Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Dirt Band's Will the Circle Be Unbroken Vol I

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Number One Gravy Band (Charles Gearhart) (15)
Lyr/Chords Req: Bowlegs (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) (19)
Dirt Band's Will the Circle Be Unbroken Vol II (11)
Review: Will The Circle Be Unbroken Vol III (20)
Lyr Req: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Lyr? (7)
The Dirt Band on TV (14)
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band rereleased CD (10)
(origins) Origin: And So It Goes (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) (6)


Michael S 27 Dec 01 - 11:30 AM
Sorcha 27 Dec 01 - 12:45 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Dec 01 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Steve Latimer 27 Dec 01 - 03:57 PM
Bobert 27 Dec 01 - 04:30 PM
Coyote Breath 27 Dec 01 - 04:33 PM
fat B****rd 27 Dec 01 - 04:36 PM
khandu 27 Dec 01 - 04:36 PM
Coyote Breath 27 Dec 01 - 05:12 PM
GUEST 27 Dec 01 - 07:30 PM
Bobert 27 Dec 01 - 07:46 PM
53 27 Dec 01 - 08:13 PM
Rolfyboy6 27 Dec 01 - 09:02 PM
Ian Darby 27 Dec 01 - 09:43 PM
Gary T 27 Dec 01 - 11:30 PM
Justa Picker 27 Dec 01 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,Michael S 28 Dec 01 - 12:35 PM
Jim the Bart 28 Dec 01 - 05:19 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Dec 01 - 05:42 PM
Nathan in Texas 29 Dec 01 - 10:29 AM
kj... 29 Dec 01 - 10:55 PM
khandu 29 Dec 01 - 11:06 PM
Roger in Baltimore 30 Dec 01 - 10:57 AM
Roger in Baltimore 30 Dec 01 - 10:57 AM
Joe Offer 01 Mar 11 - 09:57 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Michael S
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 11:30 AM

Hi all,

I'm newly registered, though I've written in before when I've had info to share. I'm a fan, not a player, and in academia.

For Christmas, my wife gave me a CD copy of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's classic album, Will The Circle Be Unbroken. It will be 30 years old in October 2002. In October 1972 I was in my first semester in college. Though I'd been a high school folkie, I was a college Led Zeppelin fan, and paid little attention to the record upon its initial release. I did come to enjoy it in later years, and I'm sure enjoying it right now.

I've been thinking about in connection with the recent O Brother phenomenon. The Dirt Band record was nowhere near as successful. Still, it charted in Billboard, and was reviewed in Rolling Stone and other pop music outlets. Not bad for a record that's pretty pure old time country, and is filled with the likes of Mother Maybelle, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Roy Acuff and many more.

Does anyone out there have any info--or memories-- about the record's reception almost 30 years ago? Was it influential? Did we hear that it would spark still another folk revival (righ on the heels of the 60s revival)? Any circa 1972 impressions of the Dirt Band's Circle? ---Michael S


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Sorcha
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 12:45 PM

It may not be what you want, but there is an evoloution of the band link here. I didn't stay long, but there looks to be a lot of information.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 01:41 PM

Hi Michael. When this record came out, I was still very much into hard rock, and traditional music was acceptable to me only when it had a rock-hybrid edge. It took me a long time to accept Sweetheart of the Rodeo as the great piece of music it was, and it was likewise the case with Will the Circle be Unbroken. I used to do a lot of kayaking in those days with my friends Bob, Dennis and Craig, and Bob's rickety van had one solid piece of equipment, and this was his favorite 8-track. It became ritual for us to play and sing "Here we Stand Beside the Raging River" before we set out in our boats, and the music seemed to suit the Appalachian backroads better than the raucous sounds of Bad Company or Thin Lizzie. I guess you could say it grew on me, and it brought me back round to the kind of music that I had early rejected as redneck or old-fashioned. I still love the album, and I believe it was a ground-breaker for many people of our age in terms of restoring us to our roots.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: GUEST,Steve Latimer
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 03:57 PM

It's funny you should mention this. I was listening to it yesterday and had the same thoughts.

I think it was very influential. I too was a Rock guy when I first heard this in the mid-seventies. I had never heard most of the artists and songs on it. I came to love it. I have since bought CD's by many of the artists on it.

I think many, many people were introduced to Bluegrass and Old Timey Music by this album. I also enjoyed WTCBU II, especially Bruce Hornsby's Bluegrass rendition of his hit "Valley Road".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 04:30 PM

Hey, Michael. Well, there seemed to be two distinct kinds of music, folk and hard, within the "Rock" cummunity and a lot of folks were into both. But some folks just jumped entirely into the folk rock scene because of the familiarity of the country music influences on it. Plus, lots of folks were playing it giving creedence to the sound, as in the Rolling Stones, the Byrds, Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival,etc. giving way to that entire country folk rock scene of Gram Parsons, the Flying Burrito Brothers, New Riders and the Purple Sage, the Dead, Jesse Winchester, James Lee Stanley, etc. And the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I think what made this recording so valuable (and difficult for the purist rockers) is the holding hands with the Doc Watson/ Roy Acuffs which during the 60's were so generally rejected by the counter culture because of the potical differences more than musical differences. I was personally delighted with album because I had grown up around country music and enjoyed seeing country and folk influences injected into rock 'n roll so when folks like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span came on the scene I was beyond ready for them. Likewise, the Dirt Band. But I had friends who couldn't stand any of the country rock folkie stuff and who are still listening to psycadelic hard rock and A.C.D.C. scream rock...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 04:33 PM

I had been completely taken off by American Old Timey music (traditional country, folk music) when I got the three disk album from my brother David. He worked at Tower Records back then and thought I would like it. Oh yes! In fact I still like it and must say I like it better than "O Brother!" (which I truly love, got the video for Christmas) The version of Oh Death that I sang for longer than I can remember came from a Nitty Gritty recording (NOT the 'circle') I was pleased and choked up by the album and feel that it was a very good representation of American music from "off the freeways". A monument to Porch Music. At the time I had quite a few recordings of the Carter Family, Roy Accuf, Tom Ashely and many other "original" sources. The album tied stuff together for me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 04:36 PM

I bought this from a secondhand shop in Grimsby and it used to cheer me up in 1975 when I really was at a low ebb.I especially liked "Listen to the Mockingbird" with Vassar Clemens and the ersatz Cajun song "Liggy Liggy Lo". Just thought I'd put my twopenneth in.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: khandu
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 04:36 PM

This is a great work. I bought it soon after it's release. I was into heavy rock, although my early years was filled with folk and bluegrass. This album awakened my ears once again to the Great Ones, Merle Travis, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson.

Hearing Mississippi John changed the course of my music. "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" kept me on the new course.

Excellent work. I can't say enough about the album.

However, in comparison, "Will the Circle...II" sucked.

khandu


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 05:12 PM

eeeww. Circle II? sounds ghastly! I especially liked the Grand Ol' Opry song. Reminds me of the Railroad song from the New Lost City Rambler's "Modern Times" album.

CB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 07:30 PM

I'm with Bobert all the way. The album was tremendously influential for me--it did lead me into my lifelong love of bluegrass and old time music. And to mountain dulcimer players! I hadn't been exposed at all to country, but in fact came to the music through Poco, Flying Burrito Brothers, the Band, the Byrds, etc.

