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Pam Tillis Performed At Dollywood And Debuted New Dolly-Inspired Song

Published April 19, 2018 / Last Updated April 19, 2018

Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and performer Pam Tillis debuted her new Dolly Parton-inspired song for park guests at Dollywood

Pam Tillis headlined Dollywood’s Spring Mix concert series on April 16, 2018. She took the opportunity to spring a new song on her fans which she is including in her upcoming album. The song is inspired by the park’s namesake, Dolly Parton and will be well worth the wait for fans of both ladies.

She was once known as the up-and-coming country singer with a famous last name. For years she hit the pavement, knocking on doors, singing demos and jingles. She worked as a staff writer for Elektra Asylum Publishing and later took a job writing for Warner Brothers Publishing.

Now, three decades later, she is a decorated artist with two Grammy wins, three CMA awards, including 1994’s Female Vocalist Of The Year Award, and has over 30 US Billboard charting singles. She long since established her place in country music and holds the title of the first woman invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry in the 21st century. Now, the child of Country Music Royalty proudly showcases over half a century of some of country’s finest songs, stories and artistry.

When asked her favorite Dollywood activity she first jokingly said “the buffet” and noted her fondness for beans and cornbread. And then added she is a big fan of the collection of crafts on display by Dollywood’s resident artisans.

Here the “Queen of Denial” chats about songwriting and what it was like growing up around country icons like Dolly and her legendary dad Mel Tillis. She also talks about her current tour dates and appearances.


Q. “Your songs have been recorded by a variety of mainstream artists. Do you have a standout favorite cut by another artist?”

A. “I don’t know if the album is still in circulation but it’s cool that I had a Conway Twitty cut. I think I’m the only songwriter that has ever had a Conway Twitty cut and a Chaka Khan cut.”

Dolly and Mel

Q. “Do you have a favorite story or memory that captures Dolly’s friendship and working relationship with your father?”

A. “Actually, I don’t even know where to begin. I met her as a little girl. I was starstruck. Dolly played guitar and wrote her own songs. And there weren’t a lot of women writing their own songs back then, I didn’t feel like, so that made a deep impression on me. She was as talented as any man, if not more so. And then a dream come true, getting to sing on one of her records. And then she came and sang on one of mine. I just want to mention that she took the time to write me a letter when Daddy passed. And that says everything about her.”

On Tour

Q. “You are currently touring doing both your own shows and shows with Lorrie Morgan. You are also a part of the Chicks with Hits tour with Terri Clark and Suzy Bogguss. What about these types of collaborations with other female artists appeals to you?”

A. “I feel like it’s such a neat part of my touring schedule. For so many years I found myself ‘the chick’ on a bill with so many dudes. It’s just been so great to work with other female artists. They’re seasoned pros. We’ve all got stories to tell and have so much in common as well. It’s very comforting to be out there with sisters.”

Dolly invited Pam to join her and a host of country stars on her 1993 release, “Slow Dancing with the Moon.” And later, Dolly and Pam teamed up for some incredible harmonies on Pam’s “Violet and a Rose” from “It’s All Relative: Tillis Sings Tillis” released in 2002.

See Pam Tillis Tour Dates

Discover More Spring Mix Concerts At Dollywood

Team DollyPam Tillis Performed At Dollywood And Debuted New Dolly-Inspired Song

Dollywood’s Aunt Granny’s Restaurant Recast With New Look & Menu Items

Published March 22, 2018 / Last Updated March 22, 2018

Lodge Manufacturing Company named presenting sponsor at Dollywood’s Aunt Granny’s Restaurant

One of Dollywood’s best-known restaurants was recast in 2018 with a little help from another iconic Tennessee brand, Lodge Manufacturing Company. Aunt Granny’s All-You-Care-To-Eat Buffet earned its name from the loving nickname Dolly Parton’s nieces and nephews gave her. The eatery has a fresh look this season complete with new menu items which will have guests ready to pull a seat up to the table.

