Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The


  • From Los Angeles, California.
  • Also called “The Dirt Band.”
  • Formed in 1966 by John McEuen, Jimmy Fadden, Jeff Hanna, Jimmy Ibbotson.
  • Started out as a jug band, incorporating elements of country-rock and bluegrass.
  • 1970, released Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy (Capitol) which included several bluegrass cuts like “Clinch Mountain Backstep” and “Jesse James.”
  • 1972, scored first #1 hit: Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles.”
  • 1972, they appeared in the movie “Paint Your Wagon.”
  • 1972, recorded a platinum-selling, Grammy-award winning album Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Capitol) with guest artists including Earl Scruggs, Roy Acuff, Mother Maybelle Carter and Jimmy Martin.
  • During the 1980’s, the NGDB had 17 consecutive #1 songs on the country charts including “Dance Little Jean” and “Long Hard Road.”
  • 1988, John McEwen quit the band to pursue a solo career and other musical interests.
  • 1989, released Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. 2 (MCA Nashville), also featuring numerous special guests. It also won a Grammy Award in the Bluegrass category (for Bruce Hornsby’s “The Valley Road.”)
  • 2001, John McEuen returned as a member of the band after a 15-year hiatus as a solo artist.
  • 2003, released Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. 3 (Capitol Nashville) which won the IBMA Award for Recorded Event of the Year.
  • 2017, McEuen left the band, citing differences with the band’s management.