Emmylou Harris Biography, Songs, & Albums |

Emmylou Harris is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer. She has released many albums of both country and pop music.

Emmylou Harris is an American singer-songwriter who has been active since the late 1960s. She is known for her distinctive voice and deeply felt songs of heartache, loss, and love. Harris has released ten studio albums, three live albums, and one compilation album.

GP Few performers have had as much of an influence on modern music as Emmylou Harris, who was blessed with a crystalline voice, a rare talent for phrasing, and a restless creative energy. She followed a unique creative path, proudly carrying the torch of Gram Parsons’ “cosmic American music,” which had a tremendous impact on both country and rock. Harris began her career as a folk singer in New York City, and her debut album was published in 1970, only to be lost when her record company went bankrupt. But a year later, she was performing at a folk bar in Washington, D.C., when Chris Hillman spotted her and suggested her to Gram Parsons, one of his old bandmates. Harris would sing on Parsons’ solo albums G.P. (1972) and Grievous Angel (1974), and he would remain her country music mentor until his death in September 1973. Harris went on to have a solo career, releasing albums such as Pieces of the Sky and Elite Hotel in 1977, and Luxury Liner in 1977, in which she combined a deep regard for country music’s heritage with a passion and flare influenced by rock. While Harris was a great interpretative singer, she would eventually come into her own as a composer with 1985’s ambitious concept album The Ballad of Sally Rose, and in 1987 with Trio, a collaboration with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, she had a huge critical and financial success. Harris revived her muse with a great acoustic performance on 1992’s At the Ryman, and on 1995’s Wrecking Ball, she collaborated with producer Daniel Lanois to create a breathtakingly atmospheric set inspired as much by alternative rock as country. Harris continued to push her artistic limits in the 2000s, maintaining one foot in country but still drawing influence from rock and alternative sounds. She also found time to work with Mark Knopfler (All the Roadrunning, 2006) and Rodney Crowell (Old Yellow Moon, 2013; The Traveling Kind, 2015). With the exception of Neil Young, who was a frequent collaborator, no other mainstream artist created a body of work that was as consistently iconoclastic, eclectic, or daring; even after more than four decades, Harris’ later recordings remained as heartfelt, visionary, and vital as her early recordings.

Harris was born on April 2, 1947, in Birmingham, Alabama, to a military family. She spent much of her youth in North Carolina before relocating to Woodbridge, Virginia in her teens and graduating as class valedictorian. She started actively studying music after receiving a theater scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she learned to perform songs by Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Harris was soon playing in a duet with fellow UNC student Mike Williams, ultimately dropping out of school to go to New York, only to discover the city’s folk music scene had died out in the aftermath of the psychedelic period.

Harris stayed in New York, performing in the Greenwich Village bar scene until settling down at Gerdes Folk City, where she met fellow folk musicians Jerry Jeff Walker, David Bromberg, and Paul Siebel. She released her first album, Gliding Bird, in 1970, after marrying composer Tom Slocum in 1969. Harris’ label faced bankruptcy shortly after the album’s release, and her marriage started to break apart when she was pregnant with her first child. She and Slocum separated after relocating to Nashville, leaving Harris to raise her daughter Hallie on her own. She went back home with her parents after many months of hardship and poverty, since they had now purchased a farm outside of Washington, D.C.

She resumed playing there, establishing a trio with Gerry Mule and Tom Guidera, two local musicians. The group played in front of an audience that included members of the country-rock pioneers the Flying Burrito Brothers one evening in 1971 at Clyde’s, a local club. Following the departure of the band’s founder, Gram Parsons, the Burritos were headed by ex-Byrd Chris Hillman, who was so taken by Harris’ abilities that he contemplated asking her to join the band. Instead, Hillman left to join Stephen Stills’ Manassas, but he suggested her to Parsons, who was looking for a female singer to complement the sound of his solo work, which he called “cosmic American music.” Harris was quickly learning about country music and singing harmony on Parsons’ solo debut, G.P., released in 1972. Following a tour with Parsons’ backing band, the Fallen Angels, they went to the studio in 1973 to record his seminal album Grievous Angel.

Parsons’ addiction to drugs and alcohol eventually caught up with him on September 19, only weeks after the album sessions finished, and he was discovered dead in a hotel room outside of the Joshua Tree National Monument in California. Harris was back in Washington at the time, gathering her daughter in preparation for a planned relocation to the West Coast. Instead, she stayed in D.C. and reformed the Angel Band with Tom Guidera. The band signed with Reprise and moved to Los Angeles to begin work on Harris’ major-label debut, 1975’s renowned Pieces of the Sky, an immaculate collection of varied covers spanning in provenance from Merle Haggard to the Beatles. Pieces of the Sky’s second single, a cover of the Louvin Brothers’ “If I Could Only Win Your Love,” became her first Top Five success, produced by Brian Ahern, who would go on to produce Harris’ next eleven albums as well as become her second husband. Soon after, Harris released “Light of the Stable,” a Christmas song featuring Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Neil Young on backup vocals; Harris then returned the favor by singing on Ronstadt’s “The Sweetest Gift” and Young’s “Star of Bethlehem.”

Desire Harris formed a new backing band, the Hot Band, for her second album, Elite Hotel, in 1976, which included renowned Elvis Presley sidemen James Burton and Glen D. Hardin, as well as a young composer called Rodney Crowell on backup vocals and rhythm guitar. The resultant album was a hit, with cover versions of Buck Owens’ “Together Again” and Patsy Cline’s “Sweet Dreams” topping the charts. Harris guested on Bob Dylan’s Desire and featured in Martin Scorsese’s documentary of the Band’s famous last concert, The Last Waltz, before starting recordings for her third album, 1977’s Luxury Liner. In 1978, she released Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town, which included the hit song “Two More Bottles of Wine,” her third number one. Crowell’s last album with the Hot Band included Ricky Skaggs on one of the songs, “Green Rolling Hills,” who would shortly replace Crowell as Harris’ vocal partner.

Blue Kentucky Girl Blue Kentucky Girl, released in 1979, was her most country-oriented album to that point, a foreshadowing of what was to come a year later with Roses in the Snow, a full-fledged foray into acoustic bluegrass. A duet with Roy Orbison, “That Lovin’ You Feelin’ Again,” reached the Top Ten in the summer of 1980, and a holiday album, Light of the Stable, came at the end of the year. Harris stopped touring soon after to concentrate on raising her second daughter, Meghann. In 1981, Evangeline was released, which was a collection of songs that had been cut from prior albums. Skaggs departed the Hot Band soon after to pursue a solo career, and his successor was Barry Tashian, a singer/songwriter best known for fronting the Remains in the 1960s.

Cimarron In 1982, drummer John Ware, the only surviving member of the original Hot Band configuration, departed the band; around the same time, Harris’ marriage to Ahern began to fall apart. Following the release of Cimarron in 1981, Harris and the Hot Band recorded Last Date, a live album titled after the album’s chart-topping song “(Lost His Love) On Our Last Date,” a vocal rendition of the Floyd Cramer instrumental. They quickly returned to the studio to create White Shoes, Harris’ last album under Ahern’s direction. It included versions of Donna Summer’s “On the Radio,” Johnny Ace’s “Pledging My Love,” and Sandy Denny’s “Old-Fashioned Waltz,” among others.

Angel Band She and her children returned to Nashville after leaving Ahern. Harris teamed up with singer/songwriter Paul Kennerley, with whom she had sang backing on the 1980 concept album The Legend of Jesse James. They started working on an album called The Ballad of Sally Rose together, using the alias Harris used on the road to hide what was otherwise an obvious autobiographical picture of her own life. Despite its financial failure, Harris’ 1985 album was important in her ongoing development as an artist and risk-taker, and she would release an enhanced version of it in 2018. It also marked the beginning of a new chapter in her personal life, as she and Kennerley married soon after the tour ended. Angel Band, a subdued acoustic collection of classic country spirituals, came next, but it wasn’t released until 1987, after the publication of Thirteen, the album’s immediate follow-up.

Duets Harris, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt had discussed making an album together as early as 1977, only to have the project fall apart due to touring obligations and other red tape. Finally, in 1987, they released Trio, which became Harris’ best-selling album to date, with songs including “To Know Him Is to Love Him” (a version of a Phil Spector classic), “Telling Me Lies,” and “Those Memories of You.” Duets, a collection of her previous successes with George Jones, Willie Nelson, Gram Parsons, and others, was released in 1990 as a result of the record’s popularity. (In 1999, Harris reunited with Parton and Ronstadt for Trio II, and the two albums, along with a handful of previously unheard songs, were subsequently combined as a box set, The Complete Trio Collection, published in 2016.) Harris released At the Ryman, a live performance recorded at Nashville’s famous Ryman Auditorium, the old home of the Grand Ole Opry, in 1992, while fronting a new band, the Nash Ramblers. Harris was also the president of the Country Music Foundation at the time of the album’s release.

Cowgirl's Prayer She left Warner Bros./Reprise in 1993 and signed with Asylum Records, where she published Cowgirl’s Prayer soon after her divorce from Paul Kennerley. Harris released Wrecking Ball two years later, at a time in her career when most artists retreat to the safety of repeating their biggest successes again and over. It was arguably her most adventurous album to date. Wrecking Ball was a hypnotic, staggeringly beautiful work produced by Daniel Lanois, the New Orleans-based artist best known for his atmospheric work with U2, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Dylan. It featured songs ranging from the Neil Young-penned title track (which featured its writer on backing vocals) to Jimi Hendrix’s “May This Be Love” and the talented newcomer Gillian Welch’s “Orphan Girl.”

Portraits Portraits, a three-disc retrospective of her time with Warner Bros., was released in 1996, and Harris returned in 1998 with Spyboy. Following the release of Trio II later that year, she and Ronstadt regrouped for Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions in 1999, this time without Parton. Harris returned in 2000 with Red Dirt Girl, her first album of original songs in five years, which included Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, Jill Cuniff, and Patty Griffin as guests. She also collaborated with a variety of classic blues, country, and folk musicians on the soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou? Harris released Stumble Into Grace in 2003, and two years later, she worked on I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning with Conor Oberst, as well as recording a rendition of “The Scarlet Tide” with Elvis Costello for the Cold Mountain soundtrack. In 2005, Rhino published the retrospective The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches & Highways.

Duets: Friends and Legends In 2006, All the Roadrunning, a compilation of songs created with Mark Knopfler over a seven-year period, was published. Harris recorded a duet with Anne Murray in 2007 for Murray’s album Duets: Friends and Legends, which was released in 2008. All I Intended to Be, also produced by Brian Ahern, was released in 2008. Harris’ 21st studio album, Hard Bargain, was released by Nonesuch in early 2011. The album included the stunning Harris originals “Darlin’ Kate” (written for Kate McGarrigle) and “The Road,” which were produced by Jay Joyce (written for Gram Parsons). She sang on three songs from the Nick Cave/Warren Ellis-composed Lawless soundtrack, including “Cosmonaut” and “Fire in the Blood,” as well as a rendition of Townes Van Zandt’s “Snake Song.” In addition, Harris recorded Old Yellow Moon, a duet album with composer Rodney Crowell, a reformed version of her Hot Band, and producer Brian Ahern, in which they sang the work of songwriters they liked. In February of 2013, the album was released. Joe Henry produced The Traveling Kind, which the duo followed up with. It included the pair’s composition in cooperation with Mary Carr, Cory Chisel, Will Jennings, and Larry Klein, as well as renditions of Lucinda Williams and Amy Allison tunes. In May of 2015, Nonesuch published the album.

Emmylou Harris is an American singer-songwriter who has been active since the 1960s. She was born in Fort Worth, Texas and grew up in Houston. Harris began playing guitar at age 11 and by her early twenties she had met Gram Parsons, who would become her musical partner for over a decade. Reference: emmylou harris today.

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Emmylou Harris is married to Gram Parsons.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”Where is Emmy Lou from?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”
Emmy Lou is a fictional character from the cartoon series Steven Universe created by Rebecca Sugar.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”What is Emmylou Harriss most famous song?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”
Emmylou Harriss most famous song is Wrecking Ball.”}}]}

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Emmylou Harris married to?

Emmylou Harris is married to Gram Parsons.

Where is Emmy Lou from?

Emmy Lou is a fictional character from the cartoon series Steven Universe created by Rebecca Sugar.

What is Emmylou Harriss most famous song?

Emmylou Harriss most famous song is Wrecking Ball.

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