David Crosby, the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who sang for The Byrds before co-founding a supergroup with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash — later adding Neil Young — has died. He was 81. His wife Jan announced the news today.
“It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away,” she said in a statement. “He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django. Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music. Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly. At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for privacy as we grieve and try to deal with our profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers.”
Crosby rose to fame as a singer and guitarist for The Byrds, the influential Los Angeles-based folk-rock band that melded a groundbreaking guitar sound with eloquent melodies. He spent four years with the group from 1964-68, singing on its many hits including the chart-topping covers “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!”
Those also were the titles of The Byrds’ first two LPs, with Mr. Tambourine Man reaching the U.S. Top 10.
Also featuring Gene Clark, Rogen McGuinn and Chris Hillman, The Byrds were a major influence on the burgeoning L.A. folk-rock scene that would help feed the country-rock genre epitomized by the Lauren Canyon acts of the late ’60s and early 1970s and such groups as Eagles and The Flying Burrito Brothers, the latter also featuring Hillman.
But Crosby would find far greater commercial success with his next group.
He teamed with fellow Lauren Canyon denizens Stills and Nash to form Crosby, Stills & Nash, whose eponymous 1969 debut album went Top 10. Featuring such classic tracks as “Suite: Judy BLues Eyes” and “Marrakech Express” — both of which were Top 30 pop hits — the LP has has sold more than 4 million copies in the U.S. alone.
MORE TO COME…