My Life

Dolly Parton’s Tribute To Don Warden At Dollywood

Published May 10, 2017 / Last Updated May 10, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Don Warden, Dolly Parton’s “Mr. Everything,” honored with a touching tribute at Dollywood.

All photos courtesy of Curtis Hilbun

In a packed house at Dollywood’s My People Theatre, Dolly Parton honored the life and legacy of Don Warden, the man she called her “Mr. Everything.” A plaque was placed on the side of Dolly’s tour bus, which now sits outside the theater in Dollywood. It reads, “In celebration of Don Warden, Mentor, Musician, Manager and Mr. Everything. I will Always Love You, Dolly.” In addition, a star was placed at the entrance of the bus. It reads, “Don Warden Dolly’s #1 Angel.”

The house band opened the tribute with the song, “Satisfied Mind.” In her opening remarks, Dolly said,

“If there was one person who would have left this world with a satisfied mind it was Don Warden.”

Mr. Everything

Dolly called Don her “Mr. Everything” because he literally did a little bit of everything for her career. When Dolly exited “The Porter Wagoner Show” Don left his position there to stay on with Dolly. He was a renowned steel guitar player and tenor singer with years of experience. In addition to his on-stage talent, Don was, in Dolly’s words, “a man of many colors.” Dolly said,

“Don was one of those people who you were lucky if you got to know one of those people. There was nothing that Don Warden could not do.”

As manager, Don handled the band accounts, promoted shows, coordinated merchandise sales and really anything that needed to be done. On the road, Don was not only the bus driver he was also the mechanic. He also had a knack for buying and renovating tour buses which he did for years for Dolly and before that for Porter Wagoner.

Warden Family

During the tribute, Dolly invited Don’s widow Anne to the stage along with her son Charlie, his wife and their children. She recognized Anne’s contributions to Don’s career as well as her own. Anne was credited for designing all of Dolly’s merchandise during the time Don was her manager. Dolly also gave her accolades for her work at the Tennessee Mountain Home. Anne worked in tandem with Dolly’s brother Bobby on the renovations and interior design of the Parton family home. In addition, Anne was also instrumental in the launch of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Dolly said,

“Together, Don and Anne were the perfect team.”

In her closing remarks, Dolly turned to Anne, his son Charlie and the entire Warden family and said,

“Thanks for sharing him with us.”

Don Warden (March 27, 1929 – March 11, 2017) was 87 years young.

Team DollyDolly Parton’s Tribute To Don Warden At Dollywood

Dolly Parton Covers “The Story” On War Child Benefit Album

Published May 8, 2017 / Last Updated May 8, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton joins Adele, Pearl Jam, Kris Kristofferson and more on Brandi Carlile’s album, “Cover Stories” benefiting War Child UK.

Dolly joins 13 other artists on a new album to support the humanitarian aid efforts of War Child UK. Due to the generosity of everyone involved, 100 % of album sales will go directly to the cause.

Brandi Carlile is a soulful American singer/songwriter. She released her self-titled album in 2005 followed by “The Story” in 2007. As a well-respected songwriter, Brandi is dedicated to lending her talents and connections to a cause much greater than herself. The album, “Cover Stories” features 14 artists, all sharing in Brandi’s passion for children impacted by world conflicts.

Track List

  • “Late Morning Lullaby” – Shovels & Rope
  • “The Story” – Dolly Parton
  • “Turpentine” – Kris Kristofferson
  • “My Song” – Old Crow Medicine Show
  • “Wasted” – Jim James
  • “Have You Ever” – The Avett Brothers
  • “Josephine” – Anderson East
  • “Losing Heart” – The Secret Sisters
  • “Cannonball” – The Indigo Girls
  • “Until I Die” – Torres
  • “Downpour” – Margo Price
  • “Shadow On The Wall” – Ruby Amanfu
  • “Again Today” – Pearl Jam
  • “Hiding My Heart” – Adele

Purchase “Cover Stories” Now Available and support War Child UK’s efforts to protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children in war.

“What we do to help the children of the world says everything about the humanity of our generation.” –Brandi Carlile

Learn More About War Child

Team DollyDolly Parton Covers “The Story” On War Child Benefit Album

Dolly’s My People Fund Finishes “Smokies Strong”

Published May 5, 2017 / Last Updated May 5, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton’s My People Fund presents final checks to families and makes a long-term investment in future recovery efforts!

Smokies Strong, a title the people of Sevier County, TN, have more than earned in the aftermath of the devastating wildfires. They displayed their strength and courage on the very night the fires started and have continued to do so in the following months.

The Dollywood Foundation established the My People Fund just 48 hours after wildfires swept through the county on November 28, 2016. Each month, starting in December 2016, the My People Fund gave $1,000 to every family whose home was lost or destroyed in the fires. May marks the end of the Fund’s six-month pledge to assist the recovery efforts. Due to the tremendous outpouring of donations and support, the My People Fund was able to increase the amount of the final distribution checks from $1,000 to $5,000 (per family). In total, $8.9 million went directly to wildfire victims.

Dolly was on hand at the CARE MORE Assistance Center on May 4 in Pigeon Forge, TN, to present the last checks to three families and to say thank you to the dozens of volunteers who have staffed the effort. Dolly said,

“We started the distribution in December right around the longest night of the year and I know it felt dark and lonely for so many. But here we are in spring, a time for renewal and a time for hope. I know the money helps but most of all I want people to know we will always provide you a shoulder to lean on.”

In addition, Dolly’s My People Fund launched a partnership with the Mountain Tough Recovery Team to continue supporting these families in the coming months by providing $3 million for this effort. Dolly made this announcement during a special media event at Smoky Mountain Adventures in Pigeon Forge, TN, on May 5.

