Who’s That Singing With Emmylou Harris On The Hauntingly Beautiful ‘Love Hurts’?
OK, let me say this right up front: I think Emmylou Harris has one of the most beautiful, one of the purest voices in all of country music. Or perhaps I should say in all of music, period.
The Country Music Hall of Famer has had so many great solo hit's (Her 'Together Again' and 'Beneath Still Waters' are two personal favorites) and it's always a special treat to here her voice blend with other great artist's, people like Rodney Crowell, Willie Nelson and...well, too many to mention.
In a nutshell: Any project that Emmylou is involved in, count me as one who wants to hear it and will undoubtedly crank it up!
So it was a fantastic surprise (to me, perhaps not to millions of others!) when I heard Emmylou from over 4 decades ago on that great Felice and Boudleaux Bryant classic 'Love Hurts'. Best known by millions around the world as something of a rock ballad anthem by Nazareth, and a great hit by the legendary Everly Brothers 'back in the day', I wasn't familiar with Emmylou's version.
But wait. I'm totally wrong....and I mean totally wrong!
It wasn't who Emmylou was singing with...it was who was singing with Emmylou! Let me explain.
I was a big Flying Burrito Brothers fan in the old days, the 'old days' being the late 1960's and early 1970's. A forerunner of what would eventually evolve into what many called 'country rock', it might be said the Burrito's were ahead of their time. One thing is for sure: They were innovative and creative.
One of the Burrito's was a man named Gram Parsons. He's legendary in the music business, both for the incredible musical work he did and, sadly, because of his way too early death at the age of 26 in 1973. You can read about that here, but as it turns out, 'Love Hurts' was a cut on Gram's second solo album 'Grievous Angel'.
To say Emmylou was close to Gram Parsons would be one of the biggest understatements I could make. They had a unique and very special partnership that is evident on so many of the songs they did together. But for now, let's listen to just one.
Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris with 'Love Hurts'. And just listen to that beautiful Al Perkins pedal steel.