I am thrilled to be the owner of a two-disc , An Evening with … Dolly, so I can now re-live the fabulous concert that Dolly gave at the Hollywood Bowl last summer. I was wowed by not just the incredible figure of Dolly in her mid-sixties and her non-stop dancing but her never-ending talent displayed vocally and on just about every instrument known to woman – guitar, piano, banjo, dulcimer, harmonica and even saxophone. Phew!
The scuttlebutt the next day in the LA Times was that Dolly lip-synced through a good portion of the show, by some estimates 65 percent of it, which she reportedly answered to by stating, “I do it to entertain you, not to fool you.”
I didn’t care one way or the other. Entertain me she did. And besides the music, I had a wonderful evening just listening to her spin tales about her childhood in Tennessee and growing up with a dozen brothers and sisters. Her legendary effervescence is absolutely genuine, and if ever someone has done me wrong and I wonder how to handle it, I will ask, “What would Dolly do?” The woman is a saint in sequins, and wigs, and nail extensions, and innumerable nips and tucks. She is the inimitable Dolly — though as she jokes, many have tried to mimic her and dress and act like her, but those fellas just aren’t her.
The new CD and DVD offer a listening disc and a DVD with extras including backstage interviews. It contains 13 songs on the listening track and 15 on the DVD. Both feature my fave, Coat of Many Colors, the self-penned autobiographical song about Dolly’s treasured coat that her Mama made out of rags. That song by the way just made it into the National Recording Registry by Library of Congress for its “historic”, “cultural”, and “aesthetic significance.”
The set is produced by Cracker Barrel, yet the Old Country Store folks. If it were not for my love of Dolly I would not mention them in the same breath, because I like many people I remember that their restaurants fired a bunch of people back in 1991 because they didn’t appear to display “normal heterosexual values.” But as of 2011 Cracker Barrel achieved a 55 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign‘s Corporate Equality Index, a measure of gay and lesbian workplace equality. The 2011 survey noted that the firm had established a non-discrimination policy and had introduced diversity training that included training related to sexual orientation.
So, as Dolly would, I look past their failings, and I give them props for a great music and video collection of the icon that is Dolly.