Gene Clark

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About Gene Clark

Best known as the original lead singer of The Byrds, Gene Clark continued to develop the brand of sophisticated psych-folk songwriting he'd patented in the band on his own undersung solo releases, now the stuff of record-collector obsession. Born in 1944 in Tipton, MO, Clark came to the music industry by way of the folk revival, joining the singing group The New Christy Minstrels in 1963 and the following year founding the band that would become The Byrds. Shortly after his psychedelic original “Eight Miles High” catapulted up the pop charts in 1966, Clark left the group, throwing disparate stylistic ideas at the wall on his 1967 debut solo album and dabbling in bluegrass with his Dillard & Clark duo. In the next decade, Clark found renewed focus on two tour de force albums: 1971’s White Light, a stripped-down set of painstakingly crafted folk-rock songs, and 1975’s intricately arranged baroque-pop masterpiece No Other. He would go on to make music with various formations of ex-Byrds and in other miscellaneous projects before dying in 1991 of complications related to alcoholism. Clark’s reputation was cemented with a new generation of fans in the 2010s, when a series of rarities albums and reissues emerged, as well as an indie-rock supergroup, The Gene Clark No Other Band (featuring members of Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, Wye Oak, and more), which formed in 2014 to cover Clark’s magnum opus.

Tipton, MO, United States
November 17, 1944
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