Country Music Hall of Fame member Emmylou Harris’ nearly five decades in music will be spotlighted in a new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Emmylou Harris: Songbird’s Flight, will open Oct. 5, 2018, and will run until Aug. 4, 2019.
Harris released her first major-label album in 1975. She had seven No. 1 country hits and 14 Top Ten country albums. In early 2018 the Recording Academy presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Emmylou Harris has spent a lifetime teaching master classes in integrity, musicality, individuality, and harmony, by example rather than by admonition. She seeks, finds and inspires the best in others, whether in melody and rhyme or in kindness and generosity,” said museum CEO Kyle Young. “We are privileged to pay homage to the career and contributions of one of country music’s most important and visionary artists.”
“From my first album, in 1975, the country music world has embraced me with open arms,” Harris said. “This exhibit at the Hall of Fame makes me realize once more how grateful and honored I am to be part of such a remarkable musical family.”
Harris gave early career boosts to Rodney Crowell, Buddy Miller, Ricky Skaggs, Gillian Welch, and many others. Countless country singers cite Harris as an influence, including Suzy Bogguss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, the Dixie Chicks, Patty Loveless and Trisha Yearwood. Harris’ influence extends beyond country music. Acclaimed artists such as Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams and many others reference her as an artistic guidepost.
Emmylou Harris: Songbird’s Flight includes many unique items such as Harris’ first guitar, a Kay 1160 Deco Note, built c. 1965, and a jacket designed by Manuel Cuevas that Harris wore on the cover of the album Trio and in performance with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt.
Additional highlights include military decorations awarded to Harris’ Marine fighter pilot father, Walter “Bucky” Harris, for service in World War II and the Korean War, including the Legion of Merit. The exhibit will spotlight a two-page handwritten letter from an 18-year-old Harris to the editor of Sing Out!, a quarterly journal of folk music, and a Gibson J-200N acoustic guitar with blonde finish given to Harris by Gram Parsons.
A tunic with fringe and embroidery, blue jeans; and thigh-high, oxblood leather boots, worn by Harris on the cover of her 1975 album Elite Hotel will be featured, as well as handwritten lyrics by Paul Kennerley to “Diamond in My Crown” and “White Line.” Both songs were co-written by Harris and Kennerley, and were included on her 1985 album, The Ballad of Sally Rose.
Harris will participate in a special program in the museum’s CMA Theater on Sat., Nov. 3, 2018.
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