RIP Doug Dillard
May 17, 2012 12:27 PM Subscribe
posted by Fnarf (18 comments total)
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was a pioneer of country rock with his band The Dillards, with his brother Rodney, who were perhaps the first to plug bluegrass instruments into amplifiers back in the early sixties. He died today at the age of 75.
The Dillards album Wheatstraw Suite
was recorded after Doug left the band to work with Gene Clark, but he worked on the songs and recorded early single versions of some of them. This album is arguably the best country-folk-rock album ever made, outstripping (IMHO) efforts by The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers.
His work in Dillard and Clark was magnificent
, especially "Why Not My Baby"
, a forgotten masterpiece that somehow marries banjo with a string section (and Gene Clark's plaintive vocal), though it was generally lost in stupid band politics and the remarkable capacity of both principals for self-destruction.
Perhaps The Dillards, and Doug's, biggest impact on the national stage was as The Darlings
, the bluegrass band on The Andy Griffith Show, the first time most Americans ever heard this form of their own music.
Here's Doug in (somewhat) later years on Ralph Emery's show Pop! Goes The Country