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Celebrity Spotlight

Dual Spotlight On
Dolly Parton at the Laughlin Events Center in Laughlin, NV & Hank Williams Jr. at the Casino Del Sol Resort AVA Amphitheater in Tucson, AZ
Photos by Glenda S. Paradee

Dolly Parton performed at the Laughlin Events Center in Laughlin, Nevada on September 30, 2016 to a sold out show.  Parton's concert was 2 1/2 hours of her many hit songs from throughout her long and successful career.  She included many stories of her growing up years.  She also shared her sense of humor.  Parton played many instruments throughout her show including the Dulcimer, Autoharp, Saxaphone, Piano, Banjo, Penny Whistle, Harmonica, Electric Guitar and Acoustic Guitar.  She is so very talented. 

Parton's show was a musical journey of her life and career.  Parton included some new songs too off her new CD 'Pure & Simple'.
Dolly sounded great and looked great too.  She is a true living legend of Country Music. 

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Dolly Parton and Glenda S. Paradee
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Cheryle Lamb, Dolly Parton and
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Kirt Webster, Dolly Parton, and
Glenda S. Paradee

Hank Williams Jr. performed at the Casino Del Sol Resort AVA Amphitheater in Tucson, Arizona on September 25, 2016 to a full house.  Williams had the audience standing on their feet from the first note to the last.

Williams really put on a fantastic show.  He belted out all his hit songs and good ole country music.  He changed many hats throughout his concert. During his show he played many guitars, the fiddle, and the piano too.  The audience sang along with him during many of his songs especially, "Family Traditions".  Bocephus, a nickname his father gave him, is a true showman. 

In January, Williams released his newest CD "It's About Time".

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Kirt Webster and Glenda S. Paradee

More on Dolly:
World-renowned singer/songwriter/entertainer Dolly Parton and Sony Music Nashville announced a joint venture and the launch of Dolly's new studio album,Pure & Simple, for worldwide distribution. Released on Dolly Records/RCA Nashville

"I may not be pure, but I'm as simple as they come! This new Pure & Simple project is really special to me because I'm taking my fans back to my roots. I feel like these songs have a pure, tender side and we didn't go overboard with arrangements. I'm so glad we've teamed up with our friends at Sony to get this album out to the fans," said Dolly Parton.

Remarked Doug Morris, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment, "Dolly Parton is a national treasure and an iconic singer/songwriter. We are thrilled to be expanding our successful relationship with her through this new global agreement. We are very proud to call her a member of the Sony Music family."

"This is a special reunion for Dolly, RCA Nashville and for me personally," commented Randy Goodman, Chairman and CEO, Sony Music Nashville. "Our entire Sony Music Nashville team is elated." Continues Goodman, "We have a firm foundation of Dolly's incredible catalog of hits on RCA Nashville as well as Columbia Nashville."

Dolly Parton, co-producer and songwriter on Pure & Simple, also revealed the album's cover art and track listing today (see below).

Album title: Pure & Simple
Produced by Dolly Parton

    Pure and Simple
    Say Forever You'll Be Mine
    Never Not Love You
    Kiss It (And Make It All Better)
    Can't Be That Wrong
    Outside Your Door
    Tomorrow Is Forever
    I'm Sixteen
    Head Over High Heels
    Forever Love

The following is Dolly's upcoming concert schedule.

Oct. 01 Hollywood Bowl - Los Angeles, Calif.
Oct. 02 Hollywood Bowl - Los Angeles, Calif.
Nov. 15 Pigeon Forge Convention Center - Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Nov. 18 North Charleston Coliseum - North Charleston S.C.
Dec. 06 Frank Erwin Center - Austin, TX
Dec. 09 Global Event Center at WinStar World Casino and Resort - Thackerville, Okla.
Dec. 10 Global Event Center at WinStar World Casino and Resort - Thackerville, Okla.

An internationally renowned superstar, the iconic and irrepressible Dolly Parton has contributed countless treasures to the world of entertainment. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections, paid digital downloads and compilation usage during her illustrious career have topped a staggering 100 million records worldwide. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, Dolly has had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. Dolly 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. 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. Dolly saw a cherished dream become a reality in 1986 with the opening of her own theme park, Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. In 1988, Dolly began the Dollywood Foundation which funds Dolly Parton's 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. Currently 60,000,000 books are mailed to children in the US, Canada and throughout the UK. In 1999, Dolly was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame 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. In December 2015, more than 13 million tuned into "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors" and was the most-watched film on broadcast networks since May 2012. To learn more about this American icon, visit
Summer looks to be ending with quite a bang for the Icon, with the release of Pure & Simple, as well as the highly-anticipated The Complete Trio Collection, a three-disc collection of all of the recordings from the 1987 and 1999 albums that paired her with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris. Together, they achieved four top-tens from the first collection - including the # 1 "To Know Him Is To Love Him" and the Grammy-winning "Telling Me Lies." Rhino will issue that collection on September 9.

Pure & Simple - a collection of love songs - has garnered glowing reviews, prompting USA Today to say "After half a century's worth of performance, Dolly Parton's voice still bubbles like a freshly popped bottle of champagne.," and Sounds Like Nashville to utter that "the new material here shines the brightest - and that is a very good thing that she continues to grant us occasional glimpses into her genius - as well as her imagination!" The new disc will be available in a regular edition from Dolly Records/RCA Nashville, plus an exclusive version for Walmart that includes a second disc of Dolly's Biggest Hits.
In hosting the radio show herself, the songstress went back to her roots, as she gained her earliest exposure as a musical act on Farm and Home Hour, Knoxville businessman Cas Walker's radio show on WIVK in the 1950s.
Dolly Parton, who released her 43rd studio album, Pure & Simple, a disc of 10 new songs, is excited to announce the exclusive Walmart 2 CD package which includes Pure & Simple with Dolly's Biggest Hits available NOW!

In support of Pure & Simple's release, Dolly performed on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," and appeared on "Fox & Friends," and also on "TODAY."  Additional media hits included "Access Hollywood," "Celebrity Page," "CMT Top 20 Countdown," "GAC Great American Playlist," "Fox NewsEdge," CBS Newspath, CNN and many more!

Dolly Parton, the most honored female country performer of all time, has received 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards and landed 25 songs at number 1 on the Billboard Country charts. 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 topped a staggering 100 million records worldwide. 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. Dolly was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999. And the litany goes on.

Dolly's career has spanned over 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 worlds of music, film and television. Some of her hit films have included Nine to Five, Steel Magnolias, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Rhinestone, Straight Talk, and Joyful Noise. Parton received two Oscar nominations - one for writing the title tune toNine to Five and the other for Travelin' Thru from the filmTransamerica.

Fans can purchase the Walmart special version of Pure & Simple with a bonus disc, featuring Dolly's biggest hits and exclusive tracks, here A track list for the Walmart version follows.

Dolly Parton
Disc 1: Pure & Simple

    Pure and Simple
    Say Forever You'll Be Mine
    Never Not Love You
    Kiss It (And Make It All Better)
    Can't Be That Wrong
    Outside Your Door
    Tomorrow Is Forever
    I'm Sixteen
    Head Over High Heels
    Forever Love
    Mama - bonus track
    Lovin' You - bonus track

Disc 2: The Hits

    My Tennessee Mountain Home
    Coat of Many Colors
    How Great Thou Art
    Light of a Clear Blue Morning
    Here You Come Again
    Islands in the Stream
    9 to 5
    I Will Always Love You

Parton hosts very first Cracker Barrel Front Porch Series with top emerging country artists
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store today announced that Dolly Parton is its latest Spotlight Music artist. The legendary singer exclusively released a deluxe version of her new album Pure & Simple in Cracker Barrel stores nationwide and online at which is now available.

This deluxe offering of Pure & Simple features 10 new tracks inspired by Parton's East Tennessee roots. The album is complemented by several pieces of content exclusive to Cracker Barrel, including two versions of the singer's chart-topping hits "Jolene" and "9 to 5" recorded live at Glastonbury Festival and a 48-page magazine filled with photos and interviews highlighting memorable stories from Parton. The deluxe edition also includes coupons to various Parton attractions.

To celebrate the album's launch, Parton will host the Cracker Barrel Front Porch Series. This video series features Parton and some of today's emerging artists as they play humorous games such as "You're Sooooo Country," "Real Song or Fake Song," and "Dolly or Not Dolly." The original content will be released on Cracker Barrel's YouTube channel.

"My relationship with Cracker Barrel goes back a long way," said Parton. "We are giving their guests something very special with this deluxe album filled with pictures and interviews from my past and present. I am very excited to be working with them on this project; we make a great team."

Parton is an iconic superstar with more than 100 million records sold worldwide. She has garnered 25 No. 1s on the Billboard Country Music Chart, received seven Grammy Awards, and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year Award.

"Dolly has been a wonderful friend to Cracker Barrel for many years," said Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Senior Marketing Manager Julie Ulmer. "With our shared Tennessee roots and authentic Southern styles, Dolly and Cracker Barrel are a natural fit. From limited edition rocking chairs to exclusive and gold-certified albums, we've had a long and successful relationship, which we're incredibly proud to continue today."

Cracker Barrel has released albums with a wide variety of artists, some of which have debuted in top spots on a range of Billboard charts. Recent Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Spotlight Music partners include the brand's first pop albums with a cappella group Pentatonix and "Fight Song" singer Rachel Platten, its first R&B album with Anthony Hamilton, as well as recent albums from Cole Swindell, Blake Shelton and NEEDTOBREATHE.

Pure & Simple Track Listing

    Pure and Simple
    Say Forever You'll Be Mine
    Never Not Love You
    Kiss It (And Make It All Better)
    Can't Be That Wrong
    Outside Your Door
    Tomorrow Is Forever
    I'm Sixteen
    Head Over High Heels
    Forever Love
    Jolene (LIVE from Glastonbury)
    9 to 5 (LIVE from Glastonbury)

About Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBRL) provides a friendly home-away-from-home in its old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that's surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America's country heritage...all at a fair price. Established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn., Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. and its affiliates operate 640 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store company-owned locations in 43 states and own the fast casual restaurants Holler & Dash™. Nation's Restaurant News' 2016 Consumer Picks survey named Cracker Barrel Old Country Store the Best Family-Dining Restaurant in America. For more information about the company, visit

Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric sat down with beloved country music legend and business maven Dolly Parton in Nashville. Parton discussed her 43rd studio album, her 60-city tour (the biggest in 20+ years), her iconic look, incredible career and more.

Interview highlights:

  • On loving rhinestones: "I have to have all my sparkles. You know my big joke is, 'I never leave a rhinestone unturned.' You can see for sure that's real with these, but these are the things I play on in concert and a lot of the clothes hanging up are things that I wear."
  • On celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary - "A lot of people have asked me that, and I always have my line of jokes The reason we've lasted 50 years is 'cause I've been gone 47 of those. We're good friends, we have a lot of respect for each other, but we're both crazy, we both have a great sense of humor. So, we have a lot of fun, and we're not in the same business...We thought, well, that's a long time to be married. What are we gonna do? I thought, wouldn't it be sweet if we just got married again? I never got that beautiful beaded wedding gown on my first wedding. It was just us, just intimate family and friends, and at our little house. Oh, yes, got all the pictures. So now, I have a real wedding album."
  • On the first song she's ever written: "It was a song about a little cobb doll. It's called Tiny Tassel Top. Daddy had, we used to always raise corn we had a lot of cobbs and shucks and stuff that we put to use in other ways. Daddy had burned some holes in this little cobb to make some eyes. Momma put the tassels back on and made her a little dress out the shucks. I was about five and I named her Tassel Top."
  • On the song she wants to be remembered by: "My personal favorite is 'My Little Coat of Many Colors.' That's going to be a song that has taken on a new life of its own because we did the movie and it did so well - and I made it into a series based on my life story called Life of Many Colors."
  • On the first time she heard Whitney's Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You:"  "Kevin Costner has asked for that song. But I had never heard if they were gonna do it....I was drivin' home one day, and it came on the radio, and I thought, when she started ears were what? And then, when she went into that, "I will always love you," ooh, it was one of the most overwhelming feelings I've ever had in my life...Well, a lot of people say that's Whitney's song, and I always say, "That's fine, she can have the credit, I just want my cash."
  • On her iconic look: "I felt more outgoing inside than my look because I'm not a natural beauty. So I just decided I'd paint it on, powder it up and let it shine... I always say good lighting, good makeup, good doctors and a good attitude. I say if I see it sagging, bagging or dragging then I'll have it plucked, tucked and sucked."
  • On her fans: "People feel like they know me. Their parents have grown up with me and then their kids they kind of introduce them. Then I did shows like "Hannah Montana" as Aunt Dolly and a lot of the younger people have found my songs. And a lot of my songs are easy to sing and do with these garage type bands like Jolene and just different so it's for different reasons. I've done the movies and I've done lots of TV. Yea, I've been around a long time."

