Sunday, April 14, 2024

Donald Byrd Dies, Famous for “Walking in Rhythm”


Donald Byrd passed away a couple of days ago at age 80. Probably every jazz fan will know Donald Byrd a different way. He had a huge jazz career in the 1950s and 60s as a trumpeteer, playing with all the greats like John Coltrane and Clifford Brown, and establishing himself as one of them. In 1973, in Washington DC, he formed the Blackbyrds, an R&B/jazz group combo that soared up the charts and became part of the popular music canon with “Walking in Rhythm.” The group had other hits but “Walking in Rhythm” was their pinnacle. The old charts say it only made it to number 6, but that record is number 1 forever. And so is Donald Byrd.

PS You think everything is on YouTube, but I couldn’t find any video of “Walking in Rhythm” anywhere. Do yourself a favor and download it or stream it.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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