The Trio: Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt Cover “The Weeping Willow” Back In 1976

Dolly parton country music
The Trio

If there was ever a power trio, this would be it.

I’ve long wanted country music to bring back the collaborative album.

While country, like all genres, is driven on the surface by big name artists putting out hits, dig a layer deeper and it’s easy to see that the album is the foundation on which the whole thing is built. Without a quality, lengthy body of work, the smash hits quickly fade into “Oh, I remember that song” if it happens to come on the radio or playlist shuffle, but if those big singles are backed up with album cuts and fan favorites, they take on a stronger, longer lasting legacy.

But one thing that country music had for awhile that few other genres did (with the notable exclusion of rap) was collaborative projects between some of its biggest stars.

Immediately coming to mind are The Highwaymen, Waylon & Willie, Wanted! The Outlaws, and in modern days there’s a few supergroups that come together every now and again like the Pistol Annies and The Panhandlers, but a project that I feel never gets the shine it deserves featured icons of country music and rock alike.

Trio is a collaborative album made by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt that they originally tried to make back in the 1970’s, but busy schedules and inter-label conflict pushed the recording of the project to 1986 and it was finally released in March of 1987.

The project featured both new originals and covers but was an immediate success, hitting number one on the country charts and producing 4 Top 6 country singles, including a number one with “To Know Him Is To Love Him”.

Honestly, the entire project is fantastic, but there’s one classic cover they teamed up to play back in 1976 that I wish made the final track list.

The three longtime friends got a chance to play on Dolly’s variety show aptly named Dolly a few times over the years, performances including “The Sweetest Gift” and “Applejack”, but their performance of a traditional folk ballad that was popularized by The Carter Family all the way back in 1927.

Titled “Bury Me Beneath The Weeping Willow Tree” or just “The Weeping Willow”, it’s a tragic song about a person being left on their wedding day and asking to be buried beneath the sad looking weeping willow in hopes that the other will be reminded of the heart that they broke.

“My heart is sad, and I’m in sorrow
For the only one I love
When shall I see him, oh, no, never
Till I meet him in heaven above

Oh, bury me under the weeping willow
Yes, under the weeping willow tree
So he may know where I am sleeping
And perhaps he will weep for me”

The voices of Dolly, Emmylou, and Linda work so well together I think it’s a true shame we never got to hear a studio version of this one, but the live performance will have to do.

It just doesn’t get much better than this, folks.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock