Earl Scruggs, blue grass legend, died in Nashville at the age of 88. According to Spin, Scruggs died of natural causes after his health had been deteriorating for some time. A four-time Grammy winner and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Scruggs was perfected the modern banjo sound.
Some of Scruggs’s most famous recordings are The Beverly Hillbillies theme song “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” and “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” which appeared in the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde. Scruggs has inspired almost every banjo player that followed him, including the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia.
More than just a musician, Scruggs used his banjo playing to promote an open-minded approach in the politically unstable times of the 50s and 60s. He performed at both the Grand Ole Opry and at folk festivals, sharing the stage with Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and the Byrds.
Watch Scruggs perform the famous “Foggy Mountain Breakdown”: