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Dolly Parton Talks Gold Records, Gay Fans and More

Beth Gwinn, Getty Images

Dolly Parton has earned dozens of gold and platinum records throughout her career, but her latest marks a special first for the entertainer and for Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. Dolly’s live album/DVD, “An Evening With Dolly,” released in April of this year, has become the iconic singer’s latest gold disc and the first gold album to be released via Cracker Barrel stores. At a Friday (Aug. 10) morning press conference where the gold-record plaque was unveiled and presented to her, Dolly also fielded questions about her music and other projects she’s currently working on. The philanthropic superstar began by revealing that the plaque will be donated to her Chasing Rainbows Museum at Dollywood, which houses memorabilia from throughout her six-decade career.

More highlights from Dolly’s chat with reporters:

On what she’s been doing this summer: “I’ve been taking off this summer to visit with family. Right now I’m just enjoying hanging out with my little nieces and nephews. I have several little-bitty ones now. I don’t have kids of my own but I’m a great “Aunt Granny,” they call me. Now I’ve got some that are the great-grandchildren of my mom and dad. They call me “G.G.,” which is great grandma. It’s fun playing with them and visiting with some brothers and sisters I haven’t spent a lot of time with through the years. I love my family and I’m very close to them. There are several people in your family, you’re always close to some of ‘em. I just mean close physically but … I meant the other, too. [laughs] But that’s true with all families. I have a lot of real country family. A lot of backwards people that ain’t gonna get in a car and come see me or come down for Christmas. So if I’m gonna see them, I’m gonna have to go where they are.

On her next project: I have a book that I’ve written, “Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You” and all the money from that book is going to my Imagination Library, our literacy program. So, I’ve spent most of my summer working on the book that’s coming out in November. I’m [recording] an audio version of it next week. In our Imagination Library, the steps that we teach through that is to dream more, learn more, care more and do more. I do different chapters on those things and put my own personal spin on my life, I include things that have happened to me and give a little advice or whatever. And the end of the book, it has a lot of fun things … things people have asked me through the years, things people know me for. It’s fun reading, but hopefully it’ll be uplifting to people, too.

On why she’s aligned herself with Cracker Barrel: Anything I’ve got would fit in Cracker Barrel. They’re country, I’m country. I’m a good cook, they’re good cooks. We cook the same kind of food.

On her recent tours: I’ve enjoyed it. We’ve had a chance to tour all over the world. It’s wonderful having all the different audiences. They all respond a little different. Of course, we did our American tour. the fans are great. I love ‘em no matter who and where they are. But I have a good time. I don’t know when I’ll be touring again but I’m sure one of these days I’ll get a hankering to head out on the road. I’m a gypsy.

On upcoming acting projects:Joyful Noise” didn’t do too good, so I ain’t had too many calls. [laughs] I enjoyed it, though, it was a big hit with me. I’m sure I will be doing some more things later on. I’d like to do some TV stuff. I’m still writing on my life story as a musical, doing that when I feel like it and taking my time. No pressure.

On the proposed Nashville theme park: Well, we’re working on it. That’s kind of in a holding pattern right now.

On the continuing success of the 1973 hit, “Jolene“: “Jolene” has been very popular all of these years, even overseas. That song has probably been recorded more than all my songs, even “I Will Always Love You.” Even in Japan, they’re singing it [sings] “Jo-rene, Jo-rene.” But we don’t care what language they sing it in, it’s been a good one and I’m very proud of that. It is a love song people can relate to, whether it’s men or women. There’s always somebody trying to steal your better half or your significant, or insignificant other, whoever that person is.

On “Hollywood to Dollywood” and her gay fans: The movie is a documentary about these twin boys. They’re gay and their parents kind of turned them out and they did come to Dollywood. I did meet them and I allowed them to use some of my songs. They’re sweet, sweet, precious boys and the fact that I was an inspiration and someone they kind of leaned on. You never know how God works to help people. We’re all God’s children no matter what. So, there was a lot of love and understanding and I think they felt that. Being a freak, I know what it’s like not being accepted. Not that they were freaks but I was. I just know, through the years, I’ve had people tell me I should do this or I shouldn’t do that. I have a lot of gay fans because they know that I just accept people as they are. That’s not my place to judge. I ain’t God and I ain’t runnin’ for office. But I was proud to be part of that. It makes you feel good.

Watch Dolly Talk Fashion #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-99259{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-99259, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-99259{width:570px;height:411px;display:block;} Talking Fashion with Dolly Partontry{document.getElementById(“fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-99259″).style.display=”none”;}catch(e){}

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