Harley Allen

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Harley Allen
Birth nameHarley Lee Allen
Born(1956-01-23)January 23, 1956
Dayton, Ohio, United States
DiedMarch 30, 2011(2011-03-30) (aged 55)
Brentwood, Tennessee, United States
GenresCountry, bluegrass
Instrument(s)Guitar, mandolin
Years active1970s1990s
LabelsFolkways, PolyGram, Rounder

Harley Lee Allen (January 23, 1956 – March 30, 2011) was an American bluegrass and country singer and songwriter.

Early life[edit]

Allen was born in Dayton, Ohio, the son of bluegrass performer Red Allen.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details
Another River


Year Single Album
1996 "Old Love Dreamin'" Another River
"The Waving Girl"
"Boy She Did"
1997 "Love Ain't Supposed to Hurt"

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1996 "Boy She Did"[1] Lynn Spinnato


Allen appeared on several 1970s albums with his brothers as the Allen Brothers: Allengrass (Lemco Records), Sweet Rumors (Rounder Records), Clara's Boys (Rounder Records), Are You Feeling It Too (Folkways Records), Red Allen Favorites (King Bluegrass Records). He recorded three solo albums, Across The Blueridge Mountains (Folkways, 1983), Another River (PolyGram, 1996) and Live At The Bluebird (2001).

He was most known for providing background vocals on the song "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. He won two Grammy Awards for that recording in 2002, in the Best Country Collaboration with Vocals and Album of the Year categories.

Allen performed on two bluegrass tribute albums for the British rock band the Moody Blues: Moody Bluegrass: A Nashville Tribute to the Moody Blues (2004), and Moody Bluegrass TWO... Much Love (2011).[2][3] The latter album was released after Allen's death.

Personal life[edit]

Allen is survived by his three brothers, Ronnie, Greg and Mark Allen; his sister, Delores Allen; his wife, Debbie Nims; their two daughters, Katelyn and Maggie; and son, Aaron.[4]


Allen died of lung cancer on March 30, 2011, at his home in Brentwood, Tennessee.[5]

Songs written[edit]

The singles/songs written or co-written by Allen have been, among others, performed by:


  1. ^ "CMT : Videos : Harley Allen : Boy She Did". Country Music Television. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  2. ^ "Moody Bluegrass: Rocking Through the Hills". NPR. December 30, 2004. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  3. ^ "Moody Bluegrass Two…Much Love". bluegrasstoday.com. June 7, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  4. ^ Hit Songwriter Harley Allen Dies at 55
  5. ^ "Hit Country Songwriter Harley Allen Dead at 55". CMT. March 30, 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2023.

External links[edit]