Trio (Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 2, 1987
RecordedLos Angeles, California, USA, January - November 1986
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerGeorge Massenburg
Trio chronology
Trio II
Dolly Parton chronology
Think About Love
The Best There Is
Linda Ronstadt chronology
For Sentimental Reasons
Canciones de Mi Padre
Emmylou Harris chronology
Angel Band
Singles from Trio
  1. "To Know Him Is to Love Him"
    Released: February 2, 1987
  2. "Telling Me Lies"
    Released: May 17, 1987
  3. "Those Memories of You"
    Released: September 7, 1987
  4. "Wildflowers"
    Released: March 21, 1988
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert ChristgauB+[2]

Trio is the first collaborative studio album by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris. It was released on March 2, 1987, by Warner Bros. Records. The album sold over 4 million copies worldwide and also received several awards, including two Grammy Awards. Parton, Ronstadt, and Harris released a second album, Trio II, in 1999 and a third, The Complete Trio Collection, in 2016.


Longtime friends and admirers of one another, Parton, Ronstadt and Harris first attempted to record an album together in the mid-1970s, but scheduling conflicts and other difficulties (including the fact that the three women all recorded for different record labels) prevented its release. Some of the fruits of those aborted 1970s recording sessions did make it onto the women's respective solo recordings. "Mr. Sandman" and "Evangeline" appeared on Harris' album Evangeline and Parton's "My Blue Tears" was included on Ronstadt's 1982 album Get Closer. Rodney Crowell's "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" was on Harris' Blue Kentucky Girl album. Parton and Ronstadt also recorded a version of the traditional ballad "I Never Will Marry", which appeared on Ronstadt's 1977 Simple Dreams album, though that was recorded separately from these sessions, as was Ronstadt's cover of Hank Williams' "I Can't Help It if I'm Still in Love With You", from Heart Like a Wheel, on which she was joined by Harris. (During this time, Ronstadt and Harris also covered a number of Parton's compositions—Harris covered "Coat of Many Colors" and "To Daddy", and Ronstadt recorded "I Will Always Love You"—for inclusion on their various solo albums during the mid- to late-1970s; Parton, in turn, covered Harris' "Boulder to Birmingham" in 1976, including it on her All I Can Do album.)

Finally a collaboration effort went to full fruition, being produced by George Massenburg. When Trio was released in early 1987, it spawned four huge Country hit singles - including the Country #1 remake of Phil Spector's 1958 hit by The Teddy Bears, "To Know Him Is to Love Him". The album hit #1 on the US Country album chart - where it held for five consecutive weeks - and #6 on the main Billboard album chart. It won the Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. It was also nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy alongside Michael Jackson, U2, Prince and Whitney Houston as well as Best Country Song for "Telling Me Lies". It won the 1987 Academy of Country Music Award for Album of the Year and won Vocal Event of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards at the 1988 ceremony. It was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.[3] "Palms of Victory," another track from the aborted 1970s sessions, was included on the 2007 Emmylou Harris boxset Songbird: Rare Tracks and Forgotten Gems.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."The Pain of Loving You"Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner
  • Harris
2."Making Plans"Johnny Russell, Voni Morrison
  • Parton
3."To Know Him Is to Love Him"Phil Spector
  • Harris
4."Hobo's Meditation"Jimmie Rodgers
  • Ronstadt
5."Wildflowers"Dolly Parton
  • Parton
6."Telling Me Lies"Linda Thompson, Betsy Cook
  • Ronstadt
7."My Dear Companion"Traditional; arranged by Jean Ritchie
  • Harris
8."Those Memories of You"Alan O'Bryant
  • Parton
9."I've Had Enough"Kate McGarrigle
  • Ronstadt
10."Rosewood Casket"Traditional; arranged by Avie Lee Parton
  • Parton
11."Farther Along"Traditional; arranged by John Starling, Emmylou Harris
  • Harris
  • Parton
  • Ronstadt


  • Linda Ronstadt - vocals
  • Emmylou Harris - vocals, acoustic guitar (1,5,7)
  • Dolly Parton - vocals
  • Ry Cooder - tremolo guitar (3)
  • Kenny Edwards - electric bass (6), acoustic bass (1,2,3,5,7,8,10)
  • Steve Fishell - dobro (4), pedal steel (1,6), Hawaiian guitar (8)
  • Russ Kunkel - drums (1,2,3,5,6,8)
  • Albert Lee - acoustic guitar (1,2,3,6,8,10,11), mandolin (5,7)
  • David Lindley - acoustic guitar (6), mandolin (1,2,3,8), Autoharp (5,7), Harpolek (5), Hawaiian guitar (3), dulcimer (10)
  • Mark O'Connor - acoustic guitar (5,7), viola (1,2,5,7), fiddle (2,8), mandolin (10)
  • Bill Payne - acoustic piano (6,9,11), electric piano (6), harmonium (11), Hammond organ (11)
  • Herb Pedersen - banjo (4), vocal arrangement (4,6)
  • Leland Sklar - acoustic bass (4)
  • John Starling - acoustic guitar (4,8), musical consultant
  • David Campbell - orchestration & conducting (6,9)
  • Charles Veal - concertmaster (6)
  • Dennis Karmazyn - cello soloist (9)
  • Jodi Burnett - cello (9)
  • Marty Krystall - clarinet (9)
  • Brice Martin - flute (9)
  • Ilene "Novi" Novog - viola (9)


  • Recorded, produced & engineered by George Massenburg
  • Sharon Rice: Assistant Engineer
  • Doug Sax: Mastering

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1987) Peak
Canadian RPM Top Albums[citation needed] 4
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums[4] 1
U.S. Billboard 200[4] 6


  1. ^ Deming, Mark. Trio at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris". Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  3. ^ "American album certifications – Parton,D.,Ronstadt,L.,Harris,E – Trio". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  4. ^ a b Trio at AllMusic

External links[edit]