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Sisters in Country: Dolly, Linda and Emmylou

How Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris's careers took off in the 1970s with distinct takes on country, but how they ended up uniting as close harmony singers on Trio.

Documentary which explores how Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris's careers took off in the 1970s with very distinct takes on country before they ended up uniting as close harmony singers and eventually collaborated on 1987's four-million-selling debut album, Trio.

In the 60s country music was viewed by most of America as blue collar, and Dolly was country through and through. Linda Ronstadt's take on classic country helped make her the biggest female star in mid-70s America. Folkie Emmylou learned about country from mentor Gram Parsons and, after his death in 1973, she became a bandleader in her own right. It was Emmylou and Linda - the two west coast folk rockers - who voiced their mutual appreciation of Dolly, the mountain girl singer from Tennessee, when they became early students of her work.

The artists talk about uniting as harmony singers and eventually collaborating on their debut album, Trio. The album helped launch the mountain music revival that would peak with the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou. In 2012 Linda Ronstadt was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which left her unable to sing, but 2016 saw unreleased songs from their sessions compiled to create a third Trio album. This is the story of how their alliance made them pioneers in bringing different music worlds together and raising the game for women in the country tradition.

Contributors: Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Rodney Crowell, George Lucas, Peter Asher, Chris Hillman, Laura Cantrell, Robert K Oermann, John Boylan, Phil Kaufman, David Lindley, Albert Lee, Herb Pedersen, George Massenberg and Applewood Road.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 7 May 2021 23:40

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:01

    Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris

    The Memories of You

  • 00:03

    Earl Scruggs

    Nashville Skyline Rag (Album Version)

  • 00:04

    Loretta Lynn

    The Home You're Tearin' Down

  • 00:04

    Dolly Parton

    Joshua (Album Version)

  • 00:06

    Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton

    The Last Thing On My Mind

  • 00:07

    Dolly Parton

    Dumb Blonde

  • 00:08

    The Upbeat Beatles

    I Saw Her Standing There

  • 00:09

    The Everly Brothers

    When Will I Be Loved

  • 00:09

    The Byrds

    So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star

  • 00:15

    Merle Haggard

    Okie From Muskogee

  • 00:16

    Tammy Wynette, George Jones & Tammy Wynette, George Jones

    We're Gonna Hold On (Album Version)

  • 00:17

    Gram Parsons

    How Did You Meet Emmylou Harris?

  • 00:17

    Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels

    That's All It Took

  • 00:17

    Gram Parsons

    Ooh Las Vegas

  • 00:18

    Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels

    Six Days On The Road

  • 00:19

    Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels

    The New Soft Shoe

  • 00:21

    Emmylou Harris

    Boulder to Birmingham

  • 00:26

    Dolly Parton


  • 00:35

    Emmylou Harris

    Mister Sandman

  • 00:35

    Emmylou Harris With Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt

    Mister Sandman

  • 00:36

    Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt

    Mr Sandman

  • 00:37

    Linda Ronstadt

    I've Got A Crush On You

  • 00:38

    Dan Seals


  • 00:38


    A Forty Hour Week For A Living

  • 00:45

    Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris

    Hobos Meditation

  • 00:52

    Linda Ronstadt

    High Sierra

  • 00:44

    Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris

    Rosewood Casket

  • 00:54

    The Soggy Bottom Boys

    I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow (with band) (feat. Dan Tyminski)

  • 00:55

    Harris,Emmylouparton,Dolly & Ronstadt,Linda

    In A Deep Sleep (Unreleased 1986)

  • 00:58

    Harris,Emmylouparton,Dolly & Ronstadt,Linda

    You Dont Knock (Unreleased 1986)


Role Contributor
Narrator KT Tunstall
Producer Dione Newton
Director Dione Newton
Executive Producer Mark Cooper
Participant Dolly Parton
Participant Linda Ronstadt
Participant Emmylou Harris


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