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

Me - Mu



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Terry Melcher

The Chad Mitchell Trio

Joni Mitchell

Alan Munde

Larry Murray




Terry Melcher

Terry Melcher is the son of Doris Day, who by the mid-'60s had become a major shareholder in CBS. He entered the music business in the early '60s as half of the duo Bruce & Terry, with future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston. By 1965, Melcher was a staff producer for Columbia Records. As the only young in-house producer, he was assigned the handful of rock acts on the label, the best-known being Paul Revere and the Raiders. By that time, he was already part of the California rock elite, hanging out with the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean.
Melcher produced the first two Byrds albums in 1965. After a four-year hiatus, he produced Ballad of Easy Rider, (Untitled), and Byrdmaniax. In 1970, he produced sessions with Gram Parsons, but these tracks were checked out of the studio by Parsons and never heard again.
In 1968, Melcher would become an independent producer working with the Beatles' Apple Records label. The connection to the Beatles attracted aspiring songwriter Charles Manson. Melcher auditioned Manson, but decided not to record him. After the Manson family murders, Melcher feared he might have been the murderers' real target, and with good reason: actress Sharon Tate and four others were killed in the house that had only a few months earlier been vacated by Melcher and actress Candace Bergen.


The Chad Mitchell Trio

The Chad Mitchell Trio was another of the many folk groups to form in the wake of the Kingston Trio. Chad Mitchell, Mike Kobluk, and Mike Pugh started singing together when they were students at Gonzaga University in the late 1950s.
Kapp Records signed the threesome and released several of their LPs in the early '60s. During this period, Jim McGuinn served as an accompanist on guitar and banjo. Later the Trio recorded for Colpix and Mercury.
Chad Mitchell left in 1965, and a young John Denver took his place. Within a few years, none of the original members were in the band, which went from the Chad Mitchell Trio to the Mitchell Trio to Denver Boise & Johnson.


Joni Mitchell

Among the most significant artists linked to the Byrds is singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell. David Crosby came across her singing in a Florida club just after leaving the Byrds. They became involved personally and professionally; Crosby introduced her around L.A., helped her retain creative control with Reprise, and then produced her first album, Joni Mitchell (Reprise, 1968). The album was not a hit in its own right, but Mitchell became a favorite with critics and fellow musicians. Several of these were immediately successful with Mitchell covers, including Tom Rush with "Circle Game" and Judy Collins with "Both Sides Now."
Her next album, Clouds (Reprise, 1969), was a Top 40 hit, as were all her albums through Wild Things Run Fast (Geffen, 1982) in 1982. In that time she moved increasingly in a jazz direction with both critical and popular acclaim. At various times during her career, she also dabbled in world music, synthesized sounds, and more accessible pop. She remains a role model for every female singer-songwriter since 1968, but her influence extended far beyond that niche to such unlikely artists as Prince and Thomas Dolby.
Mitchell has connections to various Byrds. Crosby Stills Nash & Young had a huge hit with her anthem "Woodstock," and her relationship with Graham Nash was immortalized in "Our House." The reunited Byrds covered "For Free," from her third LP, Ladies of the Canyon (Reprise, 1970). Roger McGuinn recorded her "Dreamland" on Cardiff Rose (Columbia, 1976), after touring with Mitchell in Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review. Finally, during her '70s commercial peak, Mitchell's drummer (and for awhile, boyfriend) was John Guerin, who played with the Byrds for several months after the departure of Gene Parsons in late 1972. Guerin played on Court and Spark (Reprise, 1974); Miles of Aisles (Reprise, 1975); The Hissing of Summer Lawns (Reprise, 1975); Hejira (Reprise, 1976); Don Juan's Reckless Daughter (Reprise, 1977); and Wild Things Run Fast.
There is a nice Joni Mitchell Home Page.

Alan Munde

Alan Munde got his start as a banjo player with legendary bluegrass guitarist Jimmy Martin. He played with Martin's outfit from October of 1969 to October of 1971.
Munde next joined Country Gazette, then consisting of Roger Bush on bass, Kenny Wertz on guitar, and on the fiddle, Byron Berline, an old classmate of Munde's from the University of Oklahoma. These three had formed Country Gazette earlier in the year and appeared on Last of the Red Hot Burritos (A&M, 1971) as auxiliary Burrito Brothers. Munde joined for a European tour, after which the Burritos split up and Country Gazette soldiered on as a self-contained unit. Their first album was Traitor In Our Midst (United Artists, 1972). For the next twenty-odd years, Munde presided over Country Gazette, which has gone through many line-up changes.
Munde has also recorded several solo albums, and played with the White Brothers aka the New Kentucky Colonels (Clarence, Roland and Eric White) on their 1973 tour of Sweden.
Munde has most recently teamed with ex-Gazetteer Joe Carr. Cybergrass features a a profile of Munde & Carr.


Larry Murray

Guitarist Larry Murray started out in the late '50s-early '60s bluegrass band the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers, which at one time or another featured future Byrd Chris Hillman on mandolin, future Flying Burrito Brother and Eagle Bernie Leadon on banjo, and future Burrito and Country Gazetteer Kenny Wertz, also on banjo.
In 1964, Murray worked with Hillman again in the Green Grass Group, a folk team in the mold of the New Christy Minstrels, run by Minstrel impresario Randy Sparks.
During the mid-'60s Murray played in the band Hearts and Flowers, which also featured Leadon and future Dillard & Clark bassist David Jackson. Hearts and Flowers had two LPs on Capitol in the late '60s.
Murray later recorded a solo album, then went into production and songwriting.


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Related Musicians | Musicians Associated with the Byrds | Me - Mu

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

Artists Covered | Other Influences | Associates | Musicians Influenced | Byrd/Not a Byrd | NEXT CHAPTER

A - Bro | Bru - Bu | C | Da - Di | Do - E | F | G | H - J | K - Lea | Lev - Ma | Me - Mu | N | O - Pa | Pe - Q | Ra - Ri | Ro - Ru | S | T - V | W - Z | NEXT PAGE






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