Now named Aunt Granny’s Restaurant presented by Lodge, it features a number of changes. These new elements create a bright and airy space. Guests will find a comfortable respite to slow down and enjoy a meal together. Interior renovations include action stations, like a new carving station. Here guests can watch Dollywood chefs create a number of delightful delicacies.

“Dollywood is known for its quality southern food offerings, and a visit to the buffet at Aunt Granny’s certainly should be on the list for any foodie,” said Dollywood Vice-President Phil Bernard. “With our continuing focus on great food, we felt the time was right to recast the restaurant and add new menu items, while also keeping many of the old favorites.

“The opportunity to partner with Lodge, which is another iconic Tennessee brand, also made perfect sense. When you think of traditional southern foods like fried chicken, cornbread, or apple cobbler, you think of cast iron cookware. And when you think of cast iron cookware, there’s only one company that comes to mind—Lodge.”

Lodge Manufacturing Company

The unique partnership with South Pittsburg, Tennessee-based Lodge brings a selection of the company’s famous cast iron cookware into the dining experience. The iconic cookware adorns displays throughout the restaurant. And the buffet line serves food from Lodge products.

“We are extremely excited about the collaboration between these two great Tennessee companies,” said Mike Otterman, President of Lodge Manufacturing Company. “We share company values, consumers, location and brand similarities that should allow us to grow together for many years.”

With more than 130 different items, Lodge Cast Iron produces the largest selection of cast iron cookware on the market. Popular items include skillets, griddles, grill pans, Dutch Ovens and restaurant serving pieces.

Founded by Joseph Lodge in 1896, Lodge is the oldest continuously operating cast iron cookware foundry in the U.S. Also, it’s the oldest family-owned cookware company in the country. Henry Lodge, CEO, and Lee Riddle, Vice President of Sales, are fourth and fifth generation descendants of Joseph Lodge.

Aunt Granny’s Restaurant presented by Lodge

Located in Dollywood’s Rivertown Junction, Aunt Granny’s was constructed in 1986 and opened during the park’s inaugural season. It is a favorite spot for guests. Its all-you-can-eat format offers a wide selection of the southern staples Dollywood’s foods team has cooked up for years.

The park is fresh off winning Amusement Today’s 2017 Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Food. The foods team has refreshed the menu with a number of items sure to become new guest favorites. Among those new offerings are Southwestern herb baked chicken, country chicken & dumplings, roasted red-skinned potatoes with cheddar cheese & bacon, corn puddin’, and much more. Stone Soup, inspired by Dolly’s famous story about her mother using the classic fable to encourage her children, also finds its way on to the buffet. Those with a sweet tooth have plenty to select from including apple cobbler, various cupcakes, brownies and more.

For more information about Dollywood’s 2018 Season of Showstoppers, please visit or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyDollywood’s Aunt Granny’s Restaurant Recast With New Look & Menu Items

Dolly Parton Writing Music For Jennifer Aniston’s “Dumplin'” Soundtrack

Published March 21, 2018 / Last Updated March 21, 2018

Jennifer Aniston’s new movie “Dumplin'” will feature new music written by Dolly Parton.

The #1 New York Times Bestseller, “Dumplin'” is making it’s way to the big screen. Adapted from the Julie Murphy novel, the film stars Jennifer Aniston as Rosie Dickson. Australian actress, Danielle Macdonald will take the role of her daughter Willowdean Dickson.

The story unfolds as Willowdean (‘Dumplin’) signs up for her mom’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant. It’s an act of protest for the plus-size teenage daughter of the former beauty queen. Things escalate when other contestants follow her footsteps, revolutionizing the pageant and their small Texas town.

It’s no coincidence that the main character shares the same name as Dolly Parton’s real-life sister, Willadeene Parton. Dumplin’ herself is a huge Dolly Parton fan. In fact, in the opening lines of the book, she says the best moments of her life have “started with a Dolly Parton song.” The film will include Dolly’s music, both well-known hits and all-new songs. At the 2018 grand opening of Dollywood, Dolly spoke about the opportunity to lend her songwriting and composing talents to the new film and complimented the film’s encouraging message saying,

“It’s really a wonderful and uplifting thing for young girls altogether.”

