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Chris Ethridge of the Flying Burrito Brothers and Willie Nelson's Family Band Passes Away at 65

Flying Burrito Brothers
Front Row Kleinow & Hilman
Back Row: Parsons & Ethridge
Chris Ethridge, whose long career had him a member of the Flying Burrito Brothers and Willie Nelson's Family Band along with working with Gram Parsons, has passed away at the age of 65. No cause of death has been announced.

It was known that Ethridge had gone into the hospital last Thursday when Booker T. Jones tweeted "Just talked to Chris Ethridge, (Burritos, Willie Nelson), hospitalized in Meridian, MS - send love and hope - doctors say he will pass soon."

No official announcement of his death has been made. The public first learned of it through a tweet from Willie Nelson saying "WN&F are sad to hear of the passing of Family member & friend Chris Ethridge he was a talented musician & we were honored to call him Family"

A bit later, the Gram Parsons site added
Love and Light to Chris Ethridge

May your spirit soar dear Chris. RIP.
Ethridge moved to California at the age of 17 in pursuit of a music career and worked with Joel Scott Hill before hooking up with Gram Parsons and his International Submarine Band. The two worked together occasionally after the breakup of the ISB and would eventually cofound the Flying Burrito Brothers with Chris Hillman and Sneaky Pete Kleinow.

Ethridge only stayed with the group through the first album, The Gilded Palace of Sin, and left the group in mid-1969. When Parsons left a few months later, they got back together and Ethridge supported Gram on his solo efforts.

After Parsons death, Chris got back together with Kleinow to reform the Burrito Brothers and record Flying Again but Ethridge once again left a year later.

Ethridge spent the rest of his career working as a studio musician for artists ranging from Judy Collins to Johnny Winter. He also spent eight years as a member of Willie Nelson's Family Band and, later, as part of the Kudzu Kings.