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Saturday, September 25, 2021 - 8:00 pm

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Jim McGuinn, later known as Roger, was already a veteran of the New York

and Los Angeles music scenes when he co-founded the group that would

become the Byrds with Gene Clark and David Crosby in 1964. Prior to

forming the Byrds, Roger toured and performed with the Limeliters, Chad

Mitchell Trio and Bobby Darin as a guitarist and banjo player. He was also

the musical director on Judy Collins #3.

McGuinn, a Chicago native, studied at the Old Town School of Folk Music

and was active on Chicago's folk scene. Within a few weeks of finishing

high school, he was in California with the Limeliters, playing guitar and

banjo on their album "Tonight: In Person." He then toured with the Chad

Mitchell Trio and recorded on their albums: "Mighty Day on Campus" and

“The Chad Mitchell Trio at the Bitter End.”

He toured with singer Bobby Darin, and then moved to New York to work

for Darin’s publishing company, in the fabled Brill Building as a songwriter.

He and Frank Gari co-wrote the song "Beach Ball" and performed it with

Darin, as the City Surfers, July 1963.

McGuinn heard the Beatles for the first time at the Brill Building, and began

adding a Beatle beat to his favorite folk songs in the coffee houses of

Greenwich Village. His experimental musical style didn't please the folk

purists, so he moved to Los Angeles to work at the Troubadour opening for

Hoyt Axton. It was there that Gene Clark approached Roger with an

appreciation for his unusual musical blend. They joined their talents and

began writing songs in the front room of the Troubadour, then called the

“Folk Den.”

David Crosby walked in one day and joined them with his unique concepts

of harmony. That third voice completed the underpinnings of one of the

most influential bands of the '60s. Within a few months, McGuinn, Clark &

Crosby asked conga player Michael Clarke to join them as a drummer

because he looked like two of the Rolling Stones. Mandolin player Chris

Hillman was tapped to be the bass player. During a Thanksgiving dinner the

band settled on the name "Byrds." Columbia Records signed the Byrds in

January, 1965 and released their number one hit, "Mr. Tambourine Man.”