After The Byrds


Clarence & Peter

Clarence & Peter Rowan

The Byrds limped on into 1973 but around this time rumours were mounting that the original five man band were to reform and record an album. In January Skip Battin was sacked and John Guerin had returned to session work.


White / Keith / Greene / Grisman / Schulman / Rowan

On February 13, 1973 Richard Greene asked Clarence White to play a show on KCET television in Los Angeles together with Bill Keith, Peter Rowan, David Grisman & Stuart Schulman on bass.
The plan was that these "youngsters" would play the first set, Bill Monroe and his band would play the second set and then together they would close the show with a jam session. The band spent a couple of days rehearsing, and when Monroe's bus broke down on the way to the job, the group ended up playing the entire show on its own.

Peter Rowan writes in the liner notes to the "Muleskinner" studio album re-release on "Ridge Runner Records":
Some few months after Richard Greene and I had left "Seatrain", Clarence White had left "The Byrds", Bill Keith had left "Kweskin's Jug Band", David Grisman had left "Earth Opera" and just produced the first Rowan Brother's album, Richard invited us all to play on KCET television in Los Angeles with "Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys" as a sort of "Father of Bluegrass and his Sons" show. Well, Bill's bus broke down in Stockton, California, and we had to do the show on our own.

This show was released on video by Sierra Records.
Four songs were completely edited out of the final television broadcast tape in order to make just a 30 minute program. The complete show (including the four deleted songs) was released on CD again by the great Sierra label.

Muleskinner VHS


MULESKINNER - Live VHS and CD Muleskinner live CD


- MULESKINNER: Live (Sierra SHV 1001 (VHS) - Sierra SXCD 6000 (CD))
With Clarence White, Peter Rowan, David Grisman, Bill Keith, Richard Greene & Stuart Schulman.
Guest Maria Muldaur.

New Camptown Races / Dark Hollow / Land Of The Navajo / Blackberry Blossom / Knockin' On Your Door
Opus 57 In G Minor / Red Rocking Chair / The Dead March / Orange Blossom Special

Bonus tracks on live CD:
Going To The Races / Eight Of January / I Am A Pilgrim / Sitting Alone Ini The Moonlight

Order Video and CD here!

Shorty after that show MULESKINNER had a one-record deal with Warner Brothers. A month later the group (minus Bill Keith) did a radio show and appeared a full weekend at the "Ash Grove" as the "Bluegrass Drop Outs"

last Byres show

The last BYRDS show
Clarence, Joe Lala, Chris Hillman & Roger

The Byrds still had couple of contracted shows to fulfil on the weekend of February 24th / 25th at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey. With no rhythm section remaining Roger McGuinn asked Chris Hillman and Joe Lala (both now with Stephen Still's Manassas) to play the weekend along with Clarence & himself but a lack of a rehearsal and the fact that Joe Lala was percussionist rather than a drummer these two final shows proved to be an ignominious end to the band.

A list of Byrds shows 1973 can be found on Raoul's great Byrds Flyght web-page.

Within a couple of weeks of these final shows the rumours of original band reforming were confirmed with an album being recorded at Wally Heider's Studio.

From late 1972 to early 1973 Gene Parsons recorded his first solo album "Kindling" for the "Warner Brothers" label. Clarence plays acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin & vocals (on "Drunkard's Dream" with Ralph Stanley!). Other musicians on that album were Roger Bush, Gib Guilbeau, Andy Newmark, Bill Payne, Vassar Clements & Nick DeCaro.

From March 27, to April 14, 1973 MULESKINNER recorded the studio album for Warner Brothers. They called John Khan in from Marin County to play bass and they finished the entire recording in two weeks. The album was a brilliant mixture of old and new, and Clarence played both, electric and acoustic. The original "Warner Brothers" album was too long in coming out and too quickly dropped from the catalogue. "Ridge Runner Records" from Fort Worth, Texas re-released the album 1978 and finally again the great Sierra Records released the album on CD.

