Dolly Parton: This World's Going Crazy, but Family Still Matters
Dolly Parton is not interested in reinventing herself. At a time when a lot of her peers are at least interested in saying they're looking to shake things up and start over, Dolly Parton--who just announced a Comerica Theatre show on January 28--was excited to tell us about all the ways she planned on staying the same.
Courtesy Webster PR
She's performing a new duet with Kenny Rogers; she's playing herself in a Christmas movie later this month. And she's probably right when she tells us that her fans, whether they're in Dollywood or Arizona or Europe, would have it no other way.
In the couple of minutes we had with her, squeezed among a million other phoners as the Blue Smoke tour rumbles to life, it was easy enough to infer one reason why things stay the same: She's got enough constituencies she has to reach out to already.
She went on to describe the ideal Dolly Parton show for us, and it amounted to a herculean effort to please everybody: "We always try to have a good, entertaining show--we try to have a good mixture of the hits that people always want to hear, and a little segment where I talk about home, and do 'My Tennessee Mountain Home,' 'Coat of Many Colors,' those songs from home that matter to me. We try to have a drop-dead opening, some exciting thing to come on. And a little bit of gospel-flavored stuff, and medleys of some of the hits--you can't always do the songs in their entirety."
In Europe, even, the show has to check every box. "Oddly enough," she says, "they love the same songs." Not just the crossover hits, but the talk-about-home stuff, too--by way of explanation she talks about her European ancestry, and how long she's been established there as a musician, but finally she suggests that her work, in spite of its precise references to a particular place and time, just speaks to people who value what she values.
For all the references to Tennessee Homes and Tennessee Families, she thinks people who care about a European or Australian home and countryside are basically after the same thing.