Filmed in Atlanta, GA, and the surrounding areas, “Dumplin'” is directed by Anne Fletcher.

Team DollyDolly Parton Writing Music For Jennifer Aniston’s “Dumplin'” Soundtrack

Dolly Parton Launches Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers

Published March 16, 2018 / Last Updated March 19, 2018

Showcasing acts from the park’s upcoming year, Dolly Parton helped launch Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers during a special preview event.

Dollywood kicked off its 33rd season with a special preview event hosted by Dolly Parton. This incredible year is one which surely will be remembered for the amazing quality of entertainment. Dollywood’s entertainment team invested $1 million more in its 2018 offerings than any other single year of entertainment in its history.

The preview event featured performances by the National Dance Company of Siberia, PAINTJAM featuring Ricardo Barazza, Janie Fricke, Orleans, Larnelle Harris and others. For the finale, Dolly joined Ladysmith Black Mambazo backed by Orleans for a beautiful performance of “Peace Train.” Dolly recorded the song written by Cat Stevens on her 1996 “Treasures” album which featured Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Dollywood has won Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Entertainment for nine years. And with 2018’s commitment, the park again looks to lead the way for the award.

Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers

Festival of Nations (March 16 — April 9)
Spring Mix Music Series (April 11 – April 29)
Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 25 – June 10)
Summer Celebration (June 16 – August 5)
Rock The Smokies (August 25)
Harvest Festival (September 28 – November 3)
Smoky Mountain Christmas (November 10 – January 5)

Aunt Granny’s

Opening day also served as the unveiling of the newly renovated Aunt Granny’s restaurant. The eatery is named after the affectionate nickname Dolly’s nieces and nephews have for her as she acts as both aunt and granny to them as well as to some of her younger siblings. The restaurant is one of the parks original features. Its buffet style dining offers guests delicious comfort foods including Mama’s Stone Soup. Read famous Stone Soup story in A Mother’s Love & Inspiration – Avie Lee Parton.

For more information about multi-day ticket options, 2018 Dollywood season passes or Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers visit or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

100 Millionth Book Dedication Ceremony
Dolly Parton at 100 Millionth Book Dedication Ceremony
Dolly Parton at 100 Millionth Book Dedication Ceremony
Dolly Parton at 100 Millionth Book Dedication Ceremony
Dolly Parton at 100 Millionth Book Dedication Ceremony
Dolly Parton at 100 Millionth Book Dedication Ceremony

Photo Credit: Curtis Hilbun

Team DollyDolly Parton Launches Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers

GRAMMY Award Winners, Former Dancing With The Stars Performers At Dollywood’s Festival Of Nations

Published March 13, 2018 / Last Updated March 19, 2018

Dollywood’s Festival Of Nations (March 16 – April 9) includes GRAMMY Award winners, former Dancing with the Stars performers and more!

With Dollywood’s emphasis on show-stopping entertainment in 2018, the park’s annual Festival of Nations kicks off the new season with a multi-cultural event featuring world-renowned talent. The celebration takes place March 16-April 9 and lets guests take a trip around the world without leaving the Smokies.

This colorful, interactive event marks the beginning of Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers. Enjoy cultural music, food and crafts that immerse the entire family in festive fun.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

GRAMMY award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo have transcended musical barriers to produce awe-inspiring projects with artists such as Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and even Dolly Parton herself. The group sings of peace, love and harmony. Now in its sixth decade they have produced more than 60 albums. They won their fifth GRAMMY in January, this time for Best World Music Album. Their name is a combination of Ladysmith, South Africa (the group’s hometown), the color of oxen (one of the strongest farm animals), and the Zulu word for “chopping axe” (a symbol of the group’s vocal strength). Ladysmith Black Mambazo songs have been featured in multiple motion pictures, and the group even traveled to Norway with Nelson Mandela to perform when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Guests can find this talented group at the Showstreet Palace Theater.

