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Spotlight On Dolly Parton

Dolly will debut "Pure and Simple" at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

After selling out Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium in record-setting time, Dolly adds a second benefit concert on Saturday, August 1, 2015. In addition to the sold-out performance on July 31, 2015, Dolly will showcase her new concert "Pure and Simple" again on August 1, 2015 in support of the Opry Trust Fund. The July 31 show along with the encore performance on August 1 mark the first time in 12 years Dolly has headlined in Nashville.

Dolly said,  "The show won't be flashy, but I will be. I don't have ... video screens, pyrotechnics and the like," she said. "But I hope people will enjoy sittin' back and enjoying the stories and songs told and done in a simple way. Hopefully the shows will represent the spirit of our beloved, historic Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry...where I became a member back in 1969. I am so looking forward to performing there again."

In 1965, the Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 40th birthday and started the Opry Trust Fund as a way of helping those in the country music industry. To date, the fund has distributed over $2 million to those in need.

Dolly originally announced one scheduled performance for July 31, 2015, at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN, as part of The Gift of Music presented by the Dustin J. Wells Foundation. The foundation supports the W.O. Smith School of Music in its efforts to share the gift of music with children. Dolly said,

"Through all of us working together we can make a difference in helping a child feel the magic in making music."

In addition to Dolly's "Pure and Simple" performance at the Ryman, to kick off Dollywood's "Showcase of Stars" this summer, Dolly will bring her "Pure and Simple," concert to Dollywood on August 8 and 9. As part of their ongoing commitment to Dolly's Imagination Library, Dollywood is donating all proceeds to the program in an effort to help garner $1 million.  Dolly said,

"I am so excited that Dollywood is bringing back the celebrity concert series, and I'm honored that I get to be first. It's always great to play in my own backyard and I know all of my country music friends who are coming to do their concerts will love it as much as I do. So look for my show 'Pure and Simple' in August and help support my Imagination Library."

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library and that's cause for celebration! Since launching in 1995, Dolly's book gifting program, which once mailed just a few hundred books each month, now mails more than 800,000 free books to children in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, every month!

"Pure and Simple"

The new show featuring Dolly with a three-piece acoustic band. The simple style spotlights the purity and heartfelt emotion of Dolly's music in an up-close and personal setting.

"Showcase of Stars"

Dollywood's popular concert series first began in 1988 in the newly opened 1,739-seat D.P.'s Celebrity Theater. It featured performances by the biggest names in country music. In addition to Dolly's 2015 performances, Kenny Rogers will close out the series. More entertainers will be announced throughout the summer.

Concert: Pure and Simple
07/31/15 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Time: 8:00pm. Box office: (615) 889-3060. Address: 116 Fifth Avenue North. Venue phone: (615) 889-3060.

08/01/15 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $100. Box office: (615) 889-3060. Address: 116 Fifth Avenue North.
Venue phone: (615) 889-3060.
*Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Thursday, July 2 , 2015

More on Dolly

The most honored female country performer of all time.

"I've always been a writer. My songs are the door to every dream I've ever had and every success I've ever achieved," says Dolly Parton of her incredible career, which has spanned nearly five decades and is showing no signs of slowing down.

An internationally renowned superstar, the iconic and irrepressible Parton has contributed countless treasures to the world of music entertainment, penning classic songs such as "Jolene," "Coat of Many Colors," and her mega-hit "I Will Always Love You." With 1977's crossover hit "Here You Come Again," she successfully erased the line between country and pop music without noticeably altering either her music or her image. "I'm not leaving country," she said at the time, "I'm just taking it with me."

Making her film debut in the 1980 hit comedy 9 to 5, Dolly earned rave reviews for her performance and an Oscar nomination for writing the title tune, along with her second and third Grammy Awards. Roles in Steel Magnolias, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Rhinestone, and Straight Talk followed, along with two network television series, made for television movies, network and HBO specials, and guest-starring roles in series television. In 2006, Dolly earned her second Oscar nomination for "Travelin' Thru," which she wrote for the film Transamerica.

Humble Beginnings

Dolly Parton's remarkable life began very humbly. Born January 19, 1946 on a farm in Sevier County, Tennessee, Dolly is the fourth of twelve children. Her parents, Robert Lee and Avie Lee Parton struggled to make ends meet in the impoverished East Tennessee hills. This hard rural life was the foundation of Dolly's career, as she began singing almost before she could talk, according to her father. By age 10, Dolly was performing on local television and radio shows in nearby Knoxville, Tennessee. "I always wanted to be a star. It just seemed natural to me," she said. "Making music is all I've ever known."

Dolly left for Nashville the day after her high school graduation. On her first afternoon there, she met a young man, Carl Dean, who would become her husband. Two years later, in May 1966, they were married. "He's good for me, cause he's so different in nature from me," she smiles.

