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Dolly Parton Kicks Off “Big” 2023 Season at Dollywood

Published March 14, 2023 / Last Updated March 15, 2023

Season passholders and media enjoy opening day at Tripadvisor’s #1 Theme Park in America

During Dollywood’s annual Season Passholder and Media Preview Day, held on March 10, Dolly Parton unveiled several pieces of information that Dollywood fans have been longing to hear for quite some time.

Dollywood’s 2023 season certainly is shaping up to be one of the busiest years in the park’s history. Two impressive projects—the Big Bear Mountain roller coaster and Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort—are both scheduled for completion this year. During the event, Dolly announced Big Bear Mountain’s opening occurs in May, while bookings for HeartSong Lodge & Resort start in June with stays beginning in November.

“I think everyone knows that I try to dream big dreams no matter what I’m doing,” Dolly explained, “and with everything happening at my Dollywood this year, this may be some of my biggest dreaming yet! We’re going to open a BIG ride and a BIG resort, even the calendar got bigger this year! Eugene (Naughton, Dollywood Parks & Resort President) better get ready for my next big dreams because everybody knows I like trying to outdo myself! But seriously, this is going to be a really special year for all of our guests here at Dollywood.”

“They’re also starting the year with the I Will Always Love You Celebration, which is something that is very humbling to me,” she continued. “The song has been a very special part of my life and career, but I never thought about them celebrating it at Dollywood. I told them they didn’t need to do it, but when they explained it would be a celebration of songwriting and the talents of songwriters, I knew it would be something truly special.”

Eugene Naughton echoed Dolly’s thoughts about the year, sharing why Dollywood’s 2023 season is a prime example of why the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, park continues to place among the best in the industry.

“Over the last several years, Dollywood Parks & Resorts has really elevated into the upper tier of theme park destinations in the country,” Eugene explained. “Just last season we were named the #1 theme park in the United States by Tripadvisor based on actual guest reviews of their time at our properties. With this increased attention comes more guests who are looking to visit a destination outside of the traditional family vacation destinations that have been popular for a number of years.

“We offer a truly different experience at Dollywood, and with the beauty of the surrounding Smoky Mountains attracting even more guests, we’re poised for record growth over the next several years. Big Bear Mountain, as well as HeartSong Lodge & Resort, allow us to take care of our guests in a way that only we can.”

Big Bear Mountain

Big Bear Mountain adds to Dollywood’s already impressive portfolio of world-class roller coasters. At $25 million, the ride is the largest single attraction investment ever at Dollywood, while its 3,990 ft. length makes it the longest roller coaster at the park as well. The ride also features on-board audio, a first at Dollywood, along with plenty of thrilling moments, including three separate launches, multiple airtime hills, high-speed carousel turns and tunnels, including a pass behind a waterfall. Big Bear Mountain features a 39” height requirement and takes guests to a top speed of 48 mph.

Heartsong Lodge & Resort

The 302-room HeartSong Lodge & Resort, the newest element of the company’s growing hospitality program, provides a space of awe and inspiration for guests thanks to thoughtful details that await around every turn. From spacious accommodations to well-planned amenities, guests can enjoy a variety of spaces to recharge and relax. HeartSong Lodge & Resort is the perfect complement to Dollywood’s first-in-class resort property, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. The resort also features the HeartSong Meeting and Event Center which features 26,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space. The resort is accepting inquiries now for group booking beginning in January 2024. Interested parties can contact or complete the request for proposal at

Additional Days of Operation

If growing Dollywood Parks & Resorts with both a thrilling new roller coaster and a world-class resort isn’t enough to prove 2023 is the biggest season ever, the park operating calendar grows this year with an additional 21 days of operation as compared to the 2022 calendar.

I Will Always Love You Celebration

The I Will Always Love You Celebration takes place now through April 8, kicking off the season with a festive event commemorating the art of songwriting and the stories behind the songs. To celebrate the power of songwriting and storytelling, guests can enjoy a special lineup of performances each Saturday throughout the event in DP’s Celebrity Theater. The Celebrity Concert Series includes Natalie Grant (March 11); Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder (March 18); Jo Dee Messina (March 25); Larry, Steve & Rudy: The Gatlin Brothers (April 1); and Lauren Alaina (April 8). All concerts are included with park admission.

Award-Winning Festivals

Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health (April 21-June 11) blooms bright with vivid, larger-than-life flower sculptures that feature more than half-a-million blooms during this stunning event. In addition, Dollywood’s culinary team showcases their world-class abilities with a menu full of delicacies that highlight the tastes of spring in the Smokies.

Dollywood’s Sweet Summer Nights drone and fireworks show has become a guest highlight, and it again takes to the skies above Dollywood in 2023 as part of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration (June 17-August 6). Another favorite—”Gazillion Bubble Show: Aurora”—returns to deliver a mesmerizing “pop” of excitement to guests in DP’s Celebrity Theater.

A family tradition for many, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 20-Oct. 30) celebrates the beauty of fall with thousands of carved pumpkins, spirited performances from talented singers and the fun of Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health. Great Pumpkin LumiNights, which previously has been named the best theme park harvest event in the world, features elaborate displays that are fun for every member of the family. Creative culinary items, accomplished artisans, and fall fun in the Smokies make this a picture-perfect time to enjoy Dollywood.

The industry’s Best Theme Park Christmas event—Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 4- Jan. 6, 2024)—concludes the park’s 2023 season with 6 million lights, festive holiday shows, and the warm Christmas atmosphere guests have come to expect during this joyous time of year.

Plan Your Visit

For more information about Dollywood’s BIG 2023 season, please visit or download the Dollywood app. For more information about Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort, please visit

Team DollyDolly Parton Kicks Off “Big” 2023 Season at Dollywood

Listen to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” Duet with the Late Olivia Newton-John

Published February 27, 2023 / Last Updated March 3, 2023

Dame Olivia Newton-John’s Final Recording and Music Video, a Reimagined Duet of “Jolene” with Dolly Parton, Now Available

Dolly Parton and Olivia Newton-John came together for the first time to reimagine Dolly’s timeless hit “Jolene.” The original version of the song was ranked No. 63 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2021. This new version is the last song and music video Olivia recorded before her passing in 2022 and is included on her upcoming album Just the Two of Us: The Duets Collection.

“My first memory of Olivia was when her song ‘Let Me Be There’ was a hit. I have loved her ever since,” Dolly shared. “We had many occasions that we got to share together, either backstage or performing on the same shows, and I loved every moment that I ever got to spend with her. I’ve always been inspired by her grit, tenderness, willingness, and determination.”


“I have always wanted to record with Dolly,” said the late Olivia Newton-John during an interview in 2021. “She was always there for me and what she did for me early on in my career in Nashville is something I will never forget.”

Dolly and Olivia became friends after Olivia won 1974’s Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year award. To this day, Olivia is the only non-American born artist to win the award. As a nod to their friendship, Olivia recorded an acclaimed version of Dolly’s “Jolene” for her 1976 seventh studio album Come On Over which received critical praise from fans and industry alike.

“My last memory of Olivia was when I sang with her on my song ‘Jolene’ which she recorded for an album not so very long ago,” Dolly continued. “I cannot wait to hear that album and Olivia may you rest in peace. You left a spot that no one else will ever fill.”

“This duet seems like the perfect bookend to their decades-long friendship,” said Michael Caprio, Olivia’s longtime publicist and friend of nearly 25 years. “Knowing that Dolly was there at the start of Olivia’s US Country music career and here she is, one half of a duet of Olivia’s final recording, is pretty special.”

“Jolene” introduces Just The Two of Us, a 17-track duets album releasing May 5, 2023 (on both vinyl and CD) featuring Olivia with artists including Mariah Carey, Michael McDonald, John Travolta, Barry Gibb, Vanessa Amorossi, Jon Secada, her daughter Chloe Lattanzi, and more, with some never-before-released on CD and vinyl recordings.

Now Available to Stream

Dolly’s newly recorded rendition of “Jolene” with Olivia Newton-John is now available on all streaming platforms. Just the Two of Us: The Duets Collection will be released on May 5, 2023 and is now available to pre-save.

