Dolly Parton Helps YouTube Kids’ Kick Off Reading Month Initiative

Dolly Parton

Country legend and literacy advocate Dolly Parton is helping to kick off YouTube Kids Reading Month, an annual initiative aiming to encourage children’s love of reading. Parton, who has been a passionate advocate for literacy for decades inspired by her own father’s inability to read and write, has created a specially curated playlist for kids and families to enjoy. In 1995 she started the Imagination Library, a book gifting program that mails free books to children from birth to age five in participating communities to ensure that all kids have the opportunity to cultivate their love of reading. You can check out Dolly’s playlist here or if you are viewing from a desktop, then please take a look here. In addition to Dolly Parton’s playlist, there will be a selection of other playlists debuting throughout Reading Month including a fun compilation ofcelebrity #Readalongs including Jimmy Fallon, Viola Davis, and Kristen Bell as they read their favorite children’s books.  To view the playlist in the YouTube Kids app click here and view here if you are viewing from a desktop computer.  Nickelodeon sensation Jojo Siwa is also trying to rally kids by sharing her zeal for reading with the Nickelodeon playlist which you can view here and here if you need to view from a desktop.   More About YouTube Kids Reading Month From early literacy learning to read-alongs of favorite kids books, Reading Month on YouTube Kids aims to unlock literacy for children around the world.  The month-long initiative will kick-off in the U.S., and select global territories this August, enabling kids to explore the magic of the written word and #ReadAlong with YouTube Kids. Beyond the fun playlists, YouTube Kids will also introduce “Word of the Day,” where viewers will see a special tile in their Recommended category.  Once clicked on, they will be directed to a screen which will introduce them to a new “word of the day” with an associated video displayed below. More About YouTube Kids The YouTube Kids app is the first Google product built from the ground up with kids in mind. The app makes it easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore and is available for free on Google Play and the App store. YouTube Kids continues to put parents in the driver’s seat withadditional parental controls that allow parents to choose what is right for their family.  

Woman Walk The Line Wins Belmont Book Award

Woman Walk The Line on Country Music News Blog

At a time when women’s voices are being raised, Woman Walk The Line: How The Women of Country Music Changed Our Lives continues resonating. With recent appearances on SiriusXM’s Debatable, Emmy-nominated “Pickler & Ben,” Rolling Stone and Mojo, the collection of personal essays by 27 women of varying ages, races, occupations and orientations has won the prestigious Belmont Book Award. Presented on June 1 during the International Country Music Conference held annually at Belmont University, the conference is the foremost academic gathering devoted to country, roots and bluegrass music in the nation. “I was startled and thrilled for all of the writers and the artists they celebrated,” editor and contributor Holly Gleason said of the news. “I know how academically accomplished those judges are, and it speaks volumes about the work each of these women did. How music impacts a life, changes a person or even empowers an individual is something we don’t pay enough attention to. At a time when #MeToo and TimesUp matters, this book – and the response to it — is proof that positive women do listen to women’s art, and find within that art a sense of strength, comfort, inspiration and validation. What’s amazing is how many men did, too.” Named one of No Depression’s Top 10 Books of 2017 and a selection of Minneapolis’ Public Radio’s Rock & Roll Book club, Rolling Stone proclaimed, “There’s probably no better time for Woman Walk The Line… the groundbreakers continue to strike many chords,” Santa Fe New Mexican declared, “a sisterhood — even a whisper network — in the genre that predates #MeToo by decades,” and Britain’s MOJO offered, “The stylistic line from Maybelle Carter through Dolly Parton on up to Taylor Swift isn’t a straight on, and the intention of this absorbing anthology isn’t to pretend that it is…intimate, inspirational essays.” Fixin’ To Write also put the anthology PASTE called “truly stunning” on their 2017 Books We Loved list with Roxanne Gay’s Hunger, Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Misfit’s Manifesto, Marie Howe’s Magdalene, Sasha Steensen’s House of Deer,Ariel Levy’s The Rules Do Not Apply, Jennifer Weiner’s Hungry Heart and Sarah Vowell’s Lafayette in the Somewhat United States. “I think women’s art is never as respected as it should be,” Gleason continued. “That’s why this anthology was important to me. Ronni Lundy, who won the top James Beard Award, on the power of Hazel Dickens as a voice of protest and a woman in the 70s? A transgendered writer on Rosanne Cash seeing past the transition to embrace who was going to be as the embodiment of what her music held? Even 17-year old Taylor Swift on Brenda Lee illuminating superstardom as a true artist when she was a young girl? It adds up, and it says, ‘Hell, yeah, we’re here, and we don’t just matter, we manifest!’ This honor recognizes those things in such a profound way.” As The New York Times wrote, “Each of the 27 essays focuses on the experience of when music was a savior, an inspiration or an Continue reading

Tribute Concert Celebrating Pioneering Women of Country, Blues and Folk to Benefit the Americana Music Association®

Hot off the press at CountryMusicNewsBlog.com!

A benefit concert for the Americana Music Association® at Music Hall Of Williamsburg on Wednesday, May 9 will feature some of this generation’s greatest talents paying homage to the pioneering women in songwriting history, including Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Bessie Smith, Carole King, Mahalia Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and many more. Appearing to cover some of these legends are Amy Helm, The Barr Brothers, Cassandra Jenkins, Courtney Marie Andrews, Craig Finn from The Hold Steady, Deva Mahal, Elizabeth & The Catapult, Jade Bird, Kam Franklin from The Suffers, Kanene Pipkin from The Lone Bellow, Lola Kirke, Nicki Bluhm, and Vera Sola, with others to be announced. The show is being produced by Jesse Lauter (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Hannah Gold (City Winery/ Luck Reunion) and Drew Thurlow (Sony Masterworks, SVP of A&R), with music direction from Josh Kaufman (Bob Weir, The National). Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be Lola Kirke from Mozart in the Jungle. This year’s event is made possible in part by the support of Change The Conversation, a community coalition fighting gender inequality in the music industry. All proceeds will benefit the Americana Music Association®, a not-for-profit music trade organization. Since 1999, the mission of the Americana Music Association® has been to advocate for the authentic voice of American roots music around the world. In recent years, the Association has been a galvanizing force garnering recognition from the Recording Academy (Best Americana Album Award), Billboard‘s Americana/Folk Album Chart and the inclusion of the musical term, Amer·i·ca·na, to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Tickets for the tribute show will be made available for purchase by members of the Americana Music Association® during an exclusive pre-sale on Thursday, April 5 beginning at 9AM EST. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 6 starting at 9AM EST and can be purchased here: http://axs.com/events/352728/americana-benefit-tickets?skin=mhow About the Americana Music Association®: The Americana Music Association® is a professional not-for-profit trade organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American roots music around the world. The Association produces events throughout the year; including AMERICANAFEST®: The Americana Music Festival & Conference and the critically acclaimed Americana Honors & Awards program. The Americana Music Association® receives enormous support from the Tennessee Department of Tourism, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, Lagunitas Brewing Company, RAM, Mountain Valley Water, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC. About AMERICANAFEST®: The 19th annual AMERICANAFEST®: The Americana Music Festival & Conference will take place September 11-16, 2018. The event brings together fans and music industry professionals alike, offering six days of celebration through seminars, panels and networking opportunities by day and raw, battery recharging showcases each night. The Americana Honors & Awards Show is the featured performance of the festivities, taking place at the historic Ryman Auditorium. For information on how to purchase a conference registration, please visit www.americanamusic.org. About Change the Conversation: Change the Conversation, an organization founded in 2014 by music executives Leslie Fram, Tracy Gershon and Beverly Keel, fights gender inequality in the music business by providing support, education, and a community for female artists and music professionals. For more information, visit www.changetheconversation.net.

Listen Now: Dolly Parton’s ‘Holly Dolly Holiday Jukebox’ on Spotify

Dolly Parton Christmas Playlist on Spotify

“I just love this time of year. The season, spending time with family, the movies and the music! I put together a special ‘Holly Dolly Holiday Jukebox’ on Spotify for you all that I sure hope you’ll enjoy.” – Dolly Parton Listen and share Dolly’s playlist on Spotify here: http://bit.ly/hollydollyjukebox   Gift Dolly’s very first children’s album, I Believe In You here: http://smarturl.it/dollyibelieveinyou     FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DOLLY PARTON, VISIT: www.dollyparton.com Facebook: Facebook.com/DollyParton Instagram: Instagram.com/DollyParton Twitter: Twitter.com/DollyParton Tumblr: OfficialDollyParton.tumblr.com Google+: Plus.Google.com/+DollyParton

Dolly Parton Teams Up With Legend Debbie Cochran For New Duet

Dolly Parton and Debbie Cochran Team Up on Country Music News Blog!

Classic country singer, Debbie Cochran, is excited to announce the release of the official music video for Born Again Wildflower on RFD-TV.com. The title track from her upcoming album, set to release June 16th, is a duet with Country Music Hall of Fame and Grammy award winning legend, Dolly Parton. Cochran penned the song and recorded it under the direction of Grammy nominated producer, Kent Wells. “I love Debbie’s rich, honest voice and songwriting,” says Kent. “Her music comes from her heart and is not contrived or filtered. That to me marks a true artist! She and Dolly fit together perfectly on Born Again Wildflower. “When I rock my boat, God rocks my world. Where there is forgiveness there is beauty,” says Cochran. “There are no words that can truly describe working with Dolly Parton in the Kent Wells Productions studio. Her spirit, so uplifting, is a reflection of the light I love to sing and write about. Her beautiful vocals add the glitter to Born Again Wildflower.”

Dolly Parton Makes Kid’s Animation Debut on “Lily’s Driftwood Bay” – 3/13 at 9 AM ET on Sprout

Dolly Parton on Sprout TV

QUEEN OF COUNTRY DOLLY PARTON GUEST STARS ON ALL NEW EPISODE “LILY’S DRIFTWOOD BAY” AIRING ONLY ON SPROUT, MARCH 13 AT 9AM Eastern Parton Makes Kids’ Animation Debut as Noleen, a Famous Singing Chicken WHAT: Global music legend Dolly Parton guest stars on a special episode of the preschool series LILY’S DRIFTWOOD BAY airing on Sprout, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s 24-hour preschool network. Parton plays the role Nolene, a famous country music star, who becomes stranded on Driftwood Bay due to a storm. While she waits for her yacht to be repaired, Nolene tempts sea dog Salty (Peter Mullan) to form a glamourous singing duo with her. With dreams for becoming a big star, Salty nearly accept the amazing offer until he realizes how much he’ll miss his friends. Parton’s episode will air during “Sunny Side Up,” the only LIVE morning show for preschoolers, at 9 AM ET on Monday, March 13. Lily’s Driftwood Bay follows the life of a five-year-old girl named Lily who lives with her Dad in a hut on the beach. Across the way is Driftwood Bay, an island that Lily can see from her window. Each episode, Lily and her best friend Gull, the clever seagull, travel to Driftwood Bay. Lily uses her imagination to create a world of adventure and friendship from all of the different treasures she finds washed up on the beach.

Mountain Soul Vocal Competition Honors Dolly Parton’s Songwriting Career

Dolly Parton

Born Dolly Rebecca Parton on January 19, 1946, in Sevierville, Tenn., Dolly drew much inspiration from her “Tennessee Mountain Home” and wrote about the beautiful scenery and Appalachian culture that surrounded her. To honor her incredible songwriting, her hometown will once again host the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition, now in its 13th year. This year’s competition will feature contestants who are asked to sing a song written by Dolly Parton in the style of his or her own choosing (country, rock, rap, bluegrass, etc.). Contestants may enter in the 13 and up age division or the 12 and under division for this competition. “This competition is truly unique and draws competitors from all corners of the United States,” says Chamber Marketing Director and event organizer Amanda Marr. “Since Dolly Parton is Sevierville’s hometown girl, holding a competition that honors her songwriting ability was a natural fit for us.” As far as event organizers know, this is the only vocal competition in the world that specifically honors the songwriting of Dolly Parton.  Winning competitors take home cash and prizes including a recording session in Nashville, Tennessee. Auditions, sent by mail, will be judged by a panel of entertainment professionals who will identify 30 finalists – 20 in the ages 13+ division and 10 in the ages 12 and under division. The entry deadline for the preliminary round of the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition is Friday April 7, 2017. Those finalists will then perform during the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition Finals near the bronze statue of Dolly Parton at Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass on Saturday, May 20, 2017. For a complete list of Dolly’s songs, competitors – and those that are interested – should visit www.dollymania.net. It is not necessary, nor is it encouraged to impersonate Dolly Parton, either physically or vocally. Interested vocalists may obtain an application online at www.BloominBBQ.com or by calling the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce at 1-888-889-7415. Return the application and entry fee along with an audition CD, DVD, or Digital File on Jump Drive / Thumb Drive of the contestant singing a song written by Dolly Parton in the style of his or her own choosing to the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce. Entries must be postmarked by April 7, 2017. The Mountain Soul Vocal Competition is part of Sevierville’s 13th Annual Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass event May 19-20, 2017. For more information about the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition or Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass, visit www.BloominBBQ.com.

Dolly Parton’s My People Fund Serves Nearly 900 Families In First Distribution

Smokey Mountains Rise - Benefiting Dolly Parton's My People Fund

Donations to the fund continue as totals climb to $9.3 million PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (December 22, 2016) – In a little more than two weeks after the wildfires that spread across Dolly Parton’s home area of Sevier County, Tennessee, Parton and the Dollywood Foundation launched the distribution of assistance from the My People Fund. During the four day cash distribution, 884 families received their initial support payments. “It’s a blessing during this holiday season that we are able to help as many families as we have so far,” Parton said. “We know there are more families out there who need our help and we encourage them to be in contact with us before our January distribution.” The Dollywood Foundation My People Fund provides $1,000 each month to Sevier County families whose homes are uninhabitable or were completely destroyed in the recent Smoky Mountain wildfires. Any family who lost their primary residence (renters and homeowners) due to the wildfires in Sevier County will be eligible. A pre-application for those affected is available at dollywoodfoundation.org. Millions of people watched Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund telethon on Tuesday, December 13 on Great American Country, AXS-TV, RFD-TV and The Heartland Network and during several rebroadcasts throughout the last week. As a result, donations continued to roll in and thanks to generous people from coast to coast and Parton’s friends, the total amount raised has climbed to $9.3 million. “As, Dolly said, the response has been overwhelming,” David Dotson, Dollywood Foundation President said. “We will distribute all $9.3 million to the families affected. That will insure all of the money raised will go to where Dolly promised it would go.” The next distribution is January 26 and 27, 2017 at the LeConte Events Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. About the Dollywood Foundation My People Fund: More than 1,300 families have been displaced due to the wildfires which spread across Parton’s home area of Sevier County, Tennessee in late November. The entertainment icon established the Dollywood Foundation My People Fund to provide $1,000 each month for six months to every family who lost their primary residence. About Smoky Mountains Rise: Smoky Mountains Rise was a three-hour telethon broadcast on Tuesday, Dec. 13 to raise money for the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund to benefit those affected by the Sevier County, Tennessee wildfires. Smoky Mountains Rise was executive produced by Dolly Parton, Danny Nozell, Kirt Webster, Pete Owens and Scott Durand. Produced by Edie Hoback, Jeremy Westby, Shanna Strassberg, Suzzane Skinner, Nic Dugger and Shantel Klinger. About The Dollywood Company: A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 25 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more Continue reading

Star-Studded Smoky Mountains Rise Telethon Raises Nearly $9Million, So Far

Smokey Mountains Rise - Benefiting Dolly Parton's My People Fund

  The generosity of viewers’ unexpected volume of donations slowing final tally.   PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (December 14, 2016) – Millions watched Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund telethon and millions were raised. The telethon, broadcast on GAC, AXS-TV, RFD and The Heartland Network Tuesday, received huge donations from music stars like Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton, Chris Young, Paul Simon and Dierks Bentley but also from families across the country who just want to give the people of Dolly’s home area a hand up in the tragic wildfires. “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who have donated from all over the country and to my friends who donated their time, their talent, and money for My People,” Dolly Parton explained. “The response has been so overwhelming that we haven’t been able to count all of the donations yet; right now, in total, we have raised about $9 million dollars for the folks who lost everything in Sevier County.” The total amount raised is expected to rise as mail donations are counted and the telethon is rebroadcast to new audiences over the next five days. Anyone who would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the My People Fund may visit dollywoodfoundation.org. For those wishing to send donations via mail, those contributions should be sent to: My People Fund, c/o Dollywood Foundation, 111 Dollywood Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. Donations are also being accepted by texting DOLLY to 501501 for a onetime $10 donation or DOLLY25 to 501501 for a onetime $25 donation. Messaging and data rates will apply. More than 1300 families have been displaced due to the wildfires which spread across Parton’s home area of Sevier County, Tennessee in late November. The entertainment icon established the Dollywood Foundation My People Fund to provide $1000 each month for six months to every family who lost their primary residence. Artists who donated their performances to the effort include: Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire, Alison Krauss, Michael W. Smith, Chris Janson, Big & Rich, LOCASH, Chris Young, Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Cyndi Lauper, Don McLean, Amy Grant, Alabama, Aaron Lewis and Rhonda Vincent. Dolly hosted the overall telethon with friends HLN’s Robin Meade, GAC’s Suzanne Alexander and Nan Kelly, The Bobby Bones Show’s Bobby Bones, SiriusXM’s Storme Warren, Crook & Chase hosts Lorriane Crook and Charlie Chase, Nash Night LIVE’s Shaun Parr and Elaina D. Smith, and TuneIn Country Roads’ Kelly Sutton will share hosting duties throughout the three-hour broadcast. Celebrities also donated their time to answer phones including: Paula Deen and her sons Bobby and Jamie, Chrisley Knows Best cast members Todd, Julie and Savannah, Moonshiners’ cast members Mark and Digger, Nashville’s Charles Esten, cast members of Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors, country hit-makers Chris & Morgane Stapleton, Mark Wills, Lee Greenwood, Larry & Rudy Gatlin, TG Sheppard, John Conlee, Ronnie McDowell, Kristian Bush, Tim Rushlow, T. Graham Brown, Dolly’s nieces Rebecca Seaver and Danielle Continue reading