The Truth About Emmylou Harris' Relationship With Dolly Parton And Linda Ronstadt

One of the distinguishing factors of country music is the predisposition for professional collaboration and interpersonal camaraderie amongst its top players. For decades, hard hitters of country have built friendships based on musical projects and vice versa. The Highwaymen, a supergroup featuring Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings, is perhaps the most famous convergence of country music legends to date. The titanic quartet released two albums and a small handful of singles between 1985 and 1990 (via All Music).

However, the genre's female icons have sported their fair share of team ups throughout the years as well. The bond that formed between Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris during the recording of their albums "Trio" and "Trio II" endures to this day. All the same, the country music highway is seldom traversed without encountering a few bumps along the way. Reportedly, the second album was almost discarded entirely because of the subtle disputes that took place between Parton and Ronstadt throughout (via Showbiz CheatSheet).

Emmylou Harris maintained her distance

When the idea for the second album was conceived, the three icons of twang were leading successful and busy careers independently of one another, so organizing the project was bound to be something of a project in and of itself. Nonetheless, the wheels eventually moved into motion, but not without a little grinding of gears. "Ronstadt loves to work in the studio and works so slow, it drives me nuts," Parton shared at the time of recording. "I wanted to say, 'Wake up, b****, I got stuff to do'" (via Showbiz CheatSheet).

Ronstadt had some words of retort herself, so things got slightly rocky during the recording process. Emmylou Harris maintained her distance from the conflict in a manner closer to neutrality. In fact, it was her who linked up with Dolly Parton first and foremost, who was admittedly one of her idols at the time (per Rolling Stone). Harris' reputation as a renowned folk artist with admirable talent made her an idol of sorts as well, so her ability to avoid partisan interjection was arguably one of the most significant reasons the album ultimately came to fruition. Years later, the trio reflects on "Trio" and "Trio II" in a harmonious manner and sustains a three-way friendship that country music lovers cherish from afar.