Last night, Dolly Parton tied with Corey Hart as big name performer/act I’ve seen the most times in concert. Her performance at Humphrey’s By The Bay in San Diego, brings the total of times I’ve seen Dolly Parton in concert up to a total of four times. While four doesn’t sound like a lot, but for me, most artists, I’m quite content to say I’ve seen them once and that’s enough.
Corey Hart is an especially significant act for me because one of his concerts was the very first time I ever went to a concert. I first got to see him way back in early 1986 when his tour of Canada promoting his “Boy In The Box” album finally hit Calgary. I loved the energy and it was just an amazing experience to see. I kind of lost touch with Corey Hart and his music after having moved to Southern California in summer of 1986 until the mid 1995 when I joined an ABBA mailing list of all things and met an Australian online, Luke Rogers, who posted a profile and stated Corey Hart was another artist he really liked and that became a catalyst to striking up a conversation with him.
Well discussing Corey Hart with Luke ended up getting me back into Corey’s music just in time for Corey’s 1996 album. Well when Corey went on tour to promote that album, I just had to be there, so in October of 1997 I returned home to Calgary to catch his concert there. And then on October 30 and November 1st in 2002, I went to Montreal to see Corey perform two concerts with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal (OSM for short or Montreal Symphony Orchestra in English) where I met up with a bunch of Corey Hart fans, the first time I was ever willing to visit a different part of Canada for concerts. Corey is so wonderful in concert that all he has to do is announce as show I’ll make sure I’m there some how.
So between 2002 and now Corey had been the sole big name artist I’ve seen the most times in concert. But for quite a while there has been a three-way tie for second place between Dolly Parton, Olivia Newton-John, and Celine Dion. Each of those artists I’ve seen three times each. And last night the tie was finally broken when Dolly Parton pushed ahead although it’s a good possibility Celine Dion might make it a three way tie for first place later this year.
The first time I ever saw Dolly Parton in concert was as the result of an online contest put on by the House of Blues where the grand prize was a trip to Las Vegas to see Dolly Parton perform at the House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in August of 2002. I entered the contest online thinking if I did win anything it would be one of the copies of her album as a secondary prize, never in a million years did I think I’d get picked for the grand prize. So when I won the grand prize, I was awarded a flight and a couple nights stay at the Luxor hotel, tickets to the concert at the House of Blues, and an autographed copy of her then current album, “Halos & Horns.” In fact this tour is the one that was captured for posterity on the DVD “Live and Well” so I’ll always have a way to re-experience the feeling of the original concert on the DVD.
Prior to seeing her concert, I had never been a big fan of her music then, having maybe a greatest hits album or two at that point, but having seen her concert I was completely hooked by what an incredible entertainer she was. You don’t even have to be a country music fan (because I am certainly not) to be completely entertained by Dolly. I immediately bought up a few more of her recent albums and have been slowly adding back catalogue titles to my collection over the years. The next time Dolly toured, I decided to take my parents to see her at her show at the Arrowhead Pond (now the Honda Center) in Anaheim and unlike the show I first saw Dolly perform, this show was a full scale production show or arena tour kind of show. She was just as amazing then and when she next hit Southern California for another tour I caught her show at the Universal Ampitheatre (now the Gibson Ampitheatre at Universal).
And this time it was quite nice to see her locally in San Diego. The fun thing about seeing an entertainer like Dolly, she’s is just so much fun to see perform that there’s little question in my mind that I’ll probably try to see her again the next time she tours. So unless Corey Hart announces any concerts in the next year or so, Dolly is likely to push ahead.