So Long, Earl

And thank you for some damn FINE music.

Bluegrass legend and banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs, who helped profoundly change country music with Bill Monroe in the 1940s and later with guitarist Lester Flatt, has died. He was 88.

Scruggs’ son Gary said his father died of natural causes Wednesday morning at a Nashville, Tenn., hospital.

Earl Scruggs was an innovator who pioneered the modern banjo sound. His use of three fingers rather than the clawhammer style elevated the banjo from a part of the rhythm section — or a comedian’s prop — to a lead instrument.

5 Responses to “So Long, Earl”

  1. currently says:

    Boy, that music video brings back memories.

    I grew up in NC just a stone’s throw away from Union Grove where the Bluegrass Festival was held every year.

    Good times.

  2. Skyler says:

    That was fun!

    I’d heard his name but didn’t know of him.

  3. tree hugging sister says:

    I LOVE me the Bluegrass. Truly do. It’s the purest, most technically demanding of its musicians. You don’t just strum and wail ~ these guys are virtuosos.

    Plus, I’ve always gotten a kick out of Bingley growing up to look like Steve Martin’s cosmic twin, since he idolized him growing up.

  4. Yojimbo says:

    You do know him. Flatt and Scruggs did the opening and closing song on the Beverly Hillbillies, the musical background that is.

  5. Kathy K says:

    I was a bit further than a stone’s throw (Charlotte) but made it up there a few times. That was SOME music (and he made it down our way a few times too).

    May he rest in peace.

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