Forest Hills Stadium Concert: Dolly Parton • Latino Sports

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Forest Hills Stadium Concert: Dolly Parton


Queens, NY – Dolly Parton, a musical legend, is currently making her first nationwide tour in a quarter of a century. New York City was one of the 60 cities in the United States and Canada in which she is making a long awaited appearance.

Her only show in New York was before a large and enthusiastic crowd at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, the former home of the U. S. Open Tournament, on Saturday night. Unlike the tennis days of the past, audience participation and gleeful noise was encouraged.

Dolly needed neither an opening act nor an emcee as all eyes were focused on her during her 2 ½ hours on stage. The entertainer extraordinaire was backed by three capable musicians with the addition of a drum machine.

At various intervals she displayed her own capability on a variety of musical instruments, guitar, acoustic and electric, banjo, dulcimer, fiddle, piano, saxophone, and autoharp.

Dolly, unlike many vocalists of all genres, did not solely introduce her songs and then sing them. She is a consummate storyteller with a highly developed sense of humor. Many of her stories were emotional as she told of her upbringing in Tennessee. She spoke of her mother, father, 11 siblings, her grandfather, her husband of 50 years and others she was influenced by in her youth.

Many of her tales led to a song, most of which she wrote. She sang her hit “Coat of Many Colors” in memory of her mom, Avie Lee, and “Smokey Mountain Memories” to honor her dad, Robert Lee. She told of her dad’s lack of formal education and how it motivated her to found Imagination Library, a foundation that provides a book per month to children from birth to the start of their schooling.

After singing one of her early hits “Jolene”, she told of the early days of her marriage and a bank employee named Jolene who was taking much of her husband’s time. She then told the receptive audience, “I’m glad you remember her. I’m trying to forget her for 50 years.”

After singing a couple of numbers to begin her set, she thanked the audience for coming, “Thanks for spending all your hard earned money for me. You don’t know how much it costs to look this cheap.”

The popular entertainer divided her show into several segments, none too lengthy, to keep the audience interest at its maximum. She sat on a platform as if it were her front porch to tell family stories and sing songs of her early career. She interspersed a couple of tunes from her newest album “Pure and Simple” including the title tune. She commented, “I’m really simple, but I don’t know how pure I am.”

She sang several numbers with the three musicians from her Trio Project that she did with Emmy Lou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. She sang a medley of songs from the 1960’s including “Bye, Bye Miss American Pie”, “If I Had a Hammer”, “Blowing in the Wind”, and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”.

Her final medley, which she knew her fans were waiting for, included her biggest hit recordings, “Two Doors Down”, “Islands in the Stream”, “Nine to Five”, “Here You Come Again” and “I Will Always Love You”.

Although most of the stories she told were filled with humor, she spoke more seriously of the need for love, tolerance and understanding to make the world a better place for everyone.

She expressed gratitude to the audience and performed several encores. It was a show well worth attending and left all in the audience in a positive mood and thankful they had come as they departed the venue. Those in other locations of this nation will have many opportunities to see her perform as she will do approximately 40 more shows in a tour that will last until mid-December.

About Howard Goldin

Howard Goldin is a 72-year-old Bronx native whose passion for sports is evidenced by his 15 years of sports writing with Latino Sports. A former English instructor at Monroe College, his love for sports started with baseball and have expanded since. If there's a sport or a community event, Howard will be in attendance covering it.

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