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Byrds Co-Founders Announce ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo’ 50th Anniversary Tour

The Byrds Tour Sweetheart of the Rodeo Founding members of the Byrds Chris Hillman and Roger McGuinn will set out across the U.S. this summer to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band’s seminal country-rock album Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

The duo will be backed by Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives as they perform songs from the landmark album and tell the stories behind the music.

“We’re all looking forward to taking the fans through the back pages of the recording,” Roger McGuinn said in a statement. “The concert will include songs that led up to that ground breaking trip to Nashville and all the songs from the album.”

“On March 9, 1968, Roger McGuinn and I along with many fantastic musicians began recording the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album at Columbia Studios in Nashville,” Chris Hillman says. “It was truly a pivotal moment in our lives taking a turn toward the music we always felt a strong kinship with. We are honored that it has left a strong, long lasting impression on country and rock music.”

Marty Stuart, who bought his first copy of the record in 1972, described hearing it for the first time. “I was mesmerized at the effect of the combined power Country music, Rock & Roll, Bluegrass, Gospel and Folk music had on me. From that day forward, I considered Sweetheart of the Rodeo a blueprint as to how I should live my musical life.”

McGuinn and Hillman have announced five initial shows with additional dates to be announced soon. Current stops include Los Angeles, Saratoga, CA, Albany, NY, Hopewell, VA and Akron, OH.

Although the Byrds had experimented in the country genre on previous LPs, 1968’s Sweetheart of the Rodeo was the band’s first full album in the country rock genre. It’s direction was very much driven by Gram Parsons, a newcomer to the band at the time who quickly left the group before its release. While Sweetheart of the Rodeo’s new direction alienated many of the band’s fans and was their most commercially unsuccessful album upon its release, it is now widely regarded to be highly influential in the country rock genre.

Backstage Access: Redisovering Chris Hillman

The Byrds Tour Dates

July 24 – Los Angeles, CA – Ace Hotel
July 29 – Saratoga, CA – Mountain Winery
Sept 18 – Albany, NY – Hart Theater
Sept 20 – Hopewell, VA – Beacon Theatre
Octr 3 – Akron, OH – Akron Civic

Additional dates to be announced soon.

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