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The Dillards: Wikis


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The Dillards are an American bluegrass band from Salem, Missouri, consisting of Douglas "Doug" Dillard (born March 6, 1937 East St. Louis, Illinois) (banjo), Rodney "Rod" Dillard (born May 18, 1942 Salem, Missouri) (guitar, dobro), Dean Webb (born March 28, 1937 Independence, Missouri) (mandolin), and Mitch Jayne (born July 5, 1930 Hammond, Indiana) (double bass).

Other members of the band have included Dewey Martin (drums), Herb Pedersen (banjo, guitar), Billy Ray Latham (banjo, guitar, electric guitar), Ray Park (fiddle), Paul York (drums), Jeff Gilkinson (bass, cello, harmonica, banjo), Douglas Bounsall (electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle), Byron Berline (fiddle), Irv Dugan (bass), Bill Bryson (bass), Glen D. Hardin (keyboards), Seth Papas (drums), Buddy Blackmon (banjo), Rick McEwen (bass), Ric Williams (drums), Joe Villegas (bass), Eddie Ponder (drums), Pete Grand (banjo, steel guitar), Steve Cooley (banjo, guitar, upright bass), Wilbur Pace (banjo, fiddle, and Richard Godfrey (drums).


The Andy Griffith Show

Though The Dillards were a tremendous influence on the main core of musicians who started Southern California's country rock movement in the late 1960s (which further extended from that genre into today's country music), their biggest claim to fame is playing the fictional bluegrass band "The Darlings" on the The Andy Griffith Show. This was a recurring role and the Dillards were led by veteran character actor Denver Pyle as their father and jug player, Briscoe Darling. Maggie Peterson played Charlene Darling, their sister and the focus for the attentions of character Ernest T. Bass, played by Howard Morris. The appearances of the Dillards as the Darlings ran between 1963 and 1966. In 1986, the Dillards reprised the role in the reunion show Return to Mayberry.

Pioneering Influences

The Dillards are notable for being among the first bluegrass groups to have electrified their instruments in the mid-1960s.[1] They are considered to be one of the pioneers of the burgeoning southern California folk rock, country rock and so-called progressive bluegrass genres, and are known to have directly or indirectly influenced artists such as The Eagles, The Byrds, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dan Fogelberg, Linda Ronstadt, Iain Matthews, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Elton John, Fairport Convention, The New Grass Revival, J. D. Crowe and the New South, Ricky Skaggs, The Seldom Scene, The Dixie Bee-Liners, and Joe Bethancourt.

The Dillards' roots sank deep into the mainstream of popular music --- after leaving The Dillards in 1968, Doug Dillard teamed up with Gene Clark who had just left The Byrds to form Phoenix at A&M records with Laramy Smith and led to the formation of Dillard & Clark.[2] This pioneering duo also featured as session players a veritable who's-who of Southern California country rock legends, such as Bernie Leadon, an original member of The Flying Burrito Brothers & later the archetypal country rock group The Eagles; Chris Hillman, who also had left The Byrds and also played in FBB with Leadon; Sneaky Pete Kleinow, another FBB member; Laramy Smith and Michael Clarke, former drummer for The Byrds.[2] This group was one of the blueprints for the country-rock movement.[3]



  • There Is a Time (1963-70) (1991) Vanguard
  • The Best Of The Darlin' Boys (1995) Vanguard
  • Let The Music Flow: The Best of the Dillards 1963-1979 (2005) Raven Records


  • Mountain Rock (2000) Delta Records
  • Roots & Branches/Tribute to the American Duck (2001) BGO Records
  • Wheatstraw Suite (2002) Collector's Choice
  • Copperfields (2002) Collector's Choice
  • Back Porch Bluegrass/Live...Almost!! (2003) WEA International
  • Pickin' & Fiddlin'/Wheatstraw Suite/Copperfields-Original Recordings Remastered (2004) WEA International
  • Pickin' & Fiddlin'/Back Porch Bluegrass (2006) Collector's Choice


  • Doug, Rodney and Byron Berline can be seen in the movie The Rose starring Bette Midler. They played musicians in Harry Dean Stanton's band and their faces can be seen on the screen for around ten minutes.
  • Doug Dillard appears as "Farmer Clem" in Robert Altman's movie Popeye, which starred Robin Williams and features a musical score by Harry Nilsson. A soundtrack album was released on Boardwalk records (SWAL 36880), the basic tracks were recorded on location in Malta by "The Falcons" (Ray Cooper, Doug Dillard, Harry Nilsson, Van Dyke Parks, Klaus Voormann, and The Mysterious Karsten). Nilsson wrote all of the songs except for "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man".
  • Rodney sings the Dillards song "There Is A Time" (written by Rodney and Mitch Jayne) on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album Will The Circle Be Unbroken - Part 3.
  • Doug joined producers Randall Franks and Alan Autry, who also appeared in "Popeye," for the In the Heat of the Night (TV Series) cast CD “Christmas Time’s A Comin’” performing "Christmas Time's A Comin'" with the cast on the CD released on Sonlite and MGM/UA for one of the most popular Christmas releases of 1991 and 1992 with Southern retailers


  1. ^ Liner Notes for The Dillards' Wheatstraw Suite
  2. ^ a b The Dillard & Clark Expedition
  3. ^ - Biography - The Dillards

External links



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