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.
Dolly Parton is lending her distinctive voice to play a singing chicken called Noleen for a special episode in the second season of Sixteen South’s award-winning preschool animation series "Lily's Driftwood Bay."
The show is about a little girl named Lily, played by Orlagh O’Keeke, who creates an imaginary world from treasures she finds washed up on the beach. In Dolly’s special double-length episode, “The Salty Chicken,” Dolly voices Noleen, a famous singing chicken whose luxury yacht gets beached on Driftwood Bay during a storm, much to the surprise of her greatest – and rather star struck fan, Lord Stag (Stephen Fry). An impromptu concert sees old sea dog Salty (Peter Mullan) duet with Noleen, who’s astonished by his talent and tries to persuade him to come on tour with her. Will she persuade Salty to give up the sights and sounds of Driftwood Bay for an international singing career…? Dolly said,
“I’ve never played a chicken before but I have been known to lay a few eggs! Noleen is a very famous chicken, probably one of the most famous chickens ever there was. She washes up on Driftwood Bay and she’s trying to get Salty to go with her on tour. Now whether he does or whether he doesn’t, you’ll just have to watch and see!”
"Lily’s Driftwood Bay" starts on Nick Jr. in the UK on June 6 and Sprout in the US on June 27. Dolly's episode is scheduled to air in 2017. Sound Biscuit Productions in Sevierville, TN hosted Dolly's recording session for "Lily's Driftwood Bay."
Photography - Jacob Dean DF Productions
A beautifully crafted series about making fun and adventure from things that you find, "Lily’s Driftwood Bay" is produced by Sixteen South ("Claude," "Pajanimals," "Big and Small") and co-produced with KiKA - Der Kinderkanal of ARD & ZDF/Germany, featuring characters and environments completely created from objects found washed up on the beach. The series is supported by some production funding from Northern Ireland Screen.
Each year, the Movieguide® Awards recognizes the best family-friendly productions in television and film. "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors" made quite an impression on 15.9 million viewers after it aired on NBC in December 2015. Dolly was delighted to accept the Epiphany Prize for the Most Inspiring TV Program of 2015. Dolly said,
“I really wanted to celebrate the people, my whole family, who made me who and what I am today. I'm so blessed and thankful for a great cast, producers, director, and for everyone who watched and I’m extremely thankful to the Movieguide® Awards for this honor.”
In addition to the Epiphany Prize, Alyvia Alyn Lind received the Grace Award for her performance as young Dolly. Recipients of this award exemplify God's grace and mercy through their outstanding performance.
Watch Dolly and Alyvia receive these awards in one of two telecasts set for Monday, Feb. 22 and Wednesday, Feb. 24 on the REELZChannel.
The premier of "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors" drew a record-breaking audience. To date, total viewership equals 15.9 million making it the most-watched movie on broadcast television in six years.
It is the first of four films Dolly and NBC plan to release based on her music. The next film will focus on Dolly's 1973 hit, "Jolene."
Dolly visited the set of Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" with hosts Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare. She shared some of her memories from her childhood growing up in East Tennessee. Dolly's childhood and family are the focus of the new movie, "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors" airing on Thursday, Dec. 10 on NBC.
Cristina helped Dolly in the kitchen share her recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes from her "Dolly's Dixie Fixin's" cookbook. Before she left, Dolly and Orly Shani teamed up to show viewers how to make their very own Coat of Many Colors using treasured fabrics from their past.
At the end, Orly surprised Dolly with a little coat of many colors she had made. In true Dolly fashion, Dolly in turned surprised Orly when she put the coat on and it was a perfect fit!
See Dolly's full interview, cooking segment and crafting video on Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" blog.
Get your own copy of "Dolly's Dixie Fixin's" cookbook above or at ImaginationLibrary.com.
Dolly's sister, Stella Parton, is the sixth child born to Robert Lee and Avie Lee Parton. An accomplished singer, songwriter and actress, Stella landed her own role in the film. She plays Corla Bass, the town gossip. In addition to her on-screen role, Stella also acted as the on-set Parton family representative, providing the actors with valuable insight into their characters. Many cast members were touched by the way in which Stella's presence provided a real-life look at this treasured story.
Q. Many of the cast members have mentioned how special the shoot was because you were there. What are your thoughts on that?
A. Well, I tried to be a representative of the family, since I was the only family member there, and since I was the only one who would know everyone in the cast. I tried to give the kids and the cast some insight into my siblings, parents, grandparents and aunts. I wanted them to have as much of a personal feeling about [their character] as they could, so they’d have intimacy with the characters they were portraying.
Q. Could you share with us a little insight about your role in the upcoming film?
A. This was kind of a unique situation for me because I’m portrayed in the film as a six-year-old. Farrah Mackenzie did a beautiful job, she’s so tender and so sweet and so feminine. For me to get to audition and to get a role, a dramatic role as the church gossip, I thought that was kind of fun too. I kind of took my character from three different people I knew as a kid.
Q. The Parton family is known for their tight-knit bonds. While filming, did the cast develop similar family-like relationships?
A. I think they did, yes, especially Bobby and Stella. I thought they had a real tight-knit bond. As the weeks wore on, I saw all the children kind of bond as if they were siblings. That was very sweet and tender to me. I was glad I could observe that and hopefully contributed a little bit to that by just being able to give them insight into our personalities.
Q. The song "Coat of Many Colors" first debuted in 1971, yet it still has a powerful message for people today. Why do you think people relate so well to this story?
A. I think everybody has empathy for an underdog. I think that everyone wants to see triumph over tragedy. I think each life, in its own way, has had a tragic thread in it; but each life, I believe, has a triumphant thread in it. "Coat of Many Colors" is an example of that, a supreme example of that, and I also think Dolly's gift as a songwriter is able to interweave that throughout the thread of the story.
Q. What was your favorite moment or take away from the movie?
A. There were so many, but I think as much as anything, just watching the children interact in the living room with my parents. Those were some of the most tender parts of the film for me.
Stella's closing remarks on the significance of worship in the film.
A. It was very, very important to me that everyone see the film and the honest, sincere form of worship that I grew up with. I wanted all the actors to also see that. They all got into it in a very sincere way. I loved it, and I thought it was very, very special. I believe people will see it as a high point in the film.
See more cast interviews and tune in Thursday, December 10 at 9/8c on NBC to watch Stella Parton as Corla Bass in "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors."