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Posted by:
CuntryBlumpkin
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One of my music heros was found dead yesterday.  Natural causes, which is expected for an 88 year old man.  I'm sure most of you know the name, some probably recognize a few of the songs, and maybe a few know some of the songs that weren't tv show themes or featured in movies.

 

The man of course is legendary bluegrass musician and banjo player, Earl Scruggs.

 

Earl along with Lester Flatt formed the most recognizeable group in the history of bluegrass.  The duo recorded countless classics together.  Lester on the flattop, Earl on the banjo, both doing vocals, and the Foggy Mountain Boys in the background.

 

They first played in the Grand Ole Opry in 1945, they were there before Hank Williams Sr.

 

They are the reason I became a huge bluegrass fan. 

 

Earl died yesterday, Lester died in 1979, you can't do a tribute for one without including the other. 

 

Here's to the greatest bluegrass group of all time, the greatest banjo player of all time, and one of the best bluegrass guitar players of all time.

 

Hope you enjoy the music, if not, hope you can at least appreciate what they've done.

 

Here are 7 of my favorites.

 

Foggy Mountain Breakdown

One of the most famous bluegrass instrumentals of all time.  This was a big hit for the boys back in the day. 

 

Ruby

In this video you can see a then 7 year old Ricky Skaggs performing the lead vocals with Lester, Earl and the boys playing in the back ground.  I first saw this song performed by Popcorn Sutton's cousin, Rufus in Maggie Valley, NC as a kid.  I found out as a teen that Flatts and Scruggs made the original.

 

Roll in my Sweet baby's Arms

Probably my favorite bluegrass song of all time.  Probably because my grandpa played it all the time in his truck when I would ride around with him as a kid.

 

Cabin on the Hill

A very peaceful song reminicing(spell) about his childhood home. 

 

Salty Dog Blues

You probably heard Andy Griffith sing the song with the Darlins on the Andy Griffith Show.  The original is much better. 

 

Cripple Creek

My second favorite instrumental of all time(second only to the Orange Blossum Special).  Everything flows so smooth and it sounds great. 

 

Petticoat Junction

I debated on using this one or the Ballad of Jed Clampett, but I figured not as many people have heard Petticoat Junction's theme song.  Plus I think this a better song.

 

Hope you enjoy.  Rest in peace Earl Scruggs.  May you and Lester make Heaven just a little bit better with your music.  You guys are the reason why bluegrass has a fan base.  If it weren't for you, nobody outside of Appalachia would listen to bluegrass.

Comment #1 has been removed
March 29, 2012  11:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I heard this on the news this morning. I honestly couldn't say at the time I knew who he was, but after your post, I've definitely heard his music many times. Well done and nice tribute, Outlaw.

Thank you

March 29, 2012  12:00 PM ET

Forgot to mention it in the blog, but Earl Scruggs pretty much changed the way everyone plays the banjo. before Earl, everyone picked in the two finger, claw hammer style. When Earl came along, people noticed he was picking with all 5 fingers of his right hand, a style that is today known as Earl Scruggs style.

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March 30, 2012  09:34 AM ET

Very Nice Outlaw. Growing up in the mountains of NC, I watched and listened to these guys all my life. A true legend and will be missed and never replaced.

March 30, 2012  10:06 AM ET

Outlaw, nice post. I'm not much of a BG fan but there's a few out there that have my attention. I'm familiar with both thanks to my parents and I grew up in Ricky Skaggs' heyday. Today, we have folks like Dierks Bentley and Allison Krauss to keep the mainstream in touch with the sound. I appreciate what you've done here to recognize both these legends.

March 31, 2012  10:41 PM ET

Hey, I just found your group minutes ago. Great idea, wish I had thought of it. I saw that picture of Gilmour and the name of your group and the bands listed and I'm in. I saw Floyd on their last American tour at Soldier Field in Chicago. Sorry if I'm committing an error posting this here, but I didn't know where to post. Are there any rules or stuff I should know?

April 13, 2012  11:01 PM ET

I'm late to this one, but nice post, Outlaw. Lester and Earl were true pioneers. Not only did Earl Scruggs pioneer the banjo picking style used by most, but he also pioneered a flat-pick guitar style with 3 fingers. He was a great one.

Also, about that video Cripple Creek...Cripple Creek is a town in Colorado, and that's a song about my beloved state. It actually has words, but it is more well-known in the instrumental version. Great song.

 
April 13, 2012  11:02 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Outlaw, nice post. I'm not much of a BG fan but there's a few out there that have my attention. I'm familiar with both thanks to my parents and I grew up in Ricky Skaggs' heyday. Today, we have folks like Dierks Bentley and Allison Krauss to keep the mainstream in touch with the sound. I appreciate what you've done here to recognize both these legends.

Bluegrass is alive and well, and there are some really great bands if you're interested in the genre. Rhonda Vincent is the standard bearer today. She's so, so good. And her brother makes up one half of the duo Dailey and Vincent. Also great. I'm also a big fan of Special Consensus, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, the Grascals, and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

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