Doug Dillard 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. [more inside]
Roger McGuinn was a member of the pioneering folk rock band The Byrds. He loves the traditional folk music he has been performing solo since the band's breakup in 1973. In this interview, he talks to NPR's Neal Conan about his career, his music and why he created The Folk Den Project (previously) - with over 200 readily downloadable songs, with lyrics and chords - to preserve traditional folk songs.
In 1969 banjo virtuoso and bluegrass innovator Earl Scruggs parted ways with his longtime musical partner Lester Flatt and the band they led to great popularity and acclaim, The Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs wanted to push his musical gifts as far as they could go. In 1970 he was the subject of a PBS documentary where he played with artists such as Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, The Morris Brothers, The Byrds, Charlie Daniels, Bill Monroe, Joan Baez, various friends and family members, and even records a track accompanying a Moog. You can watch the whole thing online: Earl Scruggs, His Family and Friends.
He couldn't sing, dance, or tell jokes, but he was television's greatest impresario. He was a stone-faced puritan -- America's arbiter of status quo -- but had a sly sense of humor , and in the segregation-tainted 1950's, welcomed blacks to his stage, and in the 1960's showcased rock n' roll's most anti-establishment acts. His show, the longest-running variety show in history, ran from 1948 to 1971. [more inside]
Sneaky Pete Kleinow, [Wikipedia | Allmusic] passed away Saturday, January 6 at the age of 72. In addition to being an incredible pedal steel guitar player, most notably with the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, he was also an accomplished visual effects artist who worked on films such as The Empire Strikes Back, Terminator I & II, and Army of Darkness.
Record producer Terry Melcher dies. Melcher, one of the creators of the 1960's Los Angeles sound produced the Byrds hits "Turn Turn Turn" and "Mr Tamberine Man" and he also played on the Beach Boys seminal album "Pet Sounds." At one time, Melcher also owned this house and, for a while, he believed that the murders that occurred there might have been in retribution for not signing this guy to a record contract.