Dolly Parton Has an Official Tumblr Now, If You’re Into That

Who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? She is a national treasure, like the Great Smoky Mountains or Kansas City BBQ; she’s the toast of Branson. She is responsible for the anthem you hear in your head every Monday on your commute to work, that is, if you work 9 to 5. You’ve probably sang “Islands in the Stream” with your inebriated friends at karaoke more times than you’d like to acknowledge. You’ve seen her show in Branson. What more could Dolly Parton possibly give you? More Internet presence!

Over the weekend, we were alerted to the glorious news that Dolly Parton now has an official Tumblr. Sadly, she was unable to acquire “Fuck Yeah Dolly Parton,” which probably is a thing that exists, but this one is legit, according to her official social media people. Even though it’s probably some interns or publicists doing all the work, we’d like to think it’s Dolly herself tracking the tag, reblogging pictures of herself on TV or Instagrammed/ornately hand-drawn reiterations of her lyrics from blogs with names like “truckyeahcountrystars” and “lorettalove.” And who knows? If you’re a rabid enough fan of hers on the Tumblrs, maybe Dolly will follow you if you ask nicely enough. We wish you well in your quest. 

Fern Bar Fridays: Kenny and Dolly, From One Lover to Another

Welcome to Fern Bar Fridays, a lighthearted romp (is there any other kind?) through a decade of cool music and even cooler drinks. The fern bar era, which roughly spanned 1975-1985, was filled with giant lapels and ties (and then later teeny tiny lapels and ties), ridiculous drinks, and sweet sounds. Every Friday we’ll bring you a song and drink pairing emblematic of that delightful time to help you get the weekend started off on the right loafer-sans-sock-shod foot. Today we’re singing in two-part harmony with: "Islands in the Stream" by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

What really is there to even be said about "Islands in the Stream" that hasn’t been said before in Tiffany lamp-lit saloons the world ’round? Show me the person who doesn’t like "Islands in the Stream" and I’ll show you a person who has lost all capacity for joy.

Dolly is an angel from heaven; this fact is well established. Everything she’s got is the best: the best voice, the best disposition, the best hair, the best boobs. Oh golly Lady Dolly, how I yearn to snuggle up to your bosom for just one sweet, perfect moment. And that’s not even remotely all of her many charms! Have you ever taken a gander at the list of instruments that Dolly plays? Sweet fiddleheads in broth, she’s a one-woman fern bar band! To wit: vocals, guitar, banjo, autoharp, piano, drums, Appalachian dulcimer, harmonica, pennywhistle, recorder, fiddle, bass guitar, saxophone.

THE APPALACHIAN DULCIMER, YOU GUYS.

As for Kenny Rogers? He can Roger my Roaster any day of the week and twice on Sundays. And the song? The song is sublime. In every possible way. I mean, it was written by the Bee Gees, and when Kenny and Dolly perform it live they do so in formalwear.

I’m utterly enamoured of their formalwear. I’m also, obviously, utterly enamoured of Dolly’s onstage cheek and banter.

The song title is, of course, inspired by the posthumously published Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway. We keep a copy of it at Rita’s, the imaginary fern bar that exists in my head—and also by now don’t you all know what Rita’s is?? Sweet ferny Moses, haven’t you been paying attention? Do I have to repeat myself every week? (No, no, you haven’t. And yes, yes, I do. Because you’re not really supposed to have to pay attention to the things that go down at Rita’s. It’s a fern bar, you’re supposed to get blitzed on amaretto-based cocktails and whatever color pill Bertie is handing out that night.)—on the shelf right next to the bust of Abraham Lincoln and our tattered copy of The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Dictionary.

Now then. In keeping with the new tradition we’ve established at Rita’s, and in a nod to Dolly’s, ahem, ample bounty, I must address the fact that resident sawfly Miles Klee has once again plum ticked me off. And, as such, is back outside shivering in his stupid sweater. What, you may ask, has Miles done this week? Well, I’ll tell you: he’s gone and issued edicts about proper usage of the terms ‘tit’ and ‘boob’:

Compliment your girlfriend on her “boobs,” however, and you may not get to touch them fora while. The bedroom is where “tits” come into play. It’s the dirtier, more intimate word, and as such will turn up in all manner of breathless naked imperatives: “____ my tits,” a woman might say, never “____ my boobs.”

