Tag Archives: Linda Rondstadt

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.


Celebrating Women’s History Month: March 4

4 Mar

Honoring Dolly Parton

Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Dolly Parton. Parton has been a favorite of mine for many many years, dating back to her days with Porter Wagoner. I will confess, back in the mid 1970’s my former stepmother used to force us to listen to country music–I hated it!!! However, there was one song that caught my heart.  We were listening to Just Because I’m a Woman, by Dolly Parton. I loved the song and felt so indignant that there was a double standard for how women and men were treated–I fell in love with our Dolly with this song.  How impressive that a female country music star was addressing the inequities between gender in 1976.  Of course, if there is anyone that listens to Toby Keith, one wonders if he is even aware of the women’s movement, or anyone that is not a white heterosexual man. Just Because I’m a Woman, was one of many clues that I would become a militant feminist. The next song that caught my heart was The Bargain Store. I used to cry listening to this song. How could she not see her value and how lovable she is? The song is very telling of how often women internalize messages of self-doubt, or the misconception that they are lucky if someone choses them, whey in reality they should do the choosing!

Parton has been good friends with two of my other favorite women, Linda Rondstadt and Emmylou Harris. Who could not love their album in 1987 The Trio, specifically My Dear Companion? I also loved Trio II. The song Blue Train, I find haunting and beautiful.

I also loved Dolly Parton in the quintessential women’s movement movie of the 1980’s decade, 9 to 5.  How can you not love Doralee? I would be remiss if I did not include Hard Candy Christmas, from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I will conclude this article with a song that Ms. Parton was robbed of an academy award for, Travelin’ Thru, from Transamerica.

There are many reasons to love our Dolly Parton, just some of which are: a pioneer for strong women in country music, a powerful and smart business woman with a brilliant voice, and a supporter of the LGBT community.

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