That Time When Dolly, Linda & Emmylou Were Shut Down by the Notorious Phil Spector


Next Friday, fans will finally get to hear music more than thirty years in the making, as the unreleased recordings of the Trio — Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt — make their way into the world.

After years of trying to make an album together, the three divas finally released their first country single in 1987, though the song itself seemed like a bit of a left turn: it was a cover version of the Phil Spector-penned “To Know Him Is to Love Him,” originally a 1958 hit for the Teddy Bears.

“An unusual choice, but Emmy’s choice and just fit her brilliantly,” Linda recalls in a new interview now posted on YouTube. “I’m a huge Phil Spector fan. Emmy just interpreted that song. She gave it a whole new life.”

Things didn’t go quite as expected, however, when the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and her Country Music Hall of Fame cohorts almost came face to face with the notorious Spector, who’s currently serving time in California on a murder conviction. 

“I remember we went to the Country Music Awards and we won an award for that,” Linda recounts. “Phil Spector was there at the after-party and Emmy started to go up to say hello to him and the two bodyguards grabbed her and sort of pulled her away. They didn’t know who she was! She just wanted to tell him thank you for writing the song,” she laughs. 

The Complete Trio Collection comes out September 9 in multiple incarnations including, for the first time ever, a vinyl version of all the tracks.

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