Peter Rowan writes in the liner notes to the "Muleskinner" studio album re-release on "Ridge Runner Records":
"We finished the entire recording in two weeks. We played as we felt it, coming out of a bluegrass-rock tratition in those early days of the 1970's. Clarence's gentle soul was our unifying force, holding our music together; we had all the time in the world and no idea how quickly things would change.

Muleskinner aklbum

WB & Sierra

MULESKINNER - studio album Muleskinner album

Ridge Runner Records

- MULESKINNER: A Potpourri Of Bluegrass Jam (WB 2787 - RRR 0016 - Sierra 6009)
Produced by Richard Greene & Joe Boyd.
With Clarence White, Peter Rowan, David Grisman, Bill Keith, Richard Greene
John Kahn & John Guerin.

Side A: Muleskinner Blues / Blue And Lonesome / Footprints In The Snow / Dark Hollow
Whitehouse Blues / Opus 57 In G Minor

Side B: Runways Of The Moon / Roanoke / Rain And Snow / Soldier's Joy / Blue Mule

Order CD here!

Clarence & Berline

Clarence & Byron Berline

When the Byrds broke up, Roland White decided to leave Lester Flatt in favor of working once again in California with his brother. They started out with a few small club dates, local TV appearances and some miscellaneous session work.

Baxter Guitar Workshop

Clarence, Baxter, Alan, Byron & Roland

March or April 1973 Clarence & Roland White, Byron Berline, Herb Pedersen and Roger Bush recorded sessions at Byron Berline's house.
They rehearsed for various gigs like "Bob Baxter Guitar Workshop", the "Ash Grove", recording session for Country Gazette's second album, Clarence's Warner album etc ... .
The tape was broadcasted by an European (Dutch or German) radio station.
They rehearsed tracks like:

      John Henry / Willow Garden / Hard Hearted / If You Ever Gonna Love Me
      Wicked Path Of Sin / If I Be Lifted Up ...

Country Gazette went into the studio to record their second album "Don't give up your day job" produced again by Jim Dickson, which was released 1973 after they'd toured Europe and U.K. in September, October and November 1973. Gazette line-up with Byron Berline, Roger Bush, Kenny Wertz and Alan Munde with a lot of guests: Clarence White (on 5 songs), Herb Pedersen, Leland Sklar and ex-Flying Burrito Brother Al Perkins.

On April 7, 1973, Clarence was invited to the "Bob Baxter Guitar Workshop" TV show. Show host Bob Baxter talks to Clarence about his picking style and Clarence demonstrates some riffs and songs. Roland White joins for a few songs on mandolin near the end and finally Byron Berline on fiddle and Alan Munde on banjo.
Again John Delgatto of Sierra Records released that TV show 1998 on f together with the only existing live performance by Gram Parsons. Title of this video is "Gram Parsons + Clarence White: Together Again For The Last Time"

CLARENCE WHITE - Video Guitar Workshop video


- CLARENCE WHITE: Together Again For The Last Time (Sierra 1002)
With Clarence White and Bob Baxter
Guests: Roland White, Byron Berline & Alan Munde.

Wildwood Flower / Listen To The Mockingbird / The Crawdad Song
I Am A Pilgrim / Soldier's Joy / Sally Goodin

Second part of the video is Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels
live at the Liberty Hall, Houston, Texas on February 24, 1973.
With Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Neil Flanz, N.D. Smart II, Kyle Tullis, Jock Bartley & Mike Martin.

Order video here!

2005 Sierra Records released the "Bob Baxter Guitar Workshop" on DVD with the addition of the 1961 appearance on the Andy Griffith TV show and their 1965 guest spot in a 1965 Hollywood film titled The Farmer's Other Daughter and a photo album of stills featuring Clarence and the Colonels (1950s to 1973).

- CLARENCE WHITE: Various (Sierra DVD)
With Clarence White, Bob Baxter, Roland White, Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Billy Ray Lathum
Eric White, LeRoy Mack, Roger Bush, Donavan Cotton, Ernest Ashwroth, Richard Greene & Andy Griffith.

  • Bob Baxter Guitar Workshop
  • Photo album of stills (1950s to 1973)
  • Colonels' 1961 appearances on the Andy Griffith show
  • Kentucky Colonels guest spot on Hollywood film "The Farmer's Other Daughter"

    Order DVD here!
  • The White Brothers

    Roland, Eric & Clarence

    THE KENTUCKY COLONELS (Clarence, Roland & Eric White) regrouped again as THE NEW KENTUCKY COLONELS.
    The White Brothers

    Alan Munde, Roland White
    Eric & Clarence White

    Easter week 1973 they performed at the "Ash Grove" with Roger Bush, Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Herb Pedersen and the "Ash Grove" full of guest musicians jamming on stage for those nights.

    The Dillards had been scheduled to do a tour of England, Holland and Sweden during May 1973. Then, just two and a half weeks beforehand, they cancelled. Eddie Tickner, who was Clarence's manager, suggested that THE NEW KENTUCKY COLONELS take the tour instead. The band was Clarence, Roland & Eric White including Herb Pedersen on banjo.
    One of their gigs was in "Het Turfschip" in Breda. This show took place on May 11, 1973 and again there was a live broadcast on the VPRO- Friday-evening radioshow.
    Herb Pedersen had to leave in Holland right before the group headed for Sweden. Country Gazette was not working at that time and Tickner was able to send its supberb banjo player Alan Munde to join the White brothers. Roland knew Alan from Nashville playing with Jimmy Martin.

    2013 Roland White released a CD with a show from Holland with Herb Pedersen on banjo!

    - THE NEW KENTUCKY COLONELS: Live in Holland (Roland White RW0001)
    With Clarence White, Roland White, Eric White & Herb Pedersen.

    Fire on the mountain / Never ending song of love / Dixie breakdown / The fields have turned brown / Take a whiff on me
    Is this my destiny / Mocking banjo / If you're ever gonna love me / Last thing on my mind / Dark hollow
    Soldier's joy-Black mountain rag / Why you been gone so long / Roll in my sweet baby's arms-Will you be loving' another man?
    I know what it means to be lonesome / Working on a building / Rawhide

    Order CD here!

    New Kentucky Colonels

    Roland White, Clarence White, Eric White & Herb Pedersen

    And a performance from Sweden was released by "Rounder Records" as "The White Brothers (New Kentucky Colonels): Live In Sweden, 1973".

    Live in Sweden THE WHITE BROTHERS (New Kentucky Colonels) - album
    - THE WHITE BROTHERS: Live in Sweden, 1973 (Rounder Records 0073)
    with Clarence, Roland & Eric White, Alan Munde

    Side A: Tell me baby why you been gone so long/Banjo boy chimes/Last thing on my mind/Sally Goodin
    Take a whiff on me/Rawhide/If you're ever gonna love me

    Side B: I'm blue and lonesome/Alabama Jubilee/You won't be statisfied that way/Soldier's joy/Black mountain rag
    I know what it means to be lonesome/Blackberry blossom/New river train

    Note: Both "The White Brothers: Live In Sweden" album (recorded May 1973) and the Country Gazette swedish TV show (recorded Jan. 1975) were recorded at the same venue, the "Mosebacke Etablissement" in Stockholm. Here are some pics from the "Mosebacke".


    Clarence White
    at Mosebacke Etablissement

    Eric and Clarence

    Eric & Clarence White
    at Mosebacke Etablissement - May 1973


    in Sweden

    New Kentucky Colonels

    Hicks, Eric, Roland, Kaparakis & Clarence

    Back from the European tour, Alan Munde returned to Country Gazette and THE KENTUCKY COLONELS played the first and last bluegrass festival Clarence ever played, at the Indian Springs, Maryland Bluegrass festival (Bluegrass Unlimited Stage) end of May 1973. THE WHITE BROTHERS (Clarence, Roland & Eric) were joined by Jack Hicks and John Kaparakis.

