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July 9

A Perpetual Connection on Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”

We all know that death is inevitable, but if someone dies, will the cycle live on? Will the circle be unbroken? 

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will the Circle be Unbroken” was originally written by Ada R as a gospel song. It basically describes what Heaven gonna look like when you’re there. Then it was rewritten by A. P. Carter, the legendary Carter family. 

The track is a union of spiritual and country song – as it evokes death. The lines mourn a mother’s passing and pray that the circle of connection and affection will prevail in this realm and on the other side. 

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band released an album titled Will the Circle be Unbroken in 1972, which reunited several personages in the country and bluegrass music industry, including the late Junior Huskey, Merle Travis, and Doc Watson. This project granted the band a means to get along with some legendary bluegrass and country icons when they gathered in the studio to record. 

In the Will the Circle Be Unbroken by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band rendition, Maybelle Carter sang the first and third verses and then, followed by Roy Acuff, Jimmy Martin, and many more artists. 

The song achieved an uncommon achievement in commercial and critical success. It rose at No. 4 on the Billboard country chart and brought plaudits from critics everywhere. 

During that time, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band songs were not well-appreciated. However, this rendition changed the heart of many music fans and expedited the band to roam the world. Yes, it’s less a representation of the band’s own style since it’s a tribute to its origins. 

Let’s time travel as we watch and listen to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” video below.


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nitty gritty dirt band


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