BTW, anyone catch Mr. McGuinn on Letterman last night?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 07:46 PM

Sorry to have missed him, Guest. I love Roger's stuff and that soaring twelve string is still a sound that fills my heart when I hear it. And, yes, Poco. What a sweet blend of rock, country and folk. "There's just a little majic in the country worth singin'... So let's begin...."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: 53
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 08:13 PM

mr. mcguinn's ric 12 is one of the nicest sounding 12's i've ever heard. BOB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 09:02 PM

It was an influential album. Not quite earth shattering for me because I was way into blues, bluegrass and old-timey music due to geography, but I liked the performances of Doc Watson, Maybelle Carter, and Jimmie Martin on it. I still play it from time to time. But it was shatteringly influential on those who heard it and who hadn't grown up around old-time music. I played it for many who said "What was that?"and were fascinated. For suburban northern and western whites it was a whole new world. It is hard now to remember how ghettoized the 'hillbilly' and 'rhythm and blues' music markets were from the 'pop' world. "Circle" was an important cultural document, one of those that 'blew the doors off' and opened things up, and the music on it was damn good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Ian Darby
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 09:43 PM

I taped a staggering version of "The Battle of New Orleans" by the above off the radio years ago. Could anybody tell me which album its from? (please)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Gary T
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 11:30 PM

I second Rolfyboy6's comments. I'm not in a position to rate how influential it was, but I believe it was very significant in bridging the gap between "them long-hair hippie sh*ts" and "those redneck *ssh*les."

My understanding is that the Dirt Band was somewhat in awe of the music and musical abilities of the various country artists, and they in turn were amazed and gratified by the respect and appreciation those rock 'n' rollers had for the music. I believe this album was a major step in forging some understanding between what had all too often been opposing camps in American society.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Justa Picker
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 11:53 PM

It was one of the defining albums that got me turned onto Bluegrass.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: GUEST,Michael S
Date: 28 Dec 01 - 12:35 PM

Ian Darby asked about the Dirt Band's rendition of The Battle of New Orleans. This tune--perhaps in the same version he heard on the radio--can be found on both "Greatest Hits" and "Dirt Silver and Gold," each available on CD (I believe).

I'm enjoying reading of the impressions that Circle made on people, and I'm grateful to all who wrote. In the 24 hours since my query, I've listened to it a couple of more times (ahh--vacation days) and find that it truly is a wonderful record.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 28 Dec 01 - 05:19 PM

IT was big for me. I had begun listening to all things country, coming at it from a folk and brit invasion direction, and the Dirt Bands take on Hank Williams, Merle Travis and the Carter Family hit me just about right. Vassar Clements was a revelation.

After a while, as I began to uncover the real thing, these tracks began to sound a little too polished and cleaned up. Now, listeneing to them again on CD, they sound pretty damn good.

Don't discount the second Circle album too quickly. The first set introduced a tradition. The idea with the second one, as I see it anyway, was to see more modern branches of that tradition. The music may not compare - in authenticity, at least - with the first, but it is still valid on its own terms.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Dec 01 - 05:42 PM

It's fascinating reading all these comments. Makes me realize that each generation needs a Will The Circle Be Unbroken. By the time that the album came out, I was well aware of tradional American folk, had heard Doc Watson live, and most everyone else on the album (except Nitty Gritty) on record, so it wasn't much of an influence on me. I was blown away when I first heard the Anthology of American Folk Music (which I might never have heard if I hadn't been going to school in New York City at the time. I think the comparison to Oh Brother is a good one. I have a 26 year old son, who has heard traditional music all of his life. A young woman he works with, about his age, saw the movie and was blown away by it, and bought the CD. She wondered why she had never heard music like that.

Every generation needs a folk burp... a moment when traditional folk music surfaces from under all the rock, rap and pap and people are astonished by its vitality. At least ome people are. And like all of us, they'll wnat to hear where this music came from, and go back to the sources. The best thing about Circle I is that the sources were on the album...

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Nathan in Texas
Date: 29 Dec 01 - 10:29 AM

It was THE influential album of my youth. I was into rock and, to some extent, folk music, but considered "hillbilly" to be be "beneath" me, uncool, and listened to only by red-necks. WTCBU introduced me to and legitimatized old-time country & bluegrass as "cool". In the years since, I've left rock completely behind (though, of course, they haven't made any good rock since the early 70s). Now, I'm a "professional" old-time musician and appreciate all those represented on the album, as well as those to obscure or country to have been included.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: kj...
Date: 29 Dec 01 - 10:55 PM

....well it's one of the most influential records i ever heard......though i was thoroughly into the so-called folk revival of the 60's and 70's......bein' a northerner (is that a reason or excuse).....musicians like the Carter Family and the Watsons didn't really catch my attention until that album came 'round...and so my music world expanded....

...have a special memory of a covey of us buddies painting the inside of a friend's house and just playing and singing over and over....

....it's been real hard replacin the two records that lost strayed or whatever in the last couple of years....so i'll be buying that cd real soon.....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: khandu
Date: 29 Dec 01 - 11:06 PM

"Nashville Blues"! "Grand Ole Opry Song"! Merle and Doc's first meeting! This collection is wonderfully musical and historical.

IMO, this was one of THE great recordings of the century.

khandu


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 30 Dec 01 - 10:57 AM

I was running a record store when Circle came out. We catered to high shcool and college aged folks. We sold a lot of Deep Purple's Machine Head. gpt rcs,[;r/ Our best seller the year Cirlce came out was Circle. Certainly, we weren't catering to country listeners. I bllieve Circle exposed many people to a part of American music to which they had never been exposed. Considering it was a multirecord set, I believe its success in our store speaks volumes for its inherent listening value.

Roger in Baltimore


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 30 Dec 01 - 10:57 AM

I was running a record store when Circle came out. We catered to high shcool and college aged folks. We sold a lot of Deep Purple's Machine Head. gpt rcs,[;r/ Our best seller the year Cirlce came out was Circle. Certainly, we weren't catering to country listeners. I bllieve Circle exposed many people to a part of American music to which they had never been exposed. Considering it was a multirecord set, I believe its success in our store speaks volumes for its inherent listening value.

Roger in Baltimore


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dirt Band's Unbroken Circle-Influential?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 09:57 PM

I've been listening to the three Will the Circle Be Unbroken?albums in the car this week, and it was a nice experience. To me, these albums seem like a Harry Smith Anthology of old-timey music. I can't say I like the third album as much as the other two because it doesn't have the spontaneity, but it's still a wonderful album. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Website seems to be shut down, but here is the track listing from an archive copy at archive.org. You'll find the current Website here (click)

 

The influence of this two-disc set, which brought the previously pop-oriented Dirt Band together with some of the seminal names in country music, is incalculable. Mother Maybelle Carter, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Roy Acuff, and others sat down with a bunch of longhairs, found common ground on the best of old-time country music, and changed the direction of popular music. Two decades on, it still sounds great. -- William Ruhlmann, All-Music Guide

"Will the Circle Be Unbroken"
United Artists (1972)

  1. Grand Ole Opry Song (Brown) - 2:59
  2. Keep on the Sunny Side (Carter) - 3:35
  3. Nashville Blues (Scruggs) - 3:10
  4. You Are My Flower (Carter) - 3:35
  5. Precious Jewel (Acuff) - 3:30
  6. Dark as a Dungeon (Travis) - 2:45
  7. Tennessee Stud (Driftwood) - 4:22
  8. Black Mountain Rag (Magness) - 2:10
  9. Wreck on the Highway (Dixon) - 3:24
  10. End of the World (Rose) - 3:53
  11. I Saw the Light (Williams) - 3:45
  12. Sunny Side of the Mountain (Gregory/McAulife) - 2:14
  13. Nine Pound Hammer (Travis) - 2:14
  14. Losin' You (Might Be the Best Thing... (Humphrey/Martin) - 2:44
  15. Honky Tonkin' (Williams) - 2:19
  16. You Don't Know My Mind (Skinner) - 2:45
  17. My Walkin' Shoes (Martin/Williams) - 2:02
  18. Lonesome Fiddle Blues (Clements) - 2:41
  19. Cannonball Rag (Travis) - 1:15
  20. Avalanche (Clements) - 2:50
  21. Flint Hill Special (Scruggs) - 2:12
  22. Togary Mountain (McEuen) - 2:25
  23. Earl's Breakdown (Scruggs) - 2:34
  24. Orange Blossom Special (Rouse) - 2:14
  25. Wabash Cannonball (Carter) - 2:00
  26. Lost Highway (Payne) - 3:37
  27. Doc Watson & Merle Travis First...
  28. Way Downtown (Watson) - 3:30
  29. Down Yonder (Watson) - 1:48
  30. Pins and Needles (In My Heart) (Jenkins) - 2:53
  31. Honky Tonk Blues (Williams) - 2:22
  32. Sailin' on to Hawaii (Kirby) - 2:00
  33. I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes (Carter) - 4:25
  34. I Am a Pilgrim (Travis) - 2:55
  35. Wildwood Flower (Carter) - 3:34
  36. Soldier's Joy (McEuen/Scruggs) - 2:05
  37. Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Carter) - 4:50
  38. Both Sides Now (Mitchell) - 2:19

Will The Circle Be Unbroken: 30th Anniversary Edition


Capitol Records
2002

Member of the Grammy Hall Of Fame
Certified Platinum Album

This 30th Anniversary Edition features:
• digitally remastered from the original session tapes
• special 30th Anniversary packaging
• 2 CD set includes over 40 tracks with 2 hours of music
• never-before-seen photos from the history-making sessions
• newly discovered songs and outtakes from the vaults

2002 is the 30th anniversary of the original American roots-music collection...

Will the Circle Be Unbroken is the original American roots music collection. In 1972, the members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band assembled the living legends of country, bluegrass and mountain music to record what many critics have hailed as "an American treasure." Digitally re-mastered from the original analog tapes, this 30th Anniversary edition also includes newly discovered music, photos and dialog from those history making sessions. With over two hours of music, this 2-CD set features performances by such luminaries as Merle Travis, Doc Watson, Mother Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs and many more



  • Previously Unreleased Tracks
    • Foggy Mountain Breakdown
    • Warming Up For "The Opry"
    • Sunny Side
    • Remember Me

    Reviews of each track at Allmusic.com


    Performers

      Roy Acuff, Vocals
      Gloria Belle, Vocals (Background)
      Norman Blake, Dobro
      Mike Carr, Vocals (Background)
      A.P. Carter, Composer
      Mother Maybelle Carter, Autoharp, Guitar, Vocals
      Vassar Clements, Composer, Fiddle, Guitar
      Fred Cross, Vocals (Background)
      Dorothy Dixon, Composer
      Jimmie Fadden, Autoharp, Drums, Guitar, Harmonica, Harp, Vocals
      Chet Flippo, Vocals (Background)
      Martha Flippo, Vocals (Background)
      Gary Garett, Composer
      Jeff Hanna, Drums, Guitar, Vocals, Vocals (Background), Washboard
      Roy M. "Junior" Husky, Bass
      Jimmy Ibbotson, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
      Pete "Oswald" Kirby, Dobro
      Dino Lappas, Engineer
      Jimmy Martin, Guitar, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
      Ray Martin, Vocals (Background)
      Tim Martin, Vocals (Background)
      Alice McEuen Vocals (Background)
      John McEuen, Banjo, Guitar, Guitar (Steel), Mandolin, Vocals
      William McEuen, Guitar, Producer
      Larry Murray, Vocals (Background)
      Ellis Padgett,Bass
      Earl Scruggs,Banjo, Guitar
      Gary Scruggs, Vocals (Background)
      Louise Scruggs,Vocals (Background)
      Randy Scruggs, Autoharp, Guitar
      Steve Scruggs, Vocals (Background)
      Les Thompson, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
      Betty Travis, Vocals (Background)
      Merle Travis,Guitar, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
      Doc Watson, Composer, Guitar, Vocals, Vocals (Background)


    Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
      Share Thread:
    More...

    Reply to Thread
    Subject:  Help
    From:
    Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


    Mudcat time: 16 October 6:32 AM EDT

    [ Home ]

    All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.