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Blue Kentucky Girl

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Audio CD, February 24, 2004
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Blue Kentucky Girl + Pieces of the Sky + Roses in the Snow
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Includes the #1 hit Beneath Still Waters and two unissued bonus cuts. 1979 release.


Emmylou Harris focuses more intently on her country ancestry with this 1979 record, tackling songs made famous by Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, and the Louvin Brothers. However, the most rewarding cuts are the lesser-known gems: Willie Nelson's rollicking "Sister's Coming Home" (with Tanya Tucker), Dallas Frazier's aching ballad "Beneath Still Waters" (which hit No. 1 for Harris), and Jean Ritchie's moving folk song "Sorrow in the Wind." Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt help out on "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues," while Lincoln Davis's accordion beefs up the Flatt & Scruggs classic "Rough and Rocky." This record, Harris's fifth for Reprise, signals the end of her classic country-rock period. She would unplug completely for 1980's superb Roses in the Snow before breaking up with producer-husband Brian Ahern and pointing herself in new directions. --Marc Greilsamer

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Sisters Coming Home (Remastered LP Version)Emmylou Harris with Tanya Tucker 2:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Beneath Still Waters (Remastered LP Version)Emmylou Harris 3:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Rough And Rocky (Remastered LP Version)Emmylou Harris 3:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Hickory Wind (Remastered LP Version)Emmylou Harris 4:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Save The Last Dance For Me (Remastered LP Version)Emmylou Harris 3:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Sorrow In The Wind (Remastered LP Version)Emmylou Harris with Sharon & Cheryl White 3:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. They'll Never Take His Love From Me (Remastered LP Version)Emmylou Harris 2:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Everytime You Leave (Remastered LP Version)Emmylou Harris with Don Everly 2:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Blue Kentucky Girl (Remastered LP Version)Emmylou Harris 3:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Even Cowgirls Get The Blues (Remastered LP Version)Emmylou Harris with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt 3:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Cheatin' Is (Remastered LP Version)Emmylou Harris with Glen Campbell 2:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. I Know An Ending When It Comes (Remastered LP Version)Emmylou Harris 2:51$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 24, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00013MS9M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,499 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Emmylou Harris Store


Image of album by Emmylou Harris


Image of Emmylou Harris


Already celebrated as a discoverer and interpreter of other artists’ songs, 12-time Grammy Award–winner Emmylou Harris has, in the last decade, become admired as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. On Hard Bargain, her third Nonesuch disc, she offers 11 original songs—three of them co-written with Grammy– and ... Read more in Amazon's Emmylou Harris Store

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Customer Reviews

Great songs including a number of classics, and great musicians as well.
Mr. Kingfish
So if you want to hear Emmylou at her very best ,and singing the purest of contry songs,always her first love,this is as good an album you can get.
J. Guild
As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the best albums ever recorded by anybody in any genre of music.
Peter Durward Harris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By a viewer on January 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Go with the majority of the reviewers on this one folks. This is country the way it was meant to be!! Emmylou's vocals shine pure and true especially on "Beneath Still Waters" and "Save the Last Dance For Me" two of her masterpiece cuts and both #1 hits for her at the time of their release. This CD is Emmylou at her very best and when I found out they had released this treasure on CD I nabbed it immediately because I'd just about worn out my vinyl LP! It still packs a wallop after all these years!!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Emmylou has recorded many brilliant albums throughout her career but the string of albums that she recorded between 1975 and 1980 are ultimately her most important legacy. Everybody has his or her favorite - this is mine, perhaps because traditional country is what I like best, and that's what this album is filled with.
The set opens with Sister's coming home, an up-tempo song written by Willie Nelson, on which Tanya Tucker joins Emmylou for an incredible duet. I love Willie's music, but Emmylou and Tanya's version of this song is far superior to Willie's original.
Next comes the superb ballad, Beneath still waters, a hitherto obscure George Jones song, which provided Emmylou with a country number one hit. Even better is Save the last dance for me, also a huge country hit for Emmylou. I've heard countless versions of this song including the original Drifters version as well as brilliant covers by Buck Owens and others, but this is the best I've ever heard.
Among the other great covers here are Rough and rocky (Flatt and Scruggs), Hickory wind (a Gram Parsons song that first appeared on the classic album Sweethearts of the rodeo by the Byrds), Sorrow in the wind (Jean Ritchie - the song is sometimes titled Sweet sorrow in the wind), They'll never take his love from me (Hank Williams) and Every time you leave (Louvin Brothers) - with Don Everly.
The title track, Blue Kentucky girl, was an early Loretta Lynn country hit that might have faded into obscurity but for Emmylou's revival of it.
The album (as originally released) closes with one of my favorite country songs, Even cowgirls get the blues.
Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J N Crump on February 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This was the first Emmylou Harris album I ever bought. As many great albums as she has made, it's probably still my favorite. If you're unfamiliar with her work, this is probably the best intro to Emmylou you'll find. As with many Emmylou records, her talent for finding and interpreting songs is matchless. The song cycle here holds together as if the songs were written for one another. Backed by Ricky Skaggs, the Whites, Tanya Tucker, Don Everly, and many others, Emmy shines with her crystaline voice all the way through.
Probably at her vocal peak with this record, Emmylou shows rockers, bluegrass pickers and country wannabes all how to do it -- and that she was doing it better decades ago. If you're a fan of new country, O Brother, roots rock or Americana, pick up this disc and listen to a master at work. Emmylou truly set the standard and blazed the trail for all those to come who would blur the lines of genres in the name of creative individuality.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Todd and In Charge VINE VOICE on April 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Emmylou had a string of phenomenal records on Reprise from 1975 through and including this release in 1979, but this one holds up as a cohesive, dreamy, almost perfect explication of her vision and musical personality. While for the most part eschewing covers of popular and rock songs and reaching back to her musical roots, Emmy rediscovers the lilting, pure beauty of her voice, harmony, and acoustic guitar. She is joined by fantastic musicians such as Ricky Skaggs on fiddle, Ronnie Tutt (later of the Jerry Garcia Band) on drums, the great Elvis guitarist James Burton, Albert Lee, and others.

It all works. Her cover of "Save the Last Dance for Me" should have been the benchmark version of this Doc Pomus staple, but she makes it all her own. She tries on Willie Nelson's "Sister's Coming Home," again making it personal and dramatic.

"Beneath Still Waters" is beautiful and haunting, the emotional anchor to the album. As a Byrds fan I was pleased and surprised by her version of "Hickory Wind," taking it places Gram Parson never did. And "Blue Kentucky Girl" and "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" sound effortless and perfect, with swirling harmonies provided by Dolly Parton and Linda Rondstadt.

Bonus tracks include an interesting harmonic diversion with Glen Campbell and songs that add to the overall experience of the album, a treasure trove of great music, great harmonies, and great instrumentation.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on April 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Blue Kentucky Girl is a real roots country album, both in the sound and the nature imagery of the songs, as is obvious from titles like Beneath Still Waters, Hickory Wind, Sorrow In The Wind and Rough & Rocky.

The rhythmic uptempo number Sister's Coming Home with its great fiddle opens the album, and is followed by the stirring slow ballad Beneath Still Waters. Hickory Wind is the Gram Parsons song, and of course Emmylou makes it her own with a soulful, delicate interpretation. The execution is quite different from her duet with Gram Parsons.

This recording of Save The Last Dance For Me is probably the definite version by now, whilst Sorrow In The Wind is a poignant gentle song full of yearning, where the harmony vocals of Cheryl and Sharon White are almost magical.

Other beautiful voices that contribute to this gem of an album are Don Everly on Everytime You Leave, and Ricky Skaggs and Fayssoux Starling on They'll Never Take His Love From Me. The title track and Even Cowgirls Get The Blues are rhythmic mid-tempo ballads with strong melodies.

The two extra tracks include Cheating Is, an atmospheric ballad with Glen Campbell and the sorrowful I Know An Ending When It Comes, where her voice shines in glory. My favorite sequence on the album is the one from Hickory Wind to Sorrow In The Wind, as Harris takes the listener to places one seldom goes.

Blue Kentucky Girl is amongst her very best work and stands proudly next to Roses In The Snow, Cowgirl's Prayer, Pieces Of The Sky and the more recent classics like Red Dirt Girl and Wrecking Ball. As always, a wise selection of great songs, beautifully interpreted.
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