Years: 1958 - 1991
Styles: Classic Rock, Country Rock, Folk Rock
Skip Battin - Acoustic guitar , Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals (in band: 1956 – 1991)
Clyde Raybould Battin was born in Gallipolis, Ohio, USA, attending local schools. He discovered the electric bass when he was 17 years old.
Two years later, he moved to Tucson to attend physical education classes at the University of Arizona. With fellow student Gary Paxton, he formed a college band, the Pledges. As Gary & Clyde, they recorded the single "Why Not Confess"/ "Johnny Risk" for Rev Records, a local label. In 1959, they went into the Desert Palm Studios in Phoenix, Arizona, the home of guitarist Duane Eddy, and recorded some Paxton compositions.
Entrepreneur Bobby Sand issued the demo of the duo's song "It Was I" on his Brent label, and renamed the act as "Skip & Flip". Their song eventually made No 11 in the American charts. The follow-up, "Fancy Nancy", was a minor hit, but they charted again in 1960 with a cover of the Marvin and Johnny ballad "Cherry Pie". The novelty number "Hully Gully Cha Cha Cha", written by Paxton and Battin, garnered airplay but did not make the charts. A short time later, the pair disbanded.
In 1961, Battin moved to California, where he got small acting parts in films and on television. In 1966, after a few years out of the music industry, he formed the short-lived folk-rock group Evergreen Blueshoes, whose one album appeared on the Amos label. After the album failed to sell, Battin concentrated instead on session work for many musicians, such as Gene Vincent, Warren Zevon, and others.
Battin is probably best known as bass guitarist and songwriter with the Byrds from 1970 to 1973. He was—by eight years—the oldest member of the Byrds. He recorded three albums with them and toured extensively. Many of his songwriting contributions were co-written with Kim Fowley. After the breakup of the Columbia Byrds, Battin recorded a solo album, Skip.
In February 1973, he began work on his Topanga Skyline solo album. After it was completed, it was shelved for unclear reasons. Battin was invited to join the country-rock group New Riders of the Purple Sage, with whom he recorded three albums from 1974 to 1976.
From 1989 to 1991, Battin toured occasionally with Michael Clarke's Byrds, named "The Byrds featuring Michael Clarke." After Clarke's death, the band continued as The Byrds Celebration, with Battin the sole ex-Byrds member. He stopped touring and recording after his Alzheimer's disease had reached an advanced state.
Battin married and had a son Brent. Pursuing his dream of farming, he moved to the agricultural Willamette valley in Oregon to grow berries. He remarried and had a son, John-Clyde and daughter, Susanna. Battin died on July 6, 2003, of complications from Alzheimer's disease in a care facility in Silverton, Oregon.
In 2012, following negotiations undertaken by his son Brent with the record company, the 1973 solo album Topanga Skyline was released on Sierra records in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Skip Battin’s first appearance with the Byrds.
© Boar 2011 - 2019