Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs met as members of Bill Monroe’s band, the Blue Grass Boys, in 1946. The two left that band early in 1948, and within a few months had formed their own group, the Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs’ banjo style and Flatt’s rhythm guitar style as well as his vocals, gave them a distinctive sound that won them many fans. In 1955, they became members of the Grand Ole Opry. Many of the songs on their albums are credited to “Certain and Stacey”. These songs were in fact written by Flatt, Scruggs, and various other members of the Foggy Mountain Boys. Certain and Stacey are the maiden names of the wives of Flatt and Scruggs (Louise Certain, wife of Earl Scruggs, and Gladys Stacey, wife of Lester Flatt).
Scruggs, who had always shown progressive tendencies, experimented on duets with saxophonist King Curtis and added songs by the likes of Bob Dylan to the group’s repertoire. Flatt, a traditionalist, did not like these changes, and the group broke up in 1969. Following the breakup, Lester Flatt founded the Nashville Grass and Scruggs lead the Earl Scruggs Revue. Flatt died in 1979 at the age of 64. Scruggs still performs occasionally, as his health permits. Flatt and Scruggs were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.
In 2003, they ranked #24 on CMT’s 40 Greatest Men of Country Music, one of only four non-solo artists to make the list (Eagles, Alabama, and Brooks & Dunn are the others).
In the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the band formed by the heroes is called the “Soggy Bottom Boys” as a tribute to the band.
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