Will the Circle be Unbroken – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1971)

Will the Circle be Unbroken is the seventh album by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, with collaboration from many famous bluegrass and country-western players, including Roy Acuff, ‘Mother’ Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Merle Travis, Pete ‘Oswald’ Kirby, Norman Blake, Jimmy Martin, and others. It also introduced fiddler Vassar Clements to a wider audience. The album’s title comes from a song by Ada R. Habershon (re-arranged by A. P. Carter) and reflects how the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was trying to tie together two generations of musicians. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was a young country-rock band with a hippie look. Acuff described them as ‘a bunch of long-haired West Coast boys.’ The other players were much older and more famous from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, primarily as old-time country and bluegrass players. Many had become known to their generation through the Grand Ole Opry. However, with the rise of rock-and-roll, the emergence of the commercial country’s slick ‘Nashville Sound,’ and changing tastes in music, their popularity had waned somewhat from their glory years. Acuff was initially contemptuous of the project, but later relented and participated. Every track on the album was recorded on the first or second take straight to two-track masters, so the takes are raw and unprocessed. Additionally, another tape ran continuously throughout the entire week-long recording session and captured the dialog between the players. On the final album, many of the tracks—including the first track—begin with the musicians discussing how to perform the song or who should come in where in any given portion of a song. The record includes the first meeting of Doc Watson and Merle Travis, after whom Watson’s son, Merle, was named. Bill Monroe, sixty years old at the time, refused to participate in the recordings. Originally appearing in 1972 as a three LP album and three-cassette tape offering, Will the Circle Be Unbroken was remastered and re-released in 2002 as a two compact disc set. … In 1990, the album was celebrated on the PBS music television program Austin City Limits, which featured a performance by the full ensemble of guests on the Carter Family song, Will The Circle Be Unbroken, from the original 1972 album. …”
udiscover – ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’: How Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Brought Bluegrass To The Masses (Video/Audio)
Will the Circle Be Unbroken – An Analog Remastering Tale I
[PDF] “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”–The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Will The Circle Be Unbroken 42 videos

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