Members of the International Submarine Band chose a name for their new group that practically assured it would never rise above cult status. Sure enough, that band disappeared with barely a trace after making a handful of recordings in the mid-1960s. But after ISB members Gram Parsons and Chris Ethridge teamed up with ex-Byrds singer and songwriter Chris Hillman and steel guitarist Pete Kleinow to form the pioneering country-rock group the Flying Burrito Brothers, the ISB won itself permanent footnote status in the history of pop music.
Ethridge, who has died at 65 of complications from pancreatic cancer, was the group’s bassist, and co-wrote several songs with Parsons, widely lauded as one of the most innovative figures in the marriage of country and rock in the 1960s. Ethridge also spent about eight years in Willie Nelson’s touring band, a gig during which he recorded one of Nelson’s most famous anthems, “Whiskey River.” MORE HERE