From La Jolla (San Diego) California. Lives in the Los Angeles area.
Early-sixties, played mandolin in the San Diego-based bluegrass group, The Scottsville Squirrel Barkers. Also included banjo player Kenny Wertz, an original member of the Country Gazette and Bernie Leadon, who later was a member of the Eagles. Recorded a now-classic supermarket LP in just five hours. Each member of the band was paid $50 for their work on the album.
Mid-sixties, played with The Blue Diamond Boys (later called The Hillmen) an L.A.-based band with Don Parmley (Bluegrass Cardinals), Vern Gosdin, and Vern’s late brother Rex Gosdin.
1965, an original member of The Byrds. Played bass.
1969, formed The Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram Parsons and Al Perkins.
1971-1975, he and Al Perkins joined Stephen Stills’ band Manassas. He also performed with the Souther-Hillman-Furay band with songwriter John David Souther and ex-Poco member Richie Furay.
1976, embarked on solo career.
Also recorded and performed with a bluegrass gospel band Ever Call Ready with Bernie Leadon (Eagles) and Al Perkins (Flying Burrito Brothers).
1984, released Desert Rose album (Sugar Hill Records). This led to his formation of the Desert Rose Band with Herb Pedersen, John Jorgensen, Bill Bryson and J.D. Maness. This group had some success in country music (several #1 songs) but broke up in 1995. They have performed several reunion concerts.
1991, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Byrds.
1996, began recording and performing as a duo with Herb Pedersen, doing mostly classic country music. They released Bakersfield Bound (Sugar Hill Records).
1997, 1999, recorded with Tony Rice, Larry Rice and Herb Pedersen as “Rice, Rice, Hillman and Pederson.”