Gram Parsons (November 5, 1946 ? September 19, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist. A solo artist as well as a member of the International Submarine Band, The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, he is best known for a series of recordings that anticipated the so-called country rock of the 1970s and the alt-country movement that began around 1990. Parsons described his records as "Cosmic American Music". He died of a drug overdose at the age of 26. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #87 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Parsons was born Ingram Cecil Connor III in Winter Haven, Florida, the grandson of citrus fruit magnate John A. Snively, with extensive properties both there and in Waycross, Georgia, where Parsons was raised. A sister, "Little" Avis, soon followed. His father, "Coon Dog" Connor, suffered mood swings and abruptly committed suicide two days before Christmas Day 1958. Parsons' mother, Avis, subsequently married Bob Parsons, whose surname was adopted by young Ingram, the elder Parsons going as far to have new birth certificates drawn up for his stepson and stepdaughter. Henceforth he would be known as Gram Parsons. Parsons attended the prestigious Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida. For a time, the family found a stability of sorts until Avis rapidly descended into alcoholism, leading to her death from cirrhosis.