Women’s History: April 2

2 Apr

Happy Birthday, Emmylou

Happy Birthday, Emmylou Harris. While Harris is widely known for her contribution to country music, and more specifically folk music, she also uses her amazing talent as a song writer/singer for social justice. Her famous friendship with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt produced two of my favorite albums: Trio and Trio II, but she is also sought after by artists like Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello.

I remember Harris as one of my first employers, when I worked at the Country Music Hall of Fame, where she was the President; this was before she had the beautiful mane of silver hair. She was quite kind and just like the rest of us normal people–nonetheless, she was one of the very few country music artists that left me star struck.  My horrific confession is that once at a CMHF dinner, I was sitting just three seats from Emmylou and when everyone left for the night, I stole her spoon. I am very sorry for this theft, but alas it is true. I believe this was 1987, so I hope the statue of limitations has now run out.

I would like to focus on Harris’ activism. In the late 90’s, Harris joined Lilith Fair, a music tour promoting women and feminism. Harris then started a music tour with her friends: Mary Chapin Carenter, Bruce Cockburn, Joan Baez, Patty Griffin, Nanci Griffith, Willie Nelson, and Lucinda Williams to raise money and awareness for a Landmine Free World. The proceeds of this tour went to support the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation‘s.

Here is another of my favorite Emmylou Harris songs, Waltz Across Texas Tonight. I hope you will hit the above links to hear a couple of my favorite songs.  Happy Birthday, Emmylou. Thank you for your activism, your work toward social justice and for your beautiful voice.

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3 Responses to “Women’s History: April 2”

  1. David Gillaspie April 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    I saw Emmylou and her Hot Band with Ricky Skaggs. I heard Beneath Still Waters and thought of Gram Parsons. It had a tragic, sweet feel that never left.

    Seems she took a broken heart and made more out of it than the pieces.

    Now what about that spoon? Funny story.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

      I’m so envious that you got to see her recently. It has been about 6 years since I have seen her. No comment about the spoon. 🙂

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  1. Music Posts from The Solipsistic Me « Music and Meaning: The RBHS Jukebox - April 9, 2011

    […] Emmylou Harris […]

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