(CMT Hot Dish is a weekly feature written by veteran columnist Hazel Smith. Author of the cookbook, Hazel's Hot Dish: Cookin' With Country Stars, she also hosts CMT's Southern Fried Flicks With Hazel Smith and shares her recipes at CMT.com.)
I always say Dolly Parton is the smartest person ever born in the state of Tennessee. She started with nothing and ended up a millionaire many times over. Not only is she smart, Dolly is wise.
Here she is at age 65, popping out of the Gazillion Bubble Show to kick off the Kid Fest at her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and later traveling to California to visit The Tonight Show With Jay Leno before performing two consecutive nights at the Hollywood Bowl.
Wise? Every child attending Kid Fest at Dollywood will not quit talking about her and the park until the family's next visit to East Tennessee. And all the fans watching Dolly on The Tonight Show not only wished they could be at the Hollywood Bowl to see one of her two sold-out shows, they wished harder that they could go with her and her hot band to Europe and Australia.
One fan who's pretty famous, too, made a quick trip to see one of the Hollywood Bowl shows after flooding forced him to cancel his own sold-out concert in Minot, N.D. He caught a flight to Burbank, Calif., and raced to the Bowl.
I'm talking about Kid Rock. No entourage. Just Kid and one security dude flew all the way there just to see Dolly. God knows, Dolly's worth it. She knows how to put on a show. She is show biz.
Taylor Swift Gets New York Media's Attention
The August issue of Guideposts magazine has a marvelous quote from Taylor Swift on her meteoric success: "I definitely know that there's somebody looking out for me because I could never do this alone." Amen, young sister.
Her four sold-out shows in Newark, N.J., had nearly every media person from across the border in New York City raving about the 21-year-old superstar. The New York Times said Taylor's show went off with clockwork professionalism. The New York Post noted her push to visually engage the crowd was evident in each song with choreography, pyrotechnics and aerialists. The Village Voice called our country girl one of the biggest stars in the world while the New York Daily News liked her "telling stories." I call it "singing stories."
She got excited during one of her New Jersey shows when she spotted Dixie Chicks fiddler Martie Maguire and her twins in the audience. Taylor shared, "The first song I learned to play on guitar when I was 13 was 'Cowboy Take Me Away.'" She then performed the Chicks' No. 1 hit that Martie co-wrote.
Vince Gill's 20th Anniversary as Opry Member
Aug. 13 will be a big night for Vince Gill when he celebrates his 20th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. In his later years, the King of Country Music, Mr. Roy Acuff, could not see very well and may have had hearing problems, too. But he could see and hear well enough to get as near Vince as possible when he'd sing. He loved Vince and loved his singing. There's a photo of Acuff standing near Vince as he sings, and there's a tear rolling down the legendary man's cheek.
I think Vince has been the most active performer of the more recent Opry members. A lot of the newer members will accept their membership with tears and smiles and then hardly ever return there to perform. Not Vince. He'd leave a recording session or Christmas dinner to sing on the Opry stage. It's no wonder he's the most loved man in country music.
Set to join Vince at his party are Martina McBride, John Anderson and the Time Jumpers, along with his wife Amy Grant and daughter Jenny Gill.
Nicole Kidman Plans Movie in Nashville
I read in The Tennessean newspaper that Oscar winner and working mom Nicole Kidman would like to work as close to home as possible. Hubby Keith Urban says his wife is getting a film made in Nashville's Belle Meade neighborhood. He says it's something she's tried to do for a long time. The film is titled Stoker.
It will be nice not having to uproot their two young daughters. Mama and the babies can sleep in their own beds during the two months of filming. Keith did not say if he'll take time off.
Tim McGraw Update
Faith Hill's daughters have to be raving beauties because she is. I hear the eldest, Gracie, is something like 5 feet 7 inches tall. Sounds like her pretty mom, huh? And Gracie is getting ready for high school. Daddy Tim McGraw will brag about his girls.
Speaking of Tim, The Band Perry are on tour with him and enjoying performing in arenas and amphitheaters. Most of last year, they spent their time playing fairs, festivals and sweaty little rock 'n' roll clubs and theaters. With Tim, it's first class all the way.
Bellamy Brothers Dedicate Norwegian Show to Shooting Victims
Good guys Howard and David Bellamy spend a good bit of their time performing in Europe, and Saturday (July 30) was no exception when they dedicated their performance at Rosfjord Strand Hotel in Lyngdal, Norway, to the memory of the young people who lost their lives during the recent shooting spree at a youth camp near Oslo. The Bellamy Brothers have been playing in Norway since 1976 and have formed many friendships there.
Since the new TV series, The Playboy Club, is set in Chicago and stars actor Eddie Cibrian, he and wife LeAnn Rimes are moving to the Windy City while the production is underway. Says LeAnn, "I am beyond proud of Eddie." Well, it's good he's got a gig. Some people don't.
Will wonders ever cease? I read where Shania Twain's ex-husband, Mutt Lange, who was her co-songwriter and longtime record producer before he had an affair with her best friend, is now producing tracks for Lady Gaga.
My friend, good guy Josh Thompson, traveled to Fayetteville, N.C., for a taping of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and performed a concert at Fayetteville Festival Park to help raise funds for a homeless shelter for female veterans.
Toby Keith's rapidly-growing chain of eateries, I Love This Bar & Grill, is listed on the Top 25 list of the Huffington Post's best celebrity-owned restaurants. Toby, since your service, décor and food are all that great, when will you build one in Music Town?
Frankie Ballard on Southern Fried Flicks
Like all the other smart people I know, you'll keep your television set tuned to CMT so you won't miss the new episode of CMT's Southern Fried Flicks With Hazel Smith with special guest Frankie Ballard. It airs Saturday (Aug. 6). Frankie is so cute!
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Trevor's Six-Minute Breakfast.