I'm seeing news over twitter tonight that Earl Scruggs has passed away at age 88. Scruggs is arguably the greatest banjo player to have ever lived. His influence on bluegrass, folk, and country music is immeasurable. You can read more about his remarkable life in this New Yorker article, and I am sure that dozens of more biographical articles will be popping up on line throughout the next few days.
Here he is with his buddy Doc Watson doing the old time country tunes "Old John Hardy" and a little bit of "Cripple Creek." Any idea what year this is from?
Performing "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" in 1965 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville with his musical partner of 20+ years Lester Flatt.
In 2001 he appeared on Letterman to promote his 23rd album Earl Scruggs and Friends with Glen Duncan (fiddle), Randy Scruggs (Earl's son, acoustic guitar), Steve Martin (banjo), Vince Gill (Telecaster), Marty Stuart (mandolin), Gary Scruggs (Earl's son, harmonica), Albert Lee (Music Man custom), Paul Shaffer (piano), and Jerry Douglas (Dobro).