From Parents, “Long Hard Road" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 1

Photo Credits: Billboard

“Long Hard Road” is the first No.1 hit by the Nitty Gritty Band. It hit the No.1 spot in 1984. The band had given their live performance eighteen years earlier in the Orange Country, California. Over the next few years, the band went through several personnel changes and released fifteen albums, all with very limited success in 1970, their single “Mr. Bojangles” broke through finally and found a place in the Top Ten on Billboard’s pop chart. However, they did not come close again until 1979, it was the time when Rodney Crowell’s “An American Dream” reached No. 13. By that time, the group’s name was shortened to “The Dirt Band.”

Meanwhile, they took on several supporting roles, like working on the Clint Eastwood movie “Painting Your Wagon,” singing as a backup on Michael Martin Murphy’s “Wildfire,” and they performed under the pseudonym of “The Toot Uncommons” on Steve Martin’s million-selling record “King Tut.”

One of Nashville’s most acclaimed tunesmiths, Rodney Crowell wrote the song “Long Hard Road.” Crowell based the song on stories he had heard from his parents, who were sharecroppers before moving to Houston after the Depression. “My dad did construction work after relocating to the big city,” Rodney recalls, “but they always spoke very vividly and longingly for the days when they lived on the farm and ran barefooted.”

The band persuade Ricky Skaggs to play on fiddle on “Long Hard Road,” by the first track they cut for the “Plain Dirt Fashion: album. Originally, it was intended for release on Capitol Records, however, they switched labels in the middle of the album, and it ended up on the Warner Brothers label instead.

Another country music classic! Does this song has a special place in your heart the same as we do? Leave a comment below to let us know.

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