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 Gram Parsons

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Gram Parsons Famous memorial

Original Name
Cecil Ingram Connor
Birth
Winter Haven, Polk County, Florida, USA
Death
19 Sep 1973 (aged 26)
Joshua Tree, San Bernardino County, California, USA
Burial
Metairie, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, USA
Plot
Plot R-12-11-2
Memorial ID
3110 View Source

Musician. He gained stardom as an American musician, who specialized in Rock and Country music. His love of music grew from the guitar lessons that he started at the age of nine. Born Cecil Ingram Connor III, he was a big fan of Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. At the age of ten, he began classes at a military prep school in Jacksonville, Florida. While there, his father committed suicide two days before Christmas, and Parsons was expelled from the school due to his reaction to the tragedy. His mother then married Robert Ellis Parsons, who soon adopted Gram and his younger sister, Avis. In 1960, he formed his first band, The Pacers. His next band, The Legends, consisted of fellow future hit makers Jim Stafford and the members of the band Lobo. Never one to limit his musical opportunities he ventured out with other projects playing keyboards and performing a solo acoustic guitar act. After his mother developed a drug dependency problem, he was soon partaking of her drug supply. Due to his growing drug abuse, his grades suffered and he failed his junior year of high school. He acquired a level of local celebrity in Greenville, South Carolina and was soon invited to judge a television talent show. Back stage at the show he met and harmonized with members of The Shilos who invited him to sing with them after they were announced the winners. By the age of 17, he was a member of The Shilos. With manager Buddy Freeman they were able to perform for a few hundred dollars a night. In 1964, they went to New York City. It was here that they met their idols, The Journeymen, whose style they had imitated. At Bob Jones University in 1965, they recorded nine tracks. These tracks would later be published on "Gram Parsons & The Shilos: The Early Years, Vol. 1." On the morning of his high school graduation in June of 1965, he learned that his mother had died from alcohol poisoning. For a short time during 1965, he attended Harvard University and he formed the International Submarine Band. After two years, the band split. Gram and John Nuese stayed with a country sound and Mickey Gauvin and Ian Dunlop formed the Flying Burrito Brothers. In July of 1967 the International Submarine Band recorded their album "Safe at Home," Most consider this to be the first country-rock album although it was not widely successful. Hanging out at The Byrds' recording sessions led to a friendship with Chris Hillman. When David Crosby left the band in February 1968, Parsons took his place in the band. When the Byrds recorded "Sweetheart of the Rodeo," he was finally in big time rock and roll. That album has continued to be a classic. He resigned from the Byrds in 1969 and formed the next incarnation of the Flying Burrito Brothers with Chris Hillman, Chris Ethridge and Sneaky Pete Kleinow. Michael Clarke would join later. In 1970, they recorded their second album "Burrito Deluxe," After a motorcycle accident in late 1970, he left the band and married model Gretchen Burrell. He was the influence for the country sound on the album "Exile on Main Street" (1972) by The Rolling Stones. In 1973 he toured with Emmylou Harris whom he had met in 1971. They performed the duets "I Fall to Pieces" and "That's All It Took," Gram invited Emmylou to sing on his album "GP," Three members of Elvis Presley's band, James Burton, Glen D. Hardin and Ronnie Tutt along with Barry Tashian appeared on the album. Emmylou joined his tour band, The Fallen Angels, which was formed to promote the album. The year of 1973 was another touring year for him and the Fallen Angels, and they also recorded his second album "Grievous Angel." While on vacation in Joshua Tree, California, he died. He had stated to friends that he wanted to be cremated at Joshua Tree Desert instead of being buried in the ground. After his death, his body was to be flown to Louisiana for burial. However, his body was intercepted at the airport by friends Phil Kaufman and Michael Martin. After stealing his body, they drove to The Joshua Tree Desert and poured gasoline inside the coffin to set the fire. The remains were finally interred in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kaufman and Martin were arrested and fined $700.00 for stealing and burning the coffin as it was not against the law to steal a deceased body. In January of 1974 "Grievous Angel" was released. Many artists list Gram Parsons as their musical influence including Elvis Costello, U2, The Black Crowes, The Eagles and The Rolling Stones. Although he never seemed to achieve great fame, he had the ability to combine talented musicians to create unforgettable music.

