In 1968 Chris Hillman was in crisis with the Byrds, after the firing of bad boy David Crosby and the departure of the talented Gene Clark. Gram Parsons caught his eye and was hired to help with a new album.
Originally this album was planned as a majestic sweep through the hitory of 20C music (country, jazz, soul, rock, and electronics) but Gram came to excercise a big influence: Parson's songs, "One Hundred Years from Now" and "Hickory Wind", were included as well as a track by Bob Dylan and Merle Haggard.
The album went on to be the seminal country rock album of all time. Ironically Gram never appeared on it due to contract problems and never completed the '68 tour with the Byrds due to sifferences over appearing in South Africa.
Parsons then went off to hang out with some other rock stars; namely The Rolling Stones, taking on no other than Keith Richards and turning him on to country as well. The Stones did not follow this with a country rock album, of course, but parsons did claim to have written 'Country Honk', the precursor to one of the Stones best known songs, 'Honky Tonk Women' (they disagree with him)
Parsons then returned to LA to form the Flying Burrito Brothers (with Chris Hillman), producing another classic album in '69, The Gilded Palace Of Sin, with most songs written by Hillman and Parsons.
Four years later, of course he would be dead, but 1968 can be remembered as the year that Parson's fused country with rock and roll.