He was a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter born Clyde Battin in Gallipolis, Ohio who learned to play the fiddle, the piano and the guitar when he was young and took his further education at college in Tucson, Arizona.
In 1955 he joined up with Earl Mock & The Mockingbirds and then in 1956 he went into collaboration with the songwriter Gary Paxton. The issued the song “Betty Jean” using the name The Pledges but, constantly changing their name, performed under several different names such as the Clyde Gary Orchestra and Chuck & The Chuckles.
He released his own single in 1959 entitled “The Twister” and that same year he and Gary became known as Flip & Skip (Gary being Flip and Clyde being Skip) after being named after their record company owner’s pet poodles. They found success when their song “It Was I” reached No. 11 on the chart and after touring with Alan “Moondog” Freed they had another No. 11 hit song “Cherry Pie”. The duo went their separate ways not long afterwards but his collaboration with the songwriter Kim Fowley remained.
He became a member of The Prehistorics in 1960 and released other material using many other band names such as the Skip & The Flippers and Skip Battin Combo. In 1965 he and Kim Fowley worked together in the studio using the name Kim & The Skippers and he also formed Skip Battin & The Group. He then co-founded Evergreen Blueshoes with Alan Rosenberg and released the album The Ballad of the Evergreen Blueshoes.
In 1969 he found himself performing n Warren Zevon’s debut album and then was asked to become a member of The Byrds. During his time with them he was constantly touring, recording and songwriting, often with his long-time collaborator Kim Fowley.
After The Byrds disbanded in 1973 he pursued his solo career and released the album Skip. It wasn’t long before New Riders of the Purple Sage snatched him up in 1974 and for the two years that he was with them recorded four albums.
In 1976 he became a member of the Flying Burrito Brothers and toured and recorded with them for the next few years until he was dismissed for recording his solo album Navigator. He followed that up with a further solo album Don’t Go Crazy in 1983.
He got back with several of the ex-members of The Flying Burrito Brothers to put together the group Peace Seekers and in 1984 they toured Europe with Roger McGuinn. The Flying Burrito Brothers were then brought back in a revival and released Cabin Fever along with three live recordings.
He later toured with Michael Clarke’s Byrds from 1989 to 1991 and after Clarke’s death they became known as Byrds Celebration. He didn’t remain too long after that though and announced he was going to retire. He did still perform periodically as a session musician up until 2000 though.
He suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and passed away from complications arising from it in 2003 in Silverton, Oregon.
Here he is performing “Searchin'” and “She Acts Like We Never Met” on Hollywood a Go Go…