Roger McGuinn

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James Roger McGuinn (known professionally as Roger McGuinn, previously as Jim McGuinn, and born James Joseph McGuinn III on July 13, 1942)[1] is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is best known for being the lead singer and lead guitarist on many of The Byrds' records. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with The Byrds.


Early life

Roger McGuinn was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. His parents, James and Dorothy, were involved in journalism and public relations, and during his childhood, they had written a bestseller titled Parents Can't Win. He attended The Latin School of Chicago. He became interested in music after hearing Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel", and asked his parents to buy him a guitar. (During the early 1980s, he paid tribute to the song that encouraged him to play guitar by including "Heartbreak Hotel" in his autobiographical show). Around the same time, he was also influenced by country artists and/or groups such as Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, and The Everly Brothers.

During 1957, he enrolled as a student at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, where he learned the five-string banjo and continued to improve his guitar skills. After graduation, McGuinn performed solo at various coffeehouses on the folk music circuit where he was discovered and hired as a sideman by folk music groups like the Limeliters, the Chad Mitchell Trio, and Judy Collins. He also played guitar and sang backup harmonies for Bobby Darin. Soon after, he relocated to the West Coast, eventually Los Angeles, where he eventually met the future members of The Byrds.

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