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The Desert Rose Band

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The Desert Rose Band
Pictured from left to right Herb Pedersen, Chris Hillman and John Jorgenson
Pictured from left to right Herb Pedersen, Chris Hillman and John Jorgenson
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1985–1994
LabelsMCA, Curb
Past membersChris Hillman
Herb Pedersen
John Jorgenson
JayDee Maness
Steve Duncan
Tom Brumley
Jeff Ross
Tim Grogan
Bill Bryson

The Desert Rose Band was an American country rock band from Los Angeles, California, founded in 1985 by Chris Hillman (formerly of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers), with Herb Pedersen and John Jorgenson. The original lineup included Bill Bryson on bass guitar, JayDee Maness on pedal steel guitar, and Steve Duncan on drums. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the band charted several hit singles on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts until disbanding in February 1994.[2]


The Desert Rose Band was formed in 1985 by frontman Chris Hillman (born December 4, 1944), formerly a member of The Byrds, and co-founder, along with the late Gram Parsons of the country-rock band The Flying Burrito Brothers. Additional members included John Jorgenson (born July 6, 1956), who was mainly responsible for the instrumental arrangements of the songs, and Herb Pedersen (born April 27, 1944), responsible for the vocal arrangements. Jorgenson and Pedersen sang three-part harmony with Hillman. Each Desert Rose Band album featured Pedersen on one lead vocal. Pedal steel player JayDee Maness (born January 4, 1945), drummer Steve Duncan (born July 28, 1953), and bassist Bill Bryson (1946–2017) rounded out the group.[2]


1987-1989: The Desert Rose Band and Running[edit]

Their eponymous debut album was issued in 1987 on MCA/Curb.[2] It contained their first hit "Ashes of Love", which was originally a Johnnie & Jack song from the early 1950s. It was the second time Hillman and Pedersen recorded "Ashes of Love," the first being on Hillman's just prior album Desert Rose on the Sugar Hill label. The Desert Rose Band's debut also featured a remake of Chris Hillman's "Time Between" which he previously wrote and recorded as a member of the Byrds,[2] as well as the band's first chart-topper "He's Back and I'm Blue".

Their second album Running (1988) featured the John Hiatt-penned hit "She Don't Love Nobody", "Running", and a remake of Buck Owens's "Hello Trouble".[2]

1990-1993: Pages of Life, True Love and Life Goes On[edit]

The third album Pages of Life (1990)[2] featured a remake of "Desert Rose" as well as a remake of Pedersen's folk song about his daughter "Our Baby's Gone" which was originally recorded on his 1976 album Southwest. JayDee Maness left the band in 1990 and was replaced on pedal steel guitar by Tom Brumley whom Jay Dee replaced in the Buckaroos.[2] Maness would again play with Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen on their post Desert Rose Band duo albums Bakersfield Bound and Way Out West.

The fourth studio album, True Love, was released in 1991.[2] It was followed by 1993's Life Goes On,[2] released only in Europe. Several prominent country and bluegrass musicians made guest appearances on Life Goes On including Sam Bush on fiddle, Tony Rice and Larry Park (of Boy Howdy) on guitar, and Al Perkins on dobro. Before the release of this final studio album, was the 1993 compilation Traditional.

John Jorgenson and Steve Duncan left the band in 1991.[2] Jorgenson went on to form the Hellecasters with Will Ray and Jerry Donahue; Duncan also joined the Hellecasters. John Jorgenson is currently playing gypsy jazz with his John Jorgenson Quintette. Chris and Herb recorded an acoustic album called The Other Side in 2005. They continue to tour as an acoustic duo. Former Buck Owens steel player Tom Brumley played with Joey Riley's band in Branson, Missouri. He died on February 3, 2009.


The Desert Rose Band was nominated for two Grammy Awards, in the category Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: the debut album The Desert Rose Band (1987), and the single "She Don't Love Nobody" (1989).[3]

The band was a three-time winner of the Band of the Year/Touring Award presented by the Academy of Country Music Association, in 1988, 1989, and 1990.

The band earned the Country Music Association's "Horizon Award" in 1989, and was nominated Vocal Group of the Year in 1989 and 1990.

Broadcast Music Inc., recognized "One Step Forward" and "Love Reunited" for having achieved the benchmark of One Million Broadcast Radio Performances.[4]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak positions
US Country
The Desert Rose Band 24
  • Release date: September 6, 1988
  • Label: MCA/Curb Records
Pages of Life
  • Release date: January 16, 1990
  • Label: MCA/Curb Records
17 187
True Love
  • Release date: October 1, 1991
  • Label: Curb Records
Life Goes On
  • Release date: September 21, 1993
  • Label: Curb Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak positions
US Country
A Dozen Roses – Greatest Hits
  • Release date: January 4, 1991
  • Label: MCA/Curb Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
CAN Country
1987 "Ashes of Love" 26 37 The Desert Rose Band
"Love Reunited" 6 5
"One Step Forward" 2 2
1988 "He's Back and I'm Blue" 1 1
"Summer Wind" 2 2 Running
"I Still Believe in You" 1 1
1989 "She Don't Love Nobody" 3 4
"Hello Trouble" 11 11
"Start All Over Again" 6 3 Pages of Life
1990 "In Another Lifetime" 13 18
"Story of Love" 10 6
1991 "Will This Be the Day" 37 44 A Dozen Roses – Greatest Hits
"Come a Little Closer" 65 67
"You Can Go Home" 53 64 True Love
"Twilight Is Gone" 67 82
1993 "What About Love" 71 Life Goes On
"Night After Night"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1988 "He's Back and I'm Blue"
"Summer Wind"
1989 "She Don't Love Nobody" Bill Pope
1990 "In Another Lifetime"
1991 "Will This Be the Day" Gerry Wenner
"You Can Go Home" Gustavo Garzón
1993 "What About Love" Michael Merriman


  1. ^ Staff (October 26, 2017). "John Jorgenson Joins Chris Hillman in Tom Petty Tribute". ESP Takamine. Retrieved 2023-07-23.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 365/6. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  3. ^ "Desert Rose Band". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  4. ^ "Chris Hillman". Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  5. ^ a b "The Desert Rose Band - Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  6. ^ "The Desert Rose Band - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  7. ^ "The Desert Rose Band - Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  8. ^ Peak chart positions for country singles of The Desert Rose Band in Canada:

External links[edit]