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On March 22, 1985, singer-songwriter and country-music darling Emmylou Harris delivered another flawless performance at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati, in a concert recorded for the Silver Eagle Cross Country radio series. A month earlier, she had released her 11th LP, The Ballad of Sally Rose, a semi-autobiographical concept album partly about her relationship with Gram Parsons. The album marked a new songwriting milestone for Harris and earned her a Grammy nomination, although it didn’t see much commercial success. Her 1981 album Cimarron, had fared much better, spawning three Top 10 country hits: “If I Needed You,” “Tennessee Rose” and “Born to Run.” Not Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” Harris’s song was much more self-assured, a paean to personal fulfillment: “Well I was born to run / To get ahead of the rest / And all that I wanted was to be the best / Just to feel free and be someone / I was born to be fast I was born to run.”
Listen to Emmylou Harris sing her own “Born to Run” on March 22, 1985.