Roger McGuinn was born in Chicago, and in his early days played both guitar and banjo and performed solo at folk clubs. He soon found work as a studio musician, working with Bobby Darin and Judy Collins among others. Eventually he made the move to L.A., where he formed The Byrds with Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke. The Byrds became leaders in the burgeoning folk-rock genre, with their distinctive vocal harmonies and McGuinn's electric 12-string guitar as their musical trademarks. McGuinn sang lead on their biggest singles, 1965's "Mr Tambourine Man" and "Turn! Turn! Turn!". The band later became pioneers in first psychedelia and then country-rock, with McGuinn still at the helm throughout. By 1968 he was the only original member left, and he guided the latter-day lineup of the band (with Clarence White, Gene Parsons and Skip Battin) through to their final dissolution in 1973. After a brief reunion with the five original members which produced one album (unfairly dismissed by the critics), The Byrds were over.
McGuinn's solo debut came out later that same year. Stylistically it covered a broad range of folk-rock and country-rock styles. Most of the songs were penned by McGuinn and his writing partner Jacques Levy, with notable exceptions being David Wiffen's "Lost My Drivin' Wheel", Dann Penn and Spooner Oldham's "Stone" and two traditional folk song adaptations ("Heave Away" and "The Water Is Wide"). McGuinn played guitar, banjo, harmonica and Moog synthesizer, and instrumental support came from a long list of musicians including ex-Byrds Hillman, Crosby and Clarke, pedal steel guitarist Buddy Emmons, bassist Chris Ethridge, drummers Jim Gordon and John Guerin, keyboard player Spooner Oldham and Graham Nash.
|> Peace On You (1974)
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