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Mr. Tambourine Man – 1965
Turn, Turn, Turn – 1965
I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better – 1965
So You Want to Be a Rock n Roll Star – 1967
The Byrds Discography
1965 – Mr. Tambourine Man
1966 – Fifth Dimension
1966 – Turn! Turn! Turn!
1967 – Younger than Yesterday
1968 – The Notorious Byrd Brothers
1968 – Sweetheart of the Rodeo
1969 – Live at the Fillmore West February 1969
1969 – The Ballad of Easy Rider
1969 – Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde
1970 – Untitled
1971 – Byrdmaniax
1972 – Farther Along
1973 – The Byrds
1989 – Never Before
1995 – Star Rockets
2001 – Play the Songs of Bob Dylan
The Byrds are an American rock band that was established in 1964 in Los Angeles, California. The group formally disbanded in 1973. During that time, the band endured multiple lineup changes, and when all was said it done, there had been 11 members altogether. That membership included Roger McGuinn — known previously as Jim McGuinn — the iconic lead singer and guitarist on many Byrds’ records, and David Crosby, who’s enjoyed a prolific music career solo and also as a part of Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Read more on the Biography page.
The Byrds Membership Timeline 1964 – 1973
Roger McGuinn – lead guitar, banjo, Moog synthesizer, vocals (1964–73, 1989–91, 2000)
Gene Clark – tambourine, rhythm guitar, harmonica, vocals (1964–66, 1967, 1972–73, 1991)
David Crosby – rhythm guitar, vocals (1964–67, 1972–73, 1989–91, 2000)
Michael Clarke – drums (1964–67, 1972–73, 1991)
Chris Hillman – bass guitar, rhythm guitar, mandolin, vocals (1964–68, 1972–73, 1989–91, 2000)
Kevin Kelley – drums (1968)
Gram Parsons – rhythm guitar, piano, organ, vocals (1968)
Clarence White – lead guitar, mandolin, vocals (1968–73)
Gene Parsons – drums, banjo, harmonica, pedal steel guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals (1968–72)
John York – bass guitar, vocals (1968–69)
Skip Battin – bass guitar, piano, vocals (1969–73)
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I wonder if anyone (Roger McGuinn?) might recall playing on a stage at Cedar Point, Ohio. I think the band was just getting started, although I did know of them from the radio. I liked them right away which is why I went to see them. I remember standing next to the stage, which was dumb I guess but I wanted to see the band play. It was really a dance venue so there were no seats, and I remember it being rather dark in there. Over the years I continued to buy and listen to all of the record albums I could.
David Crosby at Monterey Pops " Your Mother gets high and you don't know it " ~ 1967 ??
Put on a Byrds song and watch the goosebumps rise while I fall on my knees and sob...THIS is the fabric of my life - then, now and forever-more.
Roger McGuinn, so grateful for you and The Byrds in my life. Still listen to my favorite songs too numerous to list, but My Back Pages rank at the top of the list!! You are amazing and what a contribution you've made to music. God bless you and your legacy!!
"So you want to be a rock- n- roll Star . . . I don't know why I always that of the Byrd's as a British band. I love that song! Cheers!
Suddenly, it's December 1965 and I'm back at Lake Theater in Painesville (OH) listening and watching The Byrds - Live! on stage playing and singing 'Turn-Turn-Turn'. Wow! Whatta great time we had. Our parents and teachers didn't exactly understand -or- care much for their music, but loved us enough to let us have the experience.
And like contributor Ruthe recalled, there was a very young singer from Tennessee whose name was Dolly Rebecca Parton. Yup! The same Dolly Parton who's still charming and singing her way into everyone's heart.
My what times!
While it may have been difficult in the mid-60’s to identify my fav Byrds tune, hands down it’s My Back Pages. I particularly like that the song was started by Roger for Dylan’s 30th anniversary celebration. These fellows maintained vocal and instrumental excellence learned long before DAW’s, pitch correction, Melodyne, etc.
