These are dark times, but here’s one good thing to look forward to this fall: Dolly Parton is going to be everywhere. The pop-country icon recently announced plans to release her first Christmas album in 30 years next month, with a Netflix Christmas movie expected later this year and a new coffee table book built around her song lyrics coming out in November. But for Dolly diehards, the biggest gift lands today with the release of Dolly: The Ultimate Collection, a massive 19-disc, 35-hour DVD collection packed with Parton performances that have never been available for purchase and in some cases haven’t been seen in more than three decades (save for the stray YouTube bootleg).
Like any self-respecting superstar singer of the ’70s and ’80s, Parton was a fixture on the TV variety show circuit, guesting on countless programs and hosting her own song-and-dance series in 1976 and 1987 (both shows were simply called Dolly.) The DVD set includes 22 of the 48 episodes Parton made, as well as seven episodes of her landmark appearances on The Porter Wagoner Show (where she first broke through as a star in the 1960s) and more than a dozen guest visits/performances on shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Oprah Winfrey Show and Crook and Chase. The collection also includes multiple awards show performances, two full concerts from the 2000s and one disc with nothing but Parton’s Christmas content. To mark the release, check out this clip from the 1987 version of Dolly in which Parton and guest star Patti LaBelle — in matching gowns and with very ’80s hair — find a way to turn their press-on nails into musical instruments. Think of it as Verzuz: The Early Years.
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