Wildfire Scholarship Fund

Additional contributions, outside of the My People Fund, helped establish and support the Wildfire Scholarship Fund. Thanks to these efforts, every high school junior and senior in Sevier County, whose homes were destroyed by the fires, will receive a $4,500 scholarship.

Today, recovery continues and rebuilding efforts are underway for the people who are and forever will be, Smokies Strong.

About My People Fund

The Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund provided $1,000 each month for six months to Sevier County families whose homes were uninhabitable or were completely destroyed in the Smoky Mountain wildfires. Any family who lost their primary residence (renters and homeowners) due to the wildfires in Sevier County were eligible.

About The Mountain Tough Recovery Team

The mission of the Mountain Tough Recovery Team is to assist individuals and families recovering from the 2016 wildfires in Gatlinburg and the surrounding Sevier County area to rebuild and provide resources for other unmet needs for both homeowners and renters impacted by the fires.

Devastating wildfires claimed the lives of 14 people and destroyed thousands of homes and buildings in Sevier County, TN, on November 28, 2016.

Team DollyDolly’s My People Fund Finishes “Smokies Strong”

32nd Annual Dolly Homecoming Parade

Published May 2, 2017 / Last Updated May 3, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton will return home on May 5, 2017, for the 32nd Annual Dolly Homecoming Parade plus Dollywood and Smoky Mountain Adventures plan grand opening festivities!

Once again, the Smoky Mountain songbird will act as the Grand Marshal of the Annual Homecoming Parade given in her honor. Over 50,000 people are expected to line the route.

The line-up includes beautiful floats, lively marching bands, entertainers, veterans and more. Dolly will sit atop a specially designed float and wave to everyone in attendance.

This year, in honor of the grand opening of Smoky Mountain Adventures and in celebration of the 30th Anniversary at Dixie Stampede, eager parade watchers will have the chance to win tickets to both shows!

See Dolly’s Dinner Shows Giveaway

Grand Opening Events & Special Live Stream

Before the parade starts, Dollywood and Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner & Show have special Grand Opening events planned. Dolly will welcome everyone to a special show at Smoky Mountain Adventures. As a bonus, portions of that event will be live streamed on Facebook.

Parade Information & History

Visitors should arrive early to get a good spot. The parade will start at 6 PM. It begins at traffic light #6 and it will head toward Sevierville to traffic light #3 along the main parkway in Pigeon Forge, TN.

In past years, Dolly’s parade floats have featured some of Dollywood’s newest attractions including Mystery Mine, Wild Eagle, and FireChaser Express. This year will mark the parade debut of Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures. Also, Dixie Stampede will celebrate their 30th anniversary in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Team Dolly32nd Annual Dolly Homecoming Parade

Grand Opening Live Stream With Dolly

Published May 2, 2017 / Last Updated May 2, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton will welcome guests to a special show at Smoky Mountain Adventures on May 5!

The May 5 Grand Opening show at Smoky Mountain Adventures is part of a special day of exciting activities in Pigeon Forge, TN. Dolly will welcome guests to the all-new show. Portions of the grand opening will be live streamed, starting at 11 AM, on Facebook giving folks a sample of the fantastic new show.

Starting at 6 PM, Dolly will make another appearance as the Grand Marshal of the 32nd Annual Homecoming Parade given in her honor.

Dolly’s Dinner Shows Giveaway

In addition to the grand opening of Smoky Mountain Adventures, Dixie Stampede is celebrating their 30th anniversary season in Pigeon Forge. To mark the occasion, these two fantastic dinner attractions are teaming up to offer parade watchers the chance to win Free Combo Tickets to both shows!

How To Enter

Share a photo of yourself from the parade sidelines* to Facebook, Google+, Instagram or Twitter using #DollysDinnerShows for a chance to win a set of two (2) combo tickets to Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures and Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede (Pigeon Forge Location Only).

Winners will be chosen and announced during the parade. The parade starts at 6 PM. All winners will be announced between 6 and 8 PM on May 5 from the official social media outlets of Dixie Stampede and Smoky Mountain Adventures.

Official Dixie Stampede Social Media Links
Official Smoky Mountain Adventures Social Media Links
Official Contest Rules

To enter, share a photo of yourself taken along the parade route before or during the parade on May 5, 2017, in Pigeon Forge, TN, to Facebook, Google+, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag, #DollysDinnerShows.

By participating in this contest, you agree to abide by the following rules and give Dixie Stampede and Smoky Mountain Adventures permission to use your name and profile picture should you be chosen as a winner: (1) you must be 18 years or older to participate; (2) the winner cannot be an employee or relative of an employee of Dixie Stampede or Smoky Mountain Adventures; (3) six random winners will be selected using a hashtag monitoring platform selected by Dixie Stampede and Smoky Mountain Adventures; (4) the winners will be rewarded with two combo tickets to Dixie Stampede (Pigeon Forge Location Only) and Smoky Mountain Adventures; (5) winners will be notified on the official social media outlets of Dixie Stampede and Smoky Mountain Adventures; (6) winners must pick up their tickets at the Smoky Mountain Adventures box office on the same day before 8 p.m. EST and present a valid photo id. Prize ticket certificates are subject to availability and blackout show times; (7) This contest begins on 05/05/17 at 6 p.m. EST and ends on 05/05/17 at 8 p.m. EST; (8) This contest is in NO way affiliated with Facebook, Google+, Instagram or Twitter.

*You must maintain a safe distance from the parade route. You must remain in accordance with local law enforcement requirements at All Times. NO entries will be considered by anyone who crosses safety boundaries or barricades!

Team DollyGrand Opening Live Stream With Dolly