No one could song or play the song better than the Byrds. They’ve influenced bands I played in during my service during Viet Nam and in many bands since. I’m a youngster at 68l but at time I wondered what might have happened if I were 5 yrs older and played keys like Jon Lord or Ray Manzarek. Thx to whoever maintains this site.
At the time of the release of Tambourine Man, I was 8 years old. Boy how I loved that tune, and all these years on it’s still my favourite song if all time. I used to love hearing it on Radio Caroline every day. I saved up my then meagre pocket money to buy the single, which I still have. I bought several albums once my funds permitted. Fortunately I can still play those vinyl masterpieces! All the happy memories these tunes bring back!
I enjoy those guys so much, even years later they still have the unique Byrd’s sound. I especially love the vocals of Rodger McGuinn. No other entertainer can come close to his wonderful vocals.
Yes, I was also at the Lowell MA concert. They played at my alma mater, Lowell Technological Institute, in the gymnasium on 2/14/71. Great concert. I still remember it well. Was with my buddies and slightly toasted but was alert enough to remember the details. Oh, the good old days!
im looking fans around the world who have live dvds of the byrds.
a big embrace for all!!!!!
One of my all time favorites. I have a ticket for a show in Lowell Massachusetts dated 2/14/71. Can anyone confirm that. The Byrds were also featured with the Paul Butterfied Blues Band. I think I attended that concert and saved the ticket.
When I was in high school my friends and I saw The Byrds perform in Painesville Ohio at a small movie theatre. We were so excited to see and hear them in a venue that let us be closer to them. As we waited for them a young blonde woman performed country music on stage. We had never heard of her before, but gave Dolly Parton our attention.
Where did they perform ? In 1966 the tour guide states that The Byrds performed at an Unknown Location in Wildwood, NJ Does anyone know where that location was ? PLEASE HELP !!!
It's almost not to say it's hard to out choose one of many of the byrd's number
There all have a very nice singing voice and a very beautiful melodic guitar layer
But if I had to choose bae one then the bell of the rythme is one of the many
Saw the 50th anniversary tour last year in LA. Incredible show, Marty Stuart was the cherry on top. GREAT stories about Gram Parsons and many others. The music was amazing. Check out "Laurel Canyon,a Place in Time" MUCH better than Echo in the Canyon. Laurel Canyon tells the real story with the real music.
It's not fair, is it? In 1965, and for the rest of his life, Clark was head and shoulders the best composer. A couple dozen of his songs are in the first rank, comparable to Dylan.
In 1965, McGuinn and Crosby resented his mysterious gift. Clark himself didn't know what to make of it. In 2020, he's still excluded from the Songwriters' Hall of Fame. Some Hall.
"And the workings of sunshine and rain, and the visions they paint that remain"
I've just ordered a CD featuring both sides of the 1964 single they cut as The Beefeaters. I've checked out the various issues of the single, and I see there's one from the Netherlands in the 1980s, in a picture sleeve - but that appears to be a bootleg? Can anyone confirm, one way or the other?
One of the greatest groups of all time. I loved your music . The show Laurel Canyon was fabulous, OMG such memories. . I remember going to the Whiskey, and Troubadour... Great to be from the era.
I'm pretty sure the The Byrds played the Old Grey Whistle Test, but cannot find the actual date? It was the McGuinn, White, batting and Parsons line-up. If I recall they played Chestnut Mare, Jesus Is Just Alright and So You Want To Be A Rock'N'Roll Star. Can anyone confirm? Many thanks
Great comments from all leaving them. Watch Echo In The Canyon Documentary plus get the soundtrack.
Great comments from all leaving them. Watch Echo In The Canyon Documentary plus get the soundtrack.
I'm a graduate student from India and I honestly feel that The Byrds are very underrated in the eyes of general public, very much like The Kinks.
Although they have secured their rightful place among the pantheon of legends such as Bob Dylan and The Beatles, The Byrds remain very underrated in terms of the eyes of the general public compared to their brethren. But to every respectable rock music listener, The Byrds remain one of those rare bands that perfectly maintained their balance between being melodious as well as innovative and have hence emerged as one of the most exceptional and timeless musicians of all time.
