Earl Scruggs (January 6 1924 – March 28 2012)

One of bluegrass music biggest profiles died of natural causes yesterday at the age of 88. Best known for his virtuoso five string banjo playing and for refining a three finger picking technique that now is known as the Scruggs style. This classic song, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, was written by Scruggs in 1949 and was originally recorded by The Foggy Mountain Boys, a influential band consisting of Scruggs and guitar and mandolin player Lester Flatt. The song was later used for the car chase scenes in the motion picture Bonnie and Clyde (1967) but also appeared in many other tv-series and movies through the years, often accompanying fast moving scenes. Foggy Mountain Breakdown still is considered by many banjo players as one of the fastest and rhythmically challenging pieces. In 2001 Steve Martin, guitarist Albert Lee and many other very famous special guests joined Scruggs fast musical pursuit on the grammy winning album Foggy Mountain Breakdown.

Here the whole gang is playing this great title song on Letterman about ten years ago.

 

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