Byron Berline Obituary – Cause Of Death (1944 – 2021) : The owner of Guthrie’s Double Stop Fiddle Shop, Byron Berline has died at the age of 77. Sources said he died this weekend.
The passing of Berline was also made known in several social media posts. The International Bluegrass Music Association in a Facebook said;
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of the great fiddler Byron Berline.
Born July 6, 1944, in Caldwell, Kansas, Mr. Berline rose to prominence in the late 1960s recording with a wide range of artists including The Dillards, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and The Rolling Stones. He was a member of Bill Monroe & the Blue Grass Boys in 1967, just long enough to co-write and record “Gold Rush”, which has become a bluegrass standard. He was a founder/member of several bands throughout his career including the Country Gazette, California (IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year 1992-94), and the Byron Berline Band.
Who Is Byron Berline?
Mr. Berline was the 3x champion at the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest & Festival in Weiser, Idaho, and was inducted into The National Fiddler Hall of Fame in 2013. He started playing the fiddle at age five and quickly developed his talent. In 1965 he recorded the album Pickin’ and Fiddlin’ with the Dillards. That year he met Bill Monroe at the Newport Folk Festival and was offered a job with Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, but he turned it down to finish his education.
Byron Berline Educational Background
Berline graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1967 with a teaching degree in Physical Education and joined the Bluegrass Boys in March, replacing Richard Greene. He recorded three instrumentals with them, including “Gold Rush”, which Berline and Monroe co-wrote, and which has become a jam session standard. Berline left the group in September 1967 when he was drafted into the Army.
Byron Berline And The Guthrie Double Stop Fiddle Shop
At the beginning of the twenty-first century Berline resided in Guthrie and operated the Double Stop Fiddle Shop. He also created the annual Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival, first held in 1997. Many musicians, including Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill, claim that he was their mentor. Berline has a long list of recording credits with musical groups, including The Band, The Byrds, The Eagles, Rolling Stones, Manhattan Transfer, and Alabama, and with individuals, including Bob Dylan, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Joe Diffee, Mickey Gilley, Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, and Emmylou Harris. Berline’s sound track credits include work with Henry Mancini, Jerry Fielding, Johnny Williams, and Lalo Schifrin. Berline has been involved in the motion pictures Stay Hungry, Blaze, Back to the Future III, and Basic Instinct. He is represented in the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.