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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Remembering Country-Rock Pioneer Gram Parsons

Country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons is shown in this undated photo.  (The Rhino Records/AP)

Country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons is shown in this undated photo. (The Rhino Records/AP)

His career was brief, but his influence is still being felt.

Musician Gram Parsons is often called the father of country rock, but he called it “cosmic American music,” and he made it with groups like The Byrds.

He released his first solo record “GP” 40 years ago this month, but later that same year he died of a drug overdose.

Today, his daughter Polly runs the Gram Parsons Foundation, an organization that tries to help musicians deal with the substance abuse issues that took her father’s life.

She spoke with Here & Now’s Alex Ashlock.

Songs in this piece:

You’re Still On My Mind, written by Luke McDaniel, performed by Gram Parsons and The Byrds.
Still Feeling Blue, written and performed by Gram Parsons.
Luxury Liner, written by Gram Parsons, performed by Gram Parsons and The International Submarine Band.
One Hundred Years From Now, performed by Gram Parsons and The Byrds.
Torn And Frayed, written and performed by The Rolling Stones.
Return Of The Grievous Angel, written by Gram Parsons and Thomas Brown, performed by Gram Parsons.
$1000 Wedding, written and performed by Gram Parsons.

This piece originally aired March 14, 2012.

Guest:

  • Polly Parsons, daughter of Gram Parsons, runs the Gram Parsons Foundation.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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