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Died On This Date (March 28, 2012) Earl Scruggs / Bluegrass Icon

Posted by themusicsover on March 28, 2012

Earl Scruggs
January 6, 1924 – March 28, 2012

Photo: Mark Humphrey / AP

Earl Scruggs was a world-renowned and highly influential bluegrass musician whose three-finger style of banjo picking has since become the standard by which all other pickers are judged.  In fact, the particular practice of using picks on the thumb, index finger, and middle finger is now commonly referred to as Scruggs Style.  Scruggs got his start as part of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys during the mid ’40s.  But it wasn’t long until he and fellow band mate, Lester Flatt left to form the Foggy Mountain Boys.  In 1962, Flatt & Scruggs (as they were known when performing as a duo) and singer, Jerry Scoggins, recorded “The Ballad Of Jed Clampett” for  a new weekly television comedy, The Beverly Hillbillies.  The tune quickly became a country hit and remains one of the most recognizable TV theme songs to this day.  In 1969, Flatt & Scruggs won a Grammy for “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” and Scruggs won one again for his 2001 remake with such guests as Steve Martin, Vince Gill, and Marty Stuart. In 2008, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys. Scruggs remained a popular concert draw well into the 2000s whether he was playing at bluegrass festivals or sharing the stage with bands like String Cheese Incident whom he greatly influenced.  Earl Scruggs died of natural causes on March 28, 2012.  He was 88.

Thanks to Eric Foss at Secret Stash Records for the assist.

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