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Harris, Emmylou

Emmylou Harris

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader

For the Record

Released First Record

Formed the Hot Band

Musical Ear Honed by Folk and Rock

Roots Music Icon

Selected discography

Sources

Many country singers have achieved success by crossing over into the lucrative pop market. The dulcet-voiced Emmylou Harris has done just the opposite; she culls songs from pop and rock and transforms them into pure country fare. Harris, one of the most popular singers in Nashville, is praised on every side for the respect she holds for traditional country music. To quote Alanna Nash in Esquire, the performer has not only carried on the mission of taking pure, traditional country to a hip, pop audience, but through her own artistry and integrity has helped raise the music to a new position of respectability, carving an identity for herself unique in all of country music.

In Country Music U.S.A., Bill C. Malone observed that Harris seems dedicated to the preservation of older country music, the sound of the Carter Family, Hank Williams, and George Jones. Still, Malone writes, Harris is a true eclectic, borrowing from many styles. Her concerts and LPs contain a mixture of contemporary and traditional material, rock-flavored songs and Appalachian-sounding ballads, and modern countryand-western numbers. It is Harris vocal abilities that guarantee her an audience, no matter the style of her presentation. A Time correspondent characterizes her singing as more melancholy Appalachian bluegrass than western swing, adding: Despite its range, her voice is most telling because of its feathery delicacy, an almost tentative dying fall capable of stirring deep emotions.

Harris was born on April 2, 1947, in Birmingham, Alabama, but she grew up in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. and in North Carolina. Her father was in the Marine Corps, and her family moved often, though never back to the Deep South. Harris has recollected that her older brother liked country music much more than she did; her own musical preferences included folk and pop/rock. As a teenager she was a cheerleader who was a bright student; she graduated high school with a 4.0, walked valedictorian, and was a member of the honors society, the Beta Club. Musically, she hated piano lessons, played saxophone in her high school marching band, and dutifully went to clarinet lessons. Instead of music, her first love was drama, and she joined the Drama Club with aspirations of becoming an actress.

During a year and a half of studies at the University of North Carolina on drama scholarship, Harris discovered performance singing at the local club, the Red Door, where she was paid ten bucks a night. After dropping out of UNC and giving up her dream of acting, she took off for New York City in search of the counterculture. Like so many other young people, she drifted to Greenwich Village, where she sang country and folk musicoften with friend Mike Williamsin coffeehouses and nightclubs. She said to Timothy White of Billboard about the record executives that

For the Record

Born on April 2, 1947, in Birmingham, AL; daughter of Walter Rutland Harris, Jr. (a career Marine officer and chemist) and Eugenia (Murchison) Harris (a homemaker); married Tom Slocum (a songwriter), c. 1968; divorced; married Brian Ahern (a record producer), January 1977; divorced; married Paul Kennerley (a songwriter), 1985; divorced, 1992; children: (with Slocum) Hallie, (with Ahern) Meghann. Education: Attended University of North Carolina, 1965.

Country singer/songwriter, 1967-; began career as solo folk singer in coffeehouses and nightclubs; sang backup with Gram Parsons band, 1971-73; signed with Warner Bros., 1974; cut first album, Pieces of the Sky, 1975; formed the Hot Band, late 1970s; formed the Nash Ramblers, 1990; has made numerous tours and concert appearances and sung back-up with numerous singers and musicians; has released more than 20 albums.

Awards: Grammy Awards, Best Female Country Vocal Performance, 1976, 1979, and 1984; Best Performance by Duo/Group, 1980, 1987, and 1992; Best Contemporary Folk Album for Wrecking Ball, 1996. Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for Same Old Train, 1998, and After the Gold Rush, 1999; Country Music Association Awards, Best Album for Roses in the Snow, 1980, and Vocal Event of the Year, 1988; Country Music Association Awards, Female Vocalist of the Year, 1980, Vocal Event of the Year for Trio (with others), 1988, and Album of the Year for O Brother, Where Art Thou? (with others), 2001; Academy of Country Music, Album of the Year for Trio, 1987; Billboard Century Award, 1999.

Member: Grand Ole Opry, 1992.

Addresses: Management Vector Management, 1607 17th Ave. S, Nashville, TN 37212-2875.

heard and rejected her, I had a pretty interesting repertoire, but it went right over their heads. They didnt have a clue.

