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Skip Battin

Skip Battin

American musician
Skip Battin
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American musician
Was Musician Singer Songwriter
From United States of America
Type Music
Gender male
Birth 18 February 1934, Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio, U.S.A.
Death 6 July 2003, Salem, Polk County, Oregon, U.S.A. (aged 69 years)
Skip Battin
The details


Clyde "Skip" Battin (February 18, 1934 – July 6, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, bassist, performer and recording artist. He is best remembered as a member of the Byrds, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. While considered to be a great bass player, songwriter and vocalist, he generally joined bands after their most successful periods.

Battin was born Clyde Raybould Battin in Gallipolis, Ohio. His early musical career began in 1956 when he collaborated with Gary Paxton and formed the Pledges, the same duo later successfully recording as Skip & Flip, enjoying some success with "It Was I", and their cover of "Cherry Pie". After a few years out of the music industry, he led the short-lived folk-rock group Evergreen Blueshoes, starting in 1967. Their one album appeared on the Amos label.

As a musician, Battin is probably best known for his position as bass guitarist and songwriter with the Byrds from 1970 to 1973. He was—by eight years—the oldest member of the Byrds, with whom he recorded three albums and toured extensively. Many of his songwriting contributions were co-written with longtime collaborator and famous producer/songwriter Kim Fowley. After the breakup of the Columbia Byrds, Battin recorded a solo album, Skip. After his dismissal from the group in February 1973, he began work on his Topanga Skyline album (that later saw a release over 40 years later in 2012). The album was shelved, and he was invited to join the country-rock group the New Riders of the Purple Sage, with whom he recorded three albums from 1974 to 1976, whereupon he left to join his ex-Byrd cohort Gene Parsons in the "re-fried" Flying Burrito Brothers.

Battin's career continued successfully and included stints with the Flying Burrito Brothers, The Burrito Brothers, collaborations with notable country rock musicians, and numerous solo projects. From 1989 to 1991, he toured occasionally with Michael Clarke's Byrds. After Clarke's death, the band continued as The Byrds Celebration, with Battin the sole ex-Byrds member. He stopped touring and recording when Alzheimer's disease prevented him from continuing.

Battin died on the evening of July 6, 2003, of complications from Alzheimer's disease in a care facility in Salem, Oregon. A solo album recorded by Battin, Topanga Skyline, was released in February 2012. This album was originally recorded in 1973 but was shelved indefinitely until its eventual 2012 release on Sierra records, a company which features works from Battin and his early '70s country-rock contemporaries.

Selected discography

  • Wanted Dead or Alive – Warren Zevon – 1969
  • (Untitled) – The Byrds – 1970
  • Byrdmaniax – The Byrds – 1971
  • Farther Along – The Byrds – 1971
  • Skip – Skip Battin – 1972
  • Brujo – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 1974
  • Oh, What a Mighty Time – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 1975
  • New Riders – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 1976
  • Airborne – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1976
  • Close Encounters to the West Coast – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1978
  • Live from Tokyo – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1979
  • Sneaky Pete – Sneaky Pete Kleinow – 1979
  • Hearts on the Line – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1981
  • Hollywood Nights 1979–82 – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1983
  • Cabin Fever – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1985
  • Live in Italy - Skip Battin, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Ricky Mantoan - 1985
  • Live from Europe – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1986
  • Live on Stage – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 1993
  • Family Tree - Skip Battin, John York, Ricky Mantoan, Beppe D'Angelo - 1998
  • Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, TX, 6/13/75 – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 2005
  • Topanga Skyline – Skip Battin – 2012 (recorded in 1973)
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