Originally Posted by vaticanplum
I just think that the Byrds et al. made it so accessible, and it was such a shift from what they were already known for, bringing in people who were following...whatever that had been (groovy music? psychedelia?) Willie Nelson had, and still does have, to a degree, more of a stigma attached to him, deserved or not. I mean, my mom, for example, not being a self-declared country fan, would never listen to Willie Nelson, but she used to play the Byrds for me all the time.
But that's all just my impressions...I wasn't there, I dunno for sure. Certainly Willie is ungodly talented and, in the long run, way more influential than Gram Parsons across the board.
Like many things in history, it's difficult to discern what's happening when you're living it in real time. I loved the whole sub-genre of Parsons and Byrds and the FBB (and even further into country like Charlie Rich and Merle Haggard), but like what woy said, there was so much more going on.
Dylan was doing his Nashville Skyline/Blonde on Blonde thing, the Beatles with Let It Be and George Harrisons All Things Must Pass, the Dead's country side and the NRPS spinoff and Commander Cody (go listen to Mama Hated Diesels), Waylon and Willie (Red Headed Strangers is the ultimate), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Stones could have quite the twang, the Band defined the current Americana, Emmylou and Linda Ronstadt (who I wanted to run away with me and have my babies, god she was gorgeous), the whole Poco/Eagles/Loggins+Messina/Pure Prarie League (saw them many times in Athens) axis, and on and on. Parsons perhaps was the most pure of the genre, but it was all going to happen anyhow.
I regularly rant about modern "country" music saying "this isn't anything new, its just pop with a twang and NASCAR lyrics" and saying "that ain't real country" and play my old Merle and Johnny and Dolly and Hank and whoever records. Your note a a few back is what I say all the damn time.
(oh, and I would have broken your heart back then... I was a testosterone-ridden early 20's dope and didn't have the faintest idea what I was doing).