The Hillmen were an American bluegrass group active in the early 60s.
The Hillmen (originally the Golden State Boys) were a bluegrass group from southern Califorinia, consisting of Chris Hillman (mandolin/vocals), Vern Gosdin (guitar/lead vocals), Rex Gosdin (bass/vocals) and Don Parmley (banjo/vocals). Hillman was only 17 he was joined, but was already considered a prodigy on the mandlin. They recorded one fantastic album in 1963, but they could not find a record deal so it went unreleased. It consists mostly of traditionals and standards, but also includes stunning versions of Bob Dylan's "When The Ship Comes In" (featuring Hillman on lead vocals) and Woody Guthrie's "Ranger's Command". Hillman and Parmley provided some formidable instrumental chops, whilst the Gosdins provided a solid rhythmic base and fantastic vocal harmonies. Of the four members, Chris Hillman is the best known, as shortly afterwards he became the bassist for folk-rock pioneers The Byrds. The Gosdin Brothers went on to work both together and seperately, and Don Parmley later joined the Bluegrass Cardinals. The album was eventually released in 1969, no doubt to capitalize on Hillman's fame with the Byrds.