Legendary Banjo Picker, Earl Scruggs, Dead at 88
Earl Scruggs, who made famous three-finger banjo-picking, and who in 1945 joined Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys died yesterday at age 88. Scruggs born in Shelby, North Carolina played in Monroe's Blue Grass Boys until 1948, when he left the Blue Grass Boys and he & guitarist, Lester Flatt, combined to form Flatt and Scruggs.
Scruggs, perhaps best known for his tune 'The Ballad of Jed Clampett,' for the TV Show The Beverly Hillbillies, and the grammy winning 'Foggy Mountain Breakdown' was a pioneer in bluegrass music. Scruggs influenced musicians of all kinds, including Jerry Garcia, Bela Fleck and Johnny Cash. Scruggs has played with everyone from Elton John, Sting, John Fogerty, Don Henley, Steve Martin, Leon Russell, Marty Stuart, Albert Lee among countless others.
Scruggs died of natural causes yesterday, March 28th, 2012 in Nashviille, Tennessee.