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Gram Parsons
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    (November 5, 1946-September 19, 1973)
    Birth name is Cecil Ingram Connor
    Former member of the bands the International Submarine Band, The Byrds and The Flying Buritto Brothers
    Recorded albums include 'Sweethearts Of The Rodeo' as part of the Byrds, 'The Gilded Palace of Sin' and 'Burrito Deluxe' as part of The Flying Burrito Brothers, and 'G.P.' and 'Grievous Angel' during his solo career
    Pioneer of country rock
    He attended Harvard to study theology, but dropped out because he spent more time with his music than his classes.
    His International Submarine Band's first album went on sale after they disbanded.
    Starting in 1969, he abused drugs and alcohol and eventually died of a lethal mix of morphine and tequila.
    His drug addiction was heavily influenced through his friendship with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
    He used his trust fund to supply his drug habit.
    He changed his name to Gram Parsons at 13 after his mother married Robert Parsons.
    His rhinestone-laced outfits during his solo career were ridiculous.
    While his stepfather wanted his body taken back to New Orleans for burial, his road manager, Phil Kaufman, stole his body and drove it to the Joshua Tree desert. Kaufman cremated Parsons' body in an open fire, in accordance with his wishes.
    His charred body was eventually taken to New Orleans for burial.
    His country rock style is very noticeable in The Byrds' album 'Sweethearts of the Rodeo.'
    His grandfather, Cecil Snively, owned one-third of all the citrus fields in Florida.
    He learned to play piano at the age of nine. He decided to become a musician that same year after seeing Elvis live.
    His father, Coon Dog Connor, committed suicide when Gram was twelve.
    His mother died of alcohol poisoning on the same day he graduated high school.
    He left The Byrds in the fall of 1968 because they were slated to perform in South Africa, and he was against apartheid.
    Keith Richards said 'Like I know the blues, Gram Parsons knew country music. But he also had intelligence and honesty. That's the kind of guy I like to hang with.'
    During his solo career, he hired Emmylou Harris as one of his back-up singers.
    He didn't sell many records during his lifetime but his influence has been felt after his death. His music style has been emulated by musicians from Emmylou Harris to Elvis Costello.
    The kidnapping and torching of his body was spoofed in the 2003 movie 'Grand Theft Parsons' in which Johnny Knoxville plays Phil Kaufman and Gabriel Macht plays Gram.

Credit: Nebraska Boy

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