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Dillard & Clark

Through the Morning, Through the Night (Gene Clark) recorded April-May 1969, unknown studio. Produced by Larry Marks. Released September 1969. with Gene Clark: vocal, guitar; Doug Dillard vocal, banjo, fiddle; Donna Washburn: vocal, tambourine, guitar; Byron Berline: fiddle; Jon Corneal: drums; David Jackson: piano; Chris Hillman: mandolin; Sneaky Pete Kleinow: steel guitar. A&M SP 4203 There was no sugarcoating the fact that the second Dillard & Clark album was nowhere near as good as the first, even if the first had set the bar impossibly high. Between the two LPs, their ill-advised revival of Don’t Be Cruel hit the streets. Bernie Leadon is listed among the ‘Special Pickers’ in the credits, but he departed in May 1969, miffed that Donna Washburn was taking over more of the vocals. “She started singing the third part, so I left,” Leadon said. Apparently, Dillard had taken up with Washburn, whose father was an exec with 7-Up.

It was, Leadon said later, as if Yoko Ono had not just shown up but insisted on singing the third harmony part with the Beatles. Leadon joined the Corvettes after their singles came out, and backed Linda Ronstadt on an east coast trip in the summer of ’69. In the fall, he joined the Burritos. Producer Larry Marks bluntly told John Einarson, “Donna clearly wasn’t out of the same briar patch as Doug or Gene. She always looked like Daisy Mae from Beverly Hills, dressing up in those kinds of clothes to be with the band. It never worked out because it wasn’t real.” Byron Berline, who’d worked with the Dillards in the early 1960s, joined Dillard & Clark, and Michael Clarke was replaced on drums by Jon Corneal.

The first Dillard & Clark album ranks among the best albums of a great year; in fact among the best of a great era. It was an album that carved out new territory and hung together organically. ‘Through The Morning’ didn’t have the mojo. Clark’s morose title track was the best thing about it. Between recording and release, Dillard & Clark did their first and only tour, and the group was essentially finished by the beginning of 1970. Doug Dillard kept the name ‘Expedition,’ but A&M was through with him. Gene Clark retreated to Mendocino with his new lady friend, and resurfaced in 1970 with the stellar ‘White Light’ LP.


Various - Truckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels Vol.02, The Blissed-Out Birth Of Country Rock 1969 (1-CD)
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