"Roger McGuinn" (born "James Joseph McGuinn III" on July 13, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is best known for being the lead singer and lead guitarist on many of the Byrds' hit records, the pioneering folk-rock band of the 1960s, contributing much to the band's unique sound.
McGuinn's parents, James and Dorothy, were involved in journalism and public relations, and during his childhood, they penned a bestseller titled ''Parents Can't Win''. He became interested in music after hearing Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel," and asked his parents to buy him a guitar. In 1957 he enrolled as a student at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, where he mastered the five-string banjo and continued to hone his guitar skills. After graduation, McGuinn performed solo at various coffeehouses on the folk music circuit where he was discovered and hired as a sideman by folk groups such as the Limeliters, the Chad Mitchell Trio, and Judy Collins as well as playing guitar and singing backup harmony for Bobby Darin. Soon after, he moved to the West Coast, winding up in Los Angeles, where he eventually met the future members of the Byrds.