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Earl Scruggs

Earl Scruggs was to the five-string banjo what Paganini was to the violin. As part of the Foggy Mountain Boys and later Flatt & Scruggs (both with Lester Flatt), he created the sound of bluegrass and helped bring it to national recognition through radio shows, recordings, television appearances, and concerts. During the '40s, the group added "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" to the bluegrass canon, and during the '50s and '60s, they became the most visible bluegrass act in the country, performing often on television. The duo's popularity peaked in 1962, when they recorded the theme song to the television sitcom The Beverly Hillbilles. The theme, called "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," became the first number one bluegrass single in early 1963, and the duo made a number of cameos on the show.

By the end of the '60s, Scruggs wanted to expand their sound and pushed Flatt to cover Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" in 1968 as well as land concert appearances in venues that normally booked rock & roll acts. Flatt wanted to continue in a traditional bluegrass vein. Inevitably, the opposing forces came to a head in 1969, and the duo parted ways. Appropriately, Flatt formed a traditional bluegrass band, the Nashville Grass, while Scruggs assembled a more progressive outfit, the Earl Scruggs Revue, with his two sons.

The Revue appealed more to a young and urban audience and, with dobro player Josh Graves, played rock and other non-country music. By the end of the '70s, Flatt & Scruggs began ironing out the details of a proposed reunion album, but they were scrapped upon Flatt's death on May 11, 1979. Scruggs made many albums after his parting with Flatt, highlighted by 1982's The Storyteller and the Banjo Man (with Tom T. Hall) and 2001's Earl Scruggs and Friends (which featured an all-star cast including Johnny Cash, Elton John, Sting, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, Leon Russell, and Steve Martin). Scruggs was often seen on TV as well, often for reunion appearances. In 2012, he died in Nashville at the age of 88. ~ David Vinopal, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Earl Scruggs is truly amazing. However he created the sound of bluegrass is incorrect. Bill Monroe created the sound of bluegrass in the 1930's.
GET IN LINE, BROTHER IF YOU GO HOME!!
He has a unique picking style, often imitated but seldom duplicated.
You got that right he is the best.
The greatest banjo picker, hands down
As a banjo player he is my biggest hero
This song sounds like curling banjos on crack
the best. RIP.
Love it!!!!!
Awesome song
Saw Steve Martin in nashville 2 years ago and Earl made an appearance. so glad i got to see the legend before his time came. He could hardly walk but could still play the banjo better than anybody
Heeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaw!! ! ! DMB
audieshannon
This is bill monroe not earl scruggs
Don't know what Bluegrass would be without him. Well it would be nothing I suppose. RIP Earl all the banjos cried the day you died
Earl scruggs was simply the best. I just finished watching a concert he, doc Watson and ricky skaggs held years ago. As I said before, it 's been a sad year for bluegrass
Music . Not only was earl scruggs an accomplished banjo player, he also played the guitar just as well. The first song I ever heard him play the guitar was you are my flower that was taught to him by mabelle Carter, and the other one was who will sing for me. It just goes to show how versitile one person can be when they really
It's been a very sad year for bluegrass music in my opinion. Losing not only the best banjo player ever but also losing doc Watson, who may have been blind but could play the guitar better than any. Man with sight. The good lord blessed them both with a gift I can only dream of.
Another Great one ,gone....
that man could pick!
Country Boy
I still enjoy hearing their recording of the Martha White Theme Song. I wonder how many biscuits they sold?

krhunter1899
I would lilke to know if I pay the yearly fee, can I down load to my hard drive so I can record and play them on my car? I really enjoy this music. KR Hunter
Saw Earl three years ago, what a treat, the best show I ever attended
will be missed
dr.norm
RIP
god bless earl. a true innovator
Earl was a gift to humanity. I wished so much I could have seen him play live. Our lives are enriched by your craft. God Bless You Sir!
cbdogsrule
The best of the best!
maki_chris
Purported to pick as fast as 11 notes in one second with his rolling three finger picking style, he didn't even need to sell his soul to be the best banjo player in the world.
wineologist
GOD Bless Earl.
nancy.oliver 9
What a magical sound. Sorry to see you go.
rmartell23
What an influential musician.
R.I.P. Earl Scruggs
godspilot
RIP Earl Scruggs
When teenagers in the early '50's 5 of us would go to WSB Tv STUDIOS in Atlanta on Thursday afternoons when Lester and Earl and the Foggy Mountain Boys played a one hour show They were the greatest. We would wait outside and they would teach us licks on the guitar , banjo and mandelin They were famous but extremely friendly .
cotyjeanritt e r
I recently saw Earl Scruggs in San Franscico at the Hardly Strickly Bluegrass festival and was blown away with his talent. I just wish we could have been able to dance in the front row!
Saw Flatt & Scruggs at a club in LA in '62. Place went wild. I had the impression that they were blown away by the response. I think it was the first or one of the first LA appearances.
kctheclown2
I put my first Mastertone on lay-a-way at the Guitar Center in Hollywood in 1974. went to see Earl Scruggs at UCLA campus, he broke a string on Sally Goodin' and changed it within just a few bars, the music did not stop, I bought his first Banjo book and still have it today. still studying it along with the new book he has out. All other banjo pickers and books are just icing on the cake, Earls music picking more complicated than the others. He is the CAKE !!!
Lord 'jeah!!!!
evesdropper4 5
just makes u want to pick up a banjo and learn
Hey, I've played in 5 or 6 bands with my Gibson and my first love, my Stelling Staghorn,,,, Scruggs taught me more than he'll ever know
He and Grandpa Jones with his claw hammer strumming, throw in Bella Fleck and that pretty much wraps up Banjo 101
brennantluca s
earl scruggs has the fastest fingers known to man...look out girls!
Dont matter who made it its still a bad a** song ...who els can do a foggie mountain breakdown... . . i f you say steve martin ill kick you in the mouth
t2sp
great country music the way it should be
t_heath
Really awesome song!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !
Sorry some commentors, but that's Lester Flatt singing lead on "Come Back Darling." It's early Flatt&Scrugg s and the Foggy Mountain Boys, and is accurately described as so, track 9, disc 1 of "The Essential Earl Scruggs." Fact!
earl played with bill on these recordings.. . l o l
This is Bill Monroe Not Earl Scruggs!
malabar7art
There are pickers who can pick as fast or faster than Earl used to, but no one yet has played with the feeling, emphasis on certain notes and phrases and simpicity the he has!
duckdammit
I Saw him 4 years ago he still has it. he has got to be at least 80
qwertyuiopsc h m o e
Best banjo player ever.
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