Earl Scruggs 1924-2012

The man most responsible for bringing Bluegrass to the mainstream audiences has gone on to his great reward.  He was 88.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Earl Scruggs 1924-2012

  1. Earl Scruggs really changed more than just how a banjo was played. He changed how music was listened to. He and Lester Flatt introduced their style of music to a completely new generation with “The Beverly Hillbillys” and the sound track for the movie “Bonnie and Clyde” and big folk boom in the late fifties and sixties cemented their place in musical history. There are a lot of people that play or attempt to play the banjo because of Earl Scruggs. After Flatt and Scruggs broke up Earl teamed with teenage sons and embraced new music and new artists. The Byrds and Bob Dylan come to mind. I am glad I lived in the same time as Earl.

    • dnd

      Doots,
      When I was a kid the few AM stations in Denver played mostly c&w/folk and rock. One day I heard Flatt & Scruggs on the radio and thought, wow, what was that! By the time the Beverly Hillbilly’s aired, that strange bluegrass was establishing a toe-hold in Colorado. In 1972 I saw the Earl Scruggs Revue at Tulagi’s in Boulder. The place was packed. Every night. I remember thinking during a Vassar Clements solo: “these guys are changing the face of bluegrass.” Without Earl Scruggs, there would be no “newgrass.”

      That same year Bill Monroe helped found RockyGrass in Lyons, CO, and a year later the Telluride Bluegrass Festival started.

      Scruggs was not just a virtuoso. He was a transformative musician.

  2. Scruggs was not just a virtuoso. He was a transformative musician.

    D nd yes I agree. I never met him but Brad had told me a few stories about working for him in the later years. Earl lived in a two story house and the story is he NEVER walked up the stairs to the second story. No reason to according to the story Brad tells. He said everything he needed was on the first floor.

  3. George Jones and Doug Dillard are also in the hospital today. Let’s hope they get better.

  4. dogs eye view

    I knew you gentlemen would be versed, well versed, in all things Earl Scruggs.

    Would you believe I have never listened to any of his music? (Sadly, the truth.)

    What shall I start with? Any youtubes welcome.

    (Hey, I only heard of Ralph Stanley when “O Brother Where Art Thou” came out. Now if your dude had been in a movie ….)

    Condolences, but seems Mr. Scruggs had a capital life.

    • dnd

      Sra Dog,
      I think “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” was his signature tune:

      Note the guy playing next to Steve Martin is Niwot, CO’s Pete Wernick, formerly of Hot Rize, know as Dr. Banjo.

      I suggest you go on youtube and look for “Earl Scruggs,” “Flatt and Scruggs” and “Earl Scruggs Revue.” This is music that makes you happy, especially the stuff from the Earl Scruggs Revue.

  5. dogs eye view

    Thank you both. Listening in a few and will be back.

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