In the eighties I saw a band called Jason and the Scorchers they were really energetic and classed as a kind of heavy country/rock or cow punk whatever they were good.
Here's a bunch of 60's & 70's country rockers, I listen to...Who's your favorite contry-rock bands/artists?
You can trace the origins of country rock to Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash , Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers and many others.
Also, The Beatles too, if you think about it.
''I’ll Cry Instead'' (1964), Baby’s In Black (1964/65), What Goes On.(1966), all Lennon/McCartney songs, are considered some of the first country rock songs, by many.
The Beatles also covered country songs, like ''Honey Don’t'' (Carl Perkins), ''Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby'' (Rex Griffin) and ''Act Naturally'' (Buck Owens) in the early days, and rocked them up a bit.
I think The Buffalo Springfield and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band were one of the first rock bands to mix country and rock.
Bob Dylan's in there too, mixing folk, country and rock.
Also, believe it or not Mike Nesmith of the Monkees was incorporating country elements into Monkee songs. Not on many of the hits, but some country rock flavor can be found on some album tracks.
The Byrds always had traces of country in their music, even before Gram Parsons joined in '68
I agree what bobbyg about what he posted about Gram Parsons, The International Submarine Band and The Bryds being on the forefront of the country rock movement of the late 60's. Well said, by him.
Here's a bunch of 60's & 70's country rockers, I listen to...
Goose Creek Symphony
Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Marshall Tucker Band
Charlie Daniels Band
Flying Burritos Brothers
Pure Prairie League
Dickey Betts and Great Southern
Poco (Early Poco is great)
New Riders of the Purple Sage
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils
Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
The International Submarine Band
Allman Brothers Band
Townes Van Zandt
Not all listed here are pure country rockers, but most are, and close enough.
My 2 cents on the genre...
"Country rock" (literally a fusion of rock and country music) was invented by Gram Parsons who is by far the most significant figure in the genre. The first true country rock album was "Safe at Home" by the International Submarine Band (headed by Parsons) in 1968 which combined basic guitar rock with the pedal steel guitar. Parsons was obviously heavily influenced by Bob Dylan who tinkered with some of the same ideas on "John Wesley Harding" and "Nashville Skyline". He then went on to play with The Byrds and bring that influence to them--recording the single greatest country rock album IMO: "Sweetheart of the Rodeo". Parsons then went on to form the Flying Burrito Brothers with Chris Hillman from the Byrds, the first great true country rock band. After leaving the FBB, Parsons went solo and his primary partner was Emmylou Harris, who learned the craft from him and carried it on after his death (a very bizzare one indeed if you want to read that story). So you can see Parsons fingerprints are everywhere on "country rock", a genre title which incidentally he hated. He preferred to call his music "Cosmic American Music".
Gram Parsons is one of the important figures in music history that most people have never heard of.
Along with some of the other bands that have been mentioned, The New Riders of the Purple Sage (a spinoff from The Grateful Dead) was one of the first great country rock artists too.