Earl Scruggs Biography (Wikipedia)
Earl Eugene Scruggs (January 6, 1924 – March 28, 2012) was an American musician noted for popularizing a three-finger banjo picking style, now called "Scruggs style," which is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music. His three-finger style of playing was radically different from the traditional way the five-string banjo had previously been played. This new style of playing became popular and elevated the banjo from its previous role as a background rhythm instrument (or a comedian's prop) to featured solo status. He popularized the instrument across several genres of music.
Scruggs' career began at age 21 when he was hired to play in Bill Monroe's band, The Blue Grass Boys. The name "bluegrass" eventually became the eponym for the entire genre of country music now known by that title. Despite considerable success with Monroe, performing on the Grand Ole Opry and recording classic hits like "Blue Moon of Kentucky," Scruggs resigned from the group in 1946 due to their exhausting touring schedule. Fellow band member Lester Flatt resigned as well, and he and Scruggs later paired up in a new group they called Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs' banjo instrumental called "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," released in 1949, became an enduring hit, and had a rebirth of popularity to a younger generation when it was featured in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. The song won two Grammy Awards and, in 2005, was selected for the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry of works of unusual merit.
Earl Scruggs Tracks