The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville is to host the exhibition Dolly: My Opry Memories, to mark Dolly Parton’s 50 years as a member of the Opry. Running from 3 September to 31 October, it will feature two dozen of the country superstar’s wardrobe items, worn on the Opry and at the Ryman Auditorium, and also coincides with her performance on the famed WSM-AM show on 12 October.
The exhibition will include archive photos and video memories including rarely-seen performance clips from Parton’s long tenure as an Opry member. Two types of ticket are available, one for the exhibition only and one that combines the viewing with the daytime backstage tour of the Opry House. The publicity for the event notes that “every sequin tells a story.” More information on both is available here.
A special week of events will take place around Dolly’s live appearance, opening on 10 October when fellow country notable Larry Gatlin hosts Opry Country Classics at the Ryman, with performances of her No. 1 songs. On the 11th at the Opry, there’s Dolly’s Mountain Soul, celebrating her bluegrass and Americana roots. Dolly’s 50th Grand Ole Opry Anniversary Celebration will feature two shows on 12 October, at 7pm and 9.30pm.
Parton was inducted into the Opry on 4 January 1969, when she had recently released her first solo album Just Because I’m A Woman. “It was always my dream to be on the Opry,” recalls Parton. “I actually got to sing on the Grand Ole Opry when I was about 10 years old,” she remembers. “I officially became a member back in 1969 and I cannot believe [this] year I will celebrate 50 proud years of being a member of the Grand Ole Opry!
“They call it the ‘Mother Church’ because the old Ryman was a church, but it’s sacred to me, wherever it goes — the church of my heart. For me, the Opry is like the song ‘New York, New York’ — if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. I am excited to be coming back home to celebrate 50 years of membership!”
As reported, Dolly will team with Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire to co-host the 2019 CMA Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on 13 November.