First of all, unlike everything about Kenny and Dolly, this is just WRONG. You may indeed compliment me on my ‘boobs’. (Seriously, go ahead. I’m quite pleased with my boobs and would be delighted to know that you are as well! My boyfriend does it all the time and I hope he never, ever stops, even when my boobs are hovering somewhere around my waistline.)

Second of all, you don’t get to make up rules about what people can and cannot say in the bedroom. Sorry. ‘Tit’ is not part of my sexytime lexicon. ‘Giraffe pussy’ might work its way in there, but never ‘tit.’

And finally, absolutely under no circumstances never ever ever do you get to expound on what a woman may or may not say. Just in general. To put it in Jezebelian terms—OH YES, I’M GOING THERE. You mess with the fern, you get the fronds, Klee—you’re "universalizing about how everyone feels." To put it in JolieKerrian terms: Knock that malarky off and busy yourself with something useful, like bringing me fresh ice for my wine spritzer. Or better yet, get to cracking on making me one of these babies:

Island Affair

1 ¼ oz. melon liqueur
½ oz. Cointreau
1 ½ oz. orange juice
2 oz. mango juice
⅓ oz. blue curacao
1 oz. whipped cream

Shake the melon liqueur, Cointreau, orange juice and mango juice together and strain into a pina colada glass filled a bit more than halfway up with crushed ice. Add the curacao, and then float the whipped cream on top. Garnish with bar fruit and serve with two straws.

Offer your date a sip through your extra straw. No one in between. From one lover to another. Uh-uh.

Follow Jolie Kerr on Twitter.

Donna Summer, Dolly Parton, ‘Rapper’s Delight’ Added to LOC National Recording Registry

Disco enthusiasts are still reeling over the death of roller-rink royalty Donna Summer, and less than a week after her passing, one of her most iconic anthems, "I Feel Love," was named as one of 23 recordings that will be added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry this year. And she’s in fine, if not eclectic, company, from Dolly Parton’s "Coat of Many Colors" to Bo Diddley’s "I’m A Man" to an Edward R. Murrow conversation, Love’s Forever Changes and Booker T. & The MGs’ groovy instrumental "Green Onions": 

Vince Guaraldi’s soundtrack to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was added, a timeless holiday classic which introduced jazz to children for a generation and became culturally relevant for an entirely different reason thanks to Arrested Development

More legendary pop music works added include Prince’s landmark Purple Rain, Sugarhill Gang’s hip-hop watershed "Rapper’s Delight" and Parliament’s Mothership Connection. The most surprising part of all of this in our humble opinion is that “Rapper’s Delight” wasn’t already in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. You’d think that would have been added years ago. Same goes for Purple Rain. Ah, well.

For the full effect of Summer’s disco classic, a club staple during the summer of 1977 and anthem of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, watch this almost spiritual live performance from that year. Summer will be missed, but her music is truly invincible: 

Afternoon Links: Amanda Bynes Arrested For DUI, Snoop Dogg’s Smokeable Songbook

● Amanda Bynes was arrested last night for DUI after she accidentally side-swiped a cop car at 3AM. On the bright side, her new lilac ‘do made for a lovely mugshot. [TMZ]

● Dolly Parton bought Dollywood a brand new $20 million roller coaster for that she won’t even ride because, she warns, "You don’t wanna see what a real bald eagle looks like." Certainly not. [USAToday]

● You can literally smoke Snoop Dogg’s new songbook, Rolling Words, which is made entirely of his new hemp seed Kingsize Slim paper, ready to be ripped out, rolled up, and enjoyed. After you’ve read it, of course. [Fuse]

● Katy Perry almost made her big screen debut in The Help, but she couldn’t fit the filming into her busy schedule. And so instead, it’ll be this. [Vulture]

● In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Downtown Abbey executive producer Rebecca Eaton lets slide that, in the upcoming third season, “Somebody will be born, and somebody will die, somebody pretty key in the cast, unfortunately not going to make it,” she says. “It’s the 1920s now.”

