Clarence White


Born June 6, 1944, Lewiston, Maine; struck and killed by a drunk driver while loading equipment following a gig on July 14, 1973, in Palmdale, California.  Clarence was truly a virtuoso on both acoustic and electric guitar (co-inventing the Parsons-White Stingbender...a mechanism that makes an electric guitar sound like a pedal steel... with Byrds drummer Gene Parsons), and guitar players have followed in his footsteps ever since...Clarence left us WAY too early.
The White Brothers (1952 - 1954) 
Three Little Country Boys(1954 - 1958) 
The Country Boys (1958 - 1962) 
The Kentucky Colonels I (1962 - October 31, 1965)


Toured with Gene Clark's backup band (late fall 1966)

The Kentucky Colonels II (December 1966 - May 1967)

The Gene Clark Group (fall 1967)

Nashville West(1967 - 1968)
  • Clarence White - guitar/vocals
  • Gib Guilbeau - guitar - b. Floyd Guilbeau, Opelousas, Louisiana - formerly with The Four Young Men/The Castaways.
  • Wayne Moore - bass/vocals - formerly with The Rhythm Masters and The Four Young Men/The Castaways.
  • Gene Parsons - drums - formerly with The Castaways.
Albums:
  1. "Nashville West Featuring Clarence White" (1997) - Recorded by Gene Parsons in 1967 at El Monte's Nashville West Club, this recording was originally intended for practice purposes only...amazing electric guitar work from Clarence using string-bender device he had co-developed with Parsons.
  2. "Cajun Country: Gib Guilbeau with Nashville West"
Gib Guilbeau and Wayne Moore form The Reasons.
Wayne Moore later toured with country singers Garn Littledyke, Jack Reeves, Johnny Western, and Vern Gosdin, and currently plays with Charmin and Gold Country (Albuquerque, New Mexico).
Gib Guilbeau was later member of The Flying Burrito Brothers.

The Dillards (1968)

The Flying Burrito Brothers (May 1968)

The Byrds (July 1968 - 1973)

Muleskinner(1973)

The White Brothers (a.k.a. The New Kentucky Colonels (1973)

Albums:
  1. "New Dimensions in Banjo and Bluegrass" (1963) (with Eric Weissberg and Marshall Brickman) - later reissued as the soundtrack to the movie "Deliverance" with a couple of non-Clarence tunes (e.g., "Dueling Banjos").
  2. "Deliverance (soundtrack)" (1987) - reissue of the 1963 album "New Dimensions in Banjo and Bluegrass" with a couple of new cuts.
  3. "33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals" (2000)

Links:
  • Clarence White's Footprints on the Records - You gotta check out the "Clarence White Chronicles"...Etsuo Eito from Himeji, Hyogo, Japan, has done a wonderful job compiling the most interesting and informative facts you'll find anywhere about Clarence White.  Keep it up, Etsuo!
  • Clarence White (Byrdwatcher)
  • Clarence White (Byrd's Nest)
  • "DESPERADOS: The Roots of Country Rock" - by John Einarson; published by Cooper Square Press - Let me say right up front that I have been a big fan of country rock music ever since hearing the "Pickin' Up The Pieces" single from Poco's debut album.  Poco has remained a favorite of mine through the years, although I always believed they were overlooked as a significant influence on popular music into the 1970s and the "new country" movement in the 1990s.  Thankfully, this oversight is corrected by John Einarson in his book, "DESPERADOS: The Roots of Country Rock", which traces the history of country rock's rise in Southern California from the early days in the late 1960s up to The Eagles (unquestionably the most commercially-viable country rock band of all time).  Having previously read one of Mr. Einarson's biographies on The Guess Who, I was anxious to see how he approached my favorite type of music...I was not disappointed.  "DESPERADOS: The Roots of Country Rock" is an intricate tale of musicians struggling to be heard amidst the psychedelic and hard-rock sounds flooding the airwaves at the time...and these early country rockers did make themselves heard...The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Poco, Buffalo Springfield, Clarence White, The Eagles, Michael Nesmith (remember The Monkees?...Nesmith made some great country rock music after that gig was over), The Dillards, Rick Nelson and The Stone Canyon Band, The Dillard and Clark Expedition, Linda Ronstadt, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band...the list could go on and on.  This book covers the early days of country rock from it's beginnings in the late 1960s to the tragic year of 1973 (when the music world lost two country rock pioneers: guitarist-extraordinaire Clarence White and Gram Parsons) and examines the influence this music has had on second-generation country rock bands such as Pure Prairie League and Firefall.  In addition, the impact of these early country rockers on the "new country" music of the 1980s and the "alternative country" movement of the late-1990s and beyond is explored from a "roots" perspective.  This is a tale masterfully woven by Mr. Einarson, based on more than 60 exclusive interviews with the originators and innovators of country rock.  The amount of information and level of detail contained in these 288 pages is astounding, and there are 31 black and white photographs (some of which I've never seen before).  The only improvement that I would recommend is the inclusion of a comprehensive index in the next edition (this would really help in finding information on specific artists).  Even though I've been following country rock music for years, I learned a lot from this book.  The quotes gleaned from Mr. Einarson's interviews during research for this book are particularly helpful in understanding the origin and development of country rock. "DESPERADOS: The Roots of Country Rock" is required reading for all fans of country rock or anyone interested in late-1960s to early-1970s music. Highly recommended.

Take me back to the Index...
Last Revised:  November 26, 2001
Copyright © 1999, 2001 by Gary S. Hartman.  All rights reserved.