Influential Banjo Player Doug Dillard Passes Away

6:20 AM, May 18, 2012   |    comments
(Image courtesy Getty Images)
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(Nashville, TN)  --  Doug Dillard, an influential banjo player who helped shape rock 'n' roll and introduce the nation to bluegrass music during a popular run on "The Andy Griffith Show," has died. He was 75.

Lynne Robin Green, president of Dillard's publishing company, says he died Wednesday night in Nashville, Tenn., due to a lung infection.

Dillard was a founding member of family band The Dillards out of Salem, Mo., and was influential in many ways. He and his brother Rodney moved west in 1962 and discovered the burgeoning folk scene in Southern California where they helped inspire the country rock movement.

The band also helped introduce bluegrass to TV viewers during a run as unusual family band "The Darlings," who made multiple appearances on "The Andy Griffith Show," in the mid-1960s.

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