In 1975, Emmylou Harris released her first major album, Pieces of the Sky, to great acclaim. Largely conceived and recorded while Harris was mourning the sudden death of her close friend and mentor, country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons, it remains one of the finest entries in her legendary catalogue. While Harris had already gained some recognition as a duet partner and bandmate of Parsons, whether she could succeed as a solo artist was an open question. Needless to say, Harris passed the test with flying colors.
Produced by Brian Ahern (whom Harris would marry and later divorce), the album enlisted the aid of many top musicians, some already legends and others who were then just starting out but would go on to be superstars. Credited on the album are (you might want to pull up a chair for this) are rock guitar legend James Burton, fiddle virtuoso Richard Greene, Billy Payne of Little Feat, Bernie Leadon of the Eagles, former Crickets member Glen D. Hardin, ex-Dillards member Herb Pedersen, Linda Ronstadt as a backing vocalist, and even future Entertainer of the Year-winner Ricky Skaggs playing fiddle on a couple of tracks. Needless to say, there aren't a lot of albums with this much star power, especially from so many diverse areas of music.