Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Artist:Nitty Gritty Dirt Band f/Mother Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson
Song:Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Album:Will The Circle Be Unbroken
In comparison to The Byrds, I guess the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band were more country than rock and the landmark 1972 album Will The Circle Be Unbroken featured several country music legends. And the group has built on that over the years. The group started in 1965 in Santa Monica, CA as the New Coast Two with guitarist Jeff Hanna (born July 11, 1947 in Detroit) & Bruce Kunkel. They hung around McCabe's Guitar Shop and met Jimmie Fadden (born Mar. 9, 1948 in Long Beach, CA), Les Thompson, Ralph Barr & Jackson Browne and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was born. Browne left to persue a solo career and was replaced by banjoist John McEuen (born Dec. 19, 1945 in Garden Grove, CA). His brother Bill McEuen became the group's manager and they got a contract with Liberty Records. After a couple of albums, there was some conflict within the group about going to electric instruments. They split up for a while but reformed in late 1969. By then Kunkel had been replaced by Jim Ibbotson (born Jan. 21, 1947 in Philadelphia) and Barr left. The first album with the new lineup yielded a hit version of Jerry Jeff Walker's Mr. Bojangles in 1970. The group clearly headed in a more country direction and in 1972, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band went to Nashville to record the massive 3LP Will The Circle Be Unbroken with country music legends Roy Acuff, Mother Maybelle Carter, Earl Scruggs and others. The album was a million seller. Later in the 70s they shortened the name to Dirt Band and became more of a pop group. But over the years they have returned to their country roots and even recorded two more volumes of Will The Circle Be Unbroken. EMI released the original Will The Circle Be Unbroken on 2CDs in 2002 with four bonus tracks. It's a must for roots music fans. Here's the video for Will The Circle Be Unbroken Vol. 2 by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and numerous guests that I'm sure you will recognize.