Indeed, Roger McGuinn's 12-String Rickenbacker guitar sound is one of the most timeless sounds, sounding as fresh as if it were just recorded yesterday. Also, The Byrds had superb vocal harmonies comparable to that of The Beach Boys.
They were huge on the influence part as well. They not only influenced majority of the New Wave and indie bands (that would emerge in the 1980's) with their jangle guitar but also influenced both Bob Dylan and The Beatles. Their 1965 seminal album, "Mr Tambourine Man" still remains as one of the most revolutionary records of all time and a total game changer. The title track from this not only shot Bob Dylan up the charts but also showed The Beatles the scope of a pop song being meaningful rather than just about silly love. To me, even their original "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better" is a direct precursor to The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" lyrically - it was the first instance of Beatles writing mature love songs. No wonder that album was a huge influence on The Beatles' Rubber Soul. They were also very influential in the country rock genre as well - they might as well be one of the most original, innovative and influential bands of all time right up there with The Beatles.
Overall, they remain one of my favorite music artists and a true genius in the music field.
More than 50 years after The Byrds was formed I'm still in awe of the masterpieces created by the band. In each member of the original band is a piece of genius which melded into some of the most beautiful music ever written and performed.
I am a high school student from the Midwest. Not a lot of people of my generation appreciate music from this era, and that is fine I guess, because that just makes me appreciate it even more. These classics inspire my own music through and through. I'll say that there will never again be a band like The Byrds. I can't even pick a favourite song. I own almost every record of theirs. Favorites are Turn! Turn! Turn! and Younger Than Yesterday. Overall, just can't get enough Byrds!
the Columbia, Pa Folk Fest about 25 years ago. He is an amazing performer. I've been lucky to see other greats up close like the original line up of The Vanilla Fudge, Robin Trower, The Modoy Blues, Tommy James, and a bunch more. Never quit, never give up, today is the best of times if you make it happen. I'm still 18 in my brain and "riding my see-saw". And yes, I'm human.
Paul McCartney said the beetles liked the byrds and were influenced by them, so that’s 2 things ive got in common with the beetles, I’m from liverpool and I’m right into the byrds, my fav song has to be natural harmony, followed by everybody’s been burned
I’m from Liverpool,from what I’ve read the byrds were favourite band of the beetles, so ive got two things in common with the beetles, my fav byrds song has to be natural harmony followed by everybody has been burned
Loved The Byrd’s. My Back Pages, definitely my fav
I was a London teenager in the '60's and got into the Byrds one hot summer. I am, like many many people of my generation, so very grateful for the music of that period. Unmissable amazely unique. P.S. I see the Required Field asks me to check the box to confirm I am human ! Ha ha ....
Wow what a show, Roger and Camilla , you guys love this.
I’m English, but I loved the Byrds and their very different sound when I first saw them in 1965. I’m a 67 year old pensioner now, but I still blast out their cds in my car! Mike Clarke was my crush when I was 14 and I don’t think I’ve changed. It was so sad when he died and so unnecessary.
I loved the Byrds for the same reason I loved the Beatles. they dared to be different. they were folk, jazz, rock and everything in between.
During high school, 65 & 66 especially, I wore out The Byrd's Mr. Tambourine and Turn, Turn, Turn albums, soaking up the sounds of Roger McGuinn's Ric 360/12. Chris Hillman's bass lines complimented those songs so much! I guess you could say "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."
I now have a Ric 360/12 equipped with the vintage toaster top pickups, and have successfully emulated Roger's finger-picking technique on Turn, Turn, Turn, Tambourine Man, and Mr. Spaceman. I saw Roger and Chris Hillman last September on the 50th SOTR Tour, and although his current rendition of Turn 3X has mellowed somewhat on the Ric, it was still a thrill watching and listening to those two legends from row 13. Incredible!
I've been a fan since they first came out.
I think they were more an inspiration for me than the Beatles. Don't get me wrong. I loved them and always will. The Byrds had that sound that I liked then and still do to this day.
