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Chris Ethridge Dead: Flying Burrito Brothers Bassist Dies At 65

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Chris Ethridge of the Flying Burrito Brothers performs on stage in 1974 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Chris Ethridge of the Flying Burrito Brothers performs on stage in 1974 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Chris Ethridge, the bassist and founding member of the Flying Burrito Brothers, has passed away, The Los Angeles Times reports. Ethridge reportedly died of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 65.

The country-rock pioneer co-founded the band with Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman and "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow. The group is best-known for their seminal debut album, 1969's The Gilded Palace of Sin, which has since been credited with pioneering the country-rock genre. Ethridge played both bass and piano on the album. He left the band in 1970, before the band released Burrito Deluxe.

Ethridge also spent roughly eight years in Willie Nelson’s touring band, during which he recorded one of Nelson’s most famous anthems, “Whiskey River.” On Monday, Nelson addressed Ethridge's passing on Twitter.

"WN&F 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," Nelson tweeted.

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