Thursday, March 29, 2012

Earl Scruggs dead at 88

Earl Scruggs died at the ripe old age of 88.
Mr. Scruggs was best known when he teamed up with his buddy Lester Flatt who died in 1979 or 80 as I recall. Their most memorable tune was "Orange Blossum Special" and I think they also did the theme for The Beverly Hillbillies.
Mr. Scruggs brought to light a little known method of finger picking a banjo instead of stumming that motherfucker with a claw and influenced many of todays' banjo players, they're finger picking instead of strumming. If you listen to Jerry Garcia playing hillbilly banjo music and then Earl Scruggs, you can hear a huge similarity in their music, except Jerry's finger picking has that lope in it on account of his missing bird finger.
I don't recall the first time I ever heard Scruggs & Flatt, we had that kind of music playing in our house all the time when I was a kid, but I do remember the first time I ever bought one of their albums - January of 1977, the week after we moved out here from Georgia and I was fucking homesick. I needed some barbecue and some downhome music. Never did get that barbecue.....
You know, I feel ashamed of myself. I read that in the paper this morning and meant to post something but I just got caught up in other things. Sorry 'bout that.


Chris Mallory said...

"Foggy Mountain Breakdown"
was their signature song. They were the ones to do "The Ballad of Jed Clampett".

wirecutter said...

You're absolutely right, Chris.

Uriah said...

One of my favourites, all the old guys been dying off though. You can actually thank Bill Monroe for kicking off his career, along with alot of other bluegrass guys. They still don't say anything on the front page of his website, although they mention his passing in the forums there.