The Flying Burrito Brothers were a band formed in 1969 by ex-members of the Byrds who wanted to do country-rock, Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman. (The name was borrowed from some friends Parsons played with in the International Submarine Band, who had played a few gigs under the Flying Burrito Brothers name.) They added pedal steel guitarist "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow and bassist Chris Ethridge and recorded The Gilded Palace of Sin, which allmusic.com says "virtually invented the blueprint for country-rock." It was not a big commercial success, but many well-known musicians loved it, from Bob Dylan to Keith Richards.

They released a second album, Burrito Deluxe, the next year with ex-Byrd Mike Clarke on drums and Bernie Leadon on guitar while Chris Hillman replaced Chris Ethridge on bass. Gram was starting to lose interest in the band, due to drugs and hanging out with Keith Richards -- Pamela Des Barres observed that "Gram and Keith Richards were turning into each other" and even Gram pointed out that the Stones had done some country-sounding songs after the Burritos had come out. Gram left the group and was replaced by Rick Roberts. After a third album, Leadon and Kleinow left the group, some more members were added, and a fourth album was released, but the band fell to pieces about this time.

After Gram Parsons' death in 1973, he became a cult figure and Kleinow and Ethridge reformed a new version of the band to capitalize on this, releasing an album in 1975. Ethridge left after that album; Kleinow kept the band going sporadically and they even had a country hit in 1980 with cover song "White Line Fever." That year they abbreviated their name to just "The Burrito Brothers" and did another album. Kleinow left in 1982 but the no-original-members group carried on until 1985. When they broke up, Kleinow reformed another lineup who have toured and recorded off and on since then.

Sources: www.allmusic.com and Pamela Des Barres' book Rock Bottom.

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