My dream has always been to afford a 12 string Ric. And to meet Rodger. I'd settle just to here from him personally. Long ive the Byrds !
"What's Happening?" is one of my all-time favorite Crosby songs. I was in a bookstore yesterday and the song came on the PA but it was a version I'd never heard before - it was an acoustic version that sounded like it was just Crosby and McGuinn. It was AMAZING! I can't find any trace of it on the Web. Can anyone help me out? I gotta have it!!!
I grew up with the Byrds, I was a sophomore in high school in 1964, couldn't play the albums enough. It was a great time for music in the US. Roger & Gene came up with so many songs that had great harmonies and lyrics. I still play this songs today, I turned 71 today.
it is stereo. it is deduced by listening to it.
long life to the Byrds ! ! !
Goin'back is my favourite song
Question for fans...
I saw these guys in concert backstage... I cannot remember the back up band and what year it was in Evansville Indiana they were there can anyone help me please? Feel free to call me it would be better 901-647-1224 my hour glasses running out...My cousin got me backstage he was in the back up band and my memory is not good… I went into the Marine Corps after that and my girlfriend DeeAnn GermamI took her backstage she was so impressed! I didn’t talk to her for 25 years after me at all… I had a bedtime! It would be nice to have some nice memories… Semper Fi from an old salty Marine!
A question for all you Byrds fans: Does anyone know whether the STUDIO version of "Lover of the Bayou' on Untitled/Unissued is mono or stereo, or how I can find out? Thanks!! Tim
Hi all Byrds fans! Long shot question. Wondering if any recalls or has photos, etc or any record of the Dillards opening for the Byrds in early March 1966 at whitefish Bay high school (my school) in Milwaukee Wisconsin? 3/2/66 I believe. Long time ago! I was a junior then at wfb Hs. We can’t find any classmates w photos! One photo on internet showing only half the band! No Byrds website concert list includes this. It was kinda squeezed in between scheduled gigs around wisc and Midwest. But it really happened. I have only school newspaper and milw journal articles. Any anecdotes and esp photos etc greatly appreciated!!! Jim Stearns. I’m Also on fb - now in boulder co retired.
Was so happy to see pictures of the original 5 Byrds on site.
The Byrds as a group ended with Sweetheart of the Rodeo.
Prefer McGuinn Hillman Clark first album. Underrated.
Okay, in a few hours I'm off to see/hear the Sweetheart of the Rodeo show with Marty Stuart and his band backing Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, who, it is said, will sing all of Sweetheart and a bunch of others songs, and tell some stories. Couldn't be more excited.
FAR OUT!!! Loved these guys in the sixties and still do today great web site
It's high time for a first class Byrds documentary...unless it's already been done?? Anybody know of a good feature length production?
great review if even if its more than 20 years old
Throughout my 45 years as a Byrds fan, I've found that in spite of a rotating roll call of members, each era had their own unique contribution. From Dylan disciples off the folk boom to psychedelic poet cowboys to country pop to bluegrass infused power rock - the Byrds covered all the bases, and quite nicely. You may have a particular era that's your favorite, but each period pushed the boundaries of the times and music they were a part of. Not too many bands do that.
Adore The Byrds. Got into them via some obvious singles years ago. Virtually listen to 60s sounds (mainly psych,folk) with perhaps some early 70s thrown in. My first bands were I suppose The Beatles,Stones and yes,even The Monkees. Only fairly recently starting to listen properly to Crosby and McGuinn solo albums.
Fav albums are Younger Than Yesterday,Fifth Dimension and Notorious.
I meet gene and the byrds in london 1965 they were great
loved their music
The Byrds were purported to be America's answer to the Beatles but that was just a marketing ploy developed by the record industry.
Rather, the Byrds were a phenomenon that evolved because the time was ripe for musicians who had diverse musical backgrounds to stage a coup d'état in the increasingly stagnant American Rock & Roll scene.
What is interesting to note is that American Rock & Roll music started out as Black R&B in 1951 with "Rocket 88" by Ike Turner. But due to discrimination and Racism, most Black musicians could not gain a wide range of national success until after the British invasion because US Black R&B, Blues, Jazz and Gospel Records influenced young British kids in the 1950s and they brought "American" music back to the US.
