Thursday, December 10, 2015

TBT: The Byrds, "Turn, Turn, Turn"

The Byrds entered my life one day in 1965 as I was in a cafe at the University of South Florida, and from the juke box came the unforgettable sound of Roger (then called Jim) McGuinn's twelve string Rickenbacker guitar opening the band's abbreviated version of Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man", title song of their first album. "Turn, Turn, Turn", with lyrics from Ecclesiastes and music by Pete Seeger, was the title song of their second album, released in December of 1965. The clip below has the studio album track accompanied by a montage of photos of the band and album covers.
Gram Parsons joined the Byrds in 1967, and was with them for the album Sweetheart of the Rodeo, a critical but not commercial success, recorded in Nashville, that took the group deep into country music. McGuinn was not entirely happy with this, and Parsons, accompanied by Chris Hillman, left the Byrds to form the Flying Burrito Brothers. My friend Dorothy Rhoads Cheshire let me know that Chris had a birthday last week, which led me into a web search in which I found this video of a lecture, with music, he gave at the Library of Congress in 2010. It's an hour and 22 minutes long, but well worth it if you are a fan, as I am, of folk, rock, or "roots Americana" music: