Banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs died yesterday morning in Nashville, Tennessee, according to the Associated Press. He was 88. The death was confirmed to be of natural causes by Scruggs' son Gary.
Scruggs was known best for his three-finger and string-bending approached to banjo playing. His most famous recording appearance was the 1949 recording "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." Scruggs also performed in the movie Bonnie and Clyde and "The Ballada of Jed Clampett" from The Beverly Hillbillies.
It's not just bluegrass, it's American music," bluegrass fan turned country star Dierks Bentley said. "There's 17- or 18-year-old kids turning on today's country music and hearing that banjo and they have no idea where it that came from. That sound has probably always been there for them and they don't realize someone invented that three-finger roll style of playing. You hear it everywhere."
An undeniable pioneer in bluegrass music, Earl Scruggs revolutionized the way the banjo was played and influenced counless musicians in the process.
Here is a video of Earl Scruggs performing Fireball Mail" on early 60's TV: