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Emmylou Harris

Biography and Profile


Emmylou Harris

Emmylou Harris

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Description of Emmylou Harris's Music:

Alt-country, Americana, contemporary folk


Aesthetically, Emmylou Harris's work straddles the fence somewhere between Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. Other folks she could be compared to are June Carter, Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, Patsy Cline, and Townes Van Zandt. Fans of Emmylou Harris may be interested to delve a little deeper into the music and careers of the folks with whom she's collaborated through the years, including Gram Parsons, Rodney Crowell (who was in her Hot Band in the 1970s and with whom she recently recorded a Grammy-nominated duo album), Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, and Shawn Colvin, to name a few.  

Recommended Albums by Emmylou Harris:

Pieces of The Sky (Reprise, 1975).
Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town (Warner, 1978).
Blue Kentucky Girl (Warner, 1979).
Angel Band (Warner, 1987).
Trio - with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt (Warner, 1987)
Old Yellow Moon - with Rodney Crowell (Nonesuch, 2013)

Emmylou Harris Biography:

Emmylou Harris was born in April, 1947 in Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating high school as the valedictorian, she received a scholarship for drama to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

While in North Carolina, she began to seriously study music, and was influenced heavily by Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. She released her first record Gliding Bird in 1969. Soon afterward, she moved back with her parents in Washington, D.C.

Three years later, she was introduced to Gram Parsons by her friend Chris Hillman (formerly of the Byrds). Emmylou began touring and recording as a backup singer for Parsons until his death in 1973.

Her next solo release was in 1976 with Elite Hotel, and for the next several years, she was able to enjoy crossover success as her Country music records were appreciated by Rock fans as well.

Since then, Emmylou has become one of the most revered and prolific artists in the Americana and alt-country. Though, it isn't only in the arena of twang where Emmylou has made her living. She's also lent her remarkable voice to work by some of the finest contemporary folk singer-songwriters, like Shawn Colvin and Patty Griffin. Indeed, Colvin, Griffin, Harris, and Buddy Miller have toured together on and off as a songwriter's circle under the moniker Three Girls and Their Buddy. 

In 2013, Emmylou teamed up with Rodney Crowell, who had been the guitar player in her Hot Band in the 1970s, but has gone on to have a remarkably successful career of his own. They recorded a long-time-coming duo album, Old Yellow Moon, that earned a Grammy nomination as well as one for an Americana Music Association (AMA) Award. 

She has released nearly two dozen solo albums and four collaborative discs, three live albums, and even a Christmas-themed recording titled Light of the Stable (Warner Bros., 1979). In early 2014, she announced that she was working on a memoir of her 40-year career for Penguin/Blue Rider Press. The book is due on shelves in 2015 and, as yet, is untitled. 

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