Pop Quiz: Emmylou Harris

Aidin Vaziri | At 61, Emmylou Harris remains as busy as ever. She has just released her first new studio album in five years, “All I Intended to Be,” which includes covers of songs by Billy Joe Shaver, Patty Griffin and Merle Haggard. In the meantime, Harris recorded an album with Mark Knopfler and provided her heavenly harmonies for new projects by Elvis Costello and Conor Oberst. And more than 30 years after being introduced to the genre by cult hero Gram Parsons, Harris was this year inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Emmylou Harris
Q: How did you manage to survive the ’70s?
A: One step at a time, I guess. They were an incredible time for me. I met Gram Parsons. I got my record contract. I made my first record. All of a sudden, people started coming to hear me play. I found my vocation. I met Brian Ahern, who became my husband, and we had a child together. So the ’70s were a great time for me. I even survived the hairdo.
Q: Is that your biggest accomplishment, keeping your fans despite your bad hair?
A: Yeah, because I didn’t change my hair until the ’80s. I look back at these pictures, and I know it doesn’t help that we all looked like that.
Q: How would you describe your brief time with Parsons?
A: Well, it was an amazing, intense time of discovery. You know, discovering country music and using my own voice. I had a folk voice, and I had been singing folk music. But Gram wanted me to sing country. Singing harmony with him led me to this whole other world I had no idea about. It was like finding my way home. It was an extraordinary year. Continue reading.

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