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David Crosby

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David Crosby
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Crosby, Stills and Nash 1969
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Day Light Again 2006
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CSN: The Box Set. 1991
After The Storm. 1994
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August 14, 1941

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David Crosby was born in Los Angeles on August 14, 1941; the son of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby, he dropped out of drama school to pursue a career in music, touring the folk club circuit and recording as a member of the Les Baxter Balladeers. Under the auspices of producer Jim Dickson, Crosby cut his first solo session in late 1963; early the following year he formed the Jet Set with Jim McGuinn and Gene Clark, and with the additions of bassist Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke, the group was rechristened the Byrds. Although McGuinn chiefly pioneered the Byrds' trademark 12-string guitar sound, Crosby was the architect of their shimmering harmonies; his interests in jazz and Indian music also influenced their subsequent excursions into psychedelic. However, creative differences plagued the group throughout their career, and in 1967 Crosby -- reportedly rankled by his bandmates' refusal to release his menage-a-trois opus "Triad" -- left the Byrds in the wake of their appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival.

The singular odyssey of David Crosby remains one of the more remarkable tales in the annals of music history. As a founding member of the pioneering American groups the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, he helped create and popularize the highly influential folk-rock sound, forging the richly harmonic, radiantly acoustic approach which defined the West Coast music scene for years to follow; he also sold millions of records and enjoyed a cultural impact equaled by few of his contemporaries. Yet despite his often overwhelming success, Crosby is recognized far less for his artistic achievements than for his larger-than-life offstage exploits, specifically a long and fantastically excessive battle with drug abuse which seemingly kept him teetering on the brink of death for over a decade; that he not only survived but remained as colorful and newsworthy a character as before, is a testament to his continued creativity and unpredictability.

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