After many years, The original Dillards have returned. This bluegrass/folk icon includes Rodney Dillard, on guitar, occasionally harmonica, and lead vocal; Doug Dillard, on banjo and baritone vocal; Dean Webb on mandolin and tenor vocal; and Mitch Jayne on bass and acting as MC with comic monologues.
Out of Nowhere
In the fall of 1962 a group of young bluegrass musicians from the Missouri Ozarks worked their way West to Los Angeles. Arriving uninvited at Hollywood's premier folk club, the Ash Grove, they set up in the lobby and astonished everyone (including that night's headliner the Greenbriar Boys) with the quality of their music and musicianship. They quickly landed a contract with one of the biggest New York based folk labels of the day, Electra, and soon gained a reputation as one of the nations top bluegrass groups. Between 1963 and 1970 The Dillards made ground breaking albums, Back Porch Bluegrass, Live Almost, and Pickin and Fiddlin) which took them from progressive bluegrass through old-time fiddling to a distinctive blend of bluegrass, country, pop, and rock which defies categorization as anything other than Dillard music.
In 1963 the group began to make frequent appearances on the Andy Griffith show as the Darlin' Family. Classic songs such as "Dooley" and "Old Home Place' were brought to the attention of the American public and established The Dillards as one of the most influential bluegrass acts in America.
The Folk - Rock Era
By the mid-1960's there were big changes taking placing around the group, as folk-rock began to emerge. The Dilllards were already experimenting in this direction when Doug left the group to eventually form the Dillard and Clark Expedition with Gene Clark of the Byrds. Rodney, Dean, and Mitch carried on The Dillards.
In 1968 and 1970, The group recorded Wheatstraw Suite and Copperfields which were unique and trend setting. Although built on a bluegrass foundation they reflected rock and folk rock influences with new recording techniques and orchestration. In 1970 the group was awarded an Edison Award in England for recording. The group continued to tour with such greats as Bob Dylan, Joan Biaz, Byrds, Carl Perkins, Elton John.
The Dillards have recorded albums on Electra, 20th Century Fox, United Artist, Flying Fish and Vanguard records. In 1990 Doug Dillard was nominated for a Grammy, and in 1991The Dillards were nominated for a Grammy for the song "The Darlin' Boys.
For over 35 years, their unique blend of harmonies and untouched musicianship, coupled with down-home comedy and interaction with audiences has made them a legend in the entertainment industry. The Dillards have made thousands of sold out concert appearances throughout the US, Europe, and Japan appearing with such greats as Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs. Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs. The group has gone beyond recording and concerts and have made appearances on television specials, prime time talk shows, with 10 appearances on The Nashville Network.
For more bio information, visit the Dillards Old Home Place Page and view the remarkable research done by these Dillard Fans.
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