Team DollyListen to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” Duet with the Late Olivia Newton-John

Dolly Parton Honors Doc Watson’s 100th Birthday with New Rendition of “The Last Thing on My Mind”

Published February 16, 2023 / Last Updated February 20, 2023

Listen to Dolly’s newly recorded rendition of “The Last Thing on My Mind” from the upcoming album I Am A Pilgrim: Doc Watson At 100, releasing April 28

Dolly Parton joins a dazzling array of musicians, across generations and genres, who have contributed to a new album that celebrates the deep influence and legacy of Doc Watson, the North Carolina guitarist, singer and songwriter who would have turned 100 on March 3 of this year. Releasing April 28 on FLi Records / Budde Music, I Am A Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100 features new renditions of some of Doc’s most beloved recordings from his expansive catalog, and, along with Dolly, features Nora Brown, Rosanne Cash, Jerry Douglas, Chris Eldridge, Steve Earle, Bill Frisell, Corey Harris, Valerie June, Jack Lawrence, Lionel Loueke, Jeff Parker, Ariel Posen, Marc Ribot, Matthew Stevens and Yasmin Williams.

“Doc Watson is everyone’s hero and a great guitar player,” says Dolly. “Some say he is the absolute best, and I was honored to get to work with him a few times in my career.”

“The Last Thing on My Mind”

“The Last Thing On My Mind,” written by Tom Paxton in the early 60s, was a staple of Doc Watson’s catalog and recorded/performed by Dolly throughout her career. She released a recording of it in 1967 with Porter Wagoner, and Doc and Dolly performed it together in 2001 at MerleFest.

In Memory of Doc Watson

Doc Watson

Photo credit: Jim Gavenus

Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson earned 7 GRAMMY Awards and 23 nominations including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. He received the National Medal of Arts in 1997 from President Clinton and has been the subject of multiple books, boxed sets and compilation albums. Born in Deep Gap, North Carolina on March 3, 1923, Doc grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry, Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family and learned guitar at a young age. In the 1950s he played electric guitar in regional dance bands and was encouraged to play acoustic music by folklorist and Smithsonian curator Ralph Rinzler, who met Doc on a trip to North Carolina. Doc was an integral part of the early 1960s folk revival and became known as one of the greatest flatpicking guitarists of all time, a style that influenced the playing of countless guitarists.

Doc, who lost his eyesight at a young age, was also considered a master of the banjo. He released nearly 30 albums spanning 50 years and collaborated with Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Del McCoury, Taj Mahal, Mississippi John Hurt, David Grisman and many others. His work embraced the regional music of North Carolina and he helped to change what people thought about mountain music through his repertoire of traditional and folk recordings. Doc also presided over MerleFest from its inception in 1988, founded to honor the memory of his son, Merle, as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Taking place each spring since 1988, MerleFest has become one of the premiere music festivals in the country and I Am A Pilgrim will be released timed to this year’s festival. Doc continued performing until he passed away in May of 2012.

I Am A Pilgrim

I Am A Pilgrim is bursting with influence of Doc Watson’s talent and charisma. A mix of vocal and instrumental tracks, it finds a host of musicians – including Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, numerous GRAMMY Award winners, countless NPR Tiny Desk alumni and recipients of countless other awards and accolades – interpreting his work through a prismatic lens of not only folk and bluegrass but blues, jazz, and influences of experimental and rock music as well. Given Doc’s seismic impact on guitar playing, it’s no surprise that so many guitar playing styles are represented here, from the finger tapping style of Yasmin Williams (“Doc’s Guitar,” a Doc Watson original) to the slide guitar of Ariel Posen (“Will The Circle Be Unbroken”) and the harmonics featured on Lionel Loueke’s version of “Reuben’s Train.” Valerie June and Bill Frisell join forces for a haunting version of “Handsome Molly,” a traditional song that Doc released in 1961. Nora Brown, a teenager turning heads with her take on old time music, contributes a moving rendition of the hymn “Am I Born To Die.” Rosanne Cash and Steve Earle each reimagine classic traditionals embraced by Doc with moving renditions of “I Am A Pilgrim” and “Make Me A Pallet,” respectively. The album concludes with “Your Lone Journey,” a song that Doc penned while mourning his son. It was recorded by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss for their Raising Sand album and lovingly interpreted here by Bill Frisell.

