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Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock
     

Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock

4.3 3
by Bob Kealing
 

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On September 19, 1973, Gram Parsons became yet another rock-and-roll casualty in an era of excess, a time when young men wore their dangerous habits like badges of honor. Unfortunately, his many musical accomplishments have been overshadowed by a morbid fascination with his drug overdose in the Joshua Tree desert at the age of twenty-six.

Known as the father

Overview

On September 19, 1973, Gram Parsons became yet another rock-and-roll casualty in an era of excess, a time when young men wore their dangerous habits like badges of honor. Unfortunately, his many musical accomplishments have been overshadowed by a morbid fascination with his drug overdose in the Joshua Tree desert at the age of twenty-six.

Known as the father of country rock, Parsons played with the International Submarine Band, The Byrds, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. In the late 1960s and early 70s, he was a key confidante of Keith Richards. In 1972, he gave Emmylou Harris her first big break. When Tom Petty re-formed his Florida garage band Mudcrutch, he invoked the name of Gram Parsons as an inspiration. Musicians as diverse as Elvis Costello, Dwight Yoakam, Ryan Adams, Patty Griffin, and Steve Earle have also paid homage to alt-country's patron saint.

In Calling Me Home, Kealing traces the entire arc of Parsons's career, emphasizing his Southern roots. Drawing on dozens of new interviews as well as rare letters and photographs provided by Parsons's family and legendary photojournalist Ted Polumbaum, Kealing has uncovered facts that even the most stalwart Parsons fans will find revealing.

Travelling from Parsons' boyhood home in Waycross, Georgia, to the southern folk mecca of Coconut Grove, Florida, from the birthplace of outlaw country in Austin, Texas, to the Ryman auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee Kealing celebrates Parsons's timeless and transformative musical legacy.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The most well-rounded, most multi-dimensional picture we’ve ever had of the visionary yet maddeningly complex musician. . . . If you read just one biography of Gram Parsons, make sure it’s this one.”—Underground Nashville

“Kealing’s skilled reporting uncovers new twists in the Parsons narrative. It’s a worthy addition even to a bookshelf already groaning with Gram bios, and it’s best read with Parson’s music playing in the background.”—Nashville Tennessean

“A sympathetic human portrait of the man that neither glosses over nor sensationalizes him.”—Detroit Metro Times

“Looks beyond the melodrama at the musical influences that Parsons absorbed and the ones that he passed along to pals such as Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.”—Orlando Sentinel

“A compulsively readable and intimate portrait of a young man who introduced the pure strains of country stars such as the Louvin Brothers and Merle Haggard to musicians like Bernie Leadon of the Eagles and Chris Hillman.”—Engine 145

“Follows Parsons through a succession of teenage bands and juvenile collaborations, visiting along the way many of the places . . . where in the early ‘60s there was a flourishing if mostly undocumented music scene.”—Uncut Magazine

“Read it for the tragic tale of a local boy who flew too close to the sun, and use it as a reference for, and introduction to, the thriving music scene in our neck of the woods during the 1960s.”—Florida Times-Union

“Illuminates new parts of the myth, deepens the story and further underscores that plaintive, high lonesome voice singing ‘In My Hour of Darkness.’”—REAL SOUTH Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813042787
Publisher:
University Press of Florida
Publication date:
09/23/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
296
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

Bob Kealing, an Edward R. Murrow and three-time Emmy award–winning reporter for NBC’s WESH-TV in Orlando, is the author of Kerouac in Florida: Where the Road Ends and Tupperware Unsealed: Brownie Wise, Earl Tupper, and the Home Party Pioneers.

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Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Top Music Book of 2013 -Uncut
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