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Posts Tagged ‘Gene Clark’

Died On This Date (May 16, 2012) Doug Dillard / Banjo Great; The Dillards

Posted by themusicsover on May 16, 2012

Doug Dillard
March 6, 1937 – May 16, 2012

Doug Dillard was a world-renowned banjo player and founding member of the Dillards.  Formed in 1962, the pickers eventually added electric guitars, drums and keyboards to the mix which in turn, laid the foundation for country rock to come in the early ’70s, and newgrass in the ’80s and ’90s.  Artists who have taken a cue for the Dillards include the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Eagles, New Grass Revival, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Sam Bush, String Cheese Incident, Ricky Skaggs, and the Byrds.  The Dillards made their mark on television as well.  During the ’60s, they had a recurring role as the Darlings, a bluegrass band that performed on the Andy Griffith Show.  The group continued to release albums well into the ’90s.   Outside of the Dillards, Doug also performed alongside the ByrdsGene Clark as the Dillard and Clark Band.  Throughout his career, he either performed or recorded with the likes of Elton John, Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, and Linda Ronstadt.  Doug Dillard was 75 when he passed away on May 16, 2012.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

What You Should Own

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The Dillards

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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.

What You Should Own

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Died On This Date (December 19, 1993) Michael Clarke / The Byrds

Posted by themusicsover on December 19, 2009

Michael Clarke (Born Michael Dick)
June 3, 1946 – December 19, 1993


Michael Clarke was a rock drummer who, according to legend, was hired by the Byrds in 1964 primarily because he looked like Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones.  Prior to his short run with the Byrds, Clarke had never played the drums, or much of any other instrument for that matter.  Once hired, he practiced on cardboard boxes until he got his first drum kit.  In 1967, the Byrds released him.  He apparently developed some drumming skills because he later played with the Flying Burrito Brothers, Firefall and Jerry Jeff Walker.  During the ’80s, he joined up with Byrds former singer Gene Clark in a Byrds reunion/tribute group of sorts.  He also played in Byrds Celebration during the early ’90s.  A heavy drinker for many years, Michael Clarke, age 47, died of liver failure on December 19, 1993.

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