Check out Dolly's website:
Thanks For The Music Dolly!

More on Hank:

"Stop and think it over," the big man with the hat and glasses has asked, from a thousand stages, in front of millions of people. "Try to put yourself in my position."

We can't. We can imagine, but we can't know. We can't know what it's like to be the only son of Hank Williams, the long gone and lonesome singer whose brief life transformed country music. We can't know what it's like to be linked to such a transformative force by blood and name but not by memory, to learn about a famous father from books and photos and others' stories: Hank Williams died at age 29, when his son was three-years-old.

We can't know what it was like to wrestle with that legacy, to try to honor all that came before, but not wind up a pale approximation of country's greatest ghost. Born Randall Hank Williams, but singing as Hank Williams, Jr. before he was 10, the son never had much in the way of a career choice. The choice wasn't whether he'd sing, but what, how and why. "Other kids could play cowboys and Indians and imagine that they'd grow up to be cowboys," he wrote in his Living Proof autobiography. "I couldn't do that. I knew that I would never grow up to be a cowboy or a fireman or the president of the United States. I knew I'd grow up to be a singer. That's all there ever was, the only option, from the beginning."

At the beginning, mother Audrey Williams worked to mold her son into a miniature version of his late father, and for 20 years he struggled, uncomfortably, to break the mold. When he finally found his own sound and style, he reached sales plateaus that his father never dreamed of: 20 gold albums, six platinum albums (one of which has sold more than five million copies) and 13 chart-topping albums. He has been selling out massive venues for a longer period of time than his father spent on earth. He has done more than honor his father's legacy; he has extended it, enriched it, enhanced it and elevated it. "My name's a reminder of a blues man that's already gone," he once sang. But the name "Hank Williams, Jr." is much more than that.

Randall Hank Williams was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on May 26, 1949. A month later, his father made his Grand Ole Opry debut, singing "Lovesick Blues" and drawing six encores. Hank Williams, who nicknamed his son "Bocephus" after comedian Rod Brasfield's ventriloquist dummy, had three and a half years left to live. He spent much of that time performing for the fans who would celebrate his contributions, but during radio performances he would send a message to his boy, closing shows by saying, "Don't worry, Bocephus, I'm coming home."

But when Williams came home in January of 1953, it was in a casket. Audrey Williams was left with a family to raise, and with a son who was soon squealing for a guitar of his own. At age eight, Hank made his music debut, dressed in a black suit for a Swainsboro, Georgia show, singing his father's songs to wild applause. At nine, he was touring in earnest with his mother's Caravan of Stars.

"We listened to Hank, Jr. sing some of the songs which made his dad so famous," wrote an early reviewer, in 1957. "The similarity of style is haunting. He has the same lonesome quality, the same break in his voice, the same pronunciation."

Raised in Nashville, Hank, Jr. learned music from the finest of teachers. Earl Scruggs gave him banjo lessons, and Jerry Lee Lewis showed him piano licks. And with rock 'n' roll in full flower, Hank, Jr. began playing a lot of electric guitar (though not onstage, where he was taught to do Hank Williams' songs, in Hank Williams' style). At age 11, he made his own Opry debut, walking across the same wooden boards his father had walked on, and, just like his daddy, singing "Lovesick Blues" and encoring.

"Went on the road when I was eight years old, when I turned 15 I was stealing the show," he wrote, accurately, in his 1987 No. 1 single, "Born To Boogie." And after stealing the show, he was often offered the drinks and pills that were so prevalent among country performers (and that had killed his father). Often as not, as was family tradition, he accepted the offers. He'd also accepted a $300,000-per-year recording contract, and at 15 his version of his father's "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" climbed to #5 on the country singles chart. Also while 15, he wrote his first serious composition, a slice of autobiography: "I know that I'm not great/ Some folks say I just imitate/ Anymore, I don't know/ I'm just doin' the best I can…..It's hard standing in the shadow of a very famous man."

