My Life

WATCH: Return To Gatlinburg With Dolly Parton And HLN’s Robin Meade

Published May 24, 2017 / Last Updated May 24, 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
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 sits down with HLN’s Robin Meade in “Return to Gatlinburg”

HLN’s Robin Meade of the Morning Express Show recently visited the Great Smoky Mountains. She talked with Dolly Parton about ongoing recovery efforts and the final My People Fund disbursements.

Robin also visited with one of the families affected and shared their story. Roger Prince and Megan Kelly are just one of the families who lost their home in the devastating wildfires. Robin accompanied the couple as they revisited the site where their home once stood.

Robin also reminds everyone that visiting the Great Smoky Mountains is the best way to show their support. Morning Express with Robin Meade airs weekday mornings on HLN from 6 AM – 11 AM EST.

About My People Fund

The Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund provided a total of $10,000 (per family) over the course of six months to the more than 900 Sevier County families whose homes 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 DollyWATCH: Return To Gatlinburg With Dolly Parton And HLN’s Robin Meade

Extraordinary Bluegrass Entertainment & Tasty Barbeque At Dollywood

Published May 24, 2017 / Last Updated May 24, 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

Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 26-June 4) features extraordinary bluegrass acts and delicious barbeque!

With Dollywood’s award-winning chefs offering up tasty barbeque and the biggest names in bluegrass serving up some sweet sounds, Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 26-June 4) continues the “Year of the Family” with a special treat for the senses.

Steep Canyon Rangers (May 31), Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (June 4), Dailey & Vincent (May 29), and seven-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Vocal Group of the Year Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (May 28) are among the acts helping the festival reach a high note. Dolly Parton said,

“There’s no doubt bluegrass holds a special place in my heart. There is something so beautiful about the sounds of that good ol’ mountain music. That’s why it’s a treat to have these great bluegrass performers, like my good friend Rhonda Vincent, at Dollywood during my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival. These really are the best in the business, and I’m glad we’re able to share their gifts with the guests who come visit us. Heck, I might even grab a plate of those ribs and sit down and enjoy some of the shows myself!”

Award-Winning Acts

Dailey and Vincent at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass Dailey and Vincent at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass
Rhonda Vincent and the Rage at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent and the Rage at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass
Hot Rize at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass Hot Rize at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass
Mark O'Conner Band at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass Mark O'Conner Band at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass
Steep Canyon Rangers at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass Steep Canyon Rangers at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass
Flatt Lonesome at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass Flatt Lonesome at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass
Blue Highway at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass Blue Highway at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass
Cricket Tell the Weather at Dollywood's Barbeque and Bluegrass Cricket Tell the Weather at Dollywood's Barbeque and Bluegrass
The Gibson Brothers at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass The Gibson Brothers at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass

This year’s festival includes a number of IBMA and Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) award winners. Award-winning acts include Flatt Lonesome. This rising new group won the 2016 IBMA Vocal Group of the Year. They also received Album of the Year and Song of the Year the same year. The group headlines the festival on June 3. Kelsi Robertson Harrigill of Flatt Lonesome said,

“Flatt Lonesome always looks forward to being part of the Dollywood Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival. It is a great event that features all our favorite things – roller coasters, barbeque and bluegrass music, and the folks that come to the shows are always so much fun to play for. We sure hope to be part of this great festival every year!”

Artist Line-Up

An impressive calendar of bluegrass talent performs throughout the festival. Guests can enjoy more than 25 individual concerts scheduled each day on stages across the park. Legendary bluegrass group Hot Rize kicks off the festival on May 26. The Gibson Brothers (May 27) and Band of Ruhks (May 28) are also playing on opening weekend. Other Barbeque & Bluegrass performers include Blue Highway (June 3), Cricket Tell the Weather (June 3) and Farmhands (June 2). The lineup also includes the ETSU Pride Bluegrass Band (May 30). Also, catch Carson Peters and Iron Mountain (May 26) and The Loose Strings Band (May 31). Six-String Soldiers, the bluegrass arm of the United States Army Field Band, play, appropriately enough, on Sunday, May 28 and Memorial Day Monday, May 29. Andrea Asprelli of Cricket Tell the Weather said,

“As a singer and a songwriter who loves bluegrass music, it’s an honor to be able to play at Dollywood this year. I first listened to Dolly on the ‘Trio’ albums, and soon learned that her powerful vocals were just as inspiring as her creative, entrepreneurial and loving spirit.”

All concerts are free and included with park admission.

Delicious Barbeque

Dollywood’s award-winning food perfectly complements the sounds of bluegrass music’s finest. The aroma of bold barbeque wafts through the air, thanks to expertly-prepared pulled pork, smoked sausage and chicken. Bountiful barbeque entrees are accompanied by Southern favorites like baked beans, corn on the cob and more. Guests also can find a number of sweet treats to put an exclamation point on their meal!

Dollywood’s Year of The Family provides amazing new memory-making moments for families to celebrate.

Learn more about Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass online or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyExtraordinary Bluegrass Entertainment & Tasty Barbeque At Dollywood

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”