Earl Scruggs

American musician
Earl Scruggs
Earl Scruggs 2005.JPG
Earl Scruggs in 2005.
Background information
Birth name Earl Eugene Scruggs
Born (1924-01-06)January 6, 1924
Cleveland County, North Carolina--Flint Hill community near Boiling Springs, NC,
Origin North Carolina, United States
Died March 28, 2012(2012-03-28) (aged 88)
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Genres Bluegrass, country, gospel
Occupation(s) Bluegrass artist
Instruments 5-string banjo, guitar
Years active 1945–2012
Labels Mercury, Columbia, OKeh, MCA Nashville Records
Associated acts Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, Flatt and Scruggs, Earl Scruggs Revue
Website earlscruggs.com
Notable instruments
1934 Gibson Granada RB Mastertone 9584-3[1] and a 1935 Gibson RB-3 flathead [2]

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 gave notice in 1946 that he was quitting the band because of the exhausting schedule of touring. Another band member, Lester Flatt resigned as well, and later the two men paired up again 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 the song 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 and 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 and 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 man ever regained the success they had reached as a team.

Scruggs received four Grammy awards, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and The 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 and Scruggs were inducted together into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the duo was named number 24 on CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music. Scruggs was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship given 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 near his birthplace in Shelby, North Carolina was founded 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.

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Scruggs was born January 6, 1924 just outside of Boiling Springs, North Carolina, in a community called Flint Hill, about 10 miles west of Shelby.[3] His father, George Elam Scruggs, was a farmer and a bookkeeper who died of a protracted illness when Scruggs was four years old.[4] Upon his death, Scruggs' mother, Georgia Lula Rupee (called Lula), was left to take care of the farm and five children, of which Earl was the youngest.[5]

The family members all played music. Mrs. Scruggs played the pump organ.[4] Mr. Scruggs played an open back banjo using the frailing technique, but Earl, as an adult had no recollection of his father's playing.[6][4] Earl's siblings, older brothers Junie and Horace, and older sisters Eula Mae and Ruby, all played banjo and guitar. Scruggs recalls a visit to his uncle's home at age six to hear a blind banjo player named Mack Woolbright, who played a finger picking style and had recorded for Columbia Records.[7] This made an impression on Scruggs, who said, "He'd sit in the rocking chair, and he'd pick some and it was just amazing. I couldn't imagine — he was the first, what I call a good banjo player."[8] Scruggs then took up the instrument — he was too small to hold one at the start and improvised by setting his brother Junie's banjo beside him on the floor. He moved it around depending on what part of the neck he was playing.[9] After his father's death, Scruggs seemed to take solace in playing music, and when not in school or doing farm chores, spent nearly every spare moment he had practicing. His first radio performance was at age 11 on a talent scout show.[10]

DevelopmentEdit

 
Finger picks

Scruggs is noted for popularizing a three-finger banjo-picking style now called "Scruggs style" that has become a defining characteristic of bluegrass music.[11] Prior to Scruggs, most banjo players use the frailing or clawhammer techniques (these are synonymous) which basically involve holding the fingers bent like a claw, moving the entire hand in a downward motion so that the strings are struck with the back of the middle fingernail. This motion is followed by striking the thumb on a single string.[12] This is the way Scruggs' father played. The three-finger style of playing is radically different from this— the hand itself remains stationary and only the digits move, somewhat similar to classical guitar technique.[8] It also involves using picks on three digits plucking three individual stings — downward with the thumb, then upward with the index and middle finger in sequence. When these motions are done skillfully and in rapid sequence it allows any digit to play a melody (usually the thumb) and the other two digits to form arpeggios of the melody line. The use of picks gives each note a more percussive attack creating an exciting effect, described by the New York Times as, "like thumbtacks plinking rhythmically on a tin roof".[13] This departure from traditional playing elevated the banjo to become more of a solo instrument instead of providing background rhythm or serving as a comedian's prop, and popularized the instrument in several genres of music.[10][14][15]

Scruggs did not originate three-finger banjo playing; in fact, Scruggs said the three-finger style was the most common way to play the five-string banjo in his hometown in western North Carolina.[8] An early influence was a local banjoist DeWitt "Snuffy" Jenkins who was plucking in a finger style. According to historian Tony Trischka, "Jenkins came about as close as one could to Scruggs style without actually playing it".[11] At age ten, when Scruggs first learned the technique, he recalled that he was at home in his room after a quarrel with his brother. He was idly playing a song called "Reuben" and suddenly realized that he was playing with three fingers, not two. "That excited me to no end", he later recalled, and said he ran through the house repeatedly yelling "I've got it".[8] From there he devoted all his free time to perfecting his timing and to adding syncopation and variations to it. Controversy exists as to the actual origin of three-finger picking style.[9] An eminent banjo player who also played this style and who knew Scruggs at that young age was Don Reno, who described Scruggs' early playing as similar to Snuffy Jenkins.[6] Scruggs, however, consistently referred to it as his own saying that he adapted to it "a syncopated roll that was quite different."[6][16] On the subject, John Hartford said, "Here's the way I feel about it. Everybody's all worried about who invented the style and it's obvious that three finger banjo pickers have been around a long time— maybe since 1840. But it's my feeling that if it wasn't for Earl Scruggs, you wouldn't be worried about who invented it."[6]

With Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass BoysEdit

At age 15, Scruggs played in a group called The Morris Brothers for a few months, but quit to work in the Lily Textile Mill near his home in North Carolina. Earning 40 cents an hour, he worked there about two years until the draft restriction for WW II was lifted, at which time he returned to music, performing with "Lost John Miller and his Allied Kentuckians" on WNOX in Knoxville.[6] At this point, in 1945, an opening with Bill Monroe became available.

Bill Monroe, 13 years older than Scruggs, was prominent in country music at the time. His career started with the "Monroe Brothers", a duo with his brother Charlie. Bill sang the high tenor harmony parts for which he became noted, a sound called "high lonesome".[17][18] The brothers split up in 1938 and Bill, a native of "the Bluegrass State" of Kentucky, formed a new group called "Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys". They first played on the Opry in 1939 and soon became a popular touring band featuring a vocalist named Lester Flatt.[18] The name "bluegrass" stuck and eventually became the eponym for this entire genre of county music and Monroe became known as "the father of bluegrass."[19]

When Scruggs was 21, Monroe was looking for a banjo player for his group because David Akeman, known as Stringbean, was quitting. At the time, banjo players often functioned in the band as comedians, and the instrument was often held as a prop— their clawhammer playing was almost inaudible.[20] Monroe, along with band member Lester Flatt, auditioned several banjo players who had the same traditional playing style as Akeman. When Scruggs auditioned for them at the Tulane Hotel in Nashville, Flatt said," I was thrilled. It was so different! I had never heard that kind of banjo picking".[6][21] Scruggs joined Monroe in late 1945, earning $50 a week.[13] At that time the Blue Grass Boys included Bill Monroe (vocals /mandolin), Lester Flatt (guitar /vocals), Earl Scruggs (banjo), Chubby Wise (fiddle), and Howard Watts (stage name Cedric Rainwater) on bass. This group of men became the prototype of what a bluegrass band would be.[22]

With Monroe and Lester Flatt, Scruggs performed on the Grand Ole Opry and in September 1946 recorded the classic hit "Blue Moon of Kentucky", a song that was designated by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry, and later added to the Grammy Hall of Fame. The work schedule was heavy in Monroe's band. They were playing a lot of jobs in movie theaters all over the south, riding in a 1941 Chevrolet from town to town doing up to six shows a day and finishing up about eleven at night. Lester Flatt said, "It wasn't anything to ride two or three days in a car. We didn't have buses like we do now, and we never had our shoes off".[6] The self-imposed rule was to always get back in time to play the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville each Saturday night.[23] Scruggs said, speaking of Monroe, "Bill would never let the music go down no matter how tired we were. If a man would slack off, he would move over and get that mandolin up close on him and get him back up there".[6] Despite the group's success, Scruggs decided the demands were too great. He was single at the time, and the brief few hours on Saturdays that he made it home, it was just to pack his suitcase at the Tulane Hotel where he lived alone, then repeat the cycle—he had done this for two years.[23] He turned in his resignation, planning to go take care of his mother in North Carolina. Flatt had also made up his mind to leave but he had not told anyone but later gave his two-week notice; before the notice was up, the bass player Howard Watts announced that he was leaving too. Despite Monroe's pleading, they left the band. Monroe thought Flatt and Scruggs had a secret understanding, but both men denied it. Monroe did not speak to either one for 20 years thereafter, a feud well known in country music circles.[13]

Flatt and ScruggsEdit

In 1948 Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs formed "Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys" — the name came from a song by the Carter Family called "Foggy Mountain Top" that the band used as a theme song at the time.[13][24] Flatt later acknowledged that they consciously tried to make their sound different from Monroe's group. In the mid 1950s they dropped the mandolin and added a Dobro, played by Buck "Uncle Josh" Graves. In the spring of 1949, their second Mercury recording session yielded the classic "Foggy Mountain Breakdown", released on 78 RPM vinyl records that were used at that time.

Previously, Scruggs had performed something similar, called "Bluegrass Breakdown" with Bill Monroe, but Monroe had denied him songwriting credit for it. Later, Scruggs changed the song, adding a minor chord, thus creating "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"[25] The song contains a musical oddity — Flatt plays an E major chord against Scruggs' E minor. When asked about the dissonance years later, Scruggs said he had tried to get Flatt to consistently play a minor there to no avail; he said he eventually became used to the sound and even fond of it.[26] The song won a Grammy and became an anthem for many banjo players to attempt to master. The band routinely tuned its instruments a half-step higher than standard tuning in those days to get more brightness or pop to the sound, returning to standard pitch in the 1960s.[27] The popularity of Foggy Mountain Breakdown resurged years later when it was featured in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, which introduced the song to a younger generation of fans.[22] Scruggs received a phone call from the show's producer and star, Warren Beatty, first asking Scruggs to write a song for the movie. Soon Beatty called back saying that he wanted to use the existing vintage Mercury recording of Foggy Mountain Breakdown, and rejected the argument that it was recorded 18 years prior at a radio station with no modern enhancements.[23] The film was a hit, called by the Los Angeles Times "a landmark film that helped usher in a new era in American filmmaking".[28] In 2005, the song was selected for the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry of works of unusual merit.[29][30]

 
Earl Scruggs on left

In October 1951, the band recorded "Earl's Breakdown" which featured a technique where Scruggs would manually de-tune certain strings of the banjo during a song using a cam device he had made to attach to the instrument, giving the surprise effect of a downward string bend. He and his brother Horace had experimented with it when they were growing up.[6] Scruggs had drilled some holes in the peghead of his banjo to install the device and chipped the pearl inlay. He covered the holes with a piece of metal, which can be seen on the album cover of Foggy Mountain Jamboree. The technique became popular and led to improvement of the design (without drilling holes) by Bill Keith who then manufactured Scruggs-Keith Tuners.[31][32] The original tuners Scruggs made and used are now in a museum display at the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, North Carolina.[33]

In 1953, Martha White Foods sponsored the band's regular early morning radio shows on WSM in Nashville, where the duo sang the company's catchy bluegrass jingle written by Pat Twitty.[34] About this time, country music television shows, on which Flatt and Scruggs appeared regularly, went into syndication, vastly increasing the group's exposure.[35] Despite the groups increasing popularity and fan mail, WSM did not allow Flatt and Scruggs to become members of the Grand Ole Opry at first. According to Tennessean writer Peter Cooper, Bill Monroe was in opposition and worked behind the scenes to keep Flatt and Scruggs off the Opry to the extent of having petitions made against their membership.[22][36] In 1955 Martha White Foods' CEO Cohen E. Williams intervened by threatening to pull all of his advertising from WSM unless the band appeared on the Opry in the segment sponsored by his company.[6][22][37] As years went by, the band became synonymous with Martha White to the extent that the advertising jingle itself became a hit, and the band rarely played a concert without it.[37] Fans shouted requests for them to play it, even at Carnegie Hall.[38]

On September 24, 1962, the duo recorded "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" for the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies. Sung by Jerry Scoggins, the theme song became an immediate country music hit and was played at the beginning and end of each episode of the series. The song went to number one on the Billboard country charts, a first for any bluegrass recording.[39] The song spent 20 weeks on the charts, also reaching number 44 on Billboard's pop music chart.[40] The television show was also a huge hit, broadcast in 76 countries around the world.[23] In Queens, New York a five year old boy named Bela Fleck heard the Jed Clampett theme on television. Fleck said, "I couldn't breathe or think; I was completely mesmerized". He said it awakened a deeply embedded predisposition that "was just in there" to learn how to play the instrument.[36] Flatt and Scruggs appeared in several episodes as family friends of the fictional Clampetts. In their first appearance (season 1 episode 20), they portray themselves in the show and perform both the theme song and "Pearl, Pearl, Pearl".This song went to number eight on the country charts in 1963.[6] Over their 20-year association, Flatt and Scruggs recorded over 50 albums and 75 single records and featured over 20 different musicians as "Foggy Mountain Boys"—side men backing the duo.[41][42]

By the end of the 1960s, Scruggs was getting bored with repetition of the classic bluegrass fare.[41] By now, his sons were professional musicians, and he was caught up in their enthusiasm for more contemporary music. He said, "I love bluegrass music, and still like to play it, but I do like to mix in some other music for my own personal satisfaction, because if I don't, I can get a little bogged down and a little depressed".[10] Scruggs also wanted to play concerts in venues that normally featured rock and roll acts.[39] Columbia Records executives told Flatt and Scruggs that they were going to try a new producer, Bob Johnston, instead of their long-time producer Don Law.[41] Johnston had produced Bob Dylan's records. This association produced Changin' Times, Nashville Airplane, and The Story of Bonnie and Clyde albums.[41] Flatt was not happy with some of this material — he didn't like singing Bob Dylan songs and refused to perform them, saying "I can't sing Bob Dylan stuff, I mean. Columbia has got Bob Dylan, why did they want me?".[41][43] Even the success of the Bonnie and Clyde album was not enough to prevent their breakup in 1969. After the split, Flatt formed a traditional bluegrass group with Curly Seckler and Marty Stuart called The Nashville Grass, and Scruggs formed the Earl Scruggs Revue with his sons.[35][44]

Neither Flatt nor Scruggs spoke to each other for the next ten years — until 1979 when Flatt was in the hospital. Scruggs made an unannounced visit to the bedside. The two men talked for more than an hour. Even though Flatt's voice was barely above a whisper, he spoke of a reunion. Scruggs answered yes, but told Flatt they would talk when he was better. Flatt said, "It came as quite a surprise and made me feel good".[45] But Lester Flatt never recovered, and died May 11, 1979. Historian Barry Willis, speaking of the meeting, said "Earl gave Lester his flowers while he was still living".[6]

Earl Scruggs RevueEdit

In early 1969, Scruggs formed the Earl Scruggs Revue consisting of two of his sons, Randy (guitar) and Gary (bass) and later Vassar Clements (fiddle), Josh Graves (Dobro) and Scruggs' youngest son, Steve (drums).[37] On November 15, 1969, Scruggs performed live with the newly formed group on an open-air stage in Washington, D.C. at the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam. Scruggs was one of the few bluegrass or country artists to give support to the anti-war movement.[25][46] The Earl Scruggs Revue gained popularity on college campuses, live shows and festivals and appeared on the bill with acts like Steppenwolf and James Taylor.[10] They recorded for Columbia Records and made frequent network television appearances though the 1970s. Their album I Saw the Light with a Little Help from my Friends featured Linda Ronstadt and Arlo Guthrie, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.[47] This collaboration sparked enthusiasm by the latter to make the album Will the Circle be Unbroken. Earl and Louise Scruggs made phone calls to eminent country stars like Roy Acuff and Mother Maybelle Carter to get them to participate in this project to bring a unique combination of older players with young ones.[22] Bill Monroe refused to participate saying he had to remain true to the style he pioneered, and this "is not bluegrass"[48] The album became a classic, and was selected for the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry of works of unusual merit.[10]

Scruggs had to retire from the road in 1980 because of back problems, but the Earl Scruggs Revue did not part ways until 1982.[5] Despite the group's commercial success, they were never embraced by bluegrass or country music purists.[37] Scruggs remained active musically, and released The Storyteller and the Banjoman with Tom T. Hall in 1982, and a compilation album Top of the World in 1983. In 1994, Scruggs teamed up with Randy Scruggs and Doc Watson to contribute the song "Keep on the Sunny Side" to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Country. In 2001, Scruggs broke a 17-year personal album hiatus with the album Earl Scruggs and Friends featuring Elton John, Sting, Don Henley, Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakum, Billy Bob Thornton and Steve Martin.[49] It includes the song 'Passin' Thru', written by Johnny Cash and Randy Scruggs. He also released a live album The Three Pickers with Doc Watson and Ricky Skaggs, recorded in Winston-Salem in December, 2002.[50]

Awards and honorsEdit

In 1989, Scruggs was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship given by the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honor in the folk and traditional arts in the US.[24] Flatt and Scruggs were inducted together into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985. Scruggs was an inaugural inductee into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 1991 and into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2009.[51] In 1992, he was one of 13 recipients to be awarded the National Medal of Arts. The award is authorized by congress for outstanding contributions to the arts in the US and presented by the President of the United States. Flatt and Scruggs won a Grammy Award in 1968 for Scruggs' instrumental "Foggy Mountain Breakdown".[52] Scruggs won a second Grammy in 2001 for the same song featuring artists Steve Martin, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, Paul Shaffer, Leon Russell, Marty Stuart, Jerry Douglas, Glen Duncan and Scruggs' two oldest sons, Randy and Gary.[52] He totaled four Grammy awards over his career and in 2008 received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. On February 13, 2003, Scruggs received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[53] That same year, he and Flatt were ranked No. 24 on CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music.[54][55] In 2005, Scruggs was awarded an honorary doctorate from Boston's Berklee College of Music.[56] In January 1973, a tribute concert honoring Scruggs was held in Manhattan, Kansas featuring artists Joan Baez, David Bromberg, The Byrds, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Doc and Merle Watson. The concert was filmed and turned into the 1975 documentary film called Banjoman.[57] It premiered at the John F. Kennedy Center, attended by both of then Tennessee senators (Bill Brock and Howard Baker), Ethel Kennedy, and Maria Shriver.[58] Scruggs attended the event in a wheelchair, recuperating from a crash of his private plane.[59] The Coen Brothers made a reference to The Foggy Mountain Boys in the 2000 film, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, by naming the movie band "The Soggy Bottom Boys"[60] On September 13, 2006, Scruggs was honored at Turner Field in Atlanta as part of the pre-game show for an Atlanta Braves home game. Organizers won a listing in "The Guinness Book of World Records" for the most banjo players (239) playing one tune together (Scruggs' "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"). The pickers formed two groups, one on each side of home plate, and a video tribute to Scruggs' life was shown.[61] Four works by Scruggs have been placed in the Grammy Hall of Fame: "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" (single, inducted 1999); Foggy Mountain Jamboree, (album, inducted 2012); Foggy Mountain Banjo, (album, inducted 2013); and Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky"(single, inducted 1998) on which Scruggs performed. The award was established by The Recording Academy in 1973 to honor works at least 25 years old that have lasting qualitative or historical significance.[62]

BanjosEdit

In the late 1950s Scruggs met with Bill Nelson, one of the owners of the Vega Musical Instrument Company in Boston, to sign a contract to design and endorse a new banjo to be called "The Earl Scruggs Model".[36] The company had made banjos since before 1912 and already had a Pete Seeger model.[63] There would be four Scruggs models in the top of the line of the banjos they produced. This was the first time a prominent bluegrass banjo player had played any brand other than a Gibson.[41] Scruggs participated in Vega's marketing campaign that claimed that the banjo was constructed to Scruggs' design specifications, which was true; but the finished product fell short of Scruggs' expectations.[36] According to Scruggs' friend and fellow banjoist, Curtis Mc Peake, Scruggs never cared for it. McPeake stated, "They were good banjos, they just wasn't what Earl wanted to play(sic)".[36] Scruggs continued to perform and record using his Gibson Grenada. The Vega company was sold to the C.F. Martin company in 1970, and the contract was dissolved.[36]

In 1984, Gibson produced what Scruggs had hoped for— the Gibson "Earl Scruggs Standard", a replica of his personal 1934 Gibson Granada RB Mastertone banjo, number 9584-3.[64] This banjo had been changed over its long existence and the only remaining original parts were the rim, the tone ring and the resonator (the wooden back of the instrument).[64] The banjo was originally gold-plated, but the gold had long-since worn off and had been replaced with nickel hardware. Gibson elected to make the replica model nickel-plated as well, to look liked Scruggs' own.[65] Scruggs' actual 1934 model was previously owned by a series of influential players beginning with Snuffy Jenkins, who bought it for $37.50 at a pawn shop in South Carolina.[4] Jenkins sold it to Don Reno, who sold it to Scruggs.[4][66] When Scruggs acquired it, the instrument was in poor condition and he sent it to the Gibson Company for refurbishing including a new fingerboard, pearl inlays, and a more slender neck. During this time Scruggs used his Gibson RB-3 for some of the Mercury recording sessions. Banjo enthusiasts have located the shipping records from Gibson to determine the exact dates the Grenada Mastertone was missing on certain recordings.[66]

Louise ScruggsEdit

On December 14, 1946, 26 year old Anne Louise Certain attended the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. She went backstage after the performance to meet some of the performers including Scruggs, who had been with Bill Monroe's band about a year at that time. Scruggs and Certain began dating and fell in love. They were married about a year and a half later in April 1948.[22] When Flatt and Scruggs formed the new group, Scruggs had done most of the bookings for the band, but being on the road for hours in a car and stopping at a phone booth to communicate with venues, often at odd hours, was difficult. Louise had a business aptitude and began helping by doing the phone work.[36] She eventually became the booking agent and ultimately the group's manager, Nashville's first female to become prominent in that role.[22] Her acumen and skills in the job were prescient. She turned the band into TV personalities, and helped propel them into what today would be called rock stars, touring with Joan Baez and performing at the prestigious Newport Folk Festival.[67] She recruited noted artist Thomas B. Allen, who had done covers for The New Yorker and Sports Illustrated to create cover illustrations for 17 of the group's albums.[68] She helped market the group to younger audiences at college campuses and arranged a live album to be recorded at Carnegie Hall. Earl Scruggs said, "What talent I had never would have peaked without her. She helped shape music up as a business, instead of just people out picking and grinning".[22] Louise died on February 2, 2006 at age 78, predeceasing her husband by six years.[67] In 2007, The Country Music Hall of Fame created The Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum, an annual event to honor a music industry business leader.[69]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1955, Scruggs received word that his mother, Lula, had suffered a stroke and heart attack in North Carolina. The only flight available from Nashville involved such a series of connecting cities that it was not feasible to fly. Scruggs and his wife, with sons Gary and Randy, decided to drive all night from Nashville October 2 to see her when they were involved in an automobile accident just east of Knoxville about 3 AM.[70] Their car was hit by a drunk driver, a Ft. Campbell soldier who had pulled out from a side road into their path, then fled the scene after the collision.[71] The children were not hurt, but Earl suffered a fractured pelvis and dislocations of both hips which would plague him for years, and Louise had been thrown into the windshield receiving multiple lacerations.[6] They were flown to a Nashville Hospital where Scruggs remained hospitalized for about two months. He received thousands of letters from well-wishers.[6][72] He returned to music in January 1956, about four months after the injury, but after working a week or so, one of the hips collapsed, and he returned to the hospital for a metal hip to be implanted.[36] Seven years later the other hip required similar surgery.[73] The first metal hip lasted for some 40 years, but eventually failed, requiring a total hip replacement in October 1996, when he was age 72. While still in the recovery room after this hip operation, Scruggs suffered a heart attack— he was returned to the operating room later the same day for quintuple coronary bypass surgery.[74] Despite the dire circumstances, he recovered uneventfully and returned to his musical career.

Scruggs was involved in a solo plane crash in October 1975. He was flying his 1974 Cessna Skyhawk II aircraft home to Nashville around midnight from a performance of the Earl Scruggs Revue in Murray, Kentucky. On his landing approach he was enveloped in dense fog and overshot the runway at Cornelia Fort Airpark in Nashville and the plane flipped over. The automatic crash alert system in the plane did not function, and Scruggs remained without help for five hours. He crawled about 150 feet from the wreckage with a broken ankle, broken nose, and facial lacerations, afraid that the plane might catch fire. His family was driving home from the same concert, and was unaware of the crash, but his niece became worried when he did not arrive. She called police at about 4 AM, and they went to the airport, where they heard Scrugg's cries for help from a field near the runway.[59] He recovered uneventfully, but was in a wheelchair for a few weeks, including for the premiere of the Scruggs documentary Banjoman at the Kennedy Center.[59]

Steve Scruggs, the youngest son was the drummer for the Earl Scruggs Revue at one point. He died tragically in September 1992 of a self-inflicted gun shot after killing his wife, according to prosecutor Dent Moriss.[75]

Every January for many years, Scruggs' birthday was celebrated by a party at his home on Franklin Road in Nashville. After a buffet dinner, guests would gather in the living room for an informal "pickin' party" where some of country music's best known stars would sing and play with no one around but family and close friends.[22] The attendees over the years included Tom T. Hall, Bela Fleck, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Tim O'Brien, Emmy Lou Harris, Mac Wiseman, Marty Stuart, Porter Wagoner, Bill Anderson, Jerry Douglas, Josh Graves and many others. At Scruggs 80th birthday party in 2004, country singer Porter Wagoner said, “Earl is to the five-string banjo what Babe Ruth was to baseball. He is the best there ever was”, Wagoner said, “and the best there ever will be.”[13]

At age 88, Earl Scruggs died from natural causes on the morning of March 28, 2012, in a Nashville hospital.[10] His funeral was held on Sunday, April 1, 2012, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, and was open to the public. He was buried at Spring Hill Cemetery in a private service.

The Earl Scruggs CenterEdit

The Earl Scruggs Center opened January 11, 2014 — a $5.5 million, 100,000 square foot facility located in the court square of Shelby, North Carolina at the renovated county courthouse.[76] It showcases the musical contributions of Scruggs, the most eminent ambassador of the music of that region, and features a museum and a life-sized statue of Scruggs portrayed a young age.[33] The center received a $1.5 million economic development grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce and also funds from corporate donors.[77] It serves as an educational center providing classes and field trips for students.[78] The opening was celebrated by a sold-out concert by Vince Gill, Travis Tritt, Sam Bush and others.[76]

Selected discographyEdit

Early singlesEdit

Mercury Records Singles

  • 1949 — God Loves His Children / I'm Going to Make Heaven My Home
  • 1949 —We'll Meet Again Sweetheart / My Cabin in Caroline
  • 1949 — Baby Blue Eyes / Bouquet in Heaven
  • 1949 — Down the Road / Why Don't You Tell Me So
  • 1950 — I'll Never Shed Another Tear / I'm Going To Be In Heaven Sometime
  • 1950 — No Mother or Dad / Foggy Mountain Breakdown
  • 1950 — Is It Too Late Now / So Happy I'll Be
  • 1950 — My Little Girl In Tennessee / I'll Never Love Another
  • 1951 — Cora is Gone / That Little Old Country Church House
  • 1951 — Pain in My Heart / Take Me In A Lifeboat
  • 1951 — Doin' My Time / Farewell Blues
  • 1951 — Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms / I'll Just Pretend

Columbia Records Singles

  • 1951 — Come Back Darling / I'm Waiting To Hear You Call Me Darling
  • 1951 — I'm Head Over Heels In Love / We Can't Be Darlings Anymore
  • 1951 — Jimmie Brown The Newsboy / Somehow Tonight
  • 1951 — Don't Get Above Your Raising / I've Lost You
  • 1951 — 'Tis Sweet To Be Remembered / Earl's Breakdown
  • 1952 — Get In Line Brother / Brother I'm Getting Ready To Go
  • 1952 — Old Home Town / I'll Stay Around
  • 1952 — Over The Hills To The Poorhouse
  • 1952 — I'm Gonna Settle Down / I'm Lonesome and Blue

Mercury Records Singles

  • 1952 — Pike County Breakdown / Old Salty Dog Blues
  • 1952 —Preachin' Prayin' Singin' / Will The Roses Bloom
  • 1953 — Back to the Cross / God Loves His Children

OKeh Records Singles

  • 1953 — Reunion in Heaven / Pray For The Boys

Columbia Records Singles

  • 1953 — Why Did You Wander / Thinking About You
  • 1953 — If I Should Wander Back Tonight / Dear Old Dixie
  • 1953 — I'm Working On A Road / He Took Your Place
  • 1953 — I'll Go Stepping Too / Foggy Mountain Chimes
  • 1954 — Mother Prays Loud in Her Sleep / Be Ready for Tomorrow May Never Come
  • 1954 — I'd Rather Be Alone / Someone Took My Place With You
  • 1954 — You're Not A Drop In The Bucket / Foggy Mountain Special
  • 1954 — 'Till the End of the World Rolls 'Round / Don't This Road Look Rough and Rocky
  • 1955 — You Can Feel It In Your Soul / Old Fashioned Preacher
  • 1955 — Before I Met You / I'm Gonna Sleep With One Eye Open
  • 1955 — Gone Home / Bubbling in My Soul
  • 1956 — Randy Lynn Rag / On My Mind
  • 1956 — Joy Bells / Give Mother My Crown
  • 1956 — What's Good For You / No Doubt About It
  • 1957 — Six White Horses / Shucking' the Corn
  • 1957 — Give Me the Flowers While I'm Living / Is There Room For Me
  • 1957 — Don't Let Your Deal Go Down / Let Those Brown Eyes Smile At Me
  • 1957 — I Won't Care / I Won't Be Hangin' Around
  • 1958 — Big Black Train / Crying Alone
  • 1958 — Heaven / Building On Sand
  • 1958 — I Don't Care Anymore / Mama's and Daddy's Little Girl
  • 1959 — A Million Years in Glory / Jesus Savior Pilot Me
  • 1959 — Cabin on the Hill / Someone You Have Forgotten
  • 1959 — Crying My Heart Out Over You / Foggy Mountain Rock
  • 1960 — The Great Historical Bum / All I Want Is You
  • 1960 — Polka On A Banjo / Shucking the Corn (remake)
  • 1960 — I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow / If I Should Wander Back Tonight
  • 1961 — Where Will I Shelter My Sheep / Go Home
  • 1961 — Jimmie Brown The Newsboy / Mother Prays Loud in MY Sleep?
  • 1962 — Cold Cold Lovin' / Just Ain't
  • 1962 — Hear the Whistle Blow A Hundred Miles / The Legend of the Johnson
  • 1962 — The Ballad of Jed Clampett / Coal Loadin' Johnny
  • 1963 — Pearl Pearl Pearl / Hard Travelin'
  • 1964 — My Saro Jane / You Are My Flower
  • 1964 — Petticoat Junction / Have You Seen My Dear Companion
  • 1964 — Workin' It Out / Fireball
  • 1964 — Little Birdie / Sally Don't You Grieve
  • 1965 — Father's Table Grace / I Still Miss Someone
  • 1965 — Go Home / Ballad off Jed Clampett
  • 1965 — Gonna Have Myself A Ball / Rock Salt and Nails
  • 1965 — Memphis / Foggy Mountain Breakdown
  • 1966 — Green Acres / I Had A Dream (with June Carter)
  • 1966 — Colours / For Lovin' Me
  • 1966 — The Last Thing On My Mind / Mama You Been On My Mind
  • 1967 — It was Only the Wind / Why Can't I Find Myself With You
  • 1967 — Roust-A-Bout / Nashville Cats
  • 1967 — The Last Train to Clarksville / California Up Tight Band
  • 1967 — Theme from Bonnie and Clyde (Foggy Mountain Breakdown) / My Cabin in Caroline
  • 1967 — Down In The Flood / Foggy Mountain Breakdown (remake)
  • 1968 — Like A Rolling Stone / I'd Like To Say A Word For Texas
  • 1968 — I'll Be Your Baby Tonight / Universal Soldier
  • 1969 — Foggy Mountain Breakdown / Like A Rolling Stone
  • 1969 — Universal Soldier / Down In The Flood
  • 1969 — Maggie's Farm / Tonight Will Be Fine

Later singlesEdit

Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1970 "Nashville Skyline Rag" 74 Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends
1979 "I Sure Could Use the Feeling" 30 41 Today & Forever
"Play Me No Sad Songs" 82 66
1980 "Blue Moon of Kentucky" 46
1982 "There Ain't No Country Music on This Jukebox"
(with Tom T. Hall)
77 Storyteller and the Banjo Man
"Song of the South" (with Tom T. Hall) 72

Guest singlesEdit

Year Single Artist Chart Positions Album
US Country
1998 "Same Old Train" Various Artists 59 Tribute to Tradition

Music videosEdit

Year Video Director
1992 "The Dirt Road" (with Sawyer Brown) Michael Salomon
2001 "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" (Earl Scruggs and Friends) Gerry Wenner

AlbumsEdit

Year Title Chart Positions
US Country US US Heat US Bluegrass
1957 Foggy Mountain Jamboree
1959 Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs with the Foggy Mountain Boys
1961 Foggy Mountain Banjo
1963 I Saw the Light with Some Help from My Friends
The Ballad of Jed Clampett
Flatt and Scruggs at Carnegie Hall
1964 Flatt and Scruggs Live at Vanderbilt University
The Fabulous Sound of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs
1965 Town and Country
1966 Flatt and Scruggs Greatest Hits
1967 Strictly Instrumental (with Lester Flatt and Doc Watson)
1967 5 String Banjo Instruction Album
1968 The Story of Bonnie and Clyde (with Lester Flatt and the Foggy Mountain Boys)[79]
1969 Changin' Times
1970 Nashville Airplane
1972 I Saw the Light with Some Help from My Friends
Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends
Live at Kansas State 20 204
1973 Rockin' 'Cross the Country 46
Dueling Banjos 202
The Earl Scruggs Revue 169
1975 Anniversary Special 104
1976 The Earl Scruggs Revue 2 161
Family Portrait 49
1977 Live from Austin City Limits 49
Strike Anywhere
1978 Bold & New 50
1979 Today & Forever
1982 Storyteller and the Banjo Man (with Tom T. Hall)
Flatt & Scruggs
1983 Top of the World
1984 The Mercury Sessions 1
The Mercury Sessions 2
Superjammin'
1987 The Golden Hits
1992 The Complete Mercury Sessions
1998 Artist's Choice: The Best Tracks (1970–1980)
2001 Earl Scruggs and Friends 39 33 14
2002 Classic Bluegrass Live: 1959-1966
2003 Three Pickers (with Doc Watson and Ricky Skaggs) 24 179 2
2004 The Essential Earl Scruggs
2005 Live with Donnie Allen and Friends
2007 Lifetimes: Lewis, Scruggs, and Long

DVDsEdit

  • Earl Scruggs – His Family and Friends (2005)
    (Recorded 1969. Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Bill Monroe, Joan Baez et al.)
  • Private Sessions (2005)
  • The Bluegrass Legend (2006)

Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson and Ricky Skaggs

  • The Three Pickers (2003)

Flatt and Scruggs

  • The Best of Flatt and Scruggs TV Show Vol 1 (2007)
  • The Best of Flatt and Scruggs TV Show Vol 2 (2007)
  • The Best of Flatt and Scruggs TV Show Vol 3 (2007)
  • The Best of Flatt and Scruggs TV Show Vol 4 (2007)
  • The Best of Flatt and Scruggs TV Show Vol 5 (2008)
  • The Best of Flatt and Scruggs TV Show Vol 6 (2008)
  • The Best of Flatt and Scruggs TV Show Vol 7 (2009)
  • The Best of Flatt and Scruggs TV Show Vol 8 (2009)
  • The Best of Flatt and Scruggs TV Show Vol 9 (2010)
  • The Best of Flatt and Scruggs TV Show Vol 10 (2010)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Gibson Banjos 1925 and Later". banjophiles.org. Banjophiles. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  2. ^ Cushman, Charlie (2009-03-13). "Scruggs/Reno 1935 RB-3". Archived from the original on 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  3. ^ Reitwiesner, William Addams. "Ancestry of Earl Scruggs". William Addams Reitwiesner Genealogical Services. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Earl Scruggs Biography". Earlscruggs.com. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Earl Scruggs Biography". biography.com. A&E Television Networks. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Willis, Barry R.; Weissman, Dick, ed. (1998). America's music, Bluegrass. Franktown, Colorado: Pine Valley Music. ISBN 0-9652407-1-1. Retrieved February 18, 2017. 
  7. ^ Lofgren, Lyle (November 2009). "Remembering the Old Songs: The Man Who Wrote the Home Sweet Home". Inside Bluegrass (in lizlyle.lofgrens.org). Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association. OCLC 14507837. 
  8. ^ a b c d Brown, Paul (April 1, 2000). "The Story Of 'Foggy Mountain Breakdown'". npr.org. NPR. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "Earl Scruggs Biography/Chapter 1/The Early Years". earlscruggs.com. Earl Scruggs. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Associated Press (March 28, 2012). "Bluegrass, banjo legend Earl Scruggs dies at 88". blog.al.com. Alabama Media Group. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Trischka, Tony (1977). Banjo song book. New York: Oak Publications. ISBN 0825601975. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  12. ^ Laird, Brad (February 13, 2013). "Basic Clawhammer Lick". youtube.com. Free Banjo Videos.com. Retrieved March 2, 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c d e Lehman-Haupt, Christopher (March 29, 2012). "Earl Scruggs Dies at 88; Shaped Bluegrass Sound" (New York Edition). New York Times. p. B-17. 
  14. ^ "Earl Scruggs/Obituary". telegraph.co.uk. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  15. ^ Scruggs, Earl (2005). Earl Scruggs and the 5-string banjo/Foreword by Nat Winston (Rev. and enhanced ed. [CD included]. ed.). Milwaukee, Wis.: Hal Leonard. ISBN 0634060422. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  16. ^ Bader, Brian. ""Foggy Mountain Breakdown"—Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs (1949) Added to the National Registry: 2004" (PDF). loc.gov. Library of Congress. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  17. ^ "High Lonesome Sound". jargondatabase.com. JargonDatabase.com. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  18. ^ a b "A Brief History of Bluegrass Music". bluegrassheritage.org. Bluegrass Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 7 February 2017. 
  19. ^ "Bill Monroe Biography". biography.com. A&E Television Networks. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  20. ^ McArdle, Terence (March 28, 2012). "Bluegrass musician Earl Scruggs, 88, dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  21. ^ "Hotel Tulane, Nashville, Tenn., circa 1917". digital.library.nashville.org. Nashville Public Library Digital Collections. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cooper, Peter (March 29, 2012). "1924-2012: Earl Scruggs". Tennessean. Gannett. pp. A1–3. 
  23. ^ a b c d Gross, Terry, host (March 29, 2012). "Earl Scruggs: The 2003 Fresh Air Interview". npr.org. National Public Radio (NPR). Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  24. ^ a b "NEA National Heritage Fellowships/Earl Scruggs". arts.gov. National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  25. ^ a b Martin, Steve (January 13, 2012). "The Master From Flint Hill: Earl Scruggs". newyorker.com. Condé Nast. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  26. ^ Goldsmith, Thomas. ""Foggy Mountain Breakdown"—Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs (1949)" (PDF). loc.com. US Government Library of Congress. Retrieved March 6, 2017. 
  27. ^ Trischka, Tony; Warwick, Pete. Masters of the Five-String Banjo/Earl Scruggs. Mel-Bay. ISBN 0786659394. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  28. ^ McLellan, Dennis (September 30, 2010). "Arthur Penn dies at 88; director of landmark film 'Bonnie and Clyde'". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Librarian of Congress Names 50 Recordings to the 2004 National Recording Registry". loc.com. Library of Congress, USA. April 5, 2005. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  30. ^ "Bluegrass, banjo legend Earl Scruggs dies at 88". blog.al.com. Alabama Media Group. March 28, 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  31. ^ Ford, Frank (March 1, 2001). "Keith Banjo Tuners". frets.com. Frank Ford. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  32. ^ Keith, Bill (July 19, 2000). "Beacon Banjo Company/The Story". beaconbanjo.com. Beacon Banjo Company. Retrieved February 23, 2017. 
  33. ^ a b Goad, John C. (January 13, 2014). "Earl Scruggs Center opens in a deluge". bluegrasstoday.com. Bluegrass Today. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Pat Twitty/Writing and Arrangement/Credits". discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  35. ^ a b Erlwine, Stephen T.; Vinopal, David. "CMT Artists/About Flatt and Scruggs". cut.com. Viacom International. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h Castelnero, Gordon; Russell, David (2017). Earl Scruggs:banjo icon. Lanham: Roman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781442268654. 
  37. ^ a b c d Kingsbury, Paul; McCall, Michael; Rumble, John W. (2012). The Encyclopedia of Country Music: the ultimate guide to the music/ Earl Scruggs & the Earl Scruggs Revue (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-539563-1. 
  38. ^ Dale, Linda Williams. "The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture/Martha White Foods". tennesseeencyclopedia.net. University of Tennessee Press. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  39. ^ a b Vinopal, David. "Artists/Earl Scruggs/Biography". billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  40. ^ Thompson, Richard (January 19, 2013). "On this Day/Ballad of Jed Clampett". bluegrasstoday.com. Bluegrass Today. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  41. ^ a b c d e f Rosenberg, Neil V. (1993). Bluegrass : a history (rev. paperback ed.). Urbana: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06304-X. 
  42. ^ "Flatt and Scruggs/Discography". allmusic.com. AllMusic, member of the RhythmOne group. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  43. ^ Rosenberg, Neil V. "Liner notes for "Flatt and Scruggs"-Time-Life Records". bobdylanroots. Time-Life Records TLCW-04. Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  44. ^ Parsons, Penny; Stubbs, Eddie (2016). The Nashville Grass: 1973–1994.” Foggy Mountain Troubadour: The Life and Music of Curly Seckler. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. pp. 157–184. 
  45. ^ Taylor, Barbara (May 12, 1979). "Lester Flatt, 64, Leader in Bluegrass Revival, Dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  46. ^ "Earl Scruggs Performs At Anti War Demonstration". Youtube.com. July 13, 2009. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  47. ^ Monger, James C. "I Saw the Light with Some Help from My Friends". allmusic.com. Allmusic, member of the RhythmOne group. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  48. ^ Hurst, Jack (2000). Ewing, Tom, ed. The Bill Monroe reader (1st pbk ed.). Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press. p. 102. ISBN 0252025008. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  49. ^ Rodgers, Larry (August 30, 2001). "Earl Scruggs and Friends" (Music Section). The Arizona Republic. p. 41. Retrieved 13 February 2017. 
  50. ^ Johnson, Zac. "The Three Pickers/Review". allmusic.com. Allmusic, member of the RhythmOne group. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  51. ^ "NCMHOF/Inductee Gallery/2009 Inductees/Earl Scruggs". northcarolinahalloffame.org. North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 23, 2017. 
  52. ^ a b "Grammys/Past winners search/Foggy Mountain Breakdown". grammy.com. The Recording Academy. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  53. ^ Appleford, Steve (February 22, 2010). "Hollywood Star Walk/Earl Scruggs". projects.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  54. ^ "CMT Pays Tribute to the '40 Greatest Men of Country Music' in a Tantalizing Three-Hour CMT Original Special". prnewswire.com. Country Music Television. March 27, 2003. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  55. ^ "40 Greatest Men in Country Music". start.mobilebeat.com. Country Music Television. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  56. ^ https://www.berklee.edu/bt/171/bb_scruggs.html
  57. ^ "IMDb: Banjoman". Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  58. ^ Harvey, Lynn (November 17, 1975). "Premiere 'Overwhelms' Earl Scruggs" (First Edition). The Tennessean. p. 26. Retrieved 13 February 2017. 
  59. ^ a b c Thompson, Jerry (September 30, 1975). "Earl Scruggs Suffers Multiple Injuries in Small Plane Crash" (Vol 70, No 176). The Tennessean. p. 1. 
  60. ^ Wallace, Jeff (October 17, 2015). "5 things you didn't know about Flatt & Scruggs". axs.com. AXS. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  61. ^ Lawless, John (September 14, 2006). "New Guinness Book record for banjo pickers". bluegrasstoday.com. Bluegrass Today. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  62. ^ "Grammy Hall Of Fame/Past Recipients". grammy.org. The Recording Academy. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  63. ^ "Vintage Vega Catalogs in PDF Format". musicamnsteve.com. Music Man Steve. Retrieved Feb 25, 2017. 
  64. ^ a b "1934 RB Granada". banjophiles.org. Banjophiles. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  65. ^ "Earl Scruggs Standard Banjo". gibson.com. Gibson Guitar Company. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  66. ^ a b Earnest, Greg. "Gibson RB-Granada Mastertone #9584-3, the "Earl Scruggs"". earnestbanjo.com. Greg Earnest. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  67. ^ a b "Music Industry Pioneer Louise Scruggs Dies". cmt.com. Viacom International. Retrieved 13 February 2017. 
  68. ^ Orr, Jay (June 23, 2003). "Illustrator Thomas B. Allen Honored With Exhibit, Concert: Marty Stuart and Earl Scruggs Pay Tribute at the Ryman". cmt.com. Viacom. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  69. ^ "Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum/Honorees". countrymusichalloffame.org. Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  70. ^ "Opry Star's Mother Dies in North Carolina". The Tennessean. October 24, 1955. p. 20. 
  71. ^ "Patrolmen Seek GI's Indictment After 2 Injured". The Tennessean. October 4, 1955. p. 10. 
  72. ^ Reaney, Eldred (October 14, 1955). "Gee--It's Wonderful to have Fans". The Tennessean. p. 12. 
  73. ^ Sullivan, Phil (August 5, 1962). "The Nashville Sound/Scruggs Recovering". The Tennessean. p. 5F. 
  74. ^ Goldsmith, Thomas (October 16, 1996). "Scruggs has surgery". The Tennessean. p. 4B. 
  75. ^ "Murder-Suicide by a Star's Son". nytimes.com. New York Times Company. September 25, 1992. Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  76. ^ a b McFadyen, Duncan (January 11, 2014). "Earl Scruggs Center Opens In Shelby". wfae.org. NPR Charlotte (WFAE). Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  77. ^ Rose, Julie (April 6, 2010). "Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby picked for $1.5M grant". wfae.org. NPR Charlotte, WFAE. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  78. ^ "Earl Scruggs Center/About us". earlscruggscenter.org. Earl Scruggs Center. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  79. ^ "Nashville Scene". Billboard Magazine. Nielsen Business Media. 80 (22): 43. June 1, 1968. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved November 24, 2009. 

External linksEdit