Gram Parsons is a highly influential figure in the development of country rock. He was a member of various bands throughout his youth, but formed his first significant outfit, The International Submarine Band, after dropping out of Harvard University in 1966, drawing inspiration from the folk rock movement. Their seminal 1968 album, Safe At Home, was pivotal in the birth of the country rock genre. He was then a member of The Byrds during their Sweetheart Of The Rodeo era, inspiring their country-dominated change of direction. In 1969 he formed The Flying Burrito Brothers with fellow Byrds member Chris Hillman. He was responsible for some of this band's best early work, but also became dangerously dependent on drugs during his tenure with the group. He recorded two excellent solo albums before his death from a drugs overdose in 1973. The highly acclaimed Grievous Angel was not released until the year after his death. His body was famously stolen from Los Angeles International Airport by his road manager, Phil Kaufman. His body was due to be flown to Louisiana to be buried, but was instead burned at the Joshua Tree National Monument by Kaufman, as he attempted to carry out Parsons' wish of being cremated and scattered there.
Followers: Eagles, Elvis Costello, Uncle Tupelo, The Lemonheads, Son Volt, Wilco, Whiskeytown, The Jayhawks, Old 97's, Beachwood Sparks
Influenced By: Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, The Everly Brothers, Buck Owens, George Jones, The Louvin Brothers, Johnny Cash
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