Today Dolly Parton joined Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden for the dedication of her Imagination Library’s 100 Millionth Book to the Library of Congress collection. Dolly dedicated a special edition of her book, “Coat of Many Colors” to the world’s largest library. This honor is a monumental milestone for the program now its 22nd year. Dolly said,
“I always like to say that 100 million books have led to 100 million stories. I am so honored that our little program has now grown to such a point that we can partner with the Library of Congress to bring even more stories to children across the country.”
From its infancy in Sevier County, Tennessee, to the largest children’s literacy program in the world, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has inspired millions of children around the globe to love reading. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said,
“Dolly Parton’s work through her Imagination Library is awe-inspiring. They have counted the number of books given away – 100 million, but there is no way to truly quantify the impact this program has had on developing young readers across America and in other parts of the world. This is an extraordinary gift to humankind.”
The two also announced a new Library of Congress story time for young readers. On the last Friday of each month starting in March and running through August a special story time will be held at the Library of Congress. The Library will host story time in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building. These events will be live streamed so children and parents can join the fun online. Each story time will feature a reading of a book for readers up to age 5, music and special guests. Hayden commented,
“The Library of Congress shares this passion for developing young readers and I am so pleased to announce these cooperative programs, which will provide an opportunity for children anywhere to connect with a fun, engaging reading experience.”
The story times will take place the last Friday of each month for six months in March through August at 10:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street SE. The events are free and open to the public. No tickets are required. The programs will also be live streamed on the Library’s Facebook page and its YouTube channel (with captions).
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.
To celebrate summer during Dollywood’s "Year of the Family," the park offers families even more of what they already love—time together at the world’s friendliest theme park. Summer at Dollywood (June 17- Aug. 6) provides the ideal atmosphere for families to create lifelong memories sure to put a smile on every face. Dolly Parton said,
“Summer in the Great Smoky Mountains truly is something special. When I was growing up, our entertainment was catching lightnin’ bugs and looking up at the stars. We could only dream about what it would be like to take a family vacation together.”
Dollywood celebrates the season with two new attractions, Drop Line and Whistle Punk Chaser. Also, The Little Engine Playhouse will feature two new stories. Guests can look forward to spectacular nightly fireworks. And a Dollywood favorite, The Gazillion Bubbles Show, returns this summer during "Year of the Family."
Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors, a spectacular synchronized fireworks show, paints a colorful canvas across the Smoky Mountain sky each evening. The fireworks extravaganza lights up the night at 9:30 p.m.
The Gazillion Bubbles Show is in D.P.’s Celebrity Theater, offering an amazing facility to fill with the “unbubbleievable” tricks and fun of the bubble-making spectacle. Extended park operating hours—10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily— give guests more time to create the perfect summer getaway. Additionally, Dollywood’s hours are extended to midnight for the first time ever on July 1 and 8. Dolly said,
“We had heard about big rides and shows and festivals at places like the World’s Fair, but we never dreamed that it could all be right here in the Smokies! Places like Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Dollywood are now everything we could imagine for a family vacation together.”
It’s story time again as The Little Engine Playhouse showcases two new children’s stories. Coat of Many Colors is based on Dolly’s newest children’s book of the same name. Pretend, based on Jennifer Plecas’ book, features sing-along songs that kids of all ages will enjoy. And, of course, everyone’s favorite, The Little Engine That Could, returns to the stage. It's a delightful reminder of what can happen with just a little bit of determination.
Dollywood guests have an amazing amount of entertainment options to enjoy during their visit. They also can experience the park’s award-winning rides in a completely different environment once the sun sets. After dark, Dollywood’s trademark attractions, like Wild Eagle and Thunderhead, provide a unique experience for those who climb aboard. These rides thrill guests who race through the summer night with no idea which way the track will turn next!
Learn more about Dollywood’s Year of the Family, or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.
In an interview with Gold Derby’s Chris Beachum, Dolly Parton talks about how she was moved to tears by “Christmas of Many Colors.” She shares her emotional reaction to both NBC movies based on her life.
