Formed in Southern California
, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
are composed of 4 guys from other bands.
David Crosby (formerly of The Byrds): Guitar
Stephen Stills (formerly of Buffalo Springfield): Guitar, Keyboards, Bass
Graham Nash (formerly of The Hollies): Guitar
Neil Young (formerly of Buffalo Springfield): Guitar
CSNY got started by jamming at Joni Mitchell or John Sebastian's house, Stills brought his former bandmate Neil Young (from Buffalo Springfield) along, and CSNY was born-about 1969. But, they say to this day they don't really remember when they started singing together. People took a lot of drugs back then. (If you remember the 60's, you weren't there!)
CSN had made their debut at 1969's Woodstock festival, before Neil Young joined them for their 1970 album, Deja Vu (their incarnation without Young had already produced an album, Crosby, Stills, and Nash.)
Deja Vu featured musicians like Jerry Garcia and John Sebastian on the lineup as well as CSNY.
Although not on the album, the song "Ohio" (featured on 1971's live album 4 Way Street) reached the top 20, and with other songs like "Woodstock", "Almost Cut My Hair", and "Teach Your Children", CSNY was a bona fide hippy band.
They disbanded in 1971, and were supposed to get back together to record Human Highway, and 1974's So Far- which contained past hits-was intended as a filler until Human Highway was released. But, obviously, that album was never released. Joni Mitchell, a friend of the band, did cover art.
The sad thing was, though, while spreading messages of peace and love, each member had really big egos and personal indifferences(read: Neil Young), which prevented them from recording more albums.
Neil Young was the only real member to have a succesful solo career, although Stephen Stills and Graham Nash fared pretty well on their own.
Because of personal grudges, etc, CSNY passed many opportunities by, however they were not, per se, unsuccesful. They've had such an influence on folk, country, and rock that they've been called the "American Beatles" (even though Nash is British and Young is Canadian. Go figure, I didn't coin that phrase).
4 Way Street
The Box Set