In 1970, she and her first husband moved to Nashville to try their luck in the country format. She failed to become a hit there, and her marriage dissolved. With a newborn baby to care for, she returned to her parents home in Maryland and began singing at clubs in Washington, D.C. Her performances with a band she pulled together, at the Red Fox Inn and the Cellar Doorin between waitressingwere hailed by Washington audiences that were already becoming known for a special receptivity to country-folk-bluegrass blends.

Released First Record

After getting a manager and signing with Jubilee Records for her first record, Gliding Bird, Harris met Gram Parsons in Washington in 1972. The young Parsons, formerly with the Byrds, was a primary force in the burgeoning country-rock movement. He was so impressed with Harris voice and delivery that he invited her to join him and his band, the Fallen Angels, in Los Angeles to sing backup on his first solo album. Harris was delighted by the offer, and over the ensuing two years she became Parsons protege, learning from him the special roots of country and honky-tonk music and developing from a serious folkie into a country/rock-lover. It was an ear-opening period for me, Harris told Newsweek. Id always liked Hank Williams and Buck Owens, but with Gram I discovered that country music was a natural form of singing for me.

On September 19, 1973, Parsons died of a heart attack, brought on by a mixture of tequila and morphine. Left to her own resources and carrying the torch of Cosmic American music alone, Harris formed the Angel Band and started playing the Red Fox Inn the way Parsons had taught her. About her career, she says, It was Gram who said we should be singing traditional country. He understood that it belonged with rock & roll. I feel funny getting all the credit when all Ive been doing is carrying on the music I thought Gram would have done, according to Vicki Jo Radovsky of Entertainment Weekly. Harris signed with Warner Bros. Records. There she was paired with Brian Ahern, a gifted producer who gladly followed her natural tendencies notio strive for a pop sound and help her realize her European audience. In a short time after their first release, Pieces of the Sky, Harris was climbing the country charts with hits like the Louvin Brothers If I Could Only Win Your Love, A.P. Carters Hello, Stranger, and Buck Owens Together Again. Harris and Ahern were married in 1977.

Formed the Hot Band

Harris formed her Hot Band in the late 1970s after the success of Pieces of the Sky to release Elite Hotel, which secured a Grammy Award and had number one success. The Hot Band became legendary over the years, starting the careers of musicians such as Vince Gill, Ronny Skaggs, Albert Lee and Rodney Crowell. For many years Harris worked out of Los Angeles in studios she built with Ahern. When that marriage ended, she returned to Nashville and based herself there. Then another marriage to Paul Kennerleya Grammy Award-winning songwriter who helped her with The Ballad of Sally Rose dissolved. Harris had by this time truly achieved success by following her own formula; by surrounding herself with a fine, distinctive backup band, by recording a quaint mixture of traditional, modern, and original tunes, and by presenting them all in a fine voice. Even though my records dont go platinum, she said, and Im not a household word, I can do basically what I want, and get the same number of people to buy the records. That gives me a leverage to be able to experiment, and be able to do what I want. Im very grateful for that. I really am aware of how important that is, to be able to enjoy what I do.

As Harris has maintained throughout her career and repeated to Jerome, Youve got to shake things up, flex new muscles to where its spontaneous and exciting again. She did just that by dropping the Hot Band and taking on an acoustic/blue-grass band named the Nash Ramblers in 1990. They quickly made their fame with an album recorded at the location of the original Grand Ole Opry, by then a dusty, neglected building. Their album, At the Ryman, served as the symbolic beginning for the revival of downtown Nashville and of the old Ryman building itself. Soon after, she was back in the studio and winning more Grammys, including one for her experimental work on Wrecking Ball. She left Elektra/Asylum to gain more freedom and gathered another band, called Spyboy, for a tour. The album Spyboy was released to fulfill an obligation to Elektra.

Critics generally agree that Harris recorded two masterworks. The first is Roses in the Snow, a work from the early 1980s that is decidedly bluegrass in flavor. With its acoustic accompaniments and traditional songs, Roses in the Snow harkens back to the work of the Carter Family, Ralph Stanley, and Flatt & Scruggs. it was a surprise commercial success for Harris. Her other outstanding accomplishment was the country opera album The Ballad of Sally Rose, a theme piece for which Harris wrote the lyrics herself. Based loosely on Harris own life, The Ballad of Sally Rose follows a woman singer through the heights and depths of her career. In Stereo Review, Nash observes that the work carries a desperation, a smoldering, aching passion to connect with the poignant realities that live in the heart and not just the head.

