A half-hearted Harvard University theology student in 1965, Gram Parsons wasn’t really thrilled about attending classes. He much preferred hanging around the fervent Cambridge/Boston folk scene, playing with many musicians until he met guitarist John Nuese. Nuese encouraged Parsons to steer away from folk toward a more country direction, setting Parsons on the path that would eventually win him international acclaim. Lifting the name from a classic “Our Gang” skit, Parsons and Nuese formed the International Submarine Band along with Ian Dunlop on bass and Mickey Gauvin on drums. Relocating to New York City, the band struggled to find their way while looking for a label home.
They found a temporary home at Ascot Records, which released their debut single in 1966. The 7” paired two cover songs, the Johnny Mandel-composed “The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming” along with a rollicking take on the Buck Owens’ hit “Truck Driving Man.” Though it made little noise at the time, their version of the latter song is now widely regarded as THE first country rock recording. While Parsons would spread the country rock gospel through his later work with The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and his solo recordings, this 45 was the original pebble in the pond whose waves are still being felt today. Out of print for decades, Sundazed is proud to bring this incredibly important single back to the public. Sourced from the original analog mono masters and packaged in a brilliant picture sleeve, this release is a “must-own” for grievous angels everywhere. Pour me another cup of coffee!