Happy Anniversary: Emmylou Harris, ELITE HOTEL
41 years ago this month, Emmylou Harris released her second album and, in turn, found herself with her very first #1 album on the Billboard Country chart.
Produced by Brian Ahern, ELITE HOTEL was recorded in California during the summer of ’75 and predominantly featured Harris performing a variety of covers, but the album kicked off with “Amarillo,” co-written by Harris and Rodney Crowell. Harris also covered Crowell’s “Till I Gain Control Again” farther into the album, but the majority of the songs are from decidedly more familiar sources. (That’s not an insult: Crowell was still an up-and-comer at that point in his career.) During the course of the proceedings, Harris put her own spin on songs by Buck Owens (“Together Again”), the Beatles (“Here, There and Everywhere”), Don Gibson (“Sweet Dreams”), and Hank Williams (“Jambalaya”), but she also delivering stirring renditions of a couple of Chris Hillman / Gram Parsons compositions: “Sin City” and “Wheels.”
By the time all was said and done, Harris had also earned two #1 country singles (“Sweet Dreams” and “One of These Days”), a #3 country single (a version of Earl Montgomery’s “One of These Days”), and “Here, There and Everywhere” even made it to #65 on the pop charts. More importantly, though, Harris increased her popularity level significantly, and if it’s waned since then, it hasn’t done so by much: she’s viewed as a country legend, as well she should be.