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Posts Tagged ‘David Crosby’

Died On This Date (April 19, 2011) Jim Dickson / Managed The Byrds

Posted by themusicsover on April 19, 2011

Jim Dickson
DOB Unknown – April 19, 2011

Jim Dickson was a recording engineer, producer,  and eventual manager of the Byrds.  He is often cited as one of the foundations of the ’60s folk-rock movement, particularly that which was coming out of Southern California.  During his early years, Dickson produced records by the likes of Hamilton Camp, David Crosby, and the Dillards.  He soon began managing a new band formed by Crosby and Chris Hillman who at first went by the Beefeaters and then the Jet Set.  It was their desire to become Los Angeles’ answer to the Beatles.  In 1964, Dickson was sent a demo of Bob Dylan’s then-unreleased “Mr. Tamborine Man,” which the band, now known as the Byrds, recorded and released.  It would became one of the era’s definitive songs and helped launch a sound that inspired countless other musicians.  To help the band build a following in those early days, Dickson enlisted the help of such famous friends as Jack Nicholson and Albert Grossman to champion them. After Dickson split with the group in 1967, he went on to manage and produce the Flying Burrito Brothers which included Hillman,  Michael Clarke, and Gram Parsons.  He later worked with Parsons on his solo albums as well as Gene Clark and eventually retired to Hawaii where he became a competitive sailor.  Jim Dickson was 80 when he passed away on April 19, 2011.

Thanks to Scott Miller for the assist.

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Died On This Date (May 24, 1991) Gene Clark / The Byrds

Posted by themusicsover on May 24, 2010

Gene Clark
November 17, 1944 – May 24, 1991

Gene Clark is perhaps best known as a founding member of folk rock group, the Byrds. Clark’s early career was mainly devoted to performing in traditional folk groups in and around Kansas City. But after hearing the Beatles in 1964, he decided he needed to rock, so he moved to Los Angeles. Upon arriving in L.A., Clark joined up with Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and later Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke to form the Byrds, who gained a following based on a sound that music critic Richie Unterberger at called “melding the innovations and energy of the British Invasion with the best lyrical and musical elements of contemporary folk music.” Clark wrote most of the Byrds’ biggest hits – songs that would go on to become signature tunes for the entire era, songs like, “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better,” “Set You Free This Time,” “Here Without You,” “She Don’t Care About Time,” and “Eight Miles High.” But life with the Byrds didn’t last long as internal tensions grew over the record company’s decision to have McGuinn sing the “bigger” songs, Clark’s fear of flying, and the band’s resentment that he was making more money from publishing. So he left the band just two years later. Clark spent the rest of his career working solo and partnering with the likes of Carla Olson, Doug Dillard, Bernie Leadon, as well as a brief stint back with Hillman and McGuinn. By the late ’80s, years of drugs and heavy drinking along with a possible undiagnosed bipolar disorder, began to manifest in the form of ulcers which resulted in the loss of much of his stomach and intestines to surgery. Bad health and lawsuits involving the other members of the Byrds plagued his final years. Clark died on May 24, 1991 of what the coroner declared, natural causes brought on by a bleeding ulcer.

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Died On This Date (December 2, 1997) Michael Hedges / Acoustic Guitar Great

Posted by themusicsover on December 2, 2009

Michael Hedges
December 31, 1953 – December 2, 1997

Michael Hedges was a New Age multi-instrumentalist who is mostly remembered for his stellar acoustic guitar work.  Hedges was still in college when he was signed to respected folk, acoustic and new age label, Windham Hill, in the early ’80s.  His first two albums for the label can, as far as acoustic guitar records are concerned, rightfully stand alongside the best of John Fahey or Leo Kottke.  In later recordings, he occasionally branched out to include vocals and more pop leaning songs and instrumentation.  Guitar greats no less than Pete Townshend, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Vai and David Crosby have all praised his guitar talent.  On December 2, 1997, Michael Hedges, age 43, was killed when he lost control and crashed his car while driving along a slick and windy road along the coast north of San Francisco.

What You Should Own

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Breakfast In the Field - Michael Hedges

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Died On This Date (September 19, 1973) Gram Parsons / Country Rock Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on September 19, 2009

Gram Parsons (Born Cecil Connor)
November 5, 1946 – September 19, 1973

Gram Parsons was a highly influential singer-songwriter who helped launch what would later be called country rock and then alt-country or Americana.  Parsons began playing the guitar as a teenager to escape a less than ideal home life.  The first group he played with, the Shilohs, were a folk band in the tradition of the Kingston Trio.  When the band broke up, he and other Boston area folk musicians formed the International Submarine Band with whom he began to develop a sound the borrowed the best from country, folk and rock.  They enjoyed moderate success, primarily getting airplay on the up-and-coming progressive radio stations.   In 1968, Parsons was asked to join the Byrds as a replacement for David Crosby and Michael Clarke.  He started on keyboards but soon switched to guitar, helping guide the group down a more country rock path.  Parsons left the Byrds in the summer of 1968.  He joined back up with the Byrds’ Chris Hillman soon after to form the Flying Burrito Brothers whose debut,  The Gilded Palace of Sin would be a direct influence on the likes of the Eagles, Dwight Yoakam and later, Wilco and Ryan Adams.  By the early ’70s, Parsons was working as a solo artist while recording and performing with good friend, Emmylou Harris.  It was during this period that Parsons’ inner demons were taking control in the form of substance abuse.  He was also spending more and more time in an area he had become fond of, Joshua Tree National Monument in the desert outside of Los Angeles.  He liked to go there and take LSD while searching for UFOs.  It was during one of these trips that Gram Parsons apparently overdosed on morphine and alcohol and died at the age of 26.

What You Should Own

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Gram Parsons

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