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The 50th Anniversary of the Byrds Album Sweetheart of the Rodeo
With Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman and Marty Stuart and The Fabulous Superlatives
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 8:00 PM
Akron Civic Theatre

Byrds co-founders Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, along with country music legend Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the seminal Sweetheart of the Rodeo album at the Akron Civic Theatre on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

The Byrds were formed in 1964, and for a period in the mid 1960s, the group achieved commercial success rivaling The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. But that success was short lived, and a number of personnel changes followed. One of the wildest periods in the Byrds history came when original members Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman recruited a 21-year-old Gram Parson to join the band. The singer-songwriter pianist and guitarist brought a distinctly country music influence to the outfit, resulting in the hugely influential Sweetheart of the Rodeo album, which was released in August of 1968. Parsons departed the group within less than a year.

The country-rock of Sweetheart of the Rodeo was such a radical departure from the band's previous rock/psychedelic sound that it alienated huge sections of the Byrds’ fan base, and at the same time the Nashville establishment found the group too young and rebellious to embrace. Sweetheart of the Rodeo received generally favorable reviews, but sales were lackluster. However, time has been kind to the record, and it is now regarded as a landmark album in the genres of country rock and alternative country.