When the Dillards bumped into Steve McQueen on a Hollywood street

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As the front man for progressive bluegrass outfit the Dillards, Rodney Dillard was signed to the Doors’ Elektra Records label when he briefly stumbled upon Steve McQueen on a Hollywood street during the swingin’ ’60s. Still hunky when fully covered in mud from the Magnolia State, the undisputed King of Cool is seen near Carrollton, Mississippi, in the aftermath of trying to push a specially built 18 horsepower touring car resembling a 1904 Winton Flyer out of a mud bog in director Mark Rydell’s rollicking “The Reivers,” unleashed on December 25, 1969, by Cinema Center Films, the theatrical film production company of the CBS television network from 1967 to 1972. Photography by Mel Traxel / Paramount Pictures
See the official music video for Sheryl Crow’s rock and roll homage to the King of Cool. “Steve McQueen” was the lead cut on Crow’s fourth studio album,” C’mon, C’mon,” distributed on April 16, 2002. Also unleashed as the record’s second single, “Steve McQueen” was a chart disappointment, stalling at No. 88 Pop but doing considerably better on the Adult Top 40 chart at No. 13. Video Credit: A&M Records
Watch the Dillards perform their rollicking, humorous ode to creatures that go bump in the night. “The Biggest Whatever” was released in December 1968 on the groundbreaking “Wheatstraw Suite” country rock album. Left to right are Dean Webb, Mitch Jayne, Herb Pedersen [founding member Doug Dillard’s replacement], and Rodney Dillard. Image Credit: Photography by Bob Clevenger; Music Credit: Warner Music Group; Video courtesy of Jeremy Roberts
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The Dillards — Dean Webb on top, Mitch Jayne at far right, Doug Dillard in the passenger seat, and younger brother Rodney Dillard behind the steering wheel — pose in a dilapidated truck on the Melody Ranch property of original singing cowboy Gene Autry in 1967. Photography by Henry Diltz / Corbis via Getty Images
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Steve McQueen may be muddy, but he’s doing just fine — in character as Boon Hogganbeck from “The Reivers,” distributed to theaters on Christmas Day 1969. Photography by Mel Traxel / Paramount Pictures / Pinterest

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Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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