Posts Tagged ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo’

Sweetheart Of The Rodeo

On this day August. 30th in 1968: The Byrds released their 6th studio album, ‘Sweetheart Of The Rodeo’, on Columbia Records; it was the sixth album to be released by the band The Byrds , recorded with the addition of country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons, it was influential as the first major country rock album by an established act and represented a stylistic move away from the psychedelic rock of the band’s previous album ,The Notorious Byrd Brotherssteered by the passion of the little-known Parsons, who had only joined The Byrds in February 1968, by the time the album was released in August, Parsons had left the band

It was massively influential as the first major country-rock album by an established act; the group had occasionally experimented with country music on their four previous albums, but ‘Sweetheart Of The Rodeo’ represented their fullest immersion into the genre; the album elicited a great deal of resistance & hostility from the ultra-conservative Nashville country music establishment, who viewed The Byrds as a group of long-haired hippies attempting to subvert country music – making “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo”, arguably, the first true ‘alt country’ record…

You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
2:41 I Am A Pilgrim
6:27 The Christian Life
9:01 You Don’t Miss Your Water
12:56 You’re Still On My Mind
15:26 Pretty Boy Floyd
18:06 Hickory Wind
21:44 One Hundred Years From Now
24:46 Blue Canadian Rockies
26:54 Life In Prison
29:45 Nothing Was Delivered

On the original album, Gram Parsons is featured singing lead vocals on the songs “Hickory Wind”, “You’re Still on My Mind”, and “Life in Prison”. Due to legal threat from Lee Hazlewood (who contended that the singer was still under contract to his LHI record label), Gram’s vocals on the three songs “The Christian Life”, “You Don’t Miss Your Water”, and “One Hundred Years from Now” were replaced by Roger McGuinn. Parsons’ original vocals were finally released on The Byrds box set in 1990 (as well as Sacred Hearts & Fallen Angels: The Gram Parsons Anthology in 2001).

Let’s not forget Chris Hillmans contributions, when we think of the Byrds, the Burrito Brothers..Parsons and Hillman were a formidable writing team, and contributed to the sounds of American music just as much as any thing Lieber and Stoler contributed. And when we’re grovin on Gram’s stuff , let’s also remember, Sneaky Pete Klienow the incredible steel pedal player who gave the burritos that, what I would call hippie trippie country sound.

Gram Parsons passed away on this day September 19th in 1973, American singer songwriter pianist and guitarist, Best known for his work in the Country Rock genre, besides being a solo artist he worked with several notable bands The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Byrds, his short career blending country and rock made him a influential artist,
Parsons joined the Byrds in 1968 playing a pivotal role in the making of “Sweetheart Of The Radio” album.


After leaving the Byrds later that year he and fellow Byrdsman Chris Hillman formed the Flying Burrito Brothers releaseing their classic debut “The Gilded Palace Of Sin” then a second album “Burrito Deluxe”.


Parsons was then fired from the band and signed to A&M and recorded sessions for a projected solo album, He then went to live in France at Ville Nelcote with Friend Keith Richards. Returning to America he befriended Emmylou Harris who provided backing vocals on his first solo album GP,and a further solo album Grievous Angel. Drug abuse seriously affected his health and he was found unresponsive in his hotel bedroom suffering Morphine and alcohol poisoning, he died in September 1973 at the young age of 26. he would spend time and weekends away in the Joshua Tree National Park