American Culture

TunesDay Special: a fond goodbye to Earl Scruggs

Earl Scruggs, the legendary master of the bluegrass banjo, is dead at 88.  It was just a few days ago that I was writing about the music that I grew up with, and rest assured, Flatt & Scruggs were welcome in the Smith household. There’s honestly not a lot I can say that I feel is worthy of the man’s genius – not on short notice, anyway – so I’ll keep it simple and let the music do the talking. Let’s start with the song that he was most famous for.

Earl and Lester guested on the show, too, and I always loved it when Granny would make them sing for their supper.

Here’s Earl teeing it up with another North Carolina legend, Doc Watson.

If you never heard The Three Pickers – Scruggs, Watson and Ricky Scaggs – you owe it to yourself. Here they are doing “Rolling In My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”

One more, and this one illustrates a point. If you wanted to hang with Earl, you damned well better be able to play.

Good night, Earl, and thanks for the memories. We’ll miss you.

2 replies »

  1. Oh man! Another legend gone. I was just listening to some bluegrass while tiling the shower this week and Foggy Mountain Breakdown and The Ballad of Jed Clampett were in rotation.

    I was going to comment on your C&W post the other day, but didn’t get the time for a few days (’cause of the shower work). We used to watch the CMA awards show every year, but quit a few year ago as nothing was even remotely country about it. Other than Alan Jackson.

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