Concert News

Akron Civic Theatre Hosts The 50th Anniversary of the Byrds Album Sweetheart of the Rodeo


Byrds co-founders Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, along with Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album with a tour that makes a stop at the Akron Civic Theatre on Wednesday, October 3.

The Byrds were formed in 1964, and for a period in the mid 1960s, the group achieved success rivaling The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. But that was short lived, and a number of personnel changes followed. One of the wildest periods in the Byrds history came when original members McGuinn and Hillman recruited a 21-year-old Gram Parson to join the band. He brought a distinctly country music influence to the outfit, resulting in the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album in 1968. Parsons departed the group within less than a year.

Says Stuart of the album, “I bought my first copy of the record in 1972. Upon my first listen, I was mesmerized at the effect of the combined power country music, rock & roll, bluegrass, gospel and folk music had on me. From that day forward, I considered Sweetheart of the Rodeo a blueprint as to how I should live my musical life. I have to believe this is a show not to be missed.”

The country-rock of Sweetheart of the Rodeo was a departure from the band’s previous rock/psychedelic sound that it alienated huge sections of the Byrds’ fan base, and at the same time the Nashville establishment found the group too young and rebellious to embrace. Sweetheart of the Rodeo received generally favorable reviews, but sales were lackluster. However, time has been kind to the record, and it is now regarded as a landmark album in the genres of country rock and alternative country.

Sweetheart of the Rodeo 50th Anniversary with Byrds co-founders Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, along with Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives on Wednesday, October 3 at the Akron Civic Theatre. Showtime is 8pm. Tickets are $53-$93 and available at the Akron Civic Theatre Box Office and at Ticketmaster.

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