Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is down a member after John McEuen announced in a statement that he is departing the group. The co-founder of the iconic group cites “business disagreements and ongoing difference of opinions” as part of the reason for his departure.
“As a catalyst to my decision, in December 2015, I received confirmation from Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Inc. that I was an ‘employee’ — no longer a member of the corporation that I helped to build,” said McEuen (quote via Music Row). “It has been a great privilege to work alongside the others; together, we made history.”
“After 50 years, the time has come for me to bid adieu to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band stage. I will move forward with great pride in my personal and musical contributions to NGDB and now can fully concentrate on my independent endeavors,” McEuen continued. “I have much to do and many more creative ideas to pursue. Because of this relationship, I have more stories than you can shake a pick at. That will come later!”
McEuen co-founded the group in 1966 and performed with the band for 20 years before going on hiatus in 1986. He rejoined the band in 2001 and has been with them ever since.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is best know for their songs “Fishin’ in the Dark,” “Mr. Bojangles,” “Dance Little Jean,” “Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper’s Dream),” among others. The group has earned numerous accolades, including several GRAMMY and CMA Awards wins.