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RIP Earl Scruggs

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by SF_Express, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I don't play much anymore, although it sits in the corner here in the living room, but I went through much of high school and into college playing banjo in a bluegrass band.

    One of my inspirations during that time was when I snuck out of my house (very unlike me) in an early college year to see Richie Havens in an all-day, all-night concert a the UW fieldhouse (think Woodstock, in a building, and much cleaner), and one of the acts leading up was the Earl Scruggs Revue. Earl was taking the banjo far beyond his bluegrass roots, and was a bit of an old country hippy and was playing rock and blues and all sorts of interesting things way before Bela Fleck and the like. He impressed me more than Richie Havens did.

    Anyway, he passed away today at 88, and it matters to me, so I thought I'd post it here:


    Foggy Mountain Breakdown from Bonnie and Clyde, Flatt and Scruggs:

  2. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    Jed Clampett is stomping out a chorus in a minor key.
  3. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    That's right, Beverly Hillbillies theme, too. Forgot.
  4. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt would also occasionally appear as themselves on the show when I was much younger. They'd play their music and Granny would shout "Stomp us out a chorus, Jed!" and Buddy Epsen would dance.

    That was long before I had any idea what Bluegrass is.
  5. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    How sad. I would've bet he was way older than 88, though.
  6. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Well now it's time to say
    goodby to Flat and his banjo,
    Earl that is, sit a spell, take your shoes off.
    RIP y'hear?
  7. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    Sad to hear. I've seen Bela and the Flecktones several times at Jazz Fest. I didn't know how directly you could trace his stuff back to Scuggs.

    This also falls under the "The surprising thing about this story is that he was actually still alive to have died today" category. Another Etta James for me.
  8. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I don't know how directly it traces. Earl Scruggs took the banjo from one place to another in bluegrass, and then he took it to another place, far beyond bluegrass. And that kind of pioneering is why guys like Fleck came along.

    Nashville obit tells more about it:

  9. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    This truly hurts me deep.
    Bill Monroe is dead. Earl is dead. Ralph Stanley is the last true bluegrass legend left, I guess.

    The next group is up. Keith (RIP, GD it kills me still, RIP), Ricky Scaggs and Marty Stewart.
  10. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    They also had two hot, buxom wives on the show. Gladys and Louise, if I'm not mistaken.
  11. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Earl's son, Randy, is a helluva guitar player in his own right.

    Here's Earl with Steve Martin on Letterman a few years back:

  12. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Speaking of helluva banjo player in his own right ....
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