The Flying Burrito Brothers were formed by Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman after leaving the Byrds in 1968. Gram Parsons had only been a member of the Byrds for a short period in 1968, but during his time with Byrds they recorded the legenday country-rock album “Sweetheart of the Rodeo”. Hilmann enjoyed this new direction and gladly follwed Parsons to form a new country-rock band.
Steel guitarist "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow and bassist Chris Ethridge completed the band and they recorded thier debut album with a variety of session drummers.
“The Gilded Palace of Sin” was released in the spring of 1969. . Before the band recorded their second album, Ethridge had left the band to be replaced by Bernie Leadon, and ex-Byrd Michael Clarke became their permanent drummer.
Burrito Deluxe was released in the spring of 1970. After its release, Gram Parsons left the group and was replaced by Rick Roberts. Roberts' first album with the band, “The Flying Burrito Brothers”, was released in 1971. After its release, Kleinow left the band and Leadon departed to join the Eagles. Steel guitarist Al Perkins and bassist Roger Bush to replace them, as well as adding guitarist Kenny Wertz and fiddler Byron Berline to the lineup. They recorded the live album The Last of the Red Hot Burritos, which was released in 1972. Soon after the band fell apart.
Close Up the Honky Tonks, a double-album Flying Burrito Brothers compilation, was released in 1974. A collection of Gram Parsons-era outtakes entitled Sleepless Nights was released on A&M Records in 1976.
New versions of the group have played and recorded during the 1980´s and 1990´s.
Key Band Members:
Chris Hillman: Born 1942, vocals, guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo and songwriter. Original Byrds member. Hilmann was a key-member of the original band. He is a great songwriter and a fine harmony-singer. It´s his vocals that occasionally make the band sound like the Byrds. Besides he a very gifted multi-instrumentalist
Gram Parson: Born 1946, guitar and vocals. Like Hilmann, Parsons was a fine songwriter. His early death in 1973 probably helped making him a country legend. He left after the second album
Pete Kleinow: Born 1934, s-guitar . Kleinow has been in formations of the band in the 1970´s, 1980´s and the 1990´s and as such the longest serving member.
Chris Ethridge: Born 1937, bass. Etheridge left after the first album, but retured to rejoin later versions.
Bernie Leadon: Guitar and vocals. Replaced Etheridge. Later joined the Eagles
Michael Clark: Born 1942, drums. Original Byrds member. Joined after the first album.
Rick Roberts: Guitar and vocals. Joined in 1970 to take Parson´s place.
Discography - 1969-74: