Okay, between Dick Clark, Levon Helm and now Chris Ethridge, I'm getting a little tired of hearing news of deaths in the music community. But like Frank would tell you..."That's Life".
Former Flying Burrito Brothers bassist Chris Ethridge passed into eternity yesterday (April 23) of unknown circumstances. Chris was the solid bottom end sound of the Cosmic American Music pioneers (a term fellow FBB Gram Parsons preferred over "Country Rock") and, along with the late Michael Clark, made up a powerful rhythm section that would set a template later used by acts like The Eagles, Poco and many others of that ilk.
Ethridge was a member of the Brothers for only one album during their salad days, the unbelievable The Gilded Palace of Sin, but that was more than enough to leave a legacy. The video below is all the evidence you need that that statement isn't hyperbolic (the video focuses, naturally, on Parsons but I would suggest listening rather than watching). Ethridge co-wrote this masterpiece with Gram and this style of music would never be the same.
Ethridge left FBB before the second album, Burrito Deluxe, was recorded but made it back around to the band in 1975 to record Flying Again. Between those tenures and after, Chris stuck mostly to session work. His resume includes GP, Gram Parsons solo debut, two of Willie Nelson's best albums, Stardust and Honeysuckle Rose, also work with Ry Cooder, Linda Ronstadt, Graham Nash & David Crosby and one of my all-time favorites, White Light by former Byrd, Gene Clark.
Thank you for your service Chris, hopefully Gram was waiting in the ether to greet you.