Thursday, March 29, 2012

RIP Earl Scruggs

Pioneering bluegrass banjo player Earl Scruggs has died at 88. His innovative picking techniques took the banjo from the rhythm section to a lead instrument. "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," one of his signature songs with Lester Flatt and the Foggy Mountain Boys, is part of Library of Congress' National Recording Registry of works of unusual merit.

The Associated Press obituary noted, "At an 80th birthday party for Scruggs in January 2004, country great Porter Wagoner said: 'I always felt like Earl was to the five-string banjo what Babe Ruth was to baseball. He is the best there ever was, and the best there ever will be.'"

Among the highlights of our collection of materials by Scruggs:
  • Best of the Flatt & Scruggs TV Show. Vol. 1: Classic Bluegrass from 1956 to 1962 (DVD 3010
  • Earl Scruggs and Friends (CD 19906)
  • Earl Scruggs and the 5-String Banjo (MT560 .S44 1968) His book on the history and technique of the instrument
  • The Essential Flatt & Scruggs: 'tis Sweet to be Remembered-- (CD 23668-23669) Includes "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"
NPR has a tribute with both audio and video:

Bluegrass Legend Earl Scruggs Has Died

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