My Life

WATCH: “He’s Alive, “Light of a Clear Blue Morning,” “Hello God”

Published April 14, 2017 / Last Updated April 14, 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

Celebrating the hope and promise found in the light of a clear blue morning.

From her early days on “The Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour” to her record-breaking hits and beyond, Dolly Parton has been an ambassador of optimism. A trait she likely inherited from her grandfather, Reverend Jake Owens*. Like his renowned sermons, many of Dolly’s songs carry a similar message of faith and inspiration.

“Everything’s going to be all right that’s been all wrong.” Dolly penned these words in her song “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.” It came to her while driving home from one of her last business meetings with Porter Wagoner. As many know, Dolly wrote what would become her signature anthem, “I Will Always Love You,” as a farewell to her singing partner and dear friend when their business relationship ended. In contrast, “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” was a revelation of clarity and a promise of a brighter tomorrow. A message that she has shared across the globe in all aspects of her career. About the song, Dolly said,

“It was my song of deliverance. It was my song of freedom, and I knew that God was in it. I knew that I was free. And when the Lord has set you free ‘Ye are free indeed.'”

“He’s Alive”

During Easter celebrations, Dolly’s live performance of “He’s Alive” from the 1989 CMA awards is widely shared on social media. She recorded it on her 1989 certified Gold album, “White Limozeen.” The song won Don Francisco two 1980 Dove awards for Song of the Year and Songwriter of the Year.

“Hello God”

During her 2016 Pure & Simple tour, Dolly closed her show with a simple message of love and acceptance. In addition to the four staples of her Imagination Library (Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More) she encouraged people to pray more with “Hello God.”

In 2002, Dolly, backed by The Christ Church Choir of Nashville, performed “Hello God” at the 36th annual CMA awards in Nashville, TN.

About The Songs

The inspirational message of “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” is as relevant today as it was in 1977. Its message of hope for a brighter tomorrow will continue to uplift audiences at Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures. Dolly re-recorded the song for her new dinner theatre attraction opening in Pigeon Forge, TN, in May.

“Light of a Clear Blue Morning” by Dolly Parton first appeared on her 1977 release “New Harvest…First Gathering.” Also, it is one of 10 original songs on the 1992 Hollywood Pictures movie soundtrack “Straight Talk.” Additionally, it’s on Dolly’s 38th solo album, “For God and Country” released on Veterans Day in 2003.

Dolly released “He’s Alive” by Don Francisco on her 29th solo album “White Limozeen” in May 1989.

“Hello God” by Dolly Parton was released as a single on her 37th studio album, “Halos & Horns” in 2002.

*Dolly’s grandfather, Reverend Jake Owens, inspired “Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man.” She co-wrote the song with her Aunt Dorothy Jo and it appeared on Dolly and Porter’s fifth duet album, “Once More.” It is also part of the 2014 Dolly and Porter box set “Just Between You And Me.” Listen to a vintage recording of Rev. Jake preaching and a church singing “This Little Light of Mine” featuring Dolly’s vocals.

Team DollyWATCH: “He’s Alive, “Light of a Clear Blue Morning,” “Hello God”

“Forever Country” Wins Video of the Year At ACM Awards

Published April 4, 2017 / Last Updated April 4, 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

The Academy of Country Music named “Forever Country” Video of the Year

The epic video created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CMAs was named Video of the Year at the ACM Awards on Sunday, April 2. The win is a testament to the mutual respect and admiration within the country music community.

“Forever Country” produced by Shane McAnally and directed by Joseph Kahn was the first production of it’s kind. It features 29 artists from different eras. The song is a mashup of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson and “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by the late John Denver.

After accepting the award, producer Shane McAnally reflected on the recording experience. He recalled the morning Dolly visited the studio to record her “I Will Always Love You” parts. He said,

“I can tell you that the vocal that’s on it is the first thing that came out of her mouth. It is completely untuned and it is exactly the way she sang it the first time. There are no words for that moment.”

Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan hosted the 52nd Annual ACM Awards in Las Vegas, NV.

Forever Country was nominated along with the following:

  • “Fire Away” – Chris Stapleton, Tim Mattia, Jennifer Rothlein
  • “Humble and Kind” – Tim McGraw, Wes Edwards, Jennifer Rothlein
  • “Peter Pan” – Kelsea Ballerini, Michelle Abnet, Kristin Barlowe
  • “Vice” – Miranda Lambert, Trey Fanjoy, Ashley Bergeron Ford
Team Dolly“Forever Country” Wins Video of the Year At ACM Awards

68th Annual Christopher Awards Will Honor “Christmas Of Many Colors”

Published April 4, 2017 / Last Updated April 4, 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 wins second straight Christopher Award with “Christmas Of Many Colors”

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.”

Tex Ritter Award

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.

The Celebration Continues

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.

Team Dolly68th Annual Christopher Awards Will Honor “Christmas Of Many Colors”

Dollywood Expansion Exceeding Goals Ahead Of Schedule

Published March 23, 2017 / Last Updated March 23, 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

Outpacing expansion estimations, Dollywood is quickly becoming a renowned vacation destination and increasing their economic impact!

In 2013, Dolly Parton promised to deliver $300 million in expansion investments over 10 years to her Smoky Mountain businesses. Part of that plan included the 2015 opening of Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. The resort had been a dream of Dolly’s since first opening the park back in 1986.

In addition to the resort, two award-winning Dollywood roller coasters were built and a new dinner theater opened in Pigeon Forge. Current aspects of the investment plan include two new events and two family attractions coming to Dollywood. Dollywood’s Splash Country is also expanding. This summer guests can expect to enjoy a new five-story tall family racing slide called TailSpin Racer.

With the current level and pace of investment, Dolly and her talented team will exceed $300 million in investments well ahead of their original timeline. Craig Ross, Dollywood President said,

“Our financial successes are based on our loyal customers and new consumers who have been sampling Dollywood thanks to smart investment and solid marketing. We will continue to fulfill Dolly’s dreams and will continue to expand our lodging and entertainment offerings as the Great Smoky Mountains becomes a year-round destination.”

Economic Impact

A study commissioned in 2013 to project Dollywood’s economic impact and future growth put its impact at $1.1 billion annually, creating more than 12,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs to the region. It was projected that Dollywood’s 10-year investment would create 2,500 additional direct, indirect and induced jobs in the area and would pay $7 million in additional state and local taxes.

An updated study was conducted by Dr. Burton English and his team at The University of Tennessee. Results show Dollywood has already exceeded the projected levels after setting earnings records in each of the previous five years. Dollywood’s impact is projected to exceed $1.84 billion annually. Also, the company expects to create more than 23,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the region.

Dollywood celebrated opening day on March 18 with the park’s annual Festival of Nations. The 2017 season is known as the “Year of the Family.” Dollywood will devote the year to creating getaway opportunities for families to make lasting memories and continue traditions.

Explore Dollywood’s “Year of the Family”

 
 
 
 
Team DollyDollywood Expansion Exceeding Goals Ahead Of Schedule

My People: Dolly Parton’s Greatest Investment

Published March 15, 2017 / Last Updated March 15, 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

A reflection on Dolly Parton’s devotion to her people and her home.

By 1985, Dolly was a CMA, ACM and GRAMMY award-winning artist. Her acting career was flourishing with blockbuster hits such as “9 to 5” and she had earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Dolly had reached superstar status. Yet, to the surprise of many, she dreamed of home and the people living there. Her vision, to build a place where her success would be enjoyed by many for generations and generations to come.

A Dream

Most folks have heard how Dollywood got its name. On one of her first trips to California, Dolly fantasized about changing the H to a D in the iconic Hollywood sign. But what about her vision for the actual park. What motivated the young star to invest so much of herself back home in the mountains of East Tennessee? The answer is simple, Dolly loves her people, her home and everything about her heritage that helped shape her into not just the star but the person she became. A kind, generous, real soul who knows where she is going and loves where she came from.

In her autobiography, “Dolly My Life and Other Unfinished Business” Dolly reflected on why she wanted to open Dollywood. She said,

“The theme park is much more about the mountains and the culture of the people who live there than it is about Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton simply happens to be the most famous hillbilly from those particular hills, and a lot of people are curious about me and my life. There is plenty there to satisfy that curiosity, but there is also plenty that celebrates the spirit of a people who made a life for themselves in that very stingy countryside. These are my real people, the seed from which I sprang. I saw Dollywood as a chance to honor them.”

Grand Opening

Despite naysayers, the park was nearly an overnight success. The 1986 grand opening saw around 10,000 guests pass through the gates. Five months later, the park welcomed its one millionth visitor. Today, Dollywood sees 2.5 million visitors per year. That number hits 4 million when combined with other Dollywood properties such as Splash Country and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. In 2013, Dolly and the Dollywood Company announced a 10-year, $300 million expansion plan. The plan included the 300-room resort which opened in 2015.

While the guest experience is at the center of the “world’s friendliest park” the people are still the heartbeat. The Dollywood Company now employs over 3000 people. In her book, published in 1994, Dolly wrote,

“I love the fact that I am able to give something back and provide so many people with jobs where none existed before. Of course, the Great Smoky Mountains were there for a couple of million years before I came along, and they are still the main attraction in the area, which is as it should be. If Dollywood can give some people a little extra incentive to visit there, then I am absolutely tickled.”

Perhaps Dolly’s sentiment for her people is best expressed in the words to her song, “My People, My Home” the opening number at Dollywood’s My People show.

These are my mountains, these are my valleys,
these are my rivers flowing like a song.

These are my people, these are my memories,
These are my mountains, this is my home.

“My People, My Home” – By Dolly Parton

 
 
 
 
 

Dollywood opens March 18, 2017! This year, the park will unveil two new rides, Drop Line and Whistle Punk Chaser, and Dollywood’s Splash Country will debut TailSpin Racer later this summer.

Visit Dollywood.com to see upcoming festivals, events and more!

Team DollyMy People: Dolly Parton’s Greatest Investment