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With one mighty swing of the axe, the Byrds changed not only the face of rock 'n' roll but country music, as well, with their sixth album, 1968's Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. Tired of dipping a toe into the genre, Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman added singer Gram Parsons and drummer Kevin Kelley to the fold and went for total immersion. The baptism of country-rock was a natural with Parsons, former International Submarine Band frontman, now on board.
And the repertoire was wide open for country classics by the Louvin Brothers ("The Christian Life") and Merle Haggard ("Life In Prison"), as well as Depression-era ballads (Woody Guthrie's "Pretty Boy Floyd") and honky tonk weepers cut by George Jones ("You're Still On My Mind"). The town wasn't big enough for both of them, of course, and Parsons soon split to form the Flying Burrito Brothers, but it sure was nice while it lasted!
Gatefold, colored 180g vinyl pressing from Friday Music with liners from Hillman, mastered by Joe Reagoso at Friday Music Studios and Capitol Mastering and manufactured at RTI.