Emmylou Harris (born April 2, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. She has released dozens of albums and singles over the course of her career and won 14 Grammys, the Polar Music Prize, and numerous other honors, including induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2018 she was presented the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Her work and recordings include work as a solo artist, a bandleader, an interpreter of other composers' works, a singer-songwriter, and a backing vocalist and duet partner. She has worked with numerous artists.
Emmylou Harris, San Francisco, 2005
|Born||April 2, 1947|
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, musician|
Harris is from a career military family. Her father, Walter Harris (1921-1993), was a Marine Corps officer, and her mother, Eugenia (1921-2014), was a wartime military wife. Her father was reported missing in action in Korea in 1952 and spent ten months as a prisoner of war. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Harris spent her childhood in North Carolina and Woodbridge, Virginia, where she graduated from Gar-Field Senior High School as class valedictorian. She won a drama scholarship to the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she began to study music, and learn the songs of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez on guitar. She dropped out of college to pursue her musical aspirations, and moved to New York City, working as a waitress to support herself while performing folk songs in Greenwich Village coffeehouses during the 1960s folk music boom. She married fellow songwriter Tom Slocum in 1969 and recorded her first album, Gliding Bird. Harris and Slocum soon divorced, and Harris and her newborn daughter Hallie moved in with her parents in Clarksville, Maryland, a suburb near Washington, D.C.
Harris soon returned to performing as part of a trio with Gerry Mule and Tom Guidera. In 1971, members of the country rock group the Flying Burrito Brothers saw her perform; former Byrds member Chris Hillman had taken over the band and was impressed by Harris, and briefly considered asking her to join the Flying Burrito Brothers. Instead, Hillman recommended her to Gram Parsons, who was looking for a female vocalist to collaborate with on his first solo album, GP. Harris toured as a member of Parsons's band, the Fallen Angels, in 1973, and the pair shone during vocal harmonies and duets. Later that year, Parsons and Harris worked on a studio album, Grievous Angel. Parsons died in his motel room near what is now Joshua Tree National Park on September 19, 1973, from an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol. Parsons's Grievous Angel was released posthumously in 1974, and three more tracks from his sessions with Harris were included on another posthumous Parsons album, Sleepless Nights, in 1976. One more album of recorded material from that period was packaged as Live 1973, but was not released until 1982.
Warner Brothers A&R representative Mary Martin introduced Harris to Canadian producer Brian Ahern, who produced her major label debut album, Pieces of the Sky, released in 1975 on Reprise Records. The album was surprisingly eclectic, especially by Nashville standards, including cover versions of the Beatles' "For No One", Merle Haggard's "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down" and the Louvin Brothers' "If I Could Only Win Your Love". It also featured "Bluebird Wine", a composition by a young Texas songwriter, Rodney Crowell, who was the first in a long line of songwriters whose talents Harris has championed. The record was one of the most expensive country records produced at the time, featuring the talents of James Burton, Glen Hardin, Ron Tutt, Ray Pohlman, and Bill Payne, as well as two tracks ("Before Believing" and "Queen of the Silver Dollar") that were cut with the Angel Band. Two singles were released: "Too Far Gone", which initially charted at No. 73 (a 1979 reissue hit No. 13), and Harris's first big hit, "If I Could Only Win Your Love", a duet with Herb Pedersen (later a founding member of the Desert Rose Band), which peaked at No. 4.
Executives of Warner Bros. Records (Reprise Records's parent company) told Harris they would agree to record her if she would "get a hot band". Harris did so, enlisting guitarist James Burton and pianist Glen Hardin, both of whom had played with Elvis Presley as well as Parsons. Burton was a renowned guitarist, starting in Ricky Nelson's band in the 1950s, and Hardin had been a member of the Crickets. Other Hot Band members were drummer John Ware, pedal steel guitarist Hank DeVito, and bassist Emory Gordy, Jr., with whom Harris had worked while performing with Parsons. Singer-songwriter Crowell was enlisted as a rhythm guitarist and duet partner. Harris's first tour schedule originally dovetailed around Presley's, owing to Burton and Hardin's continuing commitments to Presley's band. The Hot Band lived up to its name, with most of the members moving on with fresh talent replacing them as they went on to solo careers of their own.
Elite Hotel, released in December 1975, established that the buzz created by Pieces of the Sky was well-founded. Unusual for country albums at the time, which largely revolved around a hit single, Harris's albums borrowed their approach from the album-oriented rock market. In terms of quality and artistic merit, tracks like "Sin City", "Wheels", and "Till I Gain Control Again", which weren't singles, easily stood against tracks like "Together Again", "Sweet Dreams", and "One of These Days", which were. Elite Hotel was a No. 1 country album and also did sufficiently well as a crossover success with the rock audience. Harris appealed to those who normally disapproved of the country market's pull toward crossover pop singles ("Together Again" and "Sweet Dreams" both topped the country charts). Elite Hotel won a Grammy in 1976 for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female.
Harris's reputation for guest work continued. She contributed to albums by Linda Ronstadt, Guy Clark and Neil Young, and she was tapped by Bob Dylan to perform on his Desire album. Harris also filmed one of the studio sequences, owing to her touring schedule, in the Band's The Last Waltz, singing "Evangeline".
Burton left the Hot Band in 1976, choosing to remain with Elvis Presley's band, and was replaced by English guitarist Albert Lee. Harris's commercial apex was Luxury Liner, released in 1977, which remains one of her definitive records. On Luxury Liner, Harris's mix of songs from Chuck Berry ("(You Never Can Tell) C'est la Vie"), Gram Parsons (the title track and "She"), the Carter Family ("Hello Stranger") and Kitty Wells ("Making Believe") illustrate a continuity and artistic merit to country music often overlooked at the time. Even so, many fans expected more original tunes, so she became known as a cover artist. Despite Top Ten singles with "C'est la Vie" and "Making Believe", the album's best-known track is the first recorded cover of Townes Van Zandt's classic "Pancho & Lefty", which would be a No. 1 hit for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard in 1983. At the end of 1977, Crowell left the Hot Band to pursue a solo career; his replacement was bluegrass multi-instrumentalist and singer Ricky Skaggs.
Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town signaled a slight change of direction from Harris's previous three albums. Rather than mixing classic and contemporary, the album is made up largely of recently written songs, though from a wide variety of writers. "Two More Bottles of Wine", written by Delbert McClinton, became Harris's third No. 1 single; "To Daddy", written by Dolly Parton, went to No. 3; and a third single, "Easy from Now On", went Top Twenty. The album included two songs by Crowell ("I Ain't Living Long Like This" and "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight"), two by songwriter Jesse Winchester ("Defying Gravity" and "My Songbird"), and one by Utah Phillips ("Green Rolling Hills").
In January 1977, Harris married Brian Ahern. Their (Harris's second and also Ahern's second) daughter, Meghann, was born in 1979. During this period, Harris recorded and released three studio albums that reflected a shift toward traditional country (at a time when the public was beginning to embrace a more polished Urban Cowboy sound). The roots direction was prominent in her Grammy Award–winning 1979 album Blue Kentucky Girl. Apart from a cover of the Drifters' "Save the Last Dance for Me", the album was largely made up of classic-styled country material in the vein of Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells. One of her best-loved albums, it includes songs from the Louvin Brothers' "Everytime You Leave", Willie Nelson's "Sister's Coming Home" and Gram Parsons's signature "Hickory Wind". Wesley Rose took special interest in Harris's recording of "Beneath Still Waters", which became a No. 1 hit.
The Christmas album Light of the Stable was released in 1979; its title track featured backing vocals by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young, all of whom Harris had worked with sporadically since the mid-1970s, and with whom she continued to collaborate through the 2000s. In the 1980s, Harris explored country music's history further with the bluegrass-oriented recording of Roses in the Snow, featuring Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, Albert Lee, Emory Gordy Jr. and Jerry Douglas. Harris's versions of the traditional "Wayfaring Stranger" and Paul Simon's "The Boxer" were strong singles.
In 1980, Harris recorded "That Lovin' You Feelin' Again" with Roy Orbison. The duet's recording was a Top-10 hit on both the Country and Adult Contemporary charts. They were awarded a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. She was featured on Paul Kennerley's concept album The Legend of Jesse James, which also featured Levon Helm of the Band and Johnny Cash.
In 1981, Harris's recordings reached the Top 40 on the Billboard pop chart with a cover of "Mister Sandman"—again Top 10 Country as well as Adult Contemporary—from her Evangeline album. (The album version of the song was a track from the Trio sessions with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, but neither Parton's nor Ronstadt's record companies would allow their artists' vocals to be used on the single, so Harris re-recorded the song, singing all three parts for the single release of the song.). She also released her follow-up album Cimarron within the same year.
Harris moved to Nashville in 1982. White Shoes in 1983 included an eclectic pairing of the rockish reading of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" with a remake of the Donna Summer hit "On the Radio", as well as tracks from a diverse group of songwriters including Hot Band member Crowell, Sandy Denny and T-Bone Burnett. It was her last album produced by Brian Ahern until All I Intended to Be in 2008.
Harris's major-label releases thus far included few of her own songs, but in 1985 her songwriting skills were prominent with the release of a concept album The Ballad of Sally Rose, for which she co-wrote all of the songs. The album was semi-autobiographical, based loosely on her relationship with Parsons. Harris described it as a "country opera", and a "huge commercial disaster". Her co-writer and producer on the album, English songwriter and musician Paul Kennerley, the writer of the hit singles "Born to Run" (on Harris's 1981 Cimarron album) and "In My Dreams" (on White Shoes). Kennerley also produced her next album, Thirteen. They married in 1985 and divorced in 1993.
In 1987, nearly a full decade after their first attempt, Harris teamed up with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt for a long-promised and long-anticipated Trio disc. The album was the biggest commercial success of Harris's career, spending five weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart (also quickly reaching the Top 10 on the Pop Albums chart). It sold several million copies and produced four Top 10 Country hits, including "To Know Him Is To Love Him", which hit No. 1. The recording was nominated for the coveted Album of the Year Grammy award (given to U2 that year for The Joshua Tree) and the three women won the statuette for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal; the album's Linda Thompson-penned track "Telling Me Lies" reached No. 3 Country, No. 25 Adult Contemporary, and was nominated for a Grammy as 1987's Best Country Song.
Harris also released a solo album in 1987, Angel Band, featuring traditional gospel songs, on which she worked with then rising country star Vince Gill, and others. In 1989, she recorded two songs with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on their album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume II. In a snippet of studio chatter included on one of the tracks, she talked during the recording session about her beginnings and how music had changed:
Years ago I had the experience of sitting around in a living room with a bunch of people and singing and playing, and it was like a spiritual experience, it was wonderful. And I decided then that was what I was going to do with my life was play music, do music. In the making of records, I think over the years we've all gotten a little too technical, a little too hung up on getting things perfect. We've lost the living room. The living room has gone out of the music, but today I feel like we got it back.
1989's Bluebird album, which featured contributions from Marty Stuart, Bonnie Raitt, and Kate & Anna McGarrigle, included the singles "Heartbreak Hill", which reached No. 8 on the U.S. country singles chart, and "Heaven Only Knows", which reached No. 16, the most recent top-twenty chart singles of Harris's career. The following year's Brand New Dance album received favorable reviews, but marked the beginning of a chart and airplay decline for Harris.
Around 1991, she dissolved The Hot Band and formed a new band of acoustic musicians—Sam Bush on fiddle, mandolin and vocals, Roy Huskey, Jr. on bass and vocals, Larry Atamanuik on drums, Al Perkins on banjo, guitar, Dobro guitar and vocals, and Jon Randall on guitar, mandolin and vocals—which she named The Nash Ramblers. They recorded a Grammy Award-winning live album in 1992 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, which led to the $8 million restoration of the facility into a premium concert and event venue. It was her last album with Reprise Records. She has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1992.
By the 1990s, Harris started receiving less airplay as mainstream country stations began shifting their focus to the youth-oriented "new country" format. As with Brand New Dance, 1993's Cowgirl's Prayer—Harris's first studio album after her switch to Elektra Records—was critically praised but received little airplay, and its lead single, "High Powered Love" charted low, peaking at No. 63, prompting her to shift her career in a new direction.
In 1995, Emmylou Harris was a regular contributor to the original series of the BBC's Transatlantic Sessions; contributing to each of its seven episodes of collaborative live performances by various leading folk and country musicians, who would play music, mostly from Scotland, Ireland, England and North America.
In 1995, Harris released one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the decade, Wrecking Ball, produced by Daniel Lanois, best known for his work with U2, Peter Gabriel and Bob Dylan. An experimental album for Harris, the record included Harris's rendition of the Neil Young–penned title track (Young himself provided guest vocals on two of the album's songs), Steve Earle's "Goodbye", Julie Miller's "All My Tears", Jimi Hendrix's "May This Be Love", Anna McGarrigle's "Goin' Back to Harlan" and Gillian Welch's "Orphan Girl". U2's Larry Mullen, Jr., played drums for the project. The album received virtually no country airplay, but it brought Harris to the attention of alternative rock listeners, many of whom had never listened to her music before.
Harris then took her Wrecking Ball material on the road, releasing the live Spyboy in 1998, backed with a power trio consisting of Nashville producer, songwriter and guitarist Buddy Miller and two New Orleans musicians, drummer Brady Blade and bassist-vocalist-percussionist Daryl Johnson. In addition to performing songs from Wrecking Ball, the album updated many of Harris's career hits, including "Boulder to Birmingham".
During the summer of 1997 and 1998, Harris joined Sarah McLachlan's all-woman musical touring festival, the Lilith Fair, where new artists like Patty Griffin could share new experiences and ideas with seasoned musicians like Harris and Bonnie Raitt.
In January 1999, Harris released Trio 2 with Parton and Ronstadt. Much of the album had actually been recorded in 1994 but remained unreleased for nearly five years because of record label and personnel disputes, conflicting schedules, and career priorities of the three artists. Trio 2 was much more contemporary-sounding than its predecessor and was certified Gold. It included their version of Neil Young's classic "After the Gold Rush", which became a popular music video and won another Grammy—this one for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. Harris and Ronstadt then released a duet album, Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions, later the same year. The two superstars toured together that fall in support of the disc. Both albums made the Top 10 of Billboard's Country Albums chart and also did well on the pop chart.
Also in 1999, Harris paid tribute to her former singing partner Gram Parsons by serving as co-executive producer of Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons, an album that brought together more than a dozen artists. Harris performed duets with Beck, Sheryl Crow and the Pretenders on this album's tracks.
In 2000, Harris released her solo follow-up to Wrecking Ball, Red Dirt Girl, produced by Lanois protégé Malcolm Burn. For the first time since The Ballad of Sally Rose, the album contained a number of Harris's own compositions. Like Wrecking Ball, the album's sound leaned more toward alternative rock than country. Nevertheless, it reached No. 5 on Billboard's Country Albums chart as well as a healthy No. 54 on the pop side. It also won Harris another of her 13 Grammy awards, in the category of Best Contemporary Folk Album.
Also in 2000, Harris joined an all-star group of traditional country, folk and blues artists for the T-Bone Burnett–produced soundtrack to the Coen Brothers film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? The soundtrack won multiple CMA, ACM and Grammy awards. A documentary/concert film, Down from the Mountain, featured the artists performing music from the film and other songs at the Ryman Auditorium. Harris and many of the same artists took their show on the road for the Down from the Mountain Tour in 2002. In 2003, Harris supplied the finishing touches in harmonizing with the Dixie Chicks on a song they were recording in the studio, "Godspeed".
Harris released Stumble into Grace, her follow-up to Red Dirt Girl, in 2003. Like its predecessor, it contained mostly self-penned material. In 2004, Harris led the Sweet Harmony Traveling Revue with Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin. They performed singly and together and swapped instruments.
On September 9, 2005, Harris participated in "Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast", a series of concerts simulcast by most American television stations to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. She performed with Beth Neilsen Chapman and the Dixie Chicks, harmonizing on Patty Griffin's song "Mary". She also lent her voice to the soundtrack of the critically acclaimed 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, on the song "A Love That Will Never Grow Old", which was controversially omitted from Oscar consideration because of the insubstantial amount of time the song played during the film.
In 2005, Harris worked with Conor Oberst on Bright Eyes' release, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, performing backup vocals on three tracks. In July, she joined Elvis Costello on several dates of his U.S. tour, performing alongside Costello and his band on several numbers each night. July also saw the release of The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches & Highways, a single-disc retrospective of Harris's career, on the Rhino Entertainment label. This same year, Harris appeared as a guest vocalist on Neil Young's widely acclaimed Prairie Wind. She also appeared in the Jonathan Demme documentary concert film Neil Young: Heart of Gold, released in 2006.
All the Roadrunning, an album of collaborations with former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler, was released in April 2006 and supported by a tour of Europe and the U.S. The album was a commercial success, reaching No. 8 in the U.K. and No. 17 in the U.S. Selections recorded during the All the Roadrunning tour performance at the Gibson Amphitheatre were released as a CD/DVD package titled Real Live Roadrunning in November 2006. In addition to several of the compositions that Harris and Knopfler recorded together in the studio, Real Live Roadrunning features solo hits from both members of the duo, as well as a few classic tracks from Knopfler's days with Dire Straits.
Harris is featured on A Tribute to Joni Mitchell, released on April 24, 2007. Harris covered the song "The Magdalene Laundries" (originally on Mitchell's 1994 album, Turbulent Indigo). She sang "Another Pot o' Tea" with Anne Murray on Murray's album Anne Murray Duets: Friends and Legends, released on November 13, 2007, in Canada and on January 15, 2008, in the U.S.
Harris wrote a song entitled "In Rodanthe" for the 2008 film Nights in Rodanthe.
A solo album, All I Intended to Be, was released on June 10, 2008, to critical acclaim. It reached the Top Five of Billboard's Country Albums chart and the Top 20 of the Pop Albums chart. Contributors include Buddy Miller, the McGarrigle sisters, Vince Gill, Phil Madeira, and her Trio sister Dolly Parton. Harris toured with an ensemble she dubbed the Red Dirt Boys, featuring Phil Madeira on accordion, guitar, and keyboards, Colin Linden on guitar and banjo, Rickie Simpkins on mandolin and fiddle, Chris Donohue on bass, and Bryan Owings on drums. It did not include Miller, who was touring with Robert Plant, Alison Krauss and T-Bone Burnett at the time. In 2009, Harris toured with Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, and Miller as "Three Girls and Their Buddy". Madeira, Simpkins, and Donohue performed with her in late 2008 and 2009, appearing on "A Prairie Home Companion" and at MerleFest and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. In September 2009, Owings rejoined the Red Dirt Boys with Miller for the remainder of 2009.
In April 2009 Harris became a grandmother when her daughter gave birth to a daughter, Prudence.
In 2010, Harris regrouped with the latest version of the Red Dirt Boys—Madeira, Owings, Donohue, and Simpkins—for Lilith Fair summer dates and a scheduled U.S. autumn tour.
According to an interview with Bonnie Tyler by Digital Spy, Harris will be teaming up with her on Tyler's upcoming album. Harris will do backing vocals on a song written and produced by Wayne Warner. A recent solo album, Hard Bargain, was released on the Nonesuch label on April 26, 2011. It reached No. 3 on Billboard's Country Albums chart—her highest-charting album since 1980—and the Top 20 of the Pop Albums chart.
PBS host Tavis Smiley interviewed Harris in a program that aired on April 20, 2011. In the interview Harris spoke of being a straight-A student in high school, which led her to being selected as valedictorian, and recounted learning to play guitar by memorizing three chords.
In 2011 she released a version of the song 'To Ohio' in collaboration with the American indie folk band 'The Low Anthem'. Later in 2011, she collaborated with Australian musician and screenwriter Nick Cave on the soundtrack to John Hillcoat's film Lawless. Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, U.S., the film was released in August 2012 in the U.S. and September 2012 in the U.K.
Old Yellow Moon, an album of duets featuring Harris and former Hot Band member Rodney Crowell, was released on February 26, 2013. It was another Billboard Top 10 Country album for Harris, and in 2014 she won her 13th Grammy Award for it.
The Traveling Kind, a collaboration with Rodney Crowell, was released May 12, 2015 by Nonesuch Records which earned the pair a second Americana Music Award for Duo/Group of the year and also garnered two Grammy nominations.
In 2016, Harris was honored with a tribute concert entitled The Life & Songs of Emmylou Harris, which was later released as both a DVD and a live CD. The concert featured several of Harris's closest friends and collaborators including Rodney Crowell, Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack, Martina McBride, Vince Gill and Sheryl Crow. Harris performed three songs at the concert: "Gone, Long Gone" (with John Starling), "Blackhawk" (with Daniel Lanois), and "Boulder to Birmingham" with the entire cast.
In 1997 and 1998, Harris performed in Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair, promoting feminism in music. Since 1999, Harris has been organizing an annual benefit tour called Concerts for a Landmine Free World. All proceeds from the tours support the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation's (VVAF) efforts to assist innocent victims of conflicts around the world. The tour also benefits the VVAF's work to raise America's awareness of the global landmine problem. Artists that have joined Harris on the road for these dates include Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bruce Cockburn, Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, Joan Baez, Patty Griffin, Nanci Griffith, Willie Nelson, and Lucinda Williams. Harris is a supporter of animal rights and an active member of PETA. She founded, and in her spare time assists at, Bonaparte's Retreat, an animal shelter in Nashville.
The Grammy Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in music. Harris has won 14 out of 48 nominations.
|1976||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||If Only I Could Win Your Love||Nominated|
|1977||Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female||Here, There and Everywhere||Nominated|
|Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Elite Hotel||Won|
|1978||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Making Believe||Nominated|
|1979||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town||Nominated|
|1980||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Blue Kentucky Girl||Won|
|1981||Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal||That Lovin' You Feelin' Again with Roy Orbison||Won|
|Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Roses in the Snow||Nominated|
|1982||Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal||If I Needed You Don Williams||Nominated|
|1983||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Cimarron||Nominated|
|Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal||Love Hurts with Gram Parsons||Nominated|
|1984||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Last Date||Nominated|
|1985||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||In My Dreams||Won|
|1986||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||The Ballad of Sally Rose||Nominated|
|1987||Album of the Year||Trio with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt||Nominated|
|Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal||Trio with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt||Won|
|Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Today I Started Loving You Again||Nominated|
|1988||Best Country Collaboration with Vocals||You Are with Glen Campbell||Nominated|
|Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Angel Band||Nominated|
|1989||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Back in Baby's Arms||Nominated|
|Best Country Collaboration with Vocals||We Believe in Happy Endings with Earl Thomas Conley||Nominated|
|1990||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Bluebird||Nominated|
|Best Country Collaboration with Vocals||Will the Circle Be Unbroken with Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash, Levon Helm, Ricky Skaggs and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band||Nominated|
|1992||Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal||At the Ryman with Nash Ramblers||Won|
|1992||Best Country Instrumental Performance||Scotland (Track from At the Ryman) with Nash Ramblers||Nominated|
|1994||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||High Powered Love||Nominated|
|1995||Best Contemporary Folk Album||Wrecking Ball||Won|
|1998||Best Country Collaboration with Vocals||Same Old Train with Alison Krauss, Clint Black, Dwight Yoakam, Earl Scruggs, Joe Diffie, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Pam Tillis, Patty Loveless, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs & Travis Tritt||Won|
|1999||Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Love Still Remains||Nominated|
|Best Contemporary Folk Album||Spyboy||Nominated|
|2000||Best Contemporary Folk Album||Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions with Linda Ronstadt||Nominated|
|Best Country Album||Trio II with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt||Nominated|
|Best Country Collaboration with Vocals||After the Gold Rush with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt||Won|
|2001||Best Contemporary Folk Album||Red Dirt Girl||Won|
|Best Country Vocal Performance, Female||Ordinary Heart||Nominated|
|2002||Album of the Year||O Brother, Where Art Thou? with Various Artists||Won|
|Best Country Collaboration with Vocals||Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby with Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch||Nominated|
|2003||Best Country Collaboration with Vocals||Flesh and Blood with Mary Chapin Carpenter and Sheryl Crow||Nominated|
|2004||Best Contemporary Folk Album||Stumble Into Grace||Nominated|
|2006||Best Female Country Vocal Performance||The Connection||Won|
|Best Country Collaboration with Vocals||Shelter from the Storm with Rodney Crowell||Nominated|
|2007||Best Contemporary Folk Album||All The Roadrunning with Mark Knopfler||Nominated|
|2009||Best Contemporary Folk Album||All I Intended To Be||Nominated|
|2012||Best Americana Album||Hard Bargain||Nominated|
|2014||Best Americana Album||Old Yellow Moon with Rodney Crowell||Won|
|2016||Best Americana Album||The Travelling Kind with Rodney Crowell||Nominated|
|Best American Roots Song||The Travelling Kind with Rodney Crowell and Cory Chisel||Nominated|
|2018||Lifetime Achievement Award||N/A||Won|
The CMA Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the country music industry. Harris has won 3 awards out of 24 nominations.
|1976||Female Vocalist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1977||Female Vocalist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1978||Female Vocalist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1979||Female Vocalist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1980||Album of the Year||Roses in the Snow||Nominated|
|1981||Female Vocalist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1982||Vocal Duo of the Year||Emmylou Harris & Don Williams||Nominated|
|Female Vocalist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1983||Female Vocalist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|Vocal Duo of the Year||Emmylou Harris & Don Williams||Nominated|
|1984||Female Vocalist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|Vocal Duo of the Year||Emmylou Harris & Don Williams||Nominated|
|1980||Female Vocalist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Won|
|1985||Female Vocalist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1986||Female Vocalist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1987||Album of the Year||Trio with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt||Nominated|
|Female Vocalist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1988||Vocal Event of the Year||Trio with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt||Won|
|Vocal Event of the Year||We Believe in Happy Endings with Earl Thomas Conley||Nominated|
|1990||Vocal Event of the Year||Gulf Coast Highway with Willie Nelson||Nominated|
|1999||Vocal Event of the Year||Trio II with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt||Nominated|
|Vocal Event of the Year||Same Old Train with Clint Black, Joe Diffie, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt and Dwight Yoakam||Nominated|
|2001||Album of the Year||O Brother, Where Art Thou?||Won|
|Vocal Event of the Year||Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby with Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch||Nominated|
The ACM Awards recognize achievements in country music. Harris has won 2 awards from 12 nominations.
|1975||Most Promising Female Vocalist||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1976||Top Female Vocalist||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1977||Top Female Vocalist||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1979||Album of the Year||Blue Kentucky Girl||Nominated|
|1980||Top Female Vocalist||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1981||Top Female Vocalist||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|Top Vocal Duet||Emmylou Harris & Don Williams||Nominated|
|1984||Top Female Vocalist||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|1987||Album of the Year||Trio with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt||Won|
|1998||Vocal Event of the Year||Same Old Train with Clint Black, Joe Diffie, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt and Dwight Yoakam||Nominated|
|2003||Vocal Event of the Year||Young Man's Town with Vince Gill||Nominated|
|2011||Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award||Emmylou Harris||Won|
The International Bluegrass Music Association recognise outstanding achievement in Bluegrass music. Harris has received five awards for her contributions to a Louvin Brothers tribute album, a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album and a film (and the resulting documentary) soundtrack.
|2001||Album of the Year||Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?||Won|
|2002||Album of the Year||Down from the Mountain||Won|
|2003||Recorded Event of the Year||Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Volume III||Won|
|2004||Album of the Year||Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs of the Louvin Brothers||Won|
|2004||Recorded Event of the Year||Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs of the Louvin Brothers||Won|
|2002||Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance||Emmylou Harris||Won|
|2013||Duo/Group of the Year||Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell||Won|
|Artist of the Year||Emmylou Harris||Nominated|
|Album of the Year||Old Yellow Moon with Rodney Crowell||Won|
|2016||Duo/Group of the Year||Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell||Won|
Crowell adds, 'Emmy and I wrote six of the eleven songs on The Traveling Kind.'
Media related to Emmylou Harris at Wikimedia Commons
None recognized before
| AMA Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing
For the Bruce Springsteen song of the same title, see Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen song).
"Born to Run" is a song written by Paul Kennerley, and recorded by American country music artist Emmylou Harris. It was released in May 1982 as the third single from the album Cimarron. The song reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. The song was covered by Irish actress Jessie Buckley for the 2019 country music drama film Wild Rose.Emmylou Harris collaborations A–F
This article represents all appearances that Emmylou Harris has contributed to, in collaboration with artists from A to F.Evangeline (Emmylou Harris album)
Evangeline is a 1981 album by Emmylou Harris that was composed mostly of leftover material from past recording sessions and which did not fit into any of her other albums. Songs included a remake of "Mister Sandman" (from the much-lauded Trio sessions with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt), "Evangeline" (also featuring vocals by Parton and Ronstadt), which she had previously performed with The Band, Rodney Crowell's "Ashes By Now", and a cover of John Fogerty's "Bad Moon Rising". Though it received mixed reviews upon its release, the album was yet another commercial success for Harris. It was certified Gold in less than a year after its release. A single release of "Mister Sandman" (Top 10 country/Top 40 pop) did well on the charts, though neither Ronstadt's nor Parton's record companies would allow their artists' vocals to be used on the single, so Harris rerecorded the song, singing all three parts for the single release. Rodney Crowell's "I Don't Have to Crawl" was released as the album's second single. (Music videos were produced for both "Mister Sandman" and "I Don't Have to Crawl".)
The album is one of two Harris albums that have never been issued separately on CD (though in 2011 the album's tracks became available for digital download on iTunes). The album is now available as a CD in a collection issued in 2013 entitled Emmylou Harris Original Album Series Vol. 2.Heaven Only Knows (Emmylou Harris song)
"Heaven Only Knows" is a song written by Paul Kennerley, and recorded by American country music singer Emmylou Harris. It was released in April 1989 as the second single from the album Bluebird. The song reached Number 16 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.I Ain't Living Long Like This
"I Ain't Living Long Like This" is a song written by Rodney Crowell for his 1978 album Ain't Living Long Like This. "I Ain't Living Long Like This" was first recorded in 1978 by Emmylou Harris as a track for her album, Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town.If I Needed You
"If I Needed You" is a song written by Townes Van Zandt and performed on his 1972 album The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. It was covered 9 years later by American country music artists Emmylou Harris and Don Williams as a duet, and was released in September 1981 as the first single from Harris' album Cimarron. The song reached #3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and #1 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada. The song was written about Townes's business partner and producers wife Anne Mittendorf Eggers.Last Date (Emmylou Harris album)
Last Date is a live Emmylou Harris album, released in October 1982. Recorded at a series of honky tonks and other small venues on the west coast, Harris conceived the album as a showcase for her Hot Band. It was composed mostly of country standards. Harris reached #1 on the U.S. country charts with the title single, written by Floyd Cramer, who originally took it to the top ten on the U.S. pop and country charts, as an instrumental in 1960. In 2000, Eminent Records reissued Last Date for the first time on CD, complete with new liner notes and two bonus tracks.Making Believe
"Making Believe" is a country music song written by Jimmy Work. Kitty Wells recorded a chart-topping version in 1955. The song is on many lists of all-time greatest country music songs and has been covered by scores of artists over the past fifty years, including Thorleifs, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Don Gibson, Roy Acuff, Lefty Frizzell, Wanda Jackson, Connie Francis, Ray Charles, Anita Carter, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Ernest Tubb, Social Distortion, Skeeter Davis, The Haden Triplets and Volbeat. The song is occasionally called "Makin' Believe".
Singer-songwriter Work released the song as a single in February 1955 on Dot Records, and it reached #5 on Billboard's country music jukebox charts. A month later, singer Kitty Wells released the song as a single which hit #2 on the country charts and remained there for 15 weeks, still a record for a song in the runner-up position on the country Billboard charts. The song was blocked to #1 by the 21-weeks long "In the Jailhouse Now" by Webb Pierce.
The song is a melancholy ballad about not getting over a former lover. The singer daydreams that they are still loved by the old flame even while fully knowing "you'll never be mine" again.
The song received new attention with three single releases in 1977-78, The Kendalls hitting #80 with the song, their first release on Ovation Records. A few months later, Emmylou Harris climbed to #7 with her version. The following January, Merle Haggard and The Strangers received considerable airplay for their version, which was the B side of their single "Running Kind". Billy Joe Royal also released a cover version of the song.
Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty released a duet version of the song in 1988 and used it as the title track for their final album together. Although the song was not a radio hit for them, it was a popular number at their concerts and the album sold fairly well via television ads.
Ray Charles released this song on the album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music Volume Two in 1962.
Punk Rock group, Social Distortion, released this song on the album Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell in 1992 and a few years later, they also included the song on the DVD Live in Orange County released in 2003.
Metal band Volbeat also released this song on the album Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood in 2008.Mr. Sandman
"Mr. Sandman" (sometimes rendered as "Mister Sandman") is a popular song written by Pat Ballard which was published in 1954 and first recorded in May of that year by Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra and later that same year by The Chordettes and The Four Aces. The song's lyrics convey a request to "Mr. Sandman" to "bring me a dream" – the traditional association with the folkloric figure, the sandman. The pronoun used to refer to the desired dream is often changed depending on the sex of the singer or group performing the song, as the original sheet music publication, which includes male and female versions of the lyrics, intended. The chord progression in each chorus follows the circle of fifths for six chords in a row. Emmylou Harris' recording of the song was a hit in multiple countries in 1981.Songs of the West (Emmylou Harris album)
Songs of the West is a compilation of "western"-themed songs by Emmylou Harris taken from eight of her previous albums originally released between 1975 and 1992.Telling Me Lies
"Telling Me Lies" is a song written by Linda Thompson and Betsy Cook, which was included on Thompson's 1985 One Clear Moment album (her first solo album, after divorcing husband and former collaborator Richard Thompson). A more famous recording of the song, however, was Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris's version, which they included on their 1987 collaboration Trio. The song was also released as the album's second single, and it reached the top ten on the U.S. country singles charts in the fall of 1987. Parton, Ronstadt and Harris' recording of the song was nominated for a Grammy award in 1988 for Country Song of the Year.Those Memories of You
"Those Memories of You" is a song written by Alan O'Bryant in 1979. It was first cut by Bill & James Monroe in 1980 and later released as a single by Pam Tillis in 1986, whose version peaked at #55 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The song was also recorded by LeAnn Rimes on her second independent album under Nor Va Jak, From My Heart to Yours, released in 1992.
The song was most famously recorded by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris on their 1987 album, Trio. Released in August 1987, it was the album's third single. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in December 1987 and #1 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.Trio (Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris album)
Trio is the first collaborative studio album by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris. It was released on March 2, 1987, by Warner Bros. Records. The album sold over 4 million copies worldwide and also received several awards, including two Grammy Awards. Parton, Ronstadt, and Harris released a second album, Trio II, in 1999 and a third, The Complete Trio Collection, in 2016.Trio II
Trio II is the second collaborative studio album by American singer-songwriters Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris. It was released on February 9, 1999, by Asylum Records. At the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards, the album was nominated for Best Country Album and "After the Gold Rush" won Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.A dozen years after the release of their Platinum, Grammy-winning Trio album, the country music supergroup returned with another in the same vein. Five of the ten tracks on this album first appeared on Linda Ronstadt's 1995 album Feels Like Home: "Lover's Return", "High Sierra", a cover of Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" (with Valerie Carter and string arrangements by David Campbell), "The Blue Train" (a top-40 solo hit for Ronstadt), and the title song to the Ronstadt album, the Randy Newman-composed "Feels Like Home". The album reached the top five on Billboard's Country Albums chart as well as number 62 on Billboard's main album listing.
The songs were recorded in 1994 by Parton, Ronstadt and Harris, but label disputes and conflicting schedules of the three women prevented their release at the time. Eventually, Ronstadt remixed the five above-mentioned tracks (sans Parton's vocals) to include in Feels Like Home. In 1999 (after Parton and Harris had parted ways with their respective labels), they decided to release the album as originally recorded. Though it yielded no hit singles (mainstream U.S. country radio had long since dropped most artists approaching or over 50 from their playlists by the late 1990s), Trio 2 was certified Gold by the RIAA, signifying U. S. sales of over 500,000 copies and won the trio another Grammy Award in 2000.
Childhood photos of Harris, Parton and Ronstadt were used for the album's cover, when a photo shoot proved impossible (due to the three artists' busy schedules), though they assembled for a short promotional tour in early 1999, and to film a music video for "After the Gold Rush" which was filmed inside a synagogue in New York City that January.
Though scheduling conflicts would not allow for an extended concert tour, the three did a short promotional tour to support the album, including performances on CBS This Morning, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Today Show, and The Late Show with David Letterman.
"Softly & Tenderly" was recorded for the album but was cut. It was included on the 2007 Emmylou Harris boxset Songbird: Rare Tracks and Forgotten Gems.Wildflowers (Dolly Parton song)
"Wildflowers" is a song written by Dolly Parton, which was included on the Grammy-winning, multi-Patinum 1987 album Trio with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. In the song, Parton talks about being restless and wanting to branch out, using wildflowers as a metaphor, concluding that "wildflowers don't care where they grow". The original recording featured an autoharp, acoustic guitar (played by Harris) and fiddle, and was arranged to sound like an old fashioned Appalachian folk song. It was the fourth single released from the Trio album, and reached #6 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in July 1988.In 2008, the recording was played at a reception by the Texas State Democratic Party, honoring former First Lady Ladybird Johnson. Johnson's love of wild flowers was well known, and she had long championed the planting of them along the U.S. highways.Wrecking Ball (Emmylou Harris album)
Wrecking Ball is the eighteenth studio album by American country artist Emmylou Harris, released on September 26, 1995 through Elektra Records. Moving away from her traditional acoustic sound , Harris collaborated with producer Daniel Lanois (best known for his production work with U2) and engineer Mark Howard. The album has been noted for atmospheric feel, and featured guest performances by Steve Earle, Larry Mullen, Jr., Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Lucinda Williams and Neil Young, who wrote the title song.You Never Can Tell (song)
"You Never Can Tell", also known as "C'est La Vie" or "Teenage Wedding", is a song written by Chuck Berry. It was composed in the early 1960s while Berry was in federal prison for violating the Mann Act. Released in 1964 on the album St. Louis to Liverpool and the follow-up single to Berry's final Top Ten hit of the 1960s: "No Particular Place to Go", "You Never Can Tell" reached number 14, becoming Berry's final Top 40 hit until "My Ding-a-Ling", a number 1 in October 1972. A 1977 Top Ten C&W hit for Emmylou Harris, the song has also been recorded or performed by Chely Wright, John Prine, New Riders of the Purple Sage, the Jerry Garcia Band, Bruce Springsteen, The Mavericks,
Buster Shuffle and Bob Seger.
Laureates of the Polar Music Prize