● Tyler, the Creator got what you might call a taste of his own medicine on last night’s Punk’d. [Stereogum]

‘Joyful Noise’ Is the First Great Bad Movie of 2012

If you’re like me, you enjoy punishing yourself by watching movies that you expect to be horrible. It’s sort of like dealing with a hangover by drinking shots of vodka: you rush around and try to see all of the best Oscar-baiting films at the end of the year and then spend the month of January watching awful movies. As I learned on Sunday, when I met up with fifteen other folks for a boozy brunch at Dos Caminos before heading over to a late afternoon showing of Joyful Noise, the alcohol helps you get through it. Especially when it’s a two-hour-plus movie about dueling Southern ladies and gospel choir covers of Chris Brown hits. Spoilers abound, and this movie is so nuts that you actually won’t be able to predict the insane plotlines.

The movie starts with a choir featuring our heroines Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton performing at what appears to be some nightclub. There’s a banner over the stage that reads "Joyful Noise," just in case you forgot what movie you’re watching. And Kris Kristofferson is there as the choir director! And everything is so joyful! That is until Kris Kristofferson has a heart attack on stage. It’s not even five minutes before the first person dies, and this is before you check IMDb on your phone to answer the questions "How long is this goddamn movie?" and "Is Dolly starring in a reboot of Madame’s Place?"

Kris Kristofferson was Dolly’s husband, so after we sit through a somber funeral scene in which Dolly is unable to force tears from her perpetually dry, wooden eyeballs, the fun finally begins as the pastor decides to pick Queen Latifah over Dolly for the job as choir director. This is so crazy because Dolly’s the old white lady in a primarily African-American church, and she’s basically keeping the place afloat by being the rich person who donates all of her money, and her husband was the choir director so she clearly deserves the position. It’s the American way! Didn’t you see The Help? Those sad maids wouldn’t have accomplished anything without the rich white girl. 

Also, Queen Latifah and Dolly play women with actual names, but I’m just going to refer to them as Queen Latifah and Dolly because you don’t care what they called each other when they played dress-up in front of very expensive movie-making machines. 

The movie takes place in Pacashau, Georgia, where nobody has a job because every hardware store has shut down. It’s the economy, stupid! Well, Queen Latifah has a job as a nurse, because choir-directing can’t cover all of the bills, apparently. She is also sort of a single mom, as her husband left two years before to go be a marine or something because, as we learn, Queen Latifah is actually a lot to deal with! But so are her kids, Olivia and Walter. Olivia is actually perfect, because she is pretty and can sing. Walter, however, has Asperger syndrome, which the people who made this movie assume is appropriately characterized by his wearing sunglasses inside and being a self-aware weirdo (I assume they didn’t seen that season of America’s Next Top Model).

Meanwhile, Dolly’s grandson Randy shows up. Fun fact: eight out of ten Southern women have a grandson named Randy. Randy’s mom is a deadbeat who didn’t even come to her dad’s funeral, and Randy’s vague ethnicity means that everyone in town thinks his mother’s a whore and that he can’t be trusted because of unseen and unspoken bad things that he did once. But Randy, like everyone else in this movie, is a great singer, and since he’s got a massive boner for Olivia, he decides to join the choir. (I guess there isn’t a Tastee Freeze or any drugs in Pacashau.)

OK, so we might as well get this part out of the way now: there’s an Asian member of the choir named Mr. Hsu who has a crush on the buxom Earla, and they get it on pretty early in the movie. And the next morning — because they are sinners — Earla makes him breakfast in bed, only to discover that he died. That’s the second dead person in thirty minutes! Obviously Earla is really upset that she sexed a man to death. "Everybody is going to talk about me!" she cries. "Earla: tap it and die!" (Nobody will say that.)

Randy, despite Queen Latifah’s suspicions, actually turns out to be a pretty nice young man. Sure, he gets into a fight with some other guy who wants to bone Olivia, and at one point sort of kidnaps her to take her to see her father on the army base (I guess it counts as a kidnapping because Olivia actually said this line: “Where are we going? We’ve been driving for over an hour,” because it just didn’t cross her mind that maybe she shouldn’t just hop in a car with high school dropouts with bad reputations), but he also teaches Walter how to play piano, so.

