Chris Hillman

Chris Hillman

Musical Artist
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Chris Hillman

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Christopher Hillman (born December 4, 1944, Los Angeles, California) was one of the original members of The Byrds, which in 1965 included, Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, and Michael Clarke.

Along with frequent collaborator Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman was a key figure in the development of country rock, virtually defining the genre through his seminal work in The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, and later became the leader of the country act Desert Rose Band.

Early years

Chris Hillman, the third of four children, spent his early years on his family's ranch home in rural North San Diego County, approximately 110 miles from Los Angeles. He has credited his older sister with exciting his interest in country and folk music when she returned from college in the late 1950s with folk music records by The New Lost City Ramblers and others. Hillman soon began watching many of the country music shows broadcast on local television in southern California at the time, such as Town Hall Party, Spade Cooley and Cal's Corral. Hillman's mother encouraged his musical interests, and bought him his first guitar, but shortly after he developed an interest in bluegrass, and fell in love with the mandolin. When he was barely 15, Hillman went to Los Angeles to see legendary bluegrass band the Kentucky Colonels at the Ash Grove, and later convinced his family to allow him to take the train by himself up to Berkeley, California to take lessons from mandolinist...
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