Sweetheart of the Rodeo
Sweetheart of the Rodeo is the sixth album by American rock band the Byrds and was released in August 1968 on Columbia Records. Recorded with the addition of country rock pioneer Gram Parsons, it became the first major album widely recognized as country rock and represented a stylistic move away from the psychedelic rock of the band's previous LP, The Notorious Byrd Brothers. The Byrds had occasionally experimented with country music on their four previous albums, but Sweetheart of the Rodeo represented their fullest immersion into the genre to that point in time. The album was also responsible for bringing Parsons, who had joined the Byrds in February 1968 prior to the recording of the LP, to the attention of a mainstream rock audience for the first time. Thus, the album is an important chapter in Parsons' personal and musical crusade to make country music fashionable for a young audience.