Byron Berline: A Fiddler’s Diary, By Byron Berline with Jane Frost
2013 [ISBN: 1-58107-223-6; 410 pages; 6 x 9 inch; soft cover] $24.95
Forty years of journal entries document the L.A. recording industry from the Rolling Stones to the Byrds, and Alvin and the Chipmunks. They include hilarious stories of being one of the most sought after session players on the west coast, by three time National Fiddle Champion, Byron Berline, a Flying Burrito Brother who founded Country Gazette, The L.A. Fiddle Band and Sundance.
His avoidance and survival of the drug-filled music industry, is amazing and heart lifting. His stories of the road are hilarious and the detailed journal entries are a researchers dream. From earthquakes to scoring motion pictures and having some of Charles Manson’s Family in his home, this autobiography is the account of an Oklahoma farm boy’s life and career — from entering the University of Oklahoma on a football scholarship and graduating with a javelin in one hand and a fiddle in the other. It continues through acting in movies and his time playing/recording with Bill Monroe, Mickey Mouse, Linda Ronstadt, Emmy Lou Harris, Vince Gill, Mark O’Connor, Doug Dillard, Rod Stewart, Ann Murray, Earl Scruggs, and the Eagles, to his spiraling success as a musician, husband and father.
Byron Berline, A Fiddler’s Diary, is a peek inside the music industry as only an “A” list insider could explicitly describe. For baby-boomers, it is a dance down memory lane, with all the music and recording artists we love. His story is abundantly entertaining with enough documentation to be considered a reference work.
In February, 2013, Grammy nominated, Byron Berline, received his highest recognition to date, being inducted into the National Fiddler’s Hall of Fame. In genuine humble response, he invites everyone to, “Stop by the fiddle shop and say, ‘hi.’”
Chapter 1 1944 – 1958: Growing up on the Farm and Learning to play the Fiddle
Chapter 2 1958 -1962: High School
Chapter 3 1962 – 1963: OU Football and Meeting the Dillards
Chapter 4 1964: A Summer to Remember
Chapter 5 1964-1966: College Bands – Newport Folk Festival
Chapter 6 1967: Playing with Bill Monroe
Chapter 7 1967-1968: Army Life
Journal Entries, 1969 through 2010
Byron Berline continues to tour, run his Doublestop Fiddle Shop and produces about twenty shows a year at his Music Hall in Guthrie, Oklahoma, as well as being the founder of the annual Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival and Guthrie’s annual Western Swing Festival. Byron continues to perform, record and write, with the same intensity and enthusiasm he has always maintained. He remains… “one of the most inventive fiddle players.”
Jane Frost lives in Bella Vista, Arkansas.