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Grand Ole Opry Celebrates Dolly Parton’s 50th Anniversary Of Opry Membership

Published October 14, 2019 / Last Updated October 14, 2019

Dolly Parton Performed Two Sold-Out Shows At The Grand Ole Opry To Cap A Week-Long Salute

NBC Television Special “Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Grand Ole Opry” To Air Tues., Nov. 26

The Grand Ole Opry celebrated Dolly Parton’s 50th anniversary as an Opry member on Oct. 12, 2019, with two sold-out shows honoring arguably country music’s greatest global ambassador.

The superstar performed on both sold-out shows, capping the week-long celebration of Parton’s impact on music and the Opry. The Opry star performed some of her biggest hits for the sold-out crowd including “Joshua,” “Jolene,” “My Tennessee Mountain Home,” “Coat of Many Colors,” “Here You Come Again,” “9 to 5,” and “I Will Always Love You.” She also welcomed banjo great Buck Trent, a member of Porter Wagoner’s “Wagonmasters” who played lead guitar on Parton’s classics “I Will Always Love You” and “Jolene,” to perform Wagoner’s “Carroll County Accident.”

“Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Grand Ole Opry”

Select performances from Friday night’s Opry as well as tonight’s show were filmed for an NBC Television special “Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Grand Ole Opry” which airs Tuesday, Nov. 26 from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT. The special celebrates Parton’s 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry and will feature new interviews as well as performances from Parton and some of her superstar friends who performed in her honor – Dierks Bentley, Emmylou Harris, Chris Janson, Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Margo Price, Hank Williams Jr., and others.

Between shows, at a backstage reception with Dolly’s fellow Opry members, friends, family and artists who participated in Dolly Week, Tennessee’s Governor Bill Lee presented her with a proclamation declaring October 12 as Dolly Parton Day.

Dolly Parton performs Jolene at Grand Ole Opry from Official Dolly Parton on Vimeo.

On The Horizon

Netflix will be releasing an eight-part anthology film series called Heartstrings through her Sandollar Productions in association with Magnolia Hill Productions, with each individual film based on one of Dolly’s masterful songs. This will be released on Netflix in the fall of 2019.

Up next, Dolly has partnered with IMG on an exclusive marketing/branding deal for 2020. Next year will also mark the 33rd anniversary season for Dollywood, her theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., which since 1986 has hosted more than 2 million visitors annually.

©Grand Ole Opry | Photos by Chris Hollo
Additional Photos Provided by Curtis Hilbun

New Dolly-Inspired From The HeART Collection at Kirkland’s
© Grand Ole Opry | Photo by Chris Hollo
New Dolly-Inspired From The HeART Collection at Kirkland’s
© Photo by Curtis Hilbun
© Photo by Curtis Hilbun
© Photo by Curtis Hilbun
Team DollyGrand Ole Opry Celebrates Dolly Parton’s 50th Anniversary Of Opry Membership

NBC To Air “Dolly Parton: 50 Years At The Grand Ole Opry”

Published October 10, 2019 / Last Updated October 10, 2019

Dolly Parton performs her hits at the Opry while Country Music’s biggest stars join the celebration

Two-hour special airs Tuesday, November 26 on NBC

Country music legend Dolly Parton is returning to NBC and will perform at one of the most iconic stages in the world when “Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Grand Ole Opry” airs Tuesday, November 26 from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT.

A celebration of Dolly’s 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the special will feature new interviews as well as a performance from Dolly on the Opry stage where she’ll deliver some of her biggest hits in front of a live audience.

“I’m so thrilled to be celebrating my 50-year anniversary with the Grand Ole Opry,” Dolly said. “I’m also excited that NBC wanted to share in this milestone with me. Together we hope to entertain a broader audience on what the Grand Ole Opry is and what it means to me. We have some special treats, surprises and great performances by some very talented artists and I’m looking so forward to sharing it with you.”

Joining Dolly in the celebration, her superstar friends — Dierks Bently, Emmylou Harris, Chris Janson, Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Margo Price, Hank Williams Jr., and others — will also be on board to honor Dolly’s career and perform.

“Dolly Parton’s impact on country music is beyond description, and she remains a cherished icon,” said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs, NBC Entertainment. “Dolly will always have a home at NBC and we can’t wait for her to deliver her wonderful collection of hits to the Opry stage.”

“Since officially joining the Opry 50 years ago, Dolly Parton has taken the country music world — and the world, for that matter — by storm, taking her Opry roots with her,” said Dan Rogers, Opry vice president and executive producer. “We are thrilled that the girl who grew up listening to the Opry with her family in the Smoky Mountains will be sharing the heart of the Opry live this week on the Opry stage and with millions of fans next month on NBC.”

Watch as Dolly performs her #1 hits at the Opry during the two-hour television special, airing November 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. “Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Grand Ole Opry” is a production of Man Alive Entertainment. Justin Gorman and Matthew Hickling are the Executive Producers.

About The Grand Ole Opry

What began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 is today a live entertainment phenomenon. Dedicated to honoring country music’s rich history and dynamic present, the Grand Ole Opry showcases a mix of country legends and the contemporary chart-toppers who have followed in their footsteps. The Opry, an American icon and Nashville’s #1 attraction, is world famous for creating one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences for audiences of all ages. It’s been called the “home of American music” and “the show that made country music famous.” Through the years the Opry has welcomed iconic artists such as Patsy Cline, George Jones and Dolly Parton as members. The tradition continues today with recent inductees that include Luke Combs, Kelsea Ballerini and Chris Janson, among others.

Team DollyNBC To Air “Dolly Parton: 50 Years At The Grand Ole Opry”

Dolly Parton Featured On Zach Williams’ New Song “There Was Jesus”

Published October 4, 2019 / Last Updated October 4, 2019

GRAMMY® and GMA Dove Award® -winning artist Zach Williams released a new album today featuring Dolly Parton on “There Was Jesus”

Building on the unprecedented success of his Grammy® -winning “Chainbreaker” album, GMA Dove Award® Artist of the Year, Zach Williams, has released his highly anticipated sophomore project, “Rescue Story.” Zach is especially thrilled to have collaborated with world-famous country music icon, Dolly Parton, on the soul-stirring ballad “There Was Jesus.”

Written by Zach, Jonathan Smith and Casey Beathard, “There Was Jesus” is a reflection on Zach’s journey. He said,

“I’m looking back at 20 years ago when I had no idea that God was in the moment, that He was even with me through some of the hard things that have gone on in my life. Now I can see that He had His hand in everything I was doing.”

Zach knew the moment they finished writing the song he wanted to see if Dolly would consider singing it with him. His team got to work and sent the song to Dolly’s manager. She loved it, and arrangements were made for the duo to meet in the studio a few weeks later to record the song. Zach recalls, “It was a really cool moment, just to have the privilege to record a song with Dolly Parton. Working with Dolly was a true honor. She has a way of making you feel like you are the only person in the room. She is so down-to-earth and genuine, and I can’t wait for people to hear that in the song.”

“There Was Jesus” will be released as a single in early 2020. “Rescue Story” is distributed by Sony/Provident and is available at digital and retail outlets worldwide.

Listen & Download 

The LovelacesDolly Parton Featured On Zach Williams’ New Song “There Was Jesus”

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, Great Pumpkin Luminights Return For Fantastic Fall Family Fun

Published September 24, 2019 / Last Updated September 24, 2019

Great Pumpkin LumiNights returns to Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana and brings the glow to Wildwood Grove

Family-friendly fall fun is back at Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana, thanks to the return of Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Now in its third season, Great Pumpkin LumiNights expands again this year by growing the glow to Wildwood Grove.

An overwhelming guest-favorite since it was introduced in 2017, Great Pumpkin LumiNights recently was named the country’s Best Theme Park Halloween Event in the 2019 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards. This year, Great Pumpkin LumiNights includes an expanded footprint into Wildwood Grove, new harvest-themed experiences, food and merchandise; as well as activities that are enjoyable for even the youngest guests.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival runs Sept. 27- Nov. 2 (closed Tuesday, Oct. 22 & Tuesday, Oct. 29) with park operating hours each day from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., providing guests more time to enjoy harvest time in the Smokies. Popular pumpkin displays from past events return—like the pumpkin spider, pumpkin dance party and Dolly-inspired displays— while Wildwood Grove joins the fun for the first time with a harvest experience at The Wildwood Tree.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights

The Plaza at Wilderness Pass again serves as a centerpiece for the event with an area for character interaction, additional displays—and the focal point—a 40 ft. tall pumpkin tree featuring larger-than-life carved pumpkins. Families bask in the glow of thousands of intricately-carved pumpkins as they wander through displays in Dollywood’s Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass, Wildwood Grove and upper Craftsman’s Valley areas. Beyond the impressive displays, guests can find a number of exciting activities to create thrilling memories together.

“I’m so glad to hear families are just lovin’ Great Pumpkin LumiNights,” Dolly Parton said. “When I was a kid, we’d love to get pumpkins, scoop out all those guts from the inside and carve these beautiful masterpieces—at least us kids thought they were masterpieces! But, it makes me just feel good to know families are able to spend time together exploring during what really is the most beautiful time of year in the Smokies.”

Southern Gospel Jubilee

While Great Pumpkin LumiNights lights up Dollywood each evening, the biggest names in Southern gospel music lift their voices each day as part of the Southern Gospel Jubilee. Guests can experience more than 600 individual Southern gospel performances on stages throughout the park during the run of the festival. It’s the largest Southern gospel event in America, fitting for the music icon who got her start singing in churches around the Smokies.

