Published Apr 24, 2012Chris Ethridge, a co-founder of pioneering country rock group the Flying Burrito Brothers, has passed away at the age of 65. According to various media reports, the musicians died in Meridian, MS, due to complications from pancreatic cancer.
The news was confirmed by longtime friend and collaborator Willie Nelson, who tweeted, "WN&F [Willie Nelson and family] are sad to hear of the passing of Family member & friend Chris Ethridge he was a talented musician & we were honored to call him Family."
Last week, Booker T. Jones also offered up news on Ethridge via Twitter, writing, "Just talked to Chris Ethridge, (Burritos, Willie Nelson), hospitalized in Meridian, MS -- send love and hope -- doctors say he will pass soon."
Ethridge co-founded the Flying Burrito Brothers in 1968 with Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, and "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow. Following the recording of the band's 1969 classic The Gilded Palace of Sin, Ethridge left the group in the mid-'70s and started working as a session bassist, playing on albums by Phil Ochs, Arlo Guthrie, Dave Mason, Ry Cooder, Rita Coolidge, Graham Nash, Linda Ronstadt, the Doors and others.
"Chris was multi-talented; a great bass player, and a great songwriter," Hillman told Billboard. "His collaborations as co-writer, with Gram Parsons, on 'Hot Burrito 1,' 'Hot Burrito 2' and 'She,' are classics. He was a joy to work with and a joy to know."