The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Dolly Parton’

Dolly Parton, Our Lady of Free Books, and Other News

May 31, 2013 | by

Dolly-reading640

  • Did you know Dolly Parton has a discreet career delivering 50 million free books to children, as part of Imagination Library? Of course she does.
  • Pencil nibbler? These peppermint pencils are designed to stimulate concentration. (You’re actually just intended to sniff them.)
  • At the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee, participants were to be required not merely to spell but also to define the words in question. This resulted in indignation
  • Speaking of! Twitter either showcases, or causes, abhorrent spelling and grammar.
  • Presented without comment: “A publishing company is spicing up a cross-Canada literary event by adding knitting to the equation.”
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    James Bond’s Breakfast, and Other News

    February 25, 2013 | by

    bondWhisk

  • Well, this is depressing: for fiscal reasons, a Tennessee post office has taken to tossing books that get returned to sender. Hopefully Dolly Parton, whose charity is involved, will intervene and make everything right.
  • Ten “unfilmable” books, made into films of varying quality.
  • Meanwhile, Penguin has been toting up the Oscar wins on adaptations of their titles, all of which are discounted. (The Shakespeares seem like cheating.)
  • If all that was old news to you, perhaps we can interest you in a literary Oscars quiz?
  • “Meticulous breakfast prep often signals violent tendencies.” On James Bond’s prandial fussiness and breakfast as character indicator in fiction. 
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    Honky-Tonk Hero: Talking with Henry Horenstein

    December 10, 2012 | by

    Dolly Parton, Symphony Hall, Boston, MA, 1972.

    I first noticed the work of Henry Horenstein when he published his 1987 book, Racing Days, a photographic diary in gritty black and white, compiled largely in the now mostly defunct northeastern thoroughbred circuit. I knew his name at the time to be vaguely familiar from other contexts, though I hadn’t yet made the connection to the body of work he’d done beginning in the 1970s of the world of country music. Seeing the photographs in the new edition of Honky Tonk published together, I finally got it—I’d been admiring these pictures of bluegrass pickers and hillbilly crooners for years without realizing their author. Horenstein captured the extremes of the country-western world over the years, from the Hee Haw familiars onstage at the Grand Ole Opry to old-time cult favorites like the Blue Sky Boys; from seventies country-pop meteors like Jeannie C. Riley to such bona-fide C&W stars as Conway Twitty and Porter Wagoner. But what makes Honky Tonk such a terrific document are the photographs Horenstein took of the places where the music was heard—legendary joints like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville and long-gone venues like the Hillbilly Ranch in Boston—and the regulars inside.

    With the republication of Honky Tonk, I spoke to Horenstein, now based in Boston and a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, about how a nice young guy from the University of Chicago got involved in documenting what the “King of the Strings” Joe Maphis summed up as the “dim lights, thick smoke, and loud, loud music.”

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    Those Are Marshmallow Clouds Being Friendly

    December 22, 2011 | by

    My first shift at the candy store was on the first day of October, my last just before New Year’s, but when I talk about it now, what I say is, “Last Christmas, when I worked at the candy store.”

    In the world of candy stores, and this candy store in particular, Christmas is a perpetual condition that just happens to spike at the end of the year. A red-and-green decorating scheme carried throughout the shop—I could not escape it, even when I retreated, as I sometimes did, to the store’s one bathroom, also tinged with red and green, just to shut out the world for a minute or two. On the sales floor, the shelves were heavy with saltwater taffy and boxes of truffles and delightfully analog toys—balsa gliders, pick-up sticks, chunky wooden puzzles. The general effect was that of being buried inside the holiday stocking of a child who’d been very, very good that year—along with the child himself, and a hoard of his less well-mannered friends and their overstressed, oblivious parents.

    I took the gig shortly after finding myself laid off from the job I’d had for the last four years as an editor at a music magazine. I felt adrift and thought tending to a candy store, such a bastion of simple pleasures, might anchor me more firmly to the world, and also I thought that money might be a thing I’d might want to have again. But in my vague desperation I had forgotten about humans’ terrific knack for rendering even the most ostensibly pleasant pursuits completely soul crushing, and how that tendency increases as the winter days darken.

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