If you’ve seen Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, you can probably imagine where the main plot about a simple country choir competing in a national gospel competition is headed. They have a shot! Oh no, it looks like they don’t! Queen Latifah wants the old-fashioned songs! Dolly wants them to sing “Man in the Mirror”! (Did you catch the irony there? You see, Queen Latifah is younger than Dolly, but is actually more like an old person. This completes your film studies lesson of the day.) Queen Latifah quits in protest! The pastor won’t let Randy be in the choir, even after he recruits that other dude who likes Olivia to play electric guitar, because what the Pacashauans lack in job skills and economic sense they make up in musical talent! And then Queen Latifah sings a song by herself in the church and is suddenly joined by what appear to be the ghosts of the choir and you think, “Oh good, are they all dead?” but nope! They are just in her imagination.

Then, in the most amazing musical number in the history of cinematic musical numbers, Dolly and Randy sing a duet and then Dolly looks out the window to see Kris Kristofferson standing in the cornfield. And then they have a duet, and then another Dolly stands out in the cornfield while Inside Dolly sings along with them. Someone in the movie is described as “a train making all the local stops” (poor, sad Southern people are really great at metaphors), and I am pretty sure that it was just a post-modern acknowledgement that this movie is batshit crazy.

Now that this review/recap is almost as long as the movie, let’s cut to the chase: everyone makes it to the national Joyful Noise competitions and they’re up against a crew of children who sound like New Edition but are praising God rather than the joys of dry-humping. In a last minute decision, Queen Latifah rips off her robe on stage and jumps into a fully orchestrated version of “I Want To Take You Higher.” The poor stage director stands offstage, frantically flipping through the papers on his clipboard, but I guess he figured it all out because then the stage splits in two and the lights are all perfectly timed (subtext: he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Harvard with a  degree in Stage Studies). Then Randy sings a gospel version of Usher’s “Yeah,” complete with new lyrics like, “In the church with my homies / tryin’ to get my praise on.” And then Dolly sings Chris Brown’s “Forever” and I died in my seat.

So, to wrap it all up in a sentence (because the movie does as such in, oh, four minutes?): Queen Latifah’s husband comes back, she’s totally cool with Randy and Olivia being in love, she and Dolly are best friends, and the choir sings as Earla marries some cute Asian twink who shows up at the competition and is like, “Hey, I love you, I’ve been following you around all this time, you’re into Asians, right?” Then the guy who wrote and directed this movie is like, “Don’t worry about it, the end, bye!” The only way this movie could have been any greater / more terrible is if the bird from Country Strong showed up. Still, the bar has been raised, and it’s unlikely that Joyful Noise will lose the title of 2012’s Best Worst Movie. 

Afternoon Links: Halle Berry Is Engaged, Khloé’s Kardashian Status Question

● Halle Berry’s jeweler has broken news of her engagement to French actor Olivier Martinez, who proposed over the holidays with a diamond and emerald engagement ring. [People]

● Markets really must be down: The first photos of Baby Blue Ivy are only expected to fetch $2 million, a number that pales in comparison to the $10 million Angelina and Brad got for their kids’ first photo, and even the $6 million J. Lo got for her twins. [NYP]

● Khloé swears she’s a real Kardashian, even if two of Robert Kardashian’s widows, Jan Ashley and Ellen Kardashian (who also thinks that Bruce Jenner is a cross-dresser), allege otherwise. [E!]

● "But it’s all about education and knowledge, feeding yourself and knowing that too much carbs is what gets us fat," says Fat Joe, the rapper who has lost some two-hundred pounds and is now not-so-fat. [MTV]

● 65-year-young Dolly Parton got a bouquet of red flowers tattooed between her 40-DD breasts. [Page Six]

● Jessica Simpson is going to go ahead and indulge even her wildest pregnancy cravings. "I had a buttered Pop Tart this morning," she told Extra, adding that, "I’m like, ‘Yeah, I can do it. We’ll worry about the rest afterwards.’" [Us]

● Reddit has announced that it will go dark for twelve hours on January 28 in protest of proposed legislation Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act. [Huff Post]

Dolly Parton Reflects: “Before Gaga I Was Ga-udy”

I’ve never considered myself a star. Other people call me a star, an icon, or a legend. I just say I’m an eyesore. I like to think of myself as a working girl. Every day I wake up thinking, I’ve got a job to do.

