Gram Parsons has long been considered the godfather of the alternative country genre due to his involvement with several innovative projects in the late 1960s and early 1970s--and perhaps none was more influential than The Flying Burrito Brothers. The band formed around 1968, when Parsons and Chris Hillman, both former members of The Byrds, decided to form a new group called the Flying Burrito Brothers that would explore a version of country music with significant rock and roll influences. In 1969, the band released The Gilded Palace of Sin, a debut album that is still very highly-regarded amongst country fans. The Flying Burrito Brothers' ability to mix classic and modern influences with a fine balance of authenticity and tongue-in-cheek playfulness led to a successful few years for the group. In 1973, Parsons died from an overdose of morphine and alcohol, leaving the band to reconfigure several times over the course of its remaining 20 or so years together.