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    Scruggs, Earl (6 January 1924 – 28th March 2012)

    Earl Eugene Scruggs picked up a banjo at age four and discovered his now-famous three-finger method at age ten.  He joined Bill Monroe's band in 1945 and laid down his first tracks with them a year later.  In 1948, he quit the band to take care of his mother.  Another Blue Grass Boy, Lester Flatt, turned in his notice at the same time, and the two of them went on to form The Foggy Mountain Boys.  The band stayed together for twenty years, keeping bluegrass music alive during a time when it had all but been pronounced dead.  Part of the reason for their success was their long-time sponsor, Martha White Flour Mills:  Another was their indefatigable work ethic, playing on radio stations, television programs, and in live concert venues throughout the U.S.  Flatt & Scruggs went places no bluegrass band had gone before:  They became the first bluegrass band to have their own syndicated television show, earned the #1 spot on Billboard's country music chart with "The Ballad of Jed Clampett", and toured Asia in 1968.  They played Broadway and Carnegie Hall and The Grand Ole Opry.  In 1969, they went their separate ways, Flatt committing to traditional bluegrass, and Scruggs yearning to make inroads in folk rock.  (They were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.)  Scruggs went on to form The Earl Scruggs Revue with his two sons.  The same year The Earl Scruggs Revue was released, Earl wrote the score for the film Where the Lilies Bloom.  His legacy inspired at least two generations of banjo players, including Bela Fleck and Steve Martin, and he won numerous accolades, including Grammys for "Earl's Breakdown" and "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" (which won on three separate occasions), The North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award, an Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music, and his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first banjo player ever to do so.  As recently as 14 October 2007, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.  In March 2012 he passed away from natural causes at a hospital in Nashville.  He was 88 years old.

     

    Earl Scruggs recordings

    If I'd Only Come and Gone ( Shel Silverstein )

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.cmt.com/news/articles/1571961/20071015/swift__taylor.jhtml
    2. http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/scruggs_earl/bio.jhtml
    3. http://www.earlscruggs.com/biography.html
    4. http://www.earlscruggs.com/news.html
    5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Scruggs
    6. http://www.flatt-and-scruggs.com/earlbio.html

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    8.                              Here he is performibng "Fireman Mail"...

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