    John Kaparakis remembers in Etsuo Eito's "Clarence White Chronicles":

    "The band was known as the New Kentucky Colonels (the White Brothers ) and they, along with Alan Munde on banjo had played a tour in Europe (Sweden, I believe) just before coming to Indian Springs. Clarence had never played at a bluegrass festival before Indian Springs, and he knew that many people in that audience would be listening for him to play lead guitar, as only he could play it. For that reason, so Clarence could concentrate on playing lead guitar, the New Kentucky Colonels asked me to join them on stage that weekend and play rhythm guitar.

    New Kentucky Colonels

    Roland - Eric - Clarence

    As you can imagine, that was absolutely the greatest honor and privilege that I ever had, playing with Clarence White and the New Kentucky Colonels. The festival was three days long, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the first weekend of June, 1973. We were scheduled to play two sets (one was in the afternoon, another was in the evening) on Saturday, at a very good time-slot on the program. On Saturday, Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys were on the festival also, and we got Jack Hicks who was Bill Monroe's banjo player at the time to play with us. That's how the band was made up.

    Clarence was very much impressed and touched by the crowd response and the reception given to him and the New Kentucky Colonels. It was a great first-ever bluegrass festival appearance for him -- the audience just LOVED him and their music. Many musicians before and since Clarence White have been searching for that "crossover" sound, a new type of music which will appeal equally to audiences in the bluegrass, folk and country markets. No one has yet found it. Clarence White would have been the first, had he lived."

    In June THE KENTUCKY COLONELS (Clarence, Roland and Eric) appeared together with Del McCoury & The Dixie Pals at the "Red Fox Inn" in Washington, D.C.

    Clarence White

    Clarence White
    Philadelphia (June 1973)

    1973 Skip Battin recorded his second solo album "Topanga Skyline". Clarence rehearsed for that album but died before Skip started to record that album in the studio. Al Perkins played all the parts Clarence should play on the lead guitar. Other musicians on that unreleased album were: Roland White, Alan Munde, Herb Pedersen, Roger Bush, Byron Berline, Chris Ethridge, Mike Botts & Bob Beeman.
    Sierra Records released that album 2009. At the end of the last song, there is a hidden track from Skip's rehearsals for the album with Clarence White on guitar. It is brief and very rough but it was was recorded just a few days before Clarence's untimely death, his last recordings in any form.

    There were plans of an all star world tour 1973. "Warner Bros. Records" set up a mini-tour which was billed as a "country-rock festival" package. The all-day, all-night affair consisted of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, Gene Parsons, Clarence White, The Kentucky Colonels (Clarence, Roland & Eric White), Country Gazette and also Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Chris Ethridge and maybe a few others - all of whom had signed record contracts with "Warner Bros.". There were two test shows on the East Coast with that bunch of people the first weekend of June, which got fantastic critics. One in Annapolis, Maryland and the other in Philadelphia.

    Clarence White

    Clarence White

    The show opened with a bluegrass set that was followed by Clarence, Gene Parsons, Sneaky Pete Kleinow and Chris Ethridge performing some of Gene's tunes. To close the show, the band stayed on stage to back Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, who were joined by Byron Berline and Alan Munde. That world tour never happened - Clarence White and later Gram Parsons had both tragically died.
    For more info on Gram Parsons (and Clarence White) in the book "Gram Parsons: A Music Biography" written by Sid Griffin and published by Sierra Records. (Picture right from the book!)

    Note: The last public performance given by Gram Parsons was with Clarence White on guitar and Gene Parsons on drums among others at the Tower Theatre, Philadelphia in June 1973. Gram and Clarence had planned to perform and record in the future together with Gene playing drums and singing vocals.

