Historical records matching Earl Eugene Scruggs
About Earl Eugene Scruggs
Earl Eugene Scruggs (born January 6, 1924) is an American musician noted for perfecting and popularizing a 3-finger banjo-picking style (now called Scruggs style) that is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music. Although other musicians had played in 3-finger style before him, Scruggs shot to prominence when he was hired by Bill Monroe to fill the banjo slot in the "Blue Grass Boys".
Scruggs was born in Scottville, North Carolina (formerly Flint Hill), to Georgia Lula Ruppe and George Elam Scruggs. He grew up in Cleveland County, North Carolina.
Scruggs joined Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in late 1945, and quickly popularized his syncopated, three-finger picking style. In 1948 Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt left Monroe's band and formed the Foggy Mountain Boys, also later known simply as Flatt and Scruggs. In 1969, they broke up, and he started a new band, the Earl Scruggs Revue, featuring several of his sons.
On September 24, 1962 singer Jerry Scoggins, and Lester Flatt and Scruggs recorded "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" for the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies which was released October 12, 1962. The theme song became an immediate country music hit and was played at the beginning and end of each episode. Flatt and Scruggs appeared in several episodes as family friends of the Clampetts in the following years. In their first appearance, season 1 episode 20, they portray themselves in the show and perform both the theme song and "Pearl Pearl Pearl".
On October 15, 1969, Scuggs played his grammy-winning "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" on an open-air stage in Washington, D. C., at the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam, becoming one of the very few bluegrass or country-western artists to give support to the anti-war movement. In an interview after his performance, Scruggs said:
I think the people in the South is just as concerned as the people that's walkin' the streets here today . . . . I'm sincere about bringing our boys back home. I'm disgusted and in sorrow about the boys we've lost over there. And if I could see a good reason to continue, I wouldn't be here today.
Awards and honors
Flatt and Scruggs won a Grammy Award in 1969 for Scruggs' instrumental "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." They were inducted together into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985. In 1989, Scruggs was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship. He was an inaugural inductee into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1991. In 1992, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. In 1994, Scruggs teamed up with Randy Scruggs and Doc Watson to contribute the song "Keep on the Sunny Side" to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Country produced by the Red Hot Organization.
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 John Fogerty, Elton John, Sting, Johnny Cash, Don Henley, Travis Tritt, and Billy Bob Thornton.
On February 13, 2003, Scruggs received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That same year, he and Flatt were ranked #24 on CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music.
Scruggs' wife and manager, Louise, died on February 2, 2006, aged 78, at Nashville's Baptist Hospital following a lengthy illness.
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 (Banjo.com) set a world record for the most banjo players (239) playing one tune together (Scruggs' "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"). On February 10, 2008, Scruggs was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards.
Bela Fleck named Earl Scruggs among his influences and has stated that Scruggs is "certainly the best" banjo player of the three-finger style.
Birth: Jan. 6, 1924 Shelby Cleveland County North Carolina, USA Death: Mar. 28, 2012 Nashville Davidson County Tennessee, USA
Country and Bluegrass Musician. He is probably best known for his three-finger banjo picking style of bluegrass music. He was born and raised in the Flint Hill community near Shelby, North Carolina, and grew up in a musical family. His father, a farmer and bookkeeper, played the banjo and died when he was 4 years old. As a young boy, he perfected his banjo-playing style began performing at dances and on local radio shows that featured bands, including Lost John Miller and His Allied Kentuckians. In 1945 when the Miller band broke up, he quit high school to join Bill Monroe's bluegrass musical group, the Blue Grass Boys (which included guitarist Lester Flatt), and quickly popularized his syncopated banjo-playing style. In 1948 he and Flatt decided to leave Bill Monroe's band and formed their own group, the Foggy Mountain Boys (later known simply as Flatt and Scruggs), and soon joined the Grand Ole Opry. In 1959 he appeared in Rhode Island at the Newport Folk Festival and introduced his style to the folk music revival during that time, which led him to perform on the college folk festival circuit. On September 24, 1962, Flatt and Scruggs, along with singer Jerry Scoggins, recorded "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" for the television show "The Beverly Hillbillies" which was released the following month. The theme song became an immediate country hit and was played at the beginning and end of each television episode. When he wanted to branch out and embrace the newer music that was beginning to materialize, Flatt objected and in 1969 they separated and he started a new band, the Earl Scruggs Revue, a mostly acoustical group with drums and electric bass, which also featured his sons Randy, Steve, and Gary. During his musical career, he recorded over 20 albums. He and Flatt won a Grammy Award in 1969 for his instrumental "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985. On October 15, 1969, he played "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" at the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam in Washington, DC, becoming one of the few bluegrass or country and western artists to support the anti-war movement. In 1989 he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship and was an inaugural inductee into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1991. In 1992 he was a recipient of a National Medal of Arts. In 2002 he won a second Grammy Award for the 2001 recording of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" from his album "Earl Scruggs and Friends" which featured artists Steve Martin on 2nd banjo solo, Vince Gill and Albert Lee on electric guitar solos, Paul Schaffer on piano, Leon Russell on organ, and Marty Stuart on mandolin. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 13, 2003, and in February 2008, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. He died of natural causes. (bio by: William Bjornstad)
Parents: George Elam Scruggs (1876 - 1928) Lula Georgia Ruppe Scruggs (1892 - 1955) Spouse: Ann Louise Certain Scruggs (1927 - 2006) Children: Steven Scruggs (1958 - 1992)* Siblings: Bessie Scruggs (1907 - 1908)* Junnie Emmett Scruggs (1911 - 1995)* Eula Mae Scruggs Jolley (1912 - 1994)* Ruby Genette Scruggs Vinesett (1919 - 1990)* James Horace Scruggs (1922 - 2007)* Earl Scruggs (1924 - 2012)
- Calculated relationship
Burial: Spring Hill Cemetery Nashville Davidson County Tennessee, USA Plot: Hill Crest Garden GPS (lat/lon): 36.24133, -86.72232
Maintained by: Find A Grave Originally Created by: Jason W. Crews Record added: Mar 28, 2012 Find A Grave Memorial# 87507819