and singer-songwriter from Sunset, Louisiana, who came from a
fiddle-playing family, and took up the instrument as a youngster and was
playing in a bar at the age of fourteen. His given name was Floyd August Guilbeau but people had so much trouble pronouncing his
last name, they took to nicknaming him Gibo, then
Gibby, then Gib.
He joined the
United States Air Force in 1955 and was stationed in Victoriaville,
California, where he assembled a trio of musicians who billed themselves as
The Sons of the South. They
broke up when the individual members reached the end of their tours of
In the 1950s
and ‘60s, Gib band-hopped quite a bit, from
The Hi-Flyers, to The Hinkley Valley Boys, to The
Four Young Men. This latter
outfit scored a crossover hit with “You’re the Reason”,
which cracked the top five on the country chart and peaked at #11 on the
pop chart. The Four Young Men
then renamed themselves The Castaways, The Castaways sometimes recorded as
The Dudes, and The Dudes even billed themselves as The Hudson Hornets. None of these name changes did much
but confuse people, and The Castaways broke up after a concert in The
Guilbeau and Wayne Moore recorded some material
on the Starfire label in 1965, then
decided to take a break.
back to The Bayou and then re-emerged in Southern California in tandem with
Gene Parsons and they went by the nickname, Cajun Gib
& Gene. They enjoyed a
steady, six-to-seven-night gig in Palmdale, California, at a club called
The Jack of Diamonds. Clarence
White turned the duo into a trio and they became Nashville West, one of the
first bands to blend country & western music with rock & roll.
It was a
short-lived experiment, as Clarence took flight to join The Byrds, and Gib and Wayne
co-formed The Reasons. Gib also recorded “Empty Words of Love”,
“Home of the Blues”, “In the Morning”, and
“Lodi”, as a solo artist.
Then he helped assemble a backing band for Linda Ronstadt, entitled Swampwater.
In addition to performing and touring with Linda, they did the same
with Arlo Guthrie and recorded a pair of albums
under their own name.
Some of Gib’s compositions were being recorded by other
artists and groups, as well.
The Byrds covered “Your Gentle Ways
of Loving Me” and Rod Stewart and Ron Wood both covered “Big
In the early
‘70s, Gib appeared on the self-titled
albums, Crazy Horse, John David Souther,
and Linda Ronstadt. He released his own eponymous solo
album in 1973, simply titled, Gib Guilbeau Sings. Then he joined The Flying Burrito
Brothers, along with Chris Ethridge, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, and Gene Parsons. They released a pair of albums in
the mid-‘70s, Airborne and Flying Again, then Columbia released
them. The band then changed
their name to Sierra and performed under that moniker for a couple of
years. In 1978, Gib launched his sophomore effort, Top Tappin’ Music, which
featured some material recorded earlier on the Strawberry label.
Brothers re-surfaced in the early ‘80s, without the
“Flying”, and that’s when the band really soared. They continually hit the country and
pop charts and existed well into the 1990s, although Gib’s
tenure with them was curtailed when he suffered a heart attack during the
recording of California Jukebox.
abound to hear Gib on CDs such as Classic Gib Guilbeau:
1968-1986, J.D. Souther Border Town: The Very Best of J.D. Souther, Sneaky
Pete Kleinow: Shiloh Records Anthology, and Songs I Like.
The Burrito Brothers recordings
Blue and Broken Hearted Me (Buddy Cannon/Raleigh Squires)
She’s a Friend of a Friend (John Beland/Gib