CMA Awards good to East Tennessee, Dolly Parton talks about region

KNOXVILLE (WVLT) – The 42nd Annual Country Music Association’s Awards in Nashville were held on Wednesday, and industry voters were especially good to East Tennessean’s.

Kenny Chesney received the Entertainer of the Year award. It was the fourth time in five years that the Knoxville born musician has received the CMA’s top honor.

WVLT-TV’s radio partner WIVK also took home a pair of awards. The country station received the 2008 CMA Award for Best Radio Station in a medium sized market. Andy Ritchie and Alison West of the Andy & Allison and the Morning Crew show also received the honor of Broadcast Personalities of the Year in a medium sized market. It was the fourth time in 10 years that the pair received the award.

Dolly Parton of Sevier County has received was not up for any CMA’s this year, but over her career she has received 42 nominations and 10 awards. She is also one of only five women to capture the Entertainer of the Year award, which she received in 1978.

From the start of her career on the Cas Walker show to her duets with Porter Waggoner which launched her onto the national music scene, Parton still remains popular everywhere she goes.

Volunteer TV News was recently able to catch up with Dolly while she was on tour, and she talked about everything from her love of East Tennessee to her newest album entitled “Backwoods Barbie.”

“It has nine songs that I’ve written and it’s got a lot of good country things, such as the songs I used to do years ago, like ‘Coat of Many Colors,’” she said. “I think with ‘Backwoods Barbie,’ the title song reminds me of it. There is also a lot good variety and I think the people seem to be responding to it very well. It’s been the biggest thing I’ve had in a long time."

Backwoods Barbie is also one of the songs that were used in Dolly’s latest project, “9 to 5: The Musical.” Parton wrote every song used in the musical, which is scheduled to open on Broadway in 2009.

"I said I’ve never done this before, but I’ll just see how I can do,” said Parton. “So I wound up writing 30 songs or so and narrowed it down to 18 pieces."

Despite being incredibly busy, Dolly told us she tries to back to East Tennessee six or seven times a year. That allows her to visit friends and relatives as well as check in on her amusement park, Dollywood.

“I'm very locked in to that,” she said. “I'm proud of my Smoky Mountains and very fond of my people."

Dolly will be on tour through the end of this year, then she'll be working on "9 to 5: The Musical” right up until it opens next year.

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