Ronstadt, Parton, Harris
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. "Mister 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 was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. "Palms of Victory," another track from the aborted 1970s sessions, was included on the 2007 Emmylou Harris boxset Songbird: Rare Tracks and Forgotten Gems.