Tag Archives: Dolly Parton

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Rachel Holder

rachel holder

It makes sense that Rachel Holder recorded a version of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.”  The 19-year-old singer is herself on the edge of, if not glory, what may prove to be a successful career in country music.

Yes, there ae plenty of other young, pretty singers out there with her, all vying for your attention.  But unlike some who might need a gimmick to grab that attention, Holder aims to attract it with one thing and one thing only:  Her talent.  She has a powerful, four-octave range that can both touch and amaze you at the same time.

We’ve already been given a taste of that talent with the release of her single “In Your Arms,” which only needed a few weeks to start impacting the charts.

Right now the native of Chattanooga, Tennessee is busy working on her debut album, Unstoppable, for Curb Records.  It’s being produced by Chuck Howard and Wilbur Rimes, who is LeAnn’s  father.  If he’s able to help Rachel find a fraction of his daughter’s success, then she won’t be on the edge of glory, she’ll be smack dab in the middle of it.

In the following interview, we talk with Rachel about her single, fans going gaga for her Gaga cover, who inspires her (plus her encounters with those people) and finding her way with faith.

2012 Artist To Watch: Mary Sarah

mary sarah

Mary Sarah is slowly carving out a place for herself in country’s future.  What sets her apart is that she’s doing it by honoring country’s past.

The Richmond, Texas resident is only 16 years old, but she’s already accomplished more than many artists twice her age.  When she was 12 she landed a spot as a feature singer with KidzBop, which had her touring the nation performing before thousands of fans each night.

Then when she was only 14, she recorded her first album, “Crazy Good,” which came out last year.  The album not only showcases her singing, but also her skill as a songwriter.  She co-wrote six of the album’s nine tracks.

On most weekends you can find her performing at one the many Oprys or Squares in the Houston area.  It’s there that she not only sings songs that are inline with today’s pop-country, but also tips her hat to traditional country by singing the songs of Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and the like.

She loves the small stages, but Mary Sarah is no stranger to the area’s big arenas.  She’s performed the National Anthem for both the Houston Astros and the Houston Texans.  But her most noticeable stage performance (at least for now) came in 2011 when the Oak Ridge Boys invited her onstage to sing.  The then 15-year-old brought the crowd to its feet with her a cappella version of Connie Francis’ “Where The Boys Are.”  (See a video of that performance below.)

“American Idol” Top 8: Skylar Laine

Skylar Laine

Last night was 80′s theme night on American Idol. Skylar Laine closed out the show with a fantastic rendition of Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

The judges praised her performance and were impressed with Skylar’s vocal range. They even gave her a standing ovation… her first one on the Idol stage.

I have been a fan of Skylar since day one. I think she is so talented. We know she is a top-notched performer with a great country voice, but I was so glad that she displayed her full vocal ability this week as well.

Judge, Jennifer Lopez, was brought to tears and so was I.

Skylar also sang a duet with fellow contestant, Colton Dixon. The pair took on Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton‘s “Islands In The Stream.”

Watch American Idol tonight to find out this week’s results. Good luck, Skylar! I’m rooting for you.

Check out the video of Skylar’s performance:


Continue reading to check out the video of Skylar and Colton’s duet…

Dolly Parton Cracker Barrel Album Release

Dolly Parton.

Some exciting news for any Dolly Parton fans out there. Dolly will be releasing a Cracker Barrel exclusive album on April 2nd, one day after the Academy of Country Music awards. It’s a two-disc DVD and CD set that retails for only $11.99. It’s the first time Dolly has partnered with Cracker Barrel for an exclusive CD & DVD set release. The DVD and CD will give fans the chance to experience the front row of a Dolly concert from London as she performs some of the biggest songs in country history, including “9 to 5,” Jolene,” and “I Will Always Love You.” The set also includes the previously unreleased tracks “Shattered Image” and “My Tennessee Mountain Home.” See the full tracklisting below.

“Cracker Barrel and Dolly Parton are a great collaboration,” says Dolly Parton’s manager Danny Nozell. “We are excited to continue our successful venture together, and thrilled to offer this live concert experience with some of Dolly’s biggest hits.”

Check out the official “An Evening With… Dolly” CD and DVD track listings below, and don’t forget to pick up your copy at Cracker Barrel on April 2nd!

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with RaeLynn From “The Voice”


Will the first one picked be the last one standing on NBC’s The Voice?  That’s a storyline country singer RaeLynn would love to see play out.

It’s been a little more than three weeks since the 17-year-old made a super splash immediately after the Super Bowl.  The native of Baytown, Texas led off the show’s second season by landing a spot on Blake Shelton’s team (turning down a chance to work with Adam Levine).  Blake tried to entice her to join his team by telling the teen, “I can make you a country star.”  He pretty much had her from the moment he turned his chair, which was a feat in itself as she bravely chose to sing a song by her inspiration and Blake’s wife, Miranda Lambert.

RaeLynn may be one of the youngest members of Team Blake, but that doesn’t mean she’s inexperienced.  She’s part of a large, musically inclined family (she has seven brothers and sisters) and has been performing for most of her life.  Two of her cousins are in the GRAMMY-nominated progressive worship band, “Leeland.”  As for her own career, she spent a lot of time in summer school, allowing her to finish high school two years early so she could try her hand at acting.  But it turned out that her life in L.A. had her leaning back toward music.

Now she’s back in the business with her eyes on the prize.  That includes competing on The Voice and beyond.

We have to start by asking about your blind audition.  Last season, two singers sang a Miranda Lambert song and both times Blake didn’t turn his chair.  Yet, you started the whole show by singing “Hell On Heels,” her hit with the Pistol Annies.  Were you confident, crazy or both?

The Cuteness Of Kimberly Perry

The Band Perry. photo credit: Big Machine

The thing about being in an all-family band is that your band mates are bound to have lots and lots of pictures of you.  And they might get around to sharing those pictures.  Such is the case with The Band Perry and this cute pic of a young Kimberly Perry.

The picture was posted on TBP’s Facebook page.  We don’t know if it was put up by Neil, Reid or even by Kimberly herself.  What we do know is that it shows that Kimberly knew what she wanted to do from even a super-young age.  The caption on the pic says:  “Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting Miss Kimberly Perry (at age 5). :)”

Kimberly is now 28, which means the pic was taken about 23 years ago.  That puts us at around 1989.  That means she could be singing Garth Brooks’“If Tomorrow Never Comes,” or “Deeper than The Holler” by Randy Travis or, and this would be kinda funny, Dolly Parton’s “Why’d Ya Come In Her Lookin’ Like That.”

VIDEO: Katie Armiger Honors Whitney Houston

katie armiger

Whitney Houston’s impact on the music world spread far beyond pop and R&B.  Country stars were also influenced by the Houston, who died this past Sunday.

A little proof of this was seen Monday night in Phoenix, AZ.  That’s where Katie Armiger (along with Thompson Square) was taking part in the KMLE “Partners In Hope Concert” benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Armiger finished her set with her current single “Scream.”  But she topped it off with a tip of the hat to Houston, by mashing-up the song with the always stirring “I Will Always Love You.”  (Yes, it was originally Dolly Parton’s song but Whitney made it hers.)

The mash-up starts at about the 2:40 mark.  Two things to watch for:  1) the crowd’s reaction at the end of the song and 2) the percussionist on the right who really seems to be enjoying the moment!  (But then again, maybe he’s always that way…)

Dolly Parton Bringing Entertainment To Nashville

Dolly Parton.

Woah Dolly! Country music queen Dolly Parton has announced plans to bring a major family entertainment complex to Nashville. She’ll be teaming up with Gaylord Entertainment to bring a 114-acre family entertainment zone adjacent to the Gaylord Opry Resort & Convention Center. The first announced phase will be a $50 million water and snow park, the first in the United States. The park is set to open in 2014.

The theme park will have future expansion, but phase one will contain both a water park and a snow park for Winter activities. The first-year attendance is already expected to be around 500,000 people! They’re also expecting to hire 450 Nashville locals for the theme park for both full and part time.

“I’m so excited about this opportunity,” Dolly said. “I am confident that partnering my Dollywood Company with a great company like Gaylord will create something truly special. We’re all working on new types of entertainment to do in the daytime and nighttime for the whole family so we bring new folks to the area year round.”

What do you think about a Dolly theme park in Nashville? Is it too much, or will you be going?

Dolly Parton Visits The Daily Show

Dolly Parton.

Country music legend Dolly Parton was the guest on the always-funny Daily Show With Jon Stewart late last night. In her interview with the comedian, she discussed her new movie “Joyful Noise” which she stars alongside Queen Latifah. She gave away what happened behind the scenes on set and what it was like filming the fighting scene in the movie with Queen Latifah.

See the video of the interview at on The Daily Show at the fifteen minute mark on the official website.

Kellie Pickler Enjoys Busy Holiday Season

Kellie Pickler & Eddie Stubbs. photo credit: Sony Music Nashville.

Kellie Pickler is one busy woman these days. While she gets ready to release her brand new studio album “100 Proof” on January 24th, she has found some time to enjoy the holiday season this year. She will be all over television for the Christmas season, including both the CMA Country Christmas special and a guest appearance on Michael Buble‘s Christmas special.

Tonight, catch Kellie performing “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” on the CMA Country Christmas special airing at 9 pm EST on ABC. Next week, Kellie will join Michael Buble on his first holiday special “A Michael Buble Christmas.” Her duet with Michael on “White Christmas” airs on Tuesday, December 6th.

“Michael and the entire cast was so warm and welcoming,” said Kellie. “They made me feel all ‘Buble,’” she laughed

Kellie Pickler is anxious to release her new album in January, which she feels showcases her more traditional country roots. “100 Proof” was influenced by artists like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, and Tammy Wynette.