I’ve had to overcome a lot in this business. In the early days, people always used to tell me that I’d be taken more seriously as a songwriter and singer if I didn’t look so gaudy and outrageous. I’ve become known for the tits, the hair, the big mouth, and it all became part of who I am. Sometimes people can’t see past that stuff—they don’t really know how serious I am about my writing and my songs. But I’m happier when I look the way I look because I’m no radiant natural beauty. I found a way to make myself be comfortable with me, and it works.

If somebody said I could only do one thing for the rest of my life, I would write songs. I love thinking that there will be something in the world tomorrow that wasn’t here today, and that I put it there. Not all of my songs are great, but I know there’s a seed of something good in every song I write. It’s almost like having a baby. I never had children, but I always said my songs are my children; some of them are prettier than others, some of them do better than others, but they’re still your children, and you love the ugly ones the same as you do the pretty ones.

I’ve always been, at least somewhere inside me, the country girl who wants to be pretty. I make jokes about myself before other people can make them about me, and I think that must stem from some sort of insecurity. It’s like that song [“Backwoods Barbie”] on my last album: “I’m just a backwoods Barbie, too much makeup, too much hair. But don’t be fooled by thinking that the goods are not all there.” In the mornings, even when I’m not going anywhere, I get up and put on my makeup and my high heels—if only because I can’t reach my cabinets without them. People always ask me, “Do you think you’ll ever tone down your look?” And I say, Well, hell no! Why should I? I was gaudy when gaudy wasn’t cool. Before Gaga I was Ga-udy. I was being outrageous even before Madonna. Eventually people realize that there’s a brain under this hair, and a heart under these boobs, but I also like being a character that they can enjoy. It makes it kind of fun when I do get out on stage and tell my real story, and they get to see the real me. I’m a very artificial-looking person, but I’m a very real person.

Parton will debut Better Day, her fourth release on Dolly Records, this summer. She’ll tour the world in support of the album beginning June 17 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Links: Oprah Wipes Drew Brees’ Birthmark; Conan O’Brien Grows a Ginger Beard

● Oprah tried to wipe the birthmark off of Super Bowl champion Drew Brees’ face. What? He’s usually wearing a helmet! Bonus: his mole has a Twitter. [BuzzFeed] ● The easy-to-impress internet is all about 13-year-old blogger Tavi tearing up New York fashion week. The next logical step? A 5-year-old. [Racked] ● A young potential vandal had his leg cut off in a Brooklyn subway tunnel while trying to paint graffiti. That’s so much worse than what his mother warned him would happen. [NYT] ● At this point even stills from an unreleased Lady Gaga music video are mind-blowing. [Haus of Gaga]

● Conan O’Brien has no job and a new beard, but when he feels like it he’ll have a show and a hot shave. [TMZ] ● Dolly Parton is working on a movie version of her life. Obviously, Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks should play the buxom country legend because they share a… high-pitched voice. [ONTD] ● Apple’s Steve Jobs is working with a biographer to document his life, too, but there’s far less cleavage and he never sang “Jolene.” [NYT]

Of Boobs & God: Dolly Parton Chats Up Jessica Simpson, Tony Blair

Crude header for an even cruder bit of oversharing, I suppose. However, at least Jeremy Piven’s not alone! Recently, Patron Saint of Everything Amazing Dolly Parton tweeted about the ginormity of her breasts, “Aahhh chiropractor … Hurts so good 🙂 you lug these around and see if your back don’t hurt!” And you know who took a break from tearing the CW a new one (sheesh, the netlet’s down on its luck, isn’t it?) to agree with ol’ Dolly? Her new BFF Jessica Simpson!

Tweeted the self-branded plus-sized mogulista, “Amen sister 🙂 RT @Dolly_Parton: Aahhh chiropractor … Hurts so good 🙂 you lug these around and see if your back don’t hurt!” Sure, news stories about celebrities discussing their mammaries sourcing Tweets might appear “lazy” or “shoddy,” but until their handlers can step aside and make their beloved clients more freely available, we will have to turn to celebrity Twitter accounts to glean the wisdom of the world.

But there’s further solidarity in their sisterhood — the kind that Piven can’t have in on. In addition to recording a duet with Parton, Simpson even paid tribute to the country magnate on an occasion. Although this sort of solidarity makes sense when you consider rumors of Parton bankrolling Simpson’s next musical project.

All of this contrasts sharply with the fact that next, Parton can be found discussing her religious beliefs with Tony Blair and Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the BBC.