Anyone who mentioned Gram Parsons (w/ The Byrds, FBBs and solo (including his
heartbreaking duets w/ Emmylou Harris) is on the right track. And his influence
on the Stones songs listed by another poster is almost undeniable...
In addition - James Burton, Jerry Lee Lewis (starting his country phase in the
early 60s and never sopping), Clarence White, Chris Hillman, Gene Clark, Gene
Parsons, and several others did more for "country rock" (a bad description for
a very good "style" of music which incorporated blues, r&b, rock&roll, straight
country and other genres) that The Marshall Tucker Band, the Outlaws, Molly
Hatchett, and other "southern rock" bands ever did.
And, as for the "progenitors" of country rock. let us not overlook: Hank
Williams, Sr. ("Move It On Over" being perhaps the FIRST country rock song
EVER); Buck Owens & the Buckaroos; Merle Haggard and his band; and, yes, the
late, great Elvis Presley (whose early 70s band included Ron Tutt, Glen D.
Hardin, James Burton (later used by Gram parsons on "GP" and "grievous Angel",
as well as comprising Emmylou harris' first "Hot Band")).
Jerry Garcia surely appreciated the work of most of the above (the FBBs had a
strong influence on the GDs early 70s "country rock" move) - GP, Clarence White
(whose flat-picking guitar style JG admired greatly), The Band (who definitely
were a "mix" of musical styles if there ever was one), and Lowell George (who
is remembered by GD fans as the producer of one of their more unfortunate late
70s recordings), whose mix of syncopated "dixie" music, blues, and COUNTRY
CREATED A large "CULT FOLLOWING" (not big on the music charts, but a critics'
favorite and still popular with their new line-up today). LFs legacy kinda
reminds me of the GDs.
And, although they are "classified" as "Southern rock", the ABB had some great
country "moments" (think of Dickey Betts' "Ramblin' Man")... And, in the "jam
band" genre, there was NEVER any group better than the original ABB - jams that
were totally melodic, very musically pleasing, incorporating elements of blues,
country, and jazz)...
AND, as for the Eagles, PURE COUNTRY/ROCK Pablum that reportedly made Gram
Parsons want to "puke."
Harry the Horse