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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
Bringing together their Nashville roots, Dolly Parton, The Grand Ole Opry and Kirkland’s have formed a unique artistic and philanthropic partnership to commemorate Dolly Parton’s 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry with an exclusive wall art collection entitled Dolly Parton: From the HeART.
Available only at Kirkland’s stores and at Kirklands.com beginning Sept. 5, the collection is inspired by eight of Dolly’s beloved songs, beautifully interpreted on canvas by artist David Diskin. The collection will also feature an iconic black and white performance photograph of Dolly, taken at the Ryman Auditorium in 2015.
"I am very excited to be working with Steve Woodward and all of the folks at Kirklands,” said Dolly Parton. “I'm real honored to have the great artist, David Diskin, make my songs come to life with these great paintings."
A portion of proceeds of the limited-edition works will benefit the Opry Trust Fund, whose mission is to help those in the country music industry when they need it the most, by offering financial assistance during their time of need.
“As a Tennessee-based company, Kirkland’s could not be more honored to partner with the state’s two biggest icons – Dolly and the Opry – to offer this collection to our customers,” said Kirkland’s CEO Steve “Woody” Woodward. “Dolly’s From the HeART collection will give our customers the opportunity to fill their homes with beauty and meaning while also supporting musicians that have brought us all so much joy.”
Collection prices range from $99.99 to $129.99.
Based in Brentwood, TN, and founded in 1966 by Carl Kirkland, Kirkland’s (NASDAQ: KIRK) is a leading retailer of home decor accents and gifts, with more than 400 stores in 37 states. With a wide selection of unique indoor and outdoor furniture, rugs, mirrors, lighting, wall art, home and garden accessories, seasonal items and gifts, Kirkland’s allows customers to create inspiring living spaces at affordable prices. More information is available at Kirklands.com and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @kirklands. For ideas and inspiration, go to Pinterest @kirklandshome.
The Grand Ole Opry® is presented by Humana®. Opry performances are held every Friday and Saturday of the year, with Tuesday night shows through December 11 plus season Wednesday and Thursday Opry Country Classics performances. To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or visit opry.com. The Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. Celebrating nine decades of entertainment, the Opry can be heard at opry.com and wsmonline.com, Opry and WSM mobile apps, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and its flagship home, 650 AM-WSM. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP). For more information, visit opry.com.
The Opry Trust Fund began in 1965 with a mission to help those in the country music industry by offering financial assistance during a time of extraordinary need, emergency, or catastrophe. This includes individuals who are or have been employed full time in a facet of the country music industry (i.e. performer, songwriter, publisher, radio, session musician, etc.). The fund pays for items such as medical bills, living expenses, utilities, and rent or mortgage. The Opry Trust Fund accepts referrals from individuals within the country music community, including Opry members, as well as from other charitable organizations such as MusiCares, ACM Lifting Lives and Music Health Alliance.
Dolly Parton is about to celebrate 50 incredible years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and she wants YOU to be there as her VIP guest. Time to skip out on your 9-5, pack your most bedazzled clothes and head to Nashville to join the Queen of Country herself at the world-famous Opry House. You'll enjoy a backstage tour, exclusive passes to the exhibit "Dolly: My Opry Memories" and even have your own private dressing room, which is where Dolly will meet you to chat and take a picture. Then, you'll watch Dolly's knock-your-socks-off anniversary performance from the best spot in the house. Flights and stay at the Gaylord Opryland Resort included.
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In 2019, Dolly Parton was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year. MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for the music community in times of need. Their services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentially. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly influence the health and welfare of the music community.
In celebration of Dolly Parton’s 50th anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member, the Opry House will host "Dolly: My Opry Memories"- an exclusive exhibit featuring 24 wardrobe pieces the internationally-known country music icon has worn on the Opry stage and at events held at the Ryman Auditorium over the last 50 years.
Among Parton’s fashions to be featured:
Also included in the exhibit in the Opry House’s historic Studio A are exclusive videos of Parton recounting some of her favorite Opry memories along with rarely seen performance clips spanning her five decades of Opry membership. The limited-time-only exhibit was curated and designed to celebrate Parton’s milestone anniversary and will tell the storied career of one of the Opry’s greatest global ambassadors.
Tickets for the "Dolly: My Opry Memories" exhibit are $12 when guests add it on to the purchase of an Opry backstage tour. Exhibit-only tickets are $17. Packages and tickets will go on sale tomorrow August 21 at 10 am at Opry.com. Check the Grand Ole Opry website for available tour times.
As part of Parton’s 50th Opry anniversary celebration, flagship station WSM will flip its Opry Nashville streaming channel to “Dolly Radio” to coincide with the exhibit. The 24/7 “all things Dolly stream” will feature the music legend’s many hits from her catalog of over 3000 songs, past Opry performances, archived interviews, special features from fellow artists, and much more. Fans will be able to access “Dolly Radio” 24/7 via WSMonline.com and the station’s free mobile app.
In celebration of Parton’s 50th Anniversary as an Opry member, The Opry Shop—also located at the Opry House-- will feature a unique collection of eleven custom-designed items for women, men and children celebrating the milestone anniversary. A special Dolly Parton Queen of Country 50th Anniversary graphic was created by Opry Entertainment Product Development Manager Molly Brooks, who was inspired by a Parton photograph captured by longtime Opry photographer Les Leverett.
In June, the Opry premiered a new immersive film experience featuring video hosts Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood and showcasing more than 100 Opry artists, Parton included. The film shown in the Opry House’s new Circle Room opens the Opry’s daytime backstage tour.
On January 4, 1969, Dolly Parton was fresh off the release of her first solo album released on RCA Records Nashville, the now-seminal "Just Because I’m A Woman", and on that date the singer-songwriter received the biggest accomplishment of her then-young career: being inducted as a Grand Ole Opry member. Fifty years later, Parton has achieved nearly every honor and accolade an entertainer can receive, and she is cemented as the female Country artist with the most Billboard Top 20 hits according to Guinness World Records.
The global superstar will perform on two sold-out shows on Saturday, October 12, 2019, capping a week-long celebration of Parton’s impact on music and the Opry, dubbed Dolly Week 2019.
Additional participating artists for Dolly Week Opry shows will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets are on sale now at Opry.com, with every ticket purchaser having the option to buy Parton’s "Dumplin’ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack."