With more than five decades on the music rock scene, the quintessential American folk rock band Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is still taking the stage for delighted fans on tour. Frequently credited with invaluable contributions to the development of the American roots and country rock movements, the band has more than made their mark with such songs as "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." Honored with a slew of Grammy, IBMA and CMA awards and nominations, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has produced an enduring body of work.
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was formed in Long Beach, Calif., in 1966. The band's initial lineup would hang out together at McCabe's Guitar Shop and try, as the band puts it, to "figure out how not to have to work for a living." From these raw beginnings emerged a powerhouse of folk rock sound, from the band's early days performing as a jug band in cowboy boots and pinstripe suits at small local clubs to the present era, when they regularly sell out major venues across the country.
The band signed with Liberty Records and in 1967 released its self-titled debut, featuring "Buy for Me the Rain," which quickly rose to No. 45 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The band hit it big again in 1970 with the release of Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy, which included the hit "Mr. Bojangles," which rocketed to No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, the band's highest-ever chart showing. The album also contained the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's rendition of the Loggins & Messina song "House at Pooh Corner," a fan favorite that rose to No. 53 on the Hot 100.
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has been the recipient of numerous prestigious musical awards. After years of nominations, the band struck gold in 1989 with the release of their Billboard 200-ranking album Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. II. The album secured them a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Recording as well as the award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. In addition to its success at the Grammys, the album also won Album of the Year at the CMA Awards.
In 2005, the band received another Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance for "Earl's Breakdown."
The U.S. Library of Congress and the Grammy Hall of Fame both honored Will the Circle Be Unbroken with inductions.
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