Dolly Parton celebrated her 50th anniversary as an Opry member on Saturday (October 12th) with two sold-out shows during which she performed. She treated the audiences to performamces of some of her biggest hits “Joshua,” “Jolene,” “My Tennessee Mountain Home,” “Coat of Many Colors,” “Here You Come Again,” “9 to 5,” and “I Will Always Love You.” She also welcomed banjo great Buck Trent, a member of Porter Wagoner‘s “Wagonmasters” who played lead guitar on Dolly's classics “I Will Always Love You” and “Jolene,” to perform Porter’s “Carroll County Accident.
Dolly said that getting to celebrate this milestone was pretty surreal. “It's kind of a dreamlike thing. You never know what's gonna happen to you in your life. You never know if your dreams are gonna come true, and it they do you wonder how people will remember you when you're older, and I'm older, and I'm seeing how people are remembering me and that makes me feel very humble, and I'm just very honored that I'm still around, not only to just get to accept this, but I can actually perform and get out there and (am) still doing what I love to do, and maybe I'll be around another 50 years. Who knows? If I'm lucky . . . ”
Select performances from Friday (October 11th) and Saturday night's Opry shows were filmed for an NBC Television special called Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Grand Ole Opry, which is set to air on Tuesday, Nov. 26th from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT. The special will feature new interviews as well as performances from Dolly and some of her superstar friends who performed in her honor including Dierks Bentley, Emmylou Harris, Chris Janson, Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Margo Price, Hank Williams Jr., and others.
Between shows, at a backstage reception with Dolly’s fellow Opry members, friends, family and artists who participated in Dolly Week, Tennessee’s Governor Bill Lee presented her with a proclamation declaring October 12th as Dolly Parton Day.