Dolly just keeps it ‘Pure and Simple’

Dolly Parton performing during the 75th Anniversary Rededication Event at the Rockefeller Memorial at Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Dolly Parton performing during the 75th Anniversary Rededication Event at the Rockefeller Memorial at Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

DOLLY PARTON is currently on a 60-show singing tour of the United States and Canada, billed just ‘Pure & Simple’

On the tour, Dolly takes the stage sharing stories, singing songs and entertaining her fans with her bubbly and infectious Great Smoky Mountain patter.

She also plays a multitude of instruments, including electric guitar, banjo, fiddle, dulcimer, piano and the autoharp and each night she expresses gratitude to her legion of fans. Dolly certainly has unique multi-instrumental talents.

“It is fun being on the road again. I’ve been at it a long time. I appreciate you for allowing that to happen,” is her calling card to the fans.

Dolly, who turned 70 last January, shares pure and simple stories behind some of her songs such as Coat of Many Colors and the culture of growing up in a family of 12 in Sevierville, deep in the picturesque ‘Smokies’ of East Tennessee.

The set list includes the hits her fans love, along with a few new songs from Dolly’s forthcoming album Pure & Simple, set for release next month.

Dolly is also executive producing ‘Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love’. Coming off the phenomenal performance of last year’s holiday special, and looking to recapture the enthusiasm of nearly 16 million viewers who tuned in, Dolly is teaming up with Pamela K. Long and Sam Haskell as executive producers on the NBC network film.

The original cast will return for the sequel: Jennifer Nettles as her mother Avie Lee; Ricky Schroder as her father Robert Lee; Gerald McRaney as the Rev Jake Owens, an uncle, and Alyvia Alyn Lind as a young Dolly Parton.

The 10-track album Pure & Simple, produced by Dolly herself on Dolly Records, now has an August 19 set release date in the US. The album, she says, is a reflection of her true self, hence the album’s title.

“The Pure & Simple project is really special to me because I’m taking my fans back to my Appalachian roots,” she confirms.

“I feel like these songs have a pure, tender side, and we didn’t go overboard with arrangements.”

It sounds as if this album will be in huge demand with Dolly fans globally,

* BONNIE BROWN, youngest of the celebrated Browns singing trio, died at the week-end in her native Arkansas from lung cancer, aged 77.

Her passing leaves oldest sister, Maxine Brown, as the only survivor of the close-harmony group that dominated both country and pop charts in the late 1950s/early 1960s with hits such as The Three Bells (Little Jimmy Brown), Scarlet Ribbons, The Old Lamplighter, and I Heard the Bluebirds Sing.

Her brother Jim Ed Brown, founder of the trio and long-time Grand Ole Opry member, died in June, 2015, months before the Browns were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The Browns appeared at the famed Louisiana Hayride and she and fellow Hayride performer, a certain Elvis Presley, were involved romantically briefly during this period. The Browns toured for for several years with a young Mr Presley and another rising star of the period ‘Gentleman’ Jim Reeves. It was their 1959 recording of The Three Bells that made the Browns international stars and earned them appearances on major US television variety shows, including the Ed Sullivan Show.

The haunting Three Bells number topped both country and pop chart for weeks and was even a Top 10 R&B hit. The Browns became members of the Grand Ole Opry in 1963.