Dolly Parton Opens CMA Fest With a Bang: 5 Things You Missed

Dolly Parton kicked off CMA Fest on Thursday with a host of announcements from CMA’s stage inside Fan Fair X at Music City Center in Nashville.

Tennessee’s favorite daughter unveiled plans for a new musical, a Nashville hotel complete with a museum, a collection of wines, and expanded food offerings. She also shared more details about her upcoming cookbook with her sister Rachel Parton George, “Good Lookin’ Cookin’: A Year of Meals – A Lifetime of Family, Friends, and Food,” and talked about her new family album package and documentary “Dolly Parton & Family: Smoky Mountain DNA – Family, Faith & Fables.”

If you didn’t catch Parton’s Thursday morning conversation at CMA Fest, here’s what you missed.

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Dolly Parton Revealed Plans for a New Musical, “Hello, I’m Dolly,” That Will Debut on Broadway in New York City in 2026

Parton is writing the music, co-writing the book that details the play’s content, and serving as producer.
“I’ve written a whole lot of original songs for it as well as all the hit songs that you know,” Parton said. “You’ll get to know all of my life up to now, and it’s not a jukebox musical. It really does have a lot of story, a lot of family. So, this kind of is the year of family for me.”

Dolly Parton Revealed Plans for Her Nashville Hotel and Museum, Which She Plans To Call Songteller

Parton said the hotel will be open in a couple of years and is in partnership with Herschend Family Entertainment, with whom she works on her Dollywood properties. The icon said the hotel would be located on Third and Commerce.

“We’re working real hard on that, and we’ll let people know more about it,” she said. “I always wanted a hotel in Nashville and a museum here. I’m very proud of all the things we have to do.”
When Parton was touring the space, she saw her “Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics” book on a table in the existing building and took it as a sign.

“I thought, ‘Why in the world is that just laying over there?'” Parton said. “Come to find out, it was one of the people that was working in the hotel. They said they had just gone out and got that book.”
As for the museum, the singer said several of her “real articles” would be there, including the replica of her famous coat of many colors that inspired one of her most popular songs and some digital and multimedia items.

“Thanks to the fans,” Parton said. “Hopefully, sometime when you come back, you can stay at the Songteller Hotel.”

Dolly Parton Is Releasing a Collection of Wines

Parton said Thursday morning that the first of Dolly Wines will be available at retailers in July. Her first offering will be Dolly Wines California Chardonnay 2023, available for preorder at today.

“I don’t have the bar, but I got some wine because sometimes, when you live long enough, you kind of get what you call your brand,” Parton said. “That means your name is familiar enough that everybody wants you to put your name on a product. And Lord knows I’ve done that a lot, but I only put my name on things that I believe in. We are going to have some nice wines and we’re going to be opening this season. We’ll have all kinds.”

Dolly Parton Spoke More In-Depth About “Dolly Parton & Family: Smoky Mountain DNA—Family, Faith & Fables,” Which Will Be Available on November 15

The collection will highlight both sides of Parton’s family – the Partons and her mother’s side, the Owens. It traces the family’s origins from the 1600s in the United Kingdom to their Great Smoky Mountain home in Sevier County, Tennessee.

Fans can preorder the package beginning  June 21.

“I’ve spent my whole life loving my family, trying to build to where I could do good with and for my family,” Parton said. “I’ve always talked about being from a very musical family on both sides, especially on my mom’s side of the family. But we have so many of our younger ones coming up and others that never really actually got a chance. I’m really hoping that people are going to really just see how much talent there really is. Just like the Carter family, everybody sings, everybody plays, and all that. So I’m just very proud of my family. I’m proud of the Smoky Mountains and all of our history.”

The docuseries covers the family’s journey from the UK to East Tennessee and includes interviews with family members.

Parton Shared More About Her Cookbook With Her Sister, Rachel, “Good Lookin’ Cookin’”

The sisters share hosting tips, multi-course menus, family stories, and more in “Good Lookin’ Cookin’,” which will be available on September 17.

Recipes include country ham and biscuits, barbecue spare ribs, mac and cheese, and strawberry shortcake, which Rachel is demonstrating how to make in Fan Fair X at CMA Fest this week.

“Rachel is a great cook, but Rachel also is a great writer and a great singer,” Parton said, explaining she was in “9 to 5” years ago before she decided to stay home and raise her family. “Now she’s kind of back in it, and she might have her own cooking show based on this. It was so great for us to get to do something great together. We had a lot of fun coming up with names for recipes, which I think you’ll love in the cookbook. We only had a couple of food fights. I think I rubbed mashed potatoes in her hair, and I think she dumped some spaghetti down my shirt. I think some of it’s still there.”

Missed the CMA Fest this year? No worries, the CMA Fest TV special will air on ABC on Tuesday, June 25 at 8/7c. It will be available to stream the next day on Hulu. Hosted by Jelly Roll and Ashley McBryde, the special will feature the best moments from the four-day event including never-before-seen performances and star-studded collaborations.

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

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