Bluegrass Legend Earl Scruggs Dies at 88

March 29, 2012 By:
Bluegrass Legend Earl Scruggs Dies at 88

Yesterday the country music community lost a legend. Bluegrass pioneer Earl Scruggs passed away from natural causes Wednesday morning. He was 88 years old.

Earl Scruggs created an iconic bluegrass sound with his signature string-bending banjo picking that no-one from his generation was doing yet.

As Dave Rawlings, Nashville area producer says, “He invented a style that now probably 75 percent of the people that play the banjo in the world play Scruggs-style banjo And that’s a staggering thing to do, to play an instrument and change what everyone is doing.”

Earl Scruggs remember the first time he was asked to play at the Grand Ole Opry, “I just didn’t know if or how well I’d be accepted because there’d never been anybody to play banjo like me here. There was Stringbean and Grandpa Jones. Most of them were comedians.”

Actor, but also accomplished banjo player, Steve Martin called Scruggs “the most important banjo player who ever lived.”
Country singer Hank Williams Jr wrote on twitter, “He meant a lot to me. Nobody will ever play a five string banjo like Earl.”

Flower were placed on Scruggs star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday.