Entertainment & Arts

Burrito Brothers founder Chris Ethridge dies aged 65

Chris Ethridge, a founder member of country-rock band The Flying Burrito Brothers, has died aged 65.

The bass player and pianist had been battling pancreatic cancer since September, his family confirmed.

Ethridge formed The Flying Burrito Brothers in 1968 with ex-Byrds members Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman.

He also recorded with a number of acts, including Ry Cooder, Arlo Guthrie, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt and The Doors.

Born John Christopher Ethridge II in Meridian, Mississippi, he moved to Los Angeles aged 17 and quickly joined Parsons' International Submarine Band.

When the group split, the pair formed The Flying Burrito Brothers with Hillman and Sneaky Pete Kleinow, releasing critically-acclaimed album The Gilded Palace Of Sin in 1969.

After Parsons' death in 1973, Ethridge and Kleinow reformed the band with Gene Parsons and Gib Guilbeau, releasing Flying Again in 1975 before Ethridge left a year later to concentrate on session work, which included eight years touring with Nelson.

He is survived by wife Karen Sue, a daughter, two sons and eight grandchildren.

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