“I had to decide if I wanted to be a singer or an actor,” Harry Dean Stanton once said.
As Jason Isbell pointed out, after Stanton’s death: “Harry Dean was a truly great actor and he had a beautiful singing voice. If you never heard it, sounded exactly as you’d imagine.”
Speaking in tribute to Jack Nicholson, who received an AFI Life Achievement Award in 1994, Stanton was joined by Art Garfunkel to perform The Everly Brothers’ “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” Stanton started the pair off in tune with a note from the harmonica – “I just happened to have this with me,” he joked – and they harmonized a capella to the 1958 tune.
Stanton delivered a sweet performance of the folk standard as the character of Carl in the season 3 revival of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks in 2017.
Another one-time trio performance for Stanton, this cover of “Everybody’s Talkin'” was played with his friend Kristofferson and Depp in 2016, at the Harry Dean Stanton Award Show, w Stanton received the inaugural award in his name.
For the 2012 documentary about Stanton directed by Sophie Huber, the actor recorded a soundtrack released by Omnivore Recordings, featuring renditions of various folk songs.