“God truly does turn the Smokies into His own personal coloring book during the fall,” Parton added. “And nothing fits so well with those colorful fall mountains than the uplifting Southern gospel songs that fill the air with powerful praise for Him. I’m proud we’re able to have some of the best Southern gospel singers here during the Harvest Festival.”

Headlining acts include The Martins (Sept. 27-28), The McKameys (Oct. 4-5), Ernie Haase and Signature Sound (Oct. 12-13), The Isaacs (Oct. 18-19), Karen Peck and New River (Oct. 20-21), Gold City (Oct. 27-28) and many more. A complete schedule of artists, show times and stage locations is available at

Guest Artisans

Dollywood celebrates Smoky Mountain crafts all year with the park’s well-known master craftsmen. During the Harvest Festival, however, more than two dozen visiting artisans from across the country provide in-depth demonstrations including woodworking, chainsaw carvings, fiddle-making and more. Guests can find inspirational jewelry, historic handmade games, pottery, hand-painted Christmas ornaments, and even Windsor chairs available for purchase.

Harvest Food

Autumn in the Smokies also provides a bountiful harvest of crops that allows Dollywood’s culinary team an opportunity to showcase their skills with a menu full of fall favorites. Guests can find traditional items like cabbage rolls, pierogies, sausage sandwiches, skillet potatoes, apple cider and fried apple pies. A number of new tasty treats also are on the menu, including chicken Applewood pasta, Reuben wontons, candy corn cider and chocolate chip cookie pizza.

For more information about Dollywood’s Harvest Festival featuring Southern Gospel Jubilee and Great Pumpkin LumiNights, please visit, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD, or download the Dollywood App.

Team DollyDollywood’s Harvest Festival, Great Pumpkin Luminights Return For Fantastic Fall Family Fun

90th Anniversary Edition of “The Little Engine That Could” With Introduction By Dolly Parton

Published September 24, 2019 / Last Updated September 24, 2019

Penguin Young Readers Celebrates 90 Years Of “The Little Engine That Could”

Caldecott Award-Winner Dan Santat Illustrates 90th Anniversary Edition With Introduction By Dolly Parton

Penguin Young Readers announced today the publication of a commemorative 90th Anniversary edition of Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could. Scheduled for publication on April 7, 2020, as part of a 90th Anniversary publishing program, the book will feature reimagined illustrations by Caldecott Award-winner Dan Santat, and an introduction by Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Dolly Parton recalls the lasting impact of “The Little Engine That Could”. Dolly said,

“My memories take me way back to a little cabin in East Tennessee. This was not a place where dreams easily came true. Too often, there was talk about all of the things we couldn’t do rather than all of the things we could do. On many occasions, when my dream seemed far away, my Mama would tell me the story of the Little Engine to comfort and encourage me. While I listened to her, I would close my eyes and think of myself as the Little Engine and just start saying over and over again, ‘I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.’ It gave me strength, it gave me hope, and it gave me the courage to keep chasing my dreams.”

Caldecott Award-winning artist Dan Santat was honored to illustrate the 90th anniversary edition: “It doesn’t take much to lift a person’s spirits and make us believe that we can all possibly become more than we ever dreamed, and it’s all thanks to a little blue engine.”

Little Blue Engine

“I think I can, I think I can.” These simple words, now ubiquitous, were first uttered 90 years ago by the Little Blue Engine in the children’s classic “The Little Engine That Could.” One of the most popular and enduring picture books of the last century, “The Little Engine That Could” has sold more than 20 million copies and inspired millions of children to push their boundaries and challenge their fears. It is the first book every child receives from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which now gifts half a million copies every year. The book has been adapted for film multiple times over the years, including a 3-D adaptation in 2011 featuring the voices of Whoopi Goldberg, Jamie Lee Curtis, Alyson Stoner, and Corbin Bleu. In 2005, Penguin Young Readers published an edition illustrated by Loren Long.

Author Watty Piper

Watty Piper was a pen name of Arnold Munk, an owner of the publishing firm Platt & Munk. Arnold Munk was born in Hungary and, as a child, moved with his family to Chicago. He later moved to New York, where he died in 1957. Arnold Munk used the name Watty Piper as both an author of children’s books and as the editor of many of the books that Platt & Munk published.

Illustrator Dan Santat

Dan Santat is the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Award-winning “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend,” as well as the New York Times Best Selling titles “Are We There Yet?”, “After the Fall”, and others. He is also the creator of Disney’s animated hit, “The Replacements.” Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and a menagerie of pets.
Visit him at

Team Dolly90th Anniversary Edition of “The Little Engine That Could” With Introduction By Dolly Parton