    Chris Darrow recalls doing a Clarence White gig at the "Ash Grove", a month or so before Clarence died. Just one night, apparently. Chris was substituting on fiddle (for Gib Guilbeau), he recalls. He remembers there being a bass and drummer. Chris recalls it as a White "solo" thing (albeit, with a band), not a New Kentucky Colonels thing.

    Clarence got a recording contract with "Warner Bros." to do three solo albums, in which he had a free hand to express the greatness he had inside him for music, musicians and arrangements. Plans were made for the first release to include both bluegrass and rock material.
    When Clarence White started to record his first solo album Byron Berline, Roger Bush, Herb Pedersen, Roland White helped him recording a few songs. Additional musicians were Leland Sklar, Ed Green and Ry Cooder. Produced were those recordings by Jim Dickson. They recorded "Never ending love", "Last thing on my mind", "Alabama jubilee" and "Why you been gone so long". Those songs were recorded June 28-29 1973. The songs were released by Sierra Records on the album "Silver Meteor".
    Note: At least three more songs were recorded for Clarence's solo album "Lost highway", "Waterbed" and "Lucky me". "Lost highway" was released on the Sierra release "Flatpick - Special limited 2CD set" 2006, the other two songs are still unreleased!

    2010 Sierra Records released the "Silver Meteor" album on CD with additional 14 bonus tracks feat. Clarence White, Country Gazette, Linda Ronstadt, Herb Pedersen, Sneaky Pete Kleinow etc ...

    Silver Meteor LP

    original LP

    CLARENCE WHITE - recordings for solo album Silver Meteor CD

    CD plus bons tracks

    - SILVER METEOR: The Everly Bros., Clarence White (Sierra 8706)
    Clarence White recordings for solo album:
    Produced by Jim Dickson.
    With Clarence White, Herb Pedersen, Byron Berline, Lee Sklar, Roger Bush, Ed Green, Roland White & Ry Cooder.

    Never Ending Love / Last Thing On My Mind / Alabama Jubilee / Why You Been Gone So Long

    The Everly Bros. (feat. Clarence White & Gene Parsons) - single from 1969:
    I'm On My Way Home Again / Cuckoo Bird

    Other songs NOT with Clarence:
    Casey Kelley: Silver Meteor (feat. Sneaky Pete Kleinow) / A Good Love Is Like A Good Song
    Barbara Keith: The Bramble And The Rose
    Levitt and McClure: Living In The Country
    Blue Velvet Band: The Knight Upon The Road / Hitch-Hiker

    Bonus tracks on CD:

    Michael Dinner: The Great Pretender / Paul Siebel with Clarence White: Pinto Pony
    Rusty Young & Clarence White: Everybody's talkin / Larry Murray: Bugler / Rick Cunha: Yo Yo Man
    Red Rhodes: Great American Thunder Turkey / Ian Matthews: Shady Lies / Shiloh: Same Old Story
    Cold Steel: Mississippi Memory / Country Gazette: All His Children, The Great Filling Station Hold Up
    Sari Schuwer & The Country Gazette: The Bramble And The Rose, Still Feeling Blue
    The Mystery Band: One Hundred Years From Now

    Order CD driect from SIERRA RECORDS!

    Clarence White and Bernie Leadon

    Bernie Leadon & Clarence White

    On July 14, Eric White played bass for a country band at the "BJ" club in Palmdale. Clarence, Roland and Gib Guilbeau joined the band for some jamming. Clarence sat in on electric guitar and Roland on mandolin. After the gig Clarence and Roland were both struck by a car while loading musical equipment into the trunk of their car parekd in front of BJ's club. The accided accurred shortly after 2 AM. Clarence never regained consciousness.

    Clarence White died on Sunday, July 15 1973 at the age of twenty-nine.

    Wayne Moore remembers: "The day Clarence was killed he had been playing at a club called "BJ's" in Palmdale, California. His brother Eric was playing with his country band there and Gib and Clarence happened to stop in and got up to jam. Roland and Eric were with the group Kentucky Colonels but I don't know if that was the group that was playing that night or not. I asked Gib about it but he couldn't remember who the group was either, he didn't know the other guys that were playing."

