Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman left The Byrds in the late 1960s and, along with Pete Kleinow and Chris Ethridge, formed The Flying Burrito Brothers. The Gilded Palace of Sin did not sell terribly well, but the group had a cult following which included several famous musicians, such as Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. Parsons soon became friends with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and left the group after 1970's Burrito Deluxe, which also saw the departure of Ethridge and addition of Bernie Leadon and Michael Clarke (of The Byrds). Rick Roberts replaced Parsons and released a self-titled album with the group in 1971. Kleinow then left to become a session musician and Leadon joined The Eagles. Al Perkins and Roger Bush replaced them, and Kenny Wertz and Byron Berline joined as well, releasing The Last of the Red Hot Burritos (1972), a live album. The band fell apart. Hillman and Perkins joined Manassas, while Berline, Bush and Wertz formed Country Gazette. Roberts reassembled a new group for a 1973 European tour, and then began a solo career before forming Firefall with Michael Clarke.
As Gram Parson's influence and fame grew, so did interest in the Flying Burrito Brothers, leading to the release of Honky Tonks (1974), a double album, and the recreation of the band by Kleinow and Ethridge in 1975. Floyd Gilbeau, Joel Scott Hill and Gene Parsons also joined, and the band released Flying Again that year. Ethridge was then replaced by Skip Battin for Airborne (1976), followed by an album of unreleased early material, Sleepless Nights. For the next few decades, the group released albums and toured and had a country hit with "White Line Fever" (1980, a cover by Merle Haggard) and then became the Burrito Brothers. Through numerous incarnations, the band released albums and toured throughout the 1980s and 90s.