- Founded in Long Beach California in 1966, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has had a number of incarnations over the years. They are still performing today, though only two members have remained constant throughout the band’s history: singer-guitarist Jeff Hanna and drummer Jimmie Fadden.
- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s most successful moment is their cover version of Jerry Jeff Walker’s Mr. Bojangles – this song eclipses every one of their other musical endeavours.
- They have had other successes, however. In 1972 they released an album entitled, Will the Circle be Unbroken. It featured traditional country artists Mother Maybelle Carter, Earl Scruggs, and Merle Travis. A follow-up album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two was released in 1989. It won two Grammy Awards.
- Mr Bojangles was not the only single of note released by the band. They had minor hits with: House at Pooh Corner, Some of Shelly’s Blues, and Jambalaya (On the Bayou).
nitty gritty dirt band trivia
- Although only a member of the band for a few months, Jackson Browne was one of the original line up.
- Mr. Bojangles was written by Jerry Jeff Walker and was the title track of his 1968 album.
- In 1970 it was recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band for their album Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy.
- As a single it peaked at #9 on the US singles chart
- The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s version begins with Prologue: Uncle Charlie and his Dog Teddy. Once it became a hit, the original B-side was changed to include a version of Mr Bojangles without the interview. Jerry Jeff Walker said the song was written after an encounter with a street performer in a New Orleans jail. Jerry was locked up for being drunk in a public place and met a homeless white man who called himself Mr. Bojangles in an effort to hide his true identity from the police. Mr. Bojangles told a story about his dog. It was all rather sad and so someone in the cell asked for something to lighten the mood. Mr. Bojangles obliged with a tap dance.
- The song has been covered by many artists including: Garth Brooks, JJ Cale, Sammy Davis Jr., John Denver, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Tom T. Hall, Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, Elton John, Lulu, Rod McKuen, Don McLean, Harry Nilsson, Cat Stevens, Robbie Williams, and Dolly Parton.
- Mr Bojangles lyrics.
mr bojangles – nitty gritty dirt band – 1970 LIVE
mr bojangles – nitty gritty dirt band – 1970 FULL VERSION
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