Musical Ear Honed by Folk and Rock

Harris may have shown an unusual dedication to country music, but she also had an ear honed by folk and rock; she and Ahern recorded a trove of offbeat songs such as Poncho and Lefty, by Townes Van Zandt, The Boxer, by Paul Simon, and tunes by the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen. She has sung with the likes of Bob Dylanas well as countless other respected rock and country starsbut has always gone her own way in the end. She jokes of the time she released Blue Kentucky Girl, and the record company recalled the cardboard cutouts of Harris in cowboy boots and hat which they had distributed for marketing. She didnt exactly fit into the country niche, and often hasnt. Kentucky Girl won a Grammy Award, however.

In 1995, Harris released Wrecking Ball, which was considered to be her most experimental album. It featured songs by Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young, who also sings along. Wrecking Ball was produced by Daniel Parsons of atmospheric work fame with U2, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Dylan. On her impressive Duets compilation, she is featured with Parsons, Roy Orbison, George Jones, and John Denver. With Cowgirls Prayer, she returned to folk. When she did a bluegrass album, the critics sang a dirge. She said to White, There was another part of me that said, If I cant sustain an artistic statement that I believe in, then if my careers overits over. Cause this is what I have to say right now.

Roots Music Icon

With three decades as a musician, nine Grammy Awards, nine gold records (and the multiplatinum Trio), and more than 20 albums in all, Harris has created an impressive career. But numbers alone do not do Harris justice. Harris has an impeccable ear and loads of integrity, but thats just the icing on her cool cake, stated Entertainment Weeklys Vicki Jo Radovsky. Critics maintain that Harris has changed America popular music. She has both preserved and deepened this nations awareness of its vital roots music according to Timothy White in Billboard. But for her fans, its not all about quietly confounding the rhine-stone regulars of country music, as Entertainment Weeklys Jeff Gordinier put it. Emmy is an icon. In the words of Roy Wunsch, as quoted by Jerome, Emmy is one of the sounds that is going to live forever.

Selected discography

Solo

Gliding Bird, Jubilee, 1969.

Pieces of the Sky, Reprise, 1975.

Elite Hotel, Reprise, 1975.

Luxury Liner, Warner Bros., 1977.

Quarter Moon in a Ten-Cent Town, Warner Bros., 1978.

Profile: The Best of Emmylou Harris (compilation), Warner Bros., 1978.

Blue Kentucky Girl, Warner Bros., 1980.

Roses in the Snow, Warner Bros., 1980.

Light of the Stable, Warner Bros., 1980.

Cimarron, Warner Bros., 1981.

Evangeline, Warner Bros., 1981.

Last Date, Warner Bros., 1982.

White Shoes, Warner Bros., 1983.

The Ballad of Sally Rose, Warner Bros., 1985.

Thirteen, Warner Bros., 1986.

Profile II: The Best of Emmylou Harris (compilation), Warner Bros., 1984.

Angel Band, Warner Bros., 1987.

Bluebird, Reprise, 1989.

Duets (compilation), Reprise, 1990.

Brand New Dance, Reprise, 1990.

At the Ryman (live), Reprise, 1992.

Cowgirls Prayer, Asylum, 1993.

Songs of the West, Warner Bros., 1994.

Wrecking Ball, Asylum, 1995.

Spyboy, Eminent, 1998.

Red Dirt Girl, Nonesuch, 2000.

Anthology: The Warner-Reprise Years (compilation), Rhine, 2001.

With Gram Parsons

GP, Warner Bros., 1972.

Grievous Angels, Warner Bros., 1973.

With others

(With Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt) Trio, Warner Bros., 1987.

(With Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt) Trio II, Elektra/Asylum, 1998.

(With Dolly Parton) Western Wall: The Tuscon Sessions, Elektra, 1999.

Sources

Books

Complete Marquis Whos Who, Marquis Whos Who, 2001.

Malone, Bill C., Country Music U.S.A., revised edition, University of Texas Press, 1985.

Nash, Alanna, Behind Closed Doors: Talking with the Legends of Country Music, Knopf, 1988.

Periodicals

Billboard, December 4, 1999; December 18, 1999.

Entertainment Weekly, June 25, 1993; September 29, 1995; August 20, 1999.

Esquire, September 1982.

High Fidelity, August 1980.

Newsweek, April 17, 1978.

People, November 15, 1982; January 14, 1991; May 10, 1999; September 25, 2000.

Stereo Review, May 1985.

Time, June 16, 1975.

Online

All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (February 5, 2002). CMTCountry.com, http://artist.country.com/cmt/art (February 5, 2002).

Countrystars.com, http://www.countrystars.com/legends/bios/harris_e.html (February 5, 2002).

Grammy.com, http://www.grammy.com (February 5, 2002).

Rolling Stone.com, http://www.rollingstone.com/artists (February 5, 2002).

35th Country Music Association Awards, http://www.cmaawards.com/2001 (February 5, 2002).

Anne Janette Johnson

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Harris, Emmylou

Emmylou Harris

Singer, songwriter, guitarist

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Many country singers have achieved success by crossing over into the lucrative pop market. The dulcet-voiced Emmylou Harris has done just the oppositeshe culls songs from pop and rock and transforms them into pure country fare. Harris, one of the most popular singers in Nashville, is praised on every side for the respect she holds for traditional country music. To quote Alanna Nash in Esquire magazine, the performer has not only carried on the mission of taking pure, traditional country to a hip, pop audience, but through her own artistry and integrity has helped raise the music to a new position of respectability, carving an identity for herself unique in all of country music.

In Country Music U.S.A., Bill C. Malone observes that Harris seems dedicated to the preservation of older country music, the sound of the Carter Family, Hank Williams, and George Jones. Still, Malone writes, Harris is a true eclectic, borrowing from many styles. Her concerts and Ips contain a mixture of contemporary and traditional material, rock-flavored songs and Appalachian-sounding ballads, and modern country-and-western numbers. It is Harriss vocal abilities that guarantee her an audience, no matter the style of her presentation. A Time magazine correspondent characterizes her singing as more Melancholy Appalachian bluegrass than western swing, adding: Despite its range, her voice is most telling because of its feathery delicacy, an almost tentative dying fall capable of stirring deep emotions.

Harris was born in Alabama, but she grew up in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. Her father was in the Marine Corps, and her family moved often, though never back to the Deep South. Harris has recollected that her older brother liked country music much more than she did; her own musical preferences included folk and pop/rock. As a teenager she was a cheerleader who played saxophone in her high school marching band. She told Time: High schools are real hip now, but there was no counterculture in Woodbridge [Virginia].

After a year of studies at the University of North Carolina, Harris took off for New York City in search of the counterculture. Like so many other young people, she drifted to Greenwich Village, where she sang country and folk music in coffeehouses and nightclubs, sometimes earning as little as ten dollars a night. In 1970 she and her first husband moved to Nashville to try their luck in the country format. She failed to hit there, and her marriage dissolved. With a newborn baby to care for, she returned to her parents home in Maryland and began singing at clubs in Washington, D.C. Her performances at the Red Fox Inn and the Cellar Door were hailed by Washington audiences that were already

For the Record

Born April 2, 1947 in Birmingham, Ala.; daughter of a career Marine officer; married Tom Slocum (a songwriter), c. 1968 (divorced); married Brian Ahern (a record producer), January, 1977 (divorced); married Paul Kennerley (a songwriter), 1985; children: (first marriage) Hallie, (second marriage) Meghann. Education: Attended University of North Carolina, 1965.

Country singer-songwriter, 1967; began career as solo folk singer in coffeehouses and nightclubs; sang backup with Gram Parsons band, 1971-73; signed with Warner Bros., 1974, cut first album, Pieces of the Sky, 1975. Has made numerous tours and concert appearances. President of the Country Music Foundation, 1983.

Awards: Grammy Awards 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1984, and 1987, including for best country album, 1980, for Blue Kentucky Girl; Country Music Association award for best album, 1980, for Roses in the Snow. Named female vocalist of the year by the Country Music Association, 1980; album of the year citation from Academy of Country Music, 1987, for Trio.

Addresses: Other P.O. Box 4471, North Hollywood, CA 91607.

becoming known for a special receptivity to country-folk-bluegrass blends.

Harris met Gram Parsons in Washington in 1972. Parsons, formerly with the Byrds, was a primary force in the burgeoning country-rock movement. He was so impressed with Harriss voice and delivery that he invited her to join him in Los Angeles to sing backup on his first solo album. Harris was delighted by the offer, and over the ensuing two years she became Parsons protege, learning from him the special roots of country and honky-tonk music. It was an ear-opening period for me, Harris told Newsweek. Id always liked Hank Williams and Buck Owens, but with Gram I discovered that country music was a natural form of singing for me.

In 1973 Parsons died of a heart attack, brought on by drug abuse. Left to her own resources, Harris formed a band and signed with Warner Bros, records. There she was paired with Brian Ahern, a gifted producer who gladly followed her natural tendencies not to strive for a pop sound. In short order Harris was climbing the country charts with hits like the Louvin Brothers If I Could Only Win Your Love, A. P. Carters Hello, Stranger, and Buck Owenss Together Again. Harris and Ahern were married in 1977.

Harris may have shown an unusual dedication to country music, but she also had an ear honed by folk and rockshe and Ahern recorded a trove of offbeat songs such as Poncho and Lefty, by Townes Van Zandt, The Boxer, by Paul Simon, and tunes by the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen. Her forte remained the ballad, however. Nash is one of many critics who suggest that Harriss best ballad work shows a vulnerability rooted in the dark recesses of the soul.

Fueled by the plaintive, piney-woods feeling evoked by her sweet, sinewy soprano, to quote Newsweek, Harriss albums went gold in America and Europe. Some of her best songs were written by members of her top-rate backup group, the Hot Band, whose membership included Ricky Scaggs and Rodney Crowell. From time to time she cut tracks with other country superstars, including Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt. By 1980, when she was voted best female vocalist of the year by the Country Music Association, Harris was among the most successful pure-country performers in the nation. Unlike Parton and Ronstadt, she chose to adhere to the country formatand to singing in general.

Critics generally agree that Harris has recorded two masterworks. The first is Roses in the Snow, a work from the early 1980s that is decidedly bluegrass in flavor. With its acoustic accompaniments and traditional songs, Roses in the Snow harks back to the work of the Carter Family, Ralph Stanley, and Flatt & Scruggs; it was a surprise commercial success for Harris. Her other outstanding accomplishment to date is the country opera album The Ballad of Sally Rose, a theme piece for which Harris wrote the lyrics herself. Based loosely on Harriss own life, The Ballad of Sally Rose follows a woman singer through the heights and depths of her career. In Stereo Review, Nash observes that the work carries a desperation, a smoldering, aching passion to connect with the poignant realities that live in the heart and not just the head.

For many years Harris worked out of Los Angeles in studios she built with Ahern. When that marriage ended, she returned to Nashville and based herself there. Today she is married to Paul Kennerley, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter who helped her with The Ballad of Sally Rose. Harris has truly achieved success by following her own formulaby surrounding herself with a fine, distinctive backup band, by recording a quaint mixture of traditional, modern, and original tunes, and by presenting them all in a fine voice. Even though my records dont go platinum, she said, and Im not a household word, I can do basically what I want, and get the same number of people to buy the records. That gives me a leverage to be able to experiment, and be able to do what I want. Im very grateful for that. I really am aware of how important that is, to be able to enjoy what I do.

Selected discography

With Gram Parsons

GP, 1972.

Grievous Angels, 1973.

Solo Albums

Gliding Bird, 1969.

Pieces of the Sky, Reprise, 1975.

Elite Hotel, Reprise, 1976.

Luxury Liner, Warner Brothers, 1977.

Quarter Moon in a Ten-Cent Town, Warner Brothers, 1978.

Profile: The Best of Emmylou Harris, Warner Brothers, 1979.

Blue Kentucky Girl, Warner Brothers, 1980.

Roses in the Snow, Warner Brothers, 1980.

Light of the Stable, Warner Brothers, 1980.

Cimarron, Warner Brothers.

Last Date, Warner Brothers.

Evangeline, Warner Brothers, 1981.

White Shoes, Warner Brothers.

The Ballad of Sally Rose, Warner Brothers, 1985.

Thirteen, Warner Brothers, 1986.

Profile II: The Best of Emmylou Harris, Warner Brothers.

Angel Band, Warner Brothers, 1987.

Bluebird, Reprise, 1989.

Other

(With Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt) Trio, Warner Brothers, 1987.

Sources

Books

Malone, Bill C., Country Music U.S.A., revised edition, University of Texas Press, 1985.

Nash, Alanna, Behind Closed Doors: Talking with the Legends of Country Music, Knopf, 1988.

Periodicals

Esquire, September, 1982.

High Fidelity, August, 1980.

Newsweek, April 17, 1978.

People, November 15, 1982.

Stereo Review, May, 1985.

Time, June 16, 1975.

