The band in 1977
|Origin||Salem, Missouri, United States|
The Dillards originally consisted of Douglas Dillard (born March 6, 1937, Salem, Missouri - May 16, 2012) on banjo, Rodney Dillard (born May 18, 1942, Salem, Missouri) playing the guitar, and dobro, Dean Webb (born Roy Dean Webb; March 28, 1937, Independence, Missouri - June 30, 2018) on mandolin, and Mitchell Franklin "Mitch" Jayne (July 5, 1928, Hammond, Indiana – August 2, 2010) on double bass. In 1968, Doug Dillard left to form Dillard and Clark, although he continued to play occasionally with his brother until a few years before he died in 2012.
The 2015 lineup includes Rodney Dillard and his wife Beverly Cotten-Dillard (clawhammer banjo, vocals), Featured Guest Tony Wray (guitar, banjo, harmony vocals), Jeff Gilkinson (cello, bass, harmonica, porchboard, harmony vocals), , Gary J. Smith (double bass), and George Giddens (fiddle, mandolin, harmony vocal).
Other members of the band have included Dewey Martin (drums), John T Humphreys [Drums], Herb Pedersen (banjo, guitar), Billy Ray Latham (banjo, guitar, electric guitar), Ray Park (fiddle), Paul York (drums), Jeff Gilkinson (bass, cello, harmonica, banjo), Douglas Bounsall (electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle), Byron Berline (fiddle), Irv Dugan (bass), Bill Bryson (bass), Glen D. Hardin (keyboards), Seth Papas (drums), Buddy Blackmon (banjo), Rick McEwen (bass), Ric Williams (drums), Joe Villegas (bass), Eddie Ponder (drums), Pete Grant (banjo, steel guitar), Steve Cooley (banjo, guitar, upright bass), Wilburn "Cody" Pace (banjo, fiddle, Richard Godfrey (drums), Shane Lail (guitar), Jim Glaspy (banjo, guitar) and Billy Constable (guitar).
Though The Dillards were already an established bluegrass band, their biggest claim to fame is performing musically as members of the fictional Darling family on The Andy Griffith Show, introducing bluegrass to many Americans who had never heard it. This was a recurring role and the Dillards were led by veteran character actor Denver Pyle as their father and jug player, Briscoe Darling. Maggie Peterson played Charlene Darling, their sister and the focus for the attentions of character Ernest T. Bass, played by Howard Morris. The appearances of the Dillards as the Darlings ran between 1963 and 1966. In 1986, the Dillards reprised the role in the reunion show Return to Mayberry. As part of their current tour, Rodney Dillard answers questions about the TV series. He says the songs such as "Dooley" are about people the family knew.
The Dillards are notable for being among the first bluegrass groups to have electrified their instruments in the mid-1960s. They are considered to be one of the pioneers of the burgeoning southern California folk rock, country rock and progressive bluegrass genres, and are known to have directly or indirectly influenced artists such as The Eagles, The Byrds, and Elton John. In 1972, The Dillards joined Elton John on his first American tour.John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin has also acknowledged their influence, particularly in his decision to play the mandolin.
Rodney Dillard is a founding member of The Dillards - the group he formed with his brother, Douglas Dillard in the late 1950s. Credited throughout the years as the driving force behind the group's musical direction, success, and phenomenal longevity as a working act. Today, Dillard's musical duties include lead and harmony vocals, guitar, and dobro.
Beverly Cotten-Dillard is a native of Morrisville, North Carolina who performed with Janette Carter, Ola Belle Reed, Tommy Jarrell, and Doc and Merle Watson. She has appeared on Hee Haw and the Disney Channel and at Carnegie Hall. Cotten-Dillard is recognized as an authority on the traditional "clawhammer" banjo technique and is a featured member of The Dillards live shows. Her 1981 album Clog-In 'is considered an American folk classic."
George Giddens is a classically trained musician who is an awarded fiddler and mandolin player for the band.
Gary J. Smith was added to the lineup, having recorded double bass in the 2015 studio sessions for the new Dillards album. Smith is well known in Nashville circles after stints with Tom T. Hall, The Brother Boys, Ed Snodderly, and his long-time collaborator, Jeff Gilkinson.
Former member, Dean Webb, died at the age of 81, on June 30, 2018.
|US Top 200||CAN|
|1963||Back Porch Bluegrass||--||--||Elektra|
|1965||Pickin' and Fiddlin' (with Byron Berline)||--||--|
|1972||Roots and Branches||79||56||Anthem|
|1973||Tribute to the American Duck||--||--||Poppy|
|1977||The Dillards vs. The Incredible L.A. Time Machine||--||--||Flying Fish|
|1978||Mountain Rock||--||--||Crystal Clear|
|1979||Decade Waltz||--||--||Flying Fish|
|1980||Homecoming and Family Reunion||--||--|
|1991||Let It Fly||--||--||Vanguard|
|1992||Take Me Along For The Ride||--||--|
|1999||A Long Time Ago: The First Time Live||--||--||Varèse Sarabande|
|2006||Early Recordings - 1959||--||--|
|1986||I'll Fly Away||Edsel|
|1991||There Is a Time (1963-70)||Vanguard|
|1995||The Best of The Darlin' Boys|
|1996||Roots and Branches/Tribute to the American Duck||Beat Goes On|
|2001||Back Porch Bluegrass & Live!!!! Almost!!!||Warner Strategic Marketing|
|2004||Pickin' and Fiddlin', Wheatstraw Suite & Copperfields|
|2005||Let The Music Flow: The Best of the Dillards 1963-1979||Raven|
|Year||Title||Billboard Hot 100||Album||Label|
|1963||Dooley||--||Back Porch Bluegrass||Elektra|
|Hootin' Banjo [Duelin' Banjo]||--|
|1965||Nobody Knows||--||singles only||Capitol|
|1966||The Last Thing On My Mind||--|
|1968||Reason To Believe||--||Wheatstraw Suite||Elektra|
|1969||Listen To The Sound||--|
|Close The Door Lightly||--|
|One Too Many Mornings||--||singles only||White Whale|
|Comin' Home Again||--|
|1971||It's About Time||No. 92||Anthem|
|1972||One A.M.||No. 111||Roots and Branches|
|America (The Lady Of The Harbor)||--||single only|
|1973||Hot Rod Banjo||--||Tribute to the American Duck||Poppy|
|1975||Stones Throw Away||--||single only||United Artists|
|1977||The Poet||--||The Dillards Vs. The Incredible L.A. Time Machine||Sonet|