Friday, August 25, 2017

Clickin' Heels with The NGDB!

~ Emmet Otter's Jug Band * Yahoo Images

Here we are, back in Rockabilly land, where we welcome all genres of Rockabilly, Country, and Blues!  And, just to be clear, I also love a little Rock n Roll, and a lot of Soul music too!  

In July, we celebrated the 70th birthday one of our favorite American singer-songwriter's, Jeff Hanna!  Yes, that's the one, alright!  Jeff is one of the founders of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the longest surviving member of the group!  Having journeyed with his family from Detroit, Michigan to Long Beach, California when he was just a boy, Jeff formed a 'jug band' in the mid 1960's.  Hanna has done everything from writing and producing, to singing and playing a variety of instruments!

~ The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band * Jeff Hanna, sitting far left * Yahoo Images

In a 2011 interview with Paul Freeman of PopCultureClassics, Jeff states, "When we started, we were surrounded by surf bands like "The Birds", and, "The Lovin Spoonful"  He called his group, "Jug Puppies", with a blend of folk, rock and country.  The group's focus was to bring some of the earlier hit songs of Jerry Jeff Walker, Kenny Loggins, and Michael Nesmith back to the forefront.  NGDB   would hang out at McCabe's Guitar Store in Southern California, Long Beach, to be specific.
Not only could you purchase guitars and other instruments at McCabe's, there were guitar lessons available, and concerts performed!

~yahoo images

The NGDB was known to sit in recording sessions with some of the elders of Blues and Country music.  With assistance from the wonderful Mother Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, and some really great musicians, the album Will the Circle Be Unbroken has gone GOLD.  Sounds like an odd venue, doesn't it!   In essence, the "elders" actually paved the way for up and coming artists to ease into the industry!  I, for one, am so proud to see the collaborations between different musicians who come together and give the world the best of their talents!

~Mother Maybelle Carter and Jeff Hanna * Yahoo Images

When Paul Freeman of PopCultureClassics asked how the band came across "Mr. Bojangles", Hanna explained that while flipping through radio stations, he happened to hear the last two verses of the song .  He didn't hear the title, and mentioned it the next day in rehearsal.  One of the band members had heard the song before, and "that's all she wrote"!  "Mr. Bojangles, written by Jerry Jeff Walker in 1968 for his own album, peaked at number 9 for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
on the US Hit 100 chart in 1971!


OK...I wasn't going to do this, but I couldn't help myself!
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, performing Mr. Bojangles in (1991, I think)

~ From Youtube
Didn't you just love it?  And, did you get that drummer...he plays the harmonica at the same time that he's drumming!  And, Hanna has said that the drummer also reads Popular Mechanics at the same time, while he's playing!  It is such a treat to watch these talented guys in action!

I have come to appreciate certain artists that I knew of, but, did not follow in my younger years.  Now, when I come by one of those artists or groups, I spend more time checking out their repertoire.  Most of the time I find that I have heard a lot of their work, but, just didn't recognize it.  I spent some time listening to a few of the NGDB's songs, and found that I really like their style!  "Catfish John" with Alison Krauss is a really good song, along with "Fishin' In The Dark".  Great music and vocals on both!  "Just a Modern Day Romance"  is also top on my list of NGDB tunes, with a really great Country dance beat.  Jeff Hannah and the NGDB have performed with Linda Ronstadt, EmmyLou Harris, the Cash's-June and Johnny, and even little Hannah Montana!

On their 50th anniversary, the Nitty Gritty Dirt band performed with Jerry Jeff Walker, and, Jackson Browne, who was an early member of the group, and, Vince Gill.  The celebration was held at the Ryman Auditorium at Nashville in July of 2015.  How exciting was that?

~50th Anniversary celebration at the Ryman Auditorium

Well, Rockabilly fans, I'm sorry to say that it is last call here at Rock A Billy Rock headquarters.
For tonite, that is! 😎

Before the finale, I would like to take this time to thank:
Wikipedia, popculture,,,
Thank you Blogger, Youtube, Yahoo Images, Google

*** And many thank yous out to my gracious readers...I love it that you stopped by for a visit.  Let's say a special prayer for the folks along the Texas coast in the path of Hurricane Harvey.  I know the authorities are working hard to get these people to safety.  Please get out of town and be safe! ♥

Stop in and say hello.  If you are too shy to speak, please give me a sign by checking one of the reactions at the bottom of this post.  No names required! The choices are:
Interesting, Funny, or Cool

Best wishes for a great school year to all students!

