Dolly Parton, with the help of guests Kenny Rogers, Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus, recorded the hour-long program, titled "Dolly Celebrates 25 Years of Dollywood," on Friday, which will air July 3 on the Hallmark Channel. The special will celebrate the theme park's silver anniversary, with memories from Parton and packed with several musical numbers.
"A few years back, we knew we wanted to do a TV special about the 25th anniversary, and we knew we wanted to get people who had performed here at Dollywood over those 25 years," Dolly said in an exclusive interview Thursday.
"Just so happens we could get Kenny, Billy Ray and Miley. Kenny and I are like an old married couple. Miley is so hot right now, and Billy Ray, well, he's just plain hot to me."
Dollywood did not advertise the special was being filmed Friday to keep from having a mob scene. Also, a virtual media blackout was imposed.
The Cyruses were only at Dollywood Friday for six hours; Rogers arrived Wednesday.
The bulk of the shooting was done on Friday, when the Cyruses arrived. They all sang on a large wooden stage, constructed just for the special and near Dollywood's Valley Fair area.
Dolly Parton and Billy Ray Cyrus sang "Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man."
With Miley Cyrus, Dolly Parton reworked her signature tune "Jolene" - with the twist being about "an older woman and a younger woman fighting over the same man," Parton told the audience. The "Jolene" re-imagining turned out to be an audience favorite, with Miley Cyrus's husky voice adding an aggressiveness against Parton's tearful and high-pitched pleading.
Rogers, who brought his twin 6-year-old boys along to see the taping, sang "I Will Always Love You" with Parton.
Later, Parton and the Cyruses held a guitar pull in an attic above the Chasing Rainbows museum. They sang "Romeo," a 1994 hit for Parton and Billy Ray Cyrus. Parton asked Miley Cyrus if she'd ever heard of the song since she was not yet 2 years old when the song was a hit.
"Oh yeah," Miley Cyrus said to Parton. "I used to dance to the video all the time when I was a kid."
The attic scene was mainly a conversation among Parton and the Cyruses.
Billy Ray also sang "Achy Breaky Heart."
Wearing a Tennessee cap and a Tennessee Volunteers T-shirt, Billy Ray Cyrus talked about how Dolly was a great help to him early in his career. He was one of the first celebrity guests Parton invited to perform at Dollywood years ago.
Of her dad's Tennessee cap, which he bought Friday at Dollywood, Miley Cyrus quipped, "Yeah. He'll probably wear it every day!"
Billy Ray Cyrus also showed Parton a necklace given to him by local Cherokee Indians back in 1993 when he first visited Dollywood.
"I've kept it all these years," he told Dolly.
Miley Cyrus also did her fair share of shopping while waiting to go on to perform. She purchased a purse and a T-shirt among other items.
"I'll give you a discount on that since you're a guest," Parton said.
"On second thought, you should pay full price. You can afford it."