Friday, June 13, 2014

West Virginia: Green Rolling Hills

While I do not usually repeat songs, I will when there are different versions of the same tune even if they were recorded by the same artist. Back in 2010, I featured Emmylou Harris and Mary Black’s live duet of “Green Rolling Hills (of West Virginia).” Since I said it all before, I won’t belabor the point of the song’s history and my attraction to it.

For today’s Feminine Friday feature during our Second Week Special on West Virginia, I go back to Emmylou Harris’ original 1978 recording of the song from her album “Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town.” I bought this LP when I was living in Ashland, KY but attending school and working in West Virginia – just a few short miles away.

One other memory of the song was something an old girlfriend had told me. She had come to West Virginia to work and after a few years left for New England. When she heard this song, she had to return because she missed the “Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia.” I certainly can understand that.

On this version, Fayssoux Starling (now McLean) sang the duet with Emmylou. Different than the acoustic version with Mary Black, Harris’ original recording has a deciding electric country feel; however, that is offset by the fiddles provided by Ricky Skaggs – although one of the fiddles may have been a viola as Skaggs is credited as playing both fiddle and viola on the album.

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