Dolly Parton kicking off Tanglewood's summer season

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LENOX, MASS. — Dolly Parton's phenomenal success as a country-pop icon is, she admitted, based considerably on instinct.

"Sometimes, I hear a good melody in my head," she said in a recent telephone interview, "and I think to myself, 'Well, that's pretty good. What can I do with it?' Sometimes, lyrics come to me and I think, 'That could work. I think I'll work on this.' It goes both ways.

"I try," she said, "to write a song a day. Sometimes, I only get as far as an idea, but I write it down anyway."

With that strategy in mind, it's not hard to see how Parton, 70, has written more than 3,000 songs. Not all of them are hits, certainly. But Parton has had 110 charting singles. Including downloads, she has sold more than 100 million records worldwide over her 50-year career.

Parton has won eight Grammy awards and has been nominated 46 times, tying her with Bruce Springsteen and placing her 10th on the all-time nominee list, overall. In addition, she has been nominated for two Academy Awards, and won 10 Country Music Awards, seven Academy of Country Music Awards and three American Music Awards as Artist of the Year. She is also one of the very few artists to be nominated for an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony award in her career

Earlier this month, Parton embarked on a fairly grueling 64-city tour of the United States and Canada that will run through the summer and fall. She will be appearing at Tanglewood — for the first time in her career — at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 17. The concert kicks off the summer season at the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home in the Berkshires.

The tour is being promoted as the "Pure and Simple tour," showcasing Parton's 43rd studio album, "Pure and Simple with Dolly's Biggest Hits."

"This is our biggest U.S. tour in 25 years," said Parton. She added that, in contrast to previous tours, which featured large bands and hefty production, "this tour will be pretty simple. I'll be out there with just a few musicians."

The setlist, she said, will feature many of her hits, such as "Jolene," "Coat of Many Colors," "Nine to Five" and others. But added Parton, "We'll be doing a little folk segment and we'll be doing some songs people may not have heard in a while."

The plan, she said, is to perform two sets, with an intermission in between, as well as an encore.

"I'm looking forward to this tour, because I'll also be able to interact a bit more with the audience," said Parton. "I'll be able to tell a few stories and laugh and joke around a little. I think it'll be fun.

"I think as an artist, you have to give the audience the song they want to hear," said Parton. "My fans have a lot of favorites, so it may be a little hard to please everyone."

IN CONCERT ...

What: Dolly Parton makes Tanglewood debut, kicks off season

When: 7 p.m., Friday, June 17

Where: Koussevitzky Music Shed, Tanglewood, 297 West St., Lenox, Mass.

Cost: $32-$149

Information: www.bso.org

Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.


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