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Jeff Hanna of The Nitty Gritty Dirt band performs in ~ The nation Music room of call 2015 Medallion awareness at country Music room of Fame and Museum ~ above Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015 in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Laura Roberts/Invision/AP)

Although they"re probably an ext revered currently for their "70s output, The Nitty Gritty dirt Band"s greatest chart success come the adhering to decade. After year of presenting listeners to the likes that "Mr. Bojangles" writer Jerry Jeff Walker and Will the Circle it is in Unbroken fiddler Vassar Clements, the country-rock group appreciated a run of advertising success the culminated v 1987"s platinum single "Fishin" in the Dark."

The Nitty Gritty dust Band"s lineup in ~ the time--singer and guitarist Jeff Hanna, singer and keyboardist Bob Carpenter, drummer Jimmie Fadden, bassist Jim Ibbotson and multi-instrumentalist john McEuen--struck the perfect balance between their roots and modern country hits with this radio-friendly unit shifter. It"s accessible enough the two an extremely different artist in Kenny Chesney and also Garth Brooks didn"t seem lost in neck-high bluegrass when they performed covering versions. In ~ the same time, it"s rootsy sufficient for fans of the band"s much more traditional product to no feel cheated once they fall the needle top top the album that from, Hold On.

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The Product of popular music Songwriters

For the band"s third and last number No. 1, lock turned come sources past their fellow Nashville rebels. If the an initial (Rodney Crowell"s "Long tough Road (A Sharecropper"s Dream)") and 2nd (Kix Brooks co-write "Modern day Romance") chart-toppers to be penned by country purists, this one come from an ext pop-oriented minds. Co-writer Wendy Waldman do a name for herself after that with Vanessa Williams" "Save the ideal For Last" and also other popular hits. Co-conspirator and also future Nitty Gritty Dirt band touring member Jim Photoglo entered the Nashville scene through the human being of soft rock. Without country-specific minds writing the song, as had actually happened on former hits and on together inside work as Ibbotson"s "Dance little Jean," the group obtained a brand-new air of popular music accessibility.

Read More:How the Nitty Gritty dust Band"s "Will the Circle be Unbroken" Saved classic Country Music

With a little magic native producer josh Leo, the song became a hit because that Warner Bros., knocking Rosanne Cash"s same brilliant "The way We do a damaged Heart" native the height spot the the nation music charts in both the united States and also Canada. Coincidental or not, it confirmed that roots- and also bluegrass-influenced pop could sell records right prior to Diamond Rio brought a comparable approach to the mainstream.

The Garth Effect?

What we"ll call the Garth result has been kind to the tune in recent memory. Brooks" version showed up on 2005"s The shed Sessions and also again on the 2013 box set Blame It every on mine Roots. This most likely can"t it is in quantified in any kind of way, yet it"s so basic to i think that one of the greatest selling artists in renowned music background helped point those million-plus downloaders come the song as it got to platinum standing in 2014.


Be the the Garth effect or the good song effect, "Fishin" in the Dark" continues to specify the Nitty Gritty dirt Band"s cable of chart success and still it s okay toes a-tappin" whenever it"s play at live shows. It"s likewise become namedrop material for Luke Bryan and also other current pop-country stars.

This story formerly ran on might 11, 2018.

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"Fishin" In the Dark" Lyrics

Lazy yellow moon comin" up tonightShinin" through the treesCrickets space singin" and also lightning bugsAre floatin" ~ above the breeze, baby acquire ready

Across the ar where the creek transforms backBy the old stump rowI"m gonna take you to a one-of-a-kind placeThat nobody to know baby gain ready

You and me walk fishin" in the darkLyin" on our backs and countin" the starsWhere the cool grass growsDown through the flow in the full moonlightWe"ll it is in fallin" in love in the center of the nightJust movin" slowStayin" the whole night throughIt feeling so good to be v you

Spring is practically over and the summer"s comeAnd the days room gettin" longWaited all winter for the time to it is in rightJust to take it you along, baby get ready

And that don"t matter if us sit foreverAnd the fish don"t biteJump in the river and cool ourselvesFrom the heat of the night, baby get ready


You and also me walk fishin" in the darkLyin" on our backs and also countin" the starsWhere the cool grass growsDown by the flow in the complete moonlightWe"ll it is in fallin in love in the center of the nightJust movin" slowStayin" the entirety night throughIt feel so an excellent to be through you


You and also me go fishin"(You and me go fishin in the dark)In the dark lyin" on our backs and also countin" the starsWhere the cool grass grows, under by the river(Down through the light)In the full moonlight we"ll be fallin" in love in the center of the night(We"ll be fallin in love)Just movin" slow

You and also me go fishin"(You and me walk fishin in the dark)In the dark lyin" on our backs and countin" the starsWhere the cool grass growsDown through the flow in the full moonlight(Down by the light)We"ll be fallin" in love in the center of the night...