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Almost Country: If You Love the Eagles, Dwight Yoakam or Brooks and Dunn, You’ll Love the Flying Burrito Brothers

Flying Burrito Brothers Album
Flying Burrito Brothers/A&M Records

A band called The Flying Burrito Brothers was the most influential band in country music that most people may never have heard of. So who were The Flying Burrito Brothers?

Well, they were Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman (former members of the pop/rock band The Byrds), pianist and bassist Chris Ethridge and pedal steel guitar wizard ‘Sneaky’ Pete Kleinow.

It was in 1969 that they released their debut album Gilded Palace Of Sin.

And virtually no radio stations played it. They didn’t know what it was. It was good, it was really good, but it wasn’t rock. It wasn’t country. What the heck was it??

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Now, looking back, it would be called “Country/Rock,” but it 1969 it was, as they say, ahead of it’s time.

Here were long haired hippie-looking young guys, but they were wearing rhinestones and spangles. They looked like a cross between Porter Wagoner and Jim Morrison.  And the music didn’t sound like either.

This wasn’t your Daddy’s country music. And this wasn’t your cousin’s rock and roll either.  It was – Flying Burrito Brothers music.

Willie Nelson once said “Music is anything that’s pleasing to the ear.” That’s what the Flying Burrito Brothers were.

It didn’t fit between George Jones and Lefty Frizzell, and it didn’t fit between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

But if you listen to and like the Eagles and Dwight Yoakam or if you were a fan of the “Outlaw Movement” of Waylon, Willie, Paycheck and others, well, you can give a nod to The Flying Burrito Brothers.

The original line-up didn’t last long and through the years there have been many reincarnations of the Flying Burrito Brothers, but for true hardcore fans, the original members are The Flying Burrito Brothers.  Another time we’ll talk about Gram Parsons, his legacy and his unusual unique life.

But for now, as opposed to when they emerged in 1968-69 and very, very few listened, let’s sit back and enjoy The Flying Burrito Brothers.

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