Shortly before the premiere of the first film, Dolly joined her sister Stella Parton for a private screening. Dolly recalled the overwhelming feelings of nostalgia. She remembers saying,
“How amazing is this to be here holding hands as sisters like when we were little kids, and somebody in the movies playing us... It was very, very moving. Very touching.”
“Coat of Many Colors” (2015) and “Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” (2016) were both ratings smashes for NBC. The cast of stars including Ricky Schroder (Lee Parton), Jennifer Nettles (Avie Lee Parton), Gerald McRaney (Rev. Jake Owens) and Alyvia Alyn Lind (Little Dolly) all delivered moving performances in both films.
Gold Derby reports the network plans repeat airings for many years to come. In addition, the first two films were part of a four movie deal between Dolly and NBC. “Jolene” is said to be the subject of the next release. Unlike the first two, the next film will be based on Dolly’s song rather than her life and will veer from the faith-based, family focused genre. Dolly said,
“Jolene, of course, in the song was a flamboyant girl that was out to steal somebody’s man but she has redeeming qualities.”
Dolly continues the interview by reflecting on receiving awards such as the Kennedy Center Honors, dear friends including Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda and much more.
Gold Derby famously presents four sets of Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and other predictions for comparison and analysis. Visit Gold Derby to make Emmy predictions. Nominees will be announced on July 13.
Video produced by David Janove and Andrew Merrill
Dolly Parton continues to enjoy a successful music career on many levels. Her “Pure & Simple” album and tour were both resounding successes, as have been her two NBC-TV movies from the holiday seasons, 2015’s “Coat of Many Colors,” and 2016’s “Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle of Love.” Both films were resounding successes for the network, and have resulted in a series of awards.
“Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” was cited as one of the TV and Cable winners of the 68th Annual Christopher Awards. The awards also recognized “This Is Us,” the runaway hit of the season. Academy Award Nominees “Hidden Figures” and “Hacksaw Ridge” were honored. Additionally, “Gold Star Parents,” an episode of the long-running CBS news magazine staple “60 Minutes” received honors. The award ceremony is set for May 16, 2017.
The Christopher Awards win is the latest for the film, which also includes the Movieguide® Epiphany Prize for Television. It marks the second straight win for a Dolly-related project, following “Coat of Many Colors.”
In April of 2016, “Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors” received the Academy of Country Music's Tex Ritter Award. This award honors a movie "released and/or receiving major exposure during the preceding calendar year, featuring or utilizing country music." The award shares its name with Tex Ritter. Ritter was a film and music star from the 1930s through the 1970s.
Currently, Dolly is producing a new dinner theatre in Pigeon Forge. The new show celebrates her family’s history and heritage rooted in the Great Smoky Mountains. Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures celebrates the real-life people who captivated television audiences.
Dolly’s experiences growing up in the mountains of East Tennessee, and her memories of celebrating the holidays with her family provided inspiration for both films. “Circle of Love” also detailed the beginning of Dolly’s desire to make it in the music business. Both projects starred Rick Schroder and Jennifer Nettles as her parents, Robert and Avie. Gerald McCraney was cast as her grandfather, Jake Owens. Winning rave reviews for her portrayal of Little Dolly in the movies was young actress Alyvia Alyn Lind.
An exclusive download of "Makin' Fun Ain't Funny" is included with the purchase of Dolly's picture book, “Coat of Many Colors” with all-new illustrations by Brooke Boynton Hughes from Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers.
The handmade, patchwork coat which once kept a little school girl warm has woven its way into the hearts and lives of countless Dolly Parton fans. Now, it has inspired another original song with an equally strong anti-bullying message.
An earlier version of Dolly's book, "Coat of Many Colors" has been used by educators to teach children about bullying in schools. In this new song, Dolly appeals to anyone who may be tempted to hurt others with words or actions encouraging them to make the right choice.
Learn more about illustrator Brooke Boynton Hughes and see original artwork from the new book.