Sunday, January 06, 2013

Happy Birthday, Earl

Earl ScruggsEarl Scruggs is 87 today.

He was born and grew up near Shelby, North Carolina, in the heart of banjo country, and he is one of the two most important figures in bluegrass - the other, of course, being Bill Monroe.

It was the fiddler John Hartford who put it best: “Here’s the way I feel about it. Everybody’s all worried about who invented the style and it’s obvious that three-finger banjo pickers have been around a long time -- maybe since 1840. But my feeling about it is that if it wasn’t for Earl Scruggs, you wouldn’t be worried about who invented it.”

Happy Birthday, you ol' banjo-picker!

Watch - and listen to - Cumberland Gap with Lester Flatt:

and Foggy Mountain Breakdown with an all-star lineup (Steve Martin, Albert Lee, Jerry Douglas, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart):

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