Musician. He gained stardom as an American musician, who specialized in Rock and Country music. His love of music grew from the guitar lessons that he started at the age of nine. Born Cecil Ingram Connor III, he was a big fan of Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. At the age of ten, he began classes at a military prep school in Jacksonville, Florida. While there, his father committed suicide two days before Christmas, and Parsons was expelled from the school due to his reaction to the tragedy. His mother then married Robert Ellis Parsons, who soon adopted Gram and his younger sister, Avis. In 1960, he formed his first band, The Pacers. His next band, The Legends, consisted of fellow future hit makers Jim Stafford and the members of the band Lobo. Never one to limit his musical opportunities he ventured out with other projects playing keyboards and performing a solo acoustic guitar act. After his mother developed a drug dependency problem, he was soon partaking of her drug supply. Due to his growing drug abuse, his grades suffered and he failed his junior year of high school. He acquired a level of local celebrity in Greenville, South Carolina and was soon invited to judge a television talent show. Back stage at the show he met and harmonized with members of The Shilos who invited him to sing with them after they were announced the winners. By the age of 17, he was a member of The Shilos. With manager Buddy Freeman they were able to perform for a few hundred dollars a night. In 1964, they went to New York City. It was here that they met their idols, The Journeymen, whose style they had imitated. At Bob Jones University in 1965, they recorded nine tracks. These tracks would later be published on "Gram Parsons & The Shilos: The Early Years, Vol. 1." On the morning of his high school graduation in June of 1965, he learned that his mother had died from alcohol poisoning. For a short time during 1965, he attended Harvard University and he formed the International Submarine Band. After two years, the band split. Gram and John Nuese stayed with a country sound and Mickey Gauvin and Ian Dunlop formed the Flying Burrito Brothers. In July of 1967 the International Submarine Band recorded their album "Safe at Home," Most consider this to be the first country-rock album although it was not widely successful. Hanging out at The Byrds' recording sessions led to a friendship with Chris Hillman. When David Crosby left the band in February 1968, Parsons took his place in the band. When the Byrds recorded "Sweetheart of the Rodeo," he was finally in big time rock and roll. That album has continued to be a classic. He resigned from the Byrds in 1969 and formed the next incarnation of the Flying Burrito Brothers with Chris Hillman, Chris Ethridge and Sneaky Pete Kleinow. Michael Clarke would join later. In 1970, they recorded their second album "Burrito Deluxe," After a motorcycle accident in late 1970, he left the band and married model Gretchen Burrell. He was the influence for the country sound on the album "Exile on Main Street" (1972) by The Rolling Stones. In 1973 he toured with Emmylou Harris whom he had met in 1971. They performed the duets "I Fall to Pieces" and "That's All It Took," Gram invited Emmylou to sing on his album "GP," Three members of Elvis Presley's band, James Burton, Glen D. Hardin and Ronnie Tutt along with Barry Tashian appeared on the album. Emmylou joined his tour band, The Fallen Angels, which was formed to promote the album. The year of 1973 was another touring year for him and the Fallen Angels, and they also recorded his second album "Grievous Angel." While on vacation in Joshua Tree, California, he died. He had stated to friends that he wanted to be cremated at Joshua Tree Desert instead of being buried in the ground. After his death, his body was to be flown to Louisiana for burial. However, his body was intercepted at the airport by friends Phil Kaufman and Michael Martin. After stealing his body, they drove to The Joshua Tree Desert and poured gasoline inside the coffin to set the fire. The remains were finally interred in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kaufman and Martin were arrested and fined $700.00 for stealing and burning the coffin as it was not against the law to steal a deceased body. In January of 1974 "Grievous Angel" was released. Many artists list Gram Parsons as their musical influence including Elvis Costello, U2, The Black Crowes, The Eagles and The Rolling Stones. Although he never seemed to achieve great fame, he had the ability to combine talented musicians to create unforgettable music.

Bio by: Linda Davis


Inscription

Gram Parsons
Nov. 7, 1946 - Sept. 19, 1973

Another young man safely strummed
his silver stringed guitar
And he played to people everywhere
Some say he was a star
But he was just a country boy,
His simple songs confess
And the music he had in him,
so very few possess.

From "In My Hour Of Darkness"

Your soul lives on through your music.
Your spirit lives on in our hearts.


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 28 Jun 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 3110
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/3110/gram-parsons: accessed ), memorial page for Gram Parsons (5 Nov 1946–19 Sep 1973), Find a Grave Memorial ID 3110, citing Garden Of Memories, Metairie, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave.