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TOPIC: History of "Will the Circle be Unbroken"

History of "Will the Circle be Unbroken" 10 years 9 months ago #4993

I got interested in the history of this song, so here's a little bit about it. "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" was written in 1907, by Ada R. Habersham, a British hymnist, with music by Charles H. Gabriel. It was her most famous hymn. It would probably not be quite as famous as it is, however, if not for A. P. Carter, founding member of The Carter Family, who in 1935 reworked the song into a country gospel arrangement called "Can the Circle Be Unbroken (By and By). This is similar to the arrangement that is so well-known today among bluegrass aficionados. The song has been covered by countless artists over the years, including Bob Dylan, Earl Scruggs, Johnny Cash, Gregg Allman, The Black Crowes, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (NGDB), among many others. NGDB, in fact, had a 1972 triple album named Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which included sessions with a pantheon of old-time country artists including Roy Acuff, Maybelle Carter, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, and Jimmy Martin, among others. The album included the title tune plus about two dozen bluegrass and country tunes. The song continues to be a popular old standard among bluegrass musicians.
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Re:History of "Will the Circle be Unbroken" 10 years 9 months ago #4995

Pretty ineresting Ispencerini!!! I heard it for the first time when I was in the 7th grade on the Johnny Cash show (always have liked him!) and have liked the song ever since...:)
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Re:History of "Will the Circle be Unbroken" 10 years 9 months ago #5000

Thanks for the info. Not sure I would have ever looked it up on my own but I enjoyed your research.
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