Bud Dashiell was born in Paris, France where his father was an American correspondent and his English mother was a member of the Folies Bergere. He grew up on the east coast and then served as a First Lieutenant and Battery Comander in the Field Artillery in the Korean War. Erik Darling (of The Weavers and many other famous folk groups) became very close friends with Bud at the height of his popularity with Bud and Travis. They had met years before when they had both played "The Inquisition," a popular folk coffeehouse in Vancouver, B.C. "When we weren't on the road, we used to meet in LA every Friday night for martinis and pizza," Darling remembers. "Those were wonderful nights. He was just great, and extremely entertaining to listen to. He loved to talk and tell stories, an he had a great gift for doing it. He had a truly marvelous way of recounting episodes and incidents in his life. "He also had a great propensity," Darling recalls, "for collecting limericks. Sometimes they were dirty, sometimes not, but they were always very off-beat and usually quite funny. Just about every one of those Friday nights, he would tell me a new limerick. Whenever he did that, it was like he turned into an eleven-year-old kid again.”
Both on the road and over pizza in L.A., Bud told Erik candid stories about his background and upbringing. Although Bud was born in Paris and spent some time there as a child, he was obstensibly raised in the Eastern United States--on the site of the First Battle of Bull Run, to be exact. There, he began to teach himself guitar at an early age, inspired mainly by the popular bluegrass and country music of the area.
After each rainfall, the young Dashiell would comb the Bull Run battlefield and collect whatever trinkets and war-related affluvia he could find. Growing up in this manner, Bud developed a somewhat romantic conception of war and of military service in general. It was this idealism, coupled with a strong desire to leave the east and travel the world, that compelled him to enlist in the Army shortly before the start of the Korean War.
Once a soldier, it didn't take long for Bud to become disillusioned at how decidedly unglorious military service actually was. Nevertheless, he was a fine soldier and rose quickly through the ranks until becoming Battery Commander in Korea. "The War definitely changed Bud's outlook, and very definitely formed a great deal of who he was as a person," Darling says. "Even out of the Army, Bud was very much a commander. While he could be remarkably open, warm and funny, he had a very serious side to himself. He had a burning desire to do everything absolutely right. He was also very intense in his hatred of all pretentiousness and posturing.
"Bud had seen a lot of combat in Korea, and he had seen a lot of young men lose their lives. And in Bud's eyes, many of these young men died because of commanding officers who were pretentiuous, and who postured. He simply could not tolerate those qualities in people. He hated injustice, and always spoke up when he felt that someone was being mistreated."
Soon after the war, Bud met Travis and embarked on his successful career as part of the finest pop-folk duo of the era. After parting ways initially with Travis in 1961, Bud fronted a new group, The Kinsmen, and after B&T's final breakup in 1965, recorded one album (I Think It's Going To Rain Today) entirely "solo." In the 1970s, Bud moved to L.A. and taught guitar and music up to the time of his death.
Frank Hamilton knew Dashiell at this time. "He had a studio down the street from Westwood Music, where I was teaching guitar. He was always cordial and helpful to his students." Darling adds: "As a guitar teacher, Bud taught performing as well as playing. He brought the same great persona, energy, enthusiasm, and great storytelling to his teaching as he did to his performing. And above all, he would always accentuate the positive when critiquing his students, and he always affirmed their abilities."
In the early 1980s, Bud was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Even during this very difficult and frightening time, Bud retained his remarkable warmth, humor, and spirit. He passed away in 1989.