the late John Denver.

After accepting the award, producer Shane McAnally reflected on the recording experience. He recalled the morning Dolly visited the studio to record her “I Will Always Love You” parts. He said,

“I can tell you that the vocal that’s on it is the first thing that came out of her mouth. It is completely untuned and it is exactly the way she sang it the first time. There are no words for that moment.”

Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan hosted the 52nd Annual ACM Awards in Las Vegas, NV.

Forever Country was nominated along with the following:

  • “Fire Away” – Chris Stapleton, Tim Mattia, Jennifer Rothlein
  • “Humble and Kind” – Tim McGraw, Wes Edwards, Jennifer Rothlein
  • “Peter Pan” – Kelsea Ballerini, Michelle Abnet, Kristin Barlowe
  • “Vice” – Miranda Lambert, Trey Fanjoy, Ashley Bergeron Ford
Team Dolly“Forever Country” Wins Video of the Year At ACM Awards