I Am A Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100 Track List:

  1. Shady Grove – Jerry Douglas
  2. The Last Thing On My Mind – Dolly Parton
  3. Am I Born To Die – Nora Brown
  4. Alberta – Jeff Parker & Matthew Stevens
  5. Make Me A Pallet – Steve Earle
  6. I Am A Pilgrim – Rosanne Cash
  7. Florida Blues – Jack Lawrence
  8. How Long Blues – Corey Harris
  9. WIll The Circle Be Unbroken – Ariel Posen
  10. Handsome Molly – Valerie June & Bill Frisell
  11. Doc’s Guitar – Yasmin Williams
  12. Little Sadie – Chris Eldridge
  13. Reuben’s Train – Lionel Loueke
  14. The Lost Soul – Marc Ribot
  15. Your Lone Journey – Bill Frisell

Now Available for Pre-Order

I Am A Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100, featuring Dolly’s newly recorded rendition of “The Last Thing on My Mind,” will be released on April 28, 2023, and is now available for pre-order.

Team DollyDolly Parton Honors Doc Watson’s 100th Birthday with New Rendition of “The Last Thing on My Mind”

Dolly Parton Launches “Vinyl Me, Parton” Record of the Month Subscription

Published February 8, 2023 / Last Updated February 10, 2023

Dolly becomes first artist to have dedicated monthly vinyl subscription via Vinyl Me, Please

Vinyl Me, Please and Dolly Parton are excited to announce a first-of-its-kind monthly record club devoted to the legendary career and peerless catalog of Dolly Parton. Starting in April 2023, Vinyl Me, Parton will give Dolly fans a monthly connection with her catalog on vinyl, with twelve Records of the Month spanning the entirety of Dolly’s recording career. Subscriptions will be available in exclusive limited-term engagements of 3, 6 and 12 months, and space will be limited. Pre-orders are available now.

“I love listening to records, and to know that fans around the world are discovering music on vinyl is wonderful,” says Dolly. “I am really happy to see some of my favorite albums that have been out of print on vinyl or were never pressed on vinyl be made available.  What’s old is new again!”

Ranging from her debut to some of her recent self-released albums, the twelve albums included in the Vinyl Me, Parton campaign will come on exclusive color vinyl, remastered from the highest quality audio sources, and on 180g vinyl. Each quarter will feature a free and exclusive Vinyl Me, Parton merch item as well. Each release was remastered in Nashville by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound in Nashville, and comes with a Vinyl Me, Parton obi-strip to make the albums stand out on Dolly fans’ shelves.

Vinyl Debuts and Reissued Classics

Curated by Vinyl Me, Please and Dolly, many of the albums featured in Vinyl Me, Parton have not been reissued since their release dates, and some of them are appearing on vinyl for the first time as part of Vinyl Me, Parton. Included in Vinyl Me, Parton are Dolly’s landmark ‘70s albums Jolene, My Tennessee Mountain Home, and New Harvest…First Gathering. Early classics like Hello, I’m Dolly and Just Because I’m a Woman are alongside recent favorites like Better Day and Blue Smoke. Fan favorite mega smash 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs is getting its first vinyl reissue in almost 40 years, and bluegrass albums Little Sparrow and Halos & Horns, the chart-topping Backwoods Barbie, and Those Were the Days all make their vinyl debut as part of Vinyl Me, Parton.

Vinyl Me, Parton isn’t the first time Vinyl Me, Please and Dolly Parton worked together—her landmark Coat of Many Colors was featured as a VMP Country Record of the Month in 2021—and it won’t be the last. There will be additional releases of key titles not featured in Vinyl Me, Parton available first to VMP Members in VMP’s store.

“It’s a true honor for us to launch this Dolly-centric subscription,” said Vinyl Me, Please Director of Music Andrew Winistorfer. “We’ve never focused a subscription on a single artist, and it made too much sense for us to do it with Dolly: So much of her catalog has been untouched and under-reissued on vinyl, and some of her biggest albums from the ‘00s never came out on vinyl at all thanks to the era. Dolly is one of America’s National Treasures, and we hope Vinyl Me, Parton can serve as something that reminds both Dolly fans, and those unfamiliar with her LPs, that she’s one of the best songwriters we’ve ever had, and one of the best performers. These albums deserve to be heard on vinyl, and deserve to be celebrated anew.”

Vinyl Me, Parton Lineup

April 2023: My Tennessee Mountain Home

My Tennessee Mountain Home is a concept album about her upbringing in smalltown Tennessee, this album begins with the first letter Dolly wrote home after moving to Nashville to pursue her dreams as a country singer. It’s appearing on vinyl here for the first time since its release in 1973, for its 50th Anniversary.

