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The Dillards

Biography

Although the Dillards aren't single-handedly responsible for bluegrass' migration from Appalachia to California, there's no denying they provided vital transportation. Raised in Salem, Mo., brothers Rodney and Doug Dillard jammed in a string of outfits before forming their own in 1960. The newly christened Dillards soon relocated to Los Angeles, where they made several appearances as the Darlings on the Andy Griffith Show. More importantly, the group became a pillar of the burgeoning folk/country-rock scene, along with the Byrds, Gosdin Brothers, Clarence White, etc. In 1967 Doug jumped ship to team up with ex-Byrd Gene Clark in the now legendary Dillard and Clark. Meanwhile, Rodney and company strapped on electric instruments, learned some Beatles tunes and in the process, helped invent progressive bluegrass with a pair of electrified classics: Wheatstraw Suite and Copperfields. Despite a string of personnel changes in the '70s, the Dillards only further cemented their reputation as one of bluegrass' most innovative and maverick acts. The group finally slipped into semi-retirement sometime in the '80s, occasionally releasing a record and playing a festival.
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