Earl Eugene Scruggs, popular by the name of Earl Scruggs, was an extremely successful American musician who has to his name many different styles he introduced, some of them even named after him. He is also credited with making the instrument called Banjo popular in America as well as the entire world. He has also been adequately awarded with numerous awards for his great contribution in the field of music.
Let’s find out more about his life and get to know him better. Stay on the page!
Earl Scruggs Career Details
Earl’s family members, all were people of music, had interest in it and pursued it too. It was at the age of 21 that his career actually began when he was hired to play in The Blue Grass Boys, a very famous band of Bill Monroe. The group eventually became one of the world’s most famous bands. Despite of the considerable success Earl had with the group, in 1946, he decided to resign from the group due to their excessive and very tiring touring schedule. A fellow band member of Earl from the same group, Lester Flatt, also resigned around the same time and both them paired up at a later stage to start a new group. They decided to call the group Flatt and Scruggs or Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs released a banjo instrumental titled Foggy Mountain Breakdown in 1949, which became an all-time hit. The song was also then used in the film Bonnie and Clyde and since then has won two Grammy Awards.
Flatt and Scruggs contributed greatly into bringing bluegrass music in the mainstream popularity and that was achieved with their country hit ‘The Ballad of Jed Clampett’.
Scruggs is also widely known for popularising a style of banjo, a three-finger banjo picking style, which is now named after him as the ‘Scruggs Style’. This is because this style was very different and unique from the conventional style of the banjo with five strings.
Earl Scruggs Awards
Earl has received a large number of awards and honours for his considerable contribution in the field of music. Some of the are as follows:
- Flatt and Scruggs together were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
- Scruggs was also inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame inaugurally along with the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
- He has also had the honour of being awarded with the National Medal of Arts in 1992, which is presented by the President of the Unites States
- Scruggs, along with Flatt, won a Grammy Award in 1968 for Scruggs’ instrumental ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’ and another Grammy for the same song which later featured more musicians including his two oldest sons, Randy and Gary. He has been honoured with a total of four
Grammy Awards in his lifetime in the field, while also receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards.
These are just a few of the achievements of this personality who has had innumerable contribution in bringing music to what it is today.
Earl Scruggs Bio: Parents, Early Life
He was born to George Elum Scruggs, who was a farmer and a bookkeeper, and Georgia Lula Rupee. His father passed away, giving to a protracted illness when Earl was only four years old. Earl was the youngest of all them five siblings. After his father’s death, his mother took care of the all alone. Each and every member of his family, including his late father, mother and all the siblings were connected to music in some or the other way, such as playing instruments like Banjo and Guitar.
Starting from 1955, when his mother suffered a heart attack and a severe stroke in North Carolina, Earls’ life got tougher every moment. Due to unavailability of a flight, he, along with his wife and children, had to drive all night to see his mother. While on the way, they got into an accident as a drunk truck driver collapsed into their car. The children weren’t severely injured. However, Earl and his wife suffered stringent injuries, with multiple fractures and lacerations. Earl also suffered dislocations of both the hips and had to get surgeries done multiple times. Even then, he recovered and came back to his musical career.
Later, coming back to the home place from a concert, in a solo plane, his plane crashed due to the presence of dense fog, after which he suffered facial lacerations, broken nose and much more. Ultimately, he recovered and came back on a wheelchair.
According to Prosecutor Dent Morris, he died in 1992 of a self-inflicted gun-shot, once he killed his own wife.
Quick Facts About Earl Scruggs
Name: Earl Eugene Scruggs
Date of Birth: January 26, 1924
Date of Demise: March 28, 2012
Birthplace: Cleveland County, North Carolina, US
Late Spouse: Louise
Children: Randy and Gary
Late parents: George Elum Scruggs and Georgia Lula Rupee