Harris, Ronstadt and Parton
Mutual admirers and longtime friends Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris had planned to record together for years, but were prevented by a variety of logistic and legal difficulties. An aborted mid-‘70s session resulted in tracks that appeared on albums by Ronstadt and Harris, but it wasn’t until 1986 that the three superstar singers finally teamed up for what would become an undisputed country classic.
Trio was produced by renowned inventor/recording engineer George Massenberg, who gathered together a stellar lineup of session musicians, including guitarists Ry Cooder, Albert Lee, and David Lindley. The Warner Bros. album proved one of 1987’s biggest country crossover hits, hitting the top 10 on the Billboard 200 as well as #1 on the “Top Country Albums” chart. Trio – which featured four top 10 Country hits, including a chart-topping cover of Phil Spector’s “To Know Him Is To Love Him” – went on to receive RIAA platinum certification and the Grammy Award for “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.”
It took a dozen years, but Parton, Ronstadt, and Harris finally reunited in 1998 for a long-awaited, hugely anticipated sequel, Trio II. Again produced by Massenberg, the Asylum release featured the three iconic vocalists’ unmistakable harmonies ringing out on soaring tracks like country songwriter Harley Allen’s “High Sierra” and Neil Young’s “After The Gold Rush,” the latter of which won the 1999 Grammy Award for “Best Country Collaboration With Vocal.”