Thursday, March 29, 2012

Earl Scruggs RIP

There have been mercifully few notable music deaths over the last few weeks, but one which is definitely worth a mention is that of Bluegrass banjo player Earl Scruggs at the age of 88. Scruggs joined Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in 1945 but is best known for his partnership with guitarist Lester Flatt (see photo). His brilliant three finger picking style was featured to good effect in the Ballad of Jed Clampett, the theme to the Beverly Hillbillies TV show, and reached its widest audience with Foggy Mountain Breakdown (first recorded in 1949), which was played throughout one of my favourite films, Bonnie and Clyde. After breaking with Flatt in the late sixties, Scruggs formed a family band and recorded an album with Bob Dylan, the Byrds and Joan Baez in 1972.


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