The Byrds were Americas answer to its double standard and racist tradition of highlighting White accomplishments while excluding Black or Brown accomplishments.
Diversity was the nucleus of the Byrds.. Roger McGuinn was influenced by gospel, R&B, folk and classical. Gene Clark was part Native American with folk, Rock, R&B influeces. David Crosby came in with Bossa Nova, folk, R&B and Jazz. Chris Hillman was influenced by Jazz, R&B, folk and country and Michael Clarke was influenced by R&B, Jazz, West African and Caribbean music. All these influences made up the core of the Byrds prior to the groups existence. There would be more influences including South African music like Cothoza Mfana and Mbaqanga as well as Indian Raga music.
Indeed, the Byrds unlike the Beatles, dove into diverse music because their early musical exposure had been extremely eclectic. The Beatles like most UK bands were limited to Blues, Jazz and R&B which was enough to start a musical revolution in England that would eventually evolve within a few short years. But one must understand the complexity of the Byrds sound specially with the contributions David Crosby brought to the forefront of the band. Bossa Nova, Raga, Jazz sounds in compositions like "I don't know", "Why" "Everybody's been burned" and "Psychodrama City". McGuinn's instrumental genius in the formation of 8Miles High though Gene Clark and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones actually wrote all the lyrics except a single word contribution by Crosby. McGuinn was at his best when he arranged music. Sadly, he wasn't a great lyricist like Gene Clark who had a penchant for writing anything at a drop of a dime. Chris Hillman's own bass playing does equal that of Paul MccCartney's own melodic bass arrangements but Hillman's actually more influenced by jazz improvisational form and delivery which brought in a fresh angle to all Byrds music from 1965-1968.
The Byrds were never able to maintain their eclectic level of production and experimentation for many reasons. They were too young, external forces brought them to a level of commercial success that unlike the Beatles, was not organic. Lennon, McCartney and George Harrison had been playing together for 8 years before they arrived in America. The Byrds were a moment that occurred and then it was gone. Their contributions though should be further examined. In a more critical level though Johnny Rogan has made an exquisite overview with Requiem for the Timeless Volume 1. A 380 plus page history of the Byrds publication that he had been revising since 1980.
Why the Byrds? because they created a treasure trove and left before they could be properly embraced and analyzed in a critical manner. In time, we will eventually see a resurgence of this groups influence unlike anything that has come before.
I find the pop music history of the 60’s to be very fascinating…in 1964; the music scene was basically recycled 1950’s sounds with a lot of Elvis clones. There was the California surf / hot rod sound of the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean.
But…when the Beatles hit America in early 1964, every thing changed forever (also helped by President Kennedy’s assignation on 11/22/63). During 1964, the British invasion shook the music industry…American music was hit by a tidal wave.
By 1965, new American sounds began to emerge…the Motown sound such as Diana Ross and the Supremes, the marriage of Folk music and Rock & Roll. The Byrds were America’s answer to the Beatles…Mr. Tambourine Man, Turn Turn Turn. The new genre of Folk Rock was born…Bob Dylan went electric, Sonny and Cher, Mamas and Papas, The Turtles,…1965 was another transition year….
1966 gave birth to yet another revolution…the Psychedelic Revolution!...the sound that shook the world…The Byrd’s Eight Miles High is considered by many music historians as the first Psychedelic song…they combined Indian Sitar music with John Coltrane’s jazz, along with folk rock…creating something totally different...a metaphysical sensation of flying! The San Francisco sounds of the Jefferson Airplane as well as London’s own Psychedelic Revolution set things in motion…LSD had a catastrophic impact….
The Psychedelic Revolution peeked in 1967 with the summer of love, Monterey Pop Festival, & the Beatle’s Sergeant Pepper album. The Paisley, day-glow images of the counter culture were in full bloom.
1968 would be a transition year with country music & hard rock making a comeback. Other new sounds would come and go…but not as revolutionary as the 1964-1968 period.