In the early morning hours of July 15, 1973 a drunk driver hit Clarence White as he was loading equipment into his van following a gig in Palmdale, California. He died the next day at the age of 29.
Though best known for his stint with The Byrds ( beginning as a session musician on Younger Than Yesterday and then as a full fledged member from 1968 -1973), White also played with country rock pioneers Nashville West, the bluegrass super group Muleskinner, Gram Parsons and with his brothers in The Kentucky Colonels.
As a bluegrass artist, he was a fast, accurate and incredibly innovative guitarist.
With an electric guitar he practically invented country rock. He and Gene Parsons came up with a device called the B Bender which can make an electric guitar sound like pedal steel when the neck is pulled back. You can hear a B Bender on a lot of Linda Ronstadt and Eagles tunes ( especially "Peaceful, Easy Feeling").
The legend of Clarence White is approaching the same mythical status as Gram Parsons ( who sang "Farther Along" at White's funeral). If you want to learn more and hear more from White check out the ten part series by Adios Lounge.