National Dance Company of Siberia

Founded in 1960, the National Dance Company of Siberia has wowed audiences around the globe with colorful and expressive dance, traditional folk music and vivid costumes. This renowned dance company brings their amazing performance to life for guests in a must-see display of talent and passion. High energy, dazzling colors and authentic Siberian customs combine for an astonishing visual masterpiece. See the National Dance Company of Siberia in the park’s largest theater, DP’s Celebrity Theater

The Flamenco Kings Featuring Los Vivancos

Los Vivancos is comprised of seven Spanish brothers who traveled the world before studying at the prestigious Barcelona Dance Conservatory. Drawing from their years of study, Los Vivancos have created an eclectic style that combines flamenco, ballet, martial arts, street dance, theater and acrobatics into one thrilling, non-stop performance that truly showcases their charisma and flair. The brothers have served as guest performers on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Their show, The Flamenco Kings featuring Los Vivancos, is located in Pines Theater.

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations 2018 Lineup

JigJam – This quartet hails from the heart of Ireland and blends the best of traditional Irish music with the unique sound of American bluegrass to create a genre of music affectionately known as “Celtgrass.” The group has been humorously described as “the best Irish group so far in bluegrass.” Thanks to their gregarious personalities and entertaining antics, this show is an upbeat, foot-stomping good time Dollywood guests won’t want to miss. Location: Back Porch Theater

Invaders Steel Orchestra – One of the world’s oldest and most respected steel drum bands, Invaders Steel Orchestra celebrates more than 75 years of creating festive music for audiences around the world. This guest-favorite group returns to Dollywood to bring the tropical sounds of the Caribbean to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. While the songs they play are familiar, the unique sounds of Invaders Steel Orchestra’s drums will transport guests to a sandy beach far away. Location: The Valley Theater

Atahualpa – Hailing from Ecuador, Atahualpa combines native Incan instruments with contemporary backups to celebrate the history and culture of the Andes Mountains. Atahualpa’s mix of songs includes contemporary music, South American dance rhythms, as well as the traditional music of the Andes. Through their sharing of music, culture and heritage, Atahualpa hopes to promote brotherhood, friendship and peace to all the people of the world. Location: Showstreet Gazebo

Zebra Stelzentheater – Zebra Stelzentheater features German stilt dancers in original costumes who perform while roaming the streets of Dollywood. They are always looking for guest interaction, so be on the lookout for fun. This lively troop is always on the search for new friends! Location: Roaming

Taste of Nations

Guests also can find food from around the globe at various locations throughout Dollywood. Items include Elote w/Pimente Espelette, Citrus Ancho & Coca-Cola Braised Beef Tostada, Lamb or Chicken Gyros, Crepe Suzette, Pad Thai and much more!

Dollywood’s “Season of Showstoppers”

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations sets the stage for a show-stopping 2018 season. The park celebrates the arrival of spring with the all-new Spring Mix Music Series April 11-29. Spring Mix includes performances by artists including The Marshall Tucker Band and Amy Grant. Also see Pam Tillis, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Crystal Gayle and more. Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 25-June 10) includes more than 350 performances by the best in bluegrass, while the park’s Summer Celebration features iLuminate, DRUMLine Live and Dan Dunn’s PaintJam. Extended hours and nightly fireworks shows highlight Dollywood’s summer season, June 16-Aug. 5. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 28-Nov. 3) features Southern gospel’s greatest performers alongside the second year for the guest-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood’s 2018 season concludes with the ten-time winner for Best Theme Park Christmas Event. See Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, Nov. 10-Jan. 5, 2019.

Season Passes

If there has ever been a year to take advantage of the value of a Dollywood season pass, this is it. A number of new entertainment options (all included with park admission) are available throughout the season. And guests certainly will want to make several return visits in 2018!

Guests can learn more about Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers by visiting or calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyGRAMMY Award Winners, Former Dancing With The Stars Performers At Dollywood’s Festival Of Nations