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mus200 chapters exam - CHAPTER INTRODUCTION | COUNTRY ROCK...

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CHAPTER INTRODUCTION | COUNTRY ROCK Gram Parsons (Cecil Conner, 1946-1973) wrote songs and played the guitar with the International Submarine Band until 1968, when he joined the Byrds, a folk-rock group from Los Angeles, and convinced them to do a country album. Parsons's goal was to combine country music with rock, but in many ways the album that resulted, Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1968), was more of a country album with occasional rock influences than a real melding of country and rock styles. The most rock-oriented cut on the album was One Hundred Years from Now (written by Parsons). It was rock-oriented because it followed a four-beat metric pattern, used a strong backbeat, and had background instrumentals that, at times, almost obscured the lead vocals, something country musicians generally avoided. Other songs, like Pretty Boy Floyd and You're Still on My Mind, had a rock beat, but the strong bluegrass influences in the former and the honky-tonk style of the latter made it difficult to call them rock. Blue Canadian Rockies, Hickory Wind, and Christian Life were all in triple meters, common for country, but unusual for rock. Although the album was not the synthesis of country and rock styles that later groups would perfect, it was an important influence on many of those groups. Parsons left the Byrds after refusing to tour in South Africa because of his opposition to apartheid. In 1968, he and former Byrd Chris Hillman formed the Flying Burrito Brothers, a group that included the country timbre of pedal-steel guitar, a strong rock backbeat, and Everly Brothers-influenced vocal harmonies.
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Parsons quit the Flying Burrito Brothers in 1970 and was joined by singer Emmylou Harris (born in 1947) on his solo albums, GP (1972) and Grievous Angel (1973). The exposure Harris gained through her appearances on Parsons's albums and concert tour helped her establish a career in country and country- rock music. An important pioneer of the country-rock sound, Parsons died in 1973; though the cause of death was never established, a combination of drugs and alcohol was evident in the autopsy. Groups and individuals who followed his lead in developing country-rock music remembered Parsons through newly written song tributes and covers of his compositions. Buffalo Springfield was a folk-rock group that originally included musicians who became important in the development of country rock, including guitarist/singer/ writer Neil Young, guitarist/singer/writer Stephen Stills, guitarist/singer Richie Furay, bass player Bruce Palmer, and drummer Dewey Martin. Jim Messina joined the group to play bass when needed and to work as their recording engineer. Two of the country-influenced songs recorded by the group, Go and Say Goodbye and Hot Dusty Roads, were written by Stills. After the breakup of the group, he went on to work with David Crosby from the Byrds, Graham Nash from the Hollies, and Neil Young in the folk-rock groups Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
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