Gram Parsons – Pre-Flying Burrito Brothers
To many music historians and fans alike, Gram Parsons’ place in country and rock n roll history has been cemented with the Flying Burrito Brothers. Unfortunately, the Rock n Roll and Country Hall of Fame have completely overlooked him. He’s a little too country for rock n roll, and a little too rock n roll for country.
While the Flying Burrito Brothers and his later solo efforts are hailed classics, his earlier work, mostly due to record label bullshit, has been pushed aside and many haven’t had the opportunity to listen to it because of its lack of availability. This is very unfortunate because without his time spent in the International Submarine Band and the Byrds; we would have probably never gotten the late 60’s/early 70’s county rock wave that includes Gene Clark’s fabulous output, solo and in Dillard & Clark, Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush and Harvest, Grateful Dead’s American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead, The Eagles, and of course all of the off-shoots that Chris Hillman was involved in.
Gram Parson’s influence and legacy is much wider than that.
You can truly hear it in any good country music that has been released in the past 30 years, but that short list specifically refers to how his genre-bending music made country music hip to a younger crowd by covering artists such as Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, the Louvin Brothers and others, which turned on other musicians to country.
Sorry for the run-ons, you get the point though. Disclosure: Spotify is stupid. “Knee Deep in the Blue” is actually “Do You Know How It Feels to be Lonesome”. For some reason they don’t have the version of Gram singing “You Don’t Miss Your Water” or “One Hundred Years From Now” but these version are still great. Fuckin’ Spotify doesn’t even give him the respect he deserves.