Clarence White (1944-1973)

Clarence White was a pionnering American bluegrass, country and rock guitarist.

Clarence White was a from a musical family, and with his brothers formed the bluegrass group The Little Country Boys, who in 1962 became The Kentucky Colonels. White helped pioneer the acoustic guitar as a lead instrument in bluegrass, when previously it had generally been seen as solely a rhythm instrument. After the Colonels finished, White found work as a session guitarist in L.A., forming a coalition with Gib Guilbeau and Gene Parsons. The three of them played together as backing musicians for various artists on Gary Paxton's Bakersfield International label, and performed in clubs together (see Nashville West). Around this time he began playing electric guitar, and with Parsons invented a devise for making the electric guitar sound like a pedal steel - the B-Bender.
White forged a connection with The Byrds when he played on Gene Clark’s first post-Byrds solo album. He then went to play guest lead guitar on three Byrds albums, giving their more country-influenced numbers a bit more twang. His contributions were most notable on 1968’s Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, where they embraced country-rock entirely. When Roger McGuinn was left as the only remaining Byrd and had to start the group from scratch, White was an obvious choice for a new member (along with Gene Parsons on drums). He served as the group’s lead guitarist from late 1968 to 1973. During this time he still kept up his prolific session musician career, and contributed his unique guitar work to countless country-rock records. After the Byrds broke up he joined the bluegrass supergroup Muleskinner. However he died in 1973 after being hit by a drunk driver. He left behind a legacy as a pioneering musician, recognised as the king of country-rock guitar.

4 comments:

viagra online said...

Clarence White was a great artist! there's no doubt it! he was an awesome multi instrumentalist!

Art Schleezer said...

Nice snapshot of his work. You just have to listen to his playing to hear how unique his timing was. If you play guitar you just shake your head at how different he played things.

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