    The funeral was held five days later, with Gram Parsons and Bernie Leadon leading the mourners in singing "Farther Along".

    Clarence's dead came at the beginning of a new career which promised to encompass his unique perceptions of both contemporary and traditional music forms.



    Note: Picture above photo art by Pam Rice ... compliments of Tony Rice.
    Clarence White's dad and Tony Rice's dad were friends. Tony played many times around the house with Clarence. Tony had a reel to reel tape recorder and they used to turn it on just to play it back and see how they sounded.
    Also Clarence sat in with J.D. Crowe and the New South at the Lexington Holiday Inn. Tony let Clarence use his guitar to set in.


    Marty Stuart's musical tribute to the Byrds' guitarist Clarence White, titled "Hummingbyrd" won Stuart his fifth Grammy on Sunday (Feb. 13 2011) in Los Angeles. Stuart's tribute resulted in his third career win in the best country instrumental performance category. The song comes from his latest album, Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions). "It really means the world to me to be recognized by my peers for this piece." said Stuart. "My main electric guitar belonged to Clarence White, the great guitarist for the Byrds. After Clarence's death, I bought this guitar from his wife. I've played it on a lot of hits and on a lot of records, but I've never felt like -- to the Clarence White fans who watch me or who actually watch the guitar -- I've laid down a profound instrumental that pays homage to Clarence. I wrote this song and gave it a title that pays tribute to Clarence. I consider it my B-bender recital piece."


    On June 7, 2012 Eric White (brother of Clarence & Roland White) passed away. He was born July 9, 1942.


    2013 Byron Berline & Jane Frost wrote a fantastic book about Byron Berline's career! A MUST HAVE for every Country Gazette, Flying Burrito Brothers, Dillards, Clarence White, Gram Parsons .... fan!


    Forty years of journal entries document the L.A. recording industry from the Rolling Stones to the Byrds, and Alvin and the Chipmunks. They include hilarious stories of being one of the most sought after session players on the west coast, by three time National Fiddle Champion, Byron Berline, a Flying Burrito Brother who founded Country Gazette, The L.A. Fiddle Band and Sundance. His avoidance and survival of the drug-filled music industry, is amazing and heart lifting. His stories of the road are hilarious and the detailed journal entries are a researchers dream. From earthquakes to scoring motion pictures and having some of Charles Manson's Family in his home, this autobiography is the account of an Oklahoma farm boy's life and career -- from entering the University of Oklahoma on a football scholarship and graduating with a javelin in one hand and a fiddle in the other. It continues through acting in movies and his time playing/recording with Bill Monroe, Mickey Mouse, Linda Ronstadt, Emmy Lou Harris, Vince Gill, Mark O'Connor, Doug Dillard, Rod Stewart, Ann Murray, Earl Scruggs, and the Eagles, to his spiraling success as a musician, husband and father. Byron Berline, A Fiddler's Diary, is a peek inside the music industry as only an "A" list insider could explicitly describe. For baby-boomers, it is a dance down memory lane, with all the music and recording artists we love. His story is abundantly entertaining with enough documentation to be considered a reference work. Byron continues to tour, run his Doublestop Fiddle Shop and produces about twenty shows a year at his Music Hall in Guthrie, Oklahoma, as well as being the founder of the annual Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival and Guthrie's annual Western Swing Festival. Byron continues to perform, record and write, with the same intensity and enthusiasm he has always maintained. He remains... "one of the most inventive fiddle players." In February, 2013, Grammy nominated, Byron Berline, received his highest recognition to date, being inducted into the National Fiddler's Hall of Fame. In genuine humble response, he invites everyone to, "Stop by the fiddle shop and say, HI"

    Byron Berline book

    A Fiddler's Diary

    Go to the table of contents again | ............. continue the Clarence White biography