Boulder to Birmingham
"Boulder to Birmingham" is a track from the 1975 album Pieces of the Sky by Emmylou Harris. The song was written by Harris and Bill Danoff. It has served as something of a signature tune for the artist and recounts her feelings of grief in the years following the death of country rock star and mentor Gram Parsons. Early in her career, Harris toured with Gram Parsons and sang on his 1973 album GP. The song is known for its chorus "I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham/I would hold my life in his saving grace/I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham/If I thought I could see, I could see your face." Harris did not write about Parsons' death directly again until "The Road" a track from her 2011 album Hard Bargain.
Danoff recorded the song with his group, the Starland Vocal Band, on their self-titled debut album. A version of the song was a hit in New Zealand for The Hollies, reaching number ten there, and later appeared on their album A Crazy Steal. A version was recorded in 1975 by Scott Walker and The Walker Brothers on their No Regrets album. In 2012, American alternative rock band, The Fray, released a cover of the song featuring Harris as a bonus track on their record, Scars & Stories.
Joan Baez cut a live version of the song and it originally appeared on her 1976 live album From Every Stage; the track later appeared in the compilation Joan Baez: The Complete A&M Recordings (released September 23, 2003).
The song also appeared in a 1984 episode of The Dukes of Hazzard titled "Play It Again, Luke" in which it was sung by actor Tom Wopat as Luke and guest star Roberta Leighton as country singer and a former flame of Luke's named Candy Dix.
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- Emmylou Harris Official Site
- Emmylou Harris: The Sweetheart of the Rodeo – An excellent biography by Bill DeYoung containing a background to the song.
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