From 1965 until their breakup in 1973, the Byrds were a bona-fide electric-guitar powerhouse. During the California band's initial—and most popular—incarnation, Jim McGuinn turned the 12-string Rickenbacker 360 guitar into an institution. Its glorious trademark "chiming" sound actually became the band's trademark sound—a sound that even influenced the almighty Beatles.
Clarence White was a genuine double threat. His brilliant, Doc Watson-inspired acoustic flatpicking, which incorporated lightning-fast fiddle lines played on an ancient Martin D-28, helped the bluegrass world recognize the guitar as a lead instrument. Several masters of the genre, including Tony Rice and Norman Blake, name him as a key influence.