Most of this page has been public since 2019.
In the wee hours this morning I heard the terrible news
and rushed to update and share it with you.
I'm heartbroken, surely joining so many others.
I've already added some more, and more will certainly follow.
- Fred    July 11, 2021

From the Family

  July 11, 2021

  July 20, 2021

  July 22, 2021



My Byron Arc

I met Byron at Ft. Polk while we were both in the Army.
Occasionally I'd visit Byron and Bette in their off-post house.
Bette would make a dinner. Byron and I would trade stories, listen
to his tapes, and if I got up the nerve, pick with him a little bit.

Soon I went with Byron on an historic music weekend to Alexandria and
Baton Rouge, meeting the Stone Mtn. Boys and Allen Shelton...

Bluegrass Unlimited Story

More Photos

      Stone Mtn. Boys with Byron, Alexandria

Capitol Sound Studios, Baton Rouge,
                                           Stone Mtn. Boys, Allen Shelton, Byron, Luke Thompson

                         Old South Jamboree, Walker, LA, in the Bathroom,
                                       Stone Mtn. Boys, Allen Shelton, Byron, Travis Stewart

Byron was a great sport. That resulted in my treasured photo,
which has to be a unique one of this super fiddler!

The day after I returned from Vietnam, I went to visit Byron in L.A.
We partied, went to Roger Bush's overnite, partied some more,
and headed to Las Vegas to see Dillard & The Expedition with Kay Starr.

Bluegrass Unlimited Story

More Photos

I went back to L.A. to hang out with Byron, travel around,
relax at home, drink a few beers, and copy his tapes.

Me, Byron, Bette, Becca

One night we went to a bar where Byron jammed with Buddy Emmons on pedal steel
and one of the Everly Brothers (Byron thought it was Phil)!
Very sorry I had no camera or tape recorder, but I did capture a lot of jamming at the house...

Byron, John Hickman, George Hickman, Tim Duran, Jim Norstad

Later that year, Byron and Country Gazette came to the Warrenton, Va. Festival.
My buddy Jim Davis and I flew down from NY in his Cessna 172.
Country Gazette met us at the airport!

Me (copilot), Roger, Byron, Alan, ?, Jim (pilot)

More Photos

I made lots of recordings with a cheap little Sony piano-key cassette recorder.
You can listen to them all...

One of them is my alltime favorite treasured field recording, loaded with superstars!
Byron Berline & Vassar Clements - fiddle,
                        Alan Munde - banjo and guitar, Bill Keith - banjo,
                           Sam Bush, David Grisman, Bill Kenner - mandolin,
            Roger Bush - bass, Grant Boatright - guitar

Some long time ago. Byron gave me this recording
from when he was with Bill Monroe...
The Grand Ole Opry ca. 1967

Byron appeared in a first-season episode of Star Trek The Next Generation.
The crew was having dreams about what they really wanted to be doing.

Byron tells the story on

Byron and California came to the Winterhawk Festival.
Byron and California

Byron also gave a fiddle workshop...
...with Vassar Clements

...and got to meet our sons...

Spencer, Byron, Me, Nathan

I was talking to Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association's Lynn Lipton and
mentioned Byron would be in NYC for a Mark O'Connor fiddle workshop. Lynn wondered
if Byron would do one for the HVBA. I emailed him and almost immediately he said yes!

More Photos

He also did a concert with our members.

Set 1 - 2021 Restored Version

Mike Sassano-mandolin, Jen Larson-guitar, Byron Berline, Keith Edwards-bass, Jerry Oland-banjo
Intro by HVBA President David Angell

Set 2 - 2021 Restored Version

Mike Sassano-mandolin, Jen Larson-guitar, Byron Berline, Keith Edwards-bass, Jerry Oland-banjo

Sunday, we had lunch before I took him to the airport.

At Newark Airport, Someone yelled out his name.
It was Tex Logan's daughter Jody, picking up her dad.
I got to meet another of my inspirations, who graciously posed.

Of course, Jody recognized Byron, but I was gratified when she told me
the first thing she saw was my Grey Fox T-shirt!

Meeting Tex led to Jody's inviting me to Tex's 85th Birthday Celebration where I captured
Four hours of historic music

Around that time, I had the honor of working with Byron's autobiography co-author
Jane Frost to contribute stories from the Ft. Polk army era.


Ever since then, I've been in constant contact with Byron,
including the release of his last project of 3 CDs...
Select to see more

  Memories & Tributes   (opens a new tab/window)

For Those Who Don't Know
IN BANDS:   Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, 1966-67    Dillard & Clark, 1969-1970    Dillard Expedition, 1970-71    Country Gazette, 1971-75    Sundance, 1975-85    Berline, Crary & Hickman, 1978-90    L. A. Fiddle Band, 1978-93    California, 1990-96    Byron Berline Band, 1996-2021

RECORDED WITH:  The Band    The Byrds    The Eagles    The Rolling Stones    Manhattan Transfer    Bob Dylan    John Denver    Elton John    Olivia Newton-John    Burt Reynolds    Linda Ronstadt    Rod Stewart    Kay Starr    Hoyt Axton    Alabama    Susie Bogus    Mary Chapin Carpenter    Joe Diffy    Vince Gill    Arlo Guthrie    Mickey Gilley    Emmylou Harris    Kris Kristofferson    Johnny Lee    Willie Nelson    Red Stegall    Doug Stone    Tammy Wynette    Jethro Burns    The Dillards    John Hartford    Bill Monroe    Nitty Gritty Dirt Band    Don Reno    Earl Scruggs    Henry Mancini    Jerry Fielding    John Williams    Lalo Schifrin   Gov. Bill Clinton    Carolina Chocolate Drops   Mason Williams and numerous symphony orchestras.  Disneyland, Disney World - music for Country Bear Jamboree


  I have been so blessed with a half-century-plus friendship with Byron and Bette.
And that goes well beyond the unbelievable bluegrass experiences that have resulted.

Original: July 11, 2021
Next: September 22, 2021
Update: January 4, 2022

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