Earl Scruggs

Earl Scruggs

Earl Scruggs

Born January 6, 1924 in Shelby, North Carolina, Earl Scruggs is the only surviving member remaining from the Original Bluegrass Band, which was composed of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Chubby Wise, and Howard Watts (also known as Cedric Rainwater). Today, Scruggs is considered as a living legend for his unparalleled mastery of the banjo.


No doubt the most distinct characteristic of Scruggs’ music is the way he played the banjo. The Scruggs Style referred to his preferred three-finger-use for banjo picking and which many banjo players today continue to imitate. He was also known for producing extremely smooth music, characterized by a wide range of unique licks, the combination of jazz and blues tunes, and unequaled polish.


Scruggs first rose to fame when he became a part of Bill Monroe’s band, the Blue Grass Boys. He later left the band with pal Lester Flatt and went on to create the Foggy Mountain Boys, which was also known more simply as Flatt & Scruggs. When the group disbanded in 1969, Scrugg proceeded to form another new band of his own, the Earl Scruggs Revue and which counted some of his sons as members.

The Ballad of Jed Clampett

This was one of Scruggs’ most famous works, which was produced in collaboration with then partner Lester Flatt and vocalist Jerry Scoggins. It was used as the theme song for the hit TV program The Beverly Hillbillies in 1962 and became an instant and massive hit.

Awards and Recognition

In 1969, Flatt and Scruggs received a Grammy for their recording Foggy Mountain Breakdown. They became members of the Country Music Hall in 1985. Scrugg was also inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall as well as receiving the National Medal of Arts and National Heritage Fellowship Award.

In 2003, Scruggs received his own star billing on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John Ladd April 19, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Earl Scruggs is a legend in the bluegrass world but I liked Lester Flatt too, It was them together along with Bill Monroe that made the music go. That was some of the greatest music ever made and I forgot to mention Clarence White probably the greatest bluegrass guitar player and he also played with Earl and if you want me to write anymore your gonna have to start paying me.

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