Doug Dillard, the pioneering country rock banjo-player, has died aged aged 75, according to reports.
Dillard had first found fame in the Dillards, a bluegrass group formed with his brother Rodney, who made regular appearances on successful American sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show, where they played a fictional band called ‘The Darlings’.
After leaving the Dillards in 1968, Doug Dillard teamed up with former Byrd, Gene Clark, to form Dillard & Clark.
Dillard & Clark released two albums – The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark (1968) and Through The Morning, Through The Night (1969) – which are both considered country rock classics.
The musicians who played on Dillard & Clark’s two albums reads like a Who’s Who of country rock’s A list: The Byrds‘ Chris Hillman and Michael Clark, The Eagles’ Bernie Leadon and Flying Burrito Brothers’ Sneaky Pete Kleinow.
Two tracks from Through The Morning, Through The Night – the title song itself and “Polly” – were later covered by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss on their 2007 album, Raising Sand.
In 2011, Dillard had been admitted to a Nashville hospital suffering from a collapsed lung.
According to country and bluegrass website The Boot, a family spokesperson confirmed that Dillard was taken to a Nashville emergency room on Wednesday night [May 16] and died shortly thereafter.