#7 Dillard and Clark – Polly (1969)


Doug Dillard, along with the song-writing genius that was ex-Byrd, Gene Clark, composed this haunting song, from Dillard and Clark’s second (and final) album, Through the Morning, Through the Night (1969). The group itself was formed in 1968, shortly after Clark departed The Byrds, and Dillard left the somewhat eponymous, Dillards. They were considered to be part of the burgeoning Southern California country-rock scene of the late 60’s, along with artists such as Gram Parsons, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Buffalo Springfield and Michael Nesmith. This song is an example of this scene’s song-writing at its finest, and if there is a more spine-tingling and beautiful first line to a country rock song, then I have yet to hear it. I have to say that the country rock genre holds, in general, very little appeal for me, but this song (and others by Dillard and Clark), and the work of that other country rock genius, Gram Parsons, remain amongst some of my favourite recordings ever. Full stop.


It is a crime that this relatively short-lived duo’ s recording output is not much better known and appreciated than it is. However, it is a tragedy that Gene Clark did not achieve the degree of success or recognition that his song-writing deserved, post-The Byrds, before his descent into alcoholism and untimely demise at the age of only 46.

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