Chris Darrow

Chris Darrow was born on July 30, 1944, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to a military dad who soon afterward moved his family to Southern California, where Darrow still makes his home. He began learning to play anything he could get his hands on that had strings, and over the course of the next 30-plus years, became one of the most sought-after multi-instrumentalists in professional music. Shortly after high school graduation, Darrow put together a bluegrass band called the Dry City Scat Band with David Lindley, Steve Cahill, Richard Greene, and Pete Madlem. Within a couple of years, the Scat Band would become one of the hottest bluegrass ensembles in Southern California. During the summer of 1964, the Scat Band got a gig at Disneyland, which was steady work, and Darrow was able to support his new bride. During this period, signs were starting to appear indicating imminent changes in the hearts of some of the purest bluegrass musicians. Bandmate Richard Greene introduced Darrow to a friend of his who played in the Chad Mitchell Trio and who had just returned from England raving about the British music scene. Darrow had never before seen anyone with Beatle boots and long hair. The gentleman happened to be future Byrds founder Roger McGuinn. Later that summer, the Scat Band was replaced by the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers and mandolinist Chris Hillman, a hardcore bluegrass purist who quietly and sheepishly said to Darrow, "I joined a rock & roll band. I need the money. They're called the Byrds."