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30 Years Ago: Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris Release ‘Trio’

Dolly Parton Linda Ronstadt Emmylou Harris Trio album
Warner Bros.

Thirty years ago today (March 2, 1987) was a great day for fans of strong female voices in country music. It was on that date that the Trio album, a collaboration between Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris, was released, uniting three of the most angelic voices of all time on one 11-track record.

The three longtime friends had tried on several other occasions over the years to record a project together but were logistically prohibited by their own recording contracts and busy schedules. Several of the songs from these earlier sessions made it onto other discs from the women, including “Mister Sandman” on Harris’ Evangeline album and “I Never Will Marry,” a duet between Parton and Ronstadt that appeared on Ronstadt’s Simple Dreams record, among others.

Harris, Parton and Ronstadt finally found time to record Trio in the late 1980s, releasing it on Warner Bros. Records. The project was produced by George Massenburg; it became a No. 1 album for the women and has been certified multi-platinum. It also won two Grammy Awards and spawned four hit singles, including their remake of the Phil Spector song “To Know Him Is to Love Him,” which was a No. 1 hit.

Twelve years later, in 1999, the threesome released their second album, Trio II, which had actually been recorded in 1994. The record failed to produce any hit singles.

The year 1987 was a big one for the three women in their solo careers as well: Parton released her Rainbow album, while Ronstadt released the multi-platinum Canciones de Mi Padre, and Harris released Angel Band.

Trio is available for download on iTunes.

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