Earl Scruggs 06.01.1924 - 28.03.2012
Earl Eugene Scruggs (January 6, 1924 – March 28, 2012) was an American musician noted for popularizing a three-finger banjo picking style, now called "Scruggs style", that is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music. His three-finger style of playing was radically different from the ways the five-string banjo had been historically played. He popularized the instrument in several genres of music and elevated the banjo from its role as a background rhythm instrument, or a comedian's prop, into featured solo status.
Scruggs' career began at age 21 when he was hired to play in a group called "Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys". The name "bluegrass" stuck and eventually became the eponym for this entire genre of county music. Despite considerable success with Monroe, performing on the Grand Ole Opry and recording classic hits like "Blue Moon of Kentucky", Scruggs resigned from the group in 1946 because of the exhausting touring schedule. Band member Lester Flatt resigned as well, and Flatt & Scruggs later paired up in a new group they called "Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys". Scruggs' banjo instrumental called "Foggy Mountain Breakdown", released in 1949, became an enduring hit, and had a rebirth of popularity to a younger generation when it was featured in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. The song won two Grammy Awards and in 2005 was selected for the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry of works of unusual merit.
Flatt & Scruggs
Background information From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Flatt & Scruggs brought bluegrass music into mainstream popularity in the early 1960s with their country hit, "The Ballad of Jed Clampett". This song was the theme music for the successful network television sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies and was the first bluegrass recording to reach number one on the Billboard charts. Over their 20-year association, Flatt & Scruggs recorded over 50 albums and 75 single records. The duo broke up in 1969, chiefly because Scruggs wanted to progress the music to a more modern sound and Flatt was a traditionalist who did not want to change the style because he thought it would alienate a fan base of bluegrass purists. Each of them formed a new band that matched his own vision, but neither of them ever regained the success they achieved as a team.
Scruggs received four Grammy awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a National Medal of Arts. He became a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and was given a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. In 1985, Flatt & Scruggs were inducted together into the Country Music Hall of Fame and named number 24 as a duo on CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music. Scruggs was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts; the highest honor in the folk and traditional arts in the US. Four works by Scruggs have been placed in the Grammy Hall of Fame. After Scruggs' death in 2012 at age 88, the Earl Scruggs Center was founded near his birthplace in Shelby, North Carolina, with the aid of a federal grant and corporate donors. The center is a $5.5 million facility which features the musical contributions of Scruggs and serves as an educational center providing classes and field trips for students.
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