Taking Flight With Chris Hillman’s Favorite Songs

If Gram Parsons is considered by many to be the patron saint of Americana, the argument can be made that former bandmate Chris Hillman is a solid cornerstone of the genre. While the California native is best known as a founding member of The Byrds, his roots stretched back to the San Diego folk scene, where he played in bands like the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers and the Golden State Boys alongside future country superstar Vern Gosdin and his brother Rex.

Chris Hillman (left) onstage with Sneaky Pete Kleinow in 1969 with the Flying Burrito Brothers
(Photo courtesy of Chris Hillman)

Following his time in The Byrds, Hillman’s in-demand skills found him playing on a number of sessions as a sideman in addition to membership in a number of groups including the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band and McGuinn, Clark & Hillman. Given his lengthy musical resume, Hillman has plenty of options to choose from when asked what his favorite songs were from the four major bands he’s been a part of.



The Byrds – “Bells of Rhymney” from 1965’s Mr. Tambourine Man
“From our first album, this song captures The Byrds’ soul. The beautiful vocals and strong track exemplifies classic folk rock.”







The Flying Burrito Brothers – “Sin City” from 1969’s The Gilded Palace of Sin
“This song showcases The Flying Burrito Brothers in all of their glory.”







Manassas – “Right Now” from 1972’s Manassas
“This song reminds me of an early Rolling Stones’ song from 1966. And it came out as a ‘smokin’ track’..”






Desert Rose Band – “Will This Be The Day” from 1991’s A Dozen Roses—Greatest Hits
“It has a great groove and a perfect lyric for these times.”

Dave Gil de Rubio
In addition to being editor of theNassau Observer, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI), New York Press Association (NYPA) and Fair Media Council (FMC).

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