Blossoming Artist

In 1967, Dolly's career took off when country music superstar Porter Wagoner began featuring her on his popular syndicated television show, exposing Dolly to over 45 million people in more than 100 markets and attracting the attention of record executives at RCA. Dolly and Porter had 14 Top Ten hits together, and Dolly quickly blossomed into one of the best-selling country artists in music history. By 1974, Dolly ended her working relationship with Wagoner. She was voted the Country Music Association Female Artist of the Year two years in a row, and in 1978, Dolly was named the CMA Entertainer of the Year.

In 1974, "I Will Always Love You" topped the charts and did so again in 1982 when it was revived in the movie Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, making Dolly the first artist to earn a number one record twice with the same song. In 1992, the song was recorded by Whitney Houston for the movie The Bodyguard and went on to sell in excess of 4 million copies, topping the charts once again. "I Will Always Love You" was named BMI's Most Performed Song of the Year in 1993.


Dolly saw a cherished dream become a reality in 1986 with the opening of her own theme park called Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains. The state's number one tourist attraction, Dollywood was selected by the theme park industry as one of the top three theme parks in the world in 2006.

In 1988, she began the Dollywood Foundation to inspire children in her home community to dream more, learn more, do more and care more. Currently the foundation funds the Dolly Parton Imagination Library across America and in Canada, by giving every preschool child a book each month from the time he or she is born until the child reaches kindergarten. With the help of local sponsors, this program has expanded to over 800 communities in 41 states and will give away over 5 million books in 2007 alone. Dolly says, "My dad was prouder of me for this program than for my music career. He thought it was grand that all the kids called me the Book Lady."

Also in 1988, Dolly founded a group of dinner attractions called Dixie Stampede. In 2001, she built Dollywood's Splash Country, which is Tennessee's largest water park. Dolly Parton's entertainment businesses attract 4.5 million visitors annually and employ more than 3,000 people.

Long respected for her instinctive business savvy, Dolly established Velvet Apple Music (BMI) early in her career and owns the copyrights and the publishing for her vast songwriting empire. She owns her own successful record label, Dolly Records.

Dolly Parton transitioned her flair for making hit music into producing hit movies and television shows when she established Sandollar Productions with former manager, Sandy Gallin. A film and television production company, Sandollar has produced feature films such as Father of the Bride I and II, Straight Talk, Sabrina, Shining Through, IQ, and the Academy Award-winning (for Best Documentary) Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, along with Fox television shows Babes and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Her 1994 autobiography was aptly titled "My Life and Other Unfinished Business."

Dolly Parton is the most honored female country performer of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs reach number 1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 41 career top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career charted singles over the past 40 years. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections, paid digital downloads and compilation usage during her Hall of Fame career have reportedly topped a staggering 100 million records world-wide.

She has garnered 7 Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music Association Awards, 5 Academy of Country Music Awards, 3 American Music Awards and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year Award.

In 1999, Dolly Parton was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and became a member of the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. Broadcast Music, Inc. honored Dolly with their Icon Award in 2003, and in 2004, the U.S. Library of Congress presented her with their Living Legend Award for her contribution to the cultural heritage of the United States. This was followed in 2005 with the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given by the U.S. government for excellence in the arts.

In December, 2006 Dolly was honored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for her lifetime of contributions to the arts. In June 2007 Dolly was named the recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. The Johnny Mercer Award is exclusively reserved for a songwriter who has already been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in a prior year, and whose body of work is of such high quality and impact, that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer.

Yet with all of the national and international recognition given her, Dolly Parton calls the bronze statue of her, which stands on the courthouse lawn in her hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee, her "greatest honor, because it came from the people who know me."

Dolly Parton Presents A Kansas Teacher With The 2015 Chasing Rainbows Award

Dolly Parton Presents A Kansas Teacher With The 2015 Chasing Rainbows Award

Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (June 23, 2015) - Dyane Smokorowski was named the 14th recipient of the Chasing Rainbows Award. She enjoyed a weekend trip to Dollywood where Dolly herself presented Dyane with the award. Each year, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) honors one outstanding educator with this prestigious award. The honoree is someone who "has overcome great obstacles in his or her life, has captured the rainbow and is helping children." This year's winner serves as the Instructional Technology Coach for Andover Public Schools in Andover, KS.
Smokorowski said, "It is difficult to admit that my personal struggles actually prepared me to be a stronger person today. I wanted to be someone who could inspire others to reach beyond their environments, beyond their extremities, and to do as I have always done - to dream big!"
In 2002, Dolly became the first to receive this award from the NNSTOY. The award celebrated her commitment to fostering a love of reading among children through her Imagination Library. Since then, Dolly has presented the award each year.
Dyane Smokorowski's name will be added, along with past recipients, to the award displayed in the Chasing Rainbows Museum at Dollywood.
For more information on the award and how to nominate an outstanding teacher, visit the NNSTOY website.

To check out Dolly's website, go to

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