Earl Scruggs Dies At 88
March 28, 2012 at 5:50 PM (PT)
EARL SCRUGGS, the influential banjo player who became one of the dominant figures in bluegrass music in the 1950s and '60s as partner with the late LESTER FLATT in the FOGGY MOUNTAIN BOYS, died TODAY (3/28) in NASHVILLE. He was 88.
SCRUGGS was a COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME member best known to the general public (with FLATT) for the theme to "THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES," "THE BALLAD OF JED CLAMPETT" (sung by JERRY SCOGGINS) and for "FOGGY MOUNTAIN BREAKDOWN," a tune first recorded in 1949 and a Country hit that year and again in 1968, with the later version winning a GRAMMY in 1969.
The pair first teamed as part of BILL MONROE's BLUE GRASS BOYS in 1945 and went out on their own in 1948. After FLATT and SCRUGGS broke up in 1969, SCRUGGS continued to record and tour with the EARL SCRUGGS REVUE. A 2001 re-recording of "FOGGY MOUNTAIN BREAKDOWN" with an all-star band earned SCRUGGS another GRAMMY. He was honored with a star on the HOLLYWOOD Walk of Fame in 2003 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the GRAMMYs in 2008.
"EARL SCRUGGS was one of a kind who almost single-handedly changed the world of the banjo and the appreciation of the instrument," said JOHN VAN MOL, NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME chairman. "He also brought bluegrass music to a whole generation of college students in the 1960s – including me – and I feel all of us will be forever grateful for the introduction. We knew every word to every song on FLATT & SCRUGGS albums of that day and have loved them ever since."
The family will receive friends on FRIDAY, MARCH 30th and SATURDAY, MARCH 31st between 3p and 7p (CT) at SPRING HILL FUNERAL HOME in NASHVILLE. The funeral ceremony celebrating EARL’s life will be held on SUNDAY (4/1) at 2p (CT) at the RYMAN AUDITORIUM in NASHVILLE. Donations in EARL’s honor may be made to the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM.