Emmylou Harris

Emmylou Harris ( born April 2, 1947 in Birmingham, Alabama ) is an American country, folk and rock singer. In recent years it has emerged primarily as a singer-songwriter.


Emmylou Harris was born in 1947 in Birmingham, the daughter of the officer Walter Harris and his wife Eugenia. She grew up near Washington, DC, and began as a teenager to play guitar and sing. She studied at the University of North Carolina spectacle, but the study dropped out and moved to New York. At that time she appeared in the New Yorker and the Washington club scene. In 1970, she released her first album, Gliding Bird at his own expense, which hardly sold. Shortly after its release, the record company went bankrupt. Emmylou Harris, who had married in 1969, brought a little later to a daughter and divorced shortly thereafter by her husband, the songwriter Tom Slocum. She moved back to Washington with her parents and joined occasionally in smaller clubs. In his second marriage, she was married to producer Brian Ahern, with whom she has a daughter, and in his third marriage with producer Paul Kennerley.


1971 Harris learned the former Byrds bass player Chris Hillman know that she experienced at a gig and she recommended Gram Parsons, who was looking for a singer for his first solo album. Parsons brought her a year later to Los Angeles, where in collaboration with other musicians in 1972 the album GP arose. There was a short tour, and in 1973 another album was completed: Grievous Angel. Only a few weeks later, in September 1973, Gram Parsons died of a drug overdose and alcohol. At this time, Emmylou was a member of his touring band.

Supported by Tom Guidera, a former sideman Parsons, she produced a 1975 second solo album, Pieces of the Sky. The album includes her self-written piece From Boulder To Birmingham, she has dedicated Gram Parsons. The album was only moderately successful, but the single release If I Could Only Win Your Love reached the Top Ten. In 1977, she married Brian Ahern, the producers of Pieces of the Sky.

Rodney Crowell, Ricky Skaggs and Albert Lee played in 1976 and 1977, the next albums with a Harris: Elite Hotel and Luxury Liner. In 1979, the strong country - oriented album Blue Kentucky Girl. The published the following year bluegrass album Roses in the Snow is considered by many critics as their best. In 1985, she brought The Ballad of Sally Rose out, a kind of country - opera with 13 titles for which she received a Grammy.

In parallel with the production of other solo albums to Emmylou Harris became a popular duet partner. With numerous singers, including Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Don Williams, Roy Orbison, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, John Denver and the Australian rock band Midnight Oil, they played a common song; the CD Duets gathered some of these collaborations. Was also very successful in 1987 in collaboration with Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton produced album Trio, the 1999, the equally successful album followed Trio II.

The 1995 production of Daniel Lanois album Wrecking Ball showed a marked change in style, located in Red Dirt Girl from 2000 still increased. The music became more complex, darker and more electric and withdrew increasingly from the traditional country sound. This is evident for example in the song " Tragedy " in which Harris is accompanied by Bruce Springsteen and his wife Patti Scialfa. By guest appearances on records, for example, by Urge Overkill, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams and Bright Eyes was the artist that she saw her musical home from now on more in Alternative Country. Both albums have won Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Since Red Dirt Girl Emmylou Harris writes her own songs, which was previously only rarely the case. 2003, her album Stumble into Grace and April 2006 All the Roadrunning, a duet album with Mark Knopfler.

In February 2008, Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Emmylou Harris preferably plays Acoustic Guitars by Gibson, mainly J-200 models. In her honor, the company brought out the L-200 Emmylou Harris Signature guitar.


  • Gliding Bird ( 1970)
  • Pieces of the Sky ( 1975)
  • Elite Hotel (1976 )
  • Luxury Liner (1977 )
  • Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town ( 1978)
  • Blue Kentucky Girl ( 1979)
  • Light of the Stable ( Christmas Album ) ( 1980)
  • Roses in the Snow ( 1980)
  • Evangeline (1981 )
  • Cimarron (1981 )
  • Last Date (live 1982)
  • White Shoes (1983 )
  • The Ballad of Sally Rose ( 1985)
  • Thirteen (1986 )
  • Trio ( with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt ) ( 1987)
  • Angel Band (1987 )
  • Blue Bird ( 1988)
  • Duets ( with various partners ) ( 1990)
  • Brand New Dance ( 1990)
  • Cowgirl 's Prayer (1993 )
  • Wrecking Ball ( 1995)
  • Spyboy (live 1998)
  • Trio II (with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt ) (1999 )
  • Western Wall (The Tucson Sessions ) ( duo album with Linda Ronstadt ) (1999 )
  • Red Dirt Girl ( 2000)
  • Stumble into Grace (2003)
  • All the Roadrunning ( with Mark Knopfler ) (2006 )
  • All I Intended To Be (2008)
  • Hard Bargain (2011)
  • Old Yellow Moon ( with Rodney Crowell ) ( 2013), Grammy

Compilations (selection):

  • Profiles - The Best of Emmylou Harris ( 1978)
  • Profile II - The Best of Emmylou Harris ( 1984)
  • Songs of the West ( 1994)
  • Portraits (1996 )
  • Singin 'with Emmylou Vol 1 (2000)
  • Anthology - The Warner / Reprise Years ( 2001)
  • Singin 'with Emmylou Vol 2 (2003)
  • Heartaches & Highways - The Very Best of Emmylou Harris ( 2005)
  • Songbird - Rare Tracks & Forgotten Gems (2007)

Awards (selection)