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Will The Circle Be Unbroken
"I’ve always believed the Circle record from 1972 was one of the most pivotal albums in country music history—not unlike the Ray Charles record Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, when someone outside the normal circle of our music loved it enough to want to put their stamp on it. It always seems to have an even deeper impact. For those long-haired California boys to reach back to the kings and queens of our music, like Mother Maybelle, Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, his sons Randy and Gary, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Jimmy Martin, and Vassar Clements, shows their reverence and knowledge of the greatest that came before them. This is one of the most authentic recordings I’ve ever experienced.” —Vince Gill, Grammy-winning musician, Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, and guitarist for the Eagles
"After reading John’s book Will the Circle Be Unbroken (the behind-thescenes stories of the recording of the album of the same name), you get the feeling you were there! The album was truly a historic moment in American music history, and John takes us on the journey of how it all unfolded into reality: you get to ‘meet’ the players and hear them talk about the project and tell their stories, just as if you were a ‘fly on the wall’ of each session. Listening to the album afresh while reading the book brought goosebumps to me. It’s more than just a musical journey the Dirt Band was on—it is reliving a historic moment in time.” —Richie Furay, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee for Buffalo Springfield, founding member of Poco
This landmark album celebrates its fiftieth year in 2022. In this forthcoming book, John McEuen, along with members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Gary Scruggs, Marty Stuart and many more guest contributors tell the story of the making of the album and includes never-before-seen photos taken by his brother William E. “Bill” McEuen, who produced
Publisher: Backbeat ISBN13: 9781493062331 Binding: 8x10 Hardback, Color and B/W photos Retail Price : U.S. $50.00 Page Count: 256 Pages Pub Date: August 2022 Look for the book at your favorite local bookseller, or online at Amazon, Barnes&Noble For more information: https://www.johnmceuen.com or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JohnMcEuenMusic
The album’s title did not come about until all the songs had been recorded, with the last one being “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”. For many years we thought it was strictly a Carter Family song, as that is where we first heard it - and the general public. At the time of this recording it was commonly attributed to A.P. Carter and the Carter family, even though their original 1938 recording of it is known as “Can the Circle Be Unbroken”, which was unknown to us at the time.
It is known now that A.P. took a song of old, called “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”, written in 1907 by Charles Gabriel and Ada Habershon, and reworked it to make a ‘new’ song of it. This new version was often sung as “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”, and over the years there have been many different versions, with the basic structure the same.
Bill had the albums’ recorded tapes, and, in sequencing the songs, it became obvious to him that “…Circle…” was to be the title of the record. Not sure about it before recording, but as soon as it was done he.. and we. were sure. This ‘new’ album of old music recorded new was to be, what else but: “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”
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Musician John McEuen Comes Full Circle
In August 1971, a group of musicians spent six days circled up in the old Woodland Studios building on a corner street in East Nashville, Tennessee. Amid the sticky late-summer heat, they merged genres and generations, recording around 40 bluegrass and country tracks to create a landmark album.
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