Timeline

  • November 5, 1946

    Ingram Cecil Connor III, son of Major Ingram “Coon Dog” Connor and Avis Snively, is born in Winter Haven, FL.

  • February 22, 1956

    Young Gram attends an Elvis Presley concert at the Waycross City Auditorium in his hometown of Waycross, GA, and has the rare opportunity of meeting Elvis backstage. Following the performance, Parsons decides to become a musician.

  • 1956

    Gram learns to play piano at the age of 9.

  • 1957

    At the age of 11, Gram writes his first song titled, “Gram’s Boogie.”

  • December 23, 1958

    Gram’s father, “Coon Dog” Connor commits suicide at their home in Waycross, Georgia, one day after putting his family on a train for a visit to Winter Haven, FL. Following “Coon Dog’s” death, Avis and the children re-locate to Winter Haven permanently and move into the Snively family home.

  • 1959

    Avis marries Robert Ellis Parsons. He adopts both children and Gram legally changes his last name to “Parsons.”

  • 1960-1962

    Gram plays in several rock n’ roll cover and folk bands, including The Pacers and The Legends.

  • 1963

    Parsons forms the folk group The Shilos, who perform throughout Florida and cut several demos.

  • July 5, 1965

    The day of Gram’s graduation from the Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL, his mother Avis dies in the hospital from cirrhosis, the result of severe alcoholism.

  • September 1965

    Parsons attends Harvard University as a theology major.

  • Fall 1965

    During his semester at Cambridge, Gram befriends Rev. J. Thomas; the two share a great interest in country music, especially Merle Haggard. Gram forms the International Submarine Band with guitarist John Nuese, bassist Ian Dunlop and drummer Mickey Gauvin.

  • February 1966

    Gram drops out of Harvard and The International Submarine Band move to New York City for a year to further develop their country-fused rock n’ roll sound. After cutting two unsuccessful singles for Columbia Records, they decide to relocate to Los Angeles. The International Submarine Band is signed to Lee Hazlewood’s LHI Records and begins recording their first album “Safe At Home.”

  • 1967

    Gram meets David Crosby’s girlfriend Nancy Marthai Ross and the two are instantly smitten. Nancy ends her relationship with David and soon becomes pregnant with Gram’s child. Gram meets future Byrds bandmate Chris Hillman inside the Bank of Beverly Hills.

  • 1968

    -The International Submarine Band releases “Safe At Home”, featuring some of Parsons’ best-known songs: “Luxury Liner”, and “Do You Know How It Feels”.

    -Shortly after the birth of their daughter Polly, Gram and Nancy part ways.

    -The International Submarine Band breaks up.

  • February 1968

    Gram auditions for The Byrds and quickly joins the group as a vocalist and rhythm guitarist.

  • March 9, 1968

    Sessions for the Byrds’ “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” album commence at Columbia Records recording studios on Music Row, Nashville TN.

  • May 27, 1968

    Recording for “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” wraps at Columbia Studios in Los Angeles.

  • Summer 1968

    While on tour in Europe with The Byrds, Gram befriends Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, joining them on a trip to Stonehenge along with Chris Hillman and Roger McGuinn.

    -Due to his concerns over a planned concert tour of South Africa, Gram splits from The Byrds, citing opposition to apartheid as his reason.

  • August 30, 1968

    “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” is released on Columbia Records.

  • 1969

    -Parsons and Hillman share a bachelor pad (dubbed Burrito Manor) in the San Fernando Valley, where they compose classics such as “Christine’s Tune” and “Hot Burrito #2.”.

    -Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, Chris Ethridge and Sneaky Pete Kleinow form The Flying Burrito Brothers. Gram outfits the band in iconic ‘Nudie’ suits emblazoned with custom hippie accoutrements.

  • December 6, 1969

    The Flying Burrito Brothers perform as the opening act for The Rolling Stones free concert at Altamont.

  • February 1969

    The Flying Burrito Brothers release their first album, “The Gilded Palace of Sin” on Edsel Records, featuring some of the most celebrated compositions of Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman.

  • 1970

    Chris Ethridge leaves the Flying Burrito Brothers. The new lineup includes Gram Parsons on guitar, Chris Hillman on bass, Bernie Leadon on lead guitar, and Michael Clarke on drums.

  • April 1970

    The Flying Burrito Brothers release their second album, “Burrito Deluxe”, featuring the first ever recorded version of the Rolling Stones’ song “Wild Horses”.

  • 1971

    -Chris Hillman fires Gram from the Flying Burrito Brothers.

    -Parsons marries girlfriend Gretchen Burrell at his stepfather’s home in New Orleans.

  • June 1971

    Gram joins the Rolling Stones at Ville Nellcote in France during the “Exile on Main Street” sessions.

  • 1972

    -Gram is signed to Reprise Records by Mo Ostin and moves into the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles to work on material for his first solo album “GP.”

    -Gram is introduced to Emmylou Harris by Chris Hillman. The two become fast friends and musical counterparts.

  • September-October 1972

    Recording sessions for “GP” take place at Wally Heider Studio 4 in Hollywood.

  • January 1973

    Gram Parsons releases his solo debut, “GP” on Reprise Records, backed by Elvis Presley’s band and Emmylou Harris on vocals.

  • March-April 1973

    “Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels” play tour dates throughout the U.S to rapturous audiences.

  • June-July 1973

    Recording sessions for Gram’s second album “Grievous Angel” take place at Wally Heider Studio 4 in Hollywood CA. The album features the classic tunes “$1000 Wedding”, “Brass Buttons,” “Hickory Wind” and “Return of the Grievous Angel.”

  • July 1973

    Gram’s Topanga Canyon home burns to the ground, the result of a stray cigarette. Nearly all of his possessions are destroyed with the exception of a guitar and a prized automobile.

  • September 1973

    Recording sessions for “Grievous Angel” wrap in Los Angeles. Gram heads to Joshua Tree National Park with some friends to celebrate.

  • September 19, 1973

    Gram Parsons dies of a drug overdose in room 8 of the Joshua Tree Inn. He was 26 years old.

  • September 21, 1973

    Road manager Phil Kaufman steals Gram’s body from LAX just before it is to be shipped to Louisiana for burial. In a borrowed hearse, he drives to Joshua Tree and attempts to cremate the body at Cap Rock with a match and 5 gallons of gasoline.

  • November 5, 1973

    Phil Kaufman appears in West L.A. Municipal Court on what would have been Gram Parsons 27th birthday. Kaufman is charged with misdemeanor theft of a coffin and fined $708.

  • January 1974

    Four months after his death, Gram’s final album “Grievous Angel” is released on Reprise Records.

  • 2003

    “The Gilded Palace of Sin” is ranked #192 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

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