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Doug Dillard, Bluegrass Banjo Virtuoso, Dies at 75
By PETER KEEPNEWS
Published: May 27, 2012
Doug Dillard, a banjo virtuoso who began the 1960s by helping to introduce a generation of listeners to bluegrass and ended the decade as an early advocate of country-rock, died on May 16 in Nashville. He was 75.
The cause was a lung infection, said Lynne Robin Green, the president of LWBH Music Publishers, which publishes his music.
Mr. Dillard rose to fame with the Dillards, a bluegrass band that also included his younger brother, Rodney, on guitar; Dean Webb on mandolin; and Mitch Jayne on bass. The Dillards’ instrumentation was traditional (except for the absence of a fiddle player) and so was much of their repertory, but they occasionally played electrified instruments and sometimes used a drummer. This approach alienated some purists, but it also helped interest young listeners in a style that the country-music establishment had come to consider passé.
Mr. Dillard’s skillful banjo work, which has been cited as Read the rest of this entry »