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Solo Work, collaborations & Bands Of Clarence White

Clarence White Collaborations

Best known for his Guitar and Mandoline playing. Today we are featuring the guitar of Clarence White and some of the bands of Clarence White Music from The Byrds, Muleskinner, and the Kentucky Colonels are all in Today’s Post along with solo music from Clarence White and Work with other Artists.

What Clarence White Left behind is as important as any Musician in History. No matter the musical style White could hang with the best. For the world of Bluegrass and Country as well as Rock N’ Roll he was the Jimi Hendrix of the genres. In truth, his versatility and Chameleon nature far surpasses Hendrix as a virtuoso and sonic innovator.  

Clarence White is best known as a member of the bluegrass ensemble the Kentucky Colonels and the rock band the Byrds. White also worked extensively as a session musician, appearing on recordings by the Everly Brothers, Joe Cocker, Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone, the Monkees, Randy Newman, Gene Clark, Linda Ronstadt, Arlo Guthrie, and Jackson Browne among others.

Together with frequent collaborator Gene Parsons, he invented the B-Bender, a guitar accessory that enables a player to mechanically bend the B-string up a whole tone and emulate the sound of a pedal steel guitar.

Bands Of Clarence White The Byrds – Old Blue (Kralingen festival, 1970)

Marty Stuart: The Story of Clarence White & The Parsons/White StringBender | Reverb Interview

He contributed a substantial amount of work with The Byrds before during and After the “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” Period and ended up a full member. When Gram Parsons split White was asked to Join and consequently became the second longest-serving member of the Byrds after McGuinn.

Clarence White Guitar – With Fats Domino

After The Byrds were formally over as a Band, White joined up with Peter Rowan, mandolinist David Grisman, fiddler Richard Greene, and banjoist Bill Keith to form the bluegrass band “ Muleskinner”. The musicians initially assembled as a one-off pickup band to back bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe for a television program but ended up performing on their own when Monroe’s tour bus broke down on the way to the television studios.

White’s Former Band Muleskinner w/Clarence White – Knockin On Your Door

White also reformed the “New Kentucky Colonels “ and continued session work as well.  He also had the beginnings of a solo album in the works. There were six songs recorded before tragedy struck.

White died on July 15, 1973, after being struck by a drunk driver. The accident occurred shortly after 2 a.m., while he and his brother Roland were loading equipment into their car following a White Brothers concert. Gram Parsons conceived his final song  “In My Hour of Darkness”, a tribute of sorts to Clarence. 

Clarence White Guitar – Clarence interview Holland 1971 (Stringbender)

His death at 29 was a massive loss to the music world. White inspired so many, from The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia to uncounted players who ever decided to pick up an acoustic or an electric guitar. 

His face and name had been seen in most of the world, yet in too many cases he was” in the know “ of the musicians and less to the general public. The Public, however, had heard his work in different times and as many say “Music is the soundtrack of our lives”, Clarence White was part of that for the multitudes who never even knew it. 

Like the Quote “As Life often does make one more popular in Death”, a person learns of a Player like White when they hear another artist speak of him. Marty Stewart has waved the flag for Clarence. Undoubtedly there will be another pick the Flag up, as the music Clarence made is that deeply important to musical culture. 

Cover Photo Credit File:The Byrds Clarence White and Rober McGuinn 1972.jpg” by Dan Volonnino is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

1 thought on “Solo Work, collaborations & Bands Of Clarence White”

  1. I first became aware of Clarence upon hearing Sweetheart of the Rodeo. It was one of those, “Who the hell is this guy?”, type experiences. Then, when I heard his solo on the song ‘Tulsa County Blue’, I remember thinking, “You simply cannot do that on a guitar.” -I was wrong. Granted, the guitar had been fitted with White-Parsons, B-Bender, but still… When I began looking into this guy it turns out he was also an unbelievable Blue Grass picker. He also possessed a really lonesome baritone/tenor voice that I find hauntingly beautiful. Thanks, Jimmy for bringing this guitar player’s, guitar player, to the fore.

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