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Earl Scruggs

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Earl Eugene Scruggs (born January 6, 1924, Shelby, North Carolina-died March 28, 2012, Nashville, Tennessee) was a musician noted for creating a banjo style (now called Scruggs style and also formerly known as the three-finger style) that is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music.

Scruggs joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in late 1945 and his syncopated, three-finger picking style quickly became a sensation. In 1948 Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt left Monroe’s band and formed Flatt and Scruggs. In 1969, Flatt and Scruggs broke up and Scruggs started a new band, the Earl Scruggs Revue, featuring several of his sons.

Flatt and Scruggs won a Grammy Award in 1969 for Scruggs’ instrumental Foggy Mountain Breakdown. Scruggs was an inaugural inductee into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1991.
In 2002 Scruggs won a second Grammy award for the 2001 recording of Foggy Mountain Breakdown, which featured artists such as Steve Martin on 2nd banjo solo (Martin played the banjo tune on his 1970s stand-up comic acts), Vince Gill and Albert Lee on electric guitar solos, Paul Shaffer on piano, Leon Russell on organ, and Marty Stuart on mandolin. The album, Earl Scruggs and Friends, also featured artists such as Elton John, Sting, Johnny Cash, Don Henley, Travis Tritt, and Billy Bob Thornton. Earl Scruggs and Friends (MCA Nashville, 2001).
On February 13, 2003, Scruggs received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
On September 13, 2006, Scruggs was honored at Turner Field in Atlanta as part of the pre-game show for an Atlanta Braves home game. Organizers set a world record (239) for the most banjo players playing one song together (Scruggs’ Foggy Mountain Breakdown).

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