Anne Janette Johnson

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Harris, Emmylou

EMMYLOU HARRIS

Born: Birmingham, Alabama, 2 April 1947

Genre: Folk, Country

Best-selling album since 1990: Wrecking Ball (1995)

Hit songs since 1990: "Long May You Run"


Although Emmylou Harris was a country music hit maker in the 1970s, she strayed from the music's mainstream, evolving into a traditionalist who deliberately blurred the lines between country, folk, and rock. Praised for her angelic soprano voice, Harris is a consummate harmony singer, collaborating with musicians inside and outside country music circles. After the release of Wrecking Ball (1995), her comeback album that won her an entirely new audience of young rock fans, Harris championed the legacy of her mentor and former harmony partner Gram Parsons. Harris became a sort of godmother to a new generation of country rock musicians who campaigned to record with her and who connected with her eclectic vision of country music.

Harris was raised in a military family and spent her teenage years in a suburb of Washington, D.C. After graduating from high school, she pursued a music career in Greensboro, North Carolina, and later moved to New York City, and Nashville, Tennessee, before returning to the D.C. area, where she became active on the city's folk music circuit. She soon met Gram Parsons, a Harvard-educated southerner who taught Harris how to sing country-music harmony. She ended up joining his band and recorded two albums with him, GP (1973) and Grievous Angel (1974), before he died at age twenty-six of an overdose of morphine and tequila. Through his solo work and brief stints influencing bands like the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Rolling Stones, Parsons was a pioneer in the cross-pollination of country and rock.

Harris produced several country hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s, recorded the country opera The Ballad of Sally Rose (1985), and collaborated with the country stars Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt on the album Trio (1987). She was perceived as a risk-taking traditional country artist who recorded and performed with bluegrass musicians, seasoned Nashville session players, old-time country stars, and rock stars like Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Neil Young. Her repertoire included covers of the songs of country pioneers like Buck Owens, the Louvin Brothers, and Patsy Cline as well as the Beatles and the disco queen Donna Summer. Notwithstanding this ecumenical impulse, Harris often reverted to an old-fashioned acoustic style, a penchant that helped to earn her a term as the president of the Country Music Foundation.

By the 1990s mainstream country music had lost its twang and rural character. With new mass-appeal stars like Garth Brooks and Brooks and Dunn, the country music industry embraced pop hooks and the flashy sensation of stadium rock. Harris's old-time sensibilities were suddenly out of fashion, and she publicly lamented the music's high-gloss makeover. "The reason modern country audiences miss out is that they haven't heard the music's true roots outside its boot-kickin', hat-wearin', bronco-ridin' stereotypes," she told a reporter in 1997. "It's crazy. A lot of them think country music started in 1982."

Harris cut her ties with her longtime label, Warner Bros./Reprise, and recorded Wrecking Ball (1995) with the producer Daniel Lanois, acclaimed for his work with U2, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Dylan. The twelve-track album highlighted Harris's ethereal voice, surrounding it with hypnotic percussion and atmospheric beauty. She reinterpreted songs by the rock artists Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, and Steve Earle, and she transformed them into ghostly spirituals of regret and redemption. It was a bold musical departure that opened the door to a broad new audience of younger fans.

Harris was a beacon for rock artists who identified with country music's classic soulfulness and rebellious impulses, but who shunned the slick formulas that held sway over its commercial mainstream. Harris sang harmony on hundreds of albums, and she executive-produced a tribute to Parsons that featured his songs performed by alternative rockers including Beck, Wilco, and Whiskeytown. She was pivotal in keeping alive Parson's legacy: that of a venturesome maverick who seeks to redeem country music from its commercial leanings with stirring reminders of its roots in the yearnings of the human heart.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Gliding Bird (Jubilee, 1970); Pieces of the Sky (Reprise, 1975); Elite Hotel (Reprise, 1976); Luxury Liner (Warner Bros., 1977); Quarter Moon in a Ten-Cent Town (Warner Bros., 1978); Profile: The Best of Emmylou Harris (Warner Bros., 1978); Blue Kentucky Girl (Warner Bros., 1979); Roses in the Snow (Warner Bros., 1980); The Ballad of Sally Rose (Warner Bros., 1985); Thirteen (Warner Bros., 1986); Angel Band (Warner Bros., 1987); Bluebird (Warner Bros., 1989); Duets (Warner Bros., 1990); Brand New Dance (Warner Bros., 1990); At the Ryman (Warner Bros., 1992); Cowgirl's Prayer (Asylum, 1993); Wrecking Ball (Asylum, 1995); Portraits (Warner Bros., 1996); Spyboy (Eminent, 1998); Red Dirt Girl (Nonesuch, 2000); Anthology: The Warner/Reprise Years (Warner Archives/Reprise/Rhino, 2001).

WEBSITE:

www.emmylou.net.

mark guarino

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"Harris, Emmylou." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/harris-emmylou