Byron Berline, Master of the Bluegrass Fiddle, Dies at 77

by Msnbctv news staff

Byron Douglas Berline, the youngest of 5 kids of Lue and Elizabeth (Jackson) Berline, was born on July 6, 1944, in Caldwell, Kan., close to the Oklahoma border. His father labored a farm and performed banjo and fiddle at barn dances and different occasions. His mom, a homemaker, performed piano.

Younger Byron began taking part in a three-quarter-sized fiddle when he was 5; he gained his first public competitors at 10, outplaying his father. Amongst his early influences was Eck Robertson, the primary old-time fiddler to seem on document.

A gifted athlete, Mr. Berline earned a soccer scholarship to the College of Oklahoma, the place he enrolled in 1963, solely to fracture his hand that fall. The harm precipitated him to give attention to music, though he maintained his athletic scholarship by becoming a member of the observe crew as a javelin thrower.

Mr. Berline attracted the eye of the Dillards whereas taking part in in a campus people group at Oklahoma. They invited him to play on “Pickin’ and Fiddlin’.” After graduating from faculty in 1967 and finishing his army service in 1969, Mr. Berline moved to Los Angeles together with his spouse, Bette (Ringrose) Berline, on the urging of Doug Dillard, who recruited him to document with Dillard & Clark.

After three years of session work in California, together with time within the Flying Burrito Brothers, Mr. Berline shaped his personal group, Nation Gazette, and signed with United Artists Information. The band’s bluegrass mix proved influential, and it recorded for nearly 20 years, however Nation Gazette by no means achieved mainstream success.

One other challenge, Byron Berline & Sundance, likewise secured a cope with MCA Information. However the group’s three founding members, guitarist Dan Crary, banjo participant John Hickman and Mr. Berline — later billing themselves as Berline, Crary & Hickman — fared greatest in a conventional bluegrass market, releasing information on impartial labels like Rounder and Sugar Hill into the Nineties.

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