A PIONEER AND A COUNTRY GENTLEMAN
We wouldn't have country-rock, as we know it, or perhaps even the first real bloom of psychedelic rock in the mainstream without Chris Hillman. As one of the original members of The Byrds and later The Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas and The Desert Rose Band, amongst others, Hillman has proven one of the most reliably excellent singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalists to emerge from the 1960s. These days he's firmly entrenched in the high end acoustic music world alongside the likes of Tony Rice and Herb Pederson. Recently, Hillman spent much of 2010 recovering from spinal surgery but has returned to touring. He's one of the best and he turns 66-years-old today. We wish him the happiest of birthdays and thank him profusely for the mountain of great music he's given us. (Dennis Cook)
While a formidable, unique bassist on the first few Byrds albums, it was 1967's Younger Than Yesterday where Hillman came into his own, including co-writing this most covered number.
Just a year later, The Byrds took a steep turn into bluegrass and country, introducing the world to Gram Parsons and opening up rock's boundaries with Sweetheart of the Rodeo.
Hillman left The Byrds for the first time right after the completion of Sweetheart and soon formed The Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram. Here's a few gems from the band..
Concurrently with the Brothers, Hillman joined Stephen Stills' short-lived Manassas, who produced two stellar studio albums before shuffling off.
Here's a sampling of the kind of quality music Hillman has been making since the 1980s.
Hillman returned to commercial success in the 80s/90s with Nashville hitmakers The Desert Rose Band, who he continues to tour with to this day. This stuff is real easy to like.
We conclude with a little profile of Hillman and a vintage Byrds clip featuring some of Hillman's most amazing bass work.