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Emmylou Harris

Emmylou Harris


First broadcast: Sun 21 Dec 2003

Country rock singer

This week Sue Lawley's castaway is the country rock singer Emmylou Harris. Born in Alabama in 1947, her musical influences were folk rather than country. Initially, she wanted to be an actress, but, influenced by Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, she turned to singing folk instead and began performing in the bars of Greenwich Village. But, by the age of 24, it seemed as if her singing career was over - she was a single mother and had returned home to live with her mother, only singing in local bars.

It was a chance encounter that led to her being heard by Gram Parsons - formerly of The Byrds and later The Flying Burrito Brothers. They worked together on two albums and invented what has become country rock - a fusion of folk, country and rock music. To date she has won 11 Grammies and in 1992 was inducted into the Grand Old Opry. She now writes her own music. She is three-times divorced and now travels everywhere with her mother.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]


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