May 2023: Little Sparrow

Little Sparrow is the middle album in a trilogy of bluegrass-focused albums Dolly made in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s that capture the roots of her musical education, and her cover of Collective Soul’s “Shine” won her a Grammy. It is appearing on vinyl for the first time as part of Vinyl Me, Parton.

June 2023: Blue Smoke

Blue Smoke is a 2014 album dedicated to Dolly’s upbringing in the Smoky Mountains, and was her highest charting solo album ever, as it hit number six. It features reimaginings of previous Dolly cuts and many brand-new songs.

July 2023: Just Because I’m a Woman

Just Because I’m a Woman is Dolly’s sophomore album, and featured the charting title track, which established Dolly’s songwriting career as one to watch. It turns 55 this year and hasn’t been reissued in the U.S. since its original release in 1968.

August 2023: 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs

9 to 5 and Odd Jobs, Dolly’s megasmash album accompaniment to the movie, 9 to 5, is a concept album about the indignity and dignity that comes with work. It’s appearing on vinyl here for the first time since 1984.

September 2023: Backwoods Barbie

This 15th-anniversary edition of Backwoods Barbie marks the first time the album has ever been on vinyl. It was a smash when it was released in 2008, and is an album largely about trying to stay happy through adversity.

October 2023: Hello, I’m Dolly

Dolly’s debut LP, Hello, I’m Dolly, is being reissued as part of Vinyl Me, Parton for the first time since 1971. It features one of Dolly’s signature songs, “Dumb Blonde.”

November 2023: Jolene

Jolene is the Dolly Parton album with her biggest songs: Both “I Will Always Love You” and “Jolene” are here, both so huge they get mentioned on the cover.

December 2023: Halos & Horns

Halos & Horns is the third album in Dolly’s bluegrass trilogy and is appearing on vinyl here for the first time.

January 2024: Better Day

Better Day was the first Dolly Parton album in years to be comprised of only her original, new songs when it was released in 2011. It is out of print on vinyl and is getting just its second vinyl pressing as part of Vinyl Me, Parton.

February 2024: Those Were the Days

Those Were the Days is appearing on vinyl for the first time here and is composed of bluegrass-tinged covers of John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Cat Stevens, and others.

March 2024: New Harvest…First Gathering

New Harvest…First Gathering is a fan-favorite in Dolly’s catalog and has not been reissued on vinyl since its release in 1977. It features covers of the Temptations and Jackie Wilson, and many of her own songs.

Pre-Orders Now Available

Vinyl Me, Parton Record of the Month subscriptions will begin shipping in April, 2023, with limited quantities available. Pre-orders are available now at

Team DollyDolly Parton Launches “Vinyl Me, Parton” Record of the Month Subscription

Dolly Parton and Dionne Warwick Team Up for Gospel Duet “Peace Like a River”

Published February 7, 2023 / Last Updated February 10, 2023

Dolly Parton and Dionne Warwick to release “Peace Like a River” duet and music video on February 24, 2023

Dolly Parton and Dionne Warwick have recorded their first ever collaboration with a gospel duet titled ‘Peace Like A River,” which Dolly wrote and Damon Elliott, Dionne’s son/manager produced for AND CUT… Productions. They filmed a video on February 7 in Nashville to accompany the musical release on February 24.

“I was honored to get to sing with one of my idols, Dionne Warwick,” Dolly shared. “I have loved her for years and getting to sing with her was one of the highlights of my career. I loved that she loved my song, and I loved singing it with her.”

“I so admire Dolly Parton’s talent and work ethic,” Dionne said. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity for us to work together.”

“I knew from the moment that Dolly sent me (Peace Like A River) that mom not only must sing it, but Dolly must sing it with her! The magic is in the dynamic of the duo, and let me say with all the chaos in this world we all need peace and cleansing…” commented Damon Elliott, producer.

“It is such an honor to be able to work with these legends. Everything from the colors to the placements and detail of this work came into consideration to bring forth this peaceful clean visual,” says Bart Cooper, single cover artist.

“Peace Like a River” Available February 24

Dolly’s duet with Dionne Warwick, “Peace Like a River,” will be released on February 24, 2023 on Dionne and Damon’s Kind Music Group label, along with the video, directed by Nick Pres and Damon Elliott.

Team DollyDolly Parton and Dionne Warwick Team Up for Gospel Duet “Peace Like a River”