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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
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Ultimate Collection: Live At The Ryman

1. Salty Dog Blues (Live)

2. Borrowed Love (Live)

3. Earl's Breakdown (Live)

4. Streamlined Cannonball (Live)

5. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere (Live)

6. Soldier's Joy (Live)

7. In The Pines (Live)

8. Doin' My Time (Live)

9. Sittin' On Top Of The World (Live)

10. Sally Gooding (Live)

11. Foggy Mountain Rock (Live)

12. You Are My Flower (Live)

13. Bound In Jail All Night Long (Live)

14. Black Mountain Blues (Live)

15. Step It Up And Go (Live)

16. Ballad Of Jed Clampett (Live)

17. Foggy Mountain Breakdown (Live)

18. Lonesome Ruben (Live)

x

Track List: The Essential Earl Scruggs

Disc 1

4. Down The Road

5. Foggy Mountain Breakdown

6. Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms

8. Pike County Breakdown

9. Come Back Darling

11. Jimmie Brown, The Newsboy

12. Earl's Breakdown

13. Get In Line Brother

14. Dear Old Dixie

15. Flint Hill Special

16. Foggy Mountain Chimes

17. Till The End Of The World Rolls Round

18. Foggy Mountain Special

19. Randy Lynn Rag

Disc 2

9. The Ballad Of Jed Clampett

10. Nashville Skyline Rag

12. I Saw The Light

14. Peking Fling

19. We'll Meet Again Sweetheart

20. American-Made. World-Played

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Track List: Earl Scruggs And Friends

1. Country Comfort

2. Borrowed Love

3. Ring Of Fire

4. True Love Never Dies

5. The Angels

6. Fill Her Up

7. Foggy Mountain Breakdown

8. Somethin' Just Ain't Right

9. I Found Love

10. Blue Ridge Mountain Blues

11. Passin' Thru

12. Foggy Mountain Rock-Foggy Mountain Special

Comments

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Thanks. So are you!!! :)
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purpleshadow 8
best bluegrass band ever love it
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A wonderful talent!
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tnrn96
TOO MUCH BANJO!just kidding. #earlscruggs
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clschuler1
bill Monroe was the daddy of bluegrass EARLE SCRUGGS WAS THE BANJO OF BLUEGRASS
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Ok, Earle Scruggs, On top of the world, I'm ready to party!
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@loissroka,, , y o u got that right...Glor y !
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I Saw The Light, Gets a Thumbs Up in my book no matter who is singing it. Love you Earl Scruggs!
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ya all come back now a here
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Earl Scruggs will without doubt, be remembered with the same respect as all the violin virtuosos. Albeit, he took the banjo in a direction befitting a genius. He was the original and only one who will ever have possessed such talent! I'd be honored to shake your hand if I make it to the Promised Land..
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My only celebrity hero! I would have loved to meet both Mr Scruggs and Mr Flatt but would have died and gone to Heaven if I could have met Mr Scruggs! His talent had & never will have the appropriate words!
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jesusfreak3. 1 6 5
All hail the master! Him, Douglas Dillard and bobby Osborn are the three master banjo players in my mind.
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I am partial to Mr Scruggs and Dixie -Love both..
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The only kind of music worth listening to! Good old Earl Scruggs!
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check out the sleepy man banjo oys
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Best banjo player that ever was. There will never be another as good as him.
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nika_one87
Chang mbbbhbgchdhh d g x b c h h x c h h d y d y h x y c y y c h v . Nncndnnncnnc h c h n c h h h h c h h n n you've yvhvh h hvbvhh
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Earl Scruggs Dead at 88.
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Earl skuggs u play that banjo like know one ever could or ever will u are the greatest
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It's hard to go wrong with Earl Scruggs.
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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.
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GET IN LINE, BROTHER IF YOU GO HOME!!
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He has a unique picking style, often imitated but seldom duplicated.
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You got that right he is the best.
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The greatest banjo picker, hands down
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As a banjo player he is my biggest hero
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This song sounds like curling banjos on crack
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the best. RIP.
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Love it!!!!!
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Awesome song
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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
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Heeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaw!! ! ! DMB
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audieshannon
This is bill monroe not earl scruggs
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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
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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
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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.
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Another Great one ,gone....
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that man could pick!
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Country Boy
I still enjoy hearing their recording of the Martha White Theme Song. I wonder how many biscuits they sold?

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Saw Earl three years ago, what a treat, the best show I ever attended
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will be missed
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dr.norm
RIP
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god bless earl. a true innovator
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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!
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cbdogsrule
The best of the best!
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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.
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wineologist
GOD Bless Earl.
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nancy.oliver 9
What a magical sound. Sorry to see you go.
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rmartell23
What an influential musician.
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R.I.P. Earl Scruggs
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