And, now...

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, with Bernie Leadon on lead guitar
1987 hit on live TV

***  See you next time, dear friends!


  1. Hi, Suzanne!

    I hope this day finds you and your Texas family members safe and sound as Hurricane Harvey does its damage. I noticed tornado warnings issued for coastal counties this morning.

    I saw this post of yours last night but needed to retire early and arise by 5 am, so I decided to enjoy a concert by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band as I drank my morning coffee. I'm so glad I did because this glorious music is an ideal way to start my day and weekend.

    I well remember NGDB and the splash made in the early weeks of 1971 by the country rock folk band's signature song, a cover of Jerry Jeff Walker's "Mr. Bojangles." From the mid 60s through late 70s the band appeared on many of the popular comedy, music and variety TV shows that I routinely watched including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Playboy After Dark, David Frost, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, American Bandstand, In Concert, Mike Douglas, Rock Concert and Saturday Night Live. Regrettably I never bothered to dig deeper into their catalog until now. I love their rich sound and honest, down to earth style. I agree with you that collaborations with other artists can produce magic. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the vocals and violin playing of bluegrass artist Alison Krauss fronting the band on "Catfish John" and also played and enjoyed the live performance videos of NGDB doing "Fishin' In The Dark" and "Modern Day Romance." Jeff Hanna has one of the most distinctive and deep down soul satisfying singing voices in all of popular music and it's safe to say that he and his Nitty Gritty Dirt Band are national treasures.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Suzanne. I wish you and yours a safe and happy weekend!

  2. Good Morning, Shady! We are fortunate not to be in the path of the hard core storm, but, more than likely will receive a bit of rain from it. It has been pretty overcast this morning, and we're only hitting at 79 degrees right now. Pretty cool weather for us during this time of year!

    I'm glad you chose to enjoy the NGDB with coffee this morning! In July I had posted notice of Jeff Hanna's birthday on my sidebar. Then, as I browsed through my mountain of notes, I decided to write a little about him and the band. I didn't realize for quite some time they were the ones who made a hit from Mr. Bojangles. I didn't think of Jerry Jeff Walker as being the writer, because I had never heard of him, lol! (Being a soul survivor during those years). I did see in an interview with Jeff that they had appeared on various variety shows, and Playboy After Dark! Wow!

    And, I have to say, my favorites of the NGDB are "Modern Day Romance", "Fishin' in the Dark", and "Goin up the Country". Alison Krauss is a very talented lady, I always enjoy watching her and hearing her sing.

    Thank you so much for coming by, and leaving your comment. I'm glad you were able to see and hear more of this unique group. Have a wonderful weekend, Shady! ♫

  3. Hello, my prayers and thoughts for the people in Texas. I hope you are safe. I remember the Nitty Gritty Dirt band and the Mr. Bojangles song was popular. The 50th Anniversary sounds great, I would have liked to have seen that myself. Thanks for sharing the video. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and the new week ahead!

  4. Hi Eileen! The floods and damage are devastating along the coast and in Houston. I live in North Texas, and am on higher ground, thank goodness. Thank you so much for your prayers, they will have a lot to handle in the coming days. We are receiving periodic spurts of showers from it, but, for some reason the winds are very calm.

    It would have been great to see the 50th anniversary celebration for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. They've been around for quite some time, and I enjoyed learning some about their journey. Their videos are fun to watch-they are so talented.

    Thank you so much for coming by and for your kindness. I really enjoy hearing from you. Have a great week ahead, Eileen!

  5. Hello, I am glad you are in a safe area and dry. These hurricanes are very scary to me. Prayers for Texas and Florida. Thanks so much for your visits and comments. Have a happy day!

    1. Hi Eileen. I agree, the hurricanes are scary. I've never been close to one, and I cannot imagine what it must be like. I grew up in Kansas, but never did see a tornado either. Thank you for your prayers, there will be hard work ahead for the hurricane victims for quite a while. Thank you for your visit, it is good to see you. Have a great week!

  6. Glad to hear you are safe from the hurricane and hopefully for the rest of hurricane season ~ Great most and delightful music ~ love it ~ ^_^ thanks!

    (A ShutterBug Explores)

    1. Hi Carol. We are so fortunate to be far north of the damaging hurricane. We did get some much needed rain and cooler weather for a time. The Nitty Gritty Dirt band is really great, aren't they! I'm glad you enjoyed them. Thank you so much for stopping by with your kind comment and visit. Have a great week!