Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Gram Parsons is the father of country-rock. While he was active, Parsons was a cult number that never ever marketed many records but influenced plenty of fellow musicians, from the Rolling Stones to the Byrds.


Gram Parsons was born Cecil Ingram Connor on November 5, 1946. He was the grand son of John Snivley, who owned about one-third of all the citrus fields in Florida, and also the child of Coon Dog Connor, an Air Force expert that had a box-making manufacturing facility in Waycross, Georgia. As a youngster, Parsons learned exactly how to play the piano at the age of nine, the same year he saw Elvis Presley perform at his school; complying with the critical performance, Parsons determined to come to be a musician. When he was 12, Parsons' father devoted suicide, and the family members relocated with Parsons' grandparents in Winter Haven, FL. A year after the step, his mom married Robert Parsons; Gram was after that adopted by his stepfather, and the child legally transformed his name to Gram Parsons.

At the age of 14, Parsons began playing in the regional rock & roll band the Pacers, which progressed right into the Legends. In 1963, Parsons formed a folk team called the Shilos who carried out throughout Florida and cut a number of demos.

Safe in your home Following his college graduation, Gram Parsons signed up at Harvard to examine faith. He only invested one term at Harvard, throughout which time he committed much more power to playing songs than participating in courses. Meanwhile, he likewise created the International Submarine Band with guitarist John Nuese, bassist Ian Dunlop and also drummer Mickey Gauvin. After he quit of university, Parsons transferred to New York City with the International Submarine Band in 1966. The team invested a year in New York, creating a greatly country-influenced rock & roll audio and cutting 2 not successful songs for Columbia Records. The band after that moved to Los Angeles in 1967, where they safeguarded a document agreement with Lee Hazlewood's LHI record label. Their launching cd, Safe at Home, was launched in very early 1968, however by the time it appeared in stores, the International Submarine Band had currently dissolved.

Sweetheart of the Rodeo Around the time the International Submarine Band dissolved, Parsons met Chris Hillman, the bassist for the Byrds. During that time, the Byrds were restoring their lineup and Hillman advised to the band's leader, Roger McGuinn, that Parsons join the ranks. By the spring of 1968, Parsons had ended up being a member of the Byrds as well as was mostly in charge of the group's change in the direction of c and w with the album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. The album was originally prepared to include Parsons' lead vocals, but as he was still contractually obligated to LHI, his voice needed to be stripped from the last item.

The Gilded Palace of SinGram Parsons just spent a couple of months with the Byrds, leaving the band in the autumn of 1968 due to the fact that he declined to accompany them on a trip of South Africa, allegedly because he opposed discrimination. Parsons and Hillman enlisted pedal steel guitarist "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow and also bassist Chris Ethridge to finish the band's lineup as well as the team as well as recorded a debut cd with a collection of session drummers.

The album just sold a few thousand duplicates, the team gathered a committed cult complying with that was mainly made up of artists, consisting of the Rolling Stones. In fact, by the time the cd was launched, Parsons had actually started spending time the Rolling Stones frequently, ending up being buddies with Keith Richards. Parsons had actually explored with alcohol and drugs prior to he satisfied Richards, yet in 1969 he dove deep into chemical abuse, which he sustained with his substantial count on fund.

Adhering to those sessions, Parsons went into a holding pattern in which he acted the duty of a rock star rather of in fact playing music. In 1971, Parsons visited with the Rolling Stones in England and also participated in the recording of the band's Exile on Main Street, as well as it showed up that he would authorize with the band's document tag. He met Emmylou Harris through Chris Hillman, and Parsons asked her to join his support band; she accepted.

General Practitioner By the summertime of 1972, he was prepared to get in the studio to tape his very first solo cd. Parsons had actually constructed a band-- that included Harris, guitarist James Burton, bassist Rick Grech, Barry Tashian, Glen D. Hardin, as well as Ronnie Tutt-- and also had asked Merle Haggard to create the album. After meeting Parsons, nevertheless, Haggard transformed the offer down, as well as Parsons picked Haggard's engineer, Hugh Davis, as the cd's manufacturer rather. The resulting album, G.P., was released late in 1972 to poor sales however great evaluations.

Grievous Angel Following the launch of G.P., Parsons started a tiny tour with his support band, the Fallen Angels. After the tour was finished, they went into the studio to videotape his 2nd cd, Grievous Angel. The album was ended up towards the end of the summertime, and Parsons commemorated its conclusion by taking a trip near the Joshua Tree National Monument in California. He invested many of his time there consuming alcohol and drugs. On September 19, 1973, he overdosed on morphine and also tequila; although rushed to the Yucca Valley Hospital, he was obvious dead on arrival. According to the funeral plans, his body was to be flown back to New Orleans for a burial. Nevertheless, Parsons' roadway supervisor stole the body after the funeral service and also carried it back out to the Joshua Tree desert, where he cremated the body using gas. Phil Kaufman later on exposed that the cremation had been Parsons' dream, and although he could not be founded guilty for stealing the body, he was jailed for burning the casket as well as taking.

In the 2 decades adhering to Gram Parsons' fatality, his legacy continued to grow, as both country and also rock musicians improved the songs he left behind. Musicians such as Emmylou Harris as well as Elvis Costello covered his tracks, and his impact can still be listened to well into the following millennium.