Chris Ethridge

John Christopher “Chris” Ethridge (February 10, 1947 – April 23, 2012) was an American country rock bass guitarist. He was a member of the International Submarine Band (ISB) and The Flying Burrito Brothers,[3] and co-wrote several songs with Gram Parsons. Ethridge worked with Nancy Sinatra, Judy Collins, Leon Russell, Delaney Bramlett, Johnny Winter, Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Linda Ronstadt, The Byrds, Jackson Browne, and Willie Nelson.


Ethridge was born in Meridian, Mississippi, United States.[ He began playing in local bands in the South before moving to California aged 17, having been spotted in Biloxi. He played with Joel Scott Hill before joining Gram Parsons in ISB. He played with Parsons after the end of ISB, and again after Parsons left The Byrds, before cofounding the Burrito Brothers with him. He played bass and piano on The Gilded Palace of Sin, but left before Burrito Deluxe. When Parsons left the Burritos, Ethridge played with him again, touring with Byron Berline, Emmylou Harris, Clarence White, Gene Parsons, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, and Roland White. After Parsons’ death, Ethridge played in 1974 with the Docker Hill Boys,] an informal group which included Gene Parsons and Joel Scott Hill. These three refounded the Burritos in 1975 with Sneaky Pete and Gib Guilbeau, recording Flying Again.

Ethridge left the Burritos again in February 1976, returning to session work He had been a session musician throughout his career, recording with many leading country-tinged acts, including Nancy Sinatra, Judy Collins, Johnny Winter, Ry Cooder, Leon Russell, Randy Newman, Linda Ronstadt, The Byrds and Jackson Browne. He also toured with Willie Nelson’s band for almost eight years, and later played with the Kudzu Kings.

Ethridge died on April 23, 2012 at age 65 at a hospital in Meridian, Mississippi of complications from pancreatic cancer.


On the following albums, Ethridge played bass unless stated otherwise:

Year Album Act Notes
1968 Safe at Home International Submarine Band
1969 The Gilded Palace of Sin The Flying Burrito Brothers co-wrote “Hot Burrito No. 1 (I’m Your Toy)” and “Hot Burrito No. 2” with Gram Parsons
1969 Self Titled John Braden bass on “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”, “Carriage House Song”, and “Ribbons of Friendship”
1970 Greatest Hits Phil Ochs
1970 Washington County Arlo Guthrie
1970 Alone Together Dave Mason
1970 Ry Cooder Ry Cooder
1970 The Candlestickmaker Ron Elliott bass on “Molly in the Middle”, “Lazy Day”, “All Time Green” and “To the City, To the Sea”
1971 L.A. Getaway Joel Scott Hill, Chris Ethridge, John Barbata
1971 Songs for Beginners Graham Nash
1971 White Light Gene Clark
1971 Rita Coolidge Rita Coolidge
1972 Full Circle The Doors bass on “Get Up and Dance”
1972 Graham Nash David Crosby Graham Nash & David Crosby
1973 Baron Von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun Paul Kantner/Grace Slick / David Freiberg
1973 GP Gram Parsons did not play; co-wrote “She” with Parsons
1973 Maria Muldaur Maria Muldaur played bass on ‘Long Hard Climb’, ‘I Never Did Write You A Love Song’, ‘My Tennessee Mountain Home’ and The Work Song’
1974 Paradise and Lunch Ry Cooder
1975 Flying Again The Flying Burrito Brothers
1976 Chicken Skin Music Ry Cooder
1977 Simple Dreams Linda Ronstadt background vocals
1977 Class Reunion Delaney Bramlett bass
1978 Stardust Willie Nelson
1980 Honeysuckle Rose OST Willie Nelson also had a small role in the film
1991 From Another Time The Flying Burrito Brothers recorded live in 1975
1996 Eye of a Hurricane The Flying Burrito Brothers bass; vocals on one track
2001 Pretty Paper Willie Nelson
2002 Red Album: Live Studio Party in Hollywood The Flying Burrito Brothers recorded live in 1976
2002 Cherry Smiles: The Rare Singles Nancy Sinatra a collection of Sinatra’s rare singles and B-sides from 1970-1980


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