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Dolly Parton Celebrates 50 Years on the Grand Ole Opry in New Exhibit

And she's still going strong!

Written by Chris Parton
Dolly Parton Celebrates 50 Years on the Grand Ole Opry in New Exhibit
"Dolly: My Opry Memories" exhibit will include the dress wore on stage in 2005 when she introduced Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, who was sitting in the audience, and together they led the audience in recording a message to share with the troops. The Grascals were her backing band; Photo Courtesy of Grand Ole Opry archives, photographer Chris Hollo

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dolly Parton’s time as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and starting next month visitors to the legendary show can take a special look back on that history.

A new exhibit titled Dolly: My Opry Memories is set to open September 3 at the Opry House in Nashville, celebrating the country icon’s golden anniversary through a collection of wardrobe pieces and more. Running through October 31, the exhibit will feature no less 24 outfits Parton has worn at pivotal moments in her Opry career — tracing the evolution of her style in the process.

Dolly Parton performs during the Grand Ole Opry's 52nd Birthday, Oct. 10, 1977; Photo Courtesy of Grand Ole Opry archives, photographer Les Leverett
Dolly Parton performs during the Grand Ole Opry’s 52nd Birthday, Oct. 10, 1977; Photo Courtesy of Grand Ole Opry archives, photographer Les Leverett

Parton was officially inducted into the Opry on January 4, 1969, and of course the boxy, long-sleeved dress she wore for the occasion will be among the items on display. Likewise, the formal gown she wore for a 1995 duet with Vince Gill on her timeless “I Will Always Love You” will be shown off, as well as an ensemble worn during her surprise appearance at Reba McEntire’s 40th Opry anniversary show. Plus, fans can hear from the superstar herself, as Parton will recount some of her favorite Opry memories alongside rarely seen performance clips in a series of videos.

Tickets for the Dolly: My Opry Memories exhibit can be purchased as part of an Opry backstage tour for an additional $12, or $17 for the Parton exhibit only, and are on sale now.

"Dolly: My Opry Memories" exhibit will include the dress worn on the evening of her Opry induction (1969); Photo Courtesy of Grand Ole Opry archives, photographer Les Leverett
“Dolly: My Opry Memories” exhibit will include the dress worn on the evening of her Opry induction (1969); Photo Courtesy of Grand Ole Opry archives, photographer Les Leverett

In related news, Parton will also perform during two sold-out Opry broadcasts on October 12 to cap “Dolly Week 2019″ with a bang, and WSM — the Opry’s famous radio station — will rebrand its Opry Nashville streaming channel to “Dolly Radio” as part of the celebration. The 24/7 “all things Dolly stream” will feature hits from Parton’s catalog of over 3,000 songs, past Opry performances, archived interviews, special features from fellow artists and much more, all available via WSMonline.com and the station’s free mobile app.

Far from washed up, Parton is still making headlines in country today. Earlier this week she was announced as co-host of the 53rd annual CMA Awards alongside Carrie Underwood and McEntire on November 13.