Dolly Parton will make her Tanglewood debut on June 17, the earliest season opener in the history of the venue.
Dolly Parton will make her Tanglewood debut on June 17, the earliest season opener in the history of the venue. (BSO courtesy photo)

LENOX >> Country music superstar Dolly Parton has joined this summer's extensive Tanglewood lineup of popular artists, performing on June 17 for the earliest season opener in the 79-year history of the Boston Symphony's summer home.

Also added to the lineup is a Boston Pops Swing Orchestra concert led by Keith Lockhart on Sept. 3, closing out the 11-week schedule.

It's a Tanglewood debut for Parton, 70, an international icon in her field with at least 100 million albums released during a 60-year career, which began as a child star on radio and TV in eastern Tennessee, where she was born. She thrived in Nashville, where she put down professional roots in 1965.

Her recording career includes 25 gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards and 25 No. 1 singles on the Billboard country charts. Her first, "Dumb Blonde," was released in 1967.

She has composed over 3,000 songs, including "I Will Always Love You," a chart-topper for Parton and also a worldwide pop hit recorded by Whitney Houston.

Parton's most recent world tour, in 2014, supported her 42nd studio album, "Blue Smoke," which reached No. 6 on the Billboard pop chart. In June, she performed for a crowd of more than 180,000 at the UK Glastonbury Festival.

A partial list of Parton's awards includes seven Grammys, 10 from the Country Music Association, including Entertainer of the Year, and five from the Academy of Country Music. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999 and was honored with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


In 2004, the Library of Congress honored her with its Living Legend Award for her contribution to the nation's cultural heritage.

Parton's film career began with the 1980 comedy hit, "9 to 5," yielding an Oscar nomination for the title tune she composed and two Grammy awards for songs she performed on screen.

Among other notable film roles: "Steel Magnolias," "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," "Rhinestone" and "Straight Talk."

Her own theme park, Dollywood, opened in 1986 in Pigeon Fork, Tennessee. She created the Dollywood Foundation in 1988 which distributed a book a month to every preschool child in the United States and Canada.

Parton's Popular Artist concert is on at 7 p.m. Friday, June 17, in the Koussevitzsky Music Shed. Tickets range from $32 to $149 and go on sale on at 10 a.m. April 4 at or by phone at 1-888-266-1200.

"Dancing Under the Stars" is the season closer performed by Lockhart and the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra in the Shed at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3. According to a BSO announcement, the "festive, toe-tapping performance closes out the 2016 season in style."

A dance floor will be installed on the lawn for a "crowd-pleasing evening of memorable melodies and big band classics," the announcement stated. It's a first-time performance for the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra. Tickets from $22 to $124 are on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, April 4, at or by phone at 1-888-266-1200.

Previously announced Popular Artists shows include Earth, Wind & Fire (June 18), Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson (June 19), Jackson Browne (June 21), Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" live broadcast (June 25), the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration with guitarist Warren Haynes (July 1), Bob Dylan with Mavis Staples (July 2), James Taylor (July 3 and 4), Train (Aug. 23), a broadcast taping of NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!" (Sept. 1) and The B-52s (Sept. 2).

Tickets for those shows are currently on sale.

Tanglewood's classical season, centered around an eight-week Boston Symphony residency, features five concerts led by Music Director Andris Nelsons, several Boston Pops concerts including Film Night with John Williams and a live concert screening of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," notable instrumental and vocal soloists, and an extensive schedule of performances by Tanglewood Music Center young performers and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute of high-school age performers.

For the first time in 10 years, Seiji Ozawa returns to Tanglewood for a two-week residency. The BSO Music Director Laureate and 2015 Kennedy Center honoree will lead the BSO in a concert curtain-raiser (July 9) and a full-length performance with an international chamber music ensemble (July 5).


If you go ...

Who: Dolly Parton

What: The country superstar's first show at Tanglewood.

When: 7 p.m. June 17

Where: Koussevitzky Music Shed

Tickets: $32-$149, on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, April 4, or 1-888-266-1200

Who: Keith Lockhart leading the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra

What: "Dancing Under the Stars," with a dance floor set up on the lawn

When: 8 p.m. Sept. 3

Where: Koussevitzky Music Shed

Tickets: $22-$124, on sale at 10 a.m. April 4, or 1-888-266-1200