Gram Parsons

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Gram Parsons (born Cecil Ingram Connor III, 1946-1973) was an influential country singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist, who, in his short career, helped to create the genre of country rock. He was briefly a member of the Byrds, and collaborated with them on their much-lauded 1968 album Sweetheart of the Radio, often considered an early masterpiece of country rock. After being kicked out of the Byrds in 1969 (following his refusal to play in South Africa because of his objection to that country's apartheid system), he took folk musician Chris Hillman with him and formed the Flying Burrito Brothers, which broke up in 1970. Parsons embarked on a solo career after discovering the young singer Emmylou Harris in a Washington, D.C. nightclub, and together they created his two most critically-acclaimed albums before his death, G.P. in 1973 and Grievous Angel in 1974.