Scruggs, Earl Eugene

Scruggs, Earl Eugene, 1924–2012, American banjo player, b. Flint Hill, N.C. He developed a distinctive syncopated, three-finger style on the five-string banjo that changed the way it is played. From a family of country-music players, he appeared on local radio as a teenager and joined Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in 1945. Three years later Scruggs and Lester Flatt, the band's guitarist/singer, formed the Foggy Mountain Boys. In their 21 years together, Flatt & Scruggs became a country-music legend, largely due to the success of Scruggs's compositions, e.g., the Grammy-winning “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” (1950); “The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” (1962), theme of television's Beverly Hillbillies (1962–71), helped make them more widely known. Scruggs later played in a band with his sons, exploring various musical styles.

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