Jim McGuinn, later known as Roger, was already a veteran of the New York and Los Angeles music scene when he co-founded the group that would become the Byrds with Gene Clark and David Crosby in 1964. Prior to forming the Byrds, Roger toured and performed folk music with the Limeliters, Chad Mitchell Trio and Bobby Darin as a guitarist and banjo player. He was also the musical director and guitarist on Judy Collins #3.
McGuinn, a Chicago native, studied at the Old Town School of Folk Music and was active on Chicago's folk scene, where he was strongly influenced as a teenager by Bob Gibson. Within a few weeks of finishing high school, McGuinn was working with the Limeliters in California, playing guitar and banjo on their album "Tonight: In Person." McGuinn is also on the Chad Mitchell Trio's albums: "Mighty Day on Campus"and "The Chad Mitchell Trio at the Bitter End".