The Musician Who Fulfilled Keith Richards’ All Expectations From A Singer

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Keith Richards achieved global fame with his guitar playing, secondary vocals, and lyrics in the Rolling Stones. Richards is a celebrated songwriter, and his partnership with the band’s frontman Mick Jagger is among the most successful in music history. Apart from his songwriting and guitar-playing talents, Richards has sung backing vocals on every Stones album.

In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine published an article featuring many important figures and their pick of the most influential artists of the rock and roll era. In celebration of rock and roll’s first half-century, Keith Richards also wrote a piece for the article. Instead of mentioning a guitar player as many would expect, he revealed the musician who has everything needed in a singer and songwriter.

Why Did Keith Richards Consider Gram Parsons As A Perfect Singer And Songwriter?

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Gram Parsons was a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist who worked with the International Submarine Band, the Byrds, and The Flying Burrito Brothers and pursued a solo career. Moreover, he was the one who popularized ‘Cosmic American Music,’ which was a mixture of country, soul, folk, rhythm and blues, and rock.

In an article in Rolling Stone magazine, Keith Richards revealed his thoughts about Gram Parsons. He stated that Parsons worked just like him as a songwriter. He started to play and saw how far the song could go. However, Richards said Parsons worked harder than he ever did on his musical efforts. Richards claimed Parsons was a musician who had everything one wanted in a singer and songwriter. According to Richards, he was great to play with and fun to be around. Moreover, Richards recalled that Parsons could make women cry with his music. Then, he said he missed him.

In the Rolling Stone article, Keith Richards wrote about Gram Parsons the following:

“As a songwriter, Gram worked very much as I do, which is to knock out a couple of chords, start to spiel and see how far it can go, rather than sitting around with a piece of paper and a pen, trying to make things fit neatly together. But he would also work very hard, harder than I ever did, on honing it down.

Gram was everything you wanted in a singer and a songwriter. He was fun to be around and great to play with as a musician. And that motherf*cker could make chicks cry. I have never seen another man who could make hardened old waitresses at the Palomino Club in Los Angeles shed tears the way he did. It was all in the man. I miss him so.”

Although he was a talented and successful musician, Gram Parsons had a relatively short career that spanned only ten years. However, Parsons ended up being a remarkably influential figure for country and rock music in such a short time. He once moved in with Keith Richards and jammed with him during his career, which is why the Rolling Stones guitarist knew him well.