That shadow grew darker, as Hank, Jr. entered his 20s. The fans that came to see him on the road wanted, and expected, him to do his father's songs, his father's way. Yet he yearned to explore the musical changes that were happening in the early 1970s, the melding of country, blues and rock that made the music of Waylon Jennings and the Marshall Tucker Band so distinct. He also grew increasingly dependent on pills and booze, and increasingly upset about his life's path. "I just felt all this loneliness and depression," he told interviewer Peter Guralnick. "I was all tore up about the direction I was heading. Every time I'd play one of Daddy's records, I'd just start to cry."

An attempted suicide in 1974 was the low point. Had he died then, at 23, his music career would have been a historical footnote, an addendum to his father's biography and little more. He moved from Nashville to Cullman, Alabama, rethought his life in and out of music, and recorded his first truly original work, an album called Hank Williams Jr. and Friends that featured Jennings, the Tucker Band's Toy Caldwell, and others who weren't in the traditional country camp. And Williams' songs "Living Proof" and "Stoned at the Jukebox" were his most searing, emotional works to date. But while prepping for a tour, he went mountain climbing in Montana.
"I just had to show 'em I didn't need 'em/ And so I headed out west to see some old friends of mine," he would later sing, in "All In Alabama." "I thought if I'd climb up old Ajax Mountain, maybe that would help me get it all off my mind." It was a nice climb, right up until the part where he fell down the mountain.

He lived, barely, but emerged disfigured, wounded and, somehow, inspired. After multiple surgeries and a torturous recovery period, he was determined that he would spend no more time as a Hank Williams retread.

His new music was a turnoff to some longtime fans, but it was embraced by a new crowd that liked this newly bearded Bocephus, who, as he sang in "The New South," "started turning up loud and looking at the crowd and bending them guitar strings." Hank, Jr.'s music was now rambunctious, forthright and distinctive.

For Hank, Jr., everything changed with that 1975 dive off Ajax Mountain. The music world caught on to those changes around 1979, the year he released his first million-selling album, Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound, along with his autobiography, Living Proof. In the early 1980s, he catapulted to full-on superstar status, with major hits including "Texas Women," "Dixie On My Mind," "All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)," and in 1984, "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight," a party anthem featuring a riotous video that starred Bocephus in conjunction with stars from inside (Merle Kilgore, Porter Wagoner, Kris Kristofferson, etc.) and outside (Cheech and Chong) country music.

In 1987, Hank, Jr. won his first of five country music entertainer of the year awards, and the two albums released that year – Hank Live and studio effort Born To Boogie – were platinum sellers. Born To Boogie was the CMA's album of the year in 1988, the year he won the CMA and ACM's top entertainer prize. Hank's star rose far beyond the country world in 1989, when manager Merle Kilgore arranged a deal with ABC's Monday Night Football to have Hank, Jr. rework "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" into a theme song to be played before each Monday's game. Two years later, the Monday Night theme won the first of four straight Emmy Awards, and Hank, Jr. would be the singing voice of Monday Night Football for 22 years.

With the Monday Night Football deal in place, Hank Williams, Jr. was now known to millions who had never even listened to country music, and he'd become an ambassador for that musical genre. He's held that position through the 1990s and up to the present, with hard-charging songs that speak to his truth, his "unique position," and to our lives. His room-shaking voice is as identifiable to fans as that of his father, and he has passed the family music tradition down to son Shelton and daughter Holly, both of whom are recording artists in their own right.

"I've been a very lucky man," he's fond of saying, but Hank, Jr. has made his own luck, and made his own way. Given a chance to coast on his father's songs and his father's royalties, he found a new song to sing, and a new way to sing it.

The father lived 29 years, and the son spent nearly that long standing in his shadow. But it is what the son did after turning 29 that has landed him a place in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, that has made him a BMI Icon award winner, and one of the best-selling artists in country music history. By finding his own powerful voice, by turns rebellious and vulnerable, he has become a music icon. He remains an inspiration to Alan Jackson, Kid Rock, Jamey Johnson and other followers and a sure-bet for eventual entry into the Country Music Hall of Fame, where his plaque will be displayed in perpetuity, just like his daddy's, only different. Stop and think it over.

Check out Hanks website: 
Thanks For The Music Hank!

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