By Walter Price
5 November 1946 – 19 September 1973
“We don’t wear sequins because we think we’re great. We wear them because we think sequins are great.” -Gram Parsons
Today The GTC celebrates The Day of Birth of, the almost mythical, Cecil Ingram Conner III or as I came to know him in the 7th grade when I bought two albums from K-Mart for $3, Gram Parsons.
Never made much sense to me that you weren’t a commercial powerhouse during your days on Earth but you live on in the sounds of almost every outlaw country or rock act that came out of the late 60’s and throughout the 70s and beyond…
Your undeniable influence can easily be found in the music from everyone like former band mate Emmylou Harris, Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Marshall Tucker Band, Junior Brown to Wilco and the list could go on forever…. Musicians of all genres have been trying to recapture what you have left behind for decades and that is not a band thing at all.
Your life’s story is as legendary as the musical influence you left behind at the young age of 26. Your International Submarine Band, your short but sound-changing stint with The Byrds and the outstanding Flying Burrito Brothers (w/ Chris Hillman).
As for the two albums I bought for $3 bucks back in my preteen years The Gilded Palace of Sin (Flying Burritos Brothers ’69) & your bad to the bone debut solo effort, the simply titled G.P. (’72 or ’73) didn’t change my life right away but as time moved on and my exploration into music deepened with my years I couldn’t help but notice how much was ‘borrowed’ from you by other artists. All for the very best…
I am not a religious follower of Gram Parsons but a dude who has loved the music he left us, so please read his biography here!
“He loved country music, but he really didn’t like the country music business and didn’t think it should be angled just at Nashville. The music’s bigger than that. It should touch everybody.” – Keith Richards
“I discovered the same thing Gram Parsons did, that soul music and country music are practically identical. Based off of the same chord structures and the songs are of heartache and loss. The main connection is they both came up in church.” – Justin Townes Earl
“I have my own biography of Gram Parsons – I don’t want to be part of somebody else’s.” – Emmylou Harris
“Your soul lives on through your music. Your spirit lives on in our hearts.” (Gram Parson memorial Plaque)
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