BYRDWATCHER: A Field Guide to the Byrds of Los Angeles
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MUSICIANS ASSOCIATED WITH THE BYRDS

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Timothy B. Schmit

Simon & Garfunkel

Sir Douglas Quintet

J.D. Souther

Jim Stafford

Allan Stanton

Stephen Stills



Timothy B. Schmit

Timothy B. Schmit replaced Randy Meisner as bassist for Poco when Meisner left to join the Eagles in 1970. Then when Meisner left the Eagles in 1977, Schmit replaced him yet again. He stayed with the Eagles until they split in the early '80s, and was part of the Eagles' lucrative 1994 "Hell Freezes Over" Tour.
Schmit sang backup on Chris Hillman's first solo LP, Slippin' Away (Asylum, 1976) as well as on Roger McGuinn's Cardiff Rose (Columbia, 1976) and Back from Rio (Arista, 1991).
For more info on Schmit, see L & M's Eagles Fastlane.


Simon & Garfunkel

A young Jim McGuinn played as a session musician on recordings by Tom & Jerry, who later recorded under their real names, Simon and Garfunkel. Under that name, the duo were signed to Columbia and released their first LP, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. (Columbia, 1964) in October of 1964, when it failed to chart.
After the success of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and a host of other folk rock singles in the summer and fall of 1965, producer Tom Wilson recorded new, electric backing tracks for the "The Sounds of Silence," which had appeared as an acoustic song on the '64 album. Over the duo's objections, the song was re-released in November '65, and quickly rose to Number One on the U.S. charts. So began the career of one of folk-rock's most successful acts, both artistically and commercially.
Between 1966 and 1970, the duo released thirteen successful singles and five more LPs, several of which were chart-toppers, all characterized by sophisticated lyrics, pretty melodies, and the angelic voice of Art Garfunkel.
Since their split in 1970, Paul Simon has maintained a vital career. His tendency to explore the sounds of other cultures, in evidence since "El Condor Pasa" in 1970, resulted in two wonderful albums, Graceland (Warner Bros., 1986) and The Rhythm of the Saints (Warner Bros., 1990).
There are several Simon & Garfunkel sites on the web, including Song for the Asking.


Sir Douglas Quintet

The Sir Douglas Quintet, a Tex-Mex combo built around vocalist Doug Sahm and organist Augie Meyer, hit in 1965 with "She's About A Mover," a Texas/Mersey take on Ray Charles's "What'd I Say." In ensuing years, the Quintet, with various personnel backing Sahm and Meyer, would record for the Smash and Philips labels. Future Byrd John York played bass with the Quintet during most of 1966, although he does not appear on any of the group's recordings.
In the '70s and '80s, Sahm recorded several LPs for ABC, Atlantic, and Takoma under his own name, under the Quintet moniker, and as the Texas Tornados. Sahm and Meyer came back resoundingly in 1990 with a revived Texas Tornadoes (the other members being master accordionist Flaco Jiminez and country crooner Freddie Fender). The Tornados have released four fine CDs on Reprise. There is also a site called Amigos de Musica devoted to the Sir Douglas Quintet, Doug Sahm and the Texas Tornados.


J.D. Souther

J.D. Souther was born in Michigan and grew up in Amarillo, Texas. He came to LA in the '60s to break into the music business. In the late '60s, his girlfriend's sister started dating another musician, Glenn Frey. By 1968, Souther and Frey were sharing an apartment (with a young Jackson Browne) and performing together in the duo Longbranch Pennywhistle.
The duo was signed to Amos Records and released one LP in 1969. But soon a legal dispute with Amos put the duo out of commission, and they split in 1970. In 1971, David Geffen signed Frey's new band, the Eagles, Jackson Browne and J.D. Souther to his new label, Asylum Records. The next year saw the release of debut albums by all three acts. John David Souther (Asylum, 1972) was not the commercial success that the other debuts were, but Souther continued to gain fame as his songs were recorded by his friends Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne and the Eagles.
In 1973, Geffen hooked Souther up with Chris Hillman and Buffalo Springfield/Poco veteran Richie Furay. The Souther Hillman Furay Band lasted for two years and two LPs.
After the SHF Band broke up, Souther released Black Rose (Asylum, 1976), did session work and had a few more of his compositions recorded by others. A label switch brought You're Only Lonely (Columbia, 1979), the title song of which became a hit.
In the '80s, Souther concentrated on acting. His best-known work was a recurring role on television's Thirtysomething as an environmentalist.


Jim Stafford

In the early '60s, Jim Stafford played guitar in a rock cover band, the Legends, with Gram Parsons. In the mid-'70s, Jim Stafford stole a page from Jerry Reed and scored pop hits with several country-tinged novelty songs. His run started in 1974, and included "Spiders and Snakes," "Wildwood Weed" and "My Girl Bill." He also hosted a summer replacement variety show on television.


Allan Stanton

After the band parted ways with Terry Melcher, Allan Stanton produced Fifth Dimension. Stanton was at the time the West Coast Vice-President of Columbia Records. He had signed the Byrds for Columbia in November 1964.


Stephen Stills

Stephen Stills was born in Dallas and grew up in Texas, Illinois, Louisiana, Panama, Costa Rica and Florida. In Gainesville in 1960, Stills was in a local rock band called the Continentals with future Eagle Don Felder. He left for New Orleans to become a folk singer in 1963, but soon realized Greenwich Village was where he ought to be.
In New York, he joined the Au Go Go Singers, a 10-person folk combo not unlike the New Christy Minstrels, for whom Stills wrote and sang in '64 and early '65. One of the other Au Go Go Singers was guitarist and singer Richie Furay.
In early '65, Stills, energized by the Beatles, headed out to LA to start a rock group. A duo with Van Dyke Parks didn't work out, and Stills didn't make the cut when he auditioned for the Monkees or the Lovin' Spoonful, but he did land some session work as a guitarist. Eventually he sent for Furay, who rejoined Stills in LA forthwith.
The two hooked up with Canadian acquaintances Neil Young and Bruce Palmer to form Buffalo Springfield. That group just barely managed to stay together long enough to release three great albums between 1966 and 1968. In May of that year, the group broke up.
Stills cut the one-off album Super Session (Columbia, 1968) with Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, played with Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell, then cast about for something to do. That something turned out to be Crosby Stills & Nash, beginning in December of 1968 and despite numerous interruptions, still going today.
Here's a mini-discography of Stills albums other than those with CSN or CSNY: Buffalo Springfield (Atco, 1966); Buffalo Springfield Again (Atco, 1967); Last Time Around (Atco, 1967) (with Buffalo Springfield); Super Session (Columbia, 1968) (with Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper); Stephen Stills (Atlantic, 1970); Stephen Stills 2 (Atlantic, 1971); Manassas (Atlantic, 1972); Down the Road (Atlantic, 1973) (these last two with Manassas, a group that included ex-Byrd Chris Hillman); Stills (Columbia, 1975); Stephen Stills Live (Atlantic, 1975); Illegal Stills (Columbia, 1976); Long May You Run (Reprise, 1976) (as one half of the Stills-Young Band); Still Stills: The Best of Stephen Stills (Atlantic, 1976); Thoroughfare Gap (Columbia, 1978); and Right By You (Atlantic, 1984).
There is more Stills info at the the Crosby, Stills & Nash Website.


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Welcome | News | LPs | History | Members | Spinoffs | Related | Reference | Sanctuary | About | NEXT SECTION

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