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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

  • Hit songs include "Mr. Bojangles," "Fishin' in the Dark," and "Baby's Got a Hold on Me"
  • Member of the Grand Ole Opry and Songwriters Hall of Fame
  • Their Will The Circle Be Unbroken album inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress and Grammy Hall of Fame
  • Received CMA and Grammy Awards

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band formed during the spring of 1966 as a scruffy, young jug-band. Fifty years later, the quartet — Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, Bob Carpenter, and John McEuen — is still going strong.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s self-titled debut album, released in 1967, included the pop hit “Buy For Me The Rain.” But it was their fifth record, 1970’s Uncle Charlie and His Dog Teddy, that would become the band’s breakthrough project, yielding three pop hits including their version of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles.” Among the many outstanding tracks on Uncle Charlie was a version of Earl Scruggs’ “Randy Lynn Rag.” That cut set into motion what would become the Will the Circle be Unbroken album, featuring Scruggs, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Roy Acuff and Mother Maybelle Carter. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Circle album, a three-LP set recorded live in Nashville over six days, became a landmark event and a multi-platinum success. Circle was one of 50 recordings to be honored and preserved by the Library of Congress.

In the early ’80s, the band returned to Nashville and began what would become a highly successful career in mainstream country music. Hits including “Dance Little Jean,” “Workin’ Man,” “Long Hard Road,” “Baby’s Got A Hold On Me,” and “Fishin’ in the Dark” put them at the top of the country charts for over a decade.

In 1989, the group revisited the Circle concept, gathering another impressive roster of performers. Circle II would go on to win three Grammy Awards and the Country Music Association Album of the Year. In 2002, Circle III received similar accolades, garnering the International Bluegrass Music Association Recorded Event of the Year award as well as leading to a 2005 Grammy for Country Instrumental Performance.

With a career that spans five decades, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has gone from a hippie jug-band to pioneers of country rock, and their influence is still being felt today as they embark on a 50th anniversary tour.

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Inducted to the Music City Walk of Fame on April 20, 2008.