“A VOICE THAT WOULD break and crack but rise pure and beautiful and full of sweetness and pain.” – Emmylou Harris describes her friend and musical soul mate, Gram Parsons, in the liner notes for 1976's Sleepless Nights. Just 26 when he died in September 1973, the man born Cecil Ingram Connor III in Winter Haven, Florida on November 5, 1946 packed a lot into his quarter century. His commitment to blending his beloved country music – this was the man who taught Keith Richards the difference between the Nashville and Bakersfield sounds – with the world of rock saw him work his way through The International Submarine Band, The Byrds and, most significantly, The Flying Burrito Brothers, before recording two solo albums that have become touchstones for those seeking the full-powered hit of mythic American music.
He may not have had the best voice in the business, but with master musicians like Chris Hillman and Emmylou Harris at his side, the ache, tenderness and vulnerability of the country boy with the hippie threads can really be something to behold.
To mark 40 years since the release of Grievous Angel (The Gilded Palace Of Sin celebrates 45 years of glory next month) we decided to revisit 20 classic Gram Parsons performances. From ISB, to The Byrds and Burritos, through GP, Grevious Angel and beyond...
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