Main content

Emmylou Harris

Sue Lawley's castaway is country rock singer Emmylou Harris.

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]

Favourite track: Talk To Me Of Mend by Kate and Anna McGarrigle
Book: Blank book
Luxury: A library

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

New Year's Day 2004 10:00

Music Played

  • Waylon Jennings

    Dreaming My Dreams With You

    • This Time, The Ramblin' Man.
    • BMG.
  • The Staple Singers

    Uncloudy Day

    • Uncloudy Day.
    • Fontana.
  • The Band

    Up On Cripple Creek

    • The Band.
    • Capitol.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Kate & Anna McGarrigle

      Talk to Me of Mendocino

      • Kate and Anna McGarrigle.
      • Warner Bros.
  • Neil Young

    The Emperor of Wyoming

    • Neil Young.
    • Reprise.
  • Bruce Springsteen

    Mansion of the Hill

    • Nebraska.
    • CBS.
  • Daniel Lanois

    The Maker

    • Acadie.
    • Warner Bros.
  • Ensemble of the Bulgarian Republic

    Polegnala E Todora (Theodora is Dozing)

    Conductor: P Koutev

    • Music of Bulgaria - Original Recording.
    • Elektra.
  • Book Choice

    • Blank book

  • Luxury Choice

    • A library

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Emmylou Harris

Broadcasts

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes

Articles

Articles

Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?

Podcast