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Recorded in late '67 and released early '68 the album "The Notorious Byrd Brothers" became a Byrds masterpiece and one of the greatest rock albums ever. Struggles within the band led to a creative high peak  but also to the firing of David Crosby. Although the album sleeve showed only the remaining members Crosby had contributed his part on almost half of the songs on the album. Soon after its release Michael Clarke also left the group.
 McGuinn and Hillman who had proved their potential as a songwriting team on "Younger" and "Notorious" were joined by  Hillman's cousin Kevin Kelly on drums and Gram Parsons on guitar and vocals. McGuinn and Hillman at first intended to continue the folk-jazz-country-rock direction of the "Notorious" album but Parsons convinced Hillman to do some more pure country stuff.
After McGuinn had accepted the idea the album "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" became another innovational work of the band who had always refused to walk the easy road. The Byrds toured Europe in May 68 with Doug Dillard (picture right) on banjo as touring member but, after more hassles within the band Parsons quit not long after, followed by Kevin Kelly.

 The lineup during the South Africa Tour in July was
 Hillman, Carlos Bernal, McGuinn, Kelly

McGuinn and Hillman added Clarence White and Gene Parsons to the line up and fulfilled some contractual obligations but it didn't take long and Chris Hillman left the band to form The Flying Burrito Brothers  together with Gram Parsons leaving Roger McGuinn as the only original member. McGuinn decided to go on with White, Gene Parsons and bassist John York. The Burritos'first album "The Gilded Palace Of Sin" was released March '69.

In the summer of 1968 Gene Clark  teamed up with Doug Dillard to form  Dillard And Clark . They recorded "The Fantastic Expedition Of Dillard And Clark"  mostly with Clark originals and cooperations between Clark, Dillard and Bernie Leadon combining bluegrass, folk and rock. Although a minor classic of its era and with good reviews the album sold dissapointingly.

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