Gib Guilbeau, of Burrito Brothers Fame, Dead at 78

Multi-Instrumentalist Was a Country-Rock Pioneer

Gib Guilbeau, a principal player in the country-rock sound championed most famously by Gram Parsons, died Tuesday (April 12) at the age of 78. His death was announced on the Flying Burrito Brothers’ Facebook page and by his label, Sierra Records. Neither source gave the place or cause of death.

Apart from his many solo recordings, Guilbeau also performed and recorded with such acts as the Four Young Men, the Castaways, Guilbeau & Parsons, Nashville West, Swampwater and the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Floyd August Guilbeau was born of Cajun extraction Sept. 26, 1937, in Sunset, Louisiana. He began playing the fiddle when he was 14 and continued to be featured on that instrument in the bands he performed with.

Bobby Edwards used the Four Young Men for backing vocals on his No. 11 1961 pop hit, “You’re the Reason.”

As both a band member and free-floating musician, Guilbeau worked with such luminaries as Gram Parsons, Gene Parsons, Clarence White, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Chris Ethridge and Rex and Vern Gosdin.

Guilbeau was also a composer whose songs were recorded by the Burrito Brothers, Ricky Nelson, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood and Bobby Womack.

In the early 1980’s, the Flying Burrito Brothers, having evolved to simply the Burrito Brothers, scored a series of country hits, primarily on Curb Records. Many of them were co-written by Guilbeau.

Between 1980 and 1984, the Burritos charted 10 country singles, the top one being “She Belongs to Everyone but Me.” Co-written by Guilbeau and fellow Burrito mainstay John Beland